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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of events coming up over the next week in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls.
We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston and Herndon. Know of any we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!
Wednesday (Oct. 14)
- Reston Farmers Market by FreshFarm — 3-7 p.m. at St. John Neumann Catholic Church (11900 Lawyers Road).Vendors like Dimitri Olive Oil,Harmony Hill Farm, Lola’s Kitchen and more will be present.
Thursday (Oct. 15)
- Digital Drinking with Atlas Brew Works (Online) — 6 p.m. — This free event is for ages 21 and older. Those who wish to participate can choose a time to pick up a free six-pack of beer from The Kelvin and register for the Zoom link with Atlas Brew Works. The brewery is asking participants to post their favorite beer on October 15, tagging both @thekelvindc and @atlasbrewworks on Instagram. Three people will then be chosen to receive a $125 bar tab covered by The Kelvin.
Friday (Oct. 16)
- NASCOW (Online) — Friends of Frying Pan Park will race 11 of the park’s cows against each other online. Sponsors can use this form to choose their favorite cow. All proceeds will support the park as they make up for the revenue lost during the pandemic.
Saturday (Oct. 17)
- Reston Community Cleanup – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2304 Hunters Woods Plaza) — Volunteers should plan to clean up along the Reston Association Trail behind Hunters Woods Shopping Center, between Glade Drive and Reston Parkway, the website said. Registration is required, and those who register should gloves, sturdy shoes and expect to follow pandemic precautions. The cleanup is for the Hunters Woods Shopping Center.
Photo via Friends of Frying Pan Park/Facebook
Friends of Frying Pan Park, a local park in Herndon, will host its first NASCOW race next Friday (Oct. 16)
This event will race 11 of the park’s cows in efforts to replace revenues lost by the COVID-19-related cancellation of the park’s annual Farm Harvest Days fundraiser, the event ad said.
“Farm Harvest Days usually bring in 8,000 people per day,” said Yvonne Johnson, Manager of Friends of Frying Pan Park. “Due to COVID-19, we found a different way to generate revenue to support the farm and park.”
The cows that will race are of different ages from nine-months to four-years-old:
- Bandit (Age: 1)
- Brandy (Age: 3)
- Evee (Age: 3)
- Florence (Age: 2)
- Guinness (Age: 9 months)
- Helene (Age: 2)
- Hokie (Age: 3)
- Marybelle (Age: 4)
- Rain (Age: 3)
- Skipper (Age: 9 months)
- Smokey (Age: 1)
The race will be videotaped and aired online.
Sponsors for the NASCOW race can use this form to pick their cow and donate. So far the park has raised $8,000 of its $10,000 goal.
Photo via Friends of Frying Pan Park/Facebook
Two friends teamed up to create Herndon’s new coworking space called Rowan Tree, which debuted today (Jan. 15) in Sunset Business Park.
The coworking space, which describes itself as “geared for women but welcome to all,” offers an open workspace, meeting rooms, onsite yoga and professional and personal growth workshops at 280 Sunset Park Drive.
As a part of the grand opening, Rowan Tree’s co-founders Amy Dagliano and Kate Viggiano Janich announced a scholarship for local entrepreneurial women who may face financial barriers with the membership. (Memberships cost either $2,400 for the year or $275 per month, which totals $3,300 per year.)
Janich said the scholarship is meant to support a diverse and inclusive environment. For every five members, Rowan Tree will fund one full scholarship.
Reston Now caught up with Dagliano to find out the details behind Rowan Tree’s name and why they picked Herndon.
Reston Now: How did you come up with the name “Rowan Tree”?
Amy Dagliano: We are best friends — and we also happen to share the same birthday: April 9. We found that just like with birthstones, there are actually trees associated with birthdays.
The Rowan Tree is the tree of April 9. The tree represents vision, power, connection, transformation, and balance. All things we knew we wanted in the community. The tree is known as the portal tree, taking you from one place to another, and it seeks the highest of altitudes to grow and thrive.
Rowan is also a family name of Kate’s cousin — the same cousin who helped Amy heal from Lyme Disease.
RN: Why Herndon?
