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COMSTOCK FOR DELEGATE BLOG

The Comstock Connection 4/23/13
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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In This Issue
Highlights From Events Around The District
Technology Industry
Education
Quality Of Life
Upcoming Townhall Meetings
Save The Date
Contact Me

District Office:
PO Box 6156
McLean, VA 22106
(703) 772-7168
April 23, 2013

Dear Friends,

Spring is here! As always, we want to keep up to date with you in the 34th District and hear from you on any of your concerns. Thank you all for your continued input, advice and support.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact my office on matters of concern to you. I can be reached by email at delbcomstock@house.virginia.gov or by phone at 703-772-7168.

Highlights From Events Around The District
Little League Opening Day Ceremonies
The last few weekends have been filled with talk of spring, baseball and local Little League Opening Day Ceremonies. I had a great time at the Loudoun, McLean, Vienna and Great Falls celebrations. Best of luck to all of the teams, coaches and players this season!
Westbriar Elementary School Science Fair

I had the pleasure of meeting with local students at Westbriar Elementary School for their schoolwide science fair. A special thanks to student ambassadors Joseph Kwartin, Alexander Ganten, and Grace Bennett for showing me all their classmates' projects. All participants did a great job!

Ian Cunningham's Eagle Scout Court Of Honor Ceremony

Congratulations to Ian Cunningham of Sterling's Boy Scout Troop 572 who earned the rank of Eagle Scout at his Court of Honor Ceremony on Saturday, March 9th. Ian, this achievement attests to your outstanding organizational and leadership skills, along with your deep commitment to reach this goal. You should be proud of your accomplishments. I'm honored that I was able to share this special day with you.

Technology Industry Update
Data Centers

Loudoun Business recently dubbed Northern Virginia as the "Silicon Valley of the East" with 7 million square feet of data center space under construction or in development and another 2 million square feet of space proposed. Data centers bring jobs and educated, skilled workers to Northern Virginia. Both last year and this year I passed legislation which will aid the growing data center industry.

House Bill 216, which I passed last year, provides tax incentives for the large and growing business of data centers. The industry is expected to grow by hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years and this legislation will help keep Virginia a top destination for this industry and diversify our economy by focusing on private sector commercial markets where we have a competitive advantage. This bill was supported by state and local Chambers of Commerce, and was a top priority of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC). The bill I passed this year, House Bill 1699, provides more flexibility to our local governments to provide tax incentives for data center job growth. Both bills will help Virginia take the lead in the 21st century job market.

Governor McDonnell Announces Creation of MACH37™, America's Premier Market-Centric Cyber Security Accelerator

Governor Bob McDonnell announced on April 11 the creation of MACH37™, America's premier market-centric cyber security accelerator to be located at the Center for Innovative Technology. Initially funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the accelerator will leverage private investments to launch new, high growth cyber technology companies in Virginia. The MACH37™ Cyber Accelerator was designed to model successful practices deployed in existing accelerators, such as the Y Combinator, TechStars and 500 Startups, but with a concentrated focus on cyber security startup companies. MACH37™ establishes a highly integrated network of hundreds of cyber security experts to support the earliest stages of company development.

Jim Duffey, Virginia's Secretary of Technology, said, "The active ingredient that enables the accelerator to reduce startup development time is CIT's sophisticated network of cyber experts, technologists and investors that will be integrated with entrepreneurs from the start of the 90-day session and throughout their early years of company formation."

"Cyber security is widely recognized by policymakers and industry leaders as crucial to safeguarding our national security and protecting the nation's economy. MACH37™ will foster Virginia's global leadership in cyber security by cultivating and accelerating the development of innovative technology solutions that can be deployed in new and existing client markets," said Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC). "NVTC is excited to support MACH37™, which will be an important component of the growing cyber security sector in the Commonwealth."

The MACH37™ Cyber Accelerator will be open to accept applications in early June 2013, with the first session to be held in September 2013. Additional information regarding the session and accelerator will be available at www.MACH37.com.

