Newsletter

Morning Notes

Fairfax County Police Bust International Burglary Ring — “The pattern was quickly becoming familiar to Fairfax County police: an expensive home; Asian or Middle Eastern residents; a rear door or window smashed; and jewelry and luxury goods taken but expensive electronics left untouched.” [The Washington Post]

I-66 Lane Closures in Vienna Start Tomorrow — I-66 East will be reduced to a single travel lane approaching Cedar Lane in Vienna during overnight hours, starting at 10:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday). Lasting until 5 a.m. Thursday (Jan. 20), the closures will allow workers to install bridge beams for a new access ramp to the future I-66 Express Lanes. [VDOT]

FCPS Turns to College Students for Substitute Teachers — Fairfax County Public Schools has opened substitute teaching positions to college students in a response to high vacancy rates. The school system’s substitute teacher fill rate is typically about 80%, but it has hovered around 70% during the pandemic, dropping to 55-60% during the current COVID-19 surge. [WTOP]

Original Fairfax County Chief Fire Marshal Dies — “It is with great sadness that the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department announce the passing of retired Fire Administrator, and first Chief Fire Marshal, Willis H. “Bill” Burton, Jr. Chief Burton passed away peacefully of natural causes, surrounded by family, on Sunday, January 9 at the age of 91.” [FCFRD]

Electoral Board Gets New Member — “Christopher P. Henzel was recently appointed and sworn in by the Fairfax Circuit Court as a member of the Fairfax County Electoral Board for a three-year term. He replaces Steve Hunt, whose term ended after serving eight years on the board.” [Fairfax County Government]

McLean Central Park Revision Meeting Set — “The public is invited to attend an information meeting on the McLean Central Park Development Concept plan on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held online so that members of the public can participate safely and conveniently from their homes.” [FCPA]

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Morning Notes

FCPS to Highlight Need for Safe Gun Storage — “Fairfax County Public Schools will notify parents and guardians about Virginia’s new secure firearm storage law, why secure storage is essential, and other ways to prevent gun violence or seek help for a child who could be a threat to themselves or others. The communication will be sent in January and then annually before the start of each school year.” [Karl Frisch]

Lawsuit Accuses FCPD Officers of Sexual Assault and Complicity in Sex Trafficking — “The woman, who is referred to only as Jane Doe because she is a trafficking victim, alleges that the Fairfax County, Virginia, police department, including its former chief Edwin Roessler, knew that some officers were possibly participating in and protecting the ring, but allowed the officers to retire with full pensions rather than prosecute them.” [Reuters]

County Awarded for Mosaic Autonomous Shuttle — “The @fairfaxcounty Relay Shuttle project was presented the Fairfax County TAC Transportation Achievement Award on December 7, 2021. The award is given to the person or group that has made the most significant contribution during the year. The Relay project team accepted the award” [Virginia DRPT/Twitter]

Meet the Tysons Corner Center Santa — Tennessee resident Mike Graham has been serving as Santa at Tysons Corner Center for the past 34 years. He was first sent to the mall by a photo company that was looking for more Santas, and that initial appearance got such “a tremendous response” that the management team asked if he’d like to work with them exclusively. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

McLean 7-Eleven and Merrifield BMW Center Burglarized — Two men entered the 7-Eleven at 8110 Old Dominion Drive around 1:36 a.m. on Dec. 11, implied they had a weapon, and took property. Another commercial burglary was reported on Dec. 12 at the BMW Collison Center at 2730 Dorr Drive after someone forced their way into the business and took property around 10:30 a.m. [FCPD]

Winners of Vienna Holiday Lights Contest Announced — For the 2021 Light Up Vienna contest, first place in the business category as voted on by the town business liaison committee was split between Vienna Rexall Drug Center and Judd Tile. Public voters awarded the People’s Choice prize to Vienna Pet Spaw on Church Street, and 121 Casmar Street SE (also known as Casmar Street Lights) came out on top in the residents category. [Town of Vienna/Facebook]

