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Funding for New Flashing Beacons on W&OD Trail Sought

New flashing beacons could be installed at the crosswalk of the intersection of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail and Hunter Mill Road soon.

The Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority is seeking a grant to install new actuated beacons at one of the most congested segments of the trail. The current beacons do not provide consistent yielding from motorists.

County officials have indicated the intersection is particularly dangerous due to traffic congestion, limited gaps in traffic and poor sight distance. The beacons would be wirelessly interconnected and solar powered.

At a meeting last week, Reston Association’s Board of Directors expressed support for the grant, which is powered by the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund.

File photo.

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Pet of the Week: Tony

Becky's Pet Care

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

Meet Tony, a domestic short hair and tabby mix cat available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society have to say about him:

Tony is an easy going boy. Enjoys being around people. Follows his foster mom around and sleeps in bed with her. He enjoys lounging near the window sills and playing with his toys. Tony is a cat that is very sweet BUT has limits on how much petting he will tolerate. Therefore, he would not be a good candidate for a home with young children who wouldn’t understand this.

(Note: Little Buddies has adoption events every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at Pet Valu in the North Point Village Shopping Center.)

Are you and Tony a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Roster of Candidates Running for Reston Association Board Released

Thirteen Restonians are vying for four seats on Reston Association’s Board of Directors in this year’s election.

The nine-member board is up for a major shake-up this year. Eleven candidates are running for three at-large board seats and two candidates are running for the South lakes District seat for a three-year term.

All races are contested. A breakdown of the candidates, who were certified earlier this week, is below. Seven candidates are running for two at-large seats with three-year terms:

  • Aaron Webb
  • Colin Meade
  • Derrick Watkins
  • John Pinkman
  • Sridhar Ganesan (appointed as treasurer due to board vacancy)
  • Travis G. Johnson
  • Ven Iyer

Four candidates are running for another at-large seat for a one-year term:

  • Andy Sigle
  • David Ballard
  • John Bowman (current at-large director)
  • Ray Wedell

Tammi Petrine is challenging Julie Bitzer for the South Lakes District seat.

Voting opens on March 5. Results will be announced on April 10.

The nine-member board consists of eight directors, who are elected for three-year, staggered terms by members, and one director elected by apartment owners. Four of the eight directors are district-level representatives while others are elected by the membership at-large.

Reston Now will publish candidate profiles in the coming weeks. Submitted candidate statements are available on RA’s website. Candidates are listed in alphabetized form.

For more information, email the elections committee at [email protected] or call 703-435-6530. Information is also available on RA’s website, including an elections calendar.

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Boston Properties Secures Full-Building Tenant for 17-Story Trophy Tower in Reston Town Center

Leidos Holdings has signed a new full-building lease for a 17-story office building Boston Properties plans to complete in Reston Town Center by early 2020.

The information technology contractor, which already has offices in Reston, will shift its headquarters to the building on 1750 President Street, according to a release by the company.

“Our new space will give us the opportunity to build on our culture and brand as a combined company, as well as be able to better tailor our working environment to meet employee needs,” wrote Leidos chairman and chief executive officer Roger Krone.

The company began an 18-month search across the region after acquiring a division of Lockheed Martin in 2016. Nearly five years ago, the company separated from SAIC and moved from McLean to RTC’s One and Two Freedom Square.

Construction on the 17Fifty building, which is the last office space to be built in the 86-acre urban core of RTC, is expected to begin in the spring.

Boston Properties’ trophy tower is designed by Shalom Baranes Associates, and will include 8,000 square feet of retail space and a four-floor below-grade parking garage.

Katie Yanushonis, vice president of Boston Properties said she is confident that new building will fit the company’s effort to retain and motivate it’s “world class employee base.”

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Rendering via Boston Properties

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Nordine Salon & Day Spa to Celebrate Grand Opening – On Thursday, the salon will host a ribbon cutting ceremony from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The spa moved from Reston Town Center to 11389 Reston Station Blvd. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]

Reston Recognized as Bicycle Friendly Community – The League of American Bicyclists gave Reston the recognition once again this year. The program allows states, localities, businesses and others to make bicycling a transportation option for all. [Reston Association via Twitter]

Herndon Man Arrested After Police Pursuit – On Saturday, Herndon police arrested Corey Rogers for fleeing from an officer on Herndon Parkway during a stop for a traffic violation. After a short pursuit, the driver lost control and the vehicle struck a light pole. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, eluding officers and reckless driving, among other charges. [Herndon Police Department]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Reston Real Estate: What Drives The Move?

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.

In real estate, one of the things that agents look for in buyers and sellers is motivation. People have to have sufficient motivation to put themselves through the challenges associated with buying or selling a home. It’s a lot of work.

