This is a sponsored article from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. She writes twice weekly on Reston Now
There were eight new properties listed in Reston this week for a total of 111 properties on the market. Inventory continues to shrink as we move into the holiday season — this trend will likely continue into early January, when the listings should start to pick up again. Serious buyers are always looking, so if you’re thinking of listing the low inventory may work to your advantage.
Reston Real Estate is pleased to announce that for every new “LIKE” on our fan page between now and Dec. 31, we will contribute $1.00 to Cornerstones, formerly Reston Interfaith. Click here to like our fan page.
Certainly, it’s a welcome change from the largely barren winters we’ve had the last couple of years. The snow and ice meant a surprise four-day weekend for my daughter Leslie. For my wife and me, this meant working from home.
While I was tapping away on my computer and watching the flakes fall, I thought about the phenomenon of telecommuting. It’s pretty remarkable that technology has advanced to the point where we can be practically as productive outside the office as in it.
One of Bob Simon’s founding principles for Reston was that “the people be able to live and work in the same community.” In a way, telecommuting is the ultimate version of that goal: people living and working in the same house. And there are people who think that this is the future: widespread telecommuting will be what saves us from traffic paralysis and environmental degradation.
Maybe they’re right. But the move toward telecommuting is emblematic of a troubling trend in our society, toward less face-to-face human interaction. That trend runs the risk of damaging our sense of community.
We live in an increasingly atomized society; we spend less and less time in the company of others. For a lot of folks, life is a continuous cycle: from home to work to shopping and back home again. With the new self-checkout feature at grocery stores, you can get in and get out without having to talk to another person at all. It’s a lonely way to live.
Civic and fellowship organizations are a lot less popular than they used to be; so is going out for bridge night. Many of today’s leisure activities can be done at home alone (video games, surfing the
Internet, etc.). Lots of people work out at the gym, but that’s a solitary pursuit too, a time to plug in the headphones and unwind from (or get ready for) the day.
The office is one of the few places where we really spend time with people outside of our families anymore. If we’re no longer going into the office every day, what happens then? We are social creatures; instant messaging and video conferencing aren’t a real substitute for face-to-face contact as our primary source of human interaction.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) biennial Family-School Connections survey shows that 89 percent of parents strongly agree or somewhat agree that their relationships with their children’s schools are consistently positive or stable, the schools system announced Wednesday.
The survey is designed to measure the quality of relationships between families and schools. It was was administered in May to approximately 2,200 randomly selected FCPS families in eight languages.
Key points from the survey include:
The top five item responses were:
- Of all respondents, 96.6 percent of parents “understand the rules and responsibilities for student dress, language, and behavior outlined in the FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook.”
- Of all respondents, 95 percent say their child’s school “communicates with families in multiple ways,” including newsletters, e-mail, phone, website, personal notes, backpack letters, and conversations.
- Of all respondents, 95 percent of parents say their child’s school “keeps all families informed about important issues and events.”
- Of all respondents, 95 percent of parents say their child’s school staff members “respect and value the diversity of families in the community.”
- Of all respondents, 94.5 percent of parents say they “are familiar with the school’s policies and programs.
Among the lower-rated responses:
- Of all respondents, 72 percent of parents say “my child’s teachers help me understand how to best work with my child at home to improve his or her academic progress.”
- Of all respondents, 82 percent of parents say that “if my school can’t help me, it will connect me to someone who can.”
- Of all respondents, 82 percent of parents say “my child’s teachers communicate with me on a regular basis.”
- Of all respondents, 82.6 percent of parents say my “school considers parent input before making important decisions.”
- Of all respondents, 83.5 percent of parents say my “school provides information on other learning opportunities outside the school.”
FCPS says that open-ended responses emphasized positively on the overall quality of their child’s school — including climate, safety, and cleanliness — and less positively on teachers’ understanding of their students’ needs, responsiveness, and willingness to listen.
Satisfaction with schools was similarly positive among all ethnic sub-groups and for all school levels (elementary, middle, and high), as well as for specific program participants, including advanced academic programs, career and technical education, free and reduced meals, English for speakers of other languages, special education, and general education.
