Reston, VA

Morning Notes

Reston Contractor to Develop National COVID-19 Hotline — “Reston-based government services company Maximus has received a potential $951 million contract to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 national surge support and vaccine assistance hotline.” [Virginia Business]

Reston Farmers Market Opens to Crowds — Reston Farmers Market opened for the spring on Saturday (May 2) “to brisk business” at Lake Anne Village Center. Even with most COVID-19 health protocols still in place, at least 1,900 customers attended, up from 809 customers on the first day of the 2020 season, according to founder John Lovaas. [Patch]

Local Band Teacher Dies — Coates Elementary School Principal Jesse Kraft announced yesterday (Monday) that Kelsey Burch, the school’s fifth and sixth-grade band teacher, had died after a year-long battle with cancer. Before joining Coates four years go, she led the band program at Sunrise Valley Elementary School in Reston for a decade. Sunrise Valley will name its band room in her honor. [Coates Elementary]

Fairfax County Parks Open Registration for Summer Classes — Registration for summer classes, events, and programs from the Fairfax County Park Authority, including at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, begins today. Online registration is available, and spaces in each program are limited. [Friends of Frying Pan/Twitter]

Reston Hospital Named Among Top 100 in U.S. — “Reston Hospital Center has been named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list. This is the first time Reston Hospital Center has been recognized with this honor as one of the top performing community hospitals in the U.S.” [Reston Hospital Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Morning Notes

Wind Advisory in Effect — The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County, starting at noon today (Friday). In effect until 2 a.m. Saturday, the alert says to expect northwest winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 55 miles per hour. Gusts could blow around unsecured objects and bring down tree limbs, potentially leading to power outages. [NWS]

More Witnesses Come Forward in Sexual Battery Case — Additional victims and witnesses have contacted Herndon police about massage therapist Zachary Nelson Guzman-Orellana, 39, of Leesburg, who was arrested on April 21 on a charge of aggravated sexual battery. Police encourage any other victims or people with further information to call 703-435-6846. [Herndon Police Department/Twitter]

Rush Hour Toll Increase on Dulles Greenway Barred — Virginia’s State Corporation Commission approved a 25-cent increase for non-peak hour tolls on the Dulles Greenway but ruled that peak tolls can’t be raised now due to uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic. State legislators recently passed a law requiring the Virginia Department of Transportation to approve future toll increases on the privately operated road. [WTOP]

About 160,000 Virginians Miss Second Vaccine Dose — Virginia Department of Health data indicates that nearly 10% of Virginians who received a first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines didn’t return for their second one in the recommended time frame. Scheduling challenges and anxieties about side effects that tend to be heavier with the second dose could be factors. [Virginia Mercury]

Reston Engineering Firm to Go Public — “Reston engineering firm Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. is planning to go public, and recently priced its shares for an initial public offering that could raise up to $49.5 million.” [Washington Business Journal]

Conservatory Ballet Founder Dies — “It is with great sadness that the Conservatory Ballet of Reston announces that Founder and former Director Julia Cziller Redick passed away on April 18, 2021. Mrs. Redick founded The Conservatory Ballet in Reston in 1972 and remained as Director of the school for close to 50 years.” [Conservatory Ballet Foundation/IssueWire]

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Morning Notes

FY 2022 Budget Markup Approved — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a markup package for the county’s fiscal year 2022 budget yesterday (Tuesday) that includes a 1% pay raise for county government employees and an additional $15 million for Fairfax County Public Schools, partly to support compensation increases. [Fairfax County Government]

Virginia Reviewing New Mask Guidelines — The CDC released new guidance yesterday (Tuesday) stating that people who have been fully vaccinated don’t need to wear masks outdoors except when in a big crowd of strangers. Gov. Ralph Northam’s press secretary said in a statement that the governor’s office is reviewing the guidelines “to determine if and where we need to make changes” to Virginia’s mask requirements. [Office of the Governor]

