Reston, VA

To attract talent to the Northern Virginia area, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is hosting a workshop for regional companies.

The online Talent Attraction Workshop: Marketing Northern Virginia will take place Tuesday (Sept. 15) from 11 a.m.- 12 p.m. and help employers understand what draws people to the area and how to recruit talented individuals, according to a press release.

There are roughly 80,000 currently untilled positions in the region, the website said.

“The workshop will also reveal top findings from talent perception research commissioned by the FCEDA, as well as findings from a national survey of 1,600+ people recently conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) — the leader in marketing places,” the press release said.

For those who are interested, the event will also include an introduction to an online hub for talent to learn about career opportunities and relocation information.

“The hub includes a job board with 90,000+ active listings in Northern Virginia, upskilling and training resources, a cost of living calculator, a community finder quiz and more.”

Potential attendees can register for the Zoom session online.

Photo by Bruce Mars/Unsplash

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As kids return to the classroom, Reston Now wants to know how parents and the community feel about this current school year.

The Fairfax County Public School Board debated the best practices for the start of the school year and ultimately decided to begin with a primarily virtual classroom — incorporating varied in-person learning opportunities for certain ages.

FCPS released a portal to help families work out technical issues that caused confusion in the spring.

Despite attempts to confront potential issues, Fairfax County officials previously expressed concern about the lack of childcare opportunities for parents who work full-time jobs while their kids are in school.

To fix this, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to allow county staff to work with FCPS on ways to improve resources and support systems for working families.

Do you feel that these measures are enough?

Please fill out the poll below and then expand on your opinion in the comments.

Additionally, if you’d like to share your experience with us personally or share a news tip, please send our editorial team an email.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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Clinics and medical facilities are beginning to offer yearly vaccines as flu season approaches.

People who received their annual flu shot in a 2018 study were 82% less likely to be admitted to the ICU for potentially life-threatening symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Most people six months and older can receive a dose of the flu shot, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that people can either choose the shot or the nasal spray.

The CDC suggests that those eligible should receive their yearly flu vaccine before the end of October.

 Photo via Hyttalo Souza/ Unsplash

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Given that the expansion of the Silver Line is expected to bring more people to already urbanized areas in Northern Virginia, community leaders are working toward solutions around the lack of affordable housing.

The Dulles Chamber of Commerce brought together representatives from Fairfax and Loudoun counties to talk about what this means for the future of affordable housing at a public meeting yesterday evening. Common themes of conversation included roadblocks to construction, current demand for units, land-use policies and even the type of people around town in need of subsidized housing.

The cost of living is not sustainable for lower-income people working in the area, according to Tom Fleetwood, the Director of Housing and Community Development for Fairfax County. Around Fairfax County, from 2010 to 2015, the average income only increased by 10% while the cost of housing increased by 17%.

Fairfax County will require at least 15,000 new affordable housing units in the next 15 years to support families earning 60% of the median income and below, according to Fleetwood.

Currently, there are 30,000 low-income renters in Fairfax County that are paying more than one-third of their income on housing. “This means that they’re what we call a cost-burden and that they have less money to contribute to our economy,” he said.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, four minimum wage jobs are needed in order to afford the average apartment in the county.

Once the extension project is complete, the housing disparity is only expected to grow.

In Tysons and Reston specifically, Fleetwood said that the biggest challenge is the limited availability of land for affordable housing projects. To combat this, updated inclusionary zoning policies have been a large help in rethinking how space is used, he said.

“Visionary zoning policies have produced a substantial number of below-market units that are serving working families in Tysons and in Reston,” Fleetwood said but didn’t volunteer a specific number.

Stephen Wilson, president of the SCG Development, offered previous examples at the meeting of how his company has worked around small parcels of open land, using creative designs in areas like Shady Grove to make the most of space.

“Land is a precious commodity everywhere, but particularly around high-density areas,” he said.

At Ovation at Arrowbrook in Herndon, SCG Development is branching out and working with community planners to incorporate affordable housing close to stations like Innovation Center.

Image courtesy Fairfax County

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Helping to supplement K-12 curriculum in the era of COVID-19, Reston-based maker space Nova Labs decided to extend its class offerings this fall with a new program.

Called Nova Labs MakerSchool, the school is designed by Nova Labs Vice President Karen Shumway who said the program supports homeschool students whose parents want to ensure they have a comprehensive education.

