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Reston Restaurant Collecting Warm Clothing for Homeless Veterans

(Updated 4:50 p.m.) As it starts to get colder, some veterans and families around the region don’t have a home to take shelter in.

The Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant in the Reston Town Center is collecting unused, or gently used, sweaters and sweat pants as part of a “Sweats 4 Vets” program.

“We do have a homeless problem in Reston,” said Joe Becker, general manager at Not Your Average Joe’s. “It’s not front page news, but if you look around it’s there.”

Becker said the collection is a partnership with Northwest Federal Credit Union.

“Every fall, going into winter, we collect [sweat-clothes] for veterans,” said Becker. “We have hypothermia shelters in the area that we get these clothes out to.”

The collection is starting to fill up, and Becker’s goal is to have it overflowing. Normally the clothing is collected at the beginning of December, but Becker said the weather made him want to keep collecting for a few more weeks to get more sweat-clothes.

“It’s halfway full, so it’s getting up there,” said Robert DeSilva, a manager at Not Your Average Joe’s. “We prefer new items, but we will take slightly used [sweat-clothes] in all sizes and cuts.”

DeSilva said the collection will continue for two more weeks before the clothing is donated to local shelters.

“There’s plenty of veterans on hard times right now,” DeSilva said. “We need to take care of those who have taken care of us.”

Photo via Not Your Average Joe’s

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County Board of Supervisors Approves Several Developments

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors approved changes to several developments at its Tuesday (Dec. 4) meeting.

The board approved modifications to the Tall Oaks Village Center redevelopment.

Stanley Martin’s redevelopment plans to transform the Tall Oaks Village Center (12022 North Shore Drive) into a mostly residential neighborhood. The redevelopment is set to create 156 residential units, which include 42 two-over-two multi-family units, 44 single units and 70 multi-family units in two residential buildings.

It also plans to add nearly 8,500 square feet of retail and 5,800 square feet of office space.

The board approved the following waivers and changes:

  • a 200-square foot privacy yard requirement for single-family units
  • tandem parking for the two-over-two dwelling units to count towards the off-street parking requirement for multi-family dwelling units
  • a modification for the required number of loading spaces
  • a modification for the transitional screening and barrier requirements

At the time of the Board of Supervisors approval in July 2016 of the owner’s plan to redevelop the retail center into a mixed-use project,  the county was planning to continue Fairfax Connector bus service through the development. The Fairfax Connector has since decided to no longer provide bus service through the development.

The board greenlighted the Midline, a mixed-use project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, that would bring 1.8 million square feet of development across 17.5 acres east of Wiehle Avenue and south of Sunset Hills Road. 

The development plan will add eight buildings across four blocks, including:

  • an eight-story, independent living facility with 127 units
  • an eight-story, 325-unit apartment building
  • a 14-story office building
  • an eight-story, 225-unit apartment building
  • a seven-story, 218-unit apartment building
  • a six-story, 39-unit apartment building
  • a six-story, 70-unit apartment building
  • 56 townhomes

The project will set aside 14 percent of the residential units for affordable housing.

The entire development also includes ground-floor retail in every building except the office and townhomes.

The county’s approval allows JBG and EYA to pursue two alternative development plans, based on how many retailers want to move into the new spaces.

The county also ok’d rezoning of a property by Sunrise Valley Drive and Reston Pkwy for a residential development of 145 multi-family dwelling units and office space on 4.31 acres of land.

Images and renderings via Fairfax County and Fairfax County Planning Commission

This story has been updated

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South Lake Village Center’s Construction Plan Set for Spring Arrival

Updated 11:20 — The Ping-Pong Tables were removed, from the project and the story.

Construction on new upgrades for the South Lakes Village Center could be coming next year.

The upgrades proposed by the Chevy Chase Land Company were approved by the Reston Association Design Review Board in June. Plans include upgrades like an amphitheater and a fire pit.

The upgrades are planned to help turn the aging commercial center into a local destination, though earlier this year residents nearby said they were concerned that the upgrades could lead to increased noise levels and vandalism.

Idrissa Sesay, assistant property manager of South Lakes Village Center, told Reston Now in an email that the company is still working on a construction timeline.

“Our marketing director informed me that we are working on the construction timeline now, but hoping to have [the construction timeline] complete this coming spring,” Sesay wrote.

According to the Design Review Board’s approval, the upgrades would add also add a bicycle rack and a bike repair station to make the area more bike accessible.

