Reston, VA

Voting in the 2021 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 1 through April 2. This week, we will begin posting profiles on each of the candidates. The complete election schedule is available online.

Featured here is Vincent Dory who is running against three other people for one of two at-large seats. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words.

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

I have lived in Reston for two years. I decided to set my roots down here because of the unique design and architectural philosophy that governs the design of this place and for the great location in regards to jobs in the area.

What inspired you to run for the board? 

I was inspired to run for the board out of my great appreciation for Reston’s history and design, desire to serve a greater community, and because of the fact that I am a self-driven person. The local activism in regards to the preservation of Reston’s green spaces has also inspired me to run.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

As a board member, I will have three primary goals that I will push for.
First, I will work to protect our community’s green spaces with absolute commitment and with all available resources. Our trees and open spaces are a vital part of Reston’s identity that also provide our community with numerous benefits. The RA should use its platform and influence to protect these assets from over development and liaison with outside entities to assist in this whenever possible.
Next, I believe the RA should focus on improving and repairing current amenities rather than acquiring new ones. In light of the economic problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for repairs and upgrades for our pools and tennis courts, the need for maintenance with our dams, and the currently good state of the RA’s finances; now is the time for prudence and caution with the RA’s amenities, and with its finances.

Finally, I would be an important asset in the work to ensure reston.org‘s current redesign is the best possible for our member’s usage. I am a professional software developer, which gives me knowledge in being able to assist the Association with any technology issues. I also have certifications in cloud computing, which our IT infrastructure recently transferred to. All of this will be valuable for making our technology the best it can be in this time of transition.

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

I hope to accomplish the aforementioned goals, and help govern the RA in a measured, effective manner.

How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

In addition to my aforementioned skills with technology, I also was the president of my fraternity during university. I am also active in many local political and activist organizations in my spare time. This all gives me experience in managing organizations effectively, dealing with and utilizing personnel to their best abilities, and having a smooth management of finances and assets. You can find more about me at my website, vincentdory.com.

Photo via Reston Association

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Voting in the 2021 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 1 through April 2. This week, we will begin posting profiles on each of the candidates. The complete election schedule is available online.

Featured here is Sarah Selvaraj-Dsouza who is running against three other people for one of two at-large seats. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words.

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

I have been fortunate to call Reston my home for the past 13 years. What brought me here was fate, but what has kept me here is a love and appreciation for Reston and its many wonderful offerings, the nature, the amenities, the attractions, and most of all the people who make our community so vibrant and unique.

When I came to Reston, I brought with me a business degree, ideas, and dreams. In 2013, I launched a small business in Northern Virginia. The Reston community helped me realize this dream. Ceramic classes and studio offerings at the Reston Community Center were an intricate part of my growth. I spent countless hours with the amazing instructors there, playing with clay. And as a mom, I have thoroughly enjoyed all that Reston has to offer from museums, art galleries, trails, parks, lakes, even a zoo, kids classes, ice-skating, pools, tennis courts, shopping, and so much more.

Each of our stories on what brought us to Reston and what keeps us here is unique and what makes this area an amazing place to live work and play. I want to hear about your story. Visit me on SARAH4RESTON.com so we can get to know each other and chat, I would love to talk, text, email or simply good ol’fashioned meet for coffee.

What inspired you to run for the board? (Note: If you are currently on the board or have held a previous position on the board, emphasize why you are running again). 

This year on the board, I championed several initiatives including:

  • resisting substantial increases to our dues,
  • offering pool pass discounts and refunds to members whose enjoyment of our facilities had been impacted by COVID
  • encouraging RA to take a very public stance in support of our golf courses
  • insisting on greater transparency from the association, board, and staff
  • improving cluster communications
  • advocating for an IT committee to help RA staff with strategy and oversight to protect members’ data and address several technology concerns that have plagued us over the years.

But Reston we’ve got a lot more work to do.

I am committed to ensuring RA’s primary focus is our membership – YOU.

