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by Fatimah Waseem December 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

As temperatures dip and the risk of hypothermia increases, local cold weather and hypothermia prevention programs are coming into full swing.

Beginning this month, all three of Fairfax County’s emergency centers that serve single adults instituted a “no turn-away policy.” Through March 31, the North County Human Services Building on 1850 Cameron Glen Drive will be open to individuals through the hypothermia prevention program.

Additional sleeping space will also be available at the Cornerstones’ Embry Rucker Community Shelter, a 70-bed residential shelter, throughout the winter season. Services include hot dinner, breakfast, bagged lunches, showers, laundry, bus tokens and basic self-care supplies.

On Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m., the organization will also provide employment services at the main shelter. The shelter, which opened in 1987, has 42 beds for families, 28 beds for unaccompanied adults and 10 beds for cold weather overflow.

If an unsheltered individual is seen at night who may be at risk of hypothermia, the Fairfax County non-emergency phone line accepts calls at 703-691-2131. Emergency personnel will determine the shelter most suitable for the individual as needed.

For more information, contact Cornerstones at [email protected] or [email protected] 

To volunteer or donate, please contact Susan Alger at [email protected].

by Fatimah Waseem December 14, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

South Lakes High School Collaborates with Lake Anne Service Center — The high school’s Parent Teacher Student Association has partnered with the center on 11410 North Shore Drive. For every gallon of gas pumped, the service center will donate $0.005 to the PTSA. Customers should save their receipt and drop it off at the school’s main office. [South Lakes High School PTSA]

Donate New or Gentled Used Coats and Winter Clothes Through Jan 31. — The office of Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins is collected new or gently used men’s, women’s and children’s coats, hats, gloves, scarves and mittens at the office on 1801 Cameron Glen Drive. Items can be donated in a 24-hour drop off box or during operating hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 – 7 p.m. [Cornerstones]

Tour de Lights Holiday Bike Road on Saturday — Reston’s Multimodal Transportation Committee will take a bike tour around north Reston to experience the holidays lights on Saturday from 5 – 7 p.m. Participants must be able to keep a pace of around 10 miles per hour over a 1.5-hour drive. [Reston Association]

by Fatimah Waseem December 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm 6 Comments

Reston Hospital Center has filed plans to build a two-story emergency department in Tysons, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The hospital, which is owned by HCA Holdings, Inc. would build an emergency center on 2000 Old Gallows Road in Vienna, land that is currently zoned for commercial uses. The proposal for the $1.1 million project includes 11 patient rooms for emergency care. RHC is seeking to have the property rezoned from commercial use. The project has already received state regulatory approval.

According to the Washington Business Journal, the move could deepen a battle between HCA and Inova over the market in northern Virginia:

HCA officials said the 24-hour emergency department would offer hospital-level emergency care in an accessible location, not to mention one with rapid population growth. They pointed to growth projections showing that Tysons will have more than 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs by 2050, adding that a new freestanding emergency department there “will reduce the time county emergency services need to spend transporting patients while decompressing local hospital emergency rooms.”

At about 4 miles away, the nearest full-service hospital to Tysons currently is Inova Fairfax, the flagship, 833-bed facility that anchors Inova Health System, Northern Virginia’s largest hospital network. Indeed, HCA’s latest plan for the Tysons emergency department deepens a longstanding battle between HCA and Inova for market share in the highly competitive health care space in Northern Virginia.

by Fatimah Waseem December 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm 7 Comments

A new dessert spot is coming to Herndon Centre, according to signs posted in the storefront of 348 Elden St.

The tenant, Dessert Lounge, will offer ice cream, coffee and falooda, a cold dessert popular in the Indian subcontinent that is traditionally made with rose syrup, jelly, milk, ice cream and vermicelli.

A.J. Dwoskin & Associates, Inc., the real estate development and management firm involved with the site, did not immediately return a request for more information.

Signs indicate Dessert Lounge is coming soon. The new spot will join a center with tenants like Popeye’s , McDonald’s and Mom’s Organic Market. The vacant site was previously home to a nail salon. The shopping center also has jewelry stores, medical offices and other restaurants

Four sites in the center are currently available for lease, according to the center’s website.

by Fatimah Waseem December 13, 2017 at 11:30 am 33 Comments

At their monthly meeting, the Reston Association Board of Directors will consider whether or not to carry over nearly $2.3 million in unspent, allocated dollars for capital projects from this year to next year.

A majority of the projects were put on hold for a major part of the year and last year, including the renovation of the Central Services Facility, the renovation of the Pony Barn Recreation Area, the replacement of a dock at Lake Anne, pathway lighting at Hunters Woods and the upgrades to the Lake Anne Dam.

