The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors yesterday approved a proposed name change of the McLean Metro station to the McLean-Capital One Hall Metro station, but it isn’t the end of the line for the name change yet.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the change, though several supervisors made sure to clarify the name change was to draw people towards the upcoming performance center and not as advertising for the banking giant whose headquarters the facility is part of.
“This is a very particular situation in which we do have an agreement between the county and Capital One Hall to provide a minimum of 100 days of use,” said Supervisor Dalia Palchik, representing the Providence District. “It’s going to be our very own Strathmore. It’s a very specific request to have this name put on the Metro station so people know we have this asset here in Fairfax County.”
Palchik admitted that at first, seeing the corporate name attached to the Metro station gave her some pause, but concluded: “this is not a slippery slope, this is a very unique situation.”
Supervisor John Foust, representing Dranesville, was similarly supportive of the name and pushed back on the idea that the county had sold the naming rights.
“I’m supportive of the name change, but I don’t support every proposed name change,” Foust said. “This is not selling a naming right to a single corporate entity. It’s not being done for the exclusive benefit of a single land owner. Capital One Hall is a state of the art performing arts center. It will play a significant role in implementing the comprehensive plan for Tysons. It is absolutely in the public interest that we draw attention to this center and by this name change I think we will do this.”
Supervisor Jeff McKay clarified that Capital One would pay for changing the Metro signs and would not be publicly funded.
Though the name was approved by the Board of Supervisors, the proposed renaming will still have to be approved by WMATA, which has its own guidelines for changing a station name.
A controversy at the library level led to a heated exchanged at Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today (Tuesday) as the Board’s lone Republican pushed back against a motion to ensure the various boards and commissions consider the county’s standards of diversity.
Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay started the meeting with a motion for staff to circulate the One Fairfax policy and training to all boards and commissions and that members sign acknowledgement to confirm they have received and reviewed the policy. The One Fairfax policy adopted in 2017 creates a standard of social and racial equity that the Board of Supervisors committed to considering when making decisions or developing programs and services.
Just now, the Board approved my motions to make sure our commitment to One Fairfax is extended to our Boards, Authorities and Commissions. pic.twitter.com/OvROKGY3Oc
— Jeff McKay (@JeffreyCMcKay) September 15, 2020
The fight centered around what Supervisor Pat Herrity lambasted as an attack on Phillip Rosenthal, a Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees member who faces calls for resignation from Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and others.
At a July 29 meeting, Rosenthal decried highlighting material about Black Lives Matter and by Muslim authors, Patch first reported.
Backlash to Rosenthal’s comments was swift, but Herrity has vocally defended Rosenthal, who he appointed to the Library Board of Trustees in 2018. At the Board of Supervisors meeting, Herrity defended Rosenthal again and said the motion was a move towards silencing dissent.
“When we try to silence the other side we enter a slippery slope,” Herrity said. “To take someone out because they don’t agree with our political agenda… I think that’s a slippery slope.”
While McKay protested that the board matter wasn’t about an individual person, the text of the item did say “comments made at a recent Library Board of Trustees meeting highlight that we still have a long was to go before we truly become One Fairfax.”
“Things appointee said were hurtful,” McKay said. “I called for his resignation for a lot of reasons.”
Herrity found little support from the other members of the Board of Supervisors, receiving particular rebuke from Dranesville Supervisor John Foust.
“[Herrity] totally misstakes and mischaracterizes the statements Mr. Rosenthal has made,” Foust said. “Everything I hear about Rosenthal is that he’s a decent man who makes many contributions to our community, but his comments at the library board need to be read to understand why so many people were so hurt and why we’re being so misled by Supervisor’s Herrity comments about this.”
Foust ran through a list of Rosenthal’s controversial statements at the library board, which included calling Black Lives Matter activists Marxists and expressing frustration about a reading program aimed at supporting LGBTQ youth.
“To characterize them as Herrity does about the statement for the need for more diverse views in the catalog of books is ridiculous, outrageous, and totally misleading,” Foust said.
Supervisor Dalia Palchik, representing the Providence district, argued that while Herrity had appointed Rosenthal, what Rosenthal said and did reflects on the Board of Supervisors as a whole.
McKay’s motion was passed, with only Herrity voting against it.
Image via Fairfax County
Capital One can now move forward with adding more office space for its employees at the Capital One Campus in Tysons.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the proposal, which swaps a planned hotel with the office building, yesterday.