Please vote for me to represent you for a full 3-year term so together we can see Reston flourish. Please visit me at Sarah4Reston.com for more info.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

  • Affordability – From affordable housing to affordable RA assessments, affordability is KEY to all of us. We need to ensure our assessments are affordable. Being a mom and a small business owner I know every dollar spent towards an assessment is a dollar not spent on my family or my business.

  • Density and Redevelopment – RA must be an advocate for Restonians on Land Use issues. We need a strong board that can effectively represent us to the county on plans that conflict with our members’ best interests. New development must be part of RA. Many of these developments tout RA’s wonderful offerings like our amenities, lakes, and trails to entice new owners but are not members of RA and do not contribute to the upkeep.

  • Climate Change – The urgency of climate change cannot be ignored. Reston under the RA Environmental Advisory Committee(EAC)’s leadership is working towards being a leader on this front. We can and must do more. This year as liaison to the EAC I advocated for more visibility and input from this amazing group of volunteers on RA operations that impact the environment. I invite you to learn about and take the biophilic pledge with me and to visit Reston Today’s informative video.

These are big issues and need lots of conversations with the community and voices to find the right solutions for Reston. I want to start/continue these conversations. If you would like to join in, visit SARAH4RESTON.com

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

I had the honor to serve as one of your At-Large Representatives on the board this year. I am asking for your vote again because I want to continue to advocate for fiscal responsibility, transparency, two-way communications, and action-oriented leadership.

  • Greater Fiscal Responsibility: I believe smart money management does not mean raising assessments or pay cuts for hard-working RA staff. Smart money management means the efficient and effective use of available resources, including the knowledge and experience of the RA Fiscal Committee. It also means exploring the possibility of public/private partnerships and other non-assessment revenue streams to meet membership needs.

  • Greater Transparency and Communication: The RA Board must be committed to transparency and empowering the membership through meaningful engagement. We can achieve this by disseminating necessary documents and reports sufficiently prior to board/committee meetings to allow member participation and comment.

  • Action-Oriented Leadership: I will use my skill set as a successful business owner for creative problem-solving, where consensus building, communication, and firm deadlines will be key. I will encourage implementing action items in a timely manner.

5. How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

Making a small business grow and prosper over the last eight years has required the ability to adapt and innovate especially to survive 2020. Those skills would benefit the RA board and our community.

Diversity, innovation, and adaptation have been an integral part of my life. I grew up in India, completed my engineering degree in Singapore, obtained my MBA in Bristol, England, and moved to Reston 13 years ago to start my family.

I love that our Reston community is much more than shared zip codes. When COVID hit and the struggle for civil rights and justice came to the forefront, I founded RESTONSTRONG and organized more than 5000 neighbors for community action including a peaceful demonstration and no-contact donation pods. I serve on the GMU School of Music Board, foster for LostDogRescue.org, and now help my 5th grade Terraset Tiger with distance-learning.

Most importantly, as a homeowner, a business owner, and a mom, I know the value RA brings to our community and lives, and I am also keenly aware of the strain we can face when assessments are raised or prices for programs and amenities become more expensive. I will ensure our money is spent wisely, I will champion accountability and transparency, and I will use my experience and passion for our community to implement creative solutions.

Photo via Reston Association

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Voting in the 2021 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 1 through April 2. This week, we will begin posting profiles on each of the candidates. The complete election schedule is available online.

Featured here is John Farrell who is running against three other people for one of two at-large seats. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. 

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

My family had the good fortune to move Reston in 1984. My 4 kids went to Terraset, Hughes and South Lakes Schools. They went to RA camps, learned to swim at RA pools and played ball on RA fields.  Our cluster has been home to many kinds of families of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.  That diversity has enriched all of us and truly makes Reston a unique and amazing place to live, work and play.

My passion for Reston actually began many years before I moved here. In 1965, like other 12 year olds, I was fascinated by coverage of the Gemini V mission sponsored by Gulf Oil.  Gulf’s ads featured Reston, a planned Virginia community.  In the midst of the Massive Resistance era, Gulf touted Reston’s housing for all socio-economic levels throughout a family’s lifecycle and the absence of racial covenants. Those ads set my life’s course: to study urban government in college and zoning and planning in law school.

