Free Bike Rides on Earth Day — In celebration of Earth Day today (April 22), Capital Bikeshare wants to encourage more carbon-free transportation by offering a free 24 Hour Pass, which gives cyclists a full day of unlimited 30-minute rides. [Capital Bikeshare]
Restaurant Site Faces Redevelopment — “D.C.-based Northfield Investment and Development has acquired the former Marco Polo restaurant site in Vienna with plans to develop 44 condominium townhouses and 8,200 square feet of retail. The former Marco Polo restaurant at 245 Maple Ave. had already closed when it was heavily damaged by fire in October and later demolished.” [Washingtom Business Journal]
Virginia Tops Distracted Driving List — “April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and this year, a new study ranked Virginia as the worst state for texting and driving… In 2019, Zendrive found that Virginia drivers use their phone an average of 9 percent of the time, which is a 3 percent increase from last year.” [Inside NoVa]
Pop-Up Fitness Class at Caboose Commons — People can lift, tone and drink brews at a free pop-up class by Falls Church Pure Barre at Caboose Commons tonight at 4 p.m. Happy hour will take place from 3:30-6 p.m. [Caboose Brewing]
Vienna Students Win National Merit Scholarships — “The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the first 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships Wednesday, April 17… Chloe E. Martin of Paul VI Catholic High School received a scholarship from the PwC Charitable Foundation. Martin plans to study business in college. The other winner, Richard H. Wang of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, got a scholarship from Northrop Grumman. Wang will likely study engineering.” [Vienna Patch]
A resident called Vienna police after she found unwanted bags of dog poop and trash in her yard last week.
The incidents took place in the 100 block of Dogwood Street, SW between 7 a.m. on Monday, April 8, and 6:07 p.m. on Friday, April 12, according to police.
“A resident reported that there have been a couple of occasions when someone as left bags of dog excrement and trash in her yard,” according to today’s Vienna crime report.
Elsewhere in Vienna, this week’s crime report includes a case of a Windover Avenue, NW resident who “reported she has received packages from Amazon that she never ordered” between last Wednesday, April 10, and Wednesday, April 17. “The person placing the order is using some of the resident’s personal information,” the report says.
After the franchise owner for the Huntington Learning Centers in Tysons and Springfield was arrested yesterday for sexual abuse of children, the company announced the locations will close.
Jeffrey Cummins, a local music teacher, was arrested at Dulles International Airport yesterday and faces eight felony counts of indecent liberties by a custodian against children.
The Tysons facility operates in the Centennial Plaza shopping center at 8290 Old Courthouse Road. According to the company’s website, the facility has been open for 23 years.
The Huntington Learning Center was quick to note that the abuse did not occur inside the centers, but will close the facilities regardless. According to a statement from CEO Eileen Huntington:
“Today we were made aware of allegations of abuse that occurred inside the home of one of our franchise owners in the Washington, DC area. We are shocked and appalled by this alleged behavior and are actively cooperating with police and investigators to the fullest extent possible. Our mission has always been to provide a safe and supportive environment for students, and although the alleged abuse did not occur inside one of our centers, we have nevertheless made the decision to close these two centers until further notice.”
Police say the nearly year-long investigation started when a juvenile disclosed that he had been inappropriately touched by Cummins over several years. A second victim came forward in January and said he too had been abused, police said in a press release.
When the locations will close and how many students will be affected by the closure remains unknown.
Photo via Fairfax County Police Department
Since July, the Virginia Department of Elections reports that the candidates have raised:
- Dalia Palchik: $92,041
- Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner: $59,700
- Erika Yalowitz: $35,718
- Edythe Kelleher: $33,609
- Linh Hoang: $15,941
While the campaign finance reports would show Palchik with a substantial fundraising lead, according to the report a $39,450 contribution was made on Jan. 15 from the “Friends of Dalia Palchik” campaign committee.
If the funds shuffled from one campaign committee to another are excluded, Palchik’s fundraising total would be $52,591 — putting her in second place behind Niedzielski-Eichner.
The reports also show campaign contributions from several prominent local Democrats. On Dec. 21, Niedzielski-Eichner received an early Christmas gift from the ‘Friends of Linda Smyth’ — the campaign fund for outgoing Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth — in the form of a $23,325 contribution.
Palchik has also raked in funding from other Democrats, though, like a $500 contribution from outgoing County Board Chair Sharon Bulova’s election campaign on March 11. Palchik also received funding from Alexandria City Councilman Canek Aguirre.
Kelleher received $500 in support from Mason District Supervisor Penelope Gross. Nearly two-thirds of Kelleher’s fundraising total — $20,000 of the $33,609 total — is from Kelleher.
No incumbent members of the Board of Supervisors show up in Yalowitz’s fundraising tally, but there is a $650 contribution from the local PAC Brass Ovaries and a $200 contribution from former lieutenant governor candidate Gene Rossi, who has recently raised the topic of running for office again in the wake of the scandals in Richmond. Yalowitz has also spent a total of $5,502 on her own campaign.
