Friday Morning Notes

Reston-based company partners with Ford for EV charging network — “Reston-based Electrify America, whose coast-to-coast network already includes more than 120 ultrafast charging stations at Walmart stores in 34 states, will support the FordPass app with a comprehensive data feed that will show real-time locations and charger status data to Ford vehicles’ touch screens.” [WTOP]

Police search for man accused of exposing himself to kids in Fairfax County — “Fairfax County police are searching for a man who they say exposed himself to children on multiple occasions earlier this week. Both incidents are alleged to have happened in the middle of the day on Richmond Highway near Alexandria, about three miles apart.” [FOX 5]

Frost Advisory In Effect Today — A frost advisory is in effect for the region today (Friday) until 9 a.m. Residents are encouraged to take steps to protect outdoor plants from the cold. [National Weather Service]

Photo via Dario Piparo/Flickr

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Nominees for Hunter Mill and Lee District Supervisor Pitch Plan to Promote Emerging Technology

Two incoming county board members who won the Democratic nomination launched a policy platform on Tuesday (Oct. 1) to attract and increase technology development in the county.

Walter Alcorn, the Democratic nominee for Hunter Mill District Supervisor, and Rodney Lusk, the Democratic nominee for Lee District Supervisor,  pitched the plan at a public event in Tysons.

In their first year of office, both Democrats say they want to establish a technology accelerator on the historic Richmond Highway Corridor that focuses on creating technology for governments and commercial markets.

They also want to forge partnerships with colleges, universities and governmental research firms to identify emerging technology markets.

By doing so, they hope Fairfax County will become a “test bed” for demonstrating new technologies like last mile delivery systems and self-driving cars.

“Over the years we have done a terrific job of diversifying our economy and ensuring that we remain on the cutting edge of innovation. However, as new technologies continue to emerge at an ever-increasing rate, it’s critical that as a county we not only work to keep pace, but also leverage the economic opportunities created by these developments to address the many needs and challenges that still exist in our region,” Alcorn said.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) lauded the incoming supervisors for their work.

“This is an area that’s new, it’s exciting, and my hope is that through partnering with Walter and Rodney my office can help move this forward,” Warner said.

Both Alcorn and Lusk are running unopposed in the Nov. 5 general election. They expect to release more details on their plans early next year.

Photo via Walter Alcorn

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Hidden Histories Exhibit Opens Tomorrow — An opening reception and artist talk by Maremi Andreozzi is set for tomorrow (Thursday) from 6-8 p.m at the Greater Reston Arts Center’s satellite gallery at the Signature, which is located at 11850 Freedom Drive. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

Great Falls Organization to Honor 9/11 Victims — A ceremony at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial will honor 9/11 victims on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Six residents of Great Falls were killed in the attacks. The remembrance ceremony starts today at 7 p.m. [Celebrate Great Falls Foundation]

McLean-based Company Acquires Information Technology Services Contractor — “Dovel Technologies has acquired Reston, Va.-based government information technology services contractor Ace Info Solutions for an undisclosed sum in an effort to broaden market capabilities and diversify its client base.” [GovConWire]

The Maturing of Reston Town Center — “How did Reston Town Center, set some 20 miles (32 km) from the nation’s capital in the leafy suburbs of Northern Virginia, generate premium real estate values and become desirable enough to compete for the best tenants? What can be learned from the evolution of a five-block phase in 1990, to what is now over 25 blocks of high-density mixed-use development with a distinctly urban, downtown feel It is a story dating back more than 30 years, the product of critical decisions made by a host of real estate professionals, public officials, planners, and designers.” [Urban Land]

Photo by vantagehill/Flickr

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Herndon Teen Wins National Scholarship for Method to Diagnose Parkinson’s Disease

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development has selected a Neeyanth Kopparapu, 17, of Herndon as a 2019 Davidson Fellows Scholarship winner.

The senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is one of 20 students across the country selected for the program, which offers scholarships between $10,000 and $50,000 for developing projects that have the potential to benefit society in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, and music.