The board will also set the schedule for capital projects that will begin in the first quarter of next year, including the $161,000 resurfacing project of clay courts at North Hills and nearly $163,000 in audio visual equipment upgrades to RA’s conference center.

The board will also discuss Reston Association’s Fit Kids Enrichment Club in response to concerns that the Lake House after school care program was being conducted under a different name and location.

The agenda for Thursday night’s meeting of the RA Board of Directors also includes:

  • The reappointment of Brian Berga to the the Fiscal Meeting for a term lasting through December 2020
  • A land use update by Larry Butler, Senior Director of Parks, Recreation & Community Resources
  • An executive session on the CEO’s performance evaluation

The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m.. in RA headquarters tomorrow. For those unable to attend, the meeting will be livestreamed on Reston Association’s YouTube channel.

by Fatimah Waseem December 13, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Members Needed for Hunter Mill District Citizen Budget Advisory Committee – Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins is seeking members for the committee which meets from January through March to offer recommendations to the supervisor about the budget. Hudgins will appoint several members. To express interest, send a resume to [email protected] [Fairfax County Government]

Ellucian Picks New CEO — The Reston-based company, which provides software and services for higher education management, selected Laura Ipsen as the CEO. Ipsen previously worked as a general manager and senior president for Oracle Corp.’s cloud marketing division. [Washington Business Journal]

Community Holiday Performances at Fountain Square Tonight — Musical performances continue today at Fountain Square. Sunrise Valley Elementary School’s chorus will perform carols today from 6:30 – 7: p.m. Fountain Square is a 760,000 square foot mixed used project located in Reston Town Center. [Reston Town Center]

by RestonNow.com December 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

Local police responded to two incidents involving stolen cars in the past week.

On Saturday, the Herndon Police Department responded to a report that a suspect drove off in a car after its owner briefly entered a business on Elden Street. The suspect was later arrested in Loudoun County.

In a separate incident the same day, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office arrested Abdullah Anwar, a 23-year-old Herndon resident after police stopped the vehicle as it travelled over the posted speed limit on Route 7. The car, which police believe was stolen from Herndon, was stopped in Waterview Plaza. Anwar was charged with felony speed to elude, auto theft, driving under the influence, refusal to submit to a breath test, reckless driving by speed and driving on a suspended driver’s license.

The sheriff office’s also arrested Ali Samir, a 31-year-old Reston resident, on Friday on the 44600 block of Wellfleet Drive in Ashburn. Deputies responded to a report that a male subject was engaged in disorderly conduct and was involved in a fight, police said. Samir was charged with possessional of a controlled substance.

As we reported earlier in the week, a man pointed a gun at a victim at the 2200 block of Hunters Woods Plaza on Thursday around 2:30 p.m. and demanded money. The victim fled by foot. No injuries were reported, police said.

Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Police Department the following crimes in recent days:

LARCENIES:

1300 block of Butter Churn Drive, cash from residence

11900 block of Killingsworth Avenue, wallet from business

1500 block of Northgate Square, bag from business

11100 block of Saffold Way, package from residence

11100 block of South Lakes Drive, liquor from business

13400 block of Coppermine Road, merchandise from business

11700 block of Sunset Hills Road, merchandise from business

11900 block of Grey Squirrel Lane, package from residence

11900 block of Market Street, copper from business

2300 block of Rosedown Drive, package from residence

2100 block of Westglade Court, laptop computer from residence

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

In addition, FCPD is investigating a burglary that took place on Thursday between 11:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Police said someone entered a home on the 12220 block of Turkey Wing Court and stole property.

Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

by Fatimah Waseem December 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm 5 Comments

Ravel Dance Studio is leaving its home of 20 years in North Point Village Center to a new location in The Spectrum in January.

The move will allow the studio, which offers classes and performs recitals, to expand its programs and classes in the 5,000 square foot facility on 1763 Fountain Drive, said Janet Hall, the owner and artistic director.

“We’re really excited to be in the heart of Reston and offer more adult classes,” Hall said. “Right now, we are bursting at the seams with students. It’s exciting to be the only small business in that area.”

The new site has three state-of-the-art studios that were designed by the same company that worked on floor installations at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The studio’s current location is roughly 3,600 square feet.

A more central location in Reston will also allow the studio to better display its classes, four classical ballets and professional work. The studio has invested roughly $400,000 to build out the new facility and roughly a year and three months of negotiating.

The studio also hopes to continue leveraging its partnership with Reston Community Center’s CenterStage for performance space, which is a major reason why the studio hopes to remain in Reston as it expands, Hall said.

