Metro Leader to Step Down — “After more than six years leading the D.C. region’s transit agency…Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld is retiring. Wiedefeld, 66, will leave his position in six months, Metro Board Chairman Paul C. Smedberg announced in an unexpected statement Tuesday afternoon.” [DCist]
Fairfax County Records First Pedestrian Death of 2022 — Police are investigating a crash that occurred just before midnight on Jan. 8 on Lee Highway at Forum Drive in Fairfax. Joel Gonzalez, 22, of Fairfax was hit by a sedan driving east on Lee Highway and later died from his injuries in a hospital. [FCPD]
Falls Church Supports Voting Rights Bill on MLK Day — “U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Don Beyer joined Edwin Henderson II, founder of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, on Monday to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. with nearly 100 other people at the Tinner Hill Civil Rights Monument in Falls Church.” [Patch]
Website to Order Free At-Home Covid Tests Launches — A federal website where people can order up to four rapid COVID-19 test kits per household is now up and running. The tests will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service and are expected to take seven to 12 days to ship. [NBC News]
Providence District Supervisor Has New Daughter — “Jeffrey and I were thrilled to welcome our new daughter Sivan Esther Friedman into the world on Monday, January 17, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Our little peanut is a little early, (perfect balance, her mother is always late) and weighs in at 4 lbs. 14 oz., but everyone is healthy, and we couldn’t be more over the moon.” [Dalia Palchik]
Local Hybrid Plane Startup Gets Funding Boost — “Lockheed Martin Ventures has invested in Electra.aero Inc., a Falls Church-based hybrid-electric aircraft designer and builder that specializes in a growing air taxi market…The funding will support Electra’s plans to start flight testing its hybrid-electric ultra-short takeoff and landing aircraft (eSTOL) this year, according to a press release.” [Washington Business Journal]
Youngkin’s Teen Son Tried to Vote Twice — The Fairfax County Office of Elections is investigating reports that Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s 17-year-old son attempted to cast a ballot two times on Election Day despite being ineligible to vote. Poll workers told him he couldn’t vote but gave him a form to register for future elections. [NBC4]
Roaming Rooster Opens Doors in Tysons West — “Happy Friday, RR Fam! Our Tysons Corner location is almost ready to hatch. We are having a soft opening this weekend to train our staff. All menu items are 10% off. Please stop by! Grand opening will be announced soon.” [Roaming Rooster/Twitter]
The Boro Resident Criticizes Lack of Accessibility — Retired architect and land developer John G. Colby says the vision of Tysons as an urban center with “‘accessibility for all’ is sadly turning out to be a hollow promise.” The Boro’s second phase is set to be approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors tomorrow (Tuesday) despite having no ADA-reserved curbside parking or streetlights on Westpark Drive, among other issues, he notes. [The Washington Post]
Lucid Motors Opens Tysons Corner Showroom — “Electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors will open a showroom at Tysons Corner Center in Virginia on Saturday [Nov. 6]. It’s the automaker’s 11th showroom to open. Newark, California-based Lucid, founded in 2007, delivered the first of its electric vehicles to customers Oct. 30.” [WTOP]
Robberies Reported in McLean District — A man displayed a firearm and robbed the Tower Market & Deli in the Trillium Apartments complex in Fairfax on Oct. 29, according to Fairfax County police. There was also a robbery in the 7400 block of Lee Highway in the Hollywood Road Park area on Nov. 1, where a man “took the victim’s property by threatening force and left the area in a vehicle.” No injuries were reported in either incident. [FCPD]
The Town of Vienna will hold a public hearing on Nov. 15 to receive feedback about possible changes to how many years a councilmember will serve.
It comes after a new state law ended all local May elections, shifting them to November. The Fairfax County Office of Elections previously said the move will improve voter turnout and save the town from paying certain election-related expenses.
Town council members and the mayor currently serve for two years, with three council seats opening every year and mayoral elections coming on even-numbered years.
Vienna residents will be able to weigh in on options the town has been considering for amending the elections section of its charter at the public hearing. They can also share their own ideas.