AD: We found most women-focused coworking places are in cities, but we are working moms who live in NoVA. We like having our parking lots and yards — but we are still really interested in growing our careers, connecting with others and being part of a movement.
There is nothing like Rowan Tree in Herndon or the surrounding area. Before we opened, we interviewed a lot of women in the NoVA area. We found that those who lived in Herndon and nearby were very enthusiastic about the concept. Many of them were launching something new for themselves, but they didn’t have a place to land. Then, as we started pop-up events, we received incredible community support. We love this small town with a big heart and its strong sense of community.
Finally, it’s HERndon. What better place to open our flagship coworking and cogrowth space focused on women than a town with “HER” in the name?
RN: How did you choose the Herndon location?
AD: Our original intention was to open 10,000 square feet with private offices. Soon into research, however, we realized something smaller and more community-focused would better fit our vision of a close, collaborative network of women. When we held pop-up coworking at ArtSpace Herndon, our ArtSpace friends suggested we check out this place for rent.
We took one look and knew it would be perfect for Rowan Tree. The owner understands and supports our vision, and by adding our furniture, touches of color, twinkle lights and artwork, we were able to create a warm and inviting space. It’s the perfect “treehouse.”
RN: How many people can occupy the space?
AD: If everyone is sitting at tables and utilizing the conference rooms, we can fit about 40 to 50 people at once. But the great thing about the space is that it’s flexible. We can roll the tables out of the main space and have more than 50 people in chairs watching a presentation or more than 75 people for a cocktail event or fundraiser.
We also have an open studio space that can we can bring tables and chairs into to add seating or to hold wellness or artistic activities.
RN: What are you most excited about?
AD: We are blown out of the water by the caliber of the women joining our community. Our members are forming relationships. They are sharing ideas and leaning on each other. They are connecting each other to their networks. They are growing. They are making Rowan Tree their own.
We are truly looking forward to the impact we will have on our local community and economy — and hopefully, far beyond.
Photos via Rowan Tree
A cow’s lunchtime stroll raised some eyebrows last week when the Black Angus cow, named Hokie, sped off onto a Route 28 exit ramp from her new home in Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon.
The 1,200-pound heifer, which had been purchased by the park from Virginia Tech just two days before the incident, was under routine quarantine at the farm when she suddenly jumped over a 3.5-foot tall wagon during stall cleaning and bolted through the Herndon area, surprising onlookers as she jumped over guard rails and jersey walls to evade capture.
According to the Fairfax County Park Authority, the help of some “agile” drivers resulted in the capture of the cow on an exit ramp roughly 2.5 miles from the park. Drivers used their cars to help emergency personnel corner the cow on the ramp, with one driver raising his hands on the opposite side of the ramp to prevent Hokie from jumping over the wall.
Help was also lassoed in from the Fairfax County Police Department and the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, who promptly joined in the hot pursuit.
The Fairfax County Park Authority offered the following thanks in a Facebook post following the incident:
“Thanks to the entire community for coming together to ensure the safe return of our newest cow. Farm staff is working to acclimate Hokie to her new home and have increased security measures to prevent the surprisingly nimble cow from escaping again.
Photos via Fairfax County Park Authority
This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.
Meet Cowboy, a Terrier & Boxer mix puppy available for adoption locally.
Here is what his friends at Safe Haven Puppy Rescue have to say about him:
Adorable little Cowboy is a great pup, a blend of boxer and terrier most likely. He’s just eight weeks old and is super friendly and cute — just look how he hammed it up for his pictures!!!
He’ll likely be a nice medium size when grown, perhaps around the forty to forty five pound range.
This beautiful baby is a nice blend of friendly affection and normal puppy playfulness and will be great company.
Are you and Cowboy 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 three 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.
Refraction, a coworking space sponsored by Canvas, has taken over new space at Reston Town Center and will hold an open house on Thursday to show it off to prospective tenants.
The Grand Opening event is from 6 to 9 p.m. at Refraction, 11911 Freedom Drive, Suite 850.