Families received either an online survey or paper survey to complete. The overall survey had a 39 percent response rate, 2 percentage points higher than the last survey conducted in 2011.
Frederick Police officers on a patrol beat at the Country Hill Apartments complex in the 1000 block of Heather Ridge Drive observed a pick-up truck with several shopping carts in the bed, according to a police news release.
Officers contacted the driver, identified as Richard Henry Johnson, of the 11000 block of Olde Tiverton Circle, Reston, and the passenger, identified as Haydee Melendez, of the same address, and determined they were stealing the carts to sell for scrap metal, according to the news release.
Police arrested both of Johnson and Melendez and transported them to the Frederick County Detention Center’s central booking unit. The two faces charges of theft less than $1,000 and theft scheme less than $1,000.
Photos: Richard Henry Johnson, Haydee Melendez/Frederick Police
Update, 10:34 a.m. Thursday — Candice Duggar says the family has some immediate needs as they are staying with her temporarily. If those wishing to contribute could help today, donations could be dropped off at 11585 Southington Lane, Herndon.
The family, who wishes to remain anonymous, needs: Pajamas (boys 10-12, girls, 10-12, women’s M-L), toiletries, pillows, blankets and towels. Gift cards to local stores are also welcome.
“She literally left her house with the clothes on her back,” says Duggar.
Original story: Two groups have organized fundraising and supply drives to help a Reston family whose home suffered extensive damage in a fire on Tuesday.
Firefighters say a candle that was accidentally knocked over in the garage sparked the blaze, which caused $260,000 in damage. The first and second floors of the townhouse at 11410 Summer House Ct., as well as the family car, were burned. The family rented the North Reston townhouse and did not have insurance.
“A Reston single mom with two young children, ages 9 and 8, lost everything they have in a house fire on Dec. 10 in Reston,” writes Candice Duggar, a family friend who started a GoFundMe page. “Her friends are trying to help he rebuild her life with the immediate need of housing, clothes and food. There is no insurance to help with expenses and everything they have left can fit in one trash bag. Please consider making a donation to help with a first month rent and security deposit, first months rent, food money, and clothes. Their car was also destroyed in the fire. Thank you for any support you can give no amount is too small.”
Duggar is hoping to raise $15,000. Go to Duggar’s Go Fund Me Page for more information and to make a donation.
Another local group, Our Love Project: Hope Restored, has organized a supply drive for the family, which needs everything from clothing (women’s size 10-12, Boy size 10-2, Girl size 10-12) to toys (Pokemon cards, Barbies), to blankets and toiletries. A complete list of supplies can be found here.
The organizer of the Hope Restored project is hoping to have relief supplies organized by this coming Sunday, Dec. 15, 3 p.m. Donations will be accepted until Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. You may drop-off your items in a drop box at 506 Sherry Ann Court, Leesburg, VA 20175 or contact them for other arrangements by emailing email@example.com.
Photo: Our Love Project
School Board member’s Tweet Earns Him Rock Star Status — Youthful FCPS School Board member Ryan McElveeen (at-large) knows how to reach his audience. His tweet on Monday night that school was closed due to snow on Tuesday was way earlier than the official FCPS announcement. That earned him lots of respect from students (972 rewteets and a bunch of memes!) [McLean High Highlander News]
Congressman John Foust? – Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust said this week he will seek the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, setting the stage for a primary to determine who will take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R). Wolf represents nearby Herndon. [Herndon Patch]
FCPS Has New Website for Parent Advocacy — The site, started by the Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee (MSAOC), will offer tools for parents to learn about various topics and improve communication for a better school experience. [FCPS]
Residents March for Newtown Victims — The Reston-Herndon Committee Against Gun Violence has been marching monthly at Fairfax’s National Rifle Association headquarters since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. last December. The group will hold a vigil again Saturday at 10 a.m. to mark one year since the tragic shooting that killed 26 people, many of them children at Sandy Hook Elementary. Meet at 11250 Waples Mill Rd. in Fairfax (where Waples Mill Road crosses I-66). Signs provided.
President Franklin Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to always be later in November, but he was stopped by merchants who wanted maximum time to sell their goods before Christmas. In those days holiday shopping started the day after Thanksgiving rather than the increasing practice of starting on Thanksgiving evening.
