39°Partly Cloudy

Fairfax County Public Schools to Open Late Tomorrow

Fairfax County Public Schools and school facilities will open two hours late tomorrow (Thursday). Central offices will open by 10 a.m. A winter weather advisory has been put into effect for Fairfax County.

From 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. today (Thursday), the National Weather Service is warning residents throughout the Washington, D.C. area to expect up to one inch of sleet and snow, with ice accumulations of up to a tenth of an inch.

NWS says the icy conditions could mean slippery roads and sidewalk conditions in some areas. Here’s more from the NWS alert:

Be very careful if you venture outside tomorrow. Watch your first
few steps in particular as your step or path may be coated with
ice.
A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery
roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

Here’s more from the school system’s release:

•    Morning preschool (special education) classes are canceled.
•    Afternoon preschool classes start on their regular schedule.
•    Full-day preschool (special education) and Family and Early Childhood Education Program-Head Start classes start two hours later than the regular schedule.
•    Morning field trips are canceled.
•    SACC centers will open at 7 a.m.
•    Morning transportation for high school academy classes is canceled. Transportation for afternoon academy classes will be provided.
•    Adult and community education classes will start on time.
Conditions will be re-evaluated Thursday morning and, if closure is needed for safety, it will be announced by 6:00 a.m.

Photo via National Weather Service

0 Comments

Design Review Board Vote Sets ‘Snakeden’ Stream Restoration Project into Motion

Plans to restore roughly 800 linear feet of Lake Audubon’s streams were approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board Tuesday night. The project, called Snakeden, would involve tree removal, stream construction and revegetation along RA’s parcels between Cedar Cove Cluster and Wakerobin Lane.

Meghan Fellows, the county’s manager of watershed projects, said a design team has been working on the project, with the input of RA, property owners and residents, for nearly three years.

“The stream is desperately in need of some assistance,” Fellows said at the DRB meeting, noting that portions of the area are degrading significantly.

Richard Newlon, the board’s chairman, said he hopes the project team will minimize the loss of trees by tweaking designs and implementation to conserve trees — even if it meant a minor tweak to save just one tree.

The project was challenged by the need to secure easements across private property and Reston Association property to construct the stream. Land rights for the project were obtained in June following a more than a year-long period of tree and stream surveys and conceptual planning.

After a cycle of revisions, permits were granted in October. After receiving final approval for designs, drawings and permits in the spring of next year, construction is likely to begin in the summer, Fellows said.

Overall, several sanitary crossings in the area are exposed and RA found that 40 trees are likely to fall down if no action is taken. Trees will be replanted during later phases of the project.

County staff estimates the project will cost under $1 million.

Photos via handout/Reston Association

5 Comments

Wednesday Morning Notes

Deep dive into Reston sports — Bill Bouie gave a presentation on the history of sports, pioneers, players and playing fields in Reston’s sports. A complete recording of the event, which was organized by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum on Nov. 8, is available online. [YouTube/Reston Historic Trust & Museum]

The Lake House open house today — Reston Association continues its marathon of open houses today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents can enjoy light refreshments and chat with staff to learn more about multipurpose uses of the space. [Reston Association]

From Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins — In a note to Reston Now, Hudgins offered a few words about the coming of Amazon’s HQ2 to Crystal City: “As often partners in many regional endeavors, I am glad to acknowledge Arlington’s success and note that the entire Commonwealth is advantaged by the HQ2 announcement.  Look forward to Fairfax County continuing to work together for the betterment of the region and the Commonwealth.”

Photo by Twitter user @MrErrett

9 Comments

Greater Reston Arts Center to Expand Classroom Art Experiences

Greater Reston Arts Center will expand its classroom arts immersion program in the coming months after receiving a grant from ARTSFAIRFAX. Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency.

Funding will help the organization boost its Emerging Visions program, which provides opportunities for K-12 students to directly engage with contemporary art in their classroom.

ARTSFAIRFAX, legally known as the Arts Council of Fairfax County, is a nonprofit organization that is funded by the county, corporations, foundations, individuals, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. It seeks to foster a dynamic and diverse local arts community.

“Over the years GRACE has become known and loved for its GRACE Art and Emerging Visions art enrichment programs,” said GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel. “With the generous support of ARTSFAIRFAX we are now able to take the best parts of our existing programs, expand those in close conversation with FCPS, and make a greater impact on more young artists.”

GRACE offered the following information about Emerging Visions:

Emerging Visions provides art enrichment content to educators based on a GRACE exhibition. Focusing on one exhibition a year, GRACE–working directly with Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) art educators–will develop content and supporting concepts to integrate into classroom curriculum for each stage of schooling, K-12. Previously, the program was only available at the high school level and GRACE-produced content was more limited. The selected exhibition for 2018-19 is Green Is the Secret Color To Make Gold, featuring new work by Caitlin Teal Price, currently on view.