Gregory Riegle, the lawyer representing Capital One, told the supervisors that replacing the previously approved, but unbuilt, hotel with office space will increase economic development near the Metro.
Riegle said that the hotel had faced challenges prior to the pandemic, which the pandemic exacerbated. Riegle did not specify what the issues were.
While the pandemic’s impact on office use is still undetermined, Riegle said that the hotel-to-office swap will support the long-term vision for the Capital One Campus. Riegle said that Capital One intends to use the new office building just for its employees as the banking giant increases its presence in Tysons.
Riegle added that the new plans will add more retail and enhance street activation.
The campus currently has two office buildings, a conference center, a parking garage and surface-level parking, according to county documents. “Construction activity is on-going on a 31-story office building, an 8-story performing arts center, and a 28-story hotel/residential building,” the documents say.
The proposal did not receive any public comment during the public hearing yesterday.
Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said that the change better fits the recommended percentage of office use in the Tysons Comprehensive Plan and that the area has other planned hotels.
As for economic development, Palchik added that the office building will support jobs for construction workers.
“[It] sets a high standard for future Tysons applications,” Palchik said.
Fairfax County officials representing Tysons, Reston and Vienna want a list of the places around the county linked to the Confederacy.
At the Board of Supervisors meeting later this afternoon, Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn plan to request a full inventory of Confederate names in public places in Fairfax County.
“Fairfax County residents stand together with fellow Americans in support of the recent movement for racial justice, brought on by the horrific deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others,” the board matter reads. “This powerful call for equity has brought attention to Confederate monuments and place names throughout the County, and the painful history they symbolize.”
The upcoming board matter follows a push by a local community advocacy group in Reston.
Reston Strong offered a direct message when residents covered a Confederate monument in front of the old Fairfax County courthouse with a tarp and white duck tape over the weekend, prompting the request for a complete report of Confederate street names, monuments and public places in the county.
Reston Strong issued the following response to today’s board matter:
We would like to Thank Supervisor Palchik for her response however we are saddened to note her motion while timely, fails to directly address our ask. We understand this topic is more polarizing than most and sincerely hope the below sentiments from our members will give our leaders the strength needed to take immediate action.
REMOVE — “It’s literally trauma!! The statue doesn’t erase the history! But the statue does remind my people each time they are disposed, mishandled in the judicial system where this statue resides that things will always be unjust and unfair, we’ve gotta take it, swallow it and keep hoping one day we will be free for real #free-ishsince1865″ – Candace Wiredu-Adams
RELOCATE — “Move it to a museum. We can’t just throw our past away. People wouldn’t believe the holocaust existed without seeing certain artifacts. We need to have these tangible items to provoke the emotion. We can’t just have pages in a textbook saying a statue was taken down.” – Rebecca Johnson
REPLACE — “I think markers at the places of important events is great. Nothing like standing right where it happened and reflecting. However, I don’t think we need monuments to people. So to me, two different things. I think the markers are a good reminder of history and where it happened (in some cases in our own backyard!). Glorifying people, not so much.” – Colleen Montgomery
Located at 4000 Chain Bridge Road in Palchik’s district, the monument is dedicated to Marr, the first Confederate officer killed in the Civil War. “Union cavalry attached the city at 3:00 a.m. on June 1, 1861. The Warrenton rifles commanded by Marr defended the city,” according to information recently taken down by Fairfax County’s tourism board.
Although the black tarp and tape that smothered the statue was removed within an hour after installation on Sunday, the group says that it is time for the county to remove the 1904 granite monument that honors Confederate Capt. John Quincy Marr, who died roughly 800 feet from this marker in 1861.
At last night’s town hall meeting by the Fairfax County NAACP, the organization’s president Sean Perryman met with local elected officials and community leaders to discuss the future of policing.
Since the killing of George Floyd in police custody and outrage over racial inequities in the U.S., the NAACP compiled a list of policy changes for how to address how police use force and report actions to the public.
Top demands for reform include:
- removing police from schools
- reporting data efficiently
- implementing body-worn cameras
- reporting officer misconduct
- reviewing the use of force policy
- demilitarizing the police force
- mandating counseling/early intervention
Perryman said that the Fairfax County Police Department needs to see policy and budget overhauls to end systemic racism and better serve the community. Perryman said that nearly half the police use of force in the area is used against Black individuals even though they make up 10% of the population.
At the meeting, the attendees, which included Supervisors Dalia Pakchik, John Foust, Walter Alcorn and Chairman Jeff McKay, all agreed that changes are needed to improve the safety and security of every Fairfax County resident.
