Reston, VA

Alternative Gift Market (Image via Unitarian Universalist Church)Reston residents are set to have the chance to do some Christmas shopping and help people in need this weekend.

The 16th annual “Alternative Gift Market” is slated to return to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reston (1625 Wiehle Ave.) Saturday from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.

During the market, shoppers can make donations to 30 local and international nonprofit organizations on behalf of loved ones. Cornerstones, Giving Circle of Hope and Kids R First are among the groups that are participating.

The donations, which come with holiday cards, include $10 for meals at Reston’s Embry Rucker Homeless Shelter, $15 for school supplies for Northern Virginia students and $55 for a water well pump in South Sudan.

Visitor to the market also can buy fair trade, handmade presents from Amani ya Juu, an African sewing and training program for women.

Image via Unitarian Universalist Church

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Tour de Lights flyerCyclists can see some of the area’s holiday lights during a festive bike ride next month.

The Reston Association is set to hold its annual “Tour De Lights” ride on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 4:30 -6 p.m. Cyclists will meet at the Lake Anne Plaza parking lot and ride approximately 10 miles during the tour.

Riders are required to have a front light and red, rear light. A helmet is strongly recommended for all attendees and required for anyone under 15 years old. Additionally, children must be accompanied by an adult who will ride with them.

The ride will be cancelled in the event of rain or snow or if the temperature is below 35 degrees with winds over 12 mph.

Registration is required as space is limited. Those interested in attending can register by email or calling 703-435-6577.

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Fairfax County Police

No one was injured after three kids accidentally shot a bullet into a woman’s apartment yesterday, according to Fairfax County police.

The incident happened at the 1500 block of Cameron Crescent Drive around 11 a.m. Sunday.

Police said a 23-year-old woman told them someone had fired a bullet into her apartment from an apartment next door. When police arrived, they discovered three juveniles, who admitted to messing with a gun.

Police are investigating the incident and may file charges.

In other crime news:

Police are looking for two people who allegedly assaulted a cab driver and stole their property early yesterday morning.

The incident happened at the 12000 block of Greywing Square around 1:22 a.m. Sunday.

According to authorities, the cab driver drove a man and a woman to their destination, but when they arrived the suspects took off without paying. When the cab driver began to chase them, the man and the woman turned and began to fight with him before stealing his property and running away.

Police said they’re looking for:

The male suspect was described as Hispanic, about 24 years of age, 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 4 inches tall, and with short hair. He was wearing jeans and a brown shirt. The female suspect was described as Hispanic, about 21 years of age, 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 4 inches tall, and with long hair. She was wearing a black jacket, dark shirt, and jeans.

FCPD’s Reston Station yesterday also received reports of:

 LARCENIES:

  • 1600 block of Becontree Lane, laptop computer from residence
  • 1800 block of Campus Commons Drive, property from residence
  • 2100 block of Centreville Road, merchandise from business
  • 13100 block of Fox Hunt Lane, package from residence
  • 6600 block of Frontier Drive, merchandise from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

  • 11600 block of Ivy Stone Court, 2010 Merzedes Benz
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111816mugshotrobertkaodailyA North Carolina man was arrested in the Reston Town Center area yesterday afternoon after Fairfax County police said he flashed a gun at security workers who confronted him for trespassing.

Police responded to a report of a man who had gone on private property without permission on the 12000 block of Bluemont Way about 11:45 a.m. Thursday.

Before cops arrived, security workers confronted the man who then showed a gun, according to authorities. But when security workers challenged the man, he complied.

Police arrested 35-year-old Robert S. Kao of Charlotte, N.C., on charges of brandishing a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and trespassing.

No injuries were reported.

 FCPD’s Reston Station this week also received reports of:

 LARCENIES:

  • 12900 block of Highland Crossing Drive, liquor from business on Thursday.
  • 11400 block of Isaac Newton Square, purse from residence on Wednesday.

BURGLARY:

  • 1900 block of Reston Metro Plaza between about 7 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday. Investigators found that someone broke into a business and stole an undisclosed amount of cash.

Image via Fairfax County Police Department

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Photo courtesy of Reston Community CenterA holiday-themed art exhibit and shopping event is planned to occur at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne next month.

