Reston, VA

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and with that brings closures around the county. Let’s take a look at what’s open, and what’s closed.

All Fairfax County Government offices will be closed on Nov. 26 and 27 for the holiday. 

The Fairfax Connector will be operating on a Sunday service on Thursday, and a holiday weekday service on Friday. 

Fairfax County Public Schools provided seven-day meal kits for Thanksgiving week, which were available for pickup through Nov. 24. 

In Herndon, all trash collection is halted for the holiday, and all trash usually collected Thursday will be collected today. 

Reston Community Center in Hunters Woods will be open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. the day after. However, RCC Lake Anne will be closed both days. 

All Fairfax County parks will be closed on Thanksgiving, but all RECenters are open until noon. The day after Thanksgiving, the RECenters will be running normal hours and Frying Pan Farm Park will open its farm and indoor area. 

Photo by Shoeib Abolhassani/Unsplash

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Thanksgiving is just a couple days away, and there are still a few area restaurants taking orders.

In Reston, Founding Farmers Reston Station (1904 Reston Metro Plaza Drive) is offering three pre-order options for a “Thanksgiving Prix Fixe,” which will also include a vegan option. The restaurant will provide contact-free curbside pickup on Thursday.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks (11920 Democracy Dr.), also in Reston, is offering two options – one for adults and one for kids – for preorder.

Clyde’s (11905 Market Street) in Reston will be open for reservation or pickup. It is offering two Thanksgiving options – a traditional turkey dinner and a glazed spiral ham dinner – in addition to its regular menu items.

In Fairfax, 2941 (2941 Fairview Park Drive) extended the availability of its Thanksgiving menu, which includes a variety of options for dine-in or carryout.

Other restaurants in Reston and the surrounding area offering dine-in or takeout for Thanksgiving include:

Photo via Unsplash

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On Nov. 19, The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce held its 2020 Awards for Chamber Excellence (ACE), recognizing the most engaged businesses, members and committees of the Chamber community over the last year.

In past years, awardees are honored in June at an annual membership meeting luncheon, according to a press release from the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the luncheon could not take place. Instead, the Chamber held a virtual event to recognize and appreciate the honorees for their hard work and contributions. 

The 2020 ACE Award Winners are:

The full list of ACE sponsors and nominees can be viewed on the award website

The 2020-2021 Chamber Board of Directors was also announced after being confirmed by membership in June.

Image courtesy of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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A barbershop-bar concept is reportedly working on deals in Reston, Bisnow reports.

Scissors & Scotch is planning to expand in the area with several locations in Reston, Vienna and Loudoun County.

The Kansas City-based retailer was founded in 2015 and offers a cocktail bar with a men’s barbershop. It recently signed a deal to open a second new location in the District.

Here’s more from Bisnow on the company’s expansion:

Given the challenges the retail market is facing today, Koroma said launching an expansion across the region is allowing Scissors & Scotch to land tenant-favorable deals. He said he has gotten frequent calls from developers with available retail space asking if Scissors & Scotch would be interested. 

“The concessions have been tremendous, and the positive note on what’s happening is everyone is in deal mode,” Koroma said. “Everybody wants to make a deal, and it’s a win-win situation. Landlords are happy to do this because you get a concept that not only do you know will be successful, but you see it as a value-add and an amenity to the project.”

Photo via Scissors & Scotch/Facebook

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This holiday season, Fairfax County Police Department’s Victim Services is raising donations for children of victims involved in violent crimes.

Victim Services at FCPD supports victims’ families in many ways, according to Supervisor of Hunter Mill District Walter Alcorn. This holiday season, the division will be working to eliminate some of the financial hardship for some families.

“The Fairfax County Police Department’s Victim Services Division provides critical services to child victims and witnesses of domestic and sexual violence,” Alcorn wrote in a recent newsletter.” Many of these children will not get to celebrate holidays this year due to the financial burden that comes with being a victim of crime.”

