An environment-focused nonprofit has raked in funding for long-awaited community garden plots at Bruin Park.
The Fairfax County Park Authority Board approved a funding request from the Herndon Environmental Network (HEN) for $20,000 at its Nov. 14 meeting.
HEN will use the grant money to help develop 40 garden plots on the west side of the tennis courts at the park, which is located at 415 Van Buren Street. The plan also includes adding fencing to protect the plots and accessible trails, according to a county press release.
The project’s budget totals $42,496.22 — a combination of the grant money with a $7,966.06 cash contribution and $14,530.16 of in-kind donations from HEN.
Plans for the community garden sprouted several years ago.
The Master Plan for Bruin Park was amended in January 2014 to allow for community garden plots. In April 2017, an agreement between HEN, the Town of Herndon — which owns the park — and the Park Authority authorized HEN to develop, manage and maintain community garden plots at the park, according to the press release.
HEN is set to celebrate the grant award at the monthly Bruin Park Community Garden planning meeting — free and open to the public — at 7 p.m. on Dec. 13 at the Herndon Fortnightly Library.
The Williams-Sonoma in Reston Town Center is set to close in January, a spokeswoman for the company told Reston Now.
“We plan on closing in early January, but do not have a specific date to share at this time,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email.
The store is located at 11897 Market Street. Other locations nearby include Tysons Galleria in McLean and the Mosaic District in Fairfax.
Questions have been raised about the status of the Pottery Barn, which is also operated by Williams-Sonoma Inc., at 11937 Market Street. Reston Now has not heard back yet from a representative for that store.
Image via Google Maps
(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Crafthouse, a growing beer-centric restaurant chain with a prominent Reston location, recently signed a $250 million deal to start franchising across the country.
As first reported by the Washington Business Journal, Crafthouse owner Evan Matz signed a deal with development firm American Development Partners to provide site selection, acquisition, and construction services for more than 100 new Crafthouse locations over the next five years.
Crafthouse currently has locations in Reston, Fairfax City, and Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood.
It’s a turnaround for Matz, who started his restaurants as franchisees of Florida-based World of Beer before going independent and rebranding the locations as “Crafthouse.” The move prompted a lawsuit from World of Beer, which has since been settled, according to the Business Journal.
Matz told Reston Now that the core idea of Crafthouse is not just locally sourced beer, but entire menus built around local specialties.
“Eat local, drink local,” said Matz. “I want to try to showcase local craft beer or local spirits. As we go forward, if we open one in North Carolina or Tennessee, I want to focus on the local beers there, like their whiskey or wine, but they’re also known for their ribs. If we open in Maryland it might be crab cakes or conch in Key West.”
As they begin looking at locations throughout the country, Matz said he’s excited by the variety of different locales and what they have to bring to the table.
“People love the concept, so I wanted to bring it to other possible franchisees to expand it throughout the country,” said Matz. “There’s a lot of exciting markets out there. Each one is unique in its own right.”
Crafthouse has arranged with American Development Partners to provide 100 percent funding for franchisees planning on placing a Crafthouse inside newly built, freestanding buildings.
While Matz said he plans to go to every location as they open and make sure they are being properly run, he said the emphasis is going to be on local owners independently owning and operating the restaurants.
Matz said Crafthouse is already beginning to get inquiries from across the country about potential new locations, and that he aims to have a franchised location open by late 2019 or early 2020. Matz said interested parties should reach out to Crafthouse through email at [email protected] or through the website.
Among the requirements for a new franchise location is at least $300,000 in liquid assets, a net worth over $1 million, and a credit score of 700 or above. But just as importantly, Matz said he’s looking for franchise owners who understand their community and are committed to it.
“Being directly involved as a local owner is key,” said Matz. “You have to be in touch with the community. Be involved and listen to what the customer wants. Forming your Crafthouse around the local area is key to success.”
The partnership will provide Google Cloud services to support the NIH’s Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative, Carahsoft announced today (Nov. 29).
The initiative aims to reduce economic and technological barriers for accessing and computing on large biomedical datasets.
The NIH Institutes and Centers support researchers at more than 2,500 academic and research institutions.
The institutions’ data have traditionally been stored and made available via public repositories or at local institutions — a model that has become straining as data from research projects grows. “This makes it difficult for the research community attempting to integrate, analyze and share biomedical data sets,” according to the press release.
Carahsoft’s work with Google Cloud is meant to address those challenges by making high-value data more accessible through the cloud.
Google Cloud computing solutions will be available to the NIH and its designated recipients, and the NIH will work with the research community to develop policies utilizing the solutions.
The partnership to support the initiative will help accelerate the research institutions’ goal of enhancing health, lengthening life and reducing illness and disability, Terry Drinkwine, vice president of the Google Cloud team at Carahsoft, said in a statement.
Founded in 2004, the company is located at 1860 Michael Faraday Drive #100.
Photo via Google Maps
Reston Historic Trust & Museum has started up sales during the holiday season for commemorative bricks.
Locals have until Jan. 20 to place their orders for installation in 2019. The annual brick sales support the museum.
Up to three inscribed lines with a maximum of 15 characters each cost $100, while up to six lines cost $250. The inscription has white text level with the surface of the brick.
