Catch a SoberRide This Weekend

cabWhile Halloween is not until Monday, there are likely to be lots of celebrations this weekend. That’s why the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is offering free cab rides from Saturday, Oct. 29 at 10 p.m. until Sunday, Oct. 30 at 6 a.m.

WRAP, which offers its SoberRide on many holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve, says the program is as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk period.

WRAP has a release with everything you need to know:

During this eight-hour period, area residents ages 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide® phone number 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) and be afforded  a no-cost (up to a $30 fare), safe way home. AT&T wireless customers can dial #WRAP for the same service.

Last year, 412 persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used WRAP’s Halloween SoberRide® program rather than possibly driving home impaired. The charity also offers its SoberRide® program on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day and the winter holidays this year starting on December 16th and operating through and including New Year’s Eve.

Local taxicab companies throughout the Washington-metropolitan area provide this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may attempt to drive home after drinking.

SoberRide® is offered in the: District of Columbia; throughout the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and throughout the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, (eastern) Loudoun and Prince William.

“The scary fact is that over half (52%*) of all U.S. traffic deaths during Halloween involve drunk drivers,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s President.

Participating taxicab companies include: Alexandria Yellow Cab; Barwood; Fairfax Yellow Cab; Loudoun Yellow Cab; Northern Virginia Checker Cab; Red Top Cab; Silver Cab of Prince George’s County; Yellow Cab of D.C.; and Yellow Cab of Prince William County.

Since 1993, WRAP’s SoberRide® program has provided 65,219 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.

More information about WRAP’s SoberRide® initiative can be found atwww.soberride.com.

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Monday: Changes at Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride

 Metro signSome changes are coming to Herndon-Monroe’s Park and Ride area.

On Monday, Oct. 31, the Park and Ride surface lot will be closed for Metro construction. Due to the surface lot closure, the Kiss and Ride area along with the slugline pick-up will be temporarily relocated to the Level 1 of the parking garage.

Commuters are encouraged to consider the Reston South Park and Ride as an alternative to parking at Herndon-Monroe during construction activities.

To stay informed of the construction activities at the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride, sign up for text and/or email “Commuter Alerts” (under the “Transportation” category) at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts.

See the attached graphic below for more information.

Herndon Monroe Park and Ride by Karen Goldberg Goff on Scribd

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Friday Morning Notes

SLHS Band member David Clark earns honors/SLHS

Honor For SLHS Band Member — David Clark, a member of the South Lakes High School marching band, has been selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Marching Band. He was honored at a ceremony at the school Oct. 20. He is one of 125 high schoolers nationwide selected to the group, which will perform at halftime of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Jan. 7 in San Antonio. This is the third straight year a SLHS student has earned a spot.

Fairfax County Considering Schools In High-Rise Buildings — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing Nov. 1 on a new policy to allow the development of “urban” or “vertical” schools in high-density areas or on parcels of limited size. [Reston 2020]

Drill At Dulles Saturday — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will conduct an emergency response and recovery exercise at Washington Dulles International Airport during the overnight hours of Saturday, Oct. 29, into Sunday, Oct. 30. Numerous emergency vehicles and response personnel will be visible at the Main Terminal between 11 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. During the exercise, a portion of the Arrivals (baggage claim) level inside the Main Terminal will be closed to the public.

Student Wins Big — This Herndon resident, now attending Virginia Commonwealth University, won $30,000 on “Jeopardy.” [Fairfax County]

Nearby: Man Fires Gun Near Worldgate — Herndon Police arrested a man after he shot a gun at in the parking lot of Worldgate Centre earlier this month. [Patch]

Photo: SLHS Student David Clark honored for earning spot in All-American Bowl/Credit: All-American Bowl

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Catch South Lakes HS’ Homecoming Parade, Game Friday

SL HS homecoming parade 2013

South Lakes High School has been celebrating Homecoming at school all week, but here comes the big public celebration.

