Fairfax County and Herndon Budget Hearings This Week — Fairfax County will hold virtual public hearings on its advertised FY 2022 budget and capital improvement program on Tuesday through Thursday (April 13-15). The Herndon Town Council will have a public hearing on its proposed budget when it meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, with a second public hearing scheduled for April 27. [Fairfax County Government, Town of Herndon]
Metro Phasing Out Original SmarTrip Cards — Metro will start phasing out fare cards that were made before 2012 starting in June as it prepares to rollout new faregates over the next year. The change will affect up to 400,000 out of the 6 million cards that were in active circulation prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. [WMATA]
County Talks Equity in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution — At a town hall on Thursday (April 8), Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay shared that the county “has set up three “equity vaccine centers” and plans to establish more of them as the county receives larger supplies of vaccine doses. The county also plans eventually to get mobile vaccine clinics…up and running as soon as vaccine supplies increase.” [Patch]
Reston Consulting Firm Receives $1 Million in Damages — “A Reston government consulting firm seeking $1 million in damages related to a lawsuit it filed almost two years ago, has finally received its judgment, netting more than half what it asked for. Counter Threat Solutions LLC…filed a suit against Herndon IT services and intelligence analysis company Consulting Services Group LLC (CSG) in July 2019, alleging breach of contract related to a consulting agreement held by the two companies.” [Washington Business Journal]
Reston Association Volunteers Help With Potomac River Cleanup at Reston Regional Library — “Thank you @RestonOnline and RA volunteers for participating in today’s (4/10) Potomac Watershed Cleanup activities. A tremendous effort for a spring cleaning of our beautiful community!” [Supervisor Walter Alcorn/Twitter]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Metro Board Debates Lowering Fares — “During the transit authority’s bi-monthly board meeting Thursday, four board members voiced support for a flurry of proposals that would simplify or reduce rail fees, including lower fares and eliminating rush hour peak pricing.” [DCist]
Paycheck Protection Program Deadline Extended — The deadline for small businesses to apply for forgivable loans from the federal COVID-19 relief program has been extended to May 31. The new PPP application period includes a 14-day window exclusively open to businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Virginia to Overhaul Police Shooting Investigations — “Virginia’s attorney general and the state’s NAACP announced Wednesday that they are launching a collaborative effort to bring more transparency, impartiality and public confidence to the way police shootings are investigated across the commonwealth.” [The Washington Post]
Hunter Mill Supervisor to Assist with Potomac River Cleanup — “Help clean up our beautiful communities! This Saturday, April 10 is the Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. I’ll be participating in events in Reston and the weather looks good, so please consider joining us!” [Supervisor Walter Alcorn/Twitter]
Federal Assistance Available to Shuttered Venues — The Small Business Association’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program is now accepting applicants seeking assistance with payroll, rent, and other expenses. Supported by $16 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act, the program is open to live venue operators, promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organizations, museums, zoos, aquariums and theaters. [Fairfax County Government]
RCC Unveils Plans to Celebrate Earth Day — Reston Community Center’s 2021 Earth Day activities will include a photo scavenger hunt, play-dough making, storytelling, and supplies for a home herb garden. Advance registration and face masks are required for the Green Reston program on April 24. [Patch]
Photo via Mary Dominiak/Twitter
Monday, April 5
- Comic Camp (6 p.m.) — Grab your pencil, paper, imagination and let’s head off to comic camp! Join Fairfax-based comic artist John Gallagher as he provides a drawing lesson, answers questions, and tells a joke or two. The event is hosted by Politics & Prose.
Tuesday, April 6
- Fast Fiction (4:30-5:30 p.m.) — Join this four-week workshop to learn how to take a big idea and tell it more concisely. Taught by George Mason University MFA writers, this course will help you distill a fiction story into 1000 words or less.
- Police Chief Public Input Session (7 p.m.) — Weigh in on Fairfax County’s search for a new police chief at this virtual public forum hosted by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk. The meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 16 and stream on McKay and Lusk’s Facebook pages.
Wednesday, April 7
- Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (6:45 p.m.) — Get a behind-the-scenes (virtual) look of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Maryland. Join the museum’s chief curator and Smithsonian Associates as they tell the story of how people and the Bay have become dependent one another through the years.
Thursday, April 8
- Karate Family (7 p.m.) — Learn self-defense as a family. This ten-week karate course is designed for the whole family. Put on by Fairfax County Parks Authority, the class promises to help students with their confidence, leadership, and fitness.
Friday, April 9
- Campfire Camaraderie (6:30-8:30 p.m.) — Sit around the spring campfire with the whole family. Smell the woodsmoke, watch the flickering flames, and roast marshmallows during this evening at the Walker Nature Center in Reston.
Saturday, April 10
- Scott’s Run Clean-up (9:30 a.m.) — Help keep the Potomac clean by joining this clean-up at Scott’s Run. Hosted by the Potomac Conservancy, there’s only space for ten volunteers to ensure proper social distancing.