Refraction says it will have space for 50-60 companies in the new digs. The 23,000-square-foot expanded space has room to “house 250+ entrepreneurs, 23 meeting spaces, 14 offices, 2 kitchens, 1 multi-purpose event space and heaps of room for informal collaboration,” Refraction representatives say.
Refraction memberships will include free coffee and Wi-fi, meeting rooms and other collaborative space. Rates start at $30/daily for a drop-in desk to $300 for a co-working desk. Full offices are also available; inquire for prices.
For three years and across three continents, we have studied every aspect of a successful startup office — speaking to entrepreneurs and their teams, boomers, millennials, investors, mentors, unicorns, academics, designers, and architects. The result of this research and consultation has been distilled into Refraction’s expanded space and the brand new HQ of Canvas, our major sponsor. We know what a team needs to be productive, collaborative and engaged.
Want to attend Thursday’s event? RSVP with Refraction.
New Issues Hamper Silver Line Phase 2 — While a summer opening is still possible, don’t expect the Silver Line extension from Reston into Loudoun County before July 1, Metro officials said yesterday (Thursday), citing waterproofing and insulation issues around power cable connections. Past problems with “the orange boot” have caused fire and smoke incidents. [DCist]
County Residents Report Lags in Rent Assistance — “Sarah Allen, regional director of Fairfax County Human Services, told InsideNoVa in October the county was rolling out a separate online portal that tenants could also use to apply for assistance. The online portal has yet to launch, according to a county spokesperson who said it’s still in development.” [Inside NoVA]
NoVA Faces Mental Health Services Deficit — “Last week, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia published a report claiming that as of 2021 approximately 750,000 adults in Northern Virginia are currently receiving or want to receive mental health services. However, 350,000 of those adults who want therapy or counseling are unable to get it.” [Inside NoVA]
County Police and Firefighters Face Off for Charity — “The puck will drop on Friday at 6 p.m. at the SkateQuest ice rink in Reston as the Fairfax County Police Department takes on the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in a charity hockey game…Donations will be accepted at the game and will go to RedHelp.org and BlueHelp.org.” [Patch]
Road Closure Planned in Clifton Next Week — “Kincheloe Road (Route 641) between Old Yates Ford Road (Route 612) and the Kincheloe Soccer Park will be closed to through traffic, weather permitting, Monday, March 28 and Tuesday, March 29 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day to replace two culvert pipes.” [VDOT]
Park Authority Celebrates Women’s History Month — “The Fairfax County Park Authority has launched a new website celebrating the accomplishments and impact of extraordinary women who have shaped Fairfax County’s parks.” [FCPA]
Herndon Software Company Acquired — “Wavedancer Inc. (NASDAQ: WAVD), a Fairfax cybersecurity software company, said this week it has reached a deal to acquire Herndon’s Knowmadics, a software-as-a-service company specializing in the Internet of Things device management, for $90 million.” [Washington Business Journal]
Local Artists Partner for Capital One Hall Concert — The Virginia Chamber Orchestra, which now resides at the Tysons performing arts theater, will play music by Aaron Copland tomorrow (Saturday) in a joint concert with the College of William & Mary Symphony Orchestra. Artwork by members of the McLean Arts Society will be displayed in the Atrium. [Virginia Chamber Orchestra]
It’s Friday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 58 and low of 45. Sunrise at 7:05 a.m. and sunset at 7:27 p.m. [Weather.gov]
Statewide Tornado Drill Today — As part of its annual Severe Weather Awareness Week, Virginia will hold a statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. today (Tuesday). The signal will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System, but there won’t be an actual tornado warning, which would mean that a twister is imminent or already underway. [Herndon Police/Twitter]
“Coastal” Tex-Mex Restaurant Planned for Tysons — “Long Shot Hospitality, which operates seafood-centric Salt Line and New Orleans hotspot Dauphine’s, is gearing up for a new project. Chef Kyle Bailey and partners will open an 11,000-square-foot Tex-Mex restaurant at the new Capital One Center in Tysons, Virginia, next year.” [Washingtonian]