The annual Homecoming Parade marches from Hunters Woods Village Center to South Lakes High School at 5 p.m. on Friday.

The bands, floats, cheerleaders, students from elementary schools in the SLHS pyramid, and more will make their way from Hunters Woods to the school on Colts Neck Road, then in the eastbound land down South Lakes Drive. Traffic on those roads will be blocked during the parade.

The best places to watch (and catch candy thrown from the floats) are on the east side of South Lakes or right outside Hunters Woods Village Center along Colts Neck.

South Lakes Homecoming football game begins at the school at 7 p.m. The undefeated Seahawks (8-0), ranked No. 8 in this week’s Washington Post poll, host Hayfield.

Hayfield is 7-1 and has won five straight games.

SLHS’ Homecoming king and queen will be crowned at halftime.

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Day Care Site May be Redeveloped as Assisted Living Center

Good Beginnings School

A Reston-based senior living company has filed plans to build a new facility at 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston.

Kensington Senior Development, LLC’s application was received by the Fairfax County Planning Department last week.

According to the application, Kensington Senior Development has filed a Planned Residential Community (PRC) plan concurrent with a Special Exception for an assisted living facility at that address, which is about 675 feet east of the intersection with Soapstone Drive.

Currently located at 11501 Sunrise Valley is Good Beginnings School, a private preschool, day care and kindergarten. The building has not been sold. The redevelopment plans do not include the Sunrise Valley Convenience Center stores next door.

Kensington currently operates assisted living communities in  Kensington, MDSierra Madre, CARedwood City, CAMontclair, NJFalls Church, VA; and White Plains, NY.

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BREAKING: Shooting on Greywing Square Wednesday Night

police lineFairfax County Police are looking for a suspect in a shooting Wednesday night near Hunters Woods Village Center.

A 42-year-old man told police he was walking home from work in the 12000 block of Greywing Square about 10:45 p.m. when he heard gunshots.

The man then realized he had been shot in the upper body. He was taken to Reston Hospital, where he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries, said FCPD spokesman Don Gotthardt.

Police searched for the suspect, described by police as a thin black man wearing all black clothing, via helicopter, K9 and ground units.

The suspect has not been located, Gotthardt said Thursday morning. It is unknown if the suspect and victim know each other, he said.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Morning notes/November

Halloween Fun — There is a costumed kids bike ride in Reston Saturday. Meet at the Pony Barn at 10 a.m.[Facebook]

Toll Relief For Northern Virginia? — A new program for toll road relief in the Hampton Roads area may eventually spread to Northern Virginia. [WTOP]

Space For Innovation — A look inside Reston’s maker space at Nova Labs. [Connection]

Cafesano Now Open in Dulles — Cafesano, a locally owned Mediterranean restaurant at South Lakes Village Center, has opened a second location. You can now find Cafesano’s salads, sandwiches and pizzas at 21305 Windmill Parc Drive in Dulles, near Dulles Town Center. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. daily.

Man Falls Off Balcony, Dies at Reston Town Center –– A man hanging holiday lights was killed when he accidentally fell from his apartment balcony at Reston Town Center. [Patch]

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Reston Association Looking at Timeline for Turf Soccer Fields

Lake Newport SoccerReston Association hopes to start the process soon for for two artificial turf soccer fields — paid for by Reston Soccer — to be installed at RA’s Lake Newport Soccer fields.

The implementation of the estimated $2.4 million plan depends on many factors, including a member referendum under RA bylaws.

According to the Reston Deed, if the Board of Directors wishes to make a single capital addition, alteration or improvement to the Common Area that costs more than $369,000, there must be a referendum. A 10 percent turnout is necessary for a quorum, with 51 percent of those votes needed to pass the referendum.

