by Karen Goff — April 29, 2016 at 4:15 pm 0

Wiehle-Reston East Map

One of the entrances to the parking garage at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will be closed for two weeks beginning on Monday, May 2, in order for crews to install a fan.

The closure affects the Reston Station Boulevard entrance (the first left) into the garage.

Customers who use the Park-and-Ride facility should enter and depart the Metro station from the primary entrance located next to the Kiss-and-Ride entrance.

With timed lights and a backup accessing Kiss-and-Ride at peak hours, this also may cause some headaches for commuters.

Fairfax County says the fan installation should be complete by May 15.

Fairfax Connector routes will not be affected by the ramp closure at the auxiliary Park-and-Ride entrance on Reston Station Boulevard, and Fairfax Connector riders should not anticipate any delays.

Map courtesy of Fairfax County


by Karen Goff — April 29, 2016 at 2:45 pm 17 Comments

Former Tetra buildingReston Association is gearing up for its first programming at the Lake House, formerly known as the Tetra Building.

RA will open registration next week for “RA Fit Kids” after-school care for the 2016-17 school year. RA spokesman Mike Leone says there are spots for 50 elementary and middle school students.

The structure of the program will be “fit minds, fit bodies and building a fit community,” said Leone.

That means programming will include art, sports and fitness, homework club, nature and cooking, as well as service learning projects.

Here is what you need to know:

Programs for K-sixth graders will be held at the Lake House; middle schoolers will meet next door at Brown’s Chapel.

Hours are 2-6:30 p.m. on school days; 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on teacher workdays and other student holidays.

There will be bus transportation from these Reston schools: Buzz Aldrin, Forest Edge, Hunters Woods, Lake Anne, Terraset, Langston Hughes and Herndon Middle. (more…)

by Karen Goff — April 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm 5 Comments

Nicole Mittendorff/family photoFairfax County Fire and Rescue officials are investigating whether comments on the Fairfax Underground forum may have led to the suicide of Firefighter-Paramedic Nicole Mittendorff.

In a news conference yesterday, Chief Richard Bowers said the department’s preliminary investigation has determined that there was no departmental knowledge of any bullying or harassment regarding Mittendorff prior to her disappearance.

Mittendorf, 31, of Woodbridge, was missing for about a week before her body (and a suicide note) were located in Shenandoah National Park.

It has been reported that Mittendorff had been cyberbullied — possibly by fellow firefighters — on that site.

Bowers said an investigation through the county’s Department of Information and Technology shows a county computer was not used to access Fairfax Underground, which is an unmoderated.

Said Bowers: “The web forum is independently maintained and not associated with Fairfax County government. At this time, the department does not know if the posts were authored by any county or Fire and Rescue Department employee. Investigators are actively continuing with the investigation and using every resource available.”

Bowers said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue maintains a “zero tolerance'” policy in regards to bullying and harassment of any kind. (more…)

by Karen Goff — April 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm 2 Comments

Grissom1A new book, Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom, hits shelves next week. Its author is Reston resident George Leopold, a veteran technology writer who chronicles the early space explorer who lost his life in a launch pad fire in 1967.

The book is published by Purdue University Press.

Reston Now had a few questions for the first-time author.

Reston Now: Give us a little background on your career as a writer and as a Restonian. How long have you lived here? Is this your first book?

George Leopold: The American space program and the early pioneers that included Gus Grissom were to say the least inspiring. We did what we said we would do. The Apollo moon landings were among America’s greatest technological achievements. We had to go to the moon to fully appreciate all we have here on Earth.

I can remember as a kid watching TV coverage of the Apollo 11 mission. After the dramatic landing and before the historic first moonwalk, NBC ran a two-minute spot that Sunday afternoon sponsored by the Gulf Oil Company about “a place called Reston, Virginia.” (The company had by then wrested control from Bob Simon).

Growing up in Wisconsin, I could not have imagined that one day I would call Reston home. My family moved here in 1998, largely because my wife, Ellen Seefelt, works as a biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey. It was among the best moves we ever made. Needless to say, I was thrilled when my son attended Buzz Aldrin Elementary School.

I have worked as a technology journalist and science writer since the mid-1980s. Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Time of Gus Grissom is my first book.

RN: What makes Gus Grissom an appealing book subject?

GL: Gus Grissom is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, 20 miles as the crow flies from Reston. His death, along with his crewmates Edward White and Roger Chaffee, in a launch pad fire nearly 50 years ago was the defining moment of the Space Race. Their sacrifice shook NASA to its core, forced a thorough reassessment of the Apollo program that reasserted the absolute necessity for crew safety.

Without the sacrifice of Grissom and his crew, it’s unlikely we would have made good on our declaration to reach the moon by the end of the 1960s.

Grissom’s death at the age of 40 also meant his pivotal role in the Space Race is underappreciated. Unlike the other early astronauts, he never got the opportunity to publish his memoirs. Grissom faded from memory while others walked on the moon and returned as heroes.

My aim is to explain Grissom’s essential role in the race to the moon, placing his life and career in the context of the history of human space exploration and the Cold War competition between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.

Finally, I have sought to dispel the myth that Grissom was the “hard luck” or “lost” astronaut. He was neither. He knew always where he was going and how he would get there. As my biography illustrates, a series of calculated risks and faulty engineering decisions made in the early 1960s played a far larger role in the astronauts’ untimely death. (more…)

by Karen Goff — April 29, 2016 at 11:30 am 8 Comments

Popeyes remains even though most of Reston International Center is gone

Demolition crews have clear-cut the remaining trees and removed parking lots light poles at what used to be the Reston International Center convenience center.

It’s taken about nine months of work to get ready to construct Phase 2 of Reston Heights — to be called VY at Reston Heights — but it looks as though crews are finally ready to dig and build.