FCPD is accepting gift cards from stores for children of all ages, Alcorn says, from stores including:

  • Giant
  • Target
  • Safeway
  • Walmart
  • TJ Maxx
  • Kohl’s
  • Local restaurants
  • Other clothing stores

Gift cards can be dropped off at the Reston District Police Station (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) or mailed to the station addressed as:

C/O Victim Services/ PFC Horita

Reston District Police Station

1801 Cameron Glen Drive
Reston, VA 20190

For more information about FCPD’s Victim Services, visit its website.

Photo via the Fairfax County Government website

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Neighborhood safety dominated a virtual town hall by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn last night. 

The town hall was called to discuss the ways in which the Fairfax County Police Department is acting to keep the Hunters Woods neighborhood safe in the wake of an active homicide investigation, as well as a growing concern from the community regarding the increase in gunshot reports around Reston and the Hunters Woods neighborhood.

FCPD Capt. Thea Pirnat discussed that while there is an increased number of gunshot reports in the area, that doesn’t necessarily mean there are increased gunshots — it could mean that the community is doing a better job reporting data. However, the Reston District Police Department is still working to increase police visibility in the neighborhood to deter crime. 

The department is also increasing patrols in the neighborhood through a crime suppression team, according to Lt. Marc Mitchell. The department has also been sending out bike patrols as an increased presence to help build trust and rapport with the community members.

2nd Lt. Erin Weeks discussed the current status of the homicide investigation, urging the community to come forward with tips or reports to help guide the active investigation. Weeks said that the detectives are actively following up on ledes and that she is “confident that we are going to solve this case.”

Jose Lorenzo Guillen Mejia, 24, of Reston, was found dead near a walking trail in the summer of 2019 near a wooded area between Hunters Woods Plaza and Breton Court. Mejia was found with trauma to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene.

PFC Katy Defoe, the Crime Prevention Officer at the Reston District Station, encouraged community members to pay more attention to their surroundings as they go about their daily lives so they can act as good witnesses if necessary. 

Defoe also presented a series of contacts organized with the Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition that community members can keep in mind in emergent or non-emergent situations, including:

  • 9-1-1
  • Police non-emergency line: 703-691-2131
  • Embry Rucker Center Outreach Worker for unsheltered medical attention: 571-323-1399
  • Mental health crisis assistance: 703-573-5679
  • Fairfax Detoxification Center: 703-502-7000

PFC Brandi Horita, Reston District Station’s Community Liason Officer, also discussed cityprotect.com and the Fairfax County Crime Solvers program as two resources for community members to watch police activity and to promote awareness and crime prevention strategies.

Another virtual town hall will be taking place on Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. with more details to come. 

Screenshot from the Hunters Woods Town Hall/YouTube

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Next month, Reston Association will be conducting its annual lake inspections on Reston lakes.

The association announced the inspection in a press release Tuesday (Nov. 17). Starting the second week of December, if weather permits, Lakes Anne, Audubon, Newport and Thoreau will all have inspections inside and outside the bodies of water, according to the press release.

“We contract with an engineering firm specialized in this service whose team inspects the inside and outside of the structure and uses divers to look at areas underwater,” the press release said. “To accommodate this inspection, each lake is lowered slightly to prevent water from spilling over the concrete lip that is at the regular lake pool surface level. This lowering typically does not impact activities or boats on the lake.”

Reston Association Watershed Manager William Peterson says these inspections are performed to look for several possible areas of concern.

“Regardless of whether a part of the riser structure is under water or out of the water, we are looking for similar things,” Peterson said. “Essentially, anything that might create a concern. This could include cracks in the concrete, leaks in the control gates, corroded metal for any of the gears, pipes or grates, proper operation of the gates and valves, and more. We want to make sure that our dams are well maintained to ensure the safety of our community and those downstream of each of our lakes.”

Restionians living near any of the four lakes – Anne, Audubon, Newport and Thoreau – should not expect to be affected by the inspections, according to Peterson.