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. expressed a willingness to work with the NAACP on the proposed changes.
“I don’t think I oppose in whole any one of these items,” Roessler said, but added that there might be stipulations on certain topics.
A point of confusion at the meeting was about the transparency of data. Though everyone agreed that data is important to tracking issues and upcoming solutions, no one was on the same page when it came to the type of data and release date.
The FCPD police chief said that recent data on use of force data and school arrests should be released to McKay later this week, but the department is transitioning to a new data management system to achieve the goal.
“We have a lot of promises for data and more transparency but we aren’t actually getting the data,” Perryman said, adding that this data needs to be not only released to the county board, but also to the public.
“This would give the community some insight into what is happening,” Perryman said, adding that this data needs to include other information such as traffic stops and the races of officers and civilians involved.
The conversation on body-worn cameras for officers revolved around best practices and use.
Perryman suggested that officers shouldn’t be allowed to choose when to use them, calling it “an essential part of transparency,” he said.
“It is a waste of equipment, essentially a lens with a price tag, if there is no policy in place that prevents officers from turning this off or selectively turning it on,” he added.
When it comes to budget and funding, Perryman doesn’t believe the department should receive extra money from the state or the county for this project, suggesting that the cost should come from internal budget shifts.
“What we’ve seen in the past when there is a problem with the police, we give them more money to get more toys and we think that needs to stop,” Perryman said. “I don’t think there is an appetite for it here in the country or anywhere else actually.”
The town hall also addressed concerns with civilian review panels.
Tn the past, the panels have struggled to “have teeth,” according to Roessler, who added that the General Assembly would need to correct that.
Though there are challenges, Perryman said that people need to stop pointing fingers and create a substantial plan. He wants the panel to be independent and have the power to investigative incidents independently.
“This has to be a group that can stand up and can make clear recommendations to us,” McKay agreed. “I’ll be happy to work with you on the roster.”
Later in the meeting, Alcorn spoke up and talked about limiting the presence of firearms in the community.
“I’m not sure sending out folks with firearms is the best approach in 2020,” Alcorn said, adding that when someone calls 911, depending on the situation, there are better ways to address a community need.
Supervisors Palchik and Foust offered their support to continue the conversation with both FCPD and Fairfax County NAACP about new policies and best practices.
“We are not immune from making the types of reforms that are necessary to build the kind of confidence that everyone should have in our law enforcement agencies,” McKay said. “The most important thing for elected officials to do right now is to listen.”
Photo via Facebook Live
COVID-19 Challenges — “The Town of Vienna Economic Development Office released results from its COVID-19 Business Survey highlighting how the Town’s businesses have been impacted by the pandemic.” [Town of Vienna]
Businesses Worried About Metro Shutdown — “Sol Glasner, CEO of the Tysons Partnership, says Metro has now all but assured that the comeback will be delayed in Tysons. He said he was disappointed and frustrated with how Metro handled the Silver Line shutdown.” [WAMU]
County Officials Speak Out on Silver Line Closure — Dalia Palchik, Jeff Mckay and Sol Glasner wrote this opinion piece: “The pivotal importance of Metro to Tysons makes the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s abrupt announcement of the summer closure of the Silver Line especially problematic.” [Washington Post]
New Governor Candidate — “Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy formally announced Wednesday that she is running for governor of Virginia in 2021.” [Inside NoVa]
Hope ♥️ pic.twitter.com/TkxXHAKHAs
— Falls Church Views (@falls_views) May 16, 2020
Photo courtesy James B. Crusan III
This op-ed was submitted by Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik on May 19. It does not reflect the opinions of Tysons Reporter. We publish op-eds and letters to the editor of specific interest to the Tysons community. Contributions may be edited for length or content.
The people of Fairfax County are strong and resilient, more than ever during this time of COVID-19. When I speak with community members, one common question comes up: “How can I help?” Wash your hands. Social distance. Then, help feed your neighbor.
Food insecurity is on the rise. During a recent two-week period, the Capital Area Food Bank reported a demand increase of 300% compared to the same period last year. There are 70,000 families living in poverty in Fairfax County. We need to address this problem, for access to food is a human right.
I’m calling on the Providence District to reach into your pantry or grocery cart to buy a can, give a can, and donate to Food for Others. We can tackle food insecurity in our area together at home and online.