Getting to raise my four children in Reston has been the fulfillment of a vision formed 55 years ago.

What inspired you to run for the board? 

I love all that Reston offers it members. Our amenities are one of the top reasons we are a nationally recognized place to live, work and play.  There is a cost and as we welcome new neighbors and as facilities age, upkeep costs will increase as well.  When I heard from RA leadership that it had not even asked the developers of the new apartments around the Metro station to join RA to help fund the upkeep of our trails, parks, lakes and ball fields that their tenants will use, it was clear the RA needs change. When I later found out that RA had not made a written demand to receive part of the recreational contributions made by those developers, it was clear that RA needed someone to advocate for its membership.

The bookshelves of the RA offices groan with one study after another, yet there is little action, advocacy or accountability by RA leadership.  It’s time for RA to take action. It’s time for RA to vigorously advocate for its members interests. It’s time for accountability by RA leadership to its members.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

My overriding concern is to insure that we retain what’s best about Reston and that it prospers for the next generation. Some of my specific means of advancing that intention are to:

  1. Permanently preserve both golf courses;
  2. Promptly reopen Lake Thoreau pool as efficiently as possible and advocate that all RA facilities are open during their intended season; and
  3. Strongly advocate for the new apartment owners near the Metro stations to pay RA assessments to help pay to maintain our trails, open space and ball fields that their tenants will use.It’s only fair and will hold down our RA assessments
  4. What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

First and foremost, I want to be your advocate.  There’s a lot to love about Reston and there’s a lot that we can do together to make living, working and playing here even better.

Here are a few of my ideas:

  • Advocate for some the $25 million in recreational facility contributions from the developers of Reston’s new residential projects to be used for RA facilities and that all of it be spent in Reston;
  • Do our part to protect our environment by adopting a clear plan to convert RA’s fleet to electric vehicles;
  • Require all commercial properties to comply with RA’s covenants that protect our property values;
  • Increase transparency and encourage member engagement by avoiding executive sessions and revising RA’s committee structure to improve members’ understanding of RA functions;
  • Create a RA website that provides easily accessible information and two-way communication for all RA members at reasonable cost;
  • Insist that RA engage knowledgeable people to securely protect its members personal data; and
  • Preserving Reston’s legacy of inclusion of all social-economic groups at all stages of a family’s life-cycle.

How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

  • I’ve spent my professional career advocating for homeowners and homeowners associations and I can use what I’ve learned to strengthen RA.
  • As an attorney specializing in zoning and wetlands law, I understand the regulatory challenges to preserving our unique community.
  • As President of the Fairfax Girls Softball League, I worked with others to successfully lobby the County Board of Supervisors to spend $100,000 per year for 10 years to bring the softball facilities up to the same quality as the baseball facilities.
  • As National President for the 40,000-member Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, I managed a large volunteer membership organization.
  • As President of Colonial Oaks cluster, for the last 6 years, I’ve successfully dealt with the many issues facing RA clusters and learned the strengths and weaknesses of the RA covenant process.
  • I’ve spent the last 20 years protecting the right to vote in Fairfax.

I hope you’ll agree that all of that is experience you can trust.

Find out more by visiting farrell4reston.com.

Photo via Reston Association

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Voting in the 2021 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run from March 1 through April 2. This week, we will begin posting profiles on each of the candidates. The complete election schedule is available online.

Featured here is Timothy Dowling who is running against three other people for one of two at-large seats. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. 

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

My wife, Ricarda, and I moved to Reston in 1982.  Our first home was a townhouse across the street from Hunters Woods Village Center.  As our family grew, we moved to a new home in the Tall Oaks area.  In 1992 we returned to Hunters Woods on Paddock Lane, where we have lived ever since.

We were first drawn to Reston by its trees, lakes, and beautiful natural resources.  As we learned more about Reston’s emphasis on environmental stewardship, racial and economic diversity, the arts, and recreational amenities, we knew we had found our home.  We are thankful that Bob Simon was such a visionary, and that he worked so hard to establish Reston’s core values.   After nearly forty years, my family and I understand that Reston’s ideals are not mere words, but our daily experience.