“Whether you have been homeschooling for years, were already unhappy with your child’s school situation before COVID-19 made its appearance, or want to augment traditional schooling, the Nova Labs MakerSchool is here to provide an uncommon, innovative solution to twenty-first century education,” the school’s website said.

Students in the program can either join full-time “pods” of students in their age group or take classes “a-la-carte,” the website said.

Each pod of students consists of a six to eight kid class size and allows students to learn together in a “Montessori” style setting, according to Shumway.

The program focuses on science, engineering and technology, Shumway said, but added that the curriculum offers humanities as well.

Once COVID-19 hit, parents at the maker space began talking about alternative options to online learning through Fairfax County Public Schools – which inspired her to come up with the idea for the new school in June, according to Shumway.

Classes are set to begin in September but registration is still open for certain age groups and individual classes, Shumway said.

Though creating a new curriculum in just a few months may seem daunting, Shumway said it wasn’t a problem since she had taught k-12 science before at public schools in West Virginia.

“These are courses I’m familiar with and had already built out, so all I really had to do is go into my computer and pull it up,” she added.

On the program website, Nova Labs Makerschool lists over 31 class offerings for students, each of which will be taught by 12 instructors, according to Shumway.

Since Nova Labs Makerschool offers a variety of time offerings, parents can choose a schedule that best fits their needs.

Private schools can be expensive, but a goal of the program is to keep tuition affordable for working families, according to Shumway. Though there are no scholarships yet available for low-income students, Nova Labs MakerSchool is in the process of forming corporate partnerships that would supplement cost.

“I have a couple of leads but haven’t had time to track them down yet,” she said.

Full-time tuition will cost parents $7,500 for the 2020-2021 school year, the website said, adding that semesters run for 15-weeks each.

Though not technically an accredited school option, Shumway said that she works with families to keep the kids on tack, so they would be able to test into a comparable grade if they wanted to make the transition to a public school.

Considering Fairfax County spends roughly $15,000 a year per student, according to Shumway, the school is trying to keep costs low for parents while still paying staff fairly.

Photo via Nova Labs MakerSchool/Facebook

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Job seekers have the chance to apply for a new seasonal gig. The Fairfax County Office of Elections recently announced it’s hiring more than 200 workers for the November election.

The positions came about because the elections office is expecting a significant rise in absentee voting this year, Brian Worthy, a Fairfax County spokesperson, told Reston Now.

Applicants can apply to be considered for three various positions, according to the job listings.

About 200 people are needed to process mailed absentee ballots, starting around Sept. 28 and likely working until a few days after the election. Meanwhile, about 40 people will get hired to assist inperson absentee voters at satellite locations from Oct. 14-Oct. 31. A limited number of people are needed for the administration tasks like data input, which the job description did not include a timeframe for.

“Skills we are looking for are people who have attention to detail and basic computer skills,” Worthy said, adding that applicants must also be registered voters in Virginia. Other requirements and a detailed description of each position can be found online.

“For all positions, you are hired as a seasonal employee, paid hourly, and must go through a background check including fingerprinting. The work is seasonal with no benefits and is dependent on the election schedule,” the listing said, adding that most employees will be paid around $14 an hour. The opportunities are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“We are still in the hiring process so we don’t have a count of how many positions have been filled yet,” Worthy said.

Anyone interested in applying can fill out an online Survey Monkey form. Applicants shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t hear back right away, Worthy said.

“The hiring process does take some time, so people might not hear back immediately,” according to Worthy, who added that he encourages people to apply early so they will have plenty of time to complete the onboarding process.

According to Fairfax County’s website, there are also openings for local election officers. The county said that it’s received roughly 10 times the normal number of applications for the election officer roles.

Photo via Tiffany Tertipes/Unsplash

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As restaurants look to serve diners indoors safely during the pandemic, Silver Diner has started using a new system to keep the interiors of its restaurants sanitized.

The regional chain says that it is the first U.S. restaurant to install an air purification system that uses three technologies — ultraviolet light, bipolar ionization technology and HEPA filtration, according to a press release.

The systems were installed at all of Silver Diner’s locations by last Wednesday (Aug. 12), according to co-founder and head chef Ype Von Hengst.

“I think that in this world you’ve got to adapt and change to fit what’s needed,” Hengst said. “It’s our responsibility as restaurateurs to create a new norm.”

Already, Hengst said that both the Reston and Tysons locations have seen a substantial jump in customers who feel safe about eating inside.

