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Pet of the Week: Astro

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

This week’s Reston Pet of the Week is Astro, a goldendoodle who calls Reston home.

Here is what Astro’s owner, Paige, had to say about him:

Astro is a 1 and a half year old goldendoodle who has so much personality!

Astro can be seen carrying his favorite stick proudly around the neighborhood during his walk, or “giving the belly” — his way of asking strangers to give him belly rubs.

Astro loves to pout when his parents leave for work and is equally excited, bouncing between sofa cushions, when they return. Although he is both golden retriever and poodle, he is working on his swimming skills. He will get there some day.

He’s a total goofball who befriends any person or creature he encounters, with the exception of squirrels.

If you see us around Lake Anne or RTC, please say hi!

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Reston Hospital Center Nears Halfway Mark for $72 Million Expansion

Reston Hospital Center is just under the halfway point of its $72 million expansion — on track and on budget for completion by the end of next year.

The completed pieces of the project include renovations of the Women and Children’s Services unit and expansion of the neonatal intensive care unit, along with new paint, flooring and upgraded equipment, Erin Echelmeyer, a hospital spokeswoman, told Reston Now. The West Wing Lobby is also finished, with a revamped lobby area, gift shop, physicians’ lounge and office space, she said.

“It is progressing right along,” Echelmeyer said. “We are on target to complete this second phase of our master facility plan by the end of 2019.”

A breakdown of the pieces of the project still in progress is below:

  • New 18-bed Inpatient Rehabilitation Center
  • Expanded 24-bed Intensive Care Unit
  • Addition of a second lab to the cardiac services unit
  • Renovations to visitor areas including a new cafeteria, a glass concourse, and main entrance and lobby
  • New parking garage for patients and visitors on the West Wing entrance
  • Addition of eight rooms to accommodate high-risk obstetric patients

Construction on a new 403-space parking garage has already begun, which is expected to be done by the end of next summer. The Inpatient Rehabilitation Center is slated to open next month, followed by the Intensive Care Unit in January, Echelmeyer said.

The hospital reopened the emergency room entrance, after having patients enter through the hospital’s main entrance, she said, adding that the emergency room, level II trauma center and pediatric emergency room “are all fully function[al] and accessible from the emergency room entrance.”

This is not the first time the 187-bed hospital, which is part of Tennessee-based health giant HCA Holdings, Inc, has expanded. The hospital embarked on a $40 million expansion between 2012 and 2015, which included a 180,00-square-foot medical office and the addition of four operating rooms and 19 surgical recovery rooms in the surgical department.

The current expansion was announced in 2016, when the hospital hit its 30th anniversary. The phased project will add more than 63,000 square feet of new space to the facility.

Photos Courtesy of HCA Healthcare

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Reston Association Set to Consider Assessment Fee, Budget Tomorrow

Reston Association is set this week to hold a vote and the second public hearing on next year’s budget.

This upcoming meeting will focus on approving the second year of the 2018-2019 budget at the public meeting tomorrow (Thursday) at 6:30 p.m. at RA’s headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive) after the first year of the budget was approved last year.

Larry Butler, RA’s acting CEO, presented his recommendations for the budget at a public hearing last Thursday (Nov. 8). RA board and staff created three drafts of the budget, using 2018 as a baseline.

During the budget process, the RA board directed the association’s staff to increase employee health insurance contributions and to reduce expenses by passing credit card convenience fees along to the cardholder. The association trimmed roughly $300,000 from the initial budget estimates from an earlier draft, according to a Nov. 1 press release.

“This year’s budget was shaped primarily through a wide range of cuts in operating expenses,” the press release said.

If approved, the proposed budget would increase members’ assessment fee by $11, setting the rate at $693. The first draft would have set the annual fee, which helps the association maintain pathways, facilities and recreational areas, at just over $700. Last year’s totaled $682.

The board is also requesting $40,000 from cash reserves to reinstate staff training and $17,545 for staff recruitment and “market rate adjustments for difficult to fill positions,” according to meeting materials to be presented to the board.

After the new assessment is set by the board, RA will mail assessment packets to residents with information about the fees and funding. The payment will be due Jan. 1.

The draft agenda for the meeting is available online.

