Reston, VA

Top Stories This Week

Before we head off into the weekend (and end a holiday week), let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Reston-based Telecommunications Company to Dissolve
  2. Local Middle School Student Earns Perfect ACT Score
  3. Photos: Development with Future Wegmans, Self-Driving Cars Moves Forward
  4. Local Food Truck-Turned-Restaurant Expands to Ashburn
  5. Fill This Space: Modell’s Sporting Goods in Plaza America

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo via Taco Zocalo

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Since 2013, Reston Now has been reporting news about the Reston and Herndon areas. Recently, we started providing additional coverage of Great Falls.

Keep up with our coverage by signing up for our email subscriptions.

The afternoon email — sent at 4 p.m. — rounds up the most recently published stories and sponsored content on our site. Our morning email is currently on a hiatus.

You can also opt in to receive emails we send on behalf of local businesses and nonprofits. If you opt-out, you’ll still receive an occasional event or offer-related email as part of your subscription.

Note: we will never share your email address with a third-party.

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for our email subscriptions already!

Not receiving emails or want to change your subscriptions? You can re-enter your email in the subscription sign-up, which will then pop up a message saying that email is already subscribed. The message will prompt you to update your profile, which will then send you an email that will let you manage your subscriptions.

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Top Stories This Week

Before we head off into the weekend (and end a holiday week), let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Photos: Development with Future Wegmans, Self-Driving Cars Moves Forward
  2. Weather Alert: Fairfax County Schools to Close Two Hours Early Due to Snow
  3. Reston Eateries to Participate in Winter Restaurant Week
  4. UPDATED: ‘Small Fire’ Breaks Out at Apartment Building in Reston Town Center
  5. UPDATED: Fairfax County Schools Closed Today

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Want to get in touch with the team bringing you news about Reston, Herndon and Great Falls?

Send us your news tips, press releases and feedback to [email protected] or use our anonymous message form. Our news team does not have a phone line for inbound calls.

You can also reach us on social media – FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

For advertising inquiries, please contact [email protected].

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With county schools closing two hours early today, the first snow of 2020 is expected to descend on the region.

Although light accumulation of between one to three inches is expected,  Reston Now would love to feature your photos of snow in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls.

Send us your photos by emailing us at [email protected]. You can also send them to us via Twitter or Facebook.

We’ll run the best shots later today.

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Top Stories This Week

Before we head off into the weekend (and end a holiday week), let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Reston Association Votes to End 55+ Committee
  2. Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve Around Reston and Herndon
  3. Most-Read Stories of 2019 : The Final Countdown
  4. TRAFFIC ALERT: Lawyers Road Closed Due to Crash
  5. Reston Parkway Office Building Sold to Pair of Developers

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo by Elisha Terada/Unsplash

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Have thoughts about Reston Now’s coverage of Reston, Herndon and Great Falls? Want to share your opinions about local issues?

Reston Now welcomes letters to the editors and op-eds of specific interest to the Reston, Herndon and Great Falls community.

The key difference is that an op-ed can be an opinion piece about a local issue, while a letter to the editor responds directly to a Reston Now story.

Please email it to [email protected] You are also welcome to contact us with your idea for feedback before submitting it.

While there is no word limit, we suggest under 1,000 words. Contributions may be edited for length, content and style/grammar.

Reston Now does not publish op-eds relating to a specific candidate running for political office — either from the candidate’s team or opponents.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted op-eds and letters to the editor already.

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This op-ed was submitted by Doug Britt, who was honored as a 2019 Volunteers of the Year for his efforts to guide Reston into becoming a member of the Biophilic Cities Network. Mr. Britt is a Virginia Master Naturalist and currently serves as an At-Large Director of Reston Association  and is a member of RA’s Environmental Advisory Committee.

