60°Light Rain

by Karen Goff — September 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm 1 Comment

Golfers at Reston NationalThere is still time to register to take part in Rescue Reston’s second annual Golf Classic fundraiser.

The event, which will raise money for Rescue Reston’s legal bills in the battle to protect Reston National Golf Course from development, is Monday at Reston National.

Rescue Reston was formed in 2012 in response to the golf course owners’ Board of Zoning Appeals case to render the 166-acre golf course as a candidate for residential redevelopment.

The BZA ruled in 2015  that the owner could redevelop without getting a comprehensive amendment, which could ease the path to redevelopment of the land. Rescue Reston, RA and Fairfax County all filed appeals, and the decision was later vacated by a Circuit Court judge.

If you want to play Monday, Rescue Reston says sign up by Saturday.

Fees (greens fee, carts, range balls, dinner and drink ticket):

  • Individual Player $85
  • Foursome $340

Here’s the schedule:

1 p.m. Check-in and Warm Up
2 p.m. Shotgun Start (Format Captain’s Choice)
5 – 7 p.m. Dinner-Awards-Prizes
Raffle ticket drawings 6 p.m.

There is also a free nature walk around and through the course from 3-5 p.m. The walk will be led by resident Bill Burton and Walker Nature Center Naturalist Idalina Walker. To reserve your spot call 703-476-9689 x5 or email [email protected].

Dinner will be provided by Glory Days Grill.  For non-golfers, a dinner donation of $10 will be accepted at the entrance by check, cash or credit card.

For more information, visit Rescue Reston’s website.

by Karen Goff — September 29, 2016 at 2:45 pm 6 Comments

Commerce Park/Credit: Fairfax CountyThe Fairfax County Planning Commission deferred a decision until next week on the first phase of redevelopment of Commerce Executive Park on the south side of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.

The first phase of Vornado’s plan calls for a 200-unit residential building, as well as interior roads, pedestrian paths and a cycle track. Eventually, the plan is to redevelop the existing office buildings into 1.5 million square feet of mixed-use development at Wiehle Avnue Sunrise Valley Drive and the Dulles Toll Road.

The planning commission held a public hearing last night, but deferred decision until Oct. 6. Only one person, representing the property adjacent to Commerce Executive Park, testified to the planning commission about the negative impact the development would have on the nearby office building. (more…)

by Del. Ken Plum — September 29, 2016 at 1:00 pm 3 Comments

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

Native Virginian and long-time advocate August Wallmeyer is providing a real service to the people of the Commonwealth and its public policy with his forthcoming book The Extremes of Virginia.

Recently, the Richmond Times-Dispatch included a four-part series from it available at www.richmond.com. The extremes to which he refers are the Southwest, Southside and the Eastern Shore parts of Virginia that are geographically on the outer bounds of the state but more importantly are largely unknown to many including policy makers. They are “separated by distance, culture and economics, and unequal in opportunity and education.”

The evidence of the extremes of these regions is overwhelming. As he explains, the people in these extreme regions earn about two-thirds of what Virginians statewide do and are poorer with an average poverty rate 67 percent higher than the rest of the state.


by Karen Goff — September 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm 4 Comments

Fairfax County Police A Reston man was charged with a Felony DUI — at least his fifth offense in the last five years — on Tuesday after he crashed his car into a creek and walked away from the scene, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office says.

Deputies were called to the scene at Algonkian Parkway and
Rutherford Circle in Sterling close to midnight.

A witness told officials male driver exited the vehicle andwalked away from the scene towards a footpath.

The driver was later located and identified as Marc A. Dixon, 31, of Reston.

Dixon was arrested and charged with misdemeanor hit and run and Felony DUI. Dixon has been charged with multiple DUI in the last five years, according to LCSO. He is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.

In 2014, Dixon was arrested for driving his car backwards down Rugby Road in Fairfax. During that arrest, Dixon provided false information as well as kicked the door and window of the police vehicle he was in, Fairfax County Police said.

In that incident, Dixon was charged with DUI (fourth offense), refusing breath test, fraudulent information to police, destruction of county property, driving while suspended (DUI related) and improper backing on the highway.

by Karen Goff — September 29, 2016 at 11:30 am 7 Comments

FCPS busA new report from the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University says that Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has a local economic impact of $2.2 billion, making it one of the most important sources of local economic activity.

FCPS is Fairfax County’s largest employer with more than 27,000 full- and part-time employees.

Report author Stephen S. Fuller found that FCPS accounts for 4.1 percent of the countywide employment base and its budgeted FY 2017 spending accounts for 2.0 percent of county’s gross county product.

That makes FCPS the second-largest source of economic activity in the Fairfax County (following the federal government), says Fuller.

