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by Dave Emke — April 20, 2017 at 4:20 pm 6 Comments

Developer Bozzuto is deferring “indefinitely” its application to redevelop St. Johns Wood, according to information sent out by Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office Thursday afternoon.

Hudgins’ office says the community meeting on the project that had been scheduled for Tuesday is being canceled, and a representative for the supervisor said it is her understanding that “all meetings” regarding the proposal are off the table.

The plan was scheduled to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on May 25, following additional meetings with Reston’s Planning & Zoning Committee and Design Review Board on May 15 and 16. Meetings with the P&Z Committee and DRB this week featured many comments against the project from North Point residents, and the DRB in particular was critical of many elements of the project.

Brian Winterhalter of Cooley LLP, the commercial real-estate attorney representing Bozzuto, said at Tuesday’s DRB meeting that his team would follow up about scheduling a work session with the Design Review Board. However, he expressed disappointment with how the process was progressing.

The proposal has been in the works since 2014 and has seen numerous changes in that time. The current plan calls for 481 multifamily units within two buildings on the 14.3-acre property.

Winterhalter has not responded to requests for comment.

by RestonNow.com — April 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Volunteer Reston organized work at the Walker Nature Center earlier this week in celebration of Earth Day, and more events are planned for this weekend.

On Monday, volunteers teamed with the Nature Center to plant 100 native wildflowers, ferns and shrubs in the gardens. Volunteers also woodchipped sections of the Nature Center’s main teaching trail. Participating organizations included Starbucks and Sure Secure Solutions.

The Nature House is open Monday and Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

On Earth Day itself, Saturday, children ages 5-12 are invited to the Walker Nature Center to take part in an Earth Day Fun program from 11 a.m. to noon. Kids will participate in recycling games, eco-friendly crafts and more. Registration, which must be done by Friday at 5 p.m., can be done through WebTracby emailing [email protected] or by calling 703-476-9689.

Reston Association’s Habitat Heroes program will also participate in an Earth Day activity Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. They will be removing invasive species and planting native species to help the long-term restoration project at the Wainwright Recreation Area.

Photo via Volunteer Reston/Sean Bahrami on Facebook

by RestonNow.com — April 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Youth baseball players in Northern Virginia, including Reston-Herndon Little Leaguers, are getting new digs this season thanks to the Washington Nationals.

The Major League team’s Nationals Youth Baseball Uniform Program has been providing, at no cost, team shirts, jerseys and caps to youth baseball and softball players in DC since 2015. This season, they have expanded the program to two Northern Virginia leagues, including Virginia District 4 Little League, of which Reston-Herndon is a part. The Northern Fairfax County Babe Ruth league is also now part of the program.

More than 4,500 players in Northern Virginia will join the program through the expansion, the team says, bringing the number of overall participants to over 8,300. All teams in each league wear Nationals jerseys, differentiated through the use of various team styles and colors.

To celebrate the program’s expansion, the team’s Racing Presidents and representatives from their front office will participate in the 2017 Reston-Herndon Little League Opening Day parade and celebration, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at Reston Town Center. Players will be sporting their new Nationals uniforms at the event.

The Uniform Program is a partnership between the Nationals and Inova Sports Medicine, who will also have staff participating in Saturday’s event.

In addition to the apparel, players are also given the opportunity to attend a Nats game through a complimentary ticket offer. Nationals players also visit leagues throughout the season, according to the team.

Image via Nationals Youth Baseball Uniform Program

by Dave Emke — April 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm 14 Comments

Bakery-restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien is planning to move into Reston Town Center.

According to a permit filed recently with Fairfax County, the Belgium-based restaurant is looking to take over the site at 11909 Democracy Drive, between Potomac River Running and Banana Republic. That is the former home of Cosi, which closed in September when the company filed for bankruptcy.

The menu at Le Pain Quotidien (French for “The Daily Bread”) includes not just bread, but soups and salads, cheeses, sandwiches, desserts and more. The chain has more than 200 locations on five continents, including two in Fairfax County: at Tysons Corner Center and in Merrifield’s Mosaic District.

by Dave Emke — April 20, 2017 at 11:15 am 12 Comments

A treadmill is being pinpointed as the cause of a blaze in a single-family residence in South Reston that caused nearly a quarter-million dollars in damages.