The inscription guidelines do not allow for the phrase “In Memory Of” and dates commemorative a person’s lifespan. The inscription also cannot contain profanity, offensive language, logos, taglines, telephone numbers or advertising. Religious or political content or symbols are also banned.
Bricks are ordered and installed once a year, according to the museum’s website. It takes up to two months to finish the bricks after they are bought each February.
Usually, the bricks get displayed at the Reston Museum during the Founder’s Day celebrations in April and are then installed in Lake Anne Plaza.
Photo via Reston Museum/Facebook
(Updated at 9 a.m. on Nov. 30) This 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.
Amazon, which has made its way into just about every consumer’s home with its online goods and services, has announced that it is bringing its second headquarters — or at least half its east-coast headquarters — to Crystal City. The area — now being called “National Landing” — is actually in Arlington County. The other half of its headquarters, originally expected to be in one location, will be in Long Island City in Queens, New York.
There were few regrets in Virginia or the Washington, D.C. area at getting just half of the prize in the most competitive contest for an economic development project in recent times. Even half of the prize is expected to bring 25,000 top jobs to the region.
I attended the announcement of Amazon’s decision in an abandoned Crystal City warehouse that has in recent years fallen on hard economic times. The warehouse will be demolished to make room for the new HQ2. During Governor Ralph Northam’s remarks, I was thinking that we have truly reached a crossroads in economic development in the northern part of the Commonwealth. There will be little need for the structures like that warehouse.
Northern Virginia that includes Reston and Tysons Corner has fully moved into the arena of high technology and will be mentioned in the future as one of the centers of technological innovation in our country. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is just the latest of a long list of entrepreneurs who have seen the value of a NoVa location.
I am a skeptic of big pay-out deals that have been increasingly used by states and localities to lure companies to their locations. There seems to be almost unanimous agreement among economic development experts that Virginia may have pulled off one of the best deals they have seen in an economic development proposal in recent times.
There is cash to Amazon involved, but that cash is in the form of performance payments when Amazon reaches certain tiers of development and production of top-paying jobs. The math of the proposal shows that in the end, Virginia will be a substantial net winner from the economic activity coming from the new headquarters and supporting development and the new Virginia taxpayers it will include.
For many, the strength of the Virginia Amazon proposal goes beyond the location of a new headquarters. Governor Northam called Virginia’s efforts “a new model of economic development for the 21st century.” As he explained, most of Virginia’s partnership proposal consists of investments in education and transportation infrastructure “that will bolster the features that make Virginia so attractive: a strong and talented workforce, a stable and competitive business climate, and a world-class higher education system.”
The feature of the proposal that is getting the strongest kudos is the location of a billion-dollar extension of Virginia Tech that will offer graduate degrees in engineering, technology and innovation in the city of Alexandria. And yes, there will be transportation improvements to Metro and the highways to better accommodate the new residents who will be working at the new headquarters.
I believe Virginia was a really big winner in this announcement; even half the deal is certain to work to our region’s advantage!
This story has been updated
A man accused of a series of sexual assaults across Fairfax in the 90’s, including four women in Reston, is scheduled to go to trial this Monday (Dec. 3).
Jude Lovchik is charged with a series of felonies including multiple counts of abduction, sodomy, robbery and firearms offenses.
While Lovchik is being investigated for other assaults in Fairfax and Prince William counties, his charges stem from a 1995 assault where Lovchik is alleged to have climbed onto the balcony of an apartment building and subseqently tied up, blindfolded and sexually assaulted four roommates.
According to the Washington Post, the break in the cold case came when Lovchik’s wife went to the Arlington Police after she said Lovchik assaulted her during their divorce. She also told the police that Lovchik had told her about his string of assaults throughout Fairfax in the early 1990’s and had her recreate the sexual assault scenes for him. Police said Lovchik’s wife provided information about the case that had not been disclosed to the public.
After Lovchik’s wife spoke with the police in early 2017, his home was placed under surveilence until DNA was collected from trash that police say was connected to DNA collected from the Reston assault.
Lovchik moved to Florida in 2017, but was arrested in October and returned to Vriginia, where he is currently being housed in the Fairfax County jail.
Photo via Marion County Jail
“O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree” — If you’re looking for a place to get a tree this holiday season, this roundup lists nearby Christmas tree farms. [Reston Patch]
Dollars and Sense — The free monthly group at Reston Regional Library focuses on business leaders and markets. Tonight’s 7 p.m. discussion will be about Mel Lindauer ‘s book “The Bogleheads’: Guide to Investing.” [Fairfax County]
Tackling Reston’s housing inclusiveness — Richard Rothstein, author of “Color of Law: The Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America,” will lead a discussion on how housing policy impacts equitability and inclusiveness in Northern Virginia communities. An interactive panel discussion with local community experts will follow. The event takes place tonight at the Reston Community Center at 5 p.m. [Reston Community Center]
Investigating how the media impacts victims of crime — Karen Bune, a criminology professor at George Mason University, will dive into the news media’s role related to crime victims and ways to disseminate news without negatively impacting victims, survivors, confidentiality and ongoing investigations. The event is at 7 p.m. at the Herndon Fortnightly Library. [Fairfax County]
Photo via Ray Copson