“Dr. Fuller’s report clearly shows how FCPS is a major contributor to the Fairfax County economy and plays an important role in our community’s quality of life, sustainability, and future growth,” FCPS Superintendent Karen Garza said in a release.  (more…)

by Karen Goff — September 29, 2016 at 10:30 am 21 Comments

Proposed cell tower (tree) at Crossfield ES/Courtesy VerizonAn elementary school is no place for a cell phone tower.

That was the message more than a dozen concerned neighbors and parents of students at Crossfield Elementary School told the Fairfax County Planning Commission in more than two hours of testimony Wednesday night.

A county planning staff report recommends approval of Milestone Communications’ application (on behalf of Verizon) for the tower, which they say is necessary to fill in gaps in coverage in the areas off Lawyers Road, including Reston’s Fox Mill Woods neighborhood adjacent to the school.

“This plan introduces an unacceptable safety risk,” said Chris Aiello, representing Parents Advocating for Safe Schools in Fairfax County, a grassroots group recently formed to take on Verizon’s request.

“It directly interferes with future expansion of school and fields. The applicant failed to meaningfully explore other sites. It defies logic placing a 138-foot tower 127 feet from a school.”

The pole, which would be built to look like an evergreen tree, would be able to carry signals from five mobile carriers. The pole would be on a 2,500-square-foot area surrounded by an 8-foot fence.

While the pole will be in a wooded area more than 200 feet from the school, the location is only 127 feet from the Crossfield playground, many citizens pointed out.

The pole will rise about 80 feet above the natural tree line, which Aiello called “a visual albatross.”

Other parents and neighbors had similar concerns. More than 30 Fairfax County Public Schools, including South Lakes High School, have cell towers on their property. However, only one FCPS elementary school has a tower, planning staff said. Parents said they are not willing to let their young children be test cases for radiation.

The cell phone companies pay the landowners to lease the pole space. FCPS, for instance, has made more than $4 million from the arrangement over the last several years, FCPS officials said.

Milestone collects rent from the wireless carriers on its towers, 40 percent of which goes to FCPS. Schools receive $25,000 each time a tower is built, and then $5,000 from each wireless carrier that leases space on the tower.

Other speakers said they were concerned the fenced tower enclosure would be everything from an “attractive nuisance” for pranks to a target for hackers.

Lisa Namerow, a nearby resident with a child set to enter Crossfield next year, said she is concerned about home values, among other things.

“The affected community is deeply opposed,” she said. “Research shows proximity of cell towers has a negative effect on homeowners.”

The planning commission also heard testimony from two Fox Mill Woods residents who said they cannot get coverage in their homes and the tower is needed.

Planning commissioners had questions on other high-tech ways to fill in coverage gaps (they would not work in this case, Milestone reps said) to the possibility of building the tower on Fairfax County Park Authority land nearby.

In the end, the planning commission deferred decision until Oct. 19, after they can get more information from the county’s Hunter Mill Land Use committee. The land use committee meets on Oct. 18.

Photo: Proposed cell phone tower at Crossfield Elementary School/Credit: Milestone Communications.

by Karen Goff — September 29, 2016 at 9:15 am 1 Comment

Storm map, Sept. 29/Weather BellAfter heavy rains and gusty winds overnight, the rain and potential flooding will continue through Thursday.

In Reston, there are many downed branches on roads and sidewalks. There are no major power outages reported.

More than two inches of rain fell overnight, hitting the southern portion of Fairfax County hard. A flood warning remains in effect until 10:45 a.m. for the areas closer to I-95 (Alexandria, Springfield, Burke, Fairfax City and others). Reston remains under a flood watch through Friday.


The Capital Weather Gang says and additional three inches of rain will fall today, and Reston may see a total of six inches by the time this front moves away on Friday.

Graphic: Storm front for Sept. 29/Credit: WeatherBell.com

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

Mayflowers at Reston Town Center

County Absentee Voting Strong — Fairfax County election officials say absentee voting is going strong since opening by mail and at the Fairfax County Government Center Friday. More than 1,000 people have cast absentee ballots in the first four days. In 2012, there were 712 ballots cast at the end of the third day of absentee voting. Satellite absentee voting begins Saturday at the North County Governmental Center in Reston.

NFL Stadium In Reston? Keep Driving — This may be a good spot in Loudoun for a potential new stadium for Washington’s pro football team. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe mentioned Silver Line spots, including Reston, in a recent radio interview. [Washington Post]

KidsFest This Weekend — The Fall for Fairfax KidsFest is Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 1 and 2) at the Fairfax County Government Center. The free festival will include two entertainment stages, rides on the KidWay MidWay (click for tickets).Activities include scarecrow making, pumpkin painting, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides, petting zoo, and more. (KidsFest)

Light The Night in Reston — The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Northern Virginia Light The Night Walk is Saturday at Reston Town Center. Walk as an individual or team to help raise funds for blood cancer research. [Light the Night]

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — September 29, 2016 at 6:00 am 2 Comments

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