Reston Company Carries Russian Propaganda — Reston Translator carries the FM radio signal in the D.C. area for the Capitol Heights station WZHF, one of just five U.S. stations that broadcasts Kremlin-approved “Radio Sputnik” programming. Despite Cold War-era tensions in the air, the owner of the South Reston-based company says he’s “a fervent believer in the First Amendment.” [The Washington Post]
Burke Brewery Toasts “Bunny Man” Legend — “The Fairfax folklore of the Bunny Man has brought scary stories to generations in Northern Virginia. Now, you can hear this wild tale over a pint of Bunnyman beer from a brewery celebrating this creepy story. Bunnyman Brewing, on Guinea Road in Fairfax, is just a few miles from a bridge at the center of an urban legend about a hatchet-wielding man in a bunny costume.” [NBC4]
Driver Evades Drinking-and-Driving Charge in Vienna — Vienna Police attempted to issue a summons to a driver who committed a traffic violation in the 2100 block of Chain Bridge Road at 1:53 a.m. on Feb. 25. The driver failed sobriety tests, but police learned that he had full diplomatic immunity. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
County Park Welcomes Baby Sheep — “It’s a sure sign of spring: baby animals at Frying Pan Farm Park! Fluffette delivered triplet rams (boys) on February 28. Lane delivered twins (one boy/one girl) on March 1. The sheep are all in Kidwell Barn and will go outside near the barn on nice days.” [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]
Social Worker at Springfield School Awarded — “Claudia McDowell, a school social worker at Lynbrook Elementary School, has been named the 2022 National School Worker of the Year by the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) for her commitment to the profession and for positively impacting the lives of the students, families, and staff of the communities she serves.” [FCPS]
It’s Tuesday — Today is mostly sunny, with a high near 53. Northwest wind 7 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The low will be around 37. The sun rose at 6:29 a.m. and will set at 6:09 p.m. [Weather.gov]
With a flick of his wrists, Joe Snively became the first player from Northern Virginia to score a goal in an NHL game earlier this month.
In the second period, he scored again. Two games later, he would bury the puck into the back of the net once more. Then, he cemented his growing reputation with another goal on Thursday (Feb. 17).
The Pride of Herndon, VA Joe Snively has scored four goals in four games.
He's got seven points in nine career games.
He should be inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight. pic.twitter.com/9YVp9cIo9F
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) February 18, 2022
As popular as hockey is in this region, Snively’s success is notable as well as somewhat surprising, including to the 26-year-old Herndon native and Washington Capitals forward: That goal against the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 10 was the NHL’s first by a person from Northern Virginia.
“Hockey has, for sure, grown in the Northern Virginia area in my lifetime,” Snively told FFXnow. “I’m proud to be from the area and be the first to score a goal in the NHL, but I think there’s going to be more to follow.”
Hockey participation has grown by 221% in the D.C. region over the last two decades, according to statistics provided by the Washington Capitals.
This D.C. hockey boom is likely tied to Alexander Ovechkin’s drafting in 2004, giving the Caps a generational superstar who inspired countless young players. The team’s first Stanley Cup win in 2018 drew even more local young players to the ice.
Less than a year after winning the championship, the hometown team signed Snively, who just might be the first of many from Northern Virginia to make a big impact in the NHL.
Snively comes from Reston hockey royalty. His dad, Rich Snively, was a longtime coach for the local youth hockey club Reston Raiders, where he and his older brother played. His uncle David Snively was an Olympian on the Canadian team that boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Snively attended Reston’s Forest Edge Elementary School and grew up only 10 minutes from SkateQuest on Michael Faraday Court. He cherished every moment he got to spend on the ice at the 25-year-old rink.
“It was kind of my home. In the summer…at camps, I’d spend all day there, all week,” Snively said. “I was just a kid who loved hockey, who loved being on the ice.”
He played his way to a spot on the Bulldogs at Yale University, where he excelled. Then, at the age of 24, the Washington Capitals signed him to a contract, making Snively the first Virginia native to play for franchise.
Nearly three years later, he made his debut for the Caps in front of the home fans, including his parents.
“It was awesome. Being a hockey parent isn’t the easiest,” Snively said. “They gave me all the opportunities to play hockey and I’m so grateful for that.”