The RA Board will vote at its meeting Thursday on a timeline that includes:

  • Gathering input from RA groups, including the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, Environmental Advisory Committee, Design Review Board (21 day Notice Requirements to adjacent neighbors/cluster apply to DRB information session) and Fiscal Committee this fall/winter. The groups will report their opinions to RA by January. The Fiscal Committee will also formulate a five-year cost analysis.
  • The Board Operations Committee will draft non-Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will form the basis of a 20-year agreement between Reston Association and Reston Soccer Association regarding the use and maintenance of the synthetic turf fields.
  • RA will hold public hearings on the proposed referendum question, fact sheet and MOU in mid-January and February.
  • In late February, the board would decide whether to move forward with a member referendum. The referendum would take place in March and close April 3.

Reston Soccer first approached RA about the partnership in July. Reston Soccer President Robert Anguizola said the sports group is not looking for RA money for the project.

“In a referendum, we would ask  ‘Does community want this amenity? Yes or No. If the answer is yes, then we would go fundraise,” he said. “What we would ask, if we donate the money, then we want promise we can use it. You would end up having surplus time [to rent it for] other uses and sports.”

Lake Newport is the most suitable place in Reston on which to build the turf fields, Anguizola has said. Virginia laws prohibit a public-private partnership on a Fairfax County Park Authority field (such as at Lake Fairfax Park or at Baron Cameron Park) with special requests for usage. Also, Lake Newport is the only RA field complex with two fields, as well as space for other potential amenities such as the clubhouse or a tot lot.

Adding turf and lights would add 191 extra field hours (assuming lights could be on until 8:30 p.m.) per season, plus an additional 550 hours in what is now the offseason, said Anguizola.

Anguizola says the organization would use organic material and not tire crumb rubber for the turf surface.

The RA Board was receptive to the idea at previous meetings.

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World Series Watch: Keep an Eye on Herndon’s Brandon Guyer

Brandon Guyer/Credit: Cleveland IndiansThe Cleveland Indians got off to an early lead in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series Tuesday when outfielder Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch to force in the Indians’ second run. The Indians went on to crush the Cubs 6-0 and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

If you are looking for a local guy to cheer for, Guyer’s the one.

Guyer, 30, is a 2004 graduate of Herndon High School, where he also was a star tailback for the Hornets. He is still remembered for scoring seven touchdowns — a school single-game record — in the 2003 Homecoming game against West Potomac.

But back to baseball. Guyer was part of the Hornets 19-4 Concorde District championship squad in 2002, which was the last time Herndon won a district title. As a senior, he had 23 RBI, a .483 batting average and was walked 19 times.

He went on to play at the University of Virginia, and then moved through the minors. He briefly made an appearance with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, hitting a home run in his first at-bat against Baltimore.

By 2014, he was back in the majors for good. In 2015, he led the American League in being hit by the most pitches. The Major League single-game record for being hit by pitches is three, and that has happened to Guyer several times, most recently on April, 21 2016. That’s why they call him “La Piñata.”

Guyer — who is married to former Fox5 sports anchor/reporter Lindsay Murphy — was traded to the Indians on Aug. 1.

Look for Guyer as the series continues Wednesday in Cleveland. Game times is 7 p.m. on Fox5.

Photo courtesy Cleveland Indians

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Crunch fitness at Reston Town Center pavilion/Credit: Crunch

Banks Merge — Reston-based Access National Bank has formed a merger with Middleburg Financial Corp. After the merger, Middleburg Bank offices (including a branch in Reston) will continue to operate under the name of Middleburg Bank; the existing Access offices will continue to carry the name Access National Bank. [Loudoun Now]

Reston 2020 Transportation District Petition — Reston advocacy group Reston 2020 has started a Change.org petition against the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors potential plans to institute a Transportation Service District (TSD) to partly fund $2.6 billlion in road improvements in Reston’s high-density areas. [Change.org]

Nearby: Herndon Gets Historical Marker — Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel last week unveiled a sign marking the town’s “Big Fire” of 1917. [Fairfax Times]

Lake Anne ES Needs Career Day Speakers — Lake Anne Elementary School is searching for alumni to come speak at the school on its March 28 Career Day. “We feel it will inspire our students to make connections with previous Lake Anne students and see what our graduates have achieved,” say Lake Anne administrators. If interested, please fill out linked form by Dec. 31. [Lake Anne ES]

Reston Man Competes on “Jeopardy” — He didn’t win. [Restonian]

Photo: Crunch Fitness Monday workout at Reston Town Center pavilion/Credit: Crunch Fitness 

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Save the Date: IPAR Reception & Fundraiser Nov. 3

 The public is inivted to the Initiative for Public Art Reston’s (IPAR) annual reception and fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 3.

