Reston Holiday Parade Returns This Friday

This Friday (Nov. 23), the Reston Town Center will host its annual Reston Holiday Parade.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. at the Reston Town Center (11900 Market St) and will feature a Macy’s-style parade of balloons, musicians, dancers and more.

The Reston Holiday Parade lasts for one hour and will travel a half-mile along Market Street. Before the parade starts, thousands of jingle bells will be handed out to the crowd to help welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus.

After the parade, visitors are invited to take photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy a mini-train ride until 4:30.

At 6 p.m., a tree lighting ceremony will be held at Fountain Square, followed by horse-drawn carriage rides around the Reston Town Center.

The parade has been a Reston tradition since 1991.

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Fairfax County Invests $1 Million in Reston-based Refraction’s Expansion

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors approved today a $1 million investment in Reston-based Refraction’s expansion, which plans to add 800 jobs in the next five years.

In addition to the new tech jobs, the investment is anticipated to go toward training 2,500 workers and eventually lead to $200 million in new capital investment over the next five years.

The funding will also support Refraction’s apprenticeship program under development with the Northern Virginia Community College to train workers for startups and high-growth companies, along with assisting Refraction’s move to a larger space in Reston.

The board approved the use of the economic development funds at its Nov. 20 meeting. Under its agreement with the county, Refraction must report its financial results and success metrics annually.

Founded in 2014, Refraction (11911 Freedom Drive, Suite 850) is a coworking community for startups and high-growth companies. Located at Reston Town Center, the “innovation hub” provides educational programs, along with networking and mentoring events.

The Refraction community has had more than 100 companies who have collectively raised $126 million in capital, according to a Refraction press release.

Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova said the expansion will stimulate the local economy.

“As a county, we’re making strategic investments that help to support and grow our region’s innovation ecosystem, such as offering tech startups access to entrepreneurial expertise so they can scale their businesses,” she said.

Refraction will also partner with the county’s chief equity officer and public schools to train girls and students from underrepresented and economically disadvantaged communities on entrepreneurship skills — a partnership that supports the social and racial equity policy, One Fairfax.

County officials have said that a focus on women and minorities is especially important as the tech industry increases diversity in its workforce.

Last week, another Reston-based company announced an expansion that will create more jobs, just days after Amazon’s decision to bring its second headquarters to Crystal City.

IT services firm 1901 Group announced last Thursday (Nov. 15) that it will bring 225 more jobs to Reston in the next three years as part of a $4 million expansion.

Photo via Refraction/Facebook 

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New Fire Station Nears End of Design, Moves Towards Construction

With a little less than a year before construction is scheduled to start on the new Reston Fire and Rescue Station 25, project is starting to shift from conception to physical.

Laurie Stone, a strategic planner for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, said residents should start seeing work on the temporary fire station soon.

“The next thing you’ll see is when we start constructing the temporary facility behind the police station,” said Stone. “That will be starting soon… probably by the first of the year.”

After the fire crew moves into the temporary station at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive, Stone said demolition of the old fire station at 1820 Wiehle Avenue and reconstruction will begin in late summer-fall next year. The new fire station is expected to open in spring 2021.

The new station is scheduled to be 17,150 square-feet, over twice as large as the current 7,750 square-foot station. It will include four bays for the fire trucks on the first floor and administrative offices, a day room, kitchen, storage and bunk rooms on the second floor.

Stone said the station is built to facilitate any necessary new equipment or additional staffing required as the area near the Wiehle-Reston East area continues expanding.

The new fire station has also taken into consideration the developments planned nearby, like the redevelopment of Isaac Newton Square just behind the station.

“[This fire station] is in the Reston comprehensive plan for this area,” said Stone, “So we’ve met with the developer before to make sure they’re aware of it, so when their rezoning application goes through [to Fairfax County] it will go through our agency for review.”

As the area becomes increasingly crowded, Stone said it’s important to ensure the vehicles can quickly and safely enter and exit the station.

“This is going to be a drive-through station,” said Stone, meaning fire trucks will be able to leave from either a south or north entrance to the station. “When the development happens behind us at Isaac Newton they are going to work with us to make sure we can access the rear of the station.”

