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by Eve Thompson February 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Just Sold

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

Here are some Reston homes that changed hands recently:

12507 Thunder Chase Drive, 4BR, 3 BA. Sale Price: $570,000.

11912 Crosswinds Court, 2BR, 2.5 BA. Sale Price: $326,000.

by Dave Emke February 7, 2017 at 2:45 pm 68 Comments

The battle between Reston Town Center businesses and RTC owner Boston Properties over paid parking appears to be just beginning.

About 50 people, including dozens of representatives from Town Center restaurants and shops, met Monday at Vapiano restaurant to share information, voice their frustrations and continue to work out how they should proceed. They did so as sales at their shops and restaurants continue to dip, as customers have been staying away from the Town Center since paid parking began Jan. 3.

Monday afternoon’s meeting came on a day when Fairfax County Public Schools had not been in session. Yasser Meshki, general manager of Vapiano, said you wouldn’t know that from the lack of customers in his restaurant.

“Every time, when school is off, we’re packed for lunch,” he said. “We make easily, let’s say $3,000. We didn’t make half of that today.”

Meshki’s comments were among numerous that were shared during the hourlong meeting. Aaron Gordon and Aaron Mervis, of Red Velvet Cupcakery and Big Bowl respectively, are organizing the group. One of the goals of Monday’s meeting was to begin the process of assimilating all the upset businesses under one association that can legally stand together against Reston Town Center.

“We’re not necessarily threatening lawsuit, but we are saying that we can explore a few different avenues,” Gordon said. “The first one is going to be to all get under one umbrella, pitch in a little money and then see where it takes us.”

Representatives of law firm Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman PC, who have not been retained by the group at this time, addressed the crowd and offered some preliminary advice regarding organizing. Gordon and Mervis had company representatives who attended the meeting sign up and show their willingness to join.

Some merchants who spoke during the meeting shared information about how much their sales have dropped from this time last year, with most falling between 10 and 50 percent. Even businesses that appear on the surface to be doing relatively well, such as Potomac River Running, are actually not.

“This weather is fantastic for us, so we’re having much higher sales than we normally would among our eight stores,” said owner Ray Pugsley. “My other seven stores are up between 10 and 50 percent in the last 30 days. This store here is down 4 percent.”

Evan Matz, CEO of World of Beer, said even the customers who are stopping into his restaurant show the effects of paid parking.

“We used to see customers come in with bags after shopping, and they would sit down and have a meal or lunch or a beer or something, but we don’t see those customers come in anymore,” he said. “They’re coming in, doing what they need to do, getting back in their car and leaving right away.”

Concerns about the paid parking are more than just about the cost, the merchants said. They also expressed opinions about the ParkRTC app they say is driving customers away, and about how designated employee parking spots blocks away from stores are causing hardships on their workers, among other issues.

Cliff Hallock, owner of the Ben & Jerry’s on Market Street, said he is extremely concerned about the coming months.

“I’m terrified of what’s going to happen in the future, in terms of lower foot traffic, when things should get busy in [the] March, April, May time frame,” he said. “Close friends of mine are telling me, ‘I’m sorry Cliff, I just don’t go there anymore. I love ya, but we’re not going to go there.'”

Anne Mader, co-owner of The Bike Lane, said she and her husband opened up shop in Reston because of the sense of community. She says that sense is now gone at Reston Town Center.

“Now it’s just disheartening, because it feels so unwelcome. It’s not the Reston community that I grew up in,” said Mader, whose shop is publicly seeking a new home. “It hurts my heart, it makes me sad. I really want to do business here.”

by RestonNow.com Sponsor February 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

This is a promoted post by Bright Horizons Family Solutions, which has a child care facility in Reston.

The start of a new year is a great time to take stock and make healthy changes for yourself and your family. As we know, children often times shy away from the raw veggie tray and the fruit salad bowl, preferring a grab-and-go bag of chips or high-sugar cereal instead. But healthy eating isn’t all about broccoli and peas. It’s about habits and routines.

Here are a few ways to help your child get a healthy start on eating habits:

  • Remember that eating habits are established early and often are resistant to change.
    This is an important area of your child’s development, and you should not hesitate to speak with your pediatrician if you have questions or concerns about health, growth, or weight.
  • Make dinnertime together a priority (no matter how difficult).
    The family dinner is an endangered institution, but it is a hugely valuable routine that is critical in establishing lifelong patterns and creating a connection to family memories. This can be a time for interesting discussions that also build language skills. Posing a daily question, such as, “The best thing about my day so far…” can become a family ritual to which everyone looks forward.
  • Involve your children in the meal preparations.
    Children often love to help by washing veggies, peeling carrots, breaking lettuce, or helping to set the table.
  • At mealtime, have age-appropriate table expectations.
    Allow children to serve themselves when possible. Encourage small portions, but let them know that they can have second helpings. Model serving portions that aren’t too hefty. Resist the temptation to push the “clean plate club” as this can result in patterns of overeating. Allow children to stop eating when they are no longer hungry.

Bright HorizonsTo hear more about this topic, join Bright Horizons as we share tips and strategies to support you in raising healthy eaters. We will address some of your burning questions about how to handle the pickiest eaters, child nutrition facts, kid-friendly recipes, how and when to introduce new foods to your child, and how to create healthy meals that fit into a working parent lifestyle.

Raising Healthy Eater

Thursday, February 16th

5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Learn more about our Family Workshop Series, save your space and RSVP here for this complimentary workshop on Raising Healthy Eaters.

by RestonNow.com February 7, 2017 at 12:30 pm 1 Comment

Myterra Way

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue says a house fire that caused an estimated $155,000 in damages was the result of improper disposal of fireplace ashes.