But one structure remains: the stand-alone Popeyes chicken restaurant.

Several Reston Now readers have asked why: Is this a shining beacon of culinary excellence? That’s subjective. A historical building? Not unless “bland 1970s strip mall” is worth preserving.

It’s a matter of business. When JBG began purchasing and assembling the parcels for redevelopment, the owners of the fast food spot at 11850 Sunrise Valley Dr. simply held out.

A bank, two small strip mall centers and the stand-alone Chili’s building all were purchased as the redevelopment was approved by Fairfax County in 2008.

Meanwhile, the 15-story Reston International Center, once the signature high rise of Reston, is also under different ownership and will stay.

VY will be an extension of Reston Heights, where the Sheraton Reston and Westin Reston Heights are located, along with offices and the Mercer Condos. (more…)

by Karen Goff — April 29, 2016 at 10:00 am 1 Comment

Superintendent Karen Garza/FCPSThe Fairfax County School Board voted on Thursday to begin the school year prior to Labor Day, which is a break with the traditional September start.

The vote directs Superintendent Karen Garza to draft a calendar for the 2017-18 school year that begins the school year one week earlier prior to Labor Day. The 2017-18 school year will begin on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, FCPS says.

Garza says this change is being made to provide more instructional time before winter break, enhanced flexibility to help students and school staff members meet college application deadlines, and to end the school year earlier in June.

The 2016-17 school year calendar was approved by the School Board on December 3, 2015; the first day of the 2016-17 school year will be Sept. 6.

The final 2017-18 calendar will be voted on by the School Board in the fall, FCPS says. Residents will have a chance to offer input and opinion.

FCPS this month conducted a survey asking parents and students what they thought of the change.

In Fairfax County, school has for decades started the day after Labor Day in accordance with the Virginia “Kings Dominion” law. (more…)

by Karen Goff — April 29, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Trees for sale at Plaza America

Indie Book Day — Saturday, April 30 is Independent Bookstore Day. Reston’s Scrawl Books, located at Urban Pop at Reston Station, will celebrate all day with treats and special events. Spend $100 and get a free Independent Bookstore Day tote bag. [Scrawl Books]

Reston Home Expo — Reston Association’s Home & Garden Expo is tomorrow at 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr. This free event will feature dozens of home improvement vendors and exhibitors set up under tents around the RA headquarters property. There will be family events, as well as expert advice to homeowners from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Reston Association]

Summer Science and Tech Camps at SLHS — South Lakes High School will host summer STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) and Robotics camps for two one-week sessions this summer. Camp are for students in grade 4-2. [FCPS]

Ice Cream Soon, But Not Saturday — Ben & Jerry’s at Reston Town Center, tentatively scheduled to re-open this weekend, will likely be back in business later this week, the owner said.

Former Herndon Athlete Named To National Team — Taylor Stone, an All-Met field hockey player at Herndon High (Class of ’15) has been selected to USA Field Hockey’s U-19 Team. Stone attends University of Louisville. [Louisville Athletics]

by RestonNow.com — April 29, 2016 at 5:00 am 0

On Fridays, we take a moment to thank our sponsors and advertisers:

Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the business community for the vibrant region.

BLVD, Comstock’s new apartments at Reston Station.

AKG Design Studio, boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales.

The Harrison, luxury apartments near Reston Town Center.

Berry & Berry, PLLC, Reston law firm specializing in federal employment, retirement, labor union, and security clearance matters.

Reston Real Estate, Eve Thompson of Long & Foster Real Estate specializes in Reston homes.

Becky’s Pet Care, offering friendly pet services in Northern Virginia.

Reston Community Center, Serving Reston’s recreational and cultural needs.

MakeOffices, shared work spaces with five area locations, including Reston.

Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten, educating Reston’s young minds for more than 50 years.

Boofie O’Gorman, Top Producer Realtor at Long & Foster Reston.

Goldfish Swim School, specializing in children’s swim lessons year-round.

Small Change Consignment, serving Reston’s kids for more than 30 years.

A Cleaning Service, professional residential and commercial cleaning.

Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston’s visual arts center.

Reston Montessori, private co-educational school for children ages 3 months to sixth grade.

Kalypso’s Sports Tavern, providing great food and drink at Lake Anne Plaza.

All Spice Cafe & Catering, bringing flavor to your events.

Ashby Ponds Senior Living, quality senior community in Loudoun County.

PetMAC Pet Nutrition Center, for all your pet food needs at Lake Anne Plaza.

Lake Anne Fellowship House, providing housing for seniors for more than 40 years.

by Karen Goff — April 28, 2016 at 4:30 pm 11 Comments

Inform FitnessReston has a new exercise option. InForm Fitness opened it doors at 1875 Campus Commons Dr. last week.

The Reston studio is an expansion of the Leesburg location owned by trainer Nicole Gustavson. The national company also has locations in New York, Colorado, California and New Jersey.

Inform, first established by a New York City trainer in 1999, says it is a different type of strength training workout, where participants work with a trainer to do a 20-minute workout that involves slow-motion repetition.

They call it “the Power of 10” because weights are lifted 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down.

Says InForm: “Twenty minutes, once a week is all you need to set into motion the chain reaction in the body to start building stronger muscles. Arthur Jones, the father of High Intensity Training (HIT), once said, ‘There is no such thing as a long, hard workout.’ In other words, the harder the workout the shorter it lasts.”

InForm also recommends several days between workouts.

To find out more or learn about rates and schedule a training session, call InForm at (703) 791-1717 or visit www.informfitness.com.

by Karen Goff — April 28, 2016 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

New On The W&OD — Bike counter from the Reston Bicycle Club was dedicated on Wednesday. [Fairfax County] New At The Top — Fairfax County has a new county attorney and…


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