However the schedule is arranged, the last month of the year turns out to be very busy for most everyone, but especially for members of the legislature. The General Assembly session gets underway on Jan. 8, but a great amount of groundwork goes into preparing for it. Beyond taking care of our personal and family responsibilities in December, legislators are rushing to survey constituents on their issues and concerns, get bills drafted and move to Richmond for at least 60 days starting in January.
The two-hour trip from Reston to Richmond – when traffic is moving — means I have to find a temporary place to lease during the legislative session.
The revitalization of downtown Richmond has greatly expanded housing options. Besides the usual hotels that give discounts for a longer stay there are furnished apartments and condominiums available for short-term leasing. Many of those housing units are in older buildings that were factories, warehouses, and stores in the past but have been turned into beautiful apartments that retain much of the original brickwork and heavy wood framing that give them real charm.
Miller and Rhoad — the Macy’s of Richmond for many decades — has been converted into a hotel and condominiums. The Canal Lofts apartment building in which I will be living was originally a Lucky Strike cigarette manufacturing plant. The original tobacco warehouses next door are apartments. My legislative assistant will be renting an apartment in a building that used to be a bank.
Beyond finding a place to live is the most important work of deciding what legislation to introduce and what legislation introduced by others is important to co-sponsor. There is no shortage of local governments, interest groups and individuals to make suggestions. Most of the requests to the professional staff of the House of Delegates to turn an idea or concept into the legal language of a bill are placed in December although such requests continue through to the first week of the session.
Please email your recommendations on needed legislation or support to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senator Janet Howell and I will be having our usual pre-session public hearing on Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Road. Please complete my legislative survey on my website at kenplum.com, or if you need a printed copy of the survey email me your name and address or leave it in a message on my office phone: 703-758-9733.
On Jan. 11, we will be inaugurating Terry McAuliffe as Governor, along with Senator Ralph Northam as Lieutenant Governor and Senator Mark Herring as Attorney General. For details on inaugural activities, visit www.inauguration2014.com.
Ken Plum (D-36) represents Reston in the Virginia General Assembly. He writes weekly on Reston Now.
Units were called to the fire about 1:25 p.m. and found heavy smoke and fire coming from the garage and first floor living area of the three-story, middle unit townhouse.
Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes, a fire rescue spokesman said. Firefighters kept the fire in check and it did not extend to adjacent units.
The fire caused extensive damage to the first and second stories of the home, and minor damage to the top floor.
An adult and two children were home when the fire broke out. They escaped unharmed. The occupants have been displaced. Red Cross support was offered but declined .
Smoke alarms did activate inside the home. There were no injuries.
Damage is estimated at $260,000.
Herndon-Reston FISH (Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help) has a record number of requests for food baskets this holiday season. For Thanksgiving, 500 baskets were distributed and the same number will be distributed in December. Although FISH has held several successful food drives, the nonprofit is short of food for the December baskets.
FISH needs donations of food or money to buy food (please mark cash donations for food baskets).
Donations should be left before Friday, Dec. 13 at:
Bargain Loft (Operated by Herndon-Reston FISH), 336 Victory Parkway Drive, Herndon
For families: Costco sized flats of tuna fish, peanut-butter and soup. They will be spilt up across may food baskets.
For seniors: baskets with the following items listed below, which can be provided separately or as a complete food basket.
2 cans low sodium soup
3 cans 8 oz vegetables or two cans 15oz
1 or 2 cans tuna or protein (salmon, chicken or peanut butter)
1 can low sodium chili ( or main dish)
Beans (1 package dry or 2 small cans)
1 macaroni and cheese
1 package pasta
1 small spaghetti sauce
1 box cereal
1 small juice (juice boxes)
1 tea/coffee – suggest small individual packs
1 small fruit – canned or set of single serve of apple sauce
Know a group that needs holiday help, either through volunteers or donations, this season? Tell us at email@example.com.
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This is a sponsored column by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. She writes twice weekly on Reston Now. For those who like a more traditional, colonial style of home,…
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue is investigating the cause of a fire that broke out about 1:20 p.m. Tuesday at 11410 Summer House Ct. in Reston. The fire began in…