The shopping event is scheduled to take place at the Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza) on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Our ‘Gifts from the Heart’ Exhibit brings artists and community members together for a wonderful cause,” said Cheri Danaher, Reston Community Center’s Arts Education Director, in a press release. “Through this event, everyone involved can enjoy fantastic works of art, celebrate the holidays and support those in need in our area.”

According to organizers, ‘Gifts from the Heart’ will showcase a multitude of original art and media, including stained glass, ceramic, sculpture, oil and watercolor paintings.

All of the artwork is available for purchase at varying prices. Participating artists donate their entry fees and 10 percent of their proceeds from sales to Cornerstones, a Reston-based nonprofit providing support and advocacy for those in need.

“Proceeds will help Cornerstones continue the important work of the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, the Laurel Learning Center and their Community Services Outreach, which includes job counseling, emergency food and youth programs,” according to the RCC statement. “Since the annual exhibit was first held in 1999, ‘Gifts from the Heart’ has raised approximately $11,000 for Cornerstones.”

The event will coincide with Jingle on Lake Anne, which will feature children’s crafts, cookie decorating, a farmer’s and craft market, beer garden, strolling carolers, tree lighting and Santa’s arrival by barge at noon.

The Gifts from the Heart Exhibit will remain on display at RCC Lake Anne through Dec. 31, and the 3D exhibit will remain till Feb. 21.

Photo courtesy of the Reston Community Center

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Fairfax County Fire RescueThe improper disposal of “smoking materials” caused a fire that left three men without a home last night, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

Firefighters rushed to the scene of a townhouse fire on the 11500 block of Hearthstone Court around 10:38 p.m. Tuesday. Rescue crews knocked the fire down about 12 minutes after arriving.

Investigators said the home’s three residents had already safely evacuated before firefighters got there. The men became aware of the fire after one of them saw smoke while in the kitchen.

Only one smoke alarm was found in the house. Although it was located on the second floor, the battery wasn’t connected and it did not activate, officials said.

“Fire investigators determined the fire originated in a bedroom of the home. The cause of the fire is accidental as a result of improper disposal of smoking materials,” according to a Fire and Rescue press release.

The three displaced residents are receiving Red Cross assistance. The home has an estimated $18,75o in damages.

File photo

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RDGLDGRN (Photo via GoFundMe)(Updated at 3 p.m.) An indie go-go band from Reston has pulled in more than $19,000 from friends and fans after someone stole all their instruments and equipment during a tour stop last week, according to a GoFundMe fundraising website.

The guys from RDGLDGRN woke up to a call from their hotel’s front desk in Medford, Ore., Friday morning. They were told that the back of their trailer was open.

“We rushed outside in disbelief and sure enough, someone used bolt cutters to cut through our lock, and took EVERYTHING !!!!!” the band wrote on the GoFundMe website.

After filing a police report, the band assessed the damages and estimated that more than $17,000 worth of instruments and equipment was gone. The musicians known as Red, Gold and Green, who perform as RDGLDGRN, then started the GoFundMe page to ask friends and fans for help raising money to continue the tour.

“We are in the final stretch of our current tour and start a short run in a few days with no equipment and nothing was insured,” the group wrote. “We just started our own label, released a new single, and have been touring with the Dirty Heads and we really need everyone and anyone’s help with raising money to pay for this equipment.”

With four more shows to play before Thanksgiving, the band already has raised more money than what it told police its gear was worth. But for Red, no amount of money can replace his main guitar — a gift from his deceased godfather.

Formed in 2011, the group has played with other Virginia natives, including Dave Grohl and Pharrell Williams.

Photo via GoFundMe

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Photo via Facebook / Reston Night Rider Family Bike RideCyclists with glowing bicycles are scheduled to take a leisurely two-mile “glow ride” along the W&OD and through Reston Town Center this weekend.

A “Night Rider Family Bike Ride” is set to roll through the area this Saturday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m., according to Kidical Mass Reston, the event’s organizers.

Cyclists are instructed to meet at the YMCA Fairfax County Reston, located at 12196 Sunset Hills Road. The ride is scheduled last about an hour.

“Let’s light up the night! Decorate your bikes (and yourselves) with glow sticks, reflective tape, string or blinking lights and join us for a 2 mile family-friendly glow ride along the W&OD and through Reston Town Center,” a Facebook event post reads.