Kopparapu developed what the institute said is the first diagnosis system for early-stage Parkinson’s disease using an MRI scan. The Herndon resident was inspired to create the system — which is accurate nearly 97 percent of the time — after his grandfather was diagnosed with the disease at a late stage and was unable to use commonly-prescribed medication to fight the disease.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Davidson Institute for this recognition of my work in artificial intelligence,” said Kopparapu in a statement. “I am looking forward to meeting other Fellows and becoming part of the Davidson Fellows Scholarship community.”

Siona Prasad, 18, of Vienna, was also selected for the scholarship. Her work to measure and monitor greenhouse gas emissions successfully predicted an emission inventory for Washington, DC. A reception program to honor the fellows is set for Friday, September 27 in the District.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Davidson Institute for this recognition of my work in artificial intelligence,” said Kopparapu, a rising senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria. “I am looking forward to meeting other Fellows and becoming part of the Davidson Fellows Scholarship community.”

Photo via Davidson Institute for Talent Development

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Del. Ken Plum: Electric Vehicles to be the Norm

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

In 1996 I had the great learning experience of chairing the Northern Virginia Electric Vehicle Launch Committee through the sponsorship of the Electric Transportation Coalition (ETC) and the US Departments of Energy and Transportation. The national goal to clean up the air we breathe was the impetus to the study we did in our region as was being done in nine other suburban regions throughout the country. The one-inch thick report we produced–“The Path to an EV Ready Community”–provided a guide that is still relevant and valuable today.

General Motors came out with its EV-1 vehicle which I had the pleasure to drive for a day; prospects were looking good for electric vehicles until suddenly the bottom dropped out of the market. All big manufacturers dropped their testing and production of electric vehicles. Our report was clearly ahead of its time.

Fast forward a couple of decades and electric vehicles have come into their own. All manufacturers I know of are predicting that over the next couple of decades electric vehicles will be the only cars and trucks they produce. They are environmentally clean, outperform traditional cars, need less maintenance, and are safer.

Hybrids that use traditional engines with electric assist have virtually taken over the market. Jane and I felt like pioneers in 2003 when we bought our first Prius. It got great gas mileage, required little maintenance, had less harmful emissions, and ran until we finally traded it in with more than 150,000 miles. Our experiences with the Priuses we bought in 2007 and 2012 were the same.

The path to electric vehicles that my earlier study had considered has made huge strides over the past several years. While Tesla is probably the best known of the electric vehicles, most manufacturers have an all-electric option. Chevrolet has the Bolt and Nissan has the Leaf among the better known models. They will help us reduce our carbon footprint, clean up the air, and more easily adapt to the many new automatic features that are becoming available.

But the shift in the power sources of our vehicles brings new challenges, all of which must be recognized and can be met. At a session “Juicing Up for Electric Vehicles” at the recent National Conference of State Legislatures I attended some of the issues were discussed. How should the sale of electricity be provided and regulated if necessary? Will utilities be able to handle the increased demand? How can equity and access be assured for drivers in the market if prices go up?

Coming with the electric vehicles are many automated features that can make driving safer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that of the over 37,000 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016, more than 90% had a human error factor. Maybe the new cars will be able to have safety engineered into them.

Continuing my story about electric vehicles that began more than two decades ago, Jane and I purchased a Tesla a week ago. It is environmentally friendly, has many safety features, and will be very comfortable for my numerous trips to Richmond!