- Founder’s Day (12 p.m.) — Reston’s annual Founder’s Day is going virtual again in 2021. Learn about Reston history, listen to music, and celebrate public art from the comfort of your own home via Youtube.
Sunday, April 11
- A Song and a Slice (6:00 p.m.) — Groove outdoors with a pizza slice in-hand. Vienna’s Jammin Java is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a second year of free outdoor concerts. Enjoy thin-crust pizza from the music venue’s Union Pie pizza shop while listening to local blues band “Fast Eddie and Slowpokes.”
Lake Braddock Secondary Schools to Work with ARTSFAIRFAX — “Students at two Fairfax County public schools will explore a deeper engagement with the arts as part of the ARTSFAIRFAX Artist Residency Program. Rocky Run Middle School and Lake Braddock Secondary School art students will work with artists who connect 3D art exploration through mosaics and dance to history, language arts, and creative writing for engaging, unique, and innovative learning experiences.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Potomac River Cafe Honored — The cafe was among nine winners in the county’s Carrot Gold Food Safety Excellence Award. Winners were chosen from more than 3,800 permitted establishments inspected annually. [Fairfax County Government]
New State Laws on the Horizon — “In the 35 days since the 2020 legislative session began, Democratic lawmakers in Virginia advanced laws to restrict access to guns, raise the minimum wage, decriminalize marijuana and ease restrictions on abortion. They sprinted to pass hundreds of bills before a deadline: February 11th, ‘crossover day,’ when all bills must be passed by at least one chamber or be scrapped.” [WAMU]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Hot, Hot, Hot! — Last week was sweltering, and the rest of this week may actually be worse. Weather models predict the possibility of triple-digit temperatures and heat indices as high as 110 through this weekend. [Capital Weather Gang]
Pink Fire Trucks Paying a Visit — The Pink Heals organization will visit the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax) on Friday. Pink Heals partners with the public safety, medical professionals, local businesses and community leaders to bring more support for local citizens by keeping fundraising activities local. [Fairfax Fire and Rescue]
Laughs Take Over at Lake Anne — A recent comedy night at Lake Anne Plaza’s Café Montmarte was deemed a great success. Another is being planned for September. [Reston Connection]
FCPD Officer Put on Leave After Crash — Officer Pshko Siteki did not have his emergency equipment on and was going 68 mph in a 40 mph zone prior to the February crash in Falls Church, which left a private citizen with extensive injuries from which he is still recovering. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Portion of Potomac May Shut Down for Trump — Boaters who enjoy paddling their canoes and kayaks in the Potomac River are facing a new hazard on the water: the closure of a 1.6-mile stretch of the river whenever President Trump visits his golf course in Sterling. [Washingtonian]
Photo courtesy Fairfax 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]
The United States Park Police says a body recovered Friday in the Potomac River is that of a woman who went missing three weeks ago in Great Falls.
Becky McCleskey, 56, was reported missing Feb. 6. Her vehicle was found in the parking lot at Great Falls National Park. An extensive air, land and water search was conducted by the United States Park Police and the Montgomery County fire and police departments.
The body was discovered at about 5:50 p.m. Friday in the water near Old Angler’s Inn in Potomac, Maryland.
ARLnow reports McCleskey lived in Arlington and had a high school-aged son.
Officials say there is no indication of foul play.
Photo courtesy U.S. Park Police
Marco Reyes-Sanchez, 21, of Reston is presumed drowned, officials said.
Reyes-Sanchez and another man jumped into the Potomac near Great Falls June 3. The other man emerged, but Reyes-Sanchez did not.
Montgomery County Fire-Rescue boats and personnel, as well as U.S. Park Police, were actively searching for the missing man from last Wednesday, when Reyes-Sanchez was reported missing, through Sunday, said MCFR spokesman Pete Piringer.
Piringer said a search of three to four days is typical in cases such as this one.
“We will continue to do passive searches,” he said. “And the U.S. Park Police will continue to notify boaters and kayakers. The [kayaking] community knows he is still missing. They are our eyes and ears on the river.”
Photo: Montgomery County officials searching Potomac last week.
A man who jumped off a cliff into the Potomac near Great Falls on Wednesday and did not emerge has been identified as Marco Reyes-Sanchez, 21, of Reston.
Reyes-Sanchez is presumed drowned, Montgomery County police spokesman Paul Starks and fire and rescue spokesman Pete Piringer told the Washington Post on Thursday. Crews will continue to search the river for his body Friday morning, Montgomery County officials said.
Reyes-Sanchez and another man went into the water on Wednesday from the Virginia side, near Sandy Landing, officials said. Marco Reyes-Sanchez never emerged.
The search began Wednesday afternoon. About three hours later, workers suspended their search for the night and then resumed Thursday.
Fairfax County Fire Rescue boats aided in the search on Wednesday. The National Park Service provided a helicopter to search from the air, a spokeswoman said. Searchers on horseback joined the search for Reyes-Sanches on Thursday.
Photo: Search efforts on and near the Potomac/Courtesy Montgomery County Fire Rescue