New Police Chief Use-of-Force Record Scrutinized — Incoming Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis lost two lawsuits over his use of force when he worked in the Prince George’s County Police Department in the 1990s. In the first case, the plaintiff said Davis pulled him over without giving a reason and violently arrested him, while the second victim alleged that “Davis and other officers essentially kidnapped him for a night.” [NBC4]

Nonprofit Hits Record for Food Donations to Feed StudentsFood for Neighbors received more than 21,000 pounds of food from over 1,200 households during its April 24th Red Bag Program food collection, including 5,547 pounds from 366 households in Herndon and Reston neighborhoods. [Patch]

Reston Defense Contractor Acquires Seattle-Based AI CompanySAIC announced on Monday (April 26) that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Koverse, a software company that “provides a data management platform enabling artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning on complex, sensitive data.” [Koverse]

Community Helps Reston Resident with Medical Expenses — A GoFundMe for Reston resident David Vlcek, who suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, has raised more than $55,000, getting the fundraiser halfway to its $100,000 goal. Started by a family friend, the campaign funds will help defray medical costs not covered by insurance and pay for airfare for Vlcek’s parents, who need to travel from the Czech Republic. [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Northam Signs Bill Legalizing Marijuana Possession — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday signed a bill legalizing simple possession of marijuana beginning this summer, making it the first Southern state to do so…The bill, signed a day after April 20 — marijuana’s unofficial holiday — allows anyone in the state 21 or older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana beginning July 1.” [CNN/WTOP]

Fairfax County Judge Orders Former D.C. Firefighter’s Release — “A former D.C. firefighter will be released from a Virginia prison this week after a Fairfax County judge Tuesday vacated his 2019 conviction on drug and gun charges, which were based on falsehoods told by a former Fairfax County police officer now under state and FBI investigation.” [The Washington Post]

Reston Banking Company Plans to Go Public — John Marshall Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of John Marshall Bank, announced yesterday (Wednesday) that “it intends to become a publicly-traded company, including potentially listing its shares on the Nasdaq or NYSE stock exchange. The Company anticipates becoming a publicly-traded company within the next twelve to fifteen months.” [Business Wire]

Fairfax County Tax Relief Workshop Today — “Join our virtual tax relief workshop: April 22, 10:30 a.m. to noon. Learn how to apply for real estate or car tax relief if you’re a senior or person with disabilities.” [Fairfax County Government/Twitter]

Leidos Lands Customs and Border Patrol Contract — “Reston-based Fortune 500 company Leidos Holdings Inc. announced Tuesday it has been awarded a $480 million contract by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to provide multi-energy portal (MEP) systems for nonintrusive inspections of commercial vehicles at land and sea ports of entry.” [Virginia Business]

Last Chance to Join Frying Pan Farm Photo Contest — “TOMORROW (April 22) is the last day to submit pictures for our photo contest! Pics can be from 1/1/2019-now, taken at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, VA. Proceeds from the contest will help support the farm.” [Friends of Frying Pan/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

D.C. Region Backs Statehood for Capital — The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Board of Directors, which consists of elected officials from D.C. area governments, unanimously passed a resolution yesterday (Wednesday) urging Congress to “establish the state of Washington, D.C. without delay.” Fairfax County was represented on a task force dedicated to the issue of D.C. statehood by Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk. [MWCOG]

NoVA to Expand COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments — Virginia Vaccine Program Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula says that COVID-19 vaccine appointments will become more readily available in Northern Virginia “in the next couple of weeks.” Loudoun County and the City of Alexandria have already entered Phase 2, but appointments may initially become harder to schedule when localities like Fairfax County expand eligibility. [WTOP]

Bilingual Election Officers Needed for Primary — The Fairfax County Office of Elections is looking for individuals who speak English and Vietnamese or Korean to serve as election officers for the Democratic primary on June 8. The application deadline is on April 28. [Fairfax County Office of Elections/Twitter]