 

File photo 

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Thursday Morning Notes

Light Shines on ‘Humble Reston Artist’ — “John Charles Koebert of Reston said that when he came home from college in the 1970s, and announced to his parents that he had decided to change his life direction and become an art major, he recalled that they said, “You are making a hard 90 degree turn to nowhere. …You’ll be living with us for the next fifty years.” After college, Koebert embraced his new career teaching art during the day and honing his artistic skills at night.” [The Connection]

ThreatQuotient Banks Millions in Funding — “Reston threat intelligence and security software company ThreatQuotient Inc. has raised $7.86 million in fresh funding — and it aims to double in size in the next year, according to CEO John Czupak.” [Washington Business Journal]

County Companies Top Fastest-Growing Businesses List — “Fairfax County is home to 116 companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 list, which is 37 percent of the 315 companies on the list from the Washington region and more than double the number from any other Washington-area county or city. Fairfax County’s businesses also account for 40 percent of Virginia’s 288 businesses appearing on this year’s list.  [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Poll: How Do You Feel About ‘FCPSOn’?

This week, students from Herndon and South Lakes High School are picking up laptops from their respective schools as part of the new county schools initiative “FCPSOn.”

Fairfax County Public Schools plans to issue computers to all high school students in the county through the initiative. It is meant to transform learning for students and educators by providing ““equitable access to meaningful learning experience and technology to support their learning.”

A $50 annual fee is required for the program.

As the initiative rolls out, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think of the program in the poll below.

Photo via FCPS/YouTube

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Reston Company Named One of the Fastest Growing Companies in the Country

Verity Commercial, a Reston-based company, was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country for the third time in four years.

The company, which is a real estate advisory and investment firm, was listed in the magazine’s Inc. 5000 list.

“Making our 3rd appearance on the most prestigious ranking for the nation’s fastest-growing businesses is incredible,” says Herm Diebler co-Founder of Verity. “Repeated success means we’re doing something right and our clients are experiencing long-term success using Verity’s approach. We wouldn’t be here without them.”

Verity was also given the 2019 ACE Business of the Year award by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. It was established in 2010.

The Inc. 500 list ranks businesses based on percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. Only companies that are U.S.-based, privately held, for profit and independent are considered for the list.

Photo via Google Maps

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Honoring the Greatest Generation — Students from Herndon High School’s marching band reflect on their travels to Normandy, France, where they performed in the festivities commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day. [Fairfax County Public Schools via YouTube]

HawkEye 360 Closes on $70 Million Deal — The Herndon-based company, which uses formation-flying satellites, closed on a $70 million financing round led by Airbus, which bases its North American operations in Herndon. [DC Inno]

StreetShares Raises $30 Million — The Reston-based company raised nearly $30 million in fresh debt funding. The company specializes in small-business loans to veterans. [Washington Business Journal]

Photo via Dario Piparo/Flickr

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Friday Morning Notes

Tickets Open for 2019-2010 Professional Touring Artist Series — Members of the public can now purchase tickets for Reston Community Center’s professional touring artist series, which features best-selling authors, musicians, and other notable figures. [Reston Community Center]

A Recap of Totally Trucks — Reston Association crew members encouraged children and adults to climb their smaller and mostly off-road units at the 20th annual Totally Trucks event on August 1. [The Connection]

Public Interest Registry Has a New Chief Financial Officer — The Reston-based firm hired Laurie Tarpey as its CFO. She will expand the expertise of the company’s executive team and ensure the “the measured growth of the .org domain.” [Cision]

Photo by Dario Piparo/Flickr

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Reston Community Center Launches Community Survey After a Decade

Reston Community Center is in the midst of launching a community survey to help the center improve its services.

The survey, which went live today and is now available online, will explore how the community uses the center’s programs, faciliteis and services. It will also explore people’s opinions on a potential new performing arts venue in Reston.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research is conducting the survey, which will be available online through August 31. Selected Small District 5 households received a paper survey in the mail earlier in the summer.

“It has been 10 years since RCC did a comprehensive, scientific survey of its constituents. During that time, the population in Reston has changed and is expected to experience major growth as both new residents and businesses come to the part of the community that is now served by Metro’s Silver Line,” said RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon in a statement. “RCC wants to know how people recreate, enjoy arts and culture, obtain information about leisure-time options, and what they hope RCC offers – both now and in the future.”