Food for Others, located in Merrifield, is a hub that supplies food to more than 2,000 families every week. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, three times more families have relied on Food for Others to feed their households. This is why I have partnered with Food for Others and neighborhoods in our district to start local food drives. You can help.
Start organizing! You can take action by reaching out to your homeowners’ association or community organization to help set up a neighborhood food drive. Establish a drop off location and spread the word to your neighbors. Organize volunteers to pick up the canned goods and produce to deliver to Food for Others.
We can help! Contact our team at [email protected] and we can work with you to organize a safe and engaging food drive that fits your community.
Canned chili, canned chicken, canned fruit, rice, spaghetti sauce, cardboard boxes and fresh produce are some of the items most in demand. If you are fortunate to have a home vegetable or herb garden, plant an additional row and donate your fresh produce to Food for Others. Your neighbors in need will thank you!
The Providence District has made so much progress already. The Falls Hill and Miller Heights organizations have each collected 800 pounds of food, and many other communities in our district have donated hundreds of pounds of food. I can’t wait to see how big this effort can grow.
Let’s join forces and fight this battle against hunger together. I am so proud of the work the Providence District has already done to help one another. There is more work to be done to bring food security to our neighbors in need. I thank you for your help.
(Updated 5/20/2020) Before Orange and Silver line stations temporarily close this Saturday (May 23), Fairfax County officials for the Tysons and Vienna areas want to know more about the closures’ impact.
Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn plan to hold a virtual town hall on Thursday (May 21), according to staff from Palchik’s office.
The discussion will include representatives from WMATA and the county’s transportation department.
All Orange and Silver line stations west of the Ballston station will be closed through the fall for platform reconstruction at the four Orange Line stations and work to connect the Silver Line with the upcoming stations running from Reston to Ashburn.
The town hall is set to start at 6:30 p.m. People can register online.
Locals will soon have the chance to join a virtual town hall and ask questions to Fairfax County representatives for the Providence District.
Dalia Palchik with the Board of Supervisors and Karl Frisch with the Fairfax County School Board announced that they will host the meeting at 2:30 p.m. this Saturday (May 9).
The meeting will be held on Facebook Live, according to the event page.
Palchik and Frisch are expected to lead a discussion surrounding topics brought up by community members in attendance.
Though there doesn’t seem to be a pre-set agenda, people can email to inquire about the meeting.
— Dalia Palchik (@SupvPalchik) May 5, 2020
Editor’s note: Starting March 24, Tysons Reporter will have “Morning Notes” every weekday instead of twice a week to accommodate more news.
Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:
FCPD Makes Changes Due to Coronavirus — “The department has added staff and is available to take certain police reports over the phone. Community members are also encouraged to utilize the online reporting system.” [Fairfax County Police Department]
AP, IB Info for Students — “Traditional face-to-face [AP] exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home… The May 2020 IB examinations for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme students will no longer be held.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Local Couple 3-D Printing Mask Shields — “As protective gear shortages put our frontline medical workers at risk, Vienna couple Amy and Jeremy Filko are 3D-printing shields to protect N95 masks. For each request received, the Filkos are covering shipping costs and sending four free masks to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers.” [Washingtonian]
Dalia Palchik, Del. Marcus Simon (D-53rd) Host Virtual Town Hall — “In an audience that ranged up to 44 viewers, the two responded to questions both about the current pandemic and, for Simon, the recently-concluded legislative session in Richmond.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Capital One Ups Pay for Workers Not Teleworking — “Capital One Financial Corp. is hiking the salaries of its employees who work directly with customers as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country, the company announced internally and confirmed to the Washington Business Journal.” [Washington Business Journal]
Metro Cuts Back Service This Week — “Trains will be operating every 20 minutes on all lines except the Red Line, which will run every 15 minutes, according to a news release.” [Inside Nova]
Beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Fairfax Connector customers will be required to enter and exit the bus using the rear doors. This does not apply to customers who need to use a wheelchair ramp. Fare collection on buses will also be temporarily suspended.https://t.co/wVHrkCaTbp pic.twitter.com/ignjpBRKgU
— Fairfax Connector (@ffxconnector) March 23, 2020
COVID19 BUS BOARDING CHANGE
Starting today: Use rear door when getting on or off the bus, except if you use wheelchair ramp or kneeling. Fares waived.
— Metro (@wmata) March 24, 2020
This is Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Falls Church, but sign is from Fairfax County. I didn’t think the city and county shared parks services, but maybe they’re working together during the pandemic?
— Falls Church Views (@falls_views) March 22, 2020