Reston, VA

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

0 Comments

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

0 Comments

Dozens of local artists and arts-oriented organizations got welcome news last week when ArtsFairfax announced the recipients of $567,138 in emergency relief and recovery grants on Jan. 15.

A nonprofit that serves as Fairfax County’s designated local arts agency, ArtsFairfax created an Emergency Relief and Recovery Grants program in order to provide quick funding to an industry that has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program comes in lieu of the agency’s usual grant programs, which were suspended for fiscal year 2021.

“The impact of COVID-19 continues to have a devastating effect on the arts community, yet we have seen the arts continue to provide arts education, senior engagement, family entertainment and so much more,” ArtsFairfax president and CEO Linda S. Sullivan said.

Out of the $108,500 in funding requests that it received, ArtsFairfax has awarded $101,950 in emergency relief grants to 40 different Fairfax County arts organizations. It also raised private funds to support $28,300 in grants to 29 individual artists.

In addition, 39 arts organizations will receive operating support grants for FY 2021. These funds are awarded annually to nonprofit arts organizations in Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church to support basic operations.

ArtsFairfax is awarding $436,888 in operating support grants for this fiscal year after receiving $913,933 in requests from 39 different organizations.

“The arts will be a vital part of our health and economic recovery,” Sullivan said. “We need to support the arts today, so they are here for us tomorrow.”

With in-person performances and exhibitions largely suspended for the past year, the pandemic has taken a significant toll on the American arts and culture industry.

The nonprofit Americans for the Arts estimates that, as of Jan. 11, arts and cultural organizations have lost $14.8 billion nationally as a result of COVID-19. 63% of workers in the arts sector have become unemployed, and 95% have reported a loss of income.

According to a dashboard from Americans for the Arts, nonprofit arts organizations in Fairfax County have reported a median financial loss of $30,000 for a total impact of $4.3 million, though that is based on a small sample size of 55 respondents.

Local recipients include Arts Herndon, the Reston Chorale, and Reston Community Orchestra. A full list of ArtsFairfax grant recipients can be found on the nonprofit’s website.

Photo via Reston Community Orchestra

0 Comments

Officers with the Fairfax County Police Department have been deployed to Washington, D.C., as part of a region-wide emergency response to far-right extremists who have stormed the U.S. Capitol, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay’s office confirmed to Tysons Reporter.

Fairfax County has also opened its emergency operations center to Virginia State Police.

Earlier this week, McKay advised county residents to avoid visiting downtown D.C. as several right-wing groups planned to hold demonstrations to protest Congress’ scheduled certification of the November 2019 general election results.

Fairfax County police previously said they did not anticipate needing to assist D.C. authorities in managing the demonstrations. Like other law enforcement agencies in the D.C. region, the county has a mutual aid agreement in place for situations where additional help may be needed.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn also encouraged residents to stay home. His full statement is below.

Today has truly been one of the most remarkable days in our country’s history, and the sounds and images on our screens are frightening and saddening. Over the years we have seen many challenges to authority, to our system, and even to each other, but we have always emerged stronger and doubled down on our commitment to a more perfect union. Let’s not forget that our institutions are strong, our commitment to rule of law is unchanged, and that government by the people and for the people remains our foundational principle. We have the oldest democracy on earth and we will pull together so that does not change.

McKay’s full statement is below:

What is happening in Washington D.C. right now is nothing short of a coup. This is a dark day in American democracy and I am personally sad and angry. I’m hopeful residents of the county heeded our advice to stay home today.

We have deployed members of our police department and opened our emergency oerpations center ot Virginia State Police. Let us pray for their safety as well as the safety of the innocent people impacted. Our democracy will not be destroyed by violent, lawless mobs.

I’m in constant communication with County officials to ensure we provide as much help as possible and also protect our communities in Fairfax.

Photo via Sherry Xu on Unsplash

0 Comments

We’re counting down the top 20 most-read articles of 2020 this week. Here’s the final countdown.

9. A 17-year-old boy from Maryland died in an apparent drowning in Lake Audubon over the summer.

8. A dead body was found near Lake Anne Plaza in late May.

7. Trash and recycling changes went into effect in late March.

6. Trader Joe’s in Reston closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

5. As the state moved to reopen in mid-May, COVID-19 numbers continued to climb in some areas.

4. A customer left a big tip at Founding Farmers in Reston Station following the phased reopening of restaurants.

3. The county saw a big spike in COVID-19 cases in June.

2. Two COVID-19 cases were linked to the headquarters of U.S. Geological Survey in Reston.

1. The county released more zip code data on COVID-19 cases.

We look forward to bringing you more stories next year.

0 Comments

We’re counting down the top 20 most-read articles of 2020 this week. Here’s the rundown for #15-10.