For more information on my background, visit https://www.tim4reston.com/.

What inspired you to run for the board?

It is vital to promote democracy at every level.  Apathy kills democracy.  I’m concerned so few Restonians vote in our Board elections, and I’m especially worried that candidates sometimes run unopposed.  With so many people still struggling with the pandemic and economic hardship, I decided to run this year to ensure Restonians have a clear choice.  I commend all the other candidates for their willingness to serve.

I also was inspired to run by a sense of gratitude to those who served before me. They provided my family with this wonderful community.  Although I don’t agree with every Board decision, I greatly respect the current Board Members’ commitment to Reston, their exceptional abilities, and their thoughtfulness.  I’d like to pay Reston back by offering my time, talents, and expertise.

Over the years, I’ve been impressed during my interactions with the volunteers on RA committees, as well as with RA staff.  I want to serve on the Board to support their work and provide ideas on how they can improve Reston even more.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

First, the biggest issue facing Reston is harmful growth.  We must preserve our existing open space, including our two golf courses.  Dysfunctional growth imposes unfair burdens on our crowded schools and roads, and undermines our core values of environmental stewardship and aesthetic harmony.  I support “Smart Growth” where appropriate, but sacrificing our open space on the altar of increased revenue would be decidedly unsmart.  The RA Board also must ensure that the county’s revisions to its zoning (zMOD) does not increase our density or threaten our core values.

Second, our pools, tennis courts, and other amenities are aging.  Every dollar of our $718 assessment must be spent wisely and efficiently so we have the funds necessary to maintain our recreational resources and other common property

Third, we must increase the trust of our RA membership.  We should improve communication and transparency.  RA’s Information Technology must fully protect our sensitive data and RA financial transactions.  We need a Code of Ethics for RA that prohibits financial conflicts, improper gifts, and other misconduct.  We should be more creative in responding to new concerns, such as solar panels and EV charging stations to address the threat of climate change.

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

I’m a strong believer in Servant Leadership.  I want to serve on the Board to preserve what makes Reston so special.  My primary goal is to provide the next generation with the vibrant, diverse, and healthy community we all cherish.

I’d like to build on the work RA already has done to increase transparency and accountability through social media, and to give our CEO the resources needed to improve our quality of life.  I will make myself available to everyone to listen to their concerns and work to address them.

My top priorities will be:

  • Preserving our open space, including our two golf courses;
  • Ensuring that the county’s revision of its zoning does not increase our density or undermine our core values;
  • Addressing our aging infrastructure, and eliminating waste to ensure the efficient use of RA assessments;
  • Promoting measures to address the threat of climate change, such as solar panels, vehicle charging stations, and updating RA’s vehicle fleet;
  • Improving RA’s Information Technology to achieve full protection of sensitive data and financial transactions;
  • and Establishing an enforceable Code of Ethics for RA that prohibits financial conflicts, improper gifts, and other misconduct.

How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

I’m an attorney with extensive experience relevant to the work of the Board.  For ten years, I served as Chief Counsel of a public interest law firm that defended local communities in challenges to their land use laws.  I worked closely with groups like the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, and the American Planning Association.  I’ve written books and articles on how to defend community protections.  I co-taught a class at Georgetown on how local communities can advance their values, consistent with the Constitution.  I was a Judicial Officer at U.S. EPA, and a policy advisor at the Justice Department’s Environment Division.  My expertise and experience will serve Reston well as it seeks to protect its core values.

For ten years, I was a supervisor in the office charged with ensuring that FBI personnel meet the highest standards of ethics and integrity.  I know the importance of transparency and avoiding of conflicts of interest.

My recent volunteer work includes teaching a weekly class at Reston Library to help immigrants pass their citizenship exam.  My students’ commitment to Reston and our country is so inspiring.  They taught me anew the vitality of Reston’s founding principle of diversity.