Hoang trails the other candidates in fundraising. Hoang entered the race late, and “Friends of Linh Hoang” doesn’t report any contributions prior to March 26.
The primary will be held on June 11.
Cummins is a music teacher who gives lessons in his Annandale home and, in addition to the Huntington Learning Centers, is the founder and artistic director of Virginia Music Adventures — a music group for school-age children — according to a police report.
Police say Cummins, 56, was arrested on arrival at Dulles airport from international travel and is facing eight felony counts of indecent liberties by a custodian against children. Per a FCPD press release:
Detectives began their investigation in May 2018 when a juvenile disclosed that he had been inappropriately touched by Cummins over a period of several years. In January of this year, another victim came forward and disclosed he had also been abused for several years by Cummins. The investigation showed that the sexual abuse occurred both during music lessons and at other times when the juveniles were at his home.
Police say anyone who is concerned their child may have had inappropriate contact with Cummins should contact the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800.
Photo via Fairfax County Police Department
Police say a Vienna resident broke into Oakton High School early this morning (Tuesday) and was seen riding a scooter around the hallways while trying to get into classrooms.
Around 1:41 a.m., security at the school reported that they saw someone riding a scooter inside of the school trying to open classroom doors, according to a police report.
The report says police found the man in the parking lot and placed him under arrest for unlawful entry and trespassing.
Photo via Google Maps
Fairfax County police are looking for an armed man who tried to rob a hotel employee but ended up leaving empty-handed.
The incident took place around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12. A man displayed a gun and tried to take money that an employee was counting at the Quality Inn on Spring Hill Road in Vienna, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
The man left empty-handed after a brief struggle with the employee, who called out for help, police say.
“The suspect is described as black, 6’2″ to 6′ 5″, 180 to 200 pounds, wearing a red and white long sleeve shirt with a collar and a black backpack,” according to FCPD.
Photo via Google Maps
City of Falls Church police are looking for more information regarding a peeping tom seen outside of Saint James Catholic School (830 Park Avenue).
According to a press release, a man was spotted outside of the school on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m.
“An unknown subject was observed outside watching parents and children through a window while touching himself inappropriately,” according to the police report. “The suspect ran when confronted.”
The suspect was described as “a Hispanic male, approximately 30 years of age, 5’6” height, medium build, ‘crew-cut’ hairstyle, wearing a white button down shirt with blue jeans.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Falls Church Police at 703-248-5053.
Four years after BoConcept closed its doors at Tysons Galleria, the high-end furniture retail chain is preparing to try again.
From 2004 to 2015, BoConcept operated out of the mall’s third floor until the area was converted into a food hall — first the ill-fated Isabella Eatery, now Taste of Urbanspace. But Washington, D.C. franchisee Tim Machenaud said the new location on the main floor will give the store more visibility.
Machenaud said there have also been a few changes in the store and in the mall since then that make him more encouraged about the prospects a second time around.
“BoConcept ownership change three years ago has shifted the brand to a slightly more premium positioning,” said Machenaud. “We still have affordable furniture items but we have increased our quality standards as we want to be the leader in quality design furniture. This position shift is in line with the premium brands that you can find at Tysons Galleria.”
While stores nationwide have faced increased competition from online retail like Amazon, Machenaud said creating a superior retail experience in showrooms, like the one at Tysons, is integral to the furniture shopping experience.
Machenaud said feedback from clients has shown that most people buying furniture will visit and average of three to four stores before making their decision.
There are currently two other furniture brands in Tysons Galleria — Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Calligaris — and Machenaud said having multiple furniture brands in one location will help turn the mall into a quality furniture destination.
Meanwhile, the mall is planning to replace the now-closed Macy’s at the north end of the mall with a new suite of retailers like an Apple Store, an iPic movie theater, and a Balducci’s grocery store. A new fitness-themed area is also planned inside the space that was Legal Sea Foods.
“Retail is changing… so the malls need to review their approach, their offers, their client’s experience,” said Machenaud. “Being next to the upcoming extension of this mall gives us the responsibility and honor to be at the gate between the current and the future.”
Be warned, Fairfax County is under a wind advisory and it’s beginning to have residual impacts across the region.
Winds are expected to last all day with the strongest winds around noon.
⚠️ A Wind Advisory has been issued for today.
🕗 8 am- 8 pm; the strongest winds are likely from late morning and through the afternoon hours.
💨 Expect 20-30 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph.
📱Keep electronic devices charged as scattered power outages are expected. pic.twitter.com/fxdGxS09oU
— Ready Fairfax (@ReadyFairfax) April 15, 2019
According to the National Weather Service, the maximum wind gusts up to 50 mph are expected throughout the region, with most locations seeing up to 30 or 40 mph wind.
The strong winds are also having an impact on some local roads. Early this morning, Westmoreland Street at Orland Street in McLean was closed due to low hanging wires. The situation has been resolved since then and the street is now open.
UPDATE: Westmoreland St at Orland St in McLean now open. https://t.co/9jWkZUlUWY
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) April 15, 2019
Image via Twitter