Newsletter

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

Lorton Pharmacy Gave Adult-Sized COVID-19 Vaccine Dose to Kids — The Fairfax County Health Department advises families whose children got the vaccine between Nov. 2 and 10 from the KC Pharmacy in Lorton to monitor for side effects and talk to a health care provider. The pharmacy is under investigation by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and has been removed from the state and federal vaccination programs. [FCHD]

Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against FCPS Proceeds — A federal appeals court ruled in favor of a girl who filed a Title IX lawsuit against Fairfax County Public Schools over its handling of sexual harassment and rape allegations from when she was a student at Rachel Carson Middle School from October 2011 until February 2012. The lawsuit is one of two facing FCPS, which also has three outstanding federal investigations. [Inside NoVA]

NoVA Public Health Officials Urge Caution During Holidays — “Although Northern Virginia localities have some of the highest vaccination rates in the state, there is still substantial transmission of COVID-19 in the community, and we must remain vigilant to protect those who are not eligible for vaccination and those at higher risk for serious illness.” [VDH]

Public Meeting on McLean Sidewalk Project Tonight — “The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will hold a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, at 7 p.m., to present updates on the Chesterbrook Road Walkway Project from Maddux Lane to North 41st Street. The project is intended to provide a continuous pedestrian facility along the south side of the roadway from Maddux Lane to 41st Street.” [FCDOT]

Local Restaurants Generate Heat — “Tysons restaurants, Wren and Leila were recently featured in ‘The 16 Hottest New Restaurants Around D.C.,’ according to @Eater_DC. Both restaurants offer a variety of eclectic cuisine and specialty cocktails, perfect for any occasion.” [Tysons Partnership/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Editor’s Note: Tysons Reporter is following a lighter publishing schedule today (Friday) for Veterans Day weekend.

Falls Church Police Seek Man in Sexual Assault Case — “The City of Falls Church Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the pictured individual who was in the area at the time of an assault. Late night on Wednesday, November 10, an adult female was sexually assaulted in the vicinity of 444 W. Broad St.” [City of Falls Church]

County to Add Veteran Services Coordinator — “Today, I’m excited to share that we will be hiring a Veteran’s Services Coordinator to improve the well-being of veterans in our community. This person will help vets access resources and advocate for new tools to help our veterans. Thank you to our vets for your service!” [Chairman Jeff McKay/Twitter]

See Marshall HS Veterans Day Display — “Students, staff, and parent volunteers at Fairfax County’s Marshall High School set up close to 400 American flags outside the school on Wednesday afternoon. The display is a tradition at Marshall, installed twice a year ahead of both Veterans Day and Memorial Day.” [ABC7]

County Adopts Plan to Eliminate Waste — “On Nov. 9, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Fairfax County Government and Schools Zero Waste Plan. This sets county government and Fairfax County Public Schools on a path toward zero waste by 2030 with two goals: diverting 90% of waste away from landfills or incinerators and decreasing the total amount of waste generated by 25%.” [Fairfax County Government]

Meadowlark Replaces Korean Bell Garden Totems — “Four freshly carved wooden totem poles — representing a king, queen, bride and groom — now stand guard over the Korean Bell Garden at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in the Vienna area. NOVA Parks officials held an installation ceremony for the poles Nov. 8…Traditionally placed at the entrances of Korean villages, the totem poles symbolically protect residents from misfortune.” [Sun Gazette]

Roaming Rooster Grand Opening Tomorrow — “Great news RR Fam! Rooster #5, our first VA location, officially hatches in Tysons Corner this weekend. As part of our grand opening, we will be giving out free samples, RR merch, and $20 gift cards randomly throughout the day on Sat & Sun. Come check us out!” [Roaming Rooster/Twitter]

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A McLean resident who ran a religious mentorship institute out of his home allegedly sexually assaulted at least two children involved in the program, the Fairfax County Police Department reported today (Wednesday).

According to the news release, detectives from the department’s Major Crimes Bureau Child Abuse Squad arrested 75-year-old Antonio Perez-Alcala Monday evening (Nov. 1) at 2001 Great Falls Street, where he lived and operated the Secular Institute Stabat Mater.

Perez-Alcala has been charged with nine counts of aggravated sexual battery and is currently being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

According to the FCPD, detectives learned on Oct. 28 that a child had told an adult that they were sexually assaulted by a leader of Stabat Mater.

“Detectives determined Antonio Perez-Alcala owned the McLean home where he operated the Secular Institute,” police said in the news release. “Juveniles attended private mentoring sessions, often in Perez-Alcala’s bedroom. The victim was sexually assaulted during the private sessions.”

Police identified a second victim through a preliminary investigation that led them to obtain an arrest warrant for Perez-Alcala.

