Opioid Roundtable Planned — The discussion, scheduled for the Fairfax County Government Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, will be hosted by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The event is open to the public. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Reston Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in Gang-Related Killing — Cindy Blanco Hernandez, 19, entered pleas to abduction and gang participation Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors. She was among 10 members and associates of the gang MS-13 charged after the January killing of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas. She may face up to 30 years in prison when she is sentenced in May. [Washington Post]
Herndon Adds Parking Enforcement Position — The part-time officer was hired Oct. 3 and will work 30 hours a week, which has at least one resident worried about “end[ing] up like Reston Town Center.” [Connection Newspapers]
Silver Line Phase 2 Hits Two-Thirds Point — More than 5 million hours have been spent on the $2.78 billion project so far, according to updates expected to be presented today to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board. [WTOP]
An announcement Tuesday morning from the Trump Administration that it will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy has elicited spirited response from Virginia’s Democratic delegation in Congress.
DACA, implemented by President Barack Obama in 2012, allows nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants living in the United States to apply for renewable two-year visas. It is available to individuals who arrived in the United States before the year 2007 who were under the age of 16 at the time of arrival and under the age of 31 at the time of implementation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement Tuesday morning on behalf of the Administration. Afterward, both of Virginia’s senators released statements of outrage on their Twitter accounts. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says the decision is “heartless.”
Ending DACA is a heartless decision that breaks the President's promise to kids who were brought here through no fault of their own
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) September 5, 2017
Rescinding DACA forces #DREAMers back into the shadows & puts them in danger of being deported from the country they love & know as home
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) September 5, 2017
In the wake of the President’s heartless decision to end DACA, Congress must immediately pass the bipartisan DREAM Act to protect #DREAMers
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) September 5, 2017
The DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act has been introduced several times in Congress in recent years. The current version was introduced in July by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). It would institute a multi-phase process for qualifying alien minors (so-called “DREAMers”) in the United States that would first grant conditional residency and, upon meeting further qualifications, permanent residency.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), in his statement, said DACA is a “promise” that has allowed children of undocumented immigrants to “realize their full potential.”
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) September 5, 2017
In a statement released following Sessions’ remarks, President Donald Trump said DACA has “helped spur a humanitarian crisis — the massive surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America including, in some cases, young people who would become members of violent gangs throughout our country, such as MS-13.”
The decades-long failure of Washington, D.C. to enforce federal immigration law has had both predictable and tragic consequences: lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers, substantial burdens on local schools and hospitals, the illicit entry of dangerous drugs and criminal cartels, and many billions of dollars a year in costs paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Yet few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system. Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers.
Trump said existing work permits will be honored until their date of expiration. He also said that applications already in the pipeline will still be processed, and so will renewal applications for those facing near-term expiration.
“This is a gradual process, not a sudden phase out,” the President said. “Permits will not begin to expire for another six months, and will remain active for up to 24 months.”
In his statement on the decision to end the program, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says it is a “moral outrage” that attacks people who have been “creating jobs, serving in our military [and] teaching our children.”
— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) August 31, 2017
In Richmond, Gov. Terry McAuliffe also said the decision is “an attack on the fabric of our nation [that] makes us less safe and hurts our economy.”
— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) September 5, 2017
Trump said that “enforcement priorities [will] remain unchanged, and that he has “advised the Department of Homeland Security that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.”
‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown’ — With heavy rains expected today and Saturday, the possibility of flash flooding exists. County officials are reminding residents that cars should not be driven through flooded roadways. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Police Seek Suspect in Vienna Stabbing — Fairfax County Police have been searching since Thursday morning for the suspect in a stabbing that took place near the Vienna Metro station. The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect is a male of unknown race, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with a medium build, and a light- to medium-brown complexion. He was wearing a black, hooded shirt pulled over his head. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Deadline for Cardboard Boat Registration Nears — The first Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta is coming up Aug. 12, and the last day to get a boat registered for the event is Tuesday. [Reston Museum]
New Name Coming for J.E.B. Stuart High — By 2019, the Falls Church school named after a Confederate general will have its name changed. The Fairfax County School Board voted last night to make it happen. [NBC Washington]
Connolly: Trump’s Boy Scout Speech Shameful — In a letter to the national president of the Boy Scouts of America, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says the BSA should denounce the speech President Trump gave recently at the National Scout Jamboree. Connolly says Trump’s politicized rhetoric “directly contradicted the spirit of Scouting and the tenets of Boy Scout Law.” [The Hill]
Synthetic Soccer Field Coming to Great Falls — The $1.3 million project at Great Falls Nike Park (1089 Utterback Store Road) includes the conversion of an existing grass field to a synthetic turf field, a trail, storm drainage facilities, landscaping, field lighting and related improvements. [Fairfax County Park Authority]
County Remains Among Richest — U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2015 have Fairfax County’s median household income at $112,844, more than twice the national figure. The county trails only Loudoun County ($125,900) and the independent City of Falls Church ($122,092) in the national rankings. [WTOP]
Reston P&Z Committee Meets Tonight — The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee’s monthly meeting will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). Matters to be discussed include JBG/EYA’s project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. [Reston P&Z Committee]
Wanted: School Bus Drivers — Fairfax County Public Schools has 85 openings for bus drivers. A job fair will be held Friday, Aug. 11, at Stonecroft Transportation Center (4641 Stonecroft Blvd., Chantilly). [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Gas Grill Safety Tips — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue wants citizens to be safe when they fire up the grill to make summer meals. With that in mind, they shared a video from the National Fire Protection Association that includes tips on where to place the grill, how to turn it on safely and more. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Need for More Athletic Fields Broken Down — In Reston Association’s latest “Reston Today” video dispatch, land-use attorney John McBride talks about the requirement for athletic fields in Reston’s Transit Station Areas. The video shows five potential sites where they could be considered. [Reston Association/YouTube]
Transportation Authority Info Session — The public is encouraged to attend an informational meeting tonight with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, to learn about its Draft TransAction Plan and provide comments. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). [Northern Virginia Transportation Authority]
Another Potomac River Bridge? — The idea to ease traffic in the region has been debated since the 1950s, and the North Capital Region Transportation Planning Board will consider listing the bridge project at its July 19 meeting. [WTOP]
Cancellation of FBI Replacement Decried — Fairfax County was one of three finalists for a new FBI headquarters before plans were scrapped. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay, among others, say the decision to abort the project was driven by President Trump’s conflicts of interest. [Washington Post]
Flash Flood Watch in Effect Until 7 P.M. — Multiple rounds of rainfall will occur over the watch area, with the potential for torrential rain rates. Rainfall rates of 1 to 3 inches are expected in the strongest storms. [National Weather Service]
World Music Tonight at Lake Anne — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will continue tonight with a performance by Mystic Warriors. [Lake Anne Plaza]
Alzheimer’s Town Hall Slated — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) will join community organizations from across Northern Virginia on July 10 for a town hall focused on Alzheimer’s. [Rep. Gerry Connolly]
Government Contractor To Be Acquired — Reston-based government IT contractor NCI Inc., which fired a top executive this year for embezzling millions of dollars in company money, will be acquired by private investor HIG Capital for $283 million. [WTOP]
Jazz Music Tonight at Lake Anne — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will continue tonight with a performance by contemporary Brazilian jazz band Origem. [Lake Anne Plaza]
Metro Employees to Thank Riders Today — Nearly 700 Metro administrative employees will be at Metrorail stations during the afternoon commute today to “personally thank” customers for “their support and continued ridership” during SafeTrack. [WMATA]
Connolly Goes After Nikki Haley — The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations had to defend herself Wednesday when Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) targeted her actions at the U.N. [Washington Free Beacon]
Single Tracking to Cause Long Metro Waits — Starting Saturday until closing time Sunday, Silver Line Metro trains will operate just every 26 minutes. Fare hikes are also in effect, with $2.25 the minimum to ride the Metro. There will be no track work on the Fourth of July. [DCist]
MOM’s Organic Market to Celebrate 30th Anniversary Sunday — All MOM’s Organic Market locations will celebrate the franchise’s 30th anniversary with tastings and family activities. Locally, there is a store at 424 Elden St., Herndon. [PR Newswire]
Fairfax Police Inform About Snake Safety — With warm weather, snakes become more active around the area, so it’s beneficial to know which snakes are venomous and which are harmless. [Fairfax County Police Department]
File photo courtesy Carole Burnett
That’s according to his own personal cover of Time magazine, which the U.S. congressman’s staff created in response to President Donald Trump’s current scandal.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a slew of fake Time magazine covers featuring the president’s image hang in his golf courses. In response, Connolly tweeted out what may be the most noteworthy reaction yet.
— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) June 27, 2017
Featuring a full headshot similar to the faux Trump cover, Connolly sprinkled the photo with headlines written in Trump’s linguistic style, such as “FITARA is a legislative smash!” (FITARA is a reform bill for federal information technology).
Jamie Smith, Connolly’s communications director, said that all credit for the tweet goes to the congressman.
“He saw the reports of Trump’s fake Time cover and thought this could be a fun way to highlight the absurdity of it,” Smith said. “We never expected it to go this viral. I guess we will have to hang our cover in our four offices.”
As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, the post had more than 5,200 retweets and 19,000 likes, with hundreds of replies and notable comments.
Omg just noticed the headlines. Congressman, your social media person deserves a raise.
— Sarah Mimms (@SarahMMimms) June 27, 2017
I never realized we had such a celebrity in the @OversightDems!
— Raja Krishnamoorthi (@CongressmanRaja) June 27, 2017
We have a winner. No more submissions today. The Internet is now closed.
— TrumpsTaxes (@TrumpsTaxes) June 27, 2017
“The response has been incredibly positive,” added Smith, but there were a few left unimpressed.
Yawn. Nobody cares. Not even your constituents.
— The Mad Moderate (@MadMadModerate) June 28, 2017
U Need2 Stop Your Fake News Agenda!U will Need 2Apologize as CNN FallOut 4Lies!Try Work Instead of Attacking
— Sarah (@deltaweese) June 28, 2017
So, what do you think?
SLHS Class of 2017 Graduates Tonight — The event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Bank Arena on the campus of George Mason University. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Nationwide Vigils for Nabra Hassanen — The Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment has planned numerous vigils across the nation in honor of Nabra Hassanen, the Reston teen who was killed Sunday. Events are scheduled in DC, New York, Philadelphia, Boston and more. [WISE/Facebook]
Connolly Talks Issues — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) held a town-hall meeting Monday night in Reston. Check out his Twitter feed to see what was discussed. [Gerry Connolly/Twitter]
Volunteers Sought for Century Ride — The 35th annual ride is scheduled for Aug. 27, and helpers are needed for planning, rest stops and cleanup. [Reston Bike Club]
Photo of Reston sunset courtesy Lizette Badillo Ryan
Update: Police Not Looking at Teen’s Death as Hate Crime — The Fairfax County Police Department says the killing of a 17-year-old Muslim girl from Reston is not being investigated as bias-motivated. We are continuing to follow this story and will provide more information as it becomes available. [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]
Connolly Hosting Town Hall Tonight — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) will host a town-hall meeting at Sunset Hills Montessori School (11180 Ridge Heights Road) from 7-8:30 p.m. tonight. The congressman will provide a congressional update and then take audience questions. [Eventbrite]
County Seeks Volunteers for Attack Prep — The Fairfax County Health Department has robust plans in place to respond to a wide-scale bioterrorism attack. Volunteers are needed to help with a training exercise Saturday, July 29. [Fairfax County Health Department]
County Office for Children Gets Grant — The grant will allow the office to work with high-quality family child care programs in areas of Fairfax County with concentrated poverty to provide preschool services for eligible children. [Gov. Terry McAuliffe]
Herndon Woman Sees Central Asia — Cathy Alifrangis says her special birthday journey to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan was filled with culture, history and pleasant surprises. [Washington Post]
Following President Donald Trump’s recent announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, Fairfax County is joining the Mayors Climate Action Agenda.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors endorsed joining more than 200 other municipalities nationwide in an effort to combat climate change. The three main takeaway points from the Mayors Climate Action Agenda are the development of a community greenhouse gas emissions inventory, the setting of near- and long-term emissions reduction targets, and the development of a climate action plan.