“Other options can be submitted by the general public,” town attorney Steven Briglia said at a town council meeting on Monday (Nov. 1). “It’s not limited to any one of the options [that have] been sort of discussed.”
Proposals have included the following:
- No changes to the two-year term length
- Three-year terms for the 2022 election before switching to four-year terms in 2023 and all elections thereafter
- Three-year terms for 2022, then switch to two years for all seats with the 2023 election and subsequent elections
- Two-year terms for three council seats and four-year terms for the other half of the council as well as the mayor
In the last scenario, candidates for the town council would choose whether they want to run for two years or four years.
Councilmember Chuck Anderson said the idea was inspired by an approach used by college boards. The council asked Briglia to investigate whether it would actually be allowed.
The proposals stem in part from a suggestion that the town should hold its elections on odd-numbered years. Councilmember Ed Somers said that would prevent the local races from getting caught up in national elections.
(Updated at 10:30 p.m.) While the Republican Party made headway in today’s heavily watched statewide races, Democrats have maintained their hold on Fairfax County, including in the Tysons area.
According to unofficial election results, incumbents Kathleen Murphy, Mark Keam, Rip Sullivan (District 48), and Marcus Simon (District 53) all won their delegate races.
Murphy, whose 34th District includes parts of McLean and the Wolf Trap area of Vienna, defeated businessman Gary Pan for a second time after they previously faced off in 2019. As of 10 p.m., Murphy led with approximately 58.7% of the vote compared to Pan’s 41.2% — almost the exact same split that they saw two years ago.
“I have represented the values of my constituents and have fought for the issues that matter most to the 34th District,” Murphy said in a statement. “I am grateful that they have sent me back to Richmond to fight for them. Thank you again for putting your faith in me to deliver on our priorities and build on the progress that we have made for the people of the Commonwealth.”
Keam cruised to victory in the 35th District, where he will represent the Town of Vienna, Tysons, and Oakton in the House of Delegates for a sixth term. He led Republican nominee Kevin McGrath with just under 70% of the vote, though 10 of the district’s 22 precincts have not reported results yet.
Sullivan and Simon saw even wider margins of victory.
In the 48th District, which includes southern McLean but predominantly lies in Arlington County, Sullivan beat Republican nominee Edward Monroe with 73% of the electorate, including approximately 66.7% of Fairfax County voters, according to the county’s unofficial returns.
Monroe, a science teacher who lives in McLean, was the first person from either major party to challenge Sullivan since he was originally elected to office in 2014.
Simon will serve a fourth term as delegate for the 53rd House District after garnering the support of 73% of voters in Merrifield, Idylwood, and Falls Church compared to 26.7% for restaurant manager Sarah White, who was the first Republican candidate in the district since Simon’s initial election in 2015.
With all 247 Election Day precincts reporting results just before 10:15 p.m., Fairfax County’s unofficial returns indicate a 53% voter turnout in line with the 50 to 60% turnout predicted by election officials.
More than 170,000 ballots were cast prior to Election Day — 23% of the overall turnout, according to the Fairfax County Office of Elections.
County spokesperson Brian Worthy confirmed reports that workers have to rescan approximately 20,000 ballots that were cast early in person. As of 9:45 p.m., 7,100 of those ballots had been tallied.
Four of the 38 machines that the county used at its early voting sites “had corrupted electronic media” where the votes were recorded, according to Worthy.
“The updated results report on the county website will continue to be updated as we get these additional ballots scanned in,” he said.
Fairfax County voters supported Democrats Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala, and Mark Herring in the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general races, respectively, though the majority of Virginians favored Republican nominees Glenn Youngkin, Winsome Sears, and Jason Miyares, according to the Virginia Department of Elections.
Fairfax County voters also approved public school bonds for renovation projects by a 70% to 30% margin.