Update On Education Initiatives

More In-State Spots For Our Local College Students

One of the issues I constantly hear about is the difficulty of our Northern Virginia high school students to get into our state colleges and universities. When our students do not get into our state schools college costs can skyrocket and even be out of reach for many families. Our students should be assured of more in state spots at our colleges. That is why I introduced House Bill 1700 which called for more in-state spots for our colleges and universities. This legislation would have required that by the start of the 2018-2019 academic year at least 75 percent of students admitted and enrolled at Virginia colleges be residents of the Commonwealth. Although the bill did not pass, we did get continued funding for an additional 1,700 spots at Virginia public institutions of higher education. I will continue to make this issue a top priority for our students and continue to push for this legislation.

2% Teacher Pay Raise

This year, the state budget included the state's share of funding for a 2% pay raise for teachers. Each locality will have to decide whether or not to support the salary increase. If a locality decides to support the pay raise, that locality will have to provide its share of the 2% pay increase as matching local funds to complement the state's share of the salary increase. The locality can get the full allotment for the state portion of a full year's 2% increase even if the school system only opts to give the increase for half the year. This accommodation was made to stretch the state money further if the locality couldn't match a full year's increase. If a locality declines to support the 2% pay raise, then the locality would not be eligible to receive the state funding for the pay raise. I certainly hope our local officials will take advantage of this opportunity to increase the salaries for our teachers.

Improving Our Quality Of Life
Tysons Save The Last Forest Photo Exhibit At First Stage Tysons

On Saturday, April 6th Tysons Save The Last Forest Coalition celebrated their successful community efforts at a reception showcasing photos of Old Courthouse Spring Branch Valley Park.

In September I joined members of the Vienna community and met with the members of this neighborhood coalition to Save Tysons Last Forest. Hundreds of Vienna residents opposed the Fairfax County Department of Transportation's proposed "Option 3" of the Dulles Toll Road Ramp Study to build a highway ramp through the valuable stream valley. I signed the petition along with my local colleagues at the Virginia General Assembly and sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors asking that the proposal be eliminated from further study. On January 15, 2013 the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors eliminated Option 3, the Boone Boulevard Ramp, from the Tysons Development Plan.

I'm pleased that federal, state and local officials were able to work together with all of you to eliminate this option and that Tysons Last Forest will not be threatened by this misguided effort. The other options also turn out to have a lower impact and a lower cost so this is a good result for all. I want to especially thank everyone in the coalition for all of the efforts in advocating for the fifteen homeowners associations in Tysons Corner and Vienna. They provided professional and quality information to all of the officials involved which allowed everyone involved to make an informed decision.

Funding Secured For Sound Wall At Scotts Run Community

On April 8th, I announced that funding has been approved for construction of a sound wall in our community. Section 13-A has been a long-time gap in sound wall which has left our neighbors living on Scotts Run, Helga Place and Saigon Road with a considerable amount of traffic noise from the Capital Beltway. The Virginia Department of Transportation announced that the bidding closed on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 with an estimated construction cost of $3 million. The contract will now be sent to the Commonwealth Transportation Board for approval before construction can begin on Section 13-A.

I am pleased we have resolved this longstanding problem and that construction of the sound wall will now move forward. The Virginia Department of Transportation has worked with us and all the leaders in the community and recognized that this solution best serves our neighborhoods. I understand that the noise from the Capital Beltway greatly impacts everything from home values to your every day quality of life. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of our leaders in the community who gave many countless hours of their time working with the Virginia Department of Transportation and with Garrett Moore, Congressman Frank Wolf and me to make this positive and much needed solution a reality.

May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

This legislative session, Governor McDonnell signed my bill, House Bill 1933, otherwise known as the "Lyme Disease Information Disclosure Act." Effective on July 1, this measure will require physicians to provide disclosure to people who are tested for Lyme Disease about problems with testing reliability.

Passage of this legislation is important to so many of my constituents who have Lyme Disease or have someone in their life who suffers from this disease. So often, they go untreated and undiagnosed for months and even years. With the passage of this bill, we can focus on getting information about testing problems directly to patients so they can seek additional testing, if necessary, as well as appropriate treatment.