Ten years ago, Fairfax County was part of a similar agreement called Cool Counties. Cool Counties committed Fairfax County to cut the D.C. region’s greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) June 7, 2017
Through Cool Counties, the county has since reached its initial goal of cutting its per capita emissions by 10 percent. Helene Shore of local environmental activism group 350 Fairfax argues that this hasn’t been enough, but she’d glad the county has recommitted itself.
“We’d like to see 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. We wish that other mayors would hop aboard — it’s important that we address this at a local level and that local governments keep working towards renewable energy, since our central government won’t be doing much work it seems. We don’t have much time left and it’s important that we keep working forward.”
Fairfax County is encouraging residents to get involved, especially in reducing their electricity emissions. Residents can sign up for discounted solar panels, get expert advice on energy savings, checkout a thermal camera from the library and apply for a matching grant to fund any possible projects that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As the federal government inches closer to a possible shutdown at the end of the week, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) says the local economy would be severely affected if no agreement is found.
“As we witnessed during the 2013 Republican government shutdown, Northern Virginia’s economy would be significantly affected. That 16-day shutdown cost nearly $24 billion in lost economic output,” Connolly said in a prepared statement Monday. “It is a reckless way to govern that hurts all Americans and must be avoided.”
The 2013 shutdown is estimated to have cost more than $217 million per day in federal and contractor wages in D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to a large number of federal employees, Reston is home to many government contractors including Leidos, which said in a statement to investors earlier this year that a shutdown could “result in our incurrence of substantial labor or other costs without reimbursement under customer contracts, or the delay or cancellation of key programs, which could have a negative effect on our cash flows and adversely affect our future results.”
Connolly put the blame for a potential government shutdown squarely on the shoulders of House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.):
“If Speaker Ryan wants to resort to hostage-taking over a border wall, then Republicans will own this shutdown,” the congressman said. “If he is willing to work with Democrats and pass a clean funding measure, however, then I am confident we can keep government open and working for our constituents.”
Board of Directors Election Winners Announced — David Bobzien, Eric Carr, John Mooney and Victoria White were announced Tuesday night as the winners of the Reston Association Board of Directors election. A full story will be posted later today on Reston Now. [Reston Association]
Report: Man Charged With Sexual Abuse Was Deported Felon — Media in D.C. reports that Oscar Perez Rangel, charged with sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in Herndon, had previously been deported and was in the country illegally. [NBC Washington/WJLA]
Connolly: Hate Graffiti an Attack on Society — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax) says of anti-Semitic vandalism at the Jewish Community Center and Little River United Church of Christ in Annandale that “an attack on one faith is an attack on all.” [Rep. Gerry Connelly/Facebook]
GMU Professor, Students to Perform in Reston — A free concert Thursday by Dr. Patricia Miller, director of vocal studies at George Mason University, and her advanced students will include performances from Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera “Iolanthe.” [Reston Community Center]
Reston’s voice in the House of Representatives, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), has announced that he has joined the growing list of Democratic members of Congress who will not be attending the Inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, Connolly said Trump has left the country with “open, bleeding wounds.”