Classes will begin to transition beginning Dec. 20th and the move should be complete by Jan. 3, the beginning of the second semester of classes.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Griffith

by RestonNow.com December 12, 2017 at 11:30 am 3 Comments

The annual Reston Holiday Parade came in sixth nationwide, thanks to people who voted for the country’s top 10 holiday processions in a USA Today contest, according to results released this week.

Reston’s sixth-place slot put it ahead of the Alexandra Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Alexandria, Va. Last year, the parade in Reston ranked fourth overall.

Top honors went to Mummers Parade in Philadelphia, one of the longest running traditions in the country. The parade, which roots back to the 1800s as a celebration of the New Year, includes a colorful procession along Broad Street that features performances by comics, string bands and fancy brigades, according to USA Today.

The complete rankings are as follows:

  1. Mummers Parade – Philadelphia
  2. America’s Thanksgiving Parade – Detroit
  3. Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade – Boston
  4. Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade – Annapolis, Md.
  5. Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade – Charlotte
  6. Reston Holiday Parade – Reston, Va.
  7. Christmas Ship Parade – Portland, Ore.
  8. Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights – Alexandria, Va.
  9. Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade – Fort Lauderdale
  10. McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade – Chicago

USA Today said a panel of experts whittled down a long list of nationwide events to come up with the initial top 20, which were put up to readers’ votes to determine the top 10 holiday parades in the country.

File photo.

by Fatimah Waseem December 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Reston-based Leidos Offering Bonuses to Find New IT Hires — The company, which is the largest IT services contractor for the federal government, is offering a $2,000 bonus for every referral that results in a new IT hire. The company posted a third-quarter operating income of $151 million in revenue, a 34 percent jump in sales. [Washington Business Journal]

Coalition for a Planned Reston Holds “One Reston” Community Meeting — The coalition mobilized Monday night in opposition to a zoning amendment that would increase Reston’s population density, among other changes. After a discussion with attendees during the open floor meeting, the group plans to submit 10 suggested changes to the legislative package before the county by Christmas in order to better manage infrastructure and development. According to Terry Maynard, President of Reston 20/20, said the meeting attracted more than 130 attendees. “A key theme throughout was the necessity of the entire Reston community working together as ‘One Reston’ to meet the challenges of shaping the Reston plan and assuring individual development proposals meet the expectations of the community,” Maynard said. [Coalition for a Planned Reston via Youtube]

Herndon Middle School Bike Shop to Give Away Bikes on Saturday — Bicycles refurbished by the after school program that meets on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, will be distribute to 10 children at the school. Recipients were provided by Cornerstones’ Neighborhood Resource Center in Herndon. Members of the club will provide and fit free helmets for recipients. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

 

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

by Fatimah Waseem December 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

Environmental testing of Reston Association’s Central Services Facility found the building, which is slated for major renovations, contained asbestos, prompting RA to use $45,000 in unspent, approved dollars to remove the substance prior to demolition.

RA’s Board of Directors will consider the request at a meeting on Thursday. According to the board’s agenda packet, lab results taken throughout the building were positive for asbestos in floor tiles, pipe insulation, sink undercoating, skylights and exterior pipe tar. The cost of the project will cover abatement, air cleaning and follow-up air testing.

“Before full demolition can begin and to ensure the safety of work crews as well as RA staff, an asbestos abatement procedure must be completed,” according to the packet.

The renovation of the Central Services Facility is one of five capital projects put on hold for most of the year. Plans to renovate the 35-year-old building on 12250 Sunset Hills Road have been suggested for nearly three years. The facility is responsible for maintenance and care of Reston’s facilities, including pavilions, community buildings, garden plots and pathways.

The project will include the following upgrades:

  • bathroom in warehouse building for environmental staff
  • additional exit and ADA accessibility for warehouse office area
  • replace all windows in main building
  • add to bathroom capacity in main building to meet volume needs
  • address leaking roof
  • improve reception area for staff and RA members
  • provide HVAC system for shop area
  • install security system
  • upgrade LAN connectivity
  • provide adequate workspaces
  • provide modular training space

by Fatimah Waseem December 11, 2017 at 1:30 pm 6 Comments

Two Fairfax County civilian bodies created to monitor police department investigations will engage with the local community at an inaugural public forum tomorrow from 7 – 9 p.m. in Reston.

The nine-member Fairfax County Police Civilian Review Panel and the Independent Police Auditor will explain how to initiate complaints, the process once a complaint is filed and the bodies’ investigative powers. The forum, which will take place at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Coltsneck Road), is the second public meeting about the bodies since they were created in December last year to enhance police legitimacy and maintain trust between the public, the police department and the county’s Board of Supervisors.