While there are a few that seem to enjoy moving, most of us require some serious reasons to uproot ourselves and move. Home buyers and sellers are almost always going through some large life event — a change that is big enough to generate the necessary motivation to go through the process of buying or selling. It might be a happy change, a new baby, a new job, a new season in life; or it might be a sad change, the loss of partner, a job, an illness, a death.

Whatever the change, it makes the work of being a Realtor interesting. Agents get to walk along side and hopefully be of some assistance in someone else’s transition. Good agents will take the time to understand the forces behind the deal rather than focusing exclusively on how many bedrooms and bathrooms are needed.

Communication is a tricky process; unless an agent gets behind the “what” and digs into the “need” there’s no way to help a buyer get to the best home choice. Buyers in particular have a tendency to translate their wants into a list of rooms that a prospective house must have. So the need for a home office often gets described as an additional bedroom when in fact all kinds of space might work equally well as a home office.

It’s the agents’ job to get the buyer to go a little deeper in explaining how they will use the space that the buyer says they need. On the selling side it’s the agents’ job to help the sellers present their homes in ways that will demonstrate flexibility in how spaces can be used.

If you’re entering the market to buy or sell, you’ll set yourself up to succeed by being open to suggestions. If you’re buying, agree to see properties that on the surface might not seem to fit. If you’re selling hear your agent out when they make recommendations on how to present your home; they’re working for you.

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Reston Residents Expand Nordic Knot, Deepen Community Ties

Eric Lundberg, an engineer by training, began dabbling with pretzel recipes in his Reston home. The hobby, which he hoped would build bonding time with his daughter as she went through high school, transformed into something bigger: a locally-owned bakery called Nordic Knot.

His production quickly overwhelmed the countertops of his home, which he had certified for the business. After a temporary stint operating through Lake Anne Brew House, Lundberg has found a permanent production site for his bakery just two doors down from the business that drove his success, the brewhouse.

“This was a complete departure from what I’ve done before,” Lundberg said. “I’ve taken something I enjoy and turned it into a good product.”

The store on 11412 Reston Plaza West operates as a production center since late last year. Lundberg and Melissa Romano, the brewhouse’s co-owner, hope to establish a store in the spring. For now, they’re taking online orders, distributing wholesale and delivering locally.

Their business partnership grew from the moment Lundberg came to Romano with a brown paper bag full of pretzels and a business pitch before the brewhouse opened. Retail sales ran through the brewhouse since it opened in 2016.

“The pretzels were so amazing it was not a hard decision to forward and team up with Eric,” Romano said.

They’re now working on plans to capitalize on the emerging breweries market. Many local breweries lack fully operations kitchens, often leaving a good beer without good food to match, they said. They currently deliver to Black Walnut Brewery in Leesburg, Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn, and local businesses.

“We’re both community-minded individuals and Lake Anne really provides a good canvas for community-oriented businesses,” Romano said.

Nordic Knot also sends out an electric scooter to deliver locally on bike trails in Reston — an effort to embrace the “progressive” and “forward-thinking” feel of the community, Lundberg said.

They hope to open a storefront where customers can walk-in to place orders and take a bite sometime in the spring.

Photos by Studio-M Photos &  Jennifer Heffner Photography

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VIDEO: Police Seek Help Identifying Masked Man in Gas Station Robbery

The Fairfax County Police Department is seeking the public’s help to identify a masked man who police believe robbed a Chevron gas station (11410 North Shore Drive) last week.

The man entered the business on Wednesday around 8:30 p.m. He picked an item off the shelf and approached the counter before pulling a gun and demanding money, police said.

The suspect left the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured and police arrived on the scene within two minutes of the call. A helicopter-assisted search proved unsuccessful, police said.

Contact Detective D. McAuliffe at 703-246-7800 if you have information. Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by visiting http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org, or calling 1-866-411-TIPS.

They can also be sent in via text by texting “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES (274637).

Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1000 if their information leads to an arrest.

Photo and Footage via Fairfax County Police Department

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Crime Roundup: Police Respond to a Series of Robberies

The Fairfax County Police Department responded to a string of robberies over a three-day period last week.

On Thursday around 2:10 a.m., two suspects were spotted breaking a display case and taking several items from a business on the 10100 block of Colvin Run Road. The business owner was alerted about the break in and called police.

In a separate incident the next day, a 14-year-old boy was assaulted after he left a party near the 800 block of Charwhit Court around 11 p.m. Two teenagers followed the teen and took property from him, police said. The suspects were charged with robbery and taken to a local juvenile detention center.

As we reported late last week, a man wearing a mask robbed the Chevon gas station on 11410 on Friday around 8:30 p.m. The suspect was armed with a gun, but no one was injured. The investigation is ongoing.