Reston Association Thanks Trash Clean-up Volunteers — “Many thanks to all the volunteers who took part in last Saturday’s 33rd Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup coordinated by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. A total of 93 volunteers collected 115 bags of trash.” [RA/Twitter]

Comscore Partners with Atlas Obscura — The Reston-based media analytics company Comscore announced an agreement yesterday with the online guidebook and travel company Atlas Obscura. The deal gives Atlas Obscura access to Comscore’s data platform so that it can “better understand audience behavior and media consumption across desktop and mobile devices.” [PR Newswire/WFMZ-TV]

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County Reconfigures COVID-19 Call Center — “The Health Department has implemented a new call center system to better meet the needs of our residents during the upcoming transition to Phase 2 and beyond. As we work to implement this new system, wait times for callers may be longer than expected.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Virginia Woman Died After Receiving Johnson & Johnson Vaccine — “Virginia health officials say a woman who died a few weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is among six cases nationwide that prompted a pause in use of the one-dose shots. The woman’s death last month had similarities to the blood-clotting problem that halted distribution of the vaccine Tuesday, said Dr. Danny Avula, the state’s vaccination coordinator.” [Inside NoVA]

U.S. Labor Secretary Visits Reston Business — Labor Secretary Marty Walsh held a discussion at Vantage Point Consulting’s Reston office on Friday (April 9) to talk about President Biden’s jobs plan and how it could help recent veterans and others transition back into the workforce. Vantage Point provides career readiness services and is owned by a veteran. [Patch]

Herndon Police Welcomes Support Dog — “Herndon Police Department is proud to announce K9 Bragg has joined the family, serving as HPD’s first certified facility dog. Bragg, a Labrador Retriever, was graciously gifted to HPD from Mutts With A Mission, a 501(c)(3) based in Portsmouth, VA, that specializes in training dogs to serve the needs of first responders, veterans, and wounded warriors.” [Herndon Police/Facebook]

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Morning Notes

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]

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Morning Notes

Democracy Drive in Reston Town Center Closed — The street will be closed all week for “ongoing infrastructure updates with repairs and modifications being made to the waste lines in the Southwest Building,” a Reston Town Center spokesperson says. The street remains accessible to pedestrians, and all stores are open. [Potomac River Running/Twitter]

Kennedy Center to Fully Reopen in the Fall — The Kennedy Center will hold a grand reopening in September, launching an extensive lineup of performances and activities to celebrate its 50th anniversary. A limited number of in-person concerts are also being planned for this spring and summer. [Washingtonian]

Task Force Proposes Strategies to Preserve Affordable Housing — Fairfax County Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force presented a report to the Board of Supervisors yesterday (Tuesday) with recommendations for maintaining the county’s approximately 9,000 existing market affordable multifamily units. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Startup Raises Millions in Funding — The cybersecurity startup ThreatQuotient Inc. raised $22.5 million in equity and debt funding that it hopes to use to accelerate the growth of its data platform, which gives clients information they can utilize to automatically detect and respond to threats. The company says it saw “record bookings and revenue growth” last year. [Washington Business Journal]

Celebrate National Beer Day at a Local Brewery — National Beer Day comes every year on April 7 to mark the end of the Prohibition-era ban on the sale and consumption of low-alcohol beverages like beer. Local options for celebrating include Herndon’s Aslin Beer Company as well as Bike Lane Brewery and the Lake Anne Brewhouse in Reston. [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Nats Season Opener Canceled Due to COVID-19 Cases — At least three Washington Nationals players have tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the team to postpone their Opening Day game. The Nats were supposed to play the New York Mets in their first regular-season game in front of fans since they won the World Series in 2019. [WTOP]

Faraday Park Apartments Now Leasing — Leasing recently began for apartments in the West Tower of the mixed-use project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, with the East Tower expected to be complete in May. When finished, Faraday Park will have about 400 apartments total, along with a rooftop pool, lounges, a fitness center, maker’s workshop area, and other amenities. [The Washington Post]