Photo via Reston Association

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Top Stories This Week


Before we head off into another weekend with COVID-19 abound, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Fairfax County to Launch Queuing System Tomorrow, Improve Vaccine Rollout
  2. COVID-19 Cases Level Out as Fairfax County Works Through Vaccine Waitlist
  3. Victim Identified in Fatal Reston Shooting
  4. Frustrations Boil Over As Lake Anne Residents Grapple With No Hot Water Since Dec. 1
  5. Reston Man Charged in Killing of Former SLHS Classmate

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 social distancing plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

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The D.C. area is hunkered down for another winter storm today (Thursday) that could last into Friday morning.

At 1:05 p.m., the National Weather Service downgraded its earlier winter storm warning to a Winter Weather Advisory. As of 8:30 this morning, the NWS had projected one to three inches of snow, a drop down from previous forecasts of three to six inches of accumulation.

However, with the addition of freezing rain and ice, the roads are still going to be slippery, making travel a challenge.

In previous years, icy road conditions would have made for treacherous commutes to work and school, but the novel coronavirus pandemic has forced many to work and learn from home. Still, the frequency of winter weather events over the past few weeks can feel disruptive, even if not much snow has actually materialized so far this year.

How do you feel about all this winter weather? Do you wish there was more snow, or are you comfortable with the amount that Fairfax County has gotten? Are you ready for warmer weather yet?

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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The Virginia Department of Health launched a new, statewide registration system for the COVID-19 vaccine today, but Fairfax County won’t be taking part.

The county is encouraging residents to continue using its own registration system. Local health districts have been directed to close their existing registration forms so that data can be cleaned up, consolidated, and transferred to the new system.

The FCHD says it will not participate in the statewide system at this time and will instead continue to manage vaccine appointments for everyone in the Fairfax Health District, which includes Fairfax County, the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, and the towns of Vienna, Herndon, and Clifton.

“For those already on the waitlist, do not register again on the new statewide system,” the county health department said.

Fairfax County’s vaccine call center at 703-324-7404 will also continue to be operational, even with the state launching a new call center.

Fairfax County decided to stick with its own registration system because officials believed it would be less confusing for residents, and because the county has “invested a lot of resources” into the system, Fairfax County Health Department spokesperson Tina Dale said.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay also noted that the county invested resources and time into working out the kinks of its current system.

“At this point, I am glad we can maintain our system that residents are familiar with to cut down on confusion. We will continue to have conversations with the state about registration as the vaccine process rolls out,” he said.

The news comes as Fairfax County’s promised dashboard with COVID-19 vaccine and registration data goes live.

So far, the county is currently making appointments for people registered on Jan. 18. Residents can verify if they are registered to receive the first dose of the vaccine online.

Roughly 228,145 people have registered for the vaccine in the Fairfax Health District and 106,371 people remain on the waiting list as of data released Sunday night.

The health department cautions that it may take several weeks to schedule appointments for registered residents due to limited vaccine supply. The county has received 114,923 doses from VDH.

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Top Stories This Week


Before we head off into another weekend with COVID-19 abound, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Fairfax County to Launch Queuing System Tomorrow, Improve Vaccine Rollout
  2. BREAKING: Suspect At-Large in Reston Homicide
  3. CVS to Offer COVID-19 Vaccine in Fairfax County Starting This Week
  4. Two New Restaurants to Open at Reston Station by May
  5. Frustrations Boil Over As Lake Anne Residents Grapple With No Hot Water Since Dec. 1

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 social distancing plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

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As a new wave of snow accumulation is set to fall on Reston and the surrounding areas, Reston Association is clarifying its policies regarding snow removal.

In preparation for potential snow accumulation, the Reston Association (RA) issued a press release noting that “the responsibility for snow removal in Reston is shared” among Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), RA, cluster associations, individual residents and businesses.

Some RA members said they were alarmed that pathways were not cleared earlier this month.

In a letter to RA, Steven Graul, a Reston resident, wrote that Lake Anne Plaza was ‘caked thick with ice’ and remained ‘impassable and dangerous’ for more than a week.