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Morning Notes

(Updated at 5:55 p.m.) Rape Case Moves to Supreme Court — “A Virginia man who’s serving 65 years in prison for brutally raping two lifeguards in Alexandria and Fairfax County will ask Virginia’s Supreme Court to overturn his convictions, based on the way he was caught. On Tuesday, attorneys for Jesse Bjerke will ask the commonwealth’s highest court to throw out his 2020 conviction and sentence for attacking lifeguards at deserted pools in Fairfax in 2014 and Alexandria in 2016.” [WTOP]

Restaurants Confirmed for Founders Row — Four tenants, all restaurants, have signed leases for a total of 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space at Falls Church’s Founders Row, developers told the city council’s economic development committee yesterday. The restaurants offer seafood, upscale Asian cuisine, healthy Asian street food location, and ‘elegant modern American cuisine.'” [Falls Church News-Press]

Mosaic District Apparel Company Makes Acquisition — “Custom Ink LLC is finally coming up for air after a very tough 2020…First, the Fairfax custom printing and retail startup is fresh off an acquisition of New York-based corporate gifting company Swag.com, and revenue is around $500 million a year, [CEO Marc] Katz said, up both from 2020 and from 2019, though he declined to share more specifics.” [Washington Business Journal]

Commercial Burglaries Reported — Three commercial burglaries occurred in the Mosaic McLean District last Wednesday and Thursday (Dec. 8-9). The targeted businesses were a Shell gas station and Sun Cleaners on Chain Bridge Road as well as Tysons Florist, where someone painted the walls with graffiti in addition to taking property. [FCPD]

Vienna Chiropractor Prepares for Retirement — “‘I fell in love 34 years ago and as I drove down Maple Avenue on a Sunday morning and found my office space, and I said a little prayer,’ Avedisian said. ‘And the next morning I was signing a lease. I felt very connected, it felt home and felt like this is where I belong.'” [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Tysons Area Hit With Spree of Gas Station Burglaries — One or more individuals forced entry and took merchandise from three different gas stations in the Tysons area between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. last Thursday (Nov. 18), according to the Fairfax County Police Department’s latest weekly recap. A fourth station — a Shell at 2084 Chain Bridge Road — experienced a break-in, but nothing was taken. [FCPD]

Vienna Town Council Approves Election Changes — “It was a pill they didn’t want to swallow, but Vienna Town Council members approved a resolution Nov. 15 asking the General Assembly next year to alter the town’s election schedule so all Council members’ seats will be up for two-year terms starting in November 2023.” [Sun Gazette]

Man Arrested in Falls Church Sexual Assault — “City of Falls Church Police said that Alexander McKnight, 31, was arrested in Maryland on Thursday night. McKnight has been charged with rape and malicious wounding, among other charges, police said. He has no fixed address, a news release stated.” [Patch]

Wolf Trap National Park Releases Environmental Assessment on Improvements — “To better meet the needs of current and future visitors, we’ve proposed several changes to the park’s general management plan — the plan that guides park management decisions. You’re invited to submit your feedback from Nov. 18 through Dec. 30.” [National Park Service]

Tysons Library Book Sale Seeks Volunteers — “Volunteers are being sought to assist with the Tysons Library Friends quarterly book and media sale, to be held Dec. 3-5 at Tysons Pimmit Regional Library. Donations of books and media for the sale also are being solicited, with proceeds benefiting the library and related activities.” [Inside NoVA]

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Morning Notes

Two Injured in Fire at CIA HQ — Two CIA employees were transported to a hospital for possible smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at the agency’s headquarters in McLean on Saturday (Oct. 2). The “small building fire” was extinguished by sprinklers around 12:30 a.m., according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, and the cause hasn’t been determined. [WTOP]

Parents Protest Outside McAuliffe Campaign Office — Fairfax County police responded to a protest of about 20 people outside Terry McAuliffe’s campaign office on Jones Branch Drive in McLean on Friday (Oct. 1). A passerby told Tysons Reporter that the parents, who police said “were peacefully demonstrating,” were “incensed” by the Democratic gubernatorial nominee saying in a recent debate that he doesn’t think “parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

Founders Row Welcomes First Residents — “After a decade since the project was first proposed, the first 20 residents began moving in this Monday [Sept. 27] to the massive 4.3 acre Founders Row development project at the intersection of W. Broad and N. West Street in the City of Falls Church.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Tysons Corner Bloomingdale’s Burgled — “COMMERICAL BURGLARY: 8100 Tysons Corner Center (Bloomingdales), 9/27/21, 4:40 a.m. Someone forced entry into the business and took property.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

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Vienna police car (via Vienna Police Department/Facebook)

The Independence Day fireworks that lit up the evening sky over Yeonas Park weren’t the only source of smoke in Vienna this past Saturday (July 4).

