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by Jennifer van der Kleut — October 26, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

elden-street-wideningVirginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials will hold a public meeting Thursday to show its place for a proposed design for the widening of Elden Street between Monroe Street and the Fairfax County Parkway in Herndon.

Officials hope the project will reduce traffic congestion, improve safety and enhance access to and from the busy Fairfax County Parkway.

Planned improvements include widening East Elden Street (Route 606) from four lanes to six between Herndon Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway, as well as improving access management from Van Buren Street to Herndon Parkway.

Other planned improvements include a new raised median with streetscaping between Van Buren Street and Herndon Parkway, moving utilities between Monroe Street and Fairfax County Parkway underground, and replacing the culvert over Sugarland Run with a new bridge.

The proposed design also features accommodations for cyclists and pedestrians, including enhanced facilities like on-street bike lanes between Monroe Street and Herndon Parkway, and off-street bike lanes from east of Herndon Parkway to Fairfax County Parkway.

VDOT officials say they hope to have plans approved by the spring, though it could take a few years to receive authorization for right-of-way funding, and to advertise to potential construction companies for the job. All in all, construction could begin in the spring of 2022.

The total costs of the project, including preliminary engineering, right-of-way and construction, add up to just under $35 million.

Thursday’s meeting will take place at the Herndon Senior Center, located at 873 Grace St. The public is invited to drop by to view the plans and talk with officials anytime between 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Comments can also be sent to VDOT directly anytime before Nov. 28. by e-mailing [email protected] or by sending mail to Mr. Hamid Misaghian, P.E., Project Manager, Virginia Department of Transportation, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA, 22030.

View the East Elden Street Widening project page online for more information.

Image: VDOT/Google Maps


by Karen Goff — October 26, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Brandon Guyer/Credit: Cleveland IndiansThe Cleveland Indians got off to an early lead in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series Tuesday when outfielder Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch to force in the Indians’ second run. The Indians went on to crush the Cubs 6-0 and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

If you are looking for a local guy to cheer for, Guyer’s the one.

Guyer, 30, is a 2004 graduate of Herndon High School, where he also was a star tailback for the Hornets. He is still remembered for scoring seven touchdowns — a school single-game record — in the 2003 Homecoming game against West Potomac.

But back to baseball. Guyer was part of the Hornets 19-4 Concorde District championship squad in 2002, which was the last time Herndon won a district title. As a senior, he had 23 RBI, a .483 batting average and was walked 19 times.

He went on to play at the University of Virginia, and then moved through the minors. He briefly made an appearance with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, hitting a home run in his first at-bat against Baltimore.

By 2014, he was back in the majors for good. In 2015, he led the American League in being hit by the most pitches. The Major League single-game record for being hit by pitches is three, and that has happened to Guyer several times, most recently on April, 21 2016. That’s why they call him “La Piñata.”

Guyer — who is married to former Fox5 sports anchor/reporter Lindsay Murphy — was traded to the Indians on Aug. 1.

Look for Guyer as the series continues Wednesday in Cleveland. Game times is 7 p.m. on Fox5.

Photo courtesy Cleveland Indians

by Karen Goff — October 26, 2016 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Crunch fitness at Reston Town Center pavilion/Credit: Crunch

Banks Merge — Reston-based Access National Bank has formed a merger with Middleburg Financial Corp. After the merger, Middleburg Bank offices (including a branch in Reston) will continue to operate under the name of Middleburg Bank; the existing Access offices will continue to carry the name Access National Bank. [Loudoun Now]

Reston 2020 Transportation District Petition — Reston advocacy group Reston 2020 has started a Change.org petition against the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors potential plans to institute a Transportation Service District (TSD) to partly fund $2.6 billlion in road improvements in Reston’s high-density areas. [Change.org]

Nearby: Herndon Gets Historical Marker — Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel last week unveiled a sign marking the town’s “Big Fire” of 1917. [Fairfax Times]

Lake Anne ES Needs Career Day Speakers — Lake Anne Elementary School is searching for alumni to come speak at the school on its March 28 Career Day. “We feel it will inspire our students to make connections with previous Lake Anne students and see what our graduates have achieved,” say Lake Anne administrators. If interested, please fill out linked form by Dec. 31. [Lake Anne ES]

Reston Man Competes on “Jeopardy” — He didn’t win. [Restonian]

Photo: Crunch Fitness Monday workout at Reston Town Center pavilion/Credit: Crunch Fitness 

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — October 26, 2016 at 7:00 am 0

ParabonParabon® NanoLabs (Parabon), a Reston-based company, is looking for families to participate in a research study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

In the study, DNA samples from distant relatives will be analyzed to develop innovative kinship and ancestry algorithms and associated laboratory methods to extend familial matching beyond current capabilities.