Silver Diner spent roughly $500,000 on the system for the restaurants, according to Hengst, who added that the cost was worth it to protect staff and customers. The air purification system was designed by Veteran LED, a veteran-owned lighting and energy management firm.

The technology has been used before in hospitals, schools and medical care facilities but never a restaurant, according to a press release.

Depending on size, each location has a large air purifier filer that covers roughly 1,000 cubic feet of air and then smaller purifiers that support roughly 250 feet of additional cubic footage, according to Hengst.

“Germicidal UV-C lights installed throughout the HVAC system work to disinfect air and surfaces inside the system. Heavy-duty handheld UV-C light sterilizers are being used on high touch areas as part of the closing duties of the staff,” the press release said. “At night, when the restaurant is closed, the interior is bathed in germicidal UV-C light to help kill pathogens in the air and sterilize surfaces.”

Hengst said that the UV-C ceiling fixture runs for one hour each night. The restaurant claims that the system gets rid of 99.9% of the encountered pathogens.

While UV-C lights have been used as a disinfectant for decades and researchers found it can deactivate coronaviruses, the dosage, time duration and distance from the source can all impact how effective the lights are, Discover Magazine reported.

It’s unclear how effective UV treatment is against COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency cannot confirm whether it may be effective.

Additionally, Silver Diner locations are going to continue using personal protective equipment, printing menus on anti-microbial paper, requiring temperature checks, social distancing and following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Hengst.

Before the pandemic hit the NoVA area, Hengst said that he was beginning to notice a roughly 10% profit increase at both the Reston and Tysons locations, which he attributed to population growth in the areas.

Since Silver Diner installed the new technology last week, Hengst said that more and more people are requesting to sit inside, though it is too early to see if sales are increasing again.

In the months to come, Hengst said he hopes more restaurants can use the technology to “help open up the world again.”

Photos courtesy Silver Diner

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Fairfax County NAACP President Sean Perryman wasn’t planning to explore the possibility of running for public office earlier this year.

Pressing issues from the ongoing pandemic and Black Lives Matter Movement after police killed George Floyd inspired Perryman to explore jumping into Virginia’s lieutenant governor race.

“It was really born out of the crisis we are seeing,” Perryman said. “This was not something that was in the cards for me when I first started this year.”

Already familiar with how to elect local Democrats from his work for Virginia’s Democratic Party, Perryman said that the lieutenant governor position would give him the most leverage to advocate change.

In addition to his role as Fairfax County NAACP’s president, Perryman works for the Internet Association. Previously, he served as counsel for the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He practiced civil litigation in Texas and D.C. after attending Vanderbilt University.

Current Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Democrat, is eyeing a run for governor in 2021. The election for Fairfax’s seat will be held next November.

So far, Del. Hala Ayala (D-51st) and Paul Goldman, the former chair of Virginia’s Democratic Party, and have announced they will vie for Fairfax’s seat. In addition to Perryman, Del. Elizabeth Guzman (D-31st) and Norfolk Councilmember Andria McClellan are considering running for the position.

Currently, Perryman said he is working with his team to figure out how they can best “serve Virginians” and that they haven’t set a date to officially announce his candidacy. Perryman shared with Reston Now what some of his top issues are.

Perryman said that extending the eviction moratorium is one of his main priorities, noting that he’s already been advocating for the extension in Virginia with the NAACP since the pandemic started. 

“The federal government did not provide enough assistance to get people through this crisis and now I think, rather cruelly, allowing people to be evicted when all they did was adhere to what the government told them to do,” Perryman told Reston Now.

Though the Virginia Supreme Court extended the eviction moratorium through early September, Perryman said this isn’t enough time for people to recover from the pandemic’s economic fallout.

“It really depends on how long it takes the federal government to get financial assistance to those people in need,” he said.

Allocation of the CARES Act funding, which allows states to extend unemployment benefits to independent contractors, is yet another area that needs work, according to Perryman. “Here in Virginia, what we can do better is the unemployment insurance that is available.”

People had to wait weeks for Virginia to sort out the delays with unemployment payments. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in January before skyrocketing in the spring due to the pandemic.

Perryman said that unemployment benefits should be more widely accessible for all kinds of workers as long as they can prove their income was interrupted by the pandemic.

Perryman attributed Virginia’s unemployment office being short-staffed — “It wasn’t up to par for what was coming” — as a reason for the delays and suggested that there is an opportunity to revamp the department and hire new people.