Though kids will need to bring their own bikes, adults can rent Bikeshare bikes at no charge, organizers said.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in bright clothing that is suitable for chilly weather. Additionally, participants under 15 are legally required to wear a helmet.

Image via Kidical Mass Reston

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Fairfax County Police Two women stole a pack of syringes from a pharmacy at a Reston supermarket yesterday evening, injuring an employee who tried to stop them, according to Fairfax County police.

The incident happened at the Harris Teeter on the 12900 block of Highland Crossing Drive about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said the women attempted to buy syringes from the pharmacy worker, but they didn’t have authorization to make the purchase, according to authorities. One of the women then hopped over the counter, snatched a pack of syringes and fled with the other woman.

The pharmacy employee attempted to stop the thieves, but was pushed away and received a minor injury.

Police said they’re looking for:

One suspect [who] was described as white or Hispanic. She weighed approximately 110 pounds and was wearing dark leggings. The second suspect was described as black, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing approximately 200 pounds.

FCPD’s Reston Station yesterday also received reports of:

LARCENIES:

  • 1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, gun and cash from residence
  • 11900 block of Democracy Drive, cash from business
  • 2300 block of Woodland Crossing Drive, bicycle from business
  • 10500 block of Wynfield Woods Drive, wallet from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

  • 13000 block of Elm Tree Drive, 2006 Volkswagen GTI
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Fairfax County Police Here are the crimes reported to Fairfax County Police’s Reston District Station between Nov. 4 and Nov. 6:

BURGLARY:

  • 1700 block of Clubhouse Road, 11/05/16, 3:30 a.m. An employee reported someone entered the business. No property was taken. 

LARCENIES: 

  • 1800 block of Cranberry Lane, wallet from vehicle
  • 1600 block of Reston Parkway, license plates from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLE:

  • 1500 block of Stuart Road, 2014 Honda Pilot
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Fairfax County Police

Here is what was reported stolen to Fairfax County Police’s Reston District Station between Oct. 31 and Nov. 3:

Oct. 31

LARCENIES: 

  • 12100 block of Chancery Station Circle, medication from residence
  • 2100 block of Lirio Court, gun from vehicle
  • 11900 block of Market Street, clothing from business
  • 1600 block of Reston Parkway, purse from vehicle
  • 11100 block of South Lakes Drive, liquor from business
  • 900 block of Towlston Road, purse from vehicle
  • 12000 block of Town Square, bicycles from business
  • 1800 block of Wiehle Avenue, bicycle from residence
  • 1500 block of Wood Crest Drive, hunting bow from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLE:

  • 1500 block of Elk Point Drive, 2008 Honda Accord

Nov. 1

LARCENIES: 

  • 1500 block of Bal Harbor Court, property from business
  • 11100 block of Long Wood Grove Drive, property from vehicles
  • 11500 block of Maple Ridge Road, passport and credit cards from vehicle
  • 13200 block of Rolling Plains Court, cell phone and purse from vehicle
  • 1000 block of White Chimney Court, lights from residence

Nov. 2

LARCENY:

  • 12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, laptop computer from business

Nov. 3

LARCENIES:

  •  1300 block of April Way, cell phone from residence
  • 1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, purse from vehicle
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chinese-lantern-festivalReston residents will be able to bask in the glow of handcrafted Chinese lanterns during a festival at Roer’s Zoofari in Vienna later this month.

The zoo (formerly the Reston Zoo at 1228 Hunter Mill Road) at is ready be filled with more than 40 lantern sets and 800 bright displays as part of its ongoing Chinese Lantern Festival starting Nov. 16.

Visitors will be transported throughout the world as they walk among Chinese lanterns shaped like lions, tigers, monkeys and even dinosaurs.

Touted as “a modern take on the ancient art of lantern-making,” the festival will include artisans, craftsmen and performers. In addition to viewing the glowing artwork displays, visitors can watch live martial arts shows and shop for souvenirs and gifts made by folk artists.

“Twenty artists from China will work on-site at Roers Zoofari for weeks in a temporary ‘lantern factory’ to create exquisite scenes that include animals from throughout the world,” reads a press release for the event. “From lions to dinosaurs, giraffes to whales–even a herd of zebra’s–figures will form dreamscapes of color and motion.”

The Chinese Lantern Festival will run from Wednesday, Nov. 16 through Sunday, Jan. 1. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children over 3.