FCPD also reported the following incidents:

LARCENIES:

11800 block of Baron Cameron Avenue, beer from business

1800 block of Fountain Drive, key from residence

12300 block of Glade Drive, wallet from school

2200 block of Lovedale Lane, debit cards from vehicle

9100 block of Mill Creek Landing, watch from residence

13100 block of Parcher Avenue, beer from business

2400 block of Pyrenees Court, property from residence

1600 block of Reston Parkway, merchandise from business

12600 block of Sanibel Court, package from residence

2000 block of Swan’s Neck Way, cash from residence

1300 block of Tunwell Stable Court, laptop computer and purse from vehicle

1900 block of Villaridge Drive, shoes from residence

STOLEN VEHICLES: 

15100 block of Stillfield Place, 2001 Acura Integra

Police also arrested an assistant principal at Hunters Woods Elementary School last week for shoplifting from the Target in Reston.

Security footage showed Melissa Tochterman, 47, of Herndon left the store with $690 worth of merchandise, police said.

Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

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Workgroup to Present Findings of First “State of the Environment” Report in Reston

Pushed by ongoing development in the community, Reston Association committed to publishing an annual report about the state of the environment in Reston last year. Now, the results of the first Annual State of the Environment Report (RASER) are in.

The workgroup charged to lead the effort will present its findings at a community meeting on Thursday from 7-8 p.m. at the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive).

The nine-member group invested more than 1,000 volunteer hours to produce the report, which draws from interviews and documents from researchers, scientists and others.

The study is intended to give readers a better understanding of Reston’s current environmental conditions in order to provide a baseline against which future changes to the environment can be measured.

“As urbanization expands rapidly, not only in Northern Virginia but also worldwide, there is a growing disconnect between people and nature. When people are isolated from nature, they perceive it as less relevant and more threatening, and its physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits are devalued. Consequently, interest in conserving and protecting the natural environment is weakened, and society comes to accept a lowered environmental quality as the new norm, ” according to the report.

In light of the limited use of tools to manage stormwater when Reston was developed, the study calls on Reston Association to track and block any requested waivers of stormwater management during the land development and redevelopment process.

Other recommendations include the following:

  • Develop an incentives system to encourage Reston property owners and associations to manage stormwater runoff on their sites.
  • Plant more trees and replace removed tress with native species to increase the quality and quantity of tree cover.
  • Push residents and businesses to landscape using native plants instead of turf grass.
  • Encourage the placement of more electric car charging stations.
  • Identify stream reaches most vulnerable to channel modifications due high-energy water flows.
  • Support more follow-up studies of restored Reston streams
  • Identify sources of phosphorus and sediment loading in watersheds of lakes

The complete 176-page report is available online.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Updated: Reston Assistant Principal Placed On Leave After Arrest for Shoplifting

An assistant principal at Hunters Woods Elementary School has been placed on leave after she was arrested for shoplifting at a Target in Reston, according a spokesman for the Fairfax County Public Schools System.

Melissa Tochterman, 47, of Herndon, was arrested and charged with grand larceny last Thursday evening.

Tochterman left the store with a cart full of unpaid items. Video footage showed she left with $690 worth of merchandise, police said.

Police released information about the incident Monday evening.

This story was updated at 12:33 p.m. to include information on Tochterman’s employment status.

Photo via FCPD

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Public Meeting on Sunset Hills Road Realignment Today — Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation will hold a meeting today at 7 p.m. at Sunrise Valley Elementary School (10824 Cross School Road). Plans aim to address traffic backups on Hunter Miller Road near the Dulles Toll Road. [Fairfax County Government]

Suspects in Five Killings Reportedly Linked to Macabre Neo-Nazi Group — The Atomwaffen, a relatively new neo-Nazi outfit that defines itself as a “revolutionary national socialist organization centered around political activism and the practice of an autonomous fascist lifestyle” is reportedly linked to the Reston murder of Scott Fricker, 48, and Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43, in late December. [The Washington Post]

Seasonal Jobs Available at Reston Association — Reston Association is hiring season staff. To view current openings, visit RA’s website. [Reston Today]

Shadow Puppets Show on Friday — Children can play with light and shadows at the Walker Nature Center on Friday from 10-11 a.m. The cost is $6 for Reston members and $8 for all others. Parents and caregivers must supervisor their children. [Reston Association]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Reston Association Considers Taking Two Residential Projects Under Its Wing

Reston Association is considering a request to add two new developments to its membership.

Proposed additions include Valley & Park, a 54-unit townhouse project on 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive and The Lofts at Reston Station, which will include 32-unit, four-level condominiums and 12 stacked townhouse condominiums at 1825 Michael Faraday Drive.