Right now, Perryman is focused on grassroots fundraising. He managed to raise over $80,000, all of which came from individuals — not corporations or political action committees — in the first 10 days of the campaign, Perryman tweeted.

“I’m relying on small-dollar donations from the community,” he said.

His next steps include meeting with community activists and elected officials. No matter what happens in the next few months, Perryman said it’s crucial that voters pay attention to state elections.

While voter fatigue is possible with the tensions around the upcoming elections this fall, Perryman said people need to think about the changes they want to see both locally and nationally.

“People understand we are in unprecedented times,” Perryman said. “None of us thought we’d be sanitizing our groceries, wearing masks and talking only via Zoom. We can’t give up or get tired. We have to essentially rebuild the society we are living in.”

Photo courtesy Sean Perryman

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At the Reston Hospital Center, staff members are seeing a decline in both COVID-19 and non-COVID-related patients.

Compared to August of 2019, Reston Hospital Center Emergency Room admissions are down 20 percent and the hospital only had six COVID-19 patients currently, which is the lowest number since May, according to David Jacobs, the chairman and medical director for Reston Hospital Center’s emergency department.

But, this trend is concerning, Jacobs said — especially when it comes to non-COVID related visits.

The downward trend is partially due to people avoiding the emergency room in fear of catching COVID-19 at the facility. Additionally, people aren’t coming in close contact with others, and therefore avoiding catching other communicable diseases, Jacobs added.

Jacobs says he’s concerned over the drop in admissions since this means people might not be seeking help when they need it, leading to medical complications that otherwise would have been avoidable.

Examples of this include not being able to diagnose appendicitis in time or someone ignoring the beginning stages of a heart attack, Jacobs said.

To keep people safe when they come into the emergency room, the Reston Hospital Center has set up strict protocols, according to Jacobs. These include separating people with COVID-19 from other patients, use of personal protective equipment, regular temperature checks, the requirement of face masks for anyone who enters the building and frequent cleaning.

When considering a visit to the emergency room, Jacobs said there is little risk of catching COVID-19 at the facility since staff members stick to the health protocols set in place. It is far more dangerous to ignore symptoms and avoid seeking medical help, he said.

Jacobs said people should seek immediate medical attention when they notice warning signs such as:

  • difficulty speaking
  • unusual and sudden weakness in legs or arms
  • chest pain
  • new or worsening abdominal pain

One grievance Jacobs said he has heard repeatedly from patients is that they find it difficult to schedule a time to meet with their regular health care providers.

“I think the whole medical system is readjusting and struggling with how to safely see patients,” he said, adding that Reston Hospital Center has availability for people who need to be seen. “We are open and we have capacity.”

Practitioners are also concerned about an increase in drug and alcohol abuse.

“I think more people are out of work and have more time on their hands,” he said adding that people have also been coming in with mental health issues such as depression and suicidal thoughts that can feed off from stress associated with the pandemic.

Though the medical facility doesn’t have a detox center on-site, it does have medical professionals who can give consultations and direct people towards further help.

Some good news is on the horizon. Unlike elsewhere in the country, Jacobs said he hasn’t noticed a rise in child abuse or domestic violence cases at Reston Hospital Center.

“I’ve certainly heard and read about that but can’t say that I’ve experienced that or heard about a spike in the Reston area,” he said. “I think that’s an issue of concern that follows with a lot of these drug and alcohol and psychiatric related issues but I think to-date we haven’t seen a spike in our department.”

Going forward, Jacobs said he hopes people won’t avoid the emergency room because of fear over COVID-19, as hesitation could be deadly.

“We have five months of experience with this,” he said.

Photo courtesy Reston Hospital Center

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The Town of Herndon is working to secure an agreement to ensure the proper use of a substantial COVID-19 grant from the federal government.

In order to keep a $4.3 million grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) act, the Herndon’s Town Council must approve an agreement that outlines proper uses and reporting procedures.

The funds needed to be used for “necessary expenditures due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus disease,” according to town documentation.

Herndon received the money from the CARES act in late April, but would theoretically have to pay it back unless the council signs a “sub-award agreement” with Fairfax County, the town attorney said at a council work session on August 4.

“This agreement specifies the amount awarded to the town and lays out the terms under which specific funding uses and reporting requirements and other procedures are to take place,” the attorney said.

Funds were allocated to localities based on population from the 2019 Census, town documentation said.