While he got an assist in that game, it took him a few more weeks to get that first goal.
It came early in the first period, when teammate Justin Schultz flung a shot that deflected off the goalkeeper’s leg pad right to Snively. With a smooth rebound, Snively buried the puck in the back of the net.
“In the moment, it was almost a relief, a weight off my shoulders,” Snively recalled. “Then, there was some happiness. But once it happens, you kinda have to get back dialed into the game.”
His recent scoring success could be leading to a bright future. After a challenging first two months, the forward is back to doing what he did on the Reston Raiders — scoring goals.
Hoping for a long, stable career in the NHL while playing on a winning team, Snively also recognizes that there are kids in Reston and Herndon watching him, just like he watched Ovechkin when he was their age.
“Keep working hard…and have fun doing it,” Snively said when asked what advice he’d give. “Even if it’s not in hockey, just love what you do.”
After stepping away from corporate life, a 35-year-old man who once owned a craft beer bar in Australia is looking to take his knowledge and industry contacts to a new level.
Anton Sagan has taken over Aslin Beer Co.’s old space in Herndon’s Sunset Business Park at 257 Sunset Park Drive and plans to open in December for takeaways and a taproom, creating small batches of fruit-based craft beers with four 132-gallon fermentation vessels, which can create 300 crowlers (32-ounce cans) at a time.
The space currently features ingredients he’s importing from around the world: malts from Germany, an in-demand product called Phantasm that uses Sauvignon blanc grapes from New Zealand and more.
“We’re already playing with our recipes here,” he said. “Being so niche with hops with the other business, … but having that background … gave us that additional knowledge base with the recipes we want to create now.”
He brewed the first batch for the public last month for private events and a pandemic-induced craft beer called FML Festival at a Hampton brewery last month, and he said he’s looking to have a handful of flavors that rotate each month, starting off with flavors such as peach-banana-vanilla (vanilla from Madagascar, Sagan notes) and Siberian berry.
Sagan, who attended grade school in Cherry Creek in western New York state and went to university in Australia, has lived abroad, including Moscow, but he and his wife and two kids relocated during the pandemic to Herndon this year.
Living for 15 years in Australia by way of Melbourne and Sydney, he got connected with farmers and sold hops through the craft beer-focused distributor Hops Engine, which eventually began selling to Aslin Beer Co. Sagan also got connected with former Tired Hands and Foreign Objects brewer Steven di Eva, who’s serving as his brewer.
“As we grow into it, we’ve got 10 taps we want to be running at any one time,” he said.
He thinks the taproom will allow for 30-40 people, even though the space can accommodate more on paper.
“Having that intimacy is important to us,” he said. “We want to stay small and local and humble.”
He’s looking to work with local shops and farms and is already providing spent hops to a family farm for animals free of charge.
Attorney David Whiting worked from home for a few weeks during the COVID-19 shutdown in the spring of 2020, but with a house full of children and seven-day workweeks, he found himself back in his rented single-person office.
Whiting and over 100 members, from tech companies to remote workers, are part of Office Evolution at The Atrium at Worldgate (205 Van Buren St.), a four-story office building in Herndon.
“It’s turnkey,” said Whiting, who has had his law firm, Oak Hill Law Group, there for about two and a half years. “It’s just so damn convenient.”
Office Evolution – Herndon opened in March 2019 and expanded in April by taking over an empty space, extending its footprint to around 12,000 square feet.
“We added 35 offices,” said Martin Gruszka, the location’s owner, noting the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce has taken space in the new office suite.
Kim DeWitt, the location’s business center manager, noted that people are wanting to avoid entire workweeks in a typical office, so the coworking environment helps remote workers have both community and independence. It’s open 24/7.
Customers can have month-to-month memberships with customized leases that allow for shared meeting rooms and other amenities. Others simply just want a mailing address with no physical office space, said Gruszka. He’s seen contractors looking for a way to have a physical location to maintain their relationship with the government.
Gruszka says that its members have been especially interested in looking for focus, quiet and the routine of an office environment.
