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Save the Date: First Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run in Reston Town Center

The Fairfax County Police Department is hosting the first annual Law Enforcement Torch Run in Reston Town Center on July 21.

Proceeds from the event will support athletes from Special Olympics Virginia. The event will begin at the pavilion at Reston Town Center. Runners will travel down the green trail and back, a roughly 1.5-mile distance. Check-in begins at 6 a.m. and the run will start at 8 a.m.

Registration is $20 per participant and is open online. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a fundraising campaign that began in Wichita, Kansas in 1981. Police departments and law enforcement agencies participate in runs to raise money for the Special Olympics.

During most runs, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “flame of hope” in the opening ceremony of local competitions. The initiative has raised more than $600 million for Special Olympics programs since it began.

Photo via Law Enforcement Torch Run

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Decision on Reston Crescent Project Deferred to July 12

A decision on Brookfield Properties’ four million-square-foot redevelopment of the Reston Crescent site was deferred last week amid a disagreement regarding the developer’s contribution for the affordable housing fund. 

Brookfield has proposed roughly 4.2 million square feet of development across 36 acres, including up to 1,721 residential units, 1.9 million square feet of office space, a hotel and 380,000 square feet of retail. The property is divided into eight development blocks. Two existing office buildings on the site will remain untouched.

The first new building, which fronts Reston Parkway, includes a Wegmans with 380 apartment built on top of it. The project is located west of Reston Parkway, north of Sunrise Valley Drive, east of Edmund Halley Drive and south of the Dulles Toll Road.

At June 28 Fairfax County Planning Commission meeting, county staff indicated the developer needs to pitch in more toward the affordable housing fund. Brookfield plans to ensure 15 percent of all units are affordable at income tiers of up to 70, 90 and 100 percent of the Area Median Income — a lower income distribution than county requirements.

Even though the developer is offering units for individuals with lower incomes, county officials and the developer disagree on how much Brookfield should offer for the non-residential aspects of the property. The comprehensive plan indicates the developer should contribute $3 per non-residential square feet.

Because Brookfield is proposing a completely new redevelopment project, county officials contend the developer should contribute based on the total square footage of new development, roughly 1.6 million square feet. Brookfield, however, asserts they only have to contribute funds for 1.1 million square feet of development because other non-residential development was already approved under a previous plan.

In a report, staff said the latest proposal was entirely new and supersedes any previous approvals. “As a result, the proposed non-residential uses on affordable housing and such impact should be fully mitigated through the $3 per non-residential square feet contribution towards affordable housing,” according to the report.

An earlier clash over the developer’s commitment to providing an athletic field was resolved in recent discussions. According to the developer’s representative, Mark Looney of Cooley, Brookfield has an underdeveloped property under contract for a future full-size athletic field. Once the property is purchased, Cooley said the developer should dedicate it to the county’s park authority.

In remarks before the Planning Commission, John Carter, the commissioner for the Hunter Mill District, said the commission needed more time to discuss what could be a “precedent-making” decision. The commission will vote on the project on July 12.

Handout via Fairfax County Government

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Scholarship Campaign for Reston Association Camps Kicks Off

Friends of Reston has launched an annual fundraising campaign for camp scholarships. The nonprofit organization that supports Reston Association is seeking to raise $12,000 to send at least 22 students with a demonstrated financial need to RA camps this summer.

On July 18 (Wednesday), 20 percent of all frozen yogurt purchases at SweetFrog in North Point Village Center will go toward the camp scholarship fund.

Over the past 17 years, the organization has launched similar campaigns to raise funds for children seeking to attend summer camps.

“Summer is such an important time for children to stay engaged, make new friends, explore their community, learn new skills – camp is the perfect place to do all of that,” said FOR Executive Director, Katie Shaw. “We are thankful for all of the donors who make this possible for children whose families could not afford this experience.”