Reston Telemedicine Company Makes Major Acquisition — “Reston-based SOC Telemed Inc. announced this week it has purchased Texas-based medical practice Access Physicians for $194 million in cash and stocks. The acquisition will create the largest acute care telemedicine provider in the United States.” [Virginia Business]

April Is Alcohol Awareness Month — “Governor Ralph Northam has officially recognized April as Alcohol Awareness Month in Virginia. In issuing a proclamation, the governor emphasized the need to increase public awareness and understanding about the dangers associated with alcohol misuse.” [Virginia ABC]

What’s Open and Closed in Herndon on Easter — “Another pandemic Easter calls for a low-key day with close family. Whether you’re skipping the big meal, heading to a movie, or crossing items off your spring to-do list, it’s helpful to know which libraries, restaurants, and stores are open before you head out.” [Herndon Patch]

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Morning Notes

(Updated at 5:05 p.m. on 4/2/2021) Fairfax County Seeks Public Input on Police Chief Search — “Next Tuesday, April 6, @SupervisorLusk and I are holding a public input session on the selection of our new Police Chief. Provide your comments on what you hope to see in our next police chief ahead of time or live.” [@JeffreyCMcKay/Twitter]

Northam Signs Free Community College Legislation — Signed in Alexandria, the bill creates a “G3” program that makes community college tuition free for low- and middle-income students who pursue jobs in high-demand fields. The initiative has $36 million to cover tuition, fees, books, and support services for eligible students who attend two-year public institutions in Virginia. [Office of the Governor]

Cornerstones Monthly Food Giveaways Draw Lines — A recent food giveaway hosted by the Reston nonprofit Cornerstones illustrates the still-urgent need for food assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is increasingly straining nonprofits and volunteers. [The Washington Post]

Advocates Raise Concerns about Training on Restraint and Seclusion Policy — “Parents were pleased that in addition to banning seclusion in all schools by 2023, the school system promised to train staff on alternative methods to physical restraint and seclusion. But several founders of the Fairfax County Special Education PTA have raised concerns that staff did not receive comprehensive training before students returned to classrooms in person earlier this month.” [Inside NoVA]

Reston Restaurant Delivery Company Integrates with DoorDashWaitbusters LLC has augmented its delivery service by adding an integration with DoorDash Drive, a move that the Reston-based company says will allow it to serve more locations, give customers and restaurants more options, and ensure drivers are available “almost 100% of the time.” [Restaurant News]

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Morning Notes

D.C. Cherry Blossoms Reach Peak Bloom — The National Park Service designated yesterday as the peak bloom date for the Tidal Basin cherry blossoms after well-above-average temperatures last week sped up the flowers’ bloom cycle. Peak bloom is defined as the day when 70 percent of the blossoms are open. [NPS]

Colvin Run Mill Restoration Complete — Fairfax County has finished replacing the wheel and flume at Colvin Run Mill. The renovation is part of a larger, ongoing effort to restore the Great Falls park. [@fairfaxtv16/Twitter]

Metro Inspector General’s Report Details Silver Line Issues — A new report from WMATA’s inspector general contains allegations of sexual harassment, alcohol abuse, and the use of fake badges by Metro employees. The report also identified defects in concrete panels installed at stations in Metro’s Silver Line phase two project. [WUSA9]

Reston Company Loses Intellectual Property Lawsuit — A Colorado jury decided against the cybersecurity company TRUSTID, which is owned by the Reston-based Neustar Inc. TRUSTID has filed two lawsuits against Next Caller, alleging that the company misappropriated trade secrets, breached an agreement, and ‘intentionally interfered with a TRUSTID’s business relationship.’ [Virtual Strategy Magazine]

Photo via vantagehill/flickr

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Life Fuels, a Reston-based startup that sells smart water bottles, is shutting down after seven years of business.