On the employer side, businesses are looking at underutilized commercial spaces amid teleworking boons.
“We’re seeing a lot more from companies that are paring down their office space,” Gruszka said. “They have a lease: Nobody’s using it anymore,” but companies may want to move a department to a smaller location.
But not all co-working models have been a success. In January, MakeOffices — another co-working space — announced plans to shutter its doors at Reston Town Center and other local locations.
Whiting, who rents a private office there for his law firm, says the formal, stodgy office is changing as businesses look for smaller spaces, and Office Evolution allows him to scale up or scale down depending on his needs.
Even though the world is seeking to recover from COVID-19, many businesses are still struggling. Of over 3,400 businesses surveyed from Oct. 30 to Nov. 9 by networking service Alignable, only 27% of businesses are currently reporting that they are at or above pre-coronavirus revenue levels, which is 8 percentage points worse than the 35% level of progress it reported in July.
Now, as companies advertise jobs, some are offering additional stipends for remote work expenses. Gruszka and DeWitt suggested that workers may want to address what telecommuting reimbursements they get, whether or not they’re in a coworking space.
Crews are building a luxury residential project with ground-floor commercial space along Dulles Station Boulevard near the Innovation Center Metro station.
The Makers Rise project (2311 Dulles Station Boulevard) under construction is on the east side of the street, one of two such buildings envisioned there. The current project calls for 356 units — ranging from studios to two-bedrooms plus dens — with coworking spaces and amenities such as courtyards as well as a swimming pool with a terrace, fitness center, club room and pet spa, according to Arlington-based CBG Building Co.
“It’s going to be a beautiful building, and we really look forward to delivering it and being a significant new place of the Dulles Station community and the Innovation Center Metro at large,” said Ryan Whittier, of real estate company Crimson Partners.
Crimson Partners says on its website that the project’s 393,000-plus-square-feet will include 5,600 square feet of restaurant and retail. The commercial footage translates to the size of just over two tennis courts. Whittier said nothing has been inked yet but they’ve been in exciting talks with a coffee shop operator that they hope to bring there.
Construction began in April, and crews could deliver the project in August 2023, according to Whittier.
Developers received county approval in 2018 to switch a project from office buildings to residential buildings in a plan to also develop the west side of the street, but construction equipment has been parked there on the east side. Whittier said a final development plan and permits for the west side of the project, another mixed-use building, will go before the county for approval.
The project is one of several going up near the yet-to-open Innovation Center Metro station.
CBG didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment yesterday.
The Makers Rise project is slated for completion in July 2023.
The Reston-based company arranged a $350 million financing package for the first three office towers built at Reston Station, a 60-acre, mixed use project near the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station.
Comstock received roughly $2.6 million in debt and equity origination fees, which are charged by the lender for compensation for a loan application.
Here’s more from Comstock on the restructuring effort:
The Anchor Portfolio primarily includes mixed-use properties located adjacent to key Metro rail stations in the Dulles Corridor in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. Additionally, CHCI, through its institutional venture platform, acquires and manages stabilized properties with a focus on transit-oriented, mixed-use assets throughout the Washington, DC region.
“Building long term relationships with best-in-class capital providers such as Blackstone and DivcoWest is among our key strategic initiatives and we believe the financial commitment of these market leaders to Comstock and Reston Station affirm the pre-eminence of our office portfolio in the Dulles Corridor”, commented Chris Clemente, CHCI’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Closing this long-planned recapitalization in an attractive interest rate environment allows us to accelerate the recently commenced development of the next phase of Reston Station while we also focus on aggressively scaling up acquisitions of multi-family assets in our institutional venture platform. We look forward to updating the market in the very near-term on our progress on that front as we continue to focus on creating value for all Comstock’s stakeholders”.
(Updated at 10:25 a.m.) All Fairfax County Public School employees will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing, the school system announced this morning.
The requirement will take effect “by late October,” according to the news release:
To keep our commitment to provide students with five days a week of in-person instruction this year. Vaccination is the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent severe illness. We must take every measure possible to keep our schools safe.