An ad hoc police practice review commission recommended creating the bodies after John Geer was shot by police as he stood unarmed in the doorway of his Springfield home in 2013.  Adam Torres, the former Fairfax county police officer who shot Geer, pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter last year.

The Office of the Independent Police Auditor will receive initial complaints of alleged police misconduct, which will be investigated by the local police department. For complaints about police investigations that have already been completed, the auditor will review investigations related to officer-involved shootings, in-custody death or use of force for accuracy, completeness, thoroughness, objectivity and impartiality. Findings will be made public. If the case involves alleged abuse of authority or serious misconduct, the panel will review the investigation using the same standards.

Bylaws limit the panels’ authority by barring the panel from hearing testimony about an incident from witnesses that were not interviewed by police during the investigation. However, witnesses can explain the basis of the complaint and establish why they should be interviewed by police.

In February, the board appointed Richard Schott, a 27-year Federal Bureau of Investigation veteran as the auditor. Schott worked with local law enforcement officers as a special agent and provided training to members of state and local law enforcement agencies for the last 16 years. He is also an instructor at the FBI academy in Quantico.

At the forum, audience members can ask questions and make comments during a 45-minute period, including specific questions about the entities’ jurisdiction. Specific complaints may not be presented. The panel will listen to and record comments, but will not answer questions at the forum. A form to file complaints is available on the police department’s website.

For more information, call 703-324-3459 or email [email protected]

by Fatimah Waseem December 11, 2017 at 10:15 am 13 Comments

Despite opposition from a neighboring townhouse community, the Fairfax County Planning Commission approved a plan to replace a daycare center with a 70-unit assisted living facility on 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive Thursday night.

Members of the body, which provides recommendations to the county’s Board of Supervisors, said the developer Kensington Senior Development worked closely with the county to reduce the size and scale of the building, which is nearly eight times larger than the current structure, to ensure the proposal was in line with county policies and regulations.

At a Nov. 30 public hearing, residents unanimously opposed the proposal, which they said was too large for the site and incompatible with the community south of Sunrise Valley Drive. The proposal calls for a two-to-three story building with roughly 65,000 square feet and a parking garage.

However, Frank de la Fe, the commissioner for the Hunter Mill District, said the location of the facility near small, residential neighborhoods was not unusual or concerning, especially since a local healthcare advisory committee emphasized the need for the center and because the developer scaled back its development proposal.

He also noted the plan had adequate buffering to screen surrounding neighborhoods from the facility.

“I’m not quite sure what [the neighbors] would be satisfied with next door in a redevelopment situation,” de la Fe said.

Although the case was “close” and “difficult,” James Hart, an at-large member, said the developer’s plan met a critical need in Fairfax County for assisted living facilities for seniors in an area where he said developable land is “running out.”

“I think it would’ve been an easier case if it was a smaller building but it meets all of the requirements in the plan and in the ordinance,” Hart said, adding that the rhythm of the building was very similar to townhouse development.

However, at-large member Mary Cortina said the size of the facility was stretched out to reduce its height, leaving people who use the facility with little to no amenities and diminished quality of life.

The developer has committed to working with neighborhoods to provide additional landscaping to create a larger buffer and was willing to contribute funding for pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the area, according to the commission.

The managing partner of a convenience center next to the proposed facility also supported the plan. Good Beginning School, the daycare has been open on the site for nearly 40 years.

The county’s Board of Supervisors will consider the proposal next year.

by Fatimah Waseem December 11, 2017 at 9:00 am 10 Comments

Group Opposing Zoning Changes Meets Today –– The Coalition for a Planned Reston is meeting today at Reston Association headquarters on 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive at 7 p.m. The group will discuss a proposal before the county that would increase population density in some parts of Reston and discuss amendments to the overall proposal. [Coalition for a Planned Reston]

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins Features Police Civilian Review Panel — In this month’s Channel 16 program, Hudgins discusses the benefits and goals of a new civilian review panel and an independent police auditor.

Training in Reston Focuses on Heroin Epidemic — Ginny Atwood Lovitt held a training in Reston on Friday detailing how to administer Narcan. Lovitt runs the Chris Atwood Foundation in Reston in memory of her brother who died of a heroin overdose nearly four years ago. [WUSA]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

by Fatimah Waseem December 8, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

The first snow of the season could come this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from midnight tonight through 4 p.m. Saturday.

Between 2 to 4 inches of snow are expected, according to the advisory, which covers the I-95 Corridor from northeastern Maryland to near Fredericksburg, Virginia.

A winter weather advisory is issued when periods of snow that cold cause travel challenges are expected.

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