Student artwork will be exhibited as part of the Emerging Visions exhibition at GRACE in March 2019.

Photo by Charlotte Geary

0 Comments

With Amazon’s HQ2 Decision, A Windfall Expected for Reston, Northern Virginia

Amazon’s decision to bring its second headquarters to Crystal City is sure to send an immediate and impactful jolt across Arlington, but what’s less clear is how the coming of the technology giant will impact Northern Virginia as a whole.

Although Reston is couched far from Arlington, the community could see a windfall from the new headquarters, which will be split between Arlington and Long Island City, especially with the community’s onboarding to the Silver Line and a planned expansion in development and redevelopment over the next two decades. 

Business leaders in the area portend the coming of Amazon will help expedite the transformation of communities like Reston from a federal government town to a technology corridor. That transition is already taking place with the coming of new headquarters like Leidos, a scientific research company, to Reston’s new developments.

Mark Ingrao, CEO and president of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, said secondary and tertiary businesses lured by Amazon’s foothold in Arlington may be enticed to set up shop in new and emerging developments in Reston around the Silver Line.

“It is going to be a prime opportunity to relocate here in an area that’s new and right on the Silver Line,” Ingrao told Reston Now.

Additionally, limitations in the amount and affordability of housing stock in Arlington could push some employees and residents to find housing in Reston’s transit station areas, which are in the process of major transformation and redevelopment. The move could also diversify Reston’s workforce, Ingrao said.

But the move is not without challenges, ushering in associated concerns about infrastructure and transportation impacts that have long plagued discussions about future development in Reston.

Ingrao is optimistic that the coming of tech giants like Amazon will help expedite county and state discussions about needed transportation infrastructure improvements and encourage officials to tackle them in a “more direct way.”

“At the end of the day, it should force local government and others to really concentrate on the infrastructure needs and get them addressed sooner rather than later,” Ingrao said.

Here’s more from what county officials and business leaders are saying about the decision.

“Having HQ2 in Northern Virginia will bring important jobs, business diversity and more innovative technology to the area,” said Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. “We look forward to continuing to work with Amazon Web Services to expand its presence here and are excited to collaborate with other innovative companies that will be putting down roots in Fairfax County soon.”

“We congratulate Arlington and Alexandria on being selected in the process for Amazon HQ2,’ said Buddy Rizer, director of Loudoun Economic Development. “We consider this a win for the entire region. Many of Loudoun’s highly educated professionals will join the Amazon workforce, and many of Loudoun’s wine country and other retail and recreation venues will become favorite destinations for Amazon employees throughout the Northern Virginia/DC Metro region. We will continue to market Loudoun County as a world-class location for global businesses like Amazon, and we look forward to making some exciting announcements about new Loudoun companies soon.”

Photo courtesy Crystal City BID

17 Comments

Tuesday Morning Notes

Decreasing the chances of opioid addiction — The director of neurosurgery trauma at Reston Hospital Center is using a new technique to reduce the chances of opioid addiction following major surgery.

Nearby: Amazon HQ2 decision coming close — “New York City and Northern Virginia will be the homes for Amazon’s second and third headquarters, according to people familiar with the matter, ending a more than yearlong public contest that started with 238 candidates and ended with a surprise split of its so-called HQ2.” [Wall Street Journal]

An honorable retirement — Old Glory can sometimes get old, tattered and torn. If you need to dispose of an American flag, there are several available locations in the county to do so, including the Reston District Station, the lobby of the government center in Fairfax and the I-66 and I-95 transfer stations. [Fairfax County Government]

The report card is in for Comstock — Comstock Holding Companies reported total revenue of $14.9 million, as compared to $13.8 million around this time last year. [Global Newswire]

Updates about the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department — The annual report for the department, which offers an overview into programs, services, and progress, is out. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Photo by Gail Crockett

0 Comments

Updated: Second Alarm Requested for Fire at Signature Apartments

Units remain on the scene of a kitchen fire on the 11800 block of Freedom Drive in Reston. No injuries have been reported

A second alarm has been requested and the fire is out and contained, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

Crews are working on smoke removal, according to the department.

This story has been updated

3 Comments

Reston Historic Trust & Museum Seeks Funds to Reinstall Lakeside Pharmacy Icons

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum has launched an online campaign to raise money to reinstall the lakeside pharmacy icon. Designed by Chermayeff and Geismar, a New York-based graphic design firm, the icons were inspired by 1960s pop art and Reston’s founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical art at Lake Anne Plaza.

The icons, which served as advertisements for the Lakeside Pharmacy, were removed in July to make way for new businesses to open up in the pharmacy’s former location.

