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by Dave Emke October 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Public Meeting Tonight on Unfunded Transportation Projects — Fairfax County Department of Transportation officials are seeking public input on nearly 300 transportation projects that are vying for roughly $100 million in funding. Local residents can provide feedback on proposed projects at a public meeting tonight from 7-9 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). The meeting will include a formal presentation about unfunded projects and a question-and-answer session. [Reston Now]

Be Alert for Deer on Roadways — Police are urging residents to be alert and aware of the potential for deer to dart into the road in front of their vehicles. About half of all deer-vehicle collisions occur during the months of October, November and December, they say. [Fairfax County Police Department]

County Rape Suspect Arrested in West Virginia — Eusebio Romero-Rivera, 48, is believed to have fled the state after a warrant was issued for his arrest on a charge of raping an adult family member in August. The U.S. Marshals Service says Romero-Rivera, a Salvadoran national, had previously been deported and had re-entered the country illegally. [The (Martinsburg, W.Va.) Journal]

Learn About Lyme Disease Tonight — The National Capital Lyme Disease Association will host a panel discussion on the topic tonight, 7:30-9:30 p.m., at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). [NatCapLyme]

Herndon Welcomes South Korean Guests — Herndon’s mayor and Town Council exchanged gifts, including a ceremonial Town Key, with the South Korean visitors, who were guests of Grandmaster H.K. Lee Academy of TaeKwonDo. [Connection Newspapers]

Local Military Veteran Dies in Texas — Carl Bolle, a 1977 graduate of Herndon High School, served 20 years in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of sergeant first class. Among his medals, he earned the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. After retiring, he worked as a contractor in the computer intelligence area at Fort Hood for 16 years. [Temple Daily Telegram]

by Karen Goff February 4, 2016 at 2:55 pm 9 Comments

A Reston homeowner got a surprise along with her morning coffee Thursday morning when a deer smashed through a large window of her Hunters Woods-area home.

The homeowner — who asked her name and address not be used because her house is not secure right now — said she heard a large crash.

“I thought it was a tree branch,” she said. “There was a rumbling sound and glass breaking. Then I looked in the sunroom and there was a mess all over.”

The homeowner, who has lived in the house off of Steeplechase Road for 49 years, said the deer knocked a chair across the room. The sunroom door was closed, so the deer was unable to run through the house, she said.

Among the broken glass from the 3-by-5 foot window, the homeowner and her daughter found clumps of animal hair.

The homeowner said she sees deer coming through her wooded lot almost daily.

“They pass through all the time,” she said. “They are usually so tame. I don’t think there was anything I could have done to prevent this.”

Deer population has been on the rise in Reston and other Fairfax County areas, officials said. It has created mainly a hazard on roads, especially during mating season. Reston Association in 2014 approved a private deer hunt on Sourwood Lane, which is also in the Hunters Woods area.

by RestonNow.com June 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm 14 Comments

Deer in Reston/Credit: Linda Thomas via FlickrThe Reston Association Board of Directors last week approved a request for three homeowners on Sourwood Lane to hold a controlled deer hunt on their property.

The homeowners say their properties are overrun with deer, who eat the ground cover (which will lead to erosion) and may harbor Lyme Disease-carrying ticks.

RA’s board voted to allow the deer hunt. The homeowners will hire Suburban Whitetail Management, a professional wildlife management firm, to use crossbows and hunt the deer from 12-foot high tree stands in order to avoid hitting other wildlife and people.

Reston Now readers have many opinions on this development. Here is what some of you had to say in the article comments:

Animal LOVER in the right places:  Last year my cousin was seriously injured (his collar bone was broken) when a deer slammed into him while he was rollerskating through our Reston neighborhood. He spooked the a herd, and in the scramble one of the larger deer ran him over. Overpopulation of deer in our areas is a serious issue that needs to be resolved in a manner that may not seem humane to all. Overpopulation will only lead to more incidents like this.

Preserve Reston: Disgusted…what about those of us who value the quality of life those deer provide to us? Disturbing and selfish.

Steward of Animals: It seems to me that birth control is a reasonable alternative to killing the deer. On another note, killing by bow and arrow is cruel because when the arrow misses the mark the animal is exposed to hours of a slow death. If we must kill the deer, resort to shooting the animals.

Cathie Gorman Freeman: I, too, hate the idea of killing the deer. What I hate more is driving down Soapstone and finding the bodies of the recently frolicking Bambi’s dead by the side of the road. Do what must be done to manage the ever-growing herd. At least someone will benefit from the donated meat.

Juli Vermillion: I am very against this hunt. I live about a block away from the proposed hunt and have lived here for over 10 years. The deer population has remained constant. I suggest if people don’t like deer doing what deer do, then perhaps they should move back into town. The deer have a right to live too and people have so many more options. I for one moved to Reston precisely because I can live in peace with nature.

Sub40 10k: I see tons of deer along my morning runs along the W&OD we could hunt them and then donate the meat to the homeless shelter next to the library; maybe we could go with the “born to run” method and run down one of the deer and exhaust it then kill it with a spear (wanted to do this with antelope in Texas but this could do) alternatively we could release mountain lions as a natural predator.