Last year, I passed a resolution to permanently designate May as Lyme Disease awareness month in Virginia. The resolution was passed by both the House of Delegates and the Senate unanimously and will help to raise awareness about this debilitating disease. In recognition of this resolution, last year the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors declared 2012 "Lyme Disease Awareness Year," created the Loudoun Lyme Disease Commission, and adopted a ten-point action plan to mitigate Lyme Disease.

Loudoun County recently announced their official launch of the Loudoun Targets Lyme Initiative. The initiative will provide information on steps Loudoun residents can take to stay safe from Lyme Disease through the webpage www.loudoun.gov/loudountargetslyme, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loudountargetslyme, and at venues thoughout the county, including the upcoming "Loudoun Health for Life Day," Saturday, April 13, 2013 at Gum Springs Library.

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings and Events

Human Trafficking

In May, I will be hosting a community forum with Congressman Wolf, Delegate Hugo, policy leaders, and other state and local officials to raise awareness on human trafficking in our area. More information about the event is below.

This General Assembly session, my colleagues and I introduced several pieces of legislation to combat human trafficking in the Commonwealth. I was a chief co-patron of House Bill 1606 which was a priority piece of legislation for our bipartisan human trafficking coalition. This measure makes the soliciting a minor a Class 5 Felony and is currently awaiting Governor McDonnell's signature. Another bill, House Bill 1870, would allow a multijurisdiction grand jury to investigate human trafficking activities in cases where the suspect received money for procuring another individual to engage in prostitution. House Bill 1870 was signed by the Governor on March 5th and will go into effect on July 1, 2013.

Edwin Barcus Jr., 27, of Georgia, recently pleaded guilty to running a commercial sex business that prostituted at least seven juvenile girls in Herndon, Virginia, and other locations throughout Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. In November 2012, Barcus was prostituting at least one juvenile in Herndon, Virginia, while another member of his organization was prostituting other females in Atlanta, Georgia.

Human Trafficking Forum

DATE AND TIME:

Friday, May 3, 2013, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

LOCATION:

McLean Community Center, Community Hall, 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean, Virginia 22101

PARTICIPANTS:

Congressman Frank Wolf (VA-10)

Delegate Tim Hugo, 40th District

Delegate Barbara Comstock, 34th District

Detective Bill Woolf , Fairfax County Police Department

Dr. Courtney Gaskins, Youth For Tommorrow

Staca Shehan, National Center For Missing and Exploited Children

Holly Alfano, NATSO

Sarah Pomeroy, President of Richmond Justice Initiative

Texting While Driving

April is Distracted Driving Month here in Virginia. Click here to read the latest release from Drive Smart Virginia, a group pioneering the effort to raise awareness about distracted driving.

With the help of Drive Smart Virginia and my colleagues this session, we were able to pass House Bill 1907 which would shift the penalty for texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense. This is an important bill, of which I am a co-patron, that will have a real impact on the health and safety of our children and citizens.

We need to continue to publicize this issue through public service announcements and education efforts as well as community efforts. We all know of dangerous and even deadly situations that have occurred from this increasing problem. Under this legislation, officers would now be empowered to stop a driver and immediately issue a citation to an individual who is texting while driving. The penalty issued for texting while driving would include $125 for the first offense and $250 for each offense thereafter.

This legislation was signed by the Governor and will go into effect on July 1, 2013. I will be hosting another community forum in May emphasizing raising awareness about the dangers of texting while driving. More information about this event is below.

Forum On Dangers Of Texting While Driving

DATE: Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

**NOTE TIME CHANGE

LOCATION: Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Sterling, Virginia 20164

PANEL MEMBERS:

Tom Pecoraro, President, I Drive Smart

Loudoun County Algonkian Supervisor Suzanne Volpe

Loudoun County Algonkian School Board Member Debbie Rose

Update: Beach Mill Road Bridge Replacement Project

According to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), preliminary work on the new Beach Mill Road Bridge over Nichols Run in Great Falls will tentatively begin in late April. On at least four (4) weekends during the period April 26 to June 19, 2013 Beach Mill Road, between Utterback Store Road and Springvale Road, will be closed to through traffic from 9:00 p.m. Friday to 5:00 a.m. Monday. Closure is required so that the contractor can install pre-drilled piles for the foundation of the proposed bridge structure. These closures will be posted on message boards in advance and will not be scheduled over the Memorial Day weekend. The road will remain open for traffic on weekdays.