“Typically, the inspections do not affect the residents living near the four lakes,” Peterson said. “Although each riser structure has gates to control the water level, they are always closed except for maintenance purposes. The level of the water for the lakes is typically right at the concrete threshold that allows the lakes to have continuous flow downstream. For the inspections, we lower the levels slightly, typically about a foot, so that water is not flowing inside of the riser structure during the inspection. This helps the inspectors identify possible leaks.”

This year, according to Peterson, Lake Audubon will be lowered a lot more to accommodate the water-overflow.

“Lake Audubon’s water level will be lowered six to eight feet to conduct an inspection on the Thoreau dam outfall, which is on the Lake Audubon side of the dam, Peterson said.” “This is on the opposite side of South Lakes Drive from Thoreau. Although Lake Thoreau will be lowered to prevent water from flowing over the threshold mentioned above, it will not be lowered substantially like Lake Audubon is and should not impact boats on Lake Thoreau.”

For more information about the upcoming lake inspections, visit Reston Association’s website.

Photo via Restion Association/Facebook

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Looking to donate toys this holiday season? The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations are collecting donations for the regional Quantico Toys for Tots campaign.  

The Quantico toy collection will run through Dec. 13. However, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Station collections are only running through Dec. 12. Individuals can leave small donations in collection boxes outside the front door of each station every day until 8 p.m. 

These hubs will accept donations, however, they will not be distributing supplies, according to the campaign website.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations collected around 12,000 toys last year. The entire Quantico campaign collected more than 108,000 toys that were distributed to more than 106,000 children.

Quantico’s Toys for Tots program is run by the U.S. Marine Corps with a mission to collect new toys for distribution to underprivileged children for Christmas. The non-profit aims to inspire these children to become responsible, productive and patriotic citizens through these gifts.

Those who are interested in donating but do not live near a Fire and Rescue Station can visit the Quantico website for a list of more donation centers.

Photo by Ryan Fields/Unsplash

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A new Turkish restaurant will replace Midtown Kabob next year.

Taste of Istanbul, which has typically limited its offerings to local farmers’ market for the last four years, is expected to open in the spring of 2021 at 11190 Explorer Street.

Taste of Istanbul currently takes part in the EatLoco markets at One Loudoun (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Brambleton (Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) as well as Reston Farmers Market (Wednesdays, 3-7 p.m.). Orders can be placed online.

The owners say they’re prepared to open despite the uncertainty of expanding during a pandemic and particularly as cases rise in the county and throughout the country.

“This is a time where people don’t know what’s going to happen next,” the representative said. “…But we believe we are prepared for this.”

The business plans to take safety precautions and offer a safe environment for customers and employees.

Taste of Istanbul will offer doner kebabs, wraps, stuffed grape leaves, chicken shish kebabs, and other items.

Photo via Taste of Istanbul

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Fairfax County Public Schools has decided to delay bringing more students back into in-person learning due to rising COVID-19 cases — a decision made after previously stating they would prepare to bring back 6,800 students on Nov. 17.

A Return To School Town Hall will be taking place on Thursday, Nov. 19 to discuss the decision and next steps. The town hall will take place virtually on the FCPS website from 6-7 p.m. Participants can submit questions to [email protected] or call in to 1-800-231-6359.

The Fairfax Education Association, alongside other Northern Virginia education associations, has urged Gov. Ralph Northam to fully return to virtual learning. The association also wrote a letter to FCPS on Nov. 12 demanding virtual learning. 

Gov. Northam, however, exempted educational settings from his new 25-person limit on social gatherings in his tightening of restrictions on Nov. 13. 

Do you believe trying to maintain the current hybrid learning is the right decision? Or do you believe FCPS should return to a virtual model? Was delaying the return of students the wrong call?

Photo via the FCPS website 

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Spotify, the audio-streaming and media services provider, recently agreed to acquire Reston-based Megaphone, a podcast hosting company, for $235 Million earlier this week.

The company announced the acquisition on its website Tuesday (Nov. 10).

“The acquisition of Megaphone represents the next step in Spotify’s expanding the possibilities of this intimate and screen-less medium,” the company said.

Megaphone is currently headquartered in Reston Station.

