Update: Fairfax County Schools Closed as Wintry Mix Descends

(Updated at 8:10 a.m.)

Fairfax County Public Schools and school facilities will be closed today (Thursday) as a winter weather advisory has been put into effect for Fairfax County. Schools were originally only set for a two hour delay.

From 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. today (Thursday), the National Weather Service is warning residents throughout the Washington, D.C. area to expect up to one inch of sleet and snow, with ice accumulations of up to a tenth of an inch.

NWS says the icy conditions could mean slippery roads and sidewalk conditions in some areas. Here’s more from the NWS alert:

Be very careful if you venture outside tomorrow. Watch your first few steps in particular as your step or path may be coated with ice.
A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery
roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

Fairfax County Government officials remind commuters and residents to take the following precautions as they head out today:

• Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter, checking that your lights, oil, antifreeze, brakes, tires and windshield wipers are in good shape.
• Ensure your headlights are on day or night during inclement weather.
• Leave a few minutes early when driving in inclement weather.
• Keep an eye out for black ice and be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges.
• Create a safe stopping distance between your car and other vehicles.
• If it does snow, be sure to clear ice and snow from your car’s roof, hood and trunk – and especially from windows, mirrors and lights. Don’t try to drive before your car is defrosted!

Photo via National Weather Service

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Design Review Board Vote Sets ‘Snakeden’ Stream Restoration Project into Motion

Plans to restore roughly 800 linear feet of Lake Audubon’s streams were approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board Tuesday night. The project, called Snakeden, would involve tree removal, stream construction and revegetation along RA’s parcels between Cedar Cove Cluster and Wakerobin Lane.

Meghan Fellows, the county’s manager of watershed projects, said a design team has been working on the project, with the input of RA, property owners and residents, for nearly three years.

“The stream is desperately in need of some assistance,” Fellows said at the DRB meeting, noting that portions of the area are degrading significantly.

Richard Newlon, the board’s chairman, said he hopes the project team will minimize the loss of trees by tweaking designs and implementation to conserve trees — even if it meant a minor tweak to save just one tree.

The project was challenged by the need to secure easements across private property and Reston Association property to construct the stream. Land rights for the project were obtained in June following a more than a year-long period of tree and stream surveys and conceptual planning.

After a cycle of revisions, permits were granted in October. After receiving final approval for designs, drawings and permits in the spring of next year, construction is likely to begin in the summer, Fellows said.

Overall, several sanitary crossings in the area are exposed and RA found that 40 trees are likely to fall down if no action is taken. Trees will be replanted during later phases of the project.

County staff estimates the project will cost under $1 million.

Photos via handout/Reston Association

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Ramen and Rice Restaurant Coming to Herndon Centre

Updated 10:45 a.m. – Ramen and Rice will be opening in Herndon (482 Elden St) early next year.

Sirinda Liw, owner of Ramen and Rice, said despite the company name being Oki Bowl of Herndon the restaurant shares no connection to the chain located in Washington, D.C.

“It’s going to be fusion ramen,” said Liw, “much tastier than regular ramen.”

Ramen and Rice will be located in Herndon Centre between The Deli and the Nail Villa. Additionally, the ABC permit in the window indicates the location will be serving wine and beer.

Liw said the construction process is still in discussion with a planned opening in January or beginning February. The interior is still vacant and decorated as Tipicos Gloria, a closed Central American eatery.

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Pet of the Week: Astro

Becky's Pet Care

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

This week’s Reston Pet of the Week is Astro, a goldendoodle who calls Reston home.

Here is what Astro’s owner, Paige, had to say about him:

Astro is a 1 and a half year old goldendoodle who has so much personality!

Astro can be seen carrying his favorite stick proudly around the neighborhood during his walk, or “giving the belly” — his way of asking strangers to give him belly rubs.

Astro loves to pout when his parents leave for work and is equally excited, bouncing between sofa cushions, when they return. Although he is both golden retriever and poodle, he is working on his swimming skills. He will get there some day.

He’s a total goofball who befriends any person or creature he encounters, with the exception of squirrels.

If you see us around Lake Anne or RTC, please say hi!