The road will close completely on June 19, the day after Fairfax County Public Schools end for academic year 2012-2013. As planned, the project will be completed before the new school year begins.

During construction, private driveway and local access on Beach Mill Road between Utterback Store Road and Springvale Road up to the project site will be maintained for local residents. All through traffic will be detoured via Springvale Road, Georgetown Pike (Route 193), and Utterback Store Road. See http://goo.gl/maps/3y4c7 for the detour route. For more information on the project, see: http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/beach_mill_road_bridge_replacement.asp.

Great Falls Day Celebration

The Great Falls Historical Society is presenting Great Falls Day on Sunday, May 5th, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic Georgetown Pike. The festival is from noon until 6:00 p.m. at the Great Falls Grange Park, 9818 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, Virginia. Admission is free.

The Great Falls Historical Society is showcasing this local and national treasure by sponsoring this family-friendly event at the Great Falls Grange Park. The festival will feature 20 history tents of the early families of Great Falls, vividly depicting life along The Pike, work at the grain mills, the farms, and everyday life in the village. Live entertainment, food treats from local noted chefs, historic games for the kids, and more, will be part of the festival.

Save The Date
  • Every Friday- McLean Farmer's Market from 8:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m. at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean Virginia 22101
  • Every Saturday- Great Falls Farmer's Market from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Great Falls Village Green Day School, 790 Walker Rd., Great Falls, Virginia 22066
  • First Wednesday of Each Month- McLean Citizens Association Meetings at 8:00 p.m. at the McLean Community Center,1234 Ingleside Ave.,McLean, Virginia 22101
  • Second Tuesday of Each Month- Great Falls Citizens Association Meetings at 7:30 p.m. at the Grange, 9818 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, Virginia 22066
  • Saturday, April 27th- McLean Community Center "Be Fit Outdoor Expo" from 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at the Old Firehouse Teen Center, 1440 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia 22101.
  • Saturday, April 27th- Relay For Life Event at Langley High School from 6:00 p.m.-6:00 a.m. at the Langley High School Football Field, 6520 Georgetown Pike, McLean, Virginia 22101.
  • Saturday, April 27th- 2nd Annual Taste of Vienna Festival from 11:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, 400 Center Street S, Vienna, Virginia 22180.
  • Sunday, April 28th- 39th Annual Walk On The Hill with Historic Vienna, Inc. from 2:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. in Vienna's Windover Heights Historic District.
  • Wednesday, May 1st- McLean Kitchen and Garden Tour to Benefit The Wounded Warrior Project from 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. on Holyrood Drive and Countryside Court. For more information, call the Woman's Club at (703) 556-0197 or send an e-mail to sheridan2@cox.net.
  • Thursday, May 2nd- National Day of Prayer Ceremony with Loudoun Awakening from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors' Chamber, Loudoun County Government Center, #1 Harrison Street SE, Leesburg, Virginia 20175.
  • Thursday, May 2nd- Fairfax Korean Cultural Festival from 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at the Stacy C. Sherwood Center, 3740 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA.
  • Tuesday, May 7th- GFCA Transportation Committee Meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Falls Library Conference Room, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, Virginia 22066.
  • Thursday, May 9th- Loudoun Lyme Commission Hosts "Keeping Kids Safe From Lyme Event" at 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Frederick Douglass Elementary School, Gymnasium, 510 Principal Drummond Way SE, Leesburg, Virginia.
  • Tuesday, May 14th- McLean Citizens Association Committee Meeting at 7:30 p.m., McLean Community Center, Maffitt Room, 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean.

I try to be accessible to my constituents in as many ways as possible. For more information, please visit my website, www.delegatecomstock.com, where you can read my blog for up-to-date information on Virginia, click to follow me on Facebook or Twitter. You can reach me by email at delbcomstock@house.virginia.gov or by phone at 703-772-7168. Please don't hesitate to contact me about issues that concern you.

Sincerely,

Signature
Delegate Barbara Comstock

Paid for and authorized by Friends of Barbara Comstock.









Paid for by Friends of Barbara Comstock.