JR: Urban deer populations are out of control and without proper management the forested areas that make Reston a special place will be lost. Between the overpopulated white-tailed deer and the continued expansion of non-native invasive plants natural forest regeneration no longer occurs. The amazing oaks and hickories of our RA natural areas look great and are special today, but there are no young trees able to grow to replace them. The deer eat all of the young trees and in their place invasive plants replace them. …  Not only should we be encouraging this deer management activity but also we should be requesting that our RA dues be spent to maintain our natural areas.

PL: I am strongly against this and I have lyme disease. If these deer are killed, then others will move into the area and then what?

by Karen Goff June 27, 2014 at 11:00 am 44 Comments

Deer in Reston/Credit: Linda Thomas via FlickrThe Reston Association Board of Directors voted on Thursday to allow residents of Sourwood Lane to hire a deer hunting service to help control the deer population on their property.

The motion passed unanimously, with at-large director Rachel Muir abstaining.

The owners of 11624, 11626 and 11628 Sourwood Lane, located off of Glade Drive in a wooded area of South Reston, say they want to reduce the deer population near their homes as deer have destroyed vegetation and may harbor Lyme Disease-carrying ticks.

At Thursday’s meeting, the directors heard pleas from neighbors of the Sourwood families, as well as residents of Buckthorn Lane, where RA has allowed a deer hunt since 2010 after a Buckthorn homeowner has a similar request approved by RA. Four members of that homeowner’s family have Lyme Disease, which is carried by deer ticks.

There were also three speakers who asked the board not to allow the hunt.

“It is amazing there are people who suggest the compassionate response to this is to do nothing,” said one resident of Triple Crown Road. “It is exactly the opposite — Doing nothing is in fact not really possible. Good stewardship requires difficult choices. A vote to deny is to vote in favor of more disease and more starving deer.”

Sourwood resident Larry Gsellman, who filed the initial request, said the plant destruction will eventually cause soil erosion. He also said the homeowners have tried many ways to rid the properties of deer, including a liquid fence, rotten egg sprays, and Deer-Vic, a deer repellent paste smeared on fenceposts.

The deer hunt, using crossbows, will be conducted at owners’ expense on the three lots (totaling  1.45 acres), by Suburban Whitetail Management during the urban archery season that begins Sept. 7. The state of Virginia and Fairfax County both allow for hunts on private property, but in Reston, permission also must be obtained from RA.

Suburban Whitetail Management says the hunt is done from treestands at least 12 feet hight. Arrows are shot at a downward angle, making it safe for neighbors and other animals.

Photo: Deer in Reston/file photo

by Karen Goff June 24, 2014 at 9:30 am 66 Comments

Deer in Reston/Credit: Linda Thomas via Flickr

Reston Association is considering allowing several homeowners on Sourwood Lane to conduct a controlled deer hunt on their properties.

The owners of 11624, 11626 and 11628 Sourwood Lane, located off of Glade Drive in a wooded area of South Reston, say they want to reduce the deer population near their homes as deer have destroyed vegetation and may harbor Lyme Disease-carrying ticks.

RA will take action on the request at its meeting this Thursday at RA headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive. A public comment period will begin about 6:30 p.m.

“There is an urgent health-driven and environmental need to reduce the deer population in and around our properties,” Sourwood homeowner Larry Gsellman wrote in a letter to Reston Association.

“At last count there was a herd of at least 10 deer that pass through our property every day or two to graze on vegetation. … Lyme Disease as well as other tick-borne diseases is a constant concern. Although there have not been any cases in the neighborhood, there have been numerous cases reported in the Reston area.”

Map of Sourwood Lane areaGsellman, who is seeking clearance to hunt for three years, says the plant destruction will eventually cause soil erosion. He also said the homeowners have tried many ways to rid the properties of deer, including a liquid fence, rotten egg sprays, and Deer-Vic, a deer repellent paste smeared on fenceposts.

The deer hunt, using crossbows, would be conducted at owners’ expense on the three lots (totaling  1.45 acres), by Suburban Whitetail Management during the urban archery season that begins Sept. 7. The state of Virginia and Fairfax County both allow for hunts on private property, but in Reston, permission also must be obtained from RA.

RA has recently granted permission to other homeowners. Since 2010,  a resident of Buckthorn Lane — who said four family members were suffering from Lyme Disease — has had permission for Suburban Whitetail Management to hunt deer on his property.

While many neighbors wrote to RA in support of the hunting request, some are not in favor.
From a letter written to RA by one neighbor:

I (and the deer) are your neighbor here on Sourwood Lane. They have lived here for at least the 14 years I have lived here. … The same family, year after year, treks through my backyard, munches down on the weeds, helps control the ivy that strangles the trees and helps themselves to water in my little pond.

Yes, they eat my hosta and tomato plants — but who cares? … I greet the deer family with the joy they deserve for having survived the winter and bringing such pleasure into the lives of me and my family.

A RA staff report recommends that the bow hunt take place from treestands on weekdays at dawn; that the owners post signage alerting the neighborhood of the hunt; and that hunters will be oriented towards the center and rear of the lots to minimize the chances of an arrow going off the subject lots.  Staff also recommended that RA waive the condition that the proposed location of the hunter be held 75 yards away from any street.

Photo of deer on Reston trial/Credit: Linda Thomas via Flickr

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