Minor Fire Reported in North Point Village Center

A small fire broke out on the roof of a business in North Point Village Center (1452 Reston Parkway) yesterday (Wednesday).

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department contained the fire, which broke out around 5:30 p.m. that day.

Two medic units were dispatched to the scene, but no injuries were reported.

The fire happened on the roof line of the former Boston Market, which closed last month.

No other information about the incident was immediately available.  The cause of the incident has not yet been determined.

Photo by Alex Schneider

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DEVELOPING: Gas Leak Reported at Commerce Park Drive

Local crews are tackling a gas leak on the 11500 block of Commerce Park Drive.

According to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, crews from Washington Gas have clamped the leak, which is suspected to have struck a 2” gas line.

No injuries were reported.

Local fire and rescue crews are now going in to service the area.

This story will be updated.

Photo via @ffxfirerescue/Twitter

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Seminar on Accessing Medical Cannabis Coming to Reston Regional Library

A state affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is hosting an informational seminar on accessing medical cannabis at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive).

Virginia NORML will host the event, “Accessing Medical Cannabis in Virginia” on Wednesday, August 21 from 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Organizers wrote the following about the event:

Virginia’s medical cannabis program is already accepting patient, caregiver, and practitioner registrations, and facilities will begin opening in the second half of 2019. Learn how to get a recommendation, how to register, and what the new laws mean for patients and providers.

Seating is limited and reservations can be made online.

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Resident Curators Present Plans for Ellmore Farmhouse

Two resident curators presented their plans to repurpose the historic Ellmore Farmhouse as part of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s resident curator program.

Two applicants proposed uses for the property through the program, which allows individuals and organizations to secure long-term lease agreements in exchange for rehabilitating the park authority’s underutilized historic properties.

Applicants Karl and Jessie Scherm proposed to use the property as a residential home, drawing on his memories and experience of visiting Frying Pan Farm Park.

The Scherms proposed to use the property for several community uses, including hosting members of the Chantilly Bible Church and welcoming widows and their school-aged children into the home.

“Our children, much like the Ellmore and Smith children, have had the opportunity to spend time learning about farming and caring for animals through the 4-H clubs they are in,” according to the application. “Living in the Ellmore Farmhouse would allow us more time to learn and share with others about the original families and animals that lived here on this property.”

The second applicant — a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities — proposed to use the property as a gathering space for its longterm and community integration services program, which serves 15 clients.

“Our solution will maximize heritage conservation efforts for the property to benefit the Fairfax community, including Frying Pan Park visitors, adults with disabilities, and the general public,” according to the application.

The next meeting on the proposals will be held on Thursday, September 12 at 9 a.m. at the Herrity Biulding (12055 Government Center Parkway). The meeting is public but no comments will be taken.

All written comments must be submitted via email to [email protected] by Friday, September 6.

The Ellmore Farmhouse is a two-story home on West Ox Road in Herndon that was first used by William Ellmore, a prominent local politician, until 1935. The successive owners continued to operate the property as a dairy forum until it was sold in 1854. FCPA purchased the property for inclusion into Frying Pan Farm Park in 2001.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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UFC Gym Set to Open This Month in Plaza America

Locals looking to diversity their workout options will soon be able to do so at Plaza America, which welcomes a new fitness business this month.

UFC Gym plans to open on August 19 at 11710 Plaza America Drive, Suite 40, a company representative told Reston Now.

The business, which joins Gold’s Gym around the corner, has 70 locations across the country.

The newest location in Reston will offer a mix of mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing glasses for individuals and groups.

UFC Gym is also located at Woodland Park Crossing at 12971 Highland Crossing Drive, Suite 6.

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Del. Ken Plum: Laboratories of Democracy

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.

State Senator Toi Hutchinson of Illinois who is president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) spoke last week in Jamestown as part of the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of representative democracy in the United States. She was eloquent in describing the evolution of legislative bodies in the states: “That evolution is breathtaking–from that rudimentary gathering of a handful of land-owning, white men to professional legislative bodies filled with the best and brightest of every race, every creed and every gender. Legislatures now serve as the place where ordinary hard-working Americans become extraordinary ambassadors of their neighborhoods, towns and cities and strive together to secure the blessings of liberty.” (full text of her remarks)

I am attending the annual meeting of the NCSL this week. NCSL uses the term “laboratories of democracy” in describing the states. The attendance at its annual meeting reflects the diversity that President Hutchinson described in her remarks at Jamestown. The Virginia General Assembly has made major strides in becoming more diverse the last several years as more people reflecting diversity have come forward to run for office and have been welcomed by the voters. Recent court decisions that wiped out some of the gerrymandering that kept white men in charge will no doubt add to the diversity in election winners this November.

Just as in any laboratory setting, the results of some experiments are worth keeping and others are just as well cast aside. Too many states are still involved in passing laws to restrict those who can vote and to legalize discrimination against certain classes of people. Fortunately few if any of these people show up at this conference but rather go to other meetings where they might feel more comfortable. NCSL for the most part tends to attract middle-of-the-road moderates to progressives.

With the federal government reneging on so many matters that might best be resolved with common solutions across state lines, the states are having to step up to respond to these issues. The current federal administration continues to deny climate change, but it is the people in the states who are getting their feet wet and who are suffering the consequences of climate change including extreme weather events. I look forward to attending sessions with expert speakers and panels who will present what is happening in states that are taking environmental issues seriously.

Criminal justice reform, educational reforms including the expansion of early childhood education, new approaches to mental health, cybersecurity, and a fair census and resulting redistricting are a short list of topics that will be on my mind and the minds of legislators from other states with whom I will have an opportunity to interact during the several days of the conference. I will share some of what I have learned or confirmed in future columns.

As at any meeting, discussions that take place at the breaks and social gatherings can be the most profitable. I know there will be an overwhelming number of attendees who will be gravely concerned about what is happening with our national leadership and institutions. That makes work as state legislators even more important as we work to maintain our laboratories of democracy.

File photo

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Thursday Morning Notes

ElectrifyAmerica Helps Create Robotic Charging Stations — The Volkswagen subsidiary, which is based in Reston, is helping jumpstart a pilot program to create robotic charging stations for self-driving vehicles. The pilot will be based in San Francisco. [CNBC]

Reston Native Creates Denim Apparel for College Football — Caroline DeMarco, 18, of Reston, hand paints designs on denim jackets and creates tailgate staples for cooler months. Her side business took off on Instagram. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Take a Break Concert Series Tonight — Enjoy “Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet” at Lake Anne Plaza from 7-9 p.m. The concert is free and open for all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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