The fundraising target is $15,000 to repair, clean and reinstall icons in a new permanent exhibit in the plaza. The new exhibit will be unveiled during the organization’s annual Founder’s day event on April 6.

The museum put out the following information about the historical significance of the icons:

The New York graphic design firm of Chermayeff and Geismar (now Chermayeff, Geismar & Haviv), was hired by Whittlesey & Conklin, the architects of the plaza, and together they created the storefronts on the plaza. While the main purpose of the Lakeside Pharmacy icons was advertising, the icons are characteristic of the 1960s Pop Art aesthetic and reflected Reston’s Founder Bob Simon’s wish for whimsical artwork on the plaza.

The building was a pharmacy for 44 years, closing in 2014. Since the building will soon be occupied by new businesses, the icons were donated to the Reston Historic Trust & Museum in order to preserve them. Currently, the icons are in storage until they can be cleaned and reinstalled. The installation is being designed by Jeanne Krohn of Krohn Design.

Photos by Charlotte Geary and Krohn Design

2 Comments

What’s Going On In Reston This Weekend?

Ahead of Veterans Day on Monday, the Fairfax Jubil-Aires will perform patriotic a cappella barbershop tunes to honor those who currently serve or have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The event is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. Below is a limited list of other events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.

  • Herndon High School’s advanced theatre class kicks off performances of The Diary of Anne Frank tonight at 7 p.m. and into the weekend at the school.
  • Celebrate international games week at Reston Regional Library with classic board games and some new options from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Vera Kochansky presents her autobiography of her father, Boris, who lived through the Holocaust. The event is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Scrawl Books.
  • Caitlin Teal Price, a DC-based photographer known for her photographs of people, offers a talk about her work at Greater Reston Arts Center on Saturday from 3-5 p.m.
  • Donna Ulisse, a veteran songwriter and singer, performs during the Bluegrass Barn Series at Frying Pan Farm Park on Sunday at 7 p.m.
  • Build a machine powered by an electric motor that rolls and goes home from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday, at Reston Regional Library.
  • South Lakes High School students are raising money for the school’s band by organizing a mattress sale at the school on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Take a drive into the history of World War II with this six-part series led by Professor Harry Butowsky from 2-4 p.m. at Reston Regional Library.

Photo via Reston Town Center

2 Comments

Town of Herndon Mayor Resigns from County Democratic Committee

Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel severed ties with the Fairfax County Democratic Committee this week in response to “Trump-like” campaign signs that asserted candidates were “pretending to be Democrats.”

Merkel, a Democrat who has been served as the mayor since 2012, resigned from the committee a day after the election.

“I cannot in good faith be a part of a committee that condones such negative campaigning and untrue messaging about its own members, especially at the polls and with my constituents.  I consider myself a Democrat, particularly in the Trump era, but I will no longer be associated with the Fairfax County Democratic Committee,” Merkel wrote in a statement to Reston Now.

She said the signs were divisive in a written statement to the county committee and the Dranesville District Democratic Committee:

I must admit that I was most disappointed to arrive at the polls in Herndon yesterday to see the attached very large committee-approved signs asserting that there were candidates “pretending to be Democrats.”  This is appalling behavior, and I expected better of my party.   Many of the candidates running for town council were still dues-paying members of FCDC and the Dranesville committee on Election Day.  I wonder what our Congressman and Senator would think of seeing their signs seemingly associated with this kind of untrue, Trump-like “Fake News” scare tactic?  My guess is they would not appreciate it, particularly given that I was pleased to receive the personal endorsement of both Gerry Connolly and Tim Kaine, along with every other Virginia Democratic elected official that serves the Town of Herndon.  I think that speaks to years of relationships building and working together on behalf of the residents of Herndon.   

Additionally, I’m not sure if you are aware but  Herndon Voices, a PAC owned by one of your endorsed candidates, distributed materials at the polls endorsing known Republicans along with another non-FCDC endorsed candidate.  Does this set well with the committee and the required-for-endorsement pledge to only support the endorsed candidates?

In a statement to Reston Now, Dan Lagana, chairman of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee, said the signs were not authorized by the committee

“The signs were not authorized nor produced by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. I wish Mayor Merkel the very best and want her to know that the door is always open. However, I strongly urge both the Mayor and Herndon Town Councilmembers-elect to set aside personal differences and work collaboratively on behalf of the residents of the Town of Herndon,” Lagana wrote.

Photo via Lisa Merkel

24 Comments

Giant Food on Elden Street Relocates to Centreville Road

A grocery store shuffle is underway in Herndon following the departure of local Shoppers locations.