The non-profit IPAR supports the commitment to public art projects in Reston. The reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Avant’s Resident Lounge, 12025 Town Square St. at Reston Town Center.

The reception includes fine wines, light hors d’oeuvres by South Lakes High School culinary students, live music by South Lakes High School String Quartet, and a live auction.

Tickets start at $50. Sponsorships are available. Visit IPAR’s website for more information and to purchase tickets.

IPAR supports the annual ChalkFest at Reston Town Center; the annual South Lakes High School STEAM Team artwork on Lake Thoreau; sculptures in Reston parks; and mosaics at Dogwood Pool and Reston Association trail underpasses, among other projects.

Photo: Patrick Doughtery’s “Bird in the Hand” sculpture at Reston Town Square Park is an IPAR project/file photo

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JBG Files Plans for 1.3 Million SF More at RTC West

Rendering of completed RTC West/Credit JBG

The JBG Companies’ Reston Town Center West project has big plans for expansion.

JBG has filed a rezoning application and development plan with Fairfax County Planning to permit the addition of 1.3 million more square feet of development to what is currently being built in the development on Sunset Hills Road about one-quarter of a mile from the future Reston Town Center Metro Station.

RTC West expansion plans/Credit: JBGThe space is currently an office park, which JBG is in the process of repurposing by adding 40,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space to the ground floor of existing buildings. The 13.77-acre property already has two four-story parking garages.

The plan for the second phase calls for about 675,000 square feet of residential (about 700 units) in two multifamily buildings; 650,000 square feet of office space in three new buildings and ground floor retail throughout the property. The plans also call for 3,100 parking spaces.

JBG plans to construct the new office buildings on the southern side of the property along Sunset Hill Road, for maximum visibility from the Dulles Toll Road. The residential towers will be built to the northeast, closer to the W&OD and Town Center Parkway.

The county planning commission hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The first phase of RTC West already has leases signed for a nearly 10,000-square-foot Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Nando’s Peri-Peri and Mezeh Mediterranean Grill. It is expected to open some time in 2017.

Renderings courtesy JBG

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Reston Woman Convicted of Funneling Money to Terrorist Group

Scales of Justice A Reston woman and an accomplice from Washington state were convicted Tuesday of terrorism crimes related to their material support of al-Shabaab, a foreign terrorist organization.

Muna Osman Jama, 36, of Reston and Hinda Osman Dhirane, 46, of Kent, Washington, were found guilty of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization after a bench trial in front of U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga in Alexandria.

“Providing material support to foreign terrorist organizations is a very serious crime,” Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. “These women funneled money to a terrorist organization which was conducting a violent insurgency campaign in Somalia. National security is the top priority in this office and we will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who provide material support to terrorists.”

According to court records, the defendants would refer to the money they sent overseas as “living expenses,” and they repeatedly used code words such as “orphans” and “brothers in the mountains” to refer to al-Shabaab fighters, and “camels” to refer to trucks needed by al-Shabaab. The money transfers often were broken down into small amounts as low as $50 or $100, and the funds were intended for use by al-Shabaab insurgents operating in Somalia.

FBI officials also said the two “recruited, solicited, and advised an online group located in multiple countries as to how and where to transfer funds to this terrorist organization.”

“Today’s guilty verdicts send a message that facilitation of financial support to a designated terrorist organization equates to terrorist activity itself,” said Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Jama and Dhirane sent money to financiers of al-Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya. The defendants also organized what was called a “Group of Fifteen,” which included women from Somalia, Kenya, Egypt, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as Minneapolis.