Photos via Chevy Chase Land Company
This story has been updated

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Pet of the Week: Diesel

Becky's Pet Care

Meet Diesel, a German Shepherd dog mix available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at NOVA Pets Alive! have to say about him:

Diesel is a goofy shepherd mix who loves to go, go, go!

His favorite things include playing fetch and tug with his rope toy. Going out for a walk is always at the top of his list. And after a day of play and fun, Diesel is ready to curl up with his people nearby to get some sleep.

We’ve got a laundry list of reasons about why he’s the PERFECT pal. For starters, this lovable boy is;

  • A snuggler. Snuggling with nice people and his fuzzy toys is his favorite pastime.
  • A lover! Seriously, this guy loves EVERYONE.
  • An adventurer. Walking, hiking, exploring the great outdoors — Diesel is a great companion for active folks, too!
  • An absolute goofball! This cool guy really likes to play and has a knack for keeping his humans thoroughly entertained. Who needs television when you have a Diesel?

Diesel’s got a lot of love to give, and one adoption application can send him to his forever home today!

Are you and Diesel 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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Police: Sleeping Man Assaulted in His Herndon Home

A man sleeping on his couch was assaulted last week by a person he knows, according to the Herndon Police Department.

The suspect entered the house on the 700 block of Cordell Way last Monday (Nov. 26), woke up the sleeping man and began assaulting him, the report said.

The victim was transported to Reston Hospital.

The Herndon Police Department is currently investigating the case.

Map via Google Maps

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Reston Community Center Adds Herndon Singer to Martin Luther King Jr. Show Line-up

Herndon resident Crys Matthews will perform her songs at the 34th annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration.

The Reston Community Center recently added the singer-songwriter to its lineup of artists for the three-day event, which takes place from Jan. 19 to Jan. 21.

Matthews has gained national acclaim for her music, which blends Americana, folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass and funk. In 2017, she was the grand-prize winner in the NewSong Music Competition and won the People’s Music Network’s Social Justice Songs contest at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance.

“Crys Matthews is an important voice of her generation and will be an excellent addition to our weekend lineup,” Paul Douglas Michnewicz, the arts and events director for Reston Community Center, said in a statement. “Her perspective reminds us that our similarities are far more important than our differences.”

Matthews is scheduled to perform at 2 p.m. on Jan. 20 at CenterStage. Tickets cost $15 for Reston residents.

She also plans to conduct a workshop for students at Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School as an artist-in-residence in Reston.

Photo via Fairfax County

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Trial for 1995 Sexual Assaults Opens With Victim Testimonies

The trial began earlier this week for Jude Lovchik, charged with abduction and sodomy.

In 1995, four roommates in Reston were held at gunpoint and sexually assaulted. The case had gone cold until Lovchik’s ex-wife told Arlington County police that Lovchik had confessed the actions to her and had her recreate the scenes.

According to the Washington Post, the victims of the assault testified during the opening day of the trial. The women said their attacker had forced the women to perform sexual acts on each other and on him, then worked meticulously to cover his tracks.

One woman testified that she was made to drink Gatorade to remove the evidence from her mouth and that he vacuumed the bedroom where the assault occurred. After going through their address book, the women said the attacker also threatened to kill their friends and family if they reported the assault.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jessica Greis-Edwardson, who said DNA swabs from Lovchik matched biological material found in the mouth of one of the victims.

But Fairfax County Public Defender Dawn Butorac said the evidence tying Lovchik to the crime was flimsy, saying there were inconsistencies in the DNA evidence and noting that Lovchick’s ex-wife, who was in the middle of the divorce when she reported Lovchick’s confession, had motive to lie.

Lovchik faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges, including abduction and sodomy. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Photo via Marion County Jail

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Opening night for “The Nutcracker” — The Conservatory Ballet begins performances tonight of the holiday classic at 7 p.m. at CenterStage. [Reston Community Center]

Deadline pushed for Silver Line project contractors — The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority extended the deadline yesterday for proposals to accommodate the vendors interested in operating the extension of the Metrorail Silver Line to March 18. [WMATA]

Reston-based technology developer is raking in the money —  OpenLegacy has raised $30 million in funding. Silverhorn Investment Advisors led the round. [OpenLegacy]

Snow possible this weekend — Get your snow boots out. Forecasters say a chance of wintery storms could hit Reston over the weekend. [Reston Patch]

Photo via Marjorie Copson

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