There could be additional victims, as Perez-Alcala had held various religious positions in Northern Virginia since the mid-1990s, the FCPD says.

Since the mid-1990s, Perez-Alcala held various positions throughout the Northern Virginia area where he had contact with young members of our community. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this case or believe Perez-Alcala had inappropriate contact with a child to please call our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800, option 3.

Perez-Alcala was affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of Arlington from 1994 to 2008 in a non-ordained capacity. Detectives are working with the Catholic Diocese of Arlington to determine if any additional victims may have been impacted.

The FCPD accepts anonymous tips through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-8477), text (“FCCS” plus tip to 847411), and online. Tipsters can receive cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 if their information leads to an arrest.

Stabat Mater is an all-male group that focuses on “the formation of young people toward integrating the spiritual with the secular” and is part of the U.S. Conference of Secular Institutes.

According to the Secular Institutes website, members commit to a life of “poverty, chastity and obedience” and work to spread Christian teachings through charity and gospel. The practice is part of the Catholic Church, but members can be either clergy or laypersons.

The U.S. Conference of Secular Institutes did not immediately return a request for comment.

According to a 2016 article from the Arlington Catholic Herald, Perez-Alcala got involved with Stabat Mater in the 1960s and was assigned to the D.C. area in 1993. At that time, there were four men in residence at the McLean Stabat Mater.

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The Vienna Oaks Office Center, where Leroy Bazzarone’s chiropractic office was located (staff photo by David Taube)

A local chiropractic doctor recently surrendered his license after allegedly engaging in sexual misconduct with six patients.

The move came just under a year after the Virginia Board of Medicine voted to suspend Leroy Bazzarone’s license after he reportedly engaged in sexual contact or conduct that a reasonable patient would consider lewd or offensive.

A consent order from the board alleges that Bazzarone, who ran a chiropractic practice in the Vienna area, would provide services to receptionists for free and that he touched some of the women inappropriately when working with them.

The board’s doctors unanimously determined his actions were problematic and agreed on Sept. 2, 2020 to suspend his license following the incidents, which took place from 2013 to 2020.

“The Board determined that Dr. Bazzarone’s ability to practice constituted a substantial danger to the public health and safety and voted to summarily suspend his license,” meeting minutes said.

With a notary present, Bazzarone signed the consent order prepared by the board on Aug. 27, stating that he neither admitted nor denied its facts.

As part of the settlement, he waived his right to a formal hearing and his right to contest the report’s facts and legal conclusions in any future court or administrative proceeding involving the board.

For half of the patients involved, he had no record of treatment, and for others, he didn’t document all of the treatment he provided, according to the report.

Department of Health Professions spokesperson Diane Power said the settlement involves a permanent surrender of the license.

In a letter through an attorney to a Department of Health Professions investor, Bazzarone said he was retiring as of June 30, 2021. The board recorded his license as surrendered as of Sept. 1.

The reported behavior involved Bazzarone offering free treatment to women he employed as receptionists and massaging their breasts and genital areas. Sometimes, he removed their clothes or took off his own.

The Fairfax County Police Department said it has several reports involving Bazzarone on file.

According to Fairfax County General District Court records, he was arrested on Sept. 4, 2020 and charged with misdemeanor sexual battery for a Sept. 14, 2019 incident. He was found guilty and sentenced on March 11, 2021 to six months of jail. The prison sentence was suspended. Read More

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Morning Notes

Metrorail Returns Normal Service After Train Derailed — “On Friday, October 15, normal service will resume on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines. Intermittent delays are possible as the investigation into Tuesday’s derailment continues.” [WMATA]

Vienna ExxonMobil Now Serves Up Indian Cuisine — “Raja and Bindu Puri opened Chit Chaat cafe inside the gas station at 200 Maple Avenue E a few months ago. The husband and wife do all the prep and cooking. Their children Neil, Maggie, and Nikki take on respective roles in operations, finance, and social media. Although it’s not the family’s first restaurant, it’s their first one surrounded by fuel pumps.” [DC Eater]

Sexual Assault Reported Near Bailey’s Crossroads — Fairfax County police are looking for two men who reportedly broke into a woman’s apartment in the 6000 block of Knollwood Drive around 5:10 a.m. yesterday morning (Thursday). The woman told police that she woke up to one of the men sexually assaulting her. He punched her, and they ran from the apartment. [WTOP]

Tysons Senior Living Development Lands Construction Financing — “Mather, an award-winning senior living provider, announces that it has secured $300 million in construction financing for The Mather, a luxury Life Plan Community being constructed in Tysons, Virginia, with the syndicated transaction led by The Huntington National Bank. Expected to open in 2024, The Mather is a $500 million development.” [The Mather]