After the survey is completed, the Center for Survey Research will analyze the survey and share results with the community and RCC’s Board of Governors. A full report will be issued in October.

Here’s more from RCC about the survey’s purpose:

We want to understand the preferences and experiences of residents in Reston regarding leisure, recreational, and cultural activities. Specifically, we are interested in how people want to spend their leisure time, how they find out about leisure and cultural opportunities, and how people feel about the potential of a new performing arts center.”

All responses are anonymous and the survey should take between 20 to 25 minutes to complete.

In addition to the survey, RCC plans to reach out to Reston businesses and employees to gauge their opinions.

Photo via Reston Community Center

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Monday Morning Notes

South Lakes High School to Begin Distributing Laptops — Distribution of laptops provided by the school system begins this Wednesday (August 7). Students must be present to receive the laptop, which is part of a recent initiative by the school system to give laptops to students across the county. [South Lakes High School]

Police Search for Missing Great Falls Man — Local police are looking for William “Billy Brener, an 83-year-old Great Falls Man who went missing over the weekend. Brener is roughly 150 pounds and has gray hair and brown eyes. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Silver Line Construction Prompts Closures — Access to several lanes and ramps will be limited this week due to ongoing construction, including Sunrise Valley Drive, Sunset Hills Road, and Herndon Parkway. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Photo by Caroline Causey/Flickr

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Local High School Students to Receive School-Issued Computers This Fall

Students at Herndon and South Lakes high schools will go home with a school-issued laptop in the fall as part of a new countywide initiative when schools begins in late August.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) plans to issue a computer to all high school students in the county through FCPSOn. By 2023, all students in the county could go home with laptops.

School officials say FCPSOn will transform learning for students and educators by providing “equitable access to meaningful learning experience and technology to support their learning.”

Devices will not replace teachers. Teachers are supported through ongoing, dynamic professional learning for teachers that will result in purposeful, collaborative student learning experiences,” FCPS wrote in a statement.

SLHS and HHS staff plan to distribute laptops during Teacher Advisory classes during the first week of school. A community meeting to discuss the initiative is planned for August.

The program requires an annual $50 fee for high school students. The fee covers technology support services and the potential costs of replacing equipment in need of repair.

FCPS also allocated $4.3 million in the fiscal year 2020 budget for the initiative. The budget was approved on May 23.

Students can use their own laptop instead of a county-issued laptop, but they must receive approval from their school to do so.

A pilot program first began in 2016 for schools in the Chantilly Pyramid.

More information about the rollout of the program in Reston and Herndon will be available over the summer.

Video via FCPS

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Local Social Media Influencer to Perform in Baltimore

Sissy Sheridan, a 15-year-old social media influencer, will perform in Baltimore in early August.

Sheridan, who has a combined following of more than 70,000 people, is set to perform at the Girls’ Life Fashion Bash on August 5.

She is known for hosting Nickelodeon’s web series “DIY with Me” and “Brat’s Chicken Girls.” She is also known for playing Angie in  “Chicken Girls,” a children’s web series. She also appeared on the Netflix show, “Maniac.”

The Girls’ Life Fashion Bash is a concert and fashion festival taht is organized by Girls’ Life magazine and iHeartRadio’s z104.3, according to its website. The bash will star Anna Cathcart, a Canadian actress, and Hayden Summerall, a singer and entertainer.

Photo via Sissy Sheridan/website

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Friday Morning Notes

OS International Expands — The Reston-based company acquired Vykin Corporation, which specializes in communications, intelligence, and IT support to the intelligence community. The move is the company’s fourth acquisition in the past four years. [ExecutiveBiz]

LeaseAccelerator Acquires Australian Company — The Reston-based developer of enterprise lease accounting software acquiring Guardian Global Systems, which provides real estate administration software. [Potomac Tech Wire]

Summerbration Concert is Tonight — Cedar Creek offers a country performance with dance construction at Reston Station Plaza from 7-9 p.m. The concert is free and open for all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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