‘It’s simply unacceptable for RA to be excusing their lack of resources for the failure on this issue. This needs to be a community priority and take precedent over other wasteful programs, which provide little or no community benefit, except perhaps to sustain the size and cost of the RA machine itself,’ he wrote.

RA is responsible for plowing snowfall on the 55 miles of pathways it owns and maintains and the access areas to village centers. Members of RA’s Central Services Facilities (CSF) will plow the pathways when snowfall reaches over two inches, according to the association’s site.

Mike McNamara, the Director of Maintenance for RA, will ultimately make the call whether or not to plow the pathways after conferring with CSF crew and mechanics.

On Feb. 3, RA turned to Twitter to explain why snowfall was not cleared from pathways. RA stated that due to a lack of snow, CSF crews could not utilize snowplows because it would risk damaging the pathways and plows. RA did state that hand crews were dispatched to clear snow.

In addition to four plows that can be used, RA’s site advises it has CSF members “to clear walkways, stairs and certain smaller pathways around community buildings and other high traffic areas in the community.”

The association’s site says that each of the four runs of pathways takes between four and five hours to clear.

While RA’s policies are to clear paths as possible, it does not guarantee that pathways will be completely clear after each storm. This is a result of changing temperatures, and hilly areas and heavily shaded locations that are vulnerable to refreezing. Hand crews and other personnel will inspect each area after a storm to address pathways as needed, according to RA.

RA also encouraged residents in its press release to shovel sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways. The association also advised that clusters could hire private contractors to remove snow from parking lots as well as other common areas.

Though RA doesn’t maintain roadway sidewalks, it will work to provide access to schools as much as possible through its pathways.

To report a dangerous section of pathway to RA, members may call the CSF’s main number 703-437-7658 or email [email protected]

VDOT is responsible for clearing snow from all state-maintained roads. VDOT’s road-clearing priority roads include interstates and most primary roads, snow emergency routes and heavily trafficked roads, and other residential roads. The department also offers a virtual map that residents may check to gauge the plowing status of their neighborhoods.

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Barring an abrupt change in plans, Fairfax County Public Schools students will start returning to school buildings next week for the first time since classes resumed after winter break in January.

The Fairfax County School Board approved a new Return to School timeline last Tuesday (Feb. 2) that lets 8,000 students in special education and career and technical education programs get two days of in-person instruction and two days of virtual instruction per week starting on Feb. 16. All FCPS students will be phased into the hybrid learning model by Mar. 16, though students who choose to stay all-virtual can do so.

The school board’s decision came three days before Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Friday (Feb. 5) that all school divisions in Virginia must offer families some form of in-person learning option by Mar. 16, citing the need to prevent learning losses.

An FCPS report released in November found an uptick in failing grades during the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year, particularly for students with disabilities and English-language learners, and research from the CDC suggests schools can deliver in-person instruction safely as long as mitigation protocols are followed, including mask-wearing and social distancing.

With COVID-19 cases declining in Fairfax County recently and FCPS staff prioritized for vaccinations, FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand expressed confidence last week that the division can pull of a successful return to in-person learning.

However, FCPS officials also said that transporting students will be a challenge due to the inability to ensure enough spacing on buses, and employees raised concerns in the past through the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers about inadequate implementation and enforcement of mitigation measures. FCPS has recorded 939 COVID-19 cases among staff, students, and visitors since Sept. 8.

Do you think FCPS is ready to restart in-person learning? Should the district move faster to expand in-person learning, or should it take a more cautious approach? Should schools be looking to resume in-person instruction at all?