“After long reflection I have decided that I cannot attend the inauguration of Donald J Trump on Friday. His behavior and harmful words during and after the campaign have left the country I love with open, bleeding wounds. Instead of binding those wounds, he has poured salt on them. Instead of unifying us, he has reveled in driving wedges between us. His disparagement of an entire religion; his racist rants about minorities; his resurrection of white supremacy; his ridicule of the disabled; his blatant misogyny and boasting of unwanted sexual advances; his intimidation of the press; his repugnant attack on civil rights hero John Lewis; and his disturbing defense of and advocacy for Vladimir Putin — a KGB thug — threaten our democratic institutions. How can I celebrate that? The sordid aspects of his behavior must not become the new normal for America or her presidents.”
Connolly joins more than 50 of his peers who have publicly announced they will not attend the ceremony.
As Virginians prepare to head to the polls tomorrow, Reston Now had a chance to ask a few questions of Reston’s representative in Congress, Gerry Connolly, who is running unopposed for re-election.
RN: What do you most hope to accomplish in your next term?
GC: Protecting and growing Northern Virginia’s economy has always been my top priority. In my next term, I will continue working to end sequestration, get better pay and benefits for federal employees, and give commuters more transportation choices.
Our local economy is a delicate partnership between the federal government and the private sector. My job is to foster that partnership so that both succeed. The good news is our local economy continues to be strong, with an unemployment rate under 4 percent and solid growth.
Over the next two years, I’ll continue working to ensure we attract the good-paying jobs of the future by building on our success in technology to become a national hub for cyber-security investment.
RN: What effect does the winner of the presidential election have on those priorities? Will they change at all depending on whether Clinton or Trump wins?
GC: For the first time in history, one of the two major parties has nominated someone who doesn’t respect the basic norms of our democratic system. He has sought to delegitimize the election results by claiming the vote-counting process is “rigged” and, in an unprecedented manner, signaled that Hillary Clinton’s presidency is illegitimate before it has even begun.
Quite frankly, he is a demagogic and authoritarian figure. If elected, he would likely seek to consolidate power and dismantle our system of Constitutional checks and balances. So, if he is elected tomorrow, our job as citizens will be to work to preserve our democratic system of governance against perhaps the greatest internal threat it has ever faced.
RN: What do you think are Northern Virginia’s most pressing issues?
GC: Northern Virginia’s most pressing issues are ending sequestration and fixing Metro. Those two issues — sequestration and Metro’s decline — have the potential to curb our economic growth over the next decade. Ending sequestration for both defense and domestic programs should be at the top of the list of issues for the next Congress to address. Unfortunately, a small group of Republicans in the House don’t want to repeal sequestration because it provides precisely the kind of indiscriminate spending cuts they want to see. I will continue working with Democrats and Republicans to repeal sequestration.
Our Metro system faces a number of challenges — aging infrastructure, lack of dedicated funding, and the complete absence of a safety culture throughout the workforce. SafeTrack has created massive disruptions for Northern Virginia commuters and we haven’t yet seen any improvement in service. That is unacceptable to me and should be to all of us. Metro’s customers — our riders — deserve better from this system and we, as a region, must come together to fashion a long-term solution.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to your local constituents ahead of Tuesday’s election?
Voters in Fairfax will also have the opportunity to cast a ballot on three bond referendums (Transportation, Parks, and Human Services) and a meals tax referendum that will put downward pressure on property taxes and invest in our schools. I urge voters to support all four measures. Fairfax County continues to be one of the best-managed counties in the nation with great schools, a AAA bond rating, and quality services.
These measures will help us continue to lead the nation and provide the kind of quality-of-life we all enjoy here. In particular, the meals tax will diversify our revenue and bring in $30 million per year from nonresidents, including tourists, business travelers and other Northern Virginians who come here to enjoy our restaurants.