Units were dispatched to the blaze in the 12300 block of Myterra Way, just south of Reston, at about 1:20 a.m. Friday. Fire was showing from the basement and first floor of the two-level home.

Three adults and one juvenile were in the home at the time, and they all were able to get out before the fire department arrived. There were no reported injuries, and Red Cross assistance was declined.

According to investigators, the fire started under an elevated enclosed deck in the rear of the home. The fire was determined to be accidental, the result of the ignition of combustible materials due to improper disposal of fireplace ashes in a plastic container.

In a press release, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reminds residents to be cautious and keep safety in mind, offering these tips:

  • Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can.
  • Do not place ash containers on/under decks, porches, or in garages.
  • Put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid and place it away from the house to cool.
  • Pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool.
  • Keep your can OUTSIDE and away from the home and away from your fireplace, wood stove and anything combustible.
  • Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace or stove.

by Dave Emke February 7, 2017 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

Nisa KatzEverything was coming together nicely for Nisa Katz, a 2010 graduate of South Lakes High School.

“I actually was able to get an internship with Disney World, which was my dream job,” she said. “I was offered a regular full-time position, but I ended up getting sick.”

After a long series of doctor’s visits, Katz was diagnosed in 2014 with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a condition that causes an increased heart rate when standing upright — resulting in dizziness, migraines and more. Because of it, Katz was forced to give up her photography position at Disney World and return home to Reston to her parents, Gina and Bert.

Since, Katz said she has been diagnosed with a series of other conditions — Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Chiari malformation and trigeminal neuralgia among them.

Now 25, Katz finds herself traveling down a new path in life, raising awareness for rare diseases and chronic illnesses. She has started an awareness campaign called Spoonspirations — the name of which is a reference to “spoon theory,” a term coined by lupus patient advocate Christine Miserandino about how sufferers of such conditions must ration their energy.

“She wanted a way to describe it to people who don’t have a chronic illness, so they could understand,” Katz said. “Basically, it’s kind of like if you get up to walk the dog, you use three spoons out of your 12 total spoons for the day.”

SpoonspirationsThrough Spoonspirations, Katz is using her love of art to spread the word about chronic illness. Katz studied graphic design as well as photography, and she has designed a number of different pieces of apparel for various related causes.

She is raising money for research in the process, as all proceeds from sales of the clothing are given to chronic illness organizations. In 2016, she said, she raised $8,000 that was donated in large part to Dysautonomia International and the Dysautonomia Support Network, organizations she became acquainted with through her personal journey.

This year, Katz has become involved with rare disease advocacy organization Global Genes. She will travel to Southern California at the end of the month to participate in a fashion show for the organization as part of World Rare Disease Day.

“Everyone is walking in honor of someone who has a rare disease,” she said. “I’m the only one walking who actually has a rare disease.”

Katz is hopeful that she will be able to make more connections during the event to help her expand Spoonspirations and raise more awareness for the hundreds of millions worldwide suffering from chronic illnesses.

“Rare diseases affect approximately 350 million people worldwide and often times are invisible,” she said. “So you never know who might be affected.”

Photos courtesy Nisa Katz/Spoonspirations

by Dave Emke February 7, 2017 at 10:15 am 2 Comments

Fairfax County Police car

Police in Fairfax County are still searching for a 16-year-old girl and her 5-month-old baby after they went missing last month.

Lizzy Lizbeth Rivera Colindres and her son, Aidan David Castillo Rivera, were last seen Jan. 14 at their home on Rhoden Court in Springfield. Her mom reported her missing the next day.

According to police, it was originally believed the girl left voluntarily with the baby’s father, 18-year-old Jose Ivan Castillo Rivas. New information, however, suggests Colindres and her son may be in danger, and she may have left out of fear of Rivas.

Colindres is described as Hispanic, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 125 pounds. She has long black hair with light-colored stripes in it. She wears glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective K. Mason (571-585-2378) or Detective M. Fox (571-489-1796), or the Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131, or contact Crime Solvers. Tips can also be made by texting “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

In crimes reported from the Reston District Station in the past week:

LARCENIES:

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, generator from residence

1800 block of Wiehle Avenue, wine from business

11800 block of Freedom Drive, laser from construction site

1500 block of Kings Valley Court, package from business

10000 block of Runaway Lane, purse from vehicle

400 block of Springpark Place, firearm from vehicle

11600 block of Vantage Hill Road, glasses from residence

2300 block of Woodland Crossing Drive, wallet and luggage from residence

2400 block of Centreville Road, cell phone from residence

2400 block of Centreville Road, wallet from vehicle

13000 block of New Austin Court, property from residence

11100 block of South Lakes Drive, liquor from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

by Dave Emke February 7, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Morning Notes - Winter

RCC Board Seeks Community Input — The Reston Community Center Board of Governors will hold a community relations and program policy meeting Monday from 6:30-8 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Discussion topics will include new programming approaches and content for inclusion in RCC’s FY19 budget; capital project planning for the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center; and the board’s progress in meeting new Strategic Plan goals and objectives. [Reston Community Center]

How Can LinkedIn Work for You? — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (1886 Metro Center Drive) will host a workshop Wednesday morning on how the social networking service can help attendees improve business development and polish their personal brand, or with a career transition. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Reston-Based Company May Lose Listing — Audience-measuring firm comScore, headquartered on Democracy Drive, saw its stocks plummet Monday. This happened after an announcement that it would miss a February deadline for filing financial statements, which may result in its stock being delisted by Nasdaq. [WTOP]

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