For years golf courses have been stereotyped as environmentally unfriendly amenities. But times are changing the way they are being managed. Overall Virginia has 37,000 acres of open space devoted to golf courses, and many of them are providing valuable wildlife habitats in otherwise urban settings. Reston’s two courses are prime examples. Deer, fox, groundhogs, chipmunks, and grey squirrels are often observed during daylight hours. More secretive or nocturnal mammals such as voles, mice, flying squirrels, coyotes, possums, raccoons, and skunks use the wooded margins of the roughs during the late evening hours. The golf course ponds harbor various species of turtles, frogs, toads, and salamanders. Birdwatching around the golf course margins can be very productive: more than 100 bird species have been observed from the two Reston courses. A pair of red-tailed hawks have fledged several young at Hidden Creek Golf Course each of the past several years, bald eagles occasionally stop over, and the peregrine falcons that nest at Town Center are occasionally seen hunting along the fairways. Bluebird populations around the courses have been increasing and Hidden Creek Country Club is the only community nesting site in Reston for purple martins. 

More and more courses in Virginia are applying best management principles to reduce chemical applications and to minimize irrigation needs. For example, the Virginia Golf Course Supervisors Association (VGCSA) established a Golf Course Nutrient Management Plan in 2017 designed to minimize fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticide use. This year approximately 99% of Virginia golf courses have adopted this Plan. Most Virginia golf course supervisors are also using a comprehensive “Environmental Best Practices for Virginia Golf Courses Manual”. Audubon International has initiated a certified Cooperative Sanctuary Program for golf courses, and 29 Virginia courses have so far met the rigorous standards for program certification, including Reston National Golf Course, which just received its re-certification.

Some Virginia courses have established “pollinator gardens” around their tee boxes to attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. More than 50 individual butterflies comprising a dozen different species were observed feeding on flowers around a single tee box at River Bend Country Club this summer. Other Fairfax County courses are participating in the “Monarchs in the Rough” Program, where the host plants for monarch larvae are planted to attract these iconic butterflies. Other County courses are cooperating with the Virginia Bluebird Society to create blue bird trails (Kingsmill Golf Course reported that it had fledged more than 200 bluebird chicks on its three courses this year).  Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria has 6 on-site beehives to help pollination; moreover, they sell the honey produced in their pro-shop.

Heavily treed golf courses such as Hidden Creek also provide substantial environmental and human health benefits. The trees contribute significantly to carbon capture and storage, air pollution removal, oxygen production, stormwater retention and erosion control. They also are effective in lowering energy costs by cooling surrounding buildings in the summer and reducing wind chill in the winter. Research on the human physiological, psychological, and spiritual benefits of contact with nature (and urban forests in particular) are showing diverse positive effects, including reduced blood pressure and stress hormone levels, lowered obesity, and increased cognitive performance. 

Proper turf management on golf courses also builds healthy soil microbial communities and encourages large earthworm populations that create biopores that oxygenate the soil and facilitate stormwater retention and groundwater recharge.

In 2018 Reston was designated a member of the prestigious Biophilic Cities Network – a network of progressive cities around the world that purposefully connect their residents with nature in significant and extraordinary ways. Reston was clearly designed to do just that by its founder’s (Robert E. Simon’s) guiding principles, its 55 miles of walking, hiking, and biking paths, and its 1300 acres of open space and natural areas. Reston’s golf courses have the potential, if managed wisely, to be very valuable environmental assets.  They should be another extension of the way Reston connects its people with nature where they live, work, and play.   

Photo by Reston Association

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We continue to count down the top 20 most-read articles of 2019 this week. Here’s the final breakdown for the top four stories of the year.

4. Michael Berger, a Reston resident, talks about his plans to replace The Pizza Hut at 1821 Wiehle Revenue to a Neapolitan pizza restaurant.

3. A tornado touched down in mid-April, leaving tree damage in the area.

2. Multiple roads in Reston flooded in July, including the parking lot at the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station.

1. Our exclusive on a lawsuit involving Vapiano in Reston Town Center and an international money laundering scheme had the most clicks this year (56,821 and counting). Still no word yet on when (and if) the restaurant will reopen.

We look forward to bringing you more stories next year.

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We continue to count down the top 20 most-read articles of 2019 this week. Here’s the breakdown for list #6-10.

10. Two brothers from Reston faced multiple felony charges after police found weapons and drugs in their home in April.

9. McTacoHut will lose its name after The Pizza Hut flips into a new pizzeria next year. The McDonalds on the fast-food block is also undergoing renovations.