Stone also said the station development is keeping in mind the planned bridge over Wiehle Avenue which will be adjacent to the fire station. That bridge is planned to be built by October 2022.

“We’re ahead of their schedule,” said Stone, “so we’re coordinating construction so that they don’t disturb our operations.”

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Civil Lawsuit Dropped Against Herndon Town Councilmember

Two current and one incoming Herndon Town councilmembers have dropped their lawsuit against Councilmember Grace Wolf Cunningham.

Cunningham, who lost her seat in a narrow and highly charged election, was replaced by newcomers Cesar del Aguila and Pradip Dhakal.

Del Aguila and current councilmembers Sheila Olem and Signe Friedrichs, who both won re-election, filed a civil suit on Sept. 24 against Cunningham for allegations of malicious prosecution. The trio ran a unified campaign.

John Farrell, the attorney for the plaintiffs, told Reston Now that his clients directed him to file a nonsuit last Tuesday, which the judge has not yet signed off on.

Farrell said his clients decided to drop the case “since they won the election quite handily.”

The lawsuit alleges that the four-term councilwoman engaged in malicious prosecution over when she filed campaign law violations against the trio. The Virginia State Board of Elections dismissed the three complaints lodged by Cunningham.

The first complaint against Friedrichs stated a grip card that said “Herndon’s Future is Happening Now: Let’s plan it together” contained no identification about the campaign committee that paid for the card. The second complaint against said del Aguila did not form a campaign committee and did not file any campaign finance disclosure reports. The final complaint against Olem challenges a grip card that stated “Moving Forward Herndon.”

The judge in the case rejected Cunningham’s attempt to dismiss the case.

While re-election of four incumbents maintained much of the board’s composition, the lawsuit signals a changing dynamic of the new town council.

“I think it is a shift in who is the dominant voice of Herndon,” Farrell said. “I think my clients would hope that the people who supported Ms. Cunningham will support the interest of the voters.”

Cunningham declined to comment to Reston Now because the case is still pending.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Crime Roundup: Arrests Made for Public Intoxication

(Updated at 2:33 p.m.) Loudoun County recently had a pair of arrests of Herndon residents for public intoxication.

Loudoun County police were called to Ashburn on Saturday (Nov. 17) around 8:35 a.m. for a report of a man walking in the roadway at the intersection of Loudoun County Parkway and Waxpool Road.

Juan V. Berrueta-Clement, 43, of Herndon was arrested and charged with public intoxication, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. He has since been released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond.

In a separate incident, another Herndon resident was arrested on Nov. 10 and charged with public intoxication. Police responded to a report of Isaias Serano, 30, acting confrontational with security officers at Town Center Plaza in Sterling. Serano was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond.

Over in Fairfax County, a dozen larcenies occurred last week.

The Fairfax County Police Department reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

1700 block of Business Center Drive, cash from location

1500 block of Cameron Crescent Drive, mail from residence

2100 block of Centreville Road, beer from residence

2400 block of Centreville Road, liquor from business

11100 block of Harbor Court, jewelry from residence

2300 block of Horseferrry Court, property from business

11400 block of Isaac Newton Square, credit cards and wallet from location

900 block of Locust Street, cash from school

11900 block of Market Street, cell phone from business

2100 block of Monaghan Drive, cell phone from residence

11700 block of Putting Green Court, jewelry from residence

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, wallet from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Photo via FCPD

This story has been updated

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Where to properly dispose of American flags — The American Legion collects American flags at several county government locations. [Fairfax County]

Fairfax County doctor is preventing opioid addiction —  Dr. Jae Lim, who is credentialed at the Reston Hospital Center, is using a new technique to lower the risk of opioid addiction. [Fox 5 DC]

Real estate development company third-quarter results — Comstock Holding Companies, Inc., which is based in Reston, saw a bump in revenue for the third-quarter, compared to the same period last year. [Globe Newswire]

Blood drive —  A blood drive will be hosted by INOVA Blood Donor Services and the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department at the Fire and Rescue Academy from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill 

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