According to a council member at the meeting, Herndon received the relief money quickly compared to other Virginia jurisdictions.

“There are still jurisdictions in the Commonwealth that are struggling to get funding of any sort,” the council members said, adding that it only took a “quick” email from Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay to receive assistance.

Next week, the town council is expected to approve the agreement with Fairfax County, according to a recommendation from the town’s attorney.

Image via Town of Herndon

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Updated at 10:45 a.m. — Corrects reference to Lake Braddock Secondary School.

As the Fairfax County public school system prepares for the fall, some teachers’ unions are expressing concern about how safe in-person learning might be during the pandemic.

To accommodate both families and teachers, FCPS asked both groups to fill out a form by July 10, stating whether they would prefer to stick with a distance learning plan or return to the classroom. After this date, many teachers will find out if they will be required to return or stay at home.

The Fairfax County Federation of Teachers and Fairfax Education Association released a press release calling for increased transparency and a clearly outlined health plan for reopening.

Though teachers are allowed to request a full-time remote-learning position, this cannot be guaranteed according to the current plan.

“Teacher placements will be contingent upon student enrollment numbers in the online program; teacher placement decisions will be tiered by individual teacher’s medical need, family medical need, and preference,” FCPS documents said.

Additionally, teachers with medical conditions that increase the risk of COVID-19 will be given “flexible leave and telework assignments,” the plan said.

David Walrod, who teaches 7th grade at Lake Braddock Secondary School, said as a member of the teacher’s union that he wishes teachers would get of choice of whether or not they work remotely.

“Personally I’m hoping that I get a remote position because personally I don’t feel that they will be able to keep schools as safe as they think they are,” he said, adding that he is also concerned for his own young daughter.

“Our educators are overwhelmingly not comfortable returning to schools. They fear for their lives, the lives of their students and the lives of their families,” Tina Williams, the president of Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, said in the press release.

At the school board meeting last Tuesday (June 23), the board members discussed various concerns and options for reopening.

Melanie Meren, the Hunter Mill District representative on the board, spoke on behalf of teachers during the meeting. “We cannot skimp on [personal protective equipment],” she said. “We need to advocate for that if we don’t have the funds.”

Not everyone will be satisfied with whatever is ultimately decided, Karl Frisch, who represents the Providence District, told his fellow board members.

Frisch said that he’s spent almost 100 hours with local families, community members and stakeholders discussing options for the upcoming school year. “There is no perfect solution to this problem,” he said. “We must consider any contingency that may come and meet us.”

FCPS officials have said that input from local health and state health officials will inform reopening plans.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand told the school board earlier this month that he is worried about the realities of social distancing in schools and wants to prevent staff from resigning over safety concerns.

FCFT’s press release called for teachers and educators in the county to speak up about their concerns.

Walrod said that he hopes Fairfax County will adopt a new model like the one for a school district in Pennsylvania where all students and staff will be working and learning remotely for 75 days into the school year until the school board members have a clearer understanding of COVID-19.

Walrod said that there is a chance parents will overwhelmingly want their kids to take advantage of distance learning so there will be less of a demand for in-person lessons.

Kimberly Adams, the president of the Fairfax Education Association, said in a press release that the group is advocating for remote learning until a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is available.

“All staff should be provided the ability to continue virtual instruction as long as there is community spread of this virus,” Adams said. “We will continue to make every possible effort to assist FCPS in developing a plan that keeps health and safety first.”

Photo courtesy Dan Dennis on Unsplash

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As people prepare the 4th of July, festivities might look different this year as many places are alternating their plans or canceling events due to the threat COVID-19.

The Town of Herndon announced on its website that it canceled its yearly festivities, which usually features fireworks, craft activities, live music, family games and bingo.

Ongoings include a variety of community-organized events.

For families missing the typical parades and bright displays, they can take part in a drive-through celebratory 4th of July event on Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m., an event page said.

People can meet at Springvale Street and Cavalcade Road in Great Falls to join the fun.

“Drive through in the safety of your vehicle while you scan for scavenger hunt items, wave to your neighbors and vote for your favorites,” the event page said.

Great Falls Swim & Tennis Club is offering a celebration including a full meal, poolside activities, swimming and a DJ from 1 to 4 p.m. This event is free for members and $25 for non-member guests, the site said.

Mon Ami Gabi is offering brunch for people to enjoy with friends and family, according to a Facebook event.