Thus far, the scholarship fund has received $5,731 from the Realtors of Long and Foster, $750 from Reston Historic Trust’s board of directors and $2,270 from residents of the Paramount Condominiums.

Photo via RA

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Del. Ken Plum: You Hit Me First!

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

Every parent of two or more children has experienced this scenario: Two children in the back seat of a vehicle get bored. When no one is looking, the first child pokes or pinches the other. The victim yells or screams with lots of drama as to how they have been hurt or offended.

That gives the second child license to strike back just as the parents take note of what is happening. At that moment it looks like the second child is the offender and is given a punishment. The first child is amused, giggles and enjoys that the brother or sister having done nothing is suddenly in trouble.

This little tale is innocent enough as children grow up and learn through experience how to interact and relate to others. Not so innocent and very serious is the situation we have been witnessing for more than a year. The administration uses vile language that is offensive to all but some of its most ardent supporters.

The advocates for democracy and a fair and sane governmental framework criticize the administration. Representatives of the administration respond with name calling, falsehoods and extreme claims and criticisms. Any response by those who disagree is received with further name calling and false claims. Who is to blame for this exchange?

The administration has been successful at pointing fingers at their critics putting them on the defensive. These exchanges can be really tough to unravel especially with an administration that is willing to make up their own reality and tell out-right lies to justify their actions. Shouting matches often ensue; in the worst cases threats are made, and in an all-too-frequent occurrence violence takes place.

While I fully understand the desire on the part of some to yell and scream (I do so to myself frequently), the vile language and threats are examples of speaking past each other. I want to express in as strong terms as I can how upset and concerned I am about the actions of the government and this administration over the past months. I view them as a real threat to our democracy, immoral, and the lowest point we have seen as a society.

I will be present at as many vigils and marches as I can to join with those who want major and immediate changes to what is happening to our country. I will not call for nor participate in violence. I will support court actions to stop harmful activities by the administration as much as possible.

Most importantly I will work for Senate and Congressional candidates who are committed to stopping the damage of this administration and taking back our country from the special interests that have been allowed to run rampant in using the government for their personal profit. I will be tireless and will work to enlist people to join me and the thousands who are committed to reversing these dangerous directions.

I am not going to let the administration convince anyone else that someone else hit first. We need to stick together, be strategic in our responses, and be smarter than they are to reverse what is happening in our country. We can do that this November at the ballot boxes.

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Gas Station Clerk Killed in Herndon Sunoco

A gas station clerk was killed in a possible robbery attempt in Herndon on Wednesday (July 4).

According to Fairfax County Police, Resham Bajgain, 40, of Herndon, was killed inside the Sunoco where he worked in the Franklin Farms Shopping Center (13348 Franklin Farm Road).

Police responded to the scene within three minutes of receiving the report at 1:15 a.m. Officers spotted a person matching the description of the suspect in the parking lot. Mohamed Abdullahi, 19, of Herndon, was arrested and charged with murder.

Police are seeking information about the incident, especially about the driver of a Pontiac GTO that was near the gas station around the time of the murder.

Abdullahi is being held at the adult detention center without bond.

Anyone with information should call the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800 or text “TIP187” plus your message to 274637.

Photo via FCPD

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Thursday Morning Notes

Building worlds — A group exhibition of artists who explore the role of science fiction and fantasy in informing our fears and ideals is set to run from August 1 through September 15 at Greater Reston Arts Center. [Reston Town Center]

Herndon teen found — A 12-year-old from Herndon who went missing Tuesday night was found yesterday. She returned home and is safe and sound. [Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office]

Showing their teeth — “In the first meet of the Northern Virginia Swimming League season, the Hunter Mill Sharks took a bite out of the Lee Graham Dolphins, with a final score of 269-151.” [Fairfax County Times]

Squeeze Bayou concert — This week’s “Take a Break” concert series features music folk music tied to the Cajuns. The event at Lake Anne Plaza is free and open to all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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