Traditional DNA methods only allow remains to be identified if DNA from closely related family members is available. Many unidentified Service members, however, do not have living family members who are closely related. This study aims to increase the genetic distance over which kinship can be accurately inferred.

Nano LabsThe enhancements made possible by this research will assist in the identification of the toughest missing personnel cases by “matching” DNA from distant relatives to that of deceased Service members, including those from long past conflicts, such as World War II.

“This cause is personal to us at Parabon. Like many families in America, some of us at the company have loved ones who went missing in action. This study will help us make technological advances that will one day reunite fathers, sons, brothers and uncles with their families. We need volunteers from extended families to make this research possible,” said Paula Armentrout, vice president of Parabon NanoLabs.

Parabon seeks to enroll 50-100 extended families (5 to 10 volunteers per family) to participate in the study. Participating families do not need to have a direct relation to an M.I.A. soldier in order to qualify. Volunteers for the study will simply supply a sample of DNA from a mouth swab and answer questions about their family tree. In return for participation, each volunteer will receive a custom DNA ancestry report and a small stipend. There is no cost to participate.

Those interested in participating in the study can sign up online to be considered.

“Our ideal study participants are all related by blood and come from an extended family network that includes a wide variety of distant relatives, such as second cousins, great-uncles, and grandchildren,” said Ellen Greytak, PhD, Principal Investigator of the study. “We will study the similarity of their DNA and use the knowledge gained to improve our kinship inference methods.”

The Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Emerging Capability & Prototyping is funding this research to help support the Department’s Personnel Accounting mission.

by Karen Goff — October 25, 2016 at 4:20 pm 0

 The public is inivted to the Initiative for Public Art Reston’s (IPAR) annual reception and fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 3.

The non-profit IPAR supports the commitment to public art projects in Reston. The reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Avant’s Resident Lounge, 12025 Town Square St. at Reston Town Center.

The reception includes fine wines, light hors d’oeuvres by South Lakes High School culinary students, live music by South Lakes High School String Quartet, and a live auction.

Tickets start at $50. Sponsorships are available. Visit IPAR’s website for more information and to purchase tickets.

IPAR supports the annual ChalkFest at Reston Town Center; the annual South Lakes High School STEAM Team artwork on Lake Thoreau; sculptures in Reston parks; and mosaics at Dogwood Pool and Reston Association trail underpasses, among other projects.

Photo: Patrick Doughtery’s “Bird in the Hand” sculpture at Reston Town Square Park is an IPAR project/file photo

by Karen Goff — October 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm 6 Comments

RTC West expansion plans/Credit: JBG

The JBG Companies’ Reston Town Center West project has big plans for expansion.

JBG has filed a rezoning application and development plan with Fairfax County Planning to permit the addition of 1.3 million more square feet of development to what is currently being built in the development on Sunset Hills Road about one-quarter of a mile from the future Reston Town Center Metro Station.

The space is currently an office park, which JBG is in the process of repurposing by adding 40,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space to the ground floor of existing buildings. The 13.77-acre property already has two four-story parking garages.

The plan for the second phase calls for about 675,000 square feet of residential (about 700 units) in two multifamily buildings; 650,000 square feet of office space in three new buildings and ground floor retail throughout the property. The plans also call for 3,100 parking spaces.

JBG plans to construct the new office buildings on the southern side of the property along Sunset Hill Road, for maximum visibility from the Dulles Toll Road. The residential towers will be built to the northeast, closer to the W&OD and Town Center Parkway.

The county planning commission hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The first phase of RTC West already has leases signed for a nearly 10,000-square-foot Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Nando’s Peri-Peri and Mezeh Mediterranean Grill. It is expected to open some time in 2017.

by Eve Thompson — October 25, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

Reston Real Estate column banner

This is a sponsored post by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate.