To give employees the peace of mind that comes with knowing their workplace is a safe place. Knowing coworkers are either vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19 provides confidence and comfort so we can focus on our mission- educating kids.
To reassure FCPS students and families they are learning in the safest environment possible. We can assure everyone who enters our building that our workforce is either vaccinated or is reporting to work with a negative COVID-19 test.
To lead by example. FCPS continues to promote vaccination for everyone, including our students, as soon as they are eligible. Our goal is for every eligible employee to be vaccinated. The sooner our community reaches a high vaccination rate, the sooner we begin to put the pandemic behind us.
FCPS had already established a universal masking policy for all students, staff, and visitors inside school buildings, but as recently as Wednesday, officials had said that they were not mandating vaccinations, though the option had not been definitively ruled out.
The change comes days after two unions representing FCPS employees — the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers and the Fairfax Education Association — issued statements saying that they would support a vaccine mandate.
“Our teachers and staff have gone above and beyond to keep their students safe and healthy during the pandemic. Most signed up for vaccines as soon as they were available,” Providence District School Board Member Karl Frisch said in a statement. “This was the right decision. To keep our students safe and our schools running smoothly, it is critical that everyone in our community who is eligible gets vaccinated — not only our educators and school employees. That is how we will ultimately put this pandemic behind us.”
As of 9:50 a.m. today (Friday), a majority of respondents in an informal poll conducted by Reston Now and sister site Tysons Reporter said they would support a vaccine requirement not just for staff, but also for students. However, the opposition to a mandate has grown since the results were checked last night.
Students will return to classes on Monday (Aug. 23).
“FCPS continues to encourage vaccination for everyone, including students, as soon as they are eligible,” Superintendent Scott Brabrand said in a message sent out to families this morning. “This summer, Fairfax County has seen vaccination rates for our young people soar. We have some of the highest vaccination rates across the country for this age group.”
According to FCPS, 61.9% of adolescents aged 12-15 in Fairfax County are now fully vaccinated, along with 74.4% of 16 to 17-year-olds.
The Fairfax County Police Department has concluded for a second time that allegations of racial profiling by one of its officers during a 2019 incident in Herndon were unfounded.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed police to revisit the case in question in January after the county’s Police Civilian Review Panel recommended an additional review in its first-ever challenge of police findings.
According to a June 1 FCPD memo obtained by Reston Now, the second review — this time under a new police chief — found no evidence that a police officer who followed and questioned a Black driver was motivated by racial bias.
“I have reviewed the supplemental investigative findings and concur that no new evidence was revealed to support the allegation of bias-based policing,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said in the memo.
Davis took over as police chief on May 3 amid criticism of his past work in Baltimore and Prince George’s County. In the initial months of his tenure, he has emphasized his willingness to introduce reforms, including revisions to the department’s vehicle pursuit policy and the addition of a data director.
For its follow-up investigation of the Herndon incident, Fairfax County police asked eight employees in the Reston District Station’s Criminal Investigations Section the following question:
“Do you have any direct or indirect knowledge which would indicate [employee name] has engaged or is engaging in behavior that was or is motivated by bias toward a victim’s race, religious conviction, ethnic/national origin, disability, and/or sexual orientation?”
Police said no one indicated there was any evidence of bias exhibited by the detective.
Davis also suggested options for reviewing the case were limited, noting that FCPD started collecting data on officers’ interactions with civilians last October that it wasn’t measuring at the time of this particular incident.
The change aligns with new state requirements for police data collection that took effect on July 1.
“Due to recent updates in Virginia legislation, the Virginia Community Policing Act, the Department has updated our current record management system to capture additional details pertaining to the circumstances of community contacts,” the FCPD said in a statement. “The further details will allow our Department to better understand the contacts we have within our community.”
In his memo, Davis wrote that the department has “further enhanced our transparency by creating a Police Data Sharing Dashboard” that allows people to search information related to warnings, citations, and arrests.
The civilian review panel began reviewing the Herndon incident on May 23, 2019, when it got a citizen’s complaint about an officer who followed him into the parking lot of his apartment complex and repeatedly questioned whether he lived there. Read More