Both developments will have its own on-site maintenance through a cluster or condominium association.

The developers have committed to pitch in a per unit capital contribution to offset the impact of new members to existing RA infrastructure, according to Larry Butler, RA’s senior director of land use planning. Staff did not disclose the contribution amount in a meeting late last week as negotiations continue.

Valley & Park by Toll Brothers is in the early phases of preparation for construction after a six-story building built in 1985 was razed in June. Located just east of JBG’s Reston Heights development, the 69,000-square-foot building was bought by Rooney Properties in 2013.

The Lofts at Reston Station by Pulte are designed to create “a new urban neighborhood” on 1.5 acres – just a third of a mile from Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. Redevelopment projects are planned around the site. The project, which is currently under construction, replaces a one-story industrial building and surface parking.

RA’s Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed additions on Feb. 22.

With its membership in RA, the developments will be subject to various terms, including:

  • The entire property will be subject to the Reston Deed
  • The establishment of a cluster association — Sunrise Square
  • Full payment, per unit of the RA annual assessment
  • A lump sum payment or other initiation fee

Photos via Fairfax County Government

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Legal Insider: New Virginia Legislation Introduced Regarding Workplace Violence

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John V. Berry and Kimberly H. Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Plaza America in Reston that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst has introduced new legislation that he hopes will reduce incidents of workplace violence in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Specifically, the proposed legislation would grant civil immunity to employers who share information about violent acts or threats made by current or former employees with potential employers or law enforcement.

In addition, a job candidate would not be able to sue a current or former employer for sharing his or her previous violent or threatening behavior with a prospective employer that will impact a hiring decision.

Delegate Hurst’s House Bill (HB 1457) would allow hiring managers to openly discuss job candidates with their current, prospective or former employers. The text of the proposed law reads as follows:

  • 8.01-226.10:1. Immunity of employers and potential employers; reports of violent behavior.
  1. Any employer who, in good faith with reasonable cause, makes or causes to be made a voluntary report about violent or threatened violent behavior, by an employee or former employee to a potential employer of such employee, or to any law-enforcement officer or agency, shall be immune from civil liability for making such report, provided that the employer is not acting in bad faith. An employer shall be presumed to be acting in good faith. The presumption of good faith shall be rebutted if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the employer knew such report was false, or made such report with reckless disregard for whether such report was false or not.
  2. Any potential employer who receives a report from an employer pursuant to subsection B of an employee or potential employee and takes reasonable action in good faith to respond to the violent or threatened violent behavior noted in such report shall be immune from civil liability for such action.
  3. Any employer or potential employer who has a suit dismissed against him pursuant to the immunity provided by this section shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees and costs.

Understandably, former employers would like the freedom to discuss workplace incidents by former employees with other employers without being subject to potential liability. However, some problems with this potential law relate to how to do so in a way that protects an employee’s rights or does not place him or her on some type of permanent “do not hire” list. Oftentimes, employees are wrongfully terminated or accused of significant misconduct (even about alleged threats) that is not true. As a result, some supervisors or employers may feel free to exaggerate or retaliate against a former employee under this new law.

The new proposed law requires the employee or applicant to prove by clear and convincing evidence that any false comments were known to be false or made with reckless disregard. A better route would be to lower this standard due to former supervisors or employers who make it difficult for a former employee to get a job by making false statements about him or her.

Something should be done to help alleviate workplace violence, but the proposed legislation may not be enough to ensure the protection of employees given that an employer could potentially pass false information against a former employee that could cause him or her to not get hired.

Our law firm represents and advises employees on employment-related matters in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. If you need legal assistance, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

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South Lakes High School Graduate Heads Aquatics

Reston Community Center is welcoming one of its own to head the aquatics department.

Matthew McCall, a 41-year-old South Lakes High School graduate, takes over the role of  Joe Leary, who retired last year after working for RCC for 27 years.

“I was amazed at how much Reston has grown over the years but excited to learn that the same principles and values of inclusion and caring are still so evident here,” said McCall.

McCall graduated from SLHS in 1995 and competed for the school’s swim team. His first aquatics job was as a lifeguard for Reston Association.

He swam collegiately at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia Commonwealth University. He previously held aquatics leadership positions in Orlando with Walt Disney Company and St. Peters Rec-Plex in St. Peters, Missouri.

At the center, he was the recreation leader for aquatics in a center with a 50-meter indoor pool and a diving facility that hosted the 2004 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials.

McCall said he hopes to encourage more people to swim through his position. “Our goal is to give every child in Reston that skill,” he said.

In a statement, RCC executive director Leila Gordon lauded McCall’s “incredible enthusiasm.”

“I am sure his expertise is going to lend itself to future success in the renovated Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center,” she said.

Photo via Reston Community Center

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