The “Group of Fifteen” met regularly in a private chatroom that Jama established to organize and track monthly payment of money to the “Hargeisa side,” which was used to finance al-Shabaab military operations in the Golis Mountains in northern Somalia, and the “Nairobi side,” which was used to fund two al-Shabaab safehouses, court documents stated.

One of the safehouses was used by al-Shabaab to store weapons and to prepare for attacks.  The other was used to treat al-Shabaab fighters who had been wounded in battle.

A substantial part of the government’s case consisted of recorded telephone calls and other communications among the “Group of Fifteen.”  These recordings demonstrated that the women had close connections with al-Shabaab leadership and were privy to non-public, inside information concerning al-Shabaab activities.

Jama and Dhirane were recorded as they laughed as the carnage at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi was still taking place. Dhirane and co-conspirator were also recorded as they laughed at the Boston Marathon Bombing before it became known who committed the attack.

Jama and Dhirane each face a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 19, 2017.

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From the Editor: Farewell, But Keep Reading

Bob Simon and Karen GoffReaders –

I wanted to let you know this is my last week at Reston Now. I will sign off on Friday.

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, I will start work at a new publication (more on that in a bit).

I want to thank you all for your readership, engagement and story tips over the last three years.

Many of you followed me to Reston Now from Reston Patch when we launched in October of 2013. Local News Now Publisher Scott Brodbeck created Reston Now after I convinced him Reston is a very, very newsy place.

More than 5.1 million unique visitors later, he has no doubts.

Since launching, we’ve been through countless development applications and the community push to save Reston National Golf Course (they succeeded). We’ve celebrated as Reston founder Bob Simon reached 100 and then mourned when he peacefully passed away 17 months later. We welcomed Metro’s Silver Line, watched it spur a new era in Reston development, and soon will fondly remember free parking at Reston Town Center.

You’ve used your imagination to “fill this space” on dozens of Reston retail vacancies (I am still waiting for a organic cafe/bookstore/children’s play space to wisely open). You’ve sent me breaking news photos, penned op-eds and helped people find their lost pets.

I have tried to answer, among other things, why the helicopter is overhead and why your power is out.

But it is time to move on. My new job is at the Washington Business Journal, where I will report on economic development. Before working at hyperlocal sites, I spent 23 years at newspapers. I am looking forward to the structure of being back in a newsroom.

Publisher Brodbeck is committed to keeping Reston Now running. There will be some interim writers and editors while he looks for a quality replacement. Please help all of them by continuing to read, engaging on social media, and sending story tips to [email protected]

I’ve lived in Reston for 19 years, so I will still be around town. I will be reading too. I need to know why the chopper is in the sky or what kind of traffic situation is going to mess up my new commute.

Cheers,

Karen Goff

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Reston School Will Expand With High School in 2017

Ideaventions Academy/Credit: IdeaventionsIdeaventions Academy for Mathematics and Science will expand in the Fall of 2017, adding high school grades to the Reston private school.

Ideaventions launched in Reston in the Fall of 2015 with 18 students in grades 4 to 8.

Ideaventions’ mission statement is to allow students “to experience a personalized education in an environment where they can grow and explore their interests as they prepare for college. “

“Too often, our schools are overly-standardized, uninspired, and test-driven,” school co-founder Ryan Heitz said in a release. “They are focused more on processes rather than people. … We are a vibrant community designed for the intellectually curious — those who seek to engage in significant endeavors that reach beyond the classroom.”

The Ideaventions Academy Upper School is now accepting freshman applicants for the 2017-2018 academic year. The first high school class will graduate in 2021.

Heitz says the Upper School academic program will have a specialized focus on research and innovation, requiring students to pursue an individual research project over multiple years.

There will be an open house for prospective students and their parents on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is located at 12340 Pinecrest Rd.

For more information on the school, visit Ideaventions Academy website.

Photo: Ideaventions Academy/Credit: Ideaventions

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