Giant Food at 1228 Elden Street has officially closed its doors and relocated to Centreville Road as of today, roughly 1.3 miles away from the former location. The store opened at 6 a.m. today, a customer service representative told Reston Now. The Elden Street location closed at midnight.

The new location at 2425 Centreville Road was previously occupied by Shoppers. H-Mart, a Korean grocery store operated by the Hanahreum Group in New Jersey, is scheduled to move into the Elden Street location. No opening date has been confirmed yet.

Giant Food has announced plans to move into other abandoned Shoppers stores. Shoppers closures went into effect after the parent company announced an intentional shift to move the business from retail to wholesale.

Photos via Giant Food

3 Comments

Friday Morning Notes

Let the skating begin — The Reston Town Center ice skating pavilion reopens today, just in time for colder temperatures that are expected to befall the region this week. [Reston Town Center]

Getting a little trashy — In Fairfax County, nearly 30 percent of all recycling material received was actually trash. Here’s what you need to know to reduce the amount of contaminated materials placed in recycling bins. [Fairfax County Government]

841 stronger — The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority worked with 21 businesses in the third quarter of the year to bring in 841 jobs to Fairfax County. Bechtel, a leading engineering and construction firm, consolidated its company headquarters in Reston, adding 150 jobs as a result. [Fairfax News]

Veterans Day Closures Next Week — Fairfax County Government offices will be closed Monday for the observance of Veterans Day, but county schools will remain open. [Fairfax County Government]

Shedding light on Diwali — South Lakes High School’s International Club learned about Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights recently. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

4 Comments

Breaking: Boston Properties, Jackson’s Settle Lawsuit Over Paid Parking

A lawsuit by a Reston Town Center retailer against Boston Properties in response to the developer’s paid parking system has been settled.

Under the agreement, customers of Jackon’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge will be offered a special parking arrangement. Guests will be able to enter their license plate number into one of the pay stations in the Orange Garage or on a tablet inside Jackson’s to validate parking.

“Both parties look forward to continuing their 10-year relationship at Reston Town Center,” according to a statement published by the company.

The terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. A representative for Boston Properties declined to comment further on the deal or release any details.

Jackon’s sued Boston Properties in Fairfax County Circuit Court alleging breach of contract in March 2017. The suit sought the immediate termination of paid parking, $500,000 in damages and attorney’s fees. Company officials stated that the restaurant suffered major disruptions since paid parking went into effect.

A number of other restaurants have cited the paid parking system as cause for leaving Reston Town Center in recent months.

This story has been updated.

File photo

15 Comments

Art Exhibit to Raise Money for Cornerstones Ahead of Holiday Shopping Event

Ahead its annual holiday and gifts shopping event, Reston Community Center Lake Anne is organizing an exhibit to benefit Cornerstones, a local nonprofit organization.

Artists will display and sell original artwork in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery from Nov. 26 through Jan. 7. A holiday gift shopping event will follow on Dec. 1, turning the facility into a marketplace with food and gifts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entries fees and 10 percent of sales will be donated to Cornerstones.

The exhibit will include work in a variety of mediums, including watercolor, oil, mixed media, collage and photography. Artists will donate 10 percent of proceeds from sales during the shopping event and throughout December. Cornerstones helps operate the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, Laurel Learning Center, and community services outreach.

The event has raised $13,700 for the nonprofit organization since the first exhibit was held in 1999. For more information, contact Gloria Morrow.

File photo

2 Comment

Donations Sought for Blanket and Coat Drive for Refugees

A blanket and coat drive for refugees fleeing Syria kicks off on Saturday (Nov. 10). The drive, which is organized by the NOVA Relief Center, will run through Dec. 8.

Donations collected this year will go to three refugee camps in northern Jordan, with shipping costs covered by Paxton Van Lines and Maersk.

Drop-off locations are available throughout the region. Options in Herndon and Reston include the following:

  • Office of Supervisor Cathy Hudgins North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive)
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1515 Poplar Grove Drive) – Sundays only
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Franklin building (2727 Centerville Rd. Herndon, VA 20171) – Sundays only
  • Oak Hill Elementary School 3210 Kinross Circle Herndon, Virginia Town of Herndon Town Hall (777 Lynn Street Herndon)
  • The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany (3301 Hidden Meadow Drive)
  • Congregation Beth Emeth (12523 Lawyers Road) 

All sizes and fabric are accepted for the blanket and coat drive, but items must be clean and in new or gently-used condition. Interested residents can also donate funds for the drive, allowing the center to purchase high-quality blankets and coats in bulk and at non-profit discounts.

The drive is in its fifth year of operation. NOVA Relief Center is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life for refugees abroad and in northern Virginia.

Photo via NOVA Relief Center

2 Comment
×

Subscribe to our mailing list