15. When the pandemic first hit locally, a parishioner defied self-quarantine rules and golfed in Reston.

14. Best Buy shuttered its doors permanently in The Spectrum at Reston Town Center.

13. After a data entry error, the results of the Herndon mayoral and town council races shifted dramatically.

12. The county began easing some COVID-19 restrictions in May as part of the state’s reopening phase.

11. The county reported a continued COVID-19 rise as the state hit a new high in the beginning of November.

10. A bear was spotted in Reston, prompting some local intrigue and alarm.

Check back tomorrow for the final countdown.

Image via Google Maps

0 Comments

We’re counting down the top 20 most-read articles of 2020 this week. Kicking off this list today is #16-20.

20. Two men armed with a machete attempted to rob a gas station in April, according to police.

19. A Reston-based telecommunications company announced plans to shut down in the beginning of the year.

18. A woman was shot and killed in the area of Colts Neck Road and Glade drive in mid-September.

17. FCPS officials acknowledged major leadership failures in the botched rollout of distance learning in April.

16. A Reston resident shot and killed a suspected intruder, according to police.

Check back tomorrow for the next roundup.

Photo via FCPS

0 Comments

COVID-19 may have put a damper on a lot of year-end festivities, but many hallmarks of this holiday season are still going strong.

There is a certain magic in getting bundled up for ice skating or sipping mulled cider (or hot toddies) at outdoor restaurants. For something spectacular, families can enjoy holiday light shows or their neighbors’ tacky Christmas lights.

All of these and more winter activities can be done in Fairfax County through January. This year, you can justify these cold weather-friendly events to your heat-loving friends even more, since the risk of COVID-19 transmission is lower outside.

Does winter hold a certain spark for you? Are you going stir-crazy at home and need places to go? Tell us below how you are taking in this season, and drop recommendations in the comments.

0 Comments

The Fairfax Health District reported 914 new COVID-19 cases today (Monday), a new single-day record for the district, which encompasses the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church as well as Fairfax County.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, Fairfax County reported 897 cases within the past 24 hours, while Fairfax City added 11 cases, and Falls Church added six.

With that flood of new cases, which Fairfax County attributes partly to a data reporting backlog, the Fairfax Health District has now recorded 40,551 cases since the pandemic first arrived in the area in March. 670 people in the district have died from the disease transmitted by the novel coronavirus, and 2,820 people have been hospitalized.

Today’s caseload easily surpasses the previous single-day record of 725 daily cases from Dec. 8, though the weekly average of 437.7 cases remains lower than Dec. 12, when the district averaged 505.1 cases over seven days.

The Fairfax Health District’s COVID-19 testing positivity rate is slightly up from last week, with a seven-day moving average of 11% as of Dec. 17. The 548,789 total testing encounters recorded in Fairfax is by far the most seen in any of Virginia’s health districts.

Fairfax County’s new COVID-19 daily case record comes on the same day that shipments of a vaccine from Moderna are expected to arrive in Virginia. The state had ordered 146,400 doses of the vaccine even before it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 18.

Pfizer has dispersed a total of 72,125 doses of its own vaccine to frontline healthcare workers in Virginia since it started distributing to hospitals in the state last week. A nurse at Inova became the first person in Fairfax County to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus on Dec. 15.

The VDH reported on Dec. 18 that the state will receive an estimated 370,650 vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna this month, a smaller allocation than the 480,000 doses that Virginia previously expected to get.

Even with the distribution of vaccines bringing hope of an end to the pandemic in the foreseeable future, local elected officials and health experts have emphasized the need to continue adhering to guidelines for limiting COVID-19’s spread, including wearing face coverings, avoiding travel, and following social distancing protocols.

“I understand everyone would like to see family and friends for Christmas,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Jeff McKay said. “Our COVID-19 cases are rising quickly, however, and we need residents to avoid gatherings with those outside of your household and travel.”

For lower-risk alternatives to typical holiday celebrations, the Fairfax County Health Department has recommendedgathering with family virtually, shopping online, and watching concerts or other festivities on TV.

Image via CDC on Unsplash, Virginia Department of Health

0 Comments

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. Body Found in Water in Herndon Neighborhood
  2. Silver Line Phase II Pushed to At Least Fall 2021
  3. Aslin Beer Co. Finally Opens Herndon Taproom
  4. Town of Herndon Officially Transfers Land to Comstock for Downtown Herndon Redevelopment
  5. Winter Weather Advisory Prompts Fairfax County Schools to Go Virtual

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 by Aslin/Facebook

0 Comments

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. COVID-19 Cases in Fairfax County Reach All-time High
  2. Town of Herndon Adopts New Name, Guidelines for Historic District
  3. Two Men Arrested in Connection with 7-Eleven Robbery, Herndon Incident
  4. Fairfax County Begins Exploring Tax on Plastic Bags for 2021
  5. Dulles Toll Road to Permanently Go Cashless in 2021

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 by Brian Yurasits/Unsplash

0 Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic took a significant toll on the Fairfax County Park Authority’s revenue for Fiscal Year 2020, which lasted from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, the department says in its annual report on proposed fee adjustments for the coming year.