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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Reston Hospital Center Nears Halfway Mark for $72 Million Expansion

Reston Hospital Center is just under the halfway point of its $72 million expansion — on track and on budget for completion by the end of next year.

The completed pieces of the project include renovations of the Women and Children’s Services unit and expansion of the neonatal intensive care unit, along with new paint, flooring and upgraded equipment, Erin Echelmeyer, a hospital spokeswoman, told Reston Now. The West Wing Lobby is also finished, with a revamped lobby area, gift shop, physicians’ lounge and office space, she said.

“It is progressing right along,” Echelmeyer said. “We are on target to complete this second phase of our master facility plan by the end of 2019.”

A breakdown of the pieces of the project still in progress is below:

  • New 18-bed Inpatient Rehabilitation Center
  • Expanded 24-bed Intensive Care Unit
  • Addition of a second lab to the cardiac services unit
  • Renovations to visitor areas including a new cafeteria, a glass concourse, and main entrance and lobby
  • New parking garage for patients and visitors on the West Wing entrance
  • Addition of eight rooms to accommodate high-risk obstetric patients

Construction on a new 403-space parking garage has already begun, which is expected to be done by the end of next summer. The Inpatient Rehabilitation Center is slated to open next month, followed by the Intensive Care Unit in January, Echelmeyer said.

The hospital reopened the emergency room entrance, after having patients enter through the hospital’s main entrance, she said, adding that the emergency room, level II trauma center and pediatric emergency room “are all fully function[al] and accessible from the emergency room entrance.”

This is not the first time the 187-bed hospital, which is part of Tennessee-based health giant HCA Holdings, Inc, has expanded. The hospital embarked on a $40 million expansion between 2012 and 2015, which included a 180,00-square-foot medical office and the addition of four operating rooms and 19 surgical recovery rooms in the surgical department.

The current expansion was announced in 2016, when the hospital hit its 30th anniversary. The phased project will add more than 63,000 square feet of new space to the facility.

Photos Courtesy of HCA Healthcare

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Reston Association Set to Consider Assessment Fee, Budget Tomorrow

Reston Association is set this week to hold a vote and the second public hearing on next year’s budget.

This upcoming meeting will focus on approving the second year of the 2018-2019 budget at the public meeting tomorrow (Thursday) at 6:30 p.m. at RA’s headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive) after the first year of the budget was approved last year.

Larry Butler, RA’s acting CEO, presented his recommendations for the budget at a public hearing last Thursday (Nov. 8). RA board and staff created three drafts of the budget, using 2018 as a baseline.

During the budget process, the RA board directed the association’s staff to increase employee health insurance contributions and to reduce expenses by passing credit card convenience fees along to the cardholder. The association trimmed roughly $300,000 from the initial budget estimates from an earlier draft, according to a Nov. 1 press release.

“This year’s budget was shaped primarily through a wide range of cuts in operating expenses,” the press release said.

If approved, the proposed budget would increase members’ assessment fee by $11, setting the rate at $693. The first draft would have set the annual fee, which helps the association maintain pathways, facilities and recreational areas, at just over $700. Last year’s totaled $682.

The board is also requesting $40,000 from cash reserves to reinstate staff training and $17,545 for staff recruitment and “market rate adjustments for difficult to fill positions,” according to meeting materials to be presented to the board.

After the new assessment is set by the board, RA will mail assessment packets to residents with information about the fees and funding. The payment will be due Jan. 1.

The draft agenda for the meeting is available online.

Photo via Reston Association/Reston Today

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Deep dive into Reston sports — Bill Bouie gave a presentation on the history of sports, pioneers, players and playing fields in Reston’s sports. A complete recording of the event, which was organized by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum on Nov. 8, is available online. [YouTube/Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

The Lake House open house today — Reston Association continues its marathon of open houses today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents can enjoy light refreshments and chat with staff to learn more about multipurpose uses of the space. [Reston Association]

From Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins — In a note to Reston Now, Hudgins offered a few words about the coming of Amazon’s HQ2 to Crystal City: “As often partners in many regional endeavors, I am glad to acknowledge Arlington’s success and note that the entire Commonwealth is advantaged by the HQ2 announcement.  Look forward to Fairfax County continuing to work together for the betterment of the region and the Commonwealth.”

Photo by Twitter user @MrErrett

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