Photo courtesy of Chinese Lantern Festival

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fcps logoThe Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is again urging Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and the General Assembly delegation not to eliminate up to $12.2 million in salary increases for teachers.

Concerned that the governor’s office will propose these cuts before the delegation when they meet in mid-December, county leaders sent letters to both on Monday, asking the state to honor its commitments.

The letters are in response to McAuliffe’s already proposed $4.4 million cut from the state’s FY17 budget — and a potential $7.8 million cut from the FY18 budget — to be included in his 2016-2018 biennium budget amendments.

“The lower amount of expected state funding stems from a $266 million negative balance in Virginia’s fiscal 2016 budget, which McAuliffe’s administration attributed to lower-than-expected payroll and sales-tax receipts”, according to a Washington Post article in July.

Although state funding represents less than 20 percent of the total cost to implement a two percent salary increase for teachers, it is an important part of the county’s school budget equation, the letters said.

Despite any decrease in funding from the state, county school officials say they will find a way to honor its overall promise of $40 million in teacher raises for FY17. However, it’s unclear how they will raise funds beyond an already adopted plan to increase property taxes by an average $304 per year.

“The Commonwealth of Virginia ranks in the top 10 nationally for income, but the bottom 10 for school funding,” said Board Chairman, Sharon Bulova (D), in a press release attached to the letters.

Officials also requested that the governor and GA delegation decelerate funding of the Virginia Retirement System in order to make it easier for both localities and the state to balance their budgets in FY18. This would save the county over $25 million while retaining its commitment to future solvency of the state’s retirement system, according to the letters.

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Fairfax County Police A man tried to steal another man’s bicycle outside his Reston home over the weekend, prompting a fight, Fairfax County police said.

The incident happened near the intersection of Ascot Way and Chesterfield Court about 3:45 p.m. Saturday.

The 59-year-old victim confronted the would-be thief when he saw him walking away with the bike, according to authorities. The two men started to fight, but the would-be robber fled without the bike when a passerby noticed the scuffle.

Police described the suspect as a 6-foot-1, 150-to-180-pound black man, wearing a green or olive-toned jacket and blue jeans.

The man was seen with a 5-foot-9 black woman in her early 20s, wearing a black skirt and shirt, with her hair parted and pulled up in two buns.

The victim refused medical attention.

In other weekend crime news from FCPD’s Reston Station:

LARCENIES:

  • 12100 block of Chancery Station Circle, medication from residence
  • 2100 block of Lirio Court, gun from vehicle
  • 11900 block of Market Street, clothing from business
  • 1600 block of Reston Parkway, purse from vehicle
  • 11100 block of South Lakes Drive, liquor from business
  • 900 block of Towlston Road, purse from vehicle
  • 12000 block of Town Square, bicycles from business
  • 1800 block of Wiehle Avenue, bicycle from residence
  • 1500 block of Wood Crest Drive, hunting bow from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

  • 1500 block of Elk Point Drive, 2008 Honda Accord
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Happy Halloween!

Halloween at Reston Town Center 2015/Credit: Don Renner

It’s that frighteningly fun day of the year when kids and adults alike get to wear their worst — or best — faces around town. So who’s ready for some trick-or-treating today?

A couple of things to know: Trick-or-Treating is not organized by Reston Association or Fairfax County, so there are no “official” hours or rules. Generally, trick-or-treaters show up around the time it gets dark, so plan on manning the candy bowl from about 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Weather forecast: low-50s, partly cloudy, cool and breezy.

Fairfax County has these safety tips for a fun Halloween:

  • Don’t let the excitement of Halloween allow your children to ignore the normal safety precautions: Do not talk to strangers; do not go into homes or cars of people they do not know; and do not approach animals they do not know. Make sure children know their name, phone number and address and to provide this information to a police officer in an emergency or if they are lost.
  • Younger children should have an adult with them while older children should provide their route and when they expect to return. If possible, provide a cell phone for your children.
  • Children should only visit homes that have their porch lights on.
  • Inspect your children’s candy before they eat it. Although food tampering is rare, it’s safest to eat only those candies that are individually wrapped and not homemade, unless you know the families who have prepared the homemade treats.
  • Have flashlights or glowsticks for children and/or for the accompanying adult.
  • Adults are reminded not to drink alcohol and drive.

Photo courtesy of Don Renner

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