Election Day Is Here — “Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin were campaigning in many of the same, highly competitive parts of Virginia on Monday, trying to secure last minute support in a governor’s race that has captured national attention as a major referendum on Joe Biden’s presidency.” [Associated Press/WTOP]
County Leaf Collection Season Begins — “Leaf Season begins today Nov. 1. Fairfax County provides vacuum collection of leaves from the curb three times each season to a portion of the residences located in Fairfax County Solid Waste Collection Areas.” [Supervisor Dalia Palchik/Twitter]
Vienna Could Resume In-Person Meetings Soon — The Town of Vienna’s emergency ordinance allowing council, board, and commission members to participate in public meetings remotely due to COVID-19 concerns is currently set to expire on Dec. 7. It can be extended to Dec. 31 at the latest, but Town Attorney Steven Briglia expects the “broader methods of public participation” introduced during the pandemic will continue to be encouraged. [Sun Gazette]
Marshall HS Drama Plans In-Person Return — “Live theatre is back at Marshall High School after nearly two years. Statesmen Theatre will present William Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Nov. 11 to 13…Masks will be required for admissions, and concessions will not be available.” [Patch]
Last Day of Early Voting Hits Turnout High for 2021 — “Today was an #earlyvoting record for this election; we had more than 14,400 people cast ballots in person. In total, there have been more than 109,000 in person early votes cast!” [Fairfax County Office of Elections/Twitter]
Vigil Held for Falls Church Shooting Victim — “Loved ones gathered on Saturday to remember Nelson Alexander who was fatally shot during an attempted robbery at an ATM in Falls Church. This huge turnout, a testament to how much Nelson Alexander was loved. ‘He was a great person, he was a kind person, and he was a loving person,’ Patricia Alexander, the victim’s niece, said.” [NBC4]
Tysons Corner Nordstrom Adds Hijab Collection — “Ibrahim, CEO and founder of Henna & Hijabs (H&H), started her company in 2017 and introduced her collection this summer at Nordstrom in Tysons Corner Center and other locations around the U.S. This is one of the first luxury hijab collections to be sold inside a U.S. retailer store.” [Patch]
Vandalism Reported at Vienna Elementary School — A security officer for the school at 128 Center Street South reported to the Town of Vienna Police Department “that he found a burnt trashcan by the playground and three broken windows.” The incident occurred between 8 p.m. on Oct. 24 and 6 a.m. on October 25, according to VPD’s weekly crime report. [Vienna Police]
Photo by ERTRIPP9/Twitter
Family of Man Killed in I-495 Crash Starts GoFundMe — “The family of a 24-year-old Washington, D.C., man who died last week in a crash on the Capital Beltway in Fairfax County is holding an online fundraiser to help pay for his funeral expenses. The man, Elson Turcios, died in an early morning crash last Thursday on I-495, according to the Virginia State Police.” [Patch]
Metro Works to Bring More Railcars into Service — Metro is still working to bring back some older trains as crowding and long wait times continue to plague the transit system two weeks after a railcar derailed in Arlington. Officials said they ran 31 trains yesterday (Monday) and hope to improve service next week, though a timeline for the return of the 7000-series cars removed for inspections is still unclear. [DCist]
County Reports Strong Turnout for Sunday Voting — “We had a huge turnout for #earlyvoting this weekend. More than 9,000 people voted on Sat (10/23). On the first ever Sunday (10/24) for early voting, 4,656 people cast ballots! This is the last week to #voteearly” [Fairfax County Office of Elections/Twitter]
Annual Coat Drive Helps Fairfax County Residents and Beyond — “Firefighters, police officers and others in Fairfax County, Virginia, teamed up Monday to bag up 3,000 new winter jackets so they can get them onto the backs and shoulders of kids who need them…Most of the coats went to Fairfax County residents, and in many cases, along the Route 1 corridor. But some were going to places like Prince William County, the city of Alexandria and even into Prince George’s County, Maryland.” [WTOP]
Police Collect Unused Prescription Drugs — Fairfax County police collected 1,406 pounds of unused and expired over-the-counter and prescription medication on Saturday (Oct. 23) as part of the 21st Annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The McLean District Station received 220 pounds, behind West Springfield and Reston Hospital Center. [FCPD]
New Early Voting Sites Open Today — “Fairfax County will open an additional 13 early voting sites starting Thursday, Oct. 21. In total, there will be 16 voting locations available across the county until the last day to vote early on Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. Early voting began last month starting with three sites open.” [Fairfax County Government]