In a LinkedIn post released on Sunday, founder and CEO Jonathon Perrelli said the COVID-19 pandemic had a crippling effect on the business. LifeFuels offered a smart water bottle that keeps track of the drinker’s water, mineral, and vitamin intake through an integrated app.

The company sold pods that would inject ingredients into the water. Each bottle retailed for 179. Like a Keurig coffee maker, the bottle had plastic pods with nutrients and vitamins to mimic the flavor of a sports drink.

“The world of startups is an onerous one in the best of times. The challenges that many small businesses have faced with the pandemic over the past year has been crippling and LifeFuels is no exception,” Perelli said.

Although the LifeFuels chapter has ended, Perrelli said his team is exploring alternative scenarios for its platform. But its bottles and pods are no longer available.

“The dream of LifeFuels is ending but the spirit of entrepreneurship lives on,” he wrote.

Photo via Life Fuels

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Morning Notes

Silver Line Phase 2 to Open January 2022 At the Earliest — “During a Thursday briefing, before the Metro Board’s Safety and Operations Committee, Laura Mason, vice president of capital delivery for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, said at least 10 Silver Line construction items remain unresolved before Metro will be satisfied with the work by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and its contractor.” [WTOP]

New Fairfax County General Registrar Appointed — “The Fairfax County Electoral Board appointed Scott O. Konopasek as the county’s new general registrar and director of elections at its March 11, 2021, meeting. He will lead the Fairfax County Office of Elections following the retirement of the current registrar Gary Scott who has worked in the office for the past 24 years. Konopasek’s tentative starting date is April 19.” [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Contractor Working with Space Force — The Reston-based contractor SAIC is working with the U.S. Space Force to develop a virtual reality training platform that lets workers “interact with full-scale digital replicas of national security satellites. The platform lets the armed forces practice responding to missile warning scenarios and collaborate in cyberspace.” [The Washington Post]

Comscore Closes Investment Transactions — Reston-based media measurement and analytics company Comscore Inc. announced Thursday that it has secured $204 million in cash investments from the companies Charter Communications Inc., Qurate Retail Inc., and an affiliate of New York-based Cerberus Capital Management LP. The investments came in exchange for shares of convertible preferred stock, and proceeds were used to retire Comscore’s debts. [Virginia Business]

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Another business in The Spectrum at Reston Town Center has permanently closed its doors.

Starbucks, previously located at 1857 Fountain Drive, officially closed in late February. The last official day of business was Feb. 28.

A company spokesperson said that the decision was made for ‘the sake of Starbucks’ long-term growth. ‘

We look forward to continuing to serve the Reston community and encourage our customers to visit us at our other stores in the area,’ the spokesperson told Reston Now in a statement.

In October of last year, Best Buy’s departure left a major vacancy in the plaza.

Lerner Enterprises, a Maryland-based company, plans to transform the plaza into a mixed-use development with 700,000 square feet of commercial and retail space along with 1,400 residential units. A timeline for the project has not yet been determined.

Image via Google Maps

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Fairfax County Park Authority Issues Warning About Scam — The Fairfax County Park Authority is warning Facebook users about a targeted scam that uses the FCPA logo and a misspelled version of Fairfax County to friend request and message people that they’ve won a prize. [FCPA]

Frying Pan Farm Park Seeks Job Applicants — The farm is currently hiring for three part-time positions. Candidates will work up to 30 hours per week, including some weekends and evenings. [Fairfax County Government]

Vienna Firm Acquires Reston Company — With demand for IT services and cybersecurity on the rise, Vienna’s Criterion Systems has expanded its portfolio into the intelligence space with its acquisition of Reston’s Realm Consulting. [Washington Business Journal]

Virginia Moves Ahead in COVID-19 Vaccine Goal — “In early January we set a goal of administering at least 50,000 doses of #COVID19 vaccine per day. Today, our daily average is over 51,300 shots and nearly 16% of Virginians have received at least one dose. While we still have a lot of work ahead of us, this is great progress.” [Gov. Ralph Northam/Twitter]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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