I-66 Paving Work to Close Lanes and Ramps in Vienna — I-66 East will be reduced from four to three travel lanes throughout the day tomorrow (Oct. 16), with just a single lane open overnight today and tomorrow. The Nutley Street North and South ramps will also be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for paving work as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project. [VDOT]

Tysons Consultant Plans Major Spending — “Tysons-based consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton plans to step up its spending on acquisitions over the next few years, targeting companies…in areas such as healthcare technology and cybersecurity services, the Wall Street Journal reported. Booz Allen plans to spend about $4 billion between April 2022 and March 2025, largely on acquisitions, executives said last week at the company’s investor day.” [Fairfax County EDA]

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Morning Notes

Plea Deal in Sexual Assault Case Rejected — A Fairfax County Circuit Court judge rejected a plea deal that would’ve sentenced a man accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a girl to three years in prison, stating that it did not “remotely reflect the magnitude of the defendant’s misconduct.” Prosecutors said they offered the deal because they feared a trial might end in acquittal due to issues with the Herndon police investigation. [The Washington Post]

Bias Incident Reported Near Mosaic District — “8300 block of Lee Highway, 9/19/21, 1:55 a.m. After a traffic altercation, the victim was approached by an unknown male who spat in his face and made derogatory statements regarding his race.” [FCPD]

Tractor Stolen from Vienna Softball League Shed — According to the Vienna Police Department’s most recent weekly report, a Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation employee reported that, around 1:41 p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 22), someone broke into a shed that the Vienna Girls Softball League owns in Southside Park (1317 Ross Drive SW). A league representative responded to the report and said that a tractor had been stolen from the shed. [Vienna Police]

Scotts Run Fire Station Is Important Step for Tysons — Fire Station 44 “will be an important piece of the public-safety puzzle as the county continues its long-term transformation of Tysons from a suburban office center to an ‘urban lifestyle’ community,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said at the grand opening ceremony on Sept. 18. The station, which is in Tysons East, will eventually be complemented by Station 29 on the western side of Tysons. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Vienna Oktoberfest Still Looking for Volunteers — The Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna are still seeking volunteers to assist with the 13th Vienna Oktoberfest on Saturday (Oct. 2). The festival is in need of people 21 and older to serve as ID checkers and beer garden ticket sellers. Interested volunteers can sign up online for two-hour shifts, though anyone who volunteers for five hours or longer will get a meal voucher. [VBA]

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Morning Notes

(Updated at 8:40 a.m.) Flood Watch in Effect — Fairfax County is under a Flood Watch into this afternoon, as “significant” rain is expected. Several roads have been closed due to flooding or downed trees, including Potomac River Road at Georgetown Pike, Lawyers Road at Hunter Mill, and Old Courthouse at Besley Road. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, FCPD]

Suspect in Tysons Sexual Assault Charged in New Incident — Fairfax County police have filed new sexual assault charges against a Woodbridge man who was arrested on Sept. 3 in connection with a sexual assault reported at a Tysons hotel in July. Reported on Aug. 26, the second incident involved the man allegedly assaulting a woman he’d arranged to meet at a hotel in the Seven Corners area. [Patch]

FCPS Shares SAT Results — The Class of 2021 performed above the national average on the SAT with just a 4.4% drop in participation, compared to a 31.4% global decline, despite the challenges of conducting standardized testing during the pandemic, Fairfax County Public Schools reported yesterday (Wednesday). Results from the College Board showed that Asian and white students recorded higher average scores than their Black and Hispanic counterparts. [WTOP]

Area Officials Consider Prioritizing Equity in Planning — The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments board will vote on Oct. 13 on a regional transportation and land use plan that would prioritize low-income residents and communities of color when allocating funds for affordable housing, transportation, and other projects. Planners say the move would help address disparities in health outcomes and access to transit and other services. [The Washington Post]

Tysons Media Company Has Suitors — “Tegna Inc. (NYSE: TGNA), the Tysons-based operator of dozens of U.S. television stations, said Tuesday it has recently received multiple acquisition proposals — a new round of overtures after offers last year were pulled as the Covid-19 pandemic was taking hold. According to reports, media mogul Byron Allen is teaming with alternative investment firm Ares Management Corp. (NYSE: ARES) on a bid, while private equity giant Apollo Global Management Inc. (NYSE: APO) and Standard General LP are joining on another.” [Washington Business Journal]

Regional Park Authority Founders Celebrated — The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority recently lauded the achievements of its founders, including conservationist Ira Gabrielson, who gave land to Fairfax County that became Oakton’s Gabrielson Gardens Park. Started 62 years ago, NOVA Parks has preserved more than 12,000 acres of land and oversees attractions like the Washington & Old Dominion Regional Trail. [Sun Gazette]

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