8. A sponsored post about Google — which moved into its Reston Station offices — expanding its operations in Northern Virginia as part of a 13 billion round of investment also gained traction.

7. A drama teacher at Herndon High School was arrested in April– which was later followed up with more charges over the summer. The teacher was placed on leave and then dismissed after police uncovered additional evidence of unlawful filming at the high school.

6. Our first dive into why closed signs first popped up at the Vapiano in Reston Town Center raised eyebrows. Company spokespersons gave Reston Now conflicting answers about the reasons for the closure.

Look out for the final #1-5 list on the countdown tomorrow.

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We’re counting down the top 20 most-read articles of 2019 this week and next week. Here’s the breakdown for list #11-15.

15. The abrupt closure of Reston Town Center’s Vapiano — which was caught in the middle of a suit alleging an international money laundering scheme in the business — perplexed readers and restaurant-goers. The location is still temporarily closed.

14. Amazon closed in on the area by acquiring a Herndon property. The 57-acre site has an assessed value of $80.7 million.

13. A South Lakes High School student was killed in a car crash in Oakton. Police said that speed may have been a factor in the incident.

12. Panera Bread also shuttered in Reston Town Center this month, leaving another vacancy in the town center. No word yet on what will replace the business.

11. A drama teacher at Herndon High School was arrested in connection with multiple child pornography and unlawful filming charges. Detectives found thousands of videos on devices owned by the teacher.

Look out for the #6-10 on the countdown next week.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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Since 2013, Reston Now has been reporting news about the Reston and Herndon areas. Recently, we started providing additional coverage of Great Falls.

Keep up with our coverage by signing up for our email subscriptions.

The afternoon email — sent at 4 p.m. — rounds up the most recently published stories and sponsored content on our site. Our morning email is currently on a hiatus.

You can also opt in to receive emails we send on behalf of local businesses and nonprofits. If you opt-out, you’ll still receive an occasional event or offer-related email as part of your subscription.

Note: we will never share your email address with a third-party.

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for our email subscriptions already!

Not receiving emails or want to change your subscriptions? You can re-enter your email in the subscription sign-up, which will then pop up a message saying that email is already subscribed. The message will prompt you to update your profile, which will then send you an email that will let you manage your subscriptions.

0 Comments

We’re counting down the top 20 most-read articles of 2019 this week and next week. Kicking off the list today is #16-20.

20. A poll about Reston Town Center’s rebranding efforts had nearly 2,000 respondents. Although a representative for Boston Properties indicated some “exciting news” was expected over the summer, the news Gods remained mum for most of the year.

19. A sponsored post from 2014 continues to top the charts — with sporadic spikes in clicks throughout the year. The post, which was submitted by Just Cats Clinic at Lake Anne Plaza, covers tips on how to determine when a cat is in pain.

18. Paddywax The Candle Bar announced plans to open up a new location in Reston Town Center, part of much retail movement in the town center this year.

17. In what was a familiar theme this year, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn closed up shop in Reston Town Center, leaving two big vacancies.

16. Nonetheless, the retail scene looked blissful once again when Peet’s Coffee, DC Row, and four other businesses announced plans to open up in the town center.

Look out for the #11-15 on the countdown tomorrow.

Photo by vantagehill/Flickr

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Want to get in touch with the team bringing you news about Reston, Herndon and Great Falls?

Send us your news tips, press releases and feedback to [email protected] or use our anonymous message form. Our news team does not have a phone line for inbound calls.

You can also reach us on social media – FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

For advertising inquiries, please contact [email protected].

0 Comments

Calling all local photographers: Reston Now is looking for your photos of Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. We’re also on the lookout for story ideas.

Whether you’re a photography pro or just love snapping pictures with your smartphone, we are always looking to include seasonal photos in our Morning Notes on weekdays or reshare pictures on our social media accounts.

To send us your photos, email us at [email protected], tag us in your photo on social media or join our Reston Now Flickr page. You will always receive credit for the photo — either with your username or actual name.

Thank you to photographers who have already sent us photos!

Remember: you can send us news tips through our website or email us directly.

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