CEO of Megaphone Brendan Monaghan and Spotify’s VP of Global Ad Business and Platform, Jay Richman, spoke about the acquisition and the future of the two companies.

Megaphone provides publishers with a suite of tools and technology to distribute, monetize and measure their shows wherever podcasts are listened,” Monaghan explained. “At the same time, we created a marketplace to aggregate unsold ad inventory from our publishing partners and sell that inventory to premium advertisers based on desired audience segments (demographics, psychographics and even geography).”

The acquisition will allow the company to continue to do this, in a new way.

“The acquisition will allow us to provide products and services to publishers and advertisers in more depth and at a faster pace than we have in the past,” Monoghan said. “We’ll be able to bring new products to our partners, like Spotify’s SAI technology to support even greater revenue generation for publishers and another way for advertisers to reach their desired audience.”

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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The installation of a “Watch for Children” sign is planned at Pinoak Lane in Reston in order to help calm residential traffic in the area.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the mitigation technique at a board meeting on Nov. 17, according to draft meeting materials.

The project is expected to cost $400 as is part of the county’s Residential Traffic Administration Program (RTAP). The program allows the county to install similar signs at the primary entrances of residential neighborhoods or in areas where there are areas where more children may congregate, including playgrounds, community centers, and daycares. 

In a memo, county staff noted that the community wants the sign to be installed. Each request is reviewed by the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, which verifies that proposed signs will not conflict with any other traffic control devices.

Once the sign is approved by the board, installation is expected by the end of the year.

Image via Google Maps

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Jeffery McKay, the Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, was elected to serve as the 2021 President of the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) yesterday. 

The statewide group advocates with the state’s legislature for the interests of the Commonwealth’s 95 counties, according to a press release from McKay. 

“I’m honored to serve as the next President of the Virginia Association of Counties. Throughout my many years with VACo, I have always considered us to be a large family,” said McKay in a speech delivered to members.

Chairman McKay had led efforts with VACo over the last several years to drastically increase state education funding, transportation funding and ensure the perspective of counties is heard statewide, according to the press release.

“I treasure the many relationships I have built with my colleagues throughout Virginia. VACo is a great way to bring us all together to advance our communities,” said McKay. 

This upcoming year, Chairman McKay wants to lead VACo with the same level of equity as that of Fairfax County. 

“As a kid riding my bike with friends, I didn’t realize what this meant, but I saw firsthand that where you come from was an important factor for your future success and livelihood. When I got older, I understood that this was wrong,” McKay said. 

“This was a driving force behind my decision to begin a career in local government and an inspiration behind the One Fairfax equity policy that I introduced in 2017. This policy has become central to all decision making in Fairfax County by requiring us to look at all policies.”

McKay started his tenure yesterday.

Photo via Jeff McKay/Facebook

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A ghostly rainbow formed entirely out of fog descended over Lake Fairfax on Monday as a dense fog advisory blanketed most of the region.

The fogbow was spotted by a Twitter user who was surprised by its strange appearanceThe Capital Weather Gang chimed in to offer some clues on its cloudy appearance.

Rainbows form when lights enters a water droplet. Each beam of sunlight travels at a different speed, slowing down at different rates when hitting a raindrop. Light is refracted and cast into an arc of color.

Fogbows, however, form from extremely small droplets, resulting in less refraction.

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A new program for planning and designing public spaces is coming to Reston Historic Trust & Museum later this month.

The museum announced the program, Placemaking in Fairfax County, in a press release yesterday morning (Nov. 9). The discussion about the upcoming program is planned to take place next Wednesday (Nov. 18) at Reston Community Center Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza).

According to the press release, the program presented by Deputy County Executive of Fairfax County Anne Rachel Flynn will emphasize:

  • The importance of “placemaking”
  • Planning and designing public spaces in the community
  • Creating great neighborhoods and community centers

Fairfax County residents can register online to attend this program next week with Reston Community Center, using the registration code “702000-1B,” the press release said, or by calling the center at 703-476-4500.

To be a part of the discussion virtually, participants should email [email protected]

Photo via Reston Historic Trust & Museum

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