Brunch hours are available from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday (July 4) and Sunday (July 5) from 12 to 9 p.m.Reservations can be made at 703-707-0233.

PJ Mulligans is hosting a free 4th of July Concert with Spiral Trine for community members from 6 to 9 p.m. at 2310 Woodland Crossing Drive. The band will be performing a combination of original and cover songs, the event page said.

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Though the work to update Reston’s comprehensive plan was slowed by COVID-19, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said that a new committee created to find solutions to issues and demands is still making progress.

The roughly 28-person task force started meeting in early April, a month after originally planned, and has spent over eight hours in meetings, according to Alcorn.

So far, the committee has touched on topics such as:

  • ways to promote public art
  • how to encourage diversity and inclusion
  • long term population accommodations
  • community space and land use

Since Alcorn’s election, he said that the revision of the comprehensive plan was his top priority. “There were a lot of things that were left out and need additional attention.”

As phase two of the Silver Line makes the area more accessible to the greater D.C. region, it has “coincided with some really strong economic activity,” Alcorn said at a press conference on June 25. He added that the number of technology companies and government contractors has increased, meaning that the original community plan put forward by Bob Simon is in need of revision to accommodate changes.    

Though some see economic growth as a positive opportunity others disagree since they don’t like the “cookie-cutter, industrialized subdivisions that we have seen around many metropolitan areas in the country,” Alcorn said, noting that Simon’s idea focused around a tight-knit community feel.

“We’ve been through a time where different parties have staked out their territory and if anything this is like a truth and reconciliation process,” Alcorn said, adding that it has been a type of  “growth war.”

Despite concerns of community members, Alcorn said he sees an opportunity to build other hubs around transit centers in the area that are responsibly designed, sustainable and attractive so they don’t negatively affect the preexisting Reston community.

In the comprehensive plan, there is currently no population plan for Reston’s build-out and though there has been an attempt to take that into consideration in zoning ordinances, this isn’t enough, according to Alcorn — since it doesn’t cover the entirety of the community.

Though Alcorn didn’t get into the weeds about public art at the committee meeting, he said this will help to promote the original ideals and morals of the area, noting that he wants to stay away from the “industrialized” feel.

Going forward, Alcorn said he sees finalized changes being made to the comprehensive plan around the middle of 2021. “That’s the target, to have this wrapped up next year.”

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To celebrate the restaurant’s 10th anniversary, Kalypso’s Sports Tavern will be hosting a series of community events next weekend.

On both July 3 and 4, attendees can expect live music, party favors, free food samples and the eatery’s lineup of Italian and Greek dishes, a press release said.

Free celebratory music will kick off with a performance on Friday from Steel Drums with Josanne Franci from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Bongo District Trio from 6 to 9 p.m. On Saturday, Steel Drums with Josanne Franci will be performing again from 6 to 9 p.m.

The eatery is located at 1617 Washington Plaza. A spokesperson said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic,  staff managed to adhere to social distancing guidelines so guests can feel safe while enjoying themselves. Outside on the patio, the website said that it can comfortably hold 75 guests while in stage two of reopening.

Throughout the eatery’s history, they’ve hosted various events and other celebrations for regulars. For its fifth-anniversary party in 2015, the restaurant hosted a similar beach themed celebration.

“I still remember the day in 2010 when I saw the commercial sales listing and was surprised to see the opportunity. I drove over to Lake Anne immediately and fell in love with the lakefront property,” owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou said in the press release.

Photo courtesy Kalypso’s Sports Tavern

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After construction-related closures, commuters can expect several Silver Line stations to reopen ahead of schedule, according to a press release from the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority.

On August 16, WMATA plans to reopen the McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East stations along with the West Falls Church station.

“Assuming the platform work continues at its current pace, the remaining three west-of-Ballston stations (Vienna, Dunn Loring, and East Falls Church) are expected to reopen around Labor Day,” the press release added.

The timely completion of the projects can partially be contributed to the drop in ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the press release said, adding that ridership is down 90% from this time last year.

“Metro has been working to efficiently use track access time during a period of historically low ridership,” the press release said. “Earlier this year, the transit agency combined Orange Line platform reconstruction and Silver Line signal integration into a multi-month summer shutdown of the nine rail stations west of Ballston.”

Free shuttle busses will replace trains until the stations reopen, the press release said. “However, Vienna and Dunn Loring customers will be able to connect to Metrorail at West Falls Church, rather than Ballston,” according to the release.

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