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Top Stories This Week


Before we head off into another weekend with COVID-19 abound, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Fairfax COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 800 People As Vaccine Program Gets Reworked
  2. Lincoln at Reston Station Pivots to New Name, Rebranding
  3. New Cafe and Bakery Coming to Sunset Park in Herndon
  4. Auto Shop to Flip into Restaurant on Elden Street
  5. Fairfax County Braces for Possible Snow

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 social distancing plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Image via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Top Stories This Week


Before we head off into another weekend with COVID-19 abound, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Inova Suspends First Doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine Starting Today
  2. Silver Line Phase II On Track for Fall Opening Despite Metro Financial Concerns
  3. Man Threatens Bank of America Staff in Reston After Being Told to Wear Mask
  4. Tech Companies Look to Hire at Upcoming Fairfax County Job Fair
  5. Terraset Elementary School is a Glimpse into a Future That Never Was

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 social distancing plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo via FCPS

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The food service industry is in survival mode this winter, as COVID-19 cases remain high in Fairfax County and around the U.S.

Increased flexibility for outdoor dining operations, along with a greater emphasis on takeout and delivery services, helped sustain many restaurants during the summer and fall, but the chillier weather has made convincing people to eat or drink outside a trickier proposition.

The National Restaurant Association reported in December that sales had dropped by $2.2 billion — or 4% — in November from the previous month and were expected to decline further over the winter. Overall, the food service industry has seen a nearly 20% drop in sales compared to business pre-pandemic.

To rally public support, local restaurants, breweries, and cafes have turned to a range of promotions, from restaurant weeks to a #BundleUp campaign led by Caboose Brewing Company, which runs Caboose Tavern in Vienna and Caboose Commons in Merrifield, and the the Lake Anne Brew House in Reston.

Have you been patronizing restaurants and other food and beverage establishments this winter? Are you sticking with delivery and takeout orders, or are you willing to try dining outside — or even indoors?

Photo via Spencer Davis on Unsplash

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Top Stories This Week


Before we head off into another weekend with COVID-19 abound, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Reston Ranks As Top Place for Working from Home
  2. Fairfax County to Begin Registering Vaccines After Northam Expands Eligibility to People Age 65 and Up
  3. Poll: Have You Registered for the COVID-19 Vaccine Yet?
  4. Fairfax County COVID-19 Cases Hit New High over MLK Weekend
  5. Man Threatens Bank of America Staff in Reston After Being Told to Wear Mask

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 social distancing plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo via FCPS

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Fairfax County is changing up its Stuff the Bus food drive this winter to support increased demand for food while accommodating challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically held twice a year, Stuff the Bus will kick off its 10th year of existence with buses parked at select locations throughout the county from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 30 and Feb. 6.

During the two-day food drive, community members can stop by the buses to donate nonperishable food that will help restock local food pantries, which have reported an uptick in the need for food and drops in volunteer rates during the pandemic.

To prevent the potential transmission of the novel coronavirus, donors should wear a mask or other face-covering when at a Stuff the Bus site, and Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) is directing people to place their donations directly inside the buses through their rear doors, rather than approaching the front door or the bus drivers.

Fairfax County is also encouraging people to make online monetary donations to the participating nonprofits in lieu of donating food in person.

According to the county, virtual donations give food pantries more flexibility, allowing them to purchase in bulk, stock up on fresh food, and obtain “culturally appropriate foods, which better meet the needs of the diverse communities they serve.” It is also less labor-intensive.

“Nonprofits often rely on the work of volunteers to sort and shelve donations,” NCS says. “The COVID-19 virus has greatly impacted volunteers’ ability to serve, especially older adults or those with pre-existing conditions.”

The Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s Office will accept donations at 1801 Cameron Glen Drive. A complete list of all locations is available online.

Donations at the McLean Government Center will benefit LINK, which provides emergency food to people in the Herndon, Sterling, and Ashburn communities. The Patrick Henry Library drive will support Western Fairfax Christian Ministries on Jan. 30 and Cornerstones on Feb. 6.

The two Providence District locations — the supervisor’s office and James Lee Community Center — will support the Annandale Christian Community for Action on Jan. 30 and the Falls Church Community Service Council on Feb. 6.

A list of the most frequently requested food items can be found on the Stuff the Bus website.

Based on unemployment and poverty data, the Capital Area Food Bank estimates in its October 2020 Hunger Report that there has been a 48% to 60% increase in food insecurity in the D.C. region since the pandemic began.

Image via Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services

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