With parks and recreation facilities closed for the spring and a portion of the summer, the park authority saw its net operating fund revenue decrease by $6.8 million from FY 2019, even after it cut down on expenses and fully depleted its stabilization reserve fund.

The agency says it anticipates revenue to remain down “significantly” for FY 2021, as health concerns and social distancing protocols continue to affect the availability and capacity of RECenters and other facilities.

The park authority also analyzed the county’s economic climate, including retail sales and unemployment claims, when developing its FY 2021 fee adjustment proposal.

“Collective consideration of these factors has resulted in a modest fee proposal that attempts to remain sensitive to economic conditions, the market dynamics and operational limitations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for revenue growth,” the FCPA said in its report.

The park authority says outdoor parks have been “heavily used” during the pandemic as people seek safe ways to exercise and engage in recreation.

However, the nearly 2 million park visits in FY 2020 represent an 8.9% decrease from the previous year, and the cancelation of all registered programs and camps contributed to a 50% drop in total revenue.

While Fairfax County’s golf courses have seen a surge in demand since reopening in May, RECenter attendance levels ended the year 25% below FY 2019. Before the facilities closed in March, attendance had been up by 1.12 million people, or 11.6%.

Continued uncertainty about how COVID-19 will affect facility attendance and capacity next year led the FCPA to not recommend any changes to RECenter fees.

“This year’s fee recommendations address those areas in which revenue opportunities exist based on shifting park use patterns resulting from the pandemic,” the FCPA said.

  • Proposed fee changes relevant to the Reston area include:
  • Canoe and kayak rental fees at Lake Fairfax parks
  • Fishing kayak rental fees at Riverbend Park
  • Non-electric and election campsite fees at Lake Fairfax parks
  • Pedal boat rental fees at Lake Fairfax parks

The proposed fee changes will collectively generate an estimated $149,258 in additional revenue for FY 2021 and $356,529 in FY 2022, according to the FCPA.

The park authority board is scheduled to approve an advertisement for a Jan. 20, 2021 public comment meeting on the fee proposal when it meets at 5 p.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 9).

After a 30-day comment period from Jan. 6 to Feb. 4, the board will take action on the proposal on Mar. 10. If approved, the new fee adjustments would take effect on Apr. 1.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority

0 Comments

While the vote remains undecided nationally at the time of writing, Fairfax County has swung heavily towards Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. At the precinct level, however, the results are a little more divided.

Biden won all three of Herndon’s precincts and all of Reston except Cameron Glen and North Point, which President Donald Trump won by 37 and 78 votes respectively.

Support for the Democratic presidential candidate surged this year in Fairfax County. In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton received 63 percent of the vote while Trump secured just under 30 percent of the vote. This year,  Biden won a decisive 80.67% of absentee votes in the county, while Trump received 17.86%.

In Pimmit, Biden had a six-vote lead over Trump, taking the precinct 48.92% to 48.20%.

Biden swept most of the precincts in the Tysons area, with Tysons itself going 57.71% for Biden. Merrifield had one of the largest percentages of support for Biden, with 62.23%.

The precincts didn’t unanimously favor Biden, however. In McLean and Spring Hill, Trump won by 55.49% and 50.71% respectively.

Further west, Trump won more securely in the Great Falls, Hickory and Seneca and Forestville precincts.

The results of this year’s election are far from final as results from more than 400,000 early voting and mail-in ballots are not reflected in the totals so far.

Absentee votes account for an estimated 51% of Fairfax County’s overall 77.5% voter turnout for this election. They are tallied by a central precinct and are not accounted for in the above breakdown.

Professor Frank Shafroth, director of the Center for State and Local Leadership at George Mason University, told Reston Now that it’s clear Democrats swept to a large victory in Fairfax County.

“[Expressing] trust in a time of such political upheaval… being in a state with the only medical doctor of any state serving as Governor… [and] the ability to rely on facts in the middle of this pandemic is vital to trust in governance at such a difficult time of loss [for] too many American lives,” he said.

Vernon Miles and Fatimah Waseem contributed reporting to this story.

0 Comments

Door-to-door greeting and candy distribution is a classic staple of Halloween night, but Fairfax County and health officials warn it might be one of the worst activities to do amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked festivities as low-risk to high-risk, allowing people to gauge what level of risk they are comfortable taking when participating in the holiday.

For those that do plan to trick or treat this year, there are several precautions the CDC recommended taking, including:

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

Photo courtesy Anne B.`

0 Comments

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 COVID-19 Cases Hit Highest Weekly Average Since June
  2. True Food Kitchen Delays Opening in Reston Town Center
  3. Halley Rise Project Remains on Schedule in Reston
  4. FCPS Proposes Oct. 19 Pilot for Joint In-Person and Virtual Learning
  5. Herndon Resident Killed in Car Crash in Herndon

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.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list