Early that morning, burglars snatched some vaping cartridges, cigarettes, and cash boxes from Tobacco & Vape King in Jades Shopping Center at 332 Maple Avenue West, according to the Vienna Police Department’s crime recap for the week of July 2-8.

The incident occurred at 4:04 a.m., and when officers responded to the report of a burglary at the business, they found that the front glass door had been smashed.

“The persons involved had already fled the scene,” the police report says.

The missing items were reported by a store employee.

Evidently, the suspects had first attempted to break into House of Vape at 141 Church Street NW, based on security footage from just two minutes earlier:

Due to a burglary that had just occurred at a similar business in town, officers responded to check the House of Vape. They found someone smashed one of the double-paned windows to the business, but were unable to gain entry to the store. Security video shows the incident occurred just a few minutes before the burglary at Tobacco & Vape King.

Other highlights from the past week include a dispute between neighbors in the 200 block of Church Street over two trees that one resident planted along their shared property line. The resident reported on July 1 that his neighbor had cut down one of the trees.

Vienna police officers also took down a report on Thursday (July 8) from a resident who said that, while walking around Ware Street and Kingsley Road SW the previous night, she and her husband saw an older man in a parked vehicle with another person and “thought their behavior was suspicious.”

As part of its weekly report, the Vienna Police Department is also asking community members to lock up their houses and vehicles amid a regional investigation into a rash of vehicle tampering and theft incidents.

Fairfax County Police Department Capt. Dalton Becker, the station commander for the McLean District, which has seen the majority of Fairfax County incidents, said at a “State of the McLean District Station” virtual meeting last night that the car theft ring appears to have filtered into the county from Arlington and Maryland.

Vienna police are advising residents to lock their car doors, remove any valuable items and keys, and report “suspicious activity.”

“The Town of Vienna Police Department is dedicated to the safety and protection of all persons and property in the Town of Vienna,” the VPD said in a media release. “However, much of our success comes from the assistance of its concerned and observant residents.”

Photo via Vienna Police Department/Facebook

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Morning Notes

(Updated at 8:45 a.m.) School Board Member’s Israel Comments Sparks Debate — Fairfax County School Board Member-at-Large Abrar Omeish’s tweet criticizing the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians during recent air strikes has drawn strong reactions. More than 100 people showed up to the board’s meeting on Thursday (May 20) to support her, arguing that criticism of Israel’s policies isn’t inherently anti-Semitic, while others have called for her resignation. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington rescinded an honor it intended to bestow for her religious equity advocacy. [Patch]

Arrest Made in Recent Tysons Commercial Burglary — Fairfax County police reported five different burglaries at businesses in Tysons  on May 15 and 16, including incidents at ServiceNow and Koons Chrysler. A man from D.C. was arrested and charged in a string of three burglaries that occured on May 16 at Best Buy, Safford of Tysons Corner, and a T-Mobile store. [Sun Gazette]

Lawsuit over TJ Admissions Moves Forward — “A federal judge ruled Friday that a parents’ group can move forward with a lawsuit alleging that new admissions policies at an elite public high school in northern Virginia discriminate against Asian Americans…Asian Americans constitute more than 70 percent of the [Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology] student body, and for decades Black and Hispanic students have been woefully underrepresented there.” [WTOP]

Gallows Road Reduced to One Lane Tonight — “Gallows Road over I-66 will be reduced to one travel lane in each direction during overnight hours Monday, May 24, through Saturday, May 27, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night. The southbound side of Gallows Road will be closed with two-way traffic running on the northbound side. The closures are necessary for utility work on the bridge as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.” [VDOT]

Reminder: McLean Central Park Meeting Tonight — Fairfax County will hold a virtual public information meeting at 7 p.m. today to share a development concept for McLean Central Park. Based on a master plan that was last revised in 2013, potential new facilities for the 28-acre public park on Dolley Madison Boulevard include a dog park, an ampitheater, and trail improvements. [FCPA]