Photo via Reston Association/Reston Today

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Whittle School & Studios Northern Virginia Open House

Northern Virginia and DMV-Area Families: An innovative and global preschool-Grade 12 school is coming to DC next year – The Whittle School & Studios! Aimed at educating and nurturing curious, compassionate global citizens, The Whittle School is the brainchild of…

Wednesday Morning Notes

Deep dive into Reston sports — Bill Bouie gave a presentation on the history of sports, pioneers, players and playing fields in Reston’s sports. A complete recording of the event, which was organized by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum on Nov. 8, is available online. [YouTube/Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

The Lake House open house today — Reston Association continues its marathon of open houses today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents can enjoy light refreshments and chat with staff to learn more about multipurpose uses of the space. [Reston Association]

From Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins — In a note to Reston Now, Hudgins offered a few words about the coming of Amazon’s HQ2 to Crystal City: “As often partners in many regional endeavors, I am glad to acknowledge Arlington’s success and note that the entire Commonwealth is advantaged by the HQ2 announcement.  Look forward to Fairfax County continuing to work together for the betterment of the region and the Commonwealth.”

Photo by Twitter user @MrErrett

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What is in Home Personal Training?

These days many of us are busy and don’t have time to go to the gym. In-home personal training is something that On the Go Fitness pro is offering in Northern Virginia. Our goal is to help those that can’t make it to the gym because of busy family or work schedules.

Going to the gym can be challenging and we hold our clients accountable by showing up at their doorstep with everything they need for a workout. We provide nutritional and workout advice. Our mission to help clients get to their goals with us right by their side to help them get results.

In-home personal training provides accountability, saves time and money. If you’re a person that won’t work out on your own, then in-home personal training might be right for you. We offer one free session to try our services before you buy.

Check out our blog, Do I need a personal trainer: https://www.onthegofitnesspro.com/do-i-need-a-personal-trainer/.

Greater Reston Arts Center to Expand Classroom Art Experiences

Greater Reston Arts Center will expand its classroom arts immersion program in the coming months after receiving a grant from ARTSFAIRFAX. Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency.

Funding will help the organization boost its Emerging Visions program, which provides opportunities for K-12 students to directly engage with contemporary art in their classroom.

ARTSFAIRFAX, legally known as the Arts Council of Fairfax County, is a nonprofit organization that is funded by the county, corporations, foundations, individuals, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. It seeks to foster a dynamic and diverse local arts community.

“Over the years GRACE has become known and loved for its GRACE Art and Emerging Visions art enrichment programs,” said GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. “With the generous support of ARTSFAIRFAX we are now able to take the best parts of our existing programs, expand those in close conversation with FCPS, and make a greater impact on more young artists.”

GRACE offered the following information about Emerging Visions:

Emerging Visions provides art enrichment content to educators based on a GRACE exhibition. Focusing on one exhibition a year, GRACE–working directly with Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) art educators–will develop content and supporting concepts to integrate into classroom curriculum for each stage of schooling, K-12. Previously, the program was only available at the high school level and GRACE-produced content was more limited. The selected exhibition for 2018-19 is Green Is the Secret Color To Make Gold, featuring new work by Caitlin Teal Price, currently on view.

Student artwork will be exhibited as part of the Emerging Visions exhibition at GRACE in March 2019.

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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‘The Color of Law’ Author to Lead Reston’s Housing Inclusiveness Discussion

What can Fairfax do to make Reston more affordable and diverse?

Richard Rothstein, author of “Color of Law: The Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America,” will lead a discussion on how housing policy impacts equitability and inclusiveness in Northern Virginia communities.

The free event will be hosted at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) at 5 p.m. on Nov. 29. Registration is available online.

Housing inclusivity has been an ongoing discussion in Reston with county officials working to implement a series of ambitious housing affordability goals by the end of the decade. The average rent in Fairfax County is between $1,700 and $1,800 a month, but half of the jobs in the area earn less than $50,000 annually.

Following Rothstein’s comments will be a panel discussion with local housing experts about future plans for the area’s housing.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the box office for $15, and Rothstein will be available after the lecture for book signings.

