UMAI Ramen and Rice Bowl to Open This Weekend in Herndon Centre

A new ramen restaurant is coming this month to Herndon Centre at 482 Elden Street.

UMAI Ramen and Rice Bowl‘s soft opening date is set for Saturday, Sept. 21. The family-owned business will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The spot used to belong to Tipicos Gloria, a Central American eatery, before it relocated about 150 feet away to 470 Elden Street last year.

Photo via UMAI/Facebook

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Crime Roundup: No Major Incidents This Week

The past week was unusually quiet week for crime. The Fairfax County Police Department and the Herndon Police Department released no reports of major incidents in the area.

However, FCPD’s Reston District Station did report the following minor incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

11900 block of Bowman Towne Drive, cell phone from location

2200 block of Coppersmith Square, tools from vehicle

13300 block of Glen Echo Circle, backpack and cash from vehicle

13300 block of Glen Echo Circle, backpack and cash from vehicle

12700 block of Oak Farms Drive, purses and wallet from residence

11700 block of Sunset Hills Road, beer from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Photo via FCPD

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Gas Leak Prompts Closure of Sunrise Valley Drive

A portion of Sunrise Valley Drive is closed due to emergency road repairs required by a gas leak.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department, commuters are encouraged to use an alternate route between Colts Brook Drive and Thunder Chase Drive.

The service road accessing the Herndon Monroe Bus Loop is shut down. Commuters can access the Herndon Monroe Bus Loop via the Dulles Toll Road.

Delays are expected to all Fairfax Connector routes servicing the loop.

It is unclear when the road will reopen.

This story will be updated.

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Land Acquisition for Van Buren Street Improvements Project Underway

Land acquisition is underway to make way for major improvements to Van Buren Street from Spring Street to Herndon Parkway. But permission from five property owners for necessary easements and land acquisition is pending to allow the $4.6 million project to proceed.

Planned improvements are envisioned as a critical link between downtown Herndon and the Herndon Metro Station ahead of its expected opening in July next year.

The Herndon Town Council plans to vote on plans to seize the properties through eminent domain. So far, property owners have rejected the town’s proposals to buy easements based on the unit price of the real estate:

Town planners attempted to use existing right-of-way as much as possible in order to minimize land acquisition needs.

Planning for the project began in December 2011. If land acquisition and utility relocation is completed by the end of this year, construction is expected to begin in spring 2020.

Construction, which is expected to cost $3.7 million of the overall $4.6 million price tag — would be complete by fall next year.

The project includes 11-foot wide travel lanes, on-road bike lanes in each direction from Spring Street to Senate Court, an off-road cycle track in both directions from Senate Court to Herndon Parkway, five-foot-wide sidewalks, and a new traffic signal at the Alabama Drive intersection.

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Herndon Homecoming Parade Participation Deadline Approaches

The deadline to participate in Herndon’s Homecoming Parade is approaching.

Monday (Sept. 23) is the last day for organizations to register for representation in the parade on Saturday, Oct. 19. Those wishing to simply watch the parade may line up at 9:30 a.m. around Elden Street on the day of the parade.

“Into the Future” will be this year’s parade theme. Participants are welcome to join the parade with a vehicle-powered float, walking float or a group of people, the application form said.

There will be prizes for floats that demonstrate outstanding creativity and adherence to the theme for the following groups:

  • School Group
  • Performing Group
  • Civic Group
  • HHS Class Float
  • Show Group

Parade organizers want floats to be presentable from both sides, fit the theme and appeal to a wide variety of age groups.

Anyone wishing to volunteer and assist with the parade may sign up online.

More than 58 units and around 1,300 participants took part in the 2018 parade, according to the event website.

Photo via Herndon Parks and Recreation

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Fairfax County Board Expected to Vote on Police Body-Worn Camera Program This Month

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a body-worn camera program for the Fairfax County Police Department later this month.

If the board’s public safety committee votes in favor of the program today (Tuesday), the board will likely vote on the project on September 24.

Earlier this year, American University researchers analyzed the effects of body-worn cameras on the use of force, changes in policing activities, community members’ assessments of police legitimacy, and the number of community complaints. The report detailed mixed findings. While residents supported the adoption of the program, there was no evidence the cameras directly impacted community member’s satisfied with FCPD.

The program, which would be phased out over three years, will cost $4.3 million next year — a sum that will be covered from the county’s reserve funds. In 2021, the program is expected to cost $5.5 million and roughly $1.1 million in 2022.

If approved, more than 1,200 camera will be deployed to all district stations. Overall, 34 new full-time employees will be hired, including five staff members for FCPD, 23 staff members for the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and six positions with the Department of Information Technology.

Police officers at the Reston District Station — which was included in last year’s pilot program — would be the first to receive the devices if the program is approved.

School Resource Officers are also expected to receive body-worn cameras. However, the committee cautioned that decisions to deploy the devices will be made in concert with the Fairfax County School Board and the Board of Supervisors.

The county contracted American University researchers to study the effects of the pilot program after FCPD Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. recommended implementing the program in June 2015. A six-month pilot began in March last year in the Mason, Mount Vernon and Reston district stations.

At a committee meeting in June, board supervisors largely expressed support for the program.

Photo via FCPD

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Author Christina June to Discuss ‘No Place Like Here’ — June will discuss her book at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) today at 7 p.m. [Scrawl Books]

A Close Look at Campus Commons — “New York-based TF Cornerstone filed plans nearly 30 months ago to redevelop an 11.6-acre site located immediately east of Wiehle Avenue, between Sunrise Valley Drive and the Dulles Toll Road. Over the course of those two-plus years, per a recently released staff report, the applicant and the county worked through issues related to the mix of uses, design, connectivity, and transportation improvements.” [Washington Business Journal]

Falls Comes Early to Fairfax County — “In Fairfax County, Virginia Cooperative Extension agents have noticed a lot of white and red oak trees dying. Senior extension agent of horticulture, Adria C. Bordas, says the factors are explained in a report by the Virginia Department of Forestry.” [The Connection]

Staff Photo by Jay Westcott

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