Early Voting Starts Today — Voters can now cast their ballots for the Nov. 2 general election by mail or by visiting the Fairfax County, North County, and Mount Vernon government centers. Virginia has three statewide offices and all 100 House of Delegates seats up for election, and Fairfax County voters also face a school bond question. [Fairfax County Government]
Parents of Sexual Abuse Victim Object to Plea Deal — The family of a girl who was sexually abused by a relative wants a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge to reject a plea deal today (Friday), arguing that the 17-year maximum prison sentence is insufficient. They feel Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano has prioritized defendants over victims, a criticism increasingly leveled against progressive prosecutors across the U.S. elected on promises of reducing mass incarceration and addressing historical inequities in the justice system. [The Washington Post]
Virginia Adds QR Codes to COVID-19 Vaccine Records — “As requests for proof of COVID-19 vaccination by businesses and employers increases, the Virginia Department of Health has announced that QR (quick response) codes are now available. Virginia is now the fifth U.S. state to adopt the SMART Health format for QR codes.” [Fairfax County Health Department]
Vienna Unveils Annual Holiday Ornament — “The town of Vienna later this year will begin selling a 2021 holiday ornament, which depicts the ‘Taking Flight’ bronze statue situated in front of the Vienna Community Center. Vienna Town Council members on Sept. 13 unanimously approved the sale of the ornaments, which will be available at the community center, Town Hall and at the upcoming Oktoberfest celebration.” [Sun Gazette]
Tysons 5K Run Raises Money to Feed Community — “Tysons Partnership is proud to have sponsored the @foodforothers Tysons 5K and Fun Run. Sunday’s Fun Run raised over $91,000 for community members facing food insecurity. Thank you to everyone for your support and participation in this year’s race!” [Tysons Partnership/Twitter]
Merrifield Church to Celebrate 151st Anniversary — “The First Baptist Church of Merrifield will kick off their 151st Homecoming Anniversary Weekend on Saturday, September 18 and Homecoming Sunday Service on Sunday, September 19. Immediately following the worship service we will have a soft opening Ribbon Cutting ceremony followed by Lunch on the Grounds.” [Greater Merrifield Business Association]
Expanded SACC Program Returns in August — “As students prepare to get back to class in the fall, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Jeffrey McKay and Fairfax County School Board Chair Stella Pekarsky held a press conference to announce that SACC will be providing before and after school services in 142 locations this year, including two new centers located at Clearview Elementary and McNair Upper Elementary.” [WUSA9]
Metro Pushes Vote on Arrest Ban to September — “Metro’s board on Thursday postponed a vote on a plan that would let transit police ban someone arrested on suspicion of a sex crime or an offense involving a dangerous weapon. The delay came after civil liberties groups and activists voiced opposition to the measure and asked the transit agency to reconsider.” [The Washington Post]
Merrifield Business Association President Lauded — “Fairfax County supervisors on July 27 honored former Greater Merrifield Business Association (GMBA) president Billy Thompson for his decades of community service. Thompson joined GMBA in 1995 and served as its president for seven years. Supervisors credited him with providing support and mentorship to many business owners in Merrifield and Fairfax.” [Sun Gazette]
Vienna to Bring Back Church Street Block Parties — “The Town of Vienna will host the Chillin’ on Church block parties along historic Church Street near the Town Green on Aug. 20 and Sept. 17. The events will run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with food, beer and wine, and entertainment. Admission is free.” [Patch]
Fairfax County Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard — The Fairfax County Health Department launched an updated version of its vaccine dashboard yesterday (Tuesday) with data on administered doses, how many people have gotten vaccinated, demographic breakdowns, and other information. [FCHD]
Fairfax County Indoor Ski Facility Could Be First of Many — Alpine-X, developers of the planned Fairfax Peak indoor ski and snowboarding facility in Lorton, hopes to expand the concept to more than 20 other locations around the U.S. and Canada. The Fairfax County facility will be the flagship with a luxury hotel, a gravity-powered mountain coaster, zip lines, and food and beverage outlets planned for the area. [Patch]
Bike Lanes Proposed on Chain Bridge Road — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will hold a virtual meeting at 6:30 p.m. on June 8 to discuss striping changes that would create bicycle lanes on several roads. Among the proposals is the addition of bicycle lanes “where space allows” on Chain Bridge Road from Colonial Lane to Great Falls Street in McLean. [FCDOT]
Falls Church Councilmember Won’t Seek Reelection — Ross Litkenhous, who is serving his first term on the Falls Church City Council, announced on Monday (May 24) that he will not run for a second term when four seats are on the ballot in November. He cited a need to focus on a new company that he recently launched, but he plans to stay involved by applying for the city’s economic development authority or planning commission after his term ends. [Falls Church News-Press]
Del. Simon Addresses Greater Merrifield Business Association — Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) highlighted the Virginia General Assembly’s work to address the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated $500 million budget surplus, and bills that dealt with eviction prevention, stormwater management funding, and electric vehicle rebates in a recent presentation to the GMBA. [Sun Gazette]
Falls Church Hires New Public Works Superintendent — “The City of Falls Church welcomes Herb Holmes as the new Superintendent of Public Works. Throughout April, Holmes shadowed the incumbent, Robert Goff, who will retire on July 1 after 40 years of service…Holmes most recently served as the Superintendent of Streets for the City of Alexandria, Virginia.” [City of Falls Church]
Greater Merrifield Business Association (GMBA) President Billy Thompson is stepping down from the position after leading the nonprofit for seven years.
A lifelong Vienna resident and realtor with Samson Properties, Thompson guided the GMBA through a period of significant change, as Fairfax County seeks to transform Merrifield from a largely industrial area to a suburban center anchored by mixed-use developments like the Mosaic District and Halstead Square.
The GMBA, which provides support and resources to local businesses, says Thompson will continue serving as an active member on its board of directors.
“GMBA thanks Billy for his dedicated leadership and vision for Merrifield over the past 7 years,” the association said today (Thursday) in a newsletter. “GMBA wouldn’t be where we are today without the unique optimism and energy he brought to GMBA.”
Thompson’s successor will be Kevin Warhurst, vice president of the Merrifield Garden Center.
Acknowledging the challenges that the local business community has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Warhurst says his goal as the business association’s incoming president is to build off the work it has already done to shape Merrifield as a community and make it an integral part of the local economy.
“As we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic, there is no doubt that our organization will face some challenges in the months ahead,” Warhurst said. “…But there are also many opportunities to strengthen our existing relationships, and build new ones as we seek to grow our association moving forward. I look forward to facing those challenges together, and creating opportunities to better serve our members and our community.”
Photo via Greater Merrifield Business Association