Photo via Liveright Publishing

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With Amazon’s HQ2 Decision, A Windfall Expected for Reston, Northern Virginia

Amazon’s decision to bring its second headquarters to Crystal City is sure to send an immediate and impactful jolt across Arlington, but what’s less clear is how the coming of the technology giant will impact Northern Virginia as a whole.

Although Reston is couched far from Arlington, the community could see a windfall from the new headquarters, which will be split between Arlington and Long Island City, especially with the community’s onboarding to the Silver Line and a planned expansion in development and redevelopment over the next two decades. 

Business leaders in the area portend the coming of Amazon will help expedite the transformation of communities like Reston from a federal government town to a technology corridor. That transition is already taking place with the coming of new headquarters like Leidos, a scientific research company, to Reston’s new developments.

Mark Ingrao, CEO and president of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, said secondary and tertiary businesses lured by Amazon’s foothold in Arlington may be enticed to set up shop in new and emerging developments in Reston around the Silver Line.

“It is going to be a prime opportunity to relocate here in an area that’s new and right on the Silver Line,” Ingrao told Reston Now.

Additionally, limitations in the amount and affordability of housing stock in Arlington could push some employees and residents to find housing in Reston’s transit station areas, which are in the process of major transformation and redevelopment. The move could also diversify Reston’s workforce, Ingrao said.

But the move is not without challenges, ushering in associated concerns about infrastructure and transportation impacts that have long plagued discussions about future development in Reston.

Ingrao is optimistic that the coming of tech giants like Amazon will help expedite county and state discussions about needed transportation infrastructure improvements and encourage officials to tackle them in a “more direct way.”

“At the end of the day, it should force local government and others to really concentrate on the infrastructure needs and get them addressed sooner rather than later,” Ingrao said.

Here’s more from what county officials and business leaders are saying about the decision.

“Having HQ2 in Northern Virginia will bring important jobs, business diversity and more innovative technology to the area,” said Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “We look forward to continuing to work with Amazon Web Services to expand its presence here and are excited to collaborate with other innovative companies that will be putting down roots in Fairfax County soon.”

“We congratulate Arlington and Alexandria on being selected in the process for Amazon HQ2,’ said Buddy Rizer, director of Loudoun Economic Development. “We consider this a win for the entire region. Many of Loudoun’s highly educated professionals will join the Amazon workforce, and many of Loudoun’s wine country and other retail and recreation venues will become favorite destinations for Amazon employees throughout the Northern Virginia/DC Metro region. We will continue to market Loudoun County as a world-class location for global businesses like Amazon, and we look forward to making some exciting announcements about new Loudoun companies soon.”

Photo courtesy Crystal City BID

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Crime Roundup: Discovery of Body Remains Under Investigation

The discovery of a body on the 1500 block of Browns Chapel Road remains under investigation.

The Fairfax County Police Department has not released any additional details about the incident. The body was found the morning of Nov. 2. No information about the nature of the investigation was available as of today (Tuesday).

Major crime incidents were minimal this week, but FCPD did report the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

11200 block of Chestnut Grove Square, cash from location

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, watch from residence

1900 block of Reston Metro Plaza, electronic devices from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

As we reported last week, four men were arrested after a high-speed police pursuit Wednesday night.

Photo via FCPD

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Decreasing the chances of opioid addiction — The director of neurosurgery trauma at Reston Hospital Center is using a new technique to reduce the chances of opioid addiction following major surgery.

Nearby: Amazon HQ2 decision coming close — “New York City and Northern Virginia will be the homes for Amazon’s second and third headquarters, according to people familiar with the matter, ending a more than yearlong public contest that started with 238 candidates and ended with a surprise split of its so-called HQ2.” [Wall Street Journal]

An honorable retirement — Old Glory can sometimes get old, tattered and torn. If you need to dispose of an American flag, there are several available locations in the county to do so, including the Reston District Station, the lobby of the government center in Fairfax and the I-66 and I-95 transfer stations. [Fairfax County Government]

The report card is in for Comstock — Comstock Holding Companies reported total revenue of $14.9 million, as compared to $13.8 million around this time last year. [Global Newswire]

Updates about the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department — The annual report for the department, which offers an overview into programs, services, and progress, is out. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Photo by Gail Crockett

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