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Morning Notes

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Lifted — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration determined Friday (April 23) that the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine should resume. Its use was halted on April 13 due to reports of rare blood clots in 15 cases out of the 8 million people who have received the vaccine. [Patch]

Smoking Materials Caused Vienna Fire — A building fire in the 100 block of Church Street in Vienna on April 22 was the result of improperly discarded smoking materials. The fire caused about $18,750 in damages, but no one was displaced or needed medical assistance. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Bijan Ghaisar Case Moved to Federal Court — A federal judge decided on Friday that the case against two Park Police officers who shot McLean resident Bijan Ghaisar after a vehicle pursuit in 2017 should be moved from state to federal court, where the defendants’ attorneys hope to have the case dismissed. A Fairfax County grand jury indicted the officers on manslaughter charges in October. [DCist]

McLean District Police Report Commercial Burglaries — The Fairfax County Police Department reported three commercial burglaries in the McLean District in its most recent weekly recap. The incidents occurred at CosmoProf (2976 Gallows Rd.) on April 16 and at Merrifield One Hour Photo (2833 Gallows Rd.) and Tobacco Plus 1 (7640 Lee Highway) on April 17. [FCPD]

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Morning Notes

Virginia Not Affected by Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Issues — Quality issues that forced Johnson & Johnson to recently discard 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses will not affect the shipments that Virginia receives this week, Virginia Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said on Friday. The Commonwealth will receive more than 200,000 total doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. [WTOP]

Car Stolen from Tysons Nissan Dealership — A 2021 Mazda 6 parked inside the Priority Nissan Tysons dealership at 8525 Leesburg Pike was stolen on March 26. In a separte incident, police located a Ford that they believe was involved in a burglary of an Exxon (801 Dolly Madison Blvd.) in McLean last week. [FCPD]

Dominion Energy Leader Dies After Sudden, Quiet Retirement — “Thomas F. Farrell II, a lawyer who rose to the top of Dominion Energy to dominate Virginia business and politics, has died at age 66, the day after relinquishing his role as executive board chairman of the energy company he had ruled for 15 years.” [The Daily Progress]

Madison Student Athletes Find Success Over Spring Break — “Spring break was only a week and we managed to clinch three Concorde District titles: Football, Field Hockey and Co-Ed Golf. These athletes & coaches surmounted shortened seasons, playing in non-traditional months (and weather) and health protocols to become CHAMPS in their sport” [James Madison High School/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Virginia Extends Tax Deadline — Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Friday (March 19) that the state taxation department will extend deadline for filing and paying individual income taxes from May 1 to May 17. The move came shortly after the IRS and Treasury Department pushed the deadline for federal income tax filings and payments from April 15 to May 17. [Virginia Governor’s Office]

Bicycling Still Hazardous in Tysons, Study Finds — A market study commissioned by the Tysons Partnership found a lack of the protected bicycle lanes and connections between neighborhoods and streets needed to make the area friendlier to cyclists. Nearly 10 miles of road in Tysons rank in the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s most dangerous category, compared to just two miles receiving the highest bikeability rating. [Greater Greater Washington]

Vienna Police Arrest Man Suspected of Burglary — The Vienna Police Department arrested a 58-year-old man on March 15 after receiving calls about a man “pulling on doors, possibly trying to enter businesses in the area” and later entering a resident’s home while they were sleeping. Police are looking for assistance in identifying jewelry and other property that the man allegedly stole. [Vienna Police Department]

CDC Updates Social Distancing Guidance for Schools to Three Feet — “Fairfax Superintendent Scott Brabrand said Friday in a message to parents that the new guidance was “very encouraging,” but under review. He said he will meet with principals and county health officials next week to work on the issue.” [The Washington Post]

Dranesville District Budget Town Hall Tonight — Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust is holding a virtual town hall at 7 p.m. to discuss Fairfax County’s proposed fiscal year 2022 budget. The meeting will be televised on Channel 16, streamed online, and streamed live on Foust’s Facebook page. [Supervisor John Foust/Facebook]

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