Reston, VA

Since 2013, Reston Now has been reporting news about the Reston and Herndon areas. Recently, we started providing additional coverage of Great Falls.

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Dominion Energy plans to roll out eight new electric school buses in Fairfax County Public Schools by the end of the year.

FCPS is one of 16 districts chosen by the company, which will cover the difference between the cost of diesel-fueled and electric buses. Dominion Energy’s vendor, Thomas Built Buses, will provide 50 buses for the first phase of the project.

“This is an innovative, sustainable solution that will help the environment, protect children’s health, make the electric grid stronger, and free up money for our schools,” Dominion Energy Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Farrell, II, said in the press release.

Here’s more from Dominion Energy:

The buses also provide environmental and health benefits through reduced emissions and reduce operation and maintenance costs for schools by up to 60 percent.

Phase two of the project, with state approval, would expand the program to bring at least 1,000 additional electric school buses online by 2025. Once phase two is fully implemented, the buses’ batteries could provide enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes.

Phase three would set the goal to have 50 percent of all diesel bus replacements in Dominion Energy’s footprint be electric by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030.

“Adding electric school buses in our fleet is consistent with the environmental focus of Fairfax County and the school division,” FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand said in the FCPS press release. 

Photo via Unplash

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Christina Frank will host a forum on Parenting in the Digital Age on Sunday, January 26 at 10 a.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

Christina Frank is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Christina is certified in teaching kids, teens and families Digital Citizenship, and uses a systemic perspective to help parents create healthy boundaries while increasing trust and connection within the family. Christina offers community education to both families and professionals hoping to learn about the risks and benefits of technology and social media.

Sunday, January 26 at 10 a.m.
St Peter’s Episcopal Church
4250 N. Glebe Road Arlington, VA 22207

A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Reston Community Orchestra celebrates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through symphonic works, spirituals and songs inspired by his legacy.

The program will consist of a marvelous selection of Negro Spirituals performed by soprano Jasmine

Fairfax County Park Authority Seeks Comment on Fee Increases — “The Fairfax County Park Authority will hold its annual public comment meeting on the agency’s proposed fee adjustments. The public is invited to share their perspectives on the proposals with the Park Authority Board either at the meeting, via correspondence or by email.” [Fairfax County Government]

New Trail Cycling Teen Ride Kicks Off with Free Class — “New Trail Cycling Studio, located at Lake Anne in Reston, is launching its teen program on January 22. Classes will be offered every Wednesday at 4pm for teens ages 12-17. ” [Patch]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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The demolition of a fire station on 1820 Wiehle Avenue has been delayed.

County officials estimated that the demolition, which would make way for a new and larger fire station, would begin in early December. Due to construction delays, it is likely the project will not begin until at least February.

Until then, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said that firefighters will not move into the temporary station until late January.

The $13 million project calls for replacing Reston Fire and Rescue Station 25, which was built in 1972 and last upgraded in 1986, with a two-story station more than double the size of the current site.

The new 17,150-square-foot station will include four bays and is designed to have a more contemporary look.

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Ordinary Days” will open at NextStop Theatre next month.

From Feb. 20 through March 15 at NextStop Theatre (269 Sunset Park Drive), people can enjoy a production that walks viewers through the lives of four young New Yorkers discovering how their paths intersect.

The event page described “Ordinary Days” as “A simple yet heartfelt story about how we search for and make connections in an increasingly chaotic world.”

This specific production was directed by Jay Brock and will star Bobby Libby, Sarah Anne Sillers, Carl Williams and Anna Phillips-Brown.

Ticket prices range from $44-55 and can be reserved online.

Image via NextStop Theatre

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Local police deemed that a “possible threat” directed at Herndon High School earlier this week was not credible, according to school officials.

In an email to parents, Herndon HS Principal Liz Noto stated that police discovered the possible threat on social media.

Police interviewed the student who posted the message and determined there was no risk to the school or students.

The administration did not release any other details about the incident due to piracy restrictions.

For precautionary purposes, the school had extra security present on Wednesday (Jan. 15).

Photo via Fairfax County Public Schools

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A local eighth-grade student earned the highest possible ACT composite score.

Anika Gulati, a student at Rachel Carson Middle School (13618 McLearen Road), is one of less than 0.5 percent of students to earn a top score. In last year’s high school graduating class in the United States, only 4,879 of the 1.8 million students who take the test earn the top score.

Aparajita De, Gulati’s mother, said her 13-year-old daughter took the test “out of curiosity.”

She wanted to see how the test is and how she fares in each of the different sections of the test,” De said.

Composite scores are derived from the average of test scores in English, math, reading and science.

Photo courtesy Aparajita De

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Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Virginia’s government has been termed representative since its start-up in the church in Jamestown in 1619. It took 400 years to achieve true representation as it has this year–more persons of color than ever before, a multi-fold increase in women to 41 of 140, and more ethnic diversity than ever before. While the flip from red to blue partisan control is often mentioned, the more dramatic change is the shift from male to female dominance in leadership. Making up the leadership is the first woman Speaker of the House who happens to also be the first Jewish speaker, the first woman floor leader of either party who happens also to be a woman of color, the first woman clerk of the House of Delegates, the first woman President of the Senate who happens also to be a woman of color, and the first woman chair of the Senate Finance Committee who happens to be my good friend Senator Janet Howell. What a way to start a new session and a new era! We are making herstory!

My committee assignments have changed reflecting the fact that I am once again after two decades serving in the majority party. I will continue to serve on the Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee as I have for 38 years except that now I will be chairing the committee. I expect significant environmental protection legislation will be forthcoming this year. I am returning to the budget-writing Appropriations Committee on which I served for many years before being removed when partisan control of the House changed. I will continue to serve on the renamed Communications, Technology and Innovation Committee of which I was co-chair when it was first organized as the Science and Technology Committee a couple of decades ago. I will also be serving on the newly designated Public Safety Committee taking over the jurisdiction of the former Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee. I am on the Gun Safety subcommittee that I know will be passing meaningful gun safety laws including my universal background checks bill.

Social media posts indicate that there will be more people coming to Capitol grounds this year especially on January 20 to protest the bills that have been introduced to end gun violence. Under rules adopted by the new majority, guns will not be allowed in the Capitol or the Pocahontas Building where legislative offices are. More security measures have been put into place than ever before. Be aware that your visit to the Capitol may take more time with the additional security precautions that are being taken.

There are multiple ways to keep up with what is happening during the session. Daily meetings of the full legislative sessions are live-streamed at House Chamber Stream and Senate Stream. Progress of legislation can be tracked at http://lis.virginia.gov/. Clips of newspaper articles from news sources around the state can be found by signing up at the Virginia Public Access Project website, https://www.vpap.org/about-us/ subscribe/. Communicate with me at [email protected] or 804.698.1036.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Metro Ridership Increases — “Metrorail’s ridership growth trend can now be expressed in years, with the system posting a four-percent increase in passenger trips for the 2019 calendar year, ending a downward trend that lasted most of the prior decade. Total rail ridership was 182 million trips, compared to 175 million in 2018, a net increase of seven million trips, reflecting increasing customer confidence in Metro’s reliability and on-time performance.” [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Reston Indivisibles Join Protest at U.S. Senate — “Eleven members of Herndon-Reston Indivisible join other resisters in peaceful protest at the U.S. Senate to press for trial and removal of President Trump.” [The Connection]

Reston Association Pool and Tennis Passes For Sale — Passes for unlimited access to pools and tennis courts during the 2020 season are available for purchase online. [Reston Association]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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