I will never tire of seeing children in their Halloween costumes, roaming the streets (or Lake Anne Plaza or the Reston Town Center) in search of the perfect treat. The joy is a pure delight. Second only, perhaps, to seeing dogs and cats dressed in costumes, roaming the plaza also in search of the perfect treat.

Halloween at Reston Town Center 2015/Credit: Don RennerOn Saturday, Oct. 29, I’m going to get my fill of both.

There are plenty of opportunities for kids and pets to enjoy a little pre-Halloween fun.

Howl-o-Ween on the Plaza

Saturday, Oct. 29, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Being this cute isn’t so ruff. Especially if you are a dog lover! Come down and see the dogs (and a few cats) of Reston in their Howl-o-Ween finery. There are games, there are contests, and there are treats for your furry friends. Festivities start at 1 and continue until 3 p.m. The costume contest starts at 1:30 p.m.

Trick or Treat at Reston Town Center

Saturday, Oct. 29, noon to 4 p.m.

Any child in wearing a costume (maybe one to match the dog?) can celebrate this special day by visiting participating retailers and the Information Center for treats and goodies.

Look for the pumpkin flyer in the window. If you aren’t coming over to Howl-o-ween, be sure to enjoy a spooky, magical performance for all ages by Turley the Magician at 1 pm in Fountain Square.

Howling Halloween Dog Costume Contest, Reston Town Center

Saturday, Oct. 29, 4 p.m.

You can make the rounds with your dog in costume by attending this pet event. Register your dog to participate in the contest and win prizes.

Register online by Oct. 27 or at RTC on Oct. 29  from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (registration table will be located in front of the pavilion).

More information and registration.

Photo: Reston Town Center Halloween 2015/file photo

by Karen Goff — October 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm 4 Comments

Scales of Justice A Reston woman and an accomplice from Washington state were convicted Tuesday of terrorism crimes related to their material support of al-Shabaab, a foreign terrorist organization.

Muna Osman Jama, 36, of Reston and Hinda Osman Dhirane, 46, of Kent, Washington, were found guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization after a bench trial in front of U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga in Alexandria.

“Providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations is a very serious crime,” Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. “These women funneled money to a terrorist organization which was conducting a violent insurgency campaign in Somalia. National security is the top priority in this office and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who provide material support to terrorists.” (more…)

by Karen Goff — October 25, 2016 at 11:30 am 42 Comments

Bob Simon and Karen GoffReaders –

I wanted to let you know this is my last week at Reston Now. I will sign off on Friday.

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, I will start work at a new publication (more on that in a bit).

I want to thank you all for your readership, engagement and story tips over the last three years.

Many of you followed me to Reston Now from Reston Patch when we launched in October of 2013. Local News Now Publisher Scott Brodbeck created Reston Now after I convinced him Reston is a very, very newsy place.

More than 5.1 million unique visitors later, he has no doubts.

Since launching, we’ve been through countless development applications and the community push to save Reston National Golf Course (they succeeded). We’ve celebrated as Reston founder Bob Simon reached 100 and then mourned when he peacefully passed away 17 months later. We welcomed Metro’s Silver Line, watched it spur a new era in Reston development, and soon will fondly remember free parking at Reston Town Center.

You’ve used your imagination to “fill this space” on dozens of Reston retail vacancies (I am still waiting for a organic cafe/bookstore/children’s play space to wisely open). You’ve sent me breaking news photos, penned op-eds and helped people find their lost pets.

I have tried to answer, among other things, why the helicopter is overhead and why your power is out.

But it is time to move on. My new job is at the Washington Business Journal, where I will report on economic development. Before working at hyperlocal sites, I spent 23 years at newspapers. I am looking forward to the structure of being back in a newsroom.

Publisher Brodbeck is committed to keeping Reston Now running. There will be some interim writers and editors while he looks for a quality replacement. Please help all of them by continuing to read, engaging on social media, and sending story tips to [email protected]

I’ve lived in Reston for 19 years, so I will still be around town. I will be reading too. I need to know why the chopper is in the sky or what kind of traffic situation is going to mess up my new commute.


Karen Goff

by Karen Goff — October 25, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Kudos, SLHS Cheerleaders — The South Lakes High School cheerleaders won the Liberty Conference title last week and finished second at the Regional Semifinals the weekend of Oct. 22. They will move…


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