Gallows Road Bridge to Be Demolished This Weekend — “Southbound Gallows Road travel lanes will shift to a new Gallows Road bridge over I-66 during the daytime hours on or about Thursday, October 21. Pedestrian access across I-66 will shift to the sidewalk on the east side of Gallows Road, with detours using the crosswalks at Cottage Street and Avenir Place/Bellforest Drive.” [VDOT]
Local DJ Brings New Restaurant to Tysons Corner — A new Spice Road-inspired restaurant from D.C.-based DJ and music producer Bikram Keith will open at Tysons Corner Center in early November. Located by Nordstrom’s, the 210-seat venue will serve cuisine from the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Northern India in a 5,000 square-foot dining room, lounge, and patio. [Patch, Northern Virginia Magazine]
FCPS Allows for Limited Snow Days — “FCPS has announced updates to its inclement weather policy for the 2021-22 school year. The first five inclement weather days will be traditional inclement weather days…Once these five days have been taken, FCPS will use the flexibility provided by the General Assembly to have unscheduled virtual learning days, wherever possible, to maintain continuity of learning.” [FCPS]
Fairfax County Settles Wrongful Arrest Lawsuit — Fairfax County will pay $390,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by former D.C. firefighter Elon Wilson, who spent almost two years in prison after a police officer arrested him during a traffic stop in 2018, his lawyers said Monday (Oct. 11). A Circuit Court judge vacated Wilson’s conviction in April after police investigators uncovered then-Officer Jonathan A. Freitag’s history of pretextual traffic stops. [The Washington Post]
Pedestrian Hospitalized After Falls Church Crash — “Officers on scene of crash involving pedestrian in 6100 blk of Leesburg Pike. Pedestrian, a man, was taken to hospital w/ life-threatening injuries. Driver remained at scene & taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries.” [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]
Personalized Sample Ballots Coming for Voters — “The Fairfax County Office of Elections is mailing a sample ballot beginning this week to each of the county’s 727,000 registered voters. The mailer also offers other helpful information, including: ways to request a mailed ballot, early voting locations and hours for those who choose to vote before Election Day, [and] each voter’s assigned polling place on Election Day.” [Fairfax County Government]
Vienna Halloween Parade Returns in Full — The Vienna Halloween Parade will be back at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 after being revamped as a drive-by event last year. The parade will return to its normal route along Maple Avenue and surrounding streets with “The Roaring Twenties” as its theme and Rustic Love Vienna and the Vienna VA Foodies as grand marshals. [Patch]
Last Day for Voting Registration in Virginia — Today (Tuesday) is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 2 general election, which will determine Virginia’s next governor, House of Delegates, and other races. New voters and people who need to update their name or address can register online or by visiting the Fairfax County general registrar’s office. [Office of Elections]
Post Service Pilots Paycheck Redemption in Falls Church — The U.S. Postal Service is testing a program where people can redeem paychecks for Visa gift cards, topping out at $500, in Falls Church, Washington, Baltimore and the Bronx. It began in September and could expand to other places, possibly going nationwide after the holiday season. [The Washington Post]
More Overnight I-66 Closures Starting Today — “All lanes of I-66 West approaching Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) will close nightly October 12-14 for continued bridge beam installation at the I-66/I-495 Interchange. Traffic will be detoured using Route 7 and I-495. The ramp from I-495 North to I-66 West, as well as the 495 Express Lanes North, and multiple lanes of I-495 North approaching I-66 will also be closed so that this work may be implemented.” [VDOT]
Falls Church Warns of School Bus Delays — “Falls Church City Public Schools in Virginia is alerting parents that some school bus routes could be delayed because of double runs starting Tuesday. The problem is driver shortages. The announcement comes as many school districts in the D.C. region are experiencing similar issues.” [WTOP]
35th District Delegate Candidate Forum Tonight — The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area is hosting an online candidate forum at 7 p.m. today for Virginia’s 35th House District, which includes the Town of Vienna and part of Tysons. Register in advance to hear the conversation between incumbent Del. Mark Keam (D) and challenger Kevin McGrath (R). [Patch]