Units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responded to the scene of the blaze in the 2200 block of Marginella Drive, off Glade Drive, around 8:38 a.m. Wednesday.

From a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue press release:

“Units arrived on scene to find fire showing from the rear of a two-story, single family house. Firefighters went to work extinguishing a large volume of fire in the back of the home. They were able to bring the fire under control approximately ten minutes after arrival.”

One of the home’s occupants discovered the fire and called 911, fire officials report, after which smoke alarms in the home did activate. Both occupants of the home were able to get out safely.

Fire investigators say a treadmill in the home’s sunroom was the source of the blaze.

Damages as a result of the fire are estimated at $237,466, fire officials say. At the scene Thursday morning, most of the home’s windows are boarded up, as are doors and the garage. Insurance assessors were at the scene surveying the damage.

Photo at top courtesy Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

by Del. Ken Plum — April 20, 2017 at 10:15 am 12 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Virginia has the distinction of having had the first mental health hospital in the country, although it was called an insane asylum, which more correctly described the work it did.

From colonial days to the present, the role of the state in providing treatment and services for those with mental illness has been widely debated, filled with different theories and approaches, and always critically underfunded. It took a massacre of students at Virginia Tech and a state senator’s son attacking his father with a butcher knife, then shooting himself, to bring a higher level of urgency and seriousness to the discussion. A commission has been meeting the past couple of years and will continue to meet for at least a couple more to develop recommendations on what the state should do.

In the meantime, some hopeful progress is being made. After the Virginia Tech shootings, state appropriations for mental health programs were increased dramatically, only to be reduced again after the onset of the recession. Funding for programs for those with mental illness has been slowly increasing again but still does not come close to the levels requested by professionals in the field. Additional funding was provided in the most recent General Assembly session to allow for transitional housing. Statewide, there has been more clarification of the role of the Community Services Boards for the treatment of mental illness.

The practice of “streeting” persons, by putting them back on the street when there was no treatment option available to them, has largely been stopped. Emergency and temporary custody orders can be issued to ensure that those needing emergency care will receive it. Crisis treatment centers are being opened around the state.

We are blessed in Fairfax County that local government has for decades been offering mental health treatment and services well beyond that provided in most parts of the state. The most recent example is the Diversion First program, which just issued its first annual report. The program came about from the recognition that more than a quarter of the inmates in local jails have mental illness. They came into contact with law enforcement because of a behavior that needed treatment, not incarceration.

Sheriff Stacey Kincaid, the Fairfax County Police Department and the Community Services Board cooperatively put together a program that offers alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness or developmental disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses. As stated in their annual report, the goal is to intercede whenever possible to provide assessment, treatment or needed support in an appropriate setting for those who struggle with mental illness, developmental delays or substance abuse, instead of jail being the default solution. In its first year of work, the program diverted 375 persons from jail into treatment programs. Both money and lives are saved with the shift of emphasis.

More about this important new service made possible by Fairfax County government officials working together is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/DiversionFirst.

by Dave Emke — April 20, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

More Info Released on Herndon Tornado — After detailed analysis, the National Weather Service says a tornado that touched down in Herndon on April 6 was one of seven in the area during that storm. It is now estimated the tornado first came to ground near the Dulles Greene and Capstone apartment complexes in Herndon and lasted about five minutes. It downed numerous trees, including one that was thrown into the window of an apartment building. [National Weather Service]

Reston Islamic School Spotlighted by NPR — Al Fatih Academy (12300 Pinecrest Road) was the subject of a segment on today’s Morning Edition on NPR. The academy’s goal is “to cultivate and nurture a thriving American Muslim identity that balances religious, academic and cultural knowledge and imparts the importance of civic involvement and charitable work.” [NPR]

Local College Student Fighting Pollution — Reston’s Elizabeth Merin, a junior biosystems engineering major at Virginia Tech, is part of a group of students working to scrutinize emissions at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Blacksburg, as well as pollution in the New River Valley. The students have started a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, calling their group Citizens for Arsenal Accountability. [Roanoke Times]

Herndon Farmers Market Now Open, Rain and All — The opening day of the Herndon Farmers Market, which goes through 12:30 p.m. today, is on despite this morning’s rainy weather. It will take place each Thursday into November, in front of the caboose on Lynn Street. [Reston Now/Twitter]

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