Local College Student Launches Tutoring Company — ‘In the wake of the coronavirus and its impact on students’ learning in Fairfax County Public Schools, a 2019 alumnus of South Lakes High School in Reston and second-year engineering student at Georgia Institute of Engineering recently founded S4S Tutoring.’ [The Connection]
Deputy Sheriff Dies from COVID-19 — Frederick Butch Cameron, a deputy sheriff with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, died in the line of duty yesterday due to COVID-19. [Fairfax Sheriff]
Customs Officers Revive Woman at Dulles Airport — ‘Customs and Border Protection officers helped to revive an unconscious woman who had stopped breathing Sunday morning at Washington Dulles International Airport. The 50-year-old Indian national had traveled to Virginia with her husband on a flight Sunday morning from New Delhi, India.’ [Reston Patch]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Bus service between the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and Dulles International Airport has officially resumed.
The Silver Line Express Bus provides transportation between the Dulles Terminal and the metro station. The 15-minute trip costs $5 each way and is free for children under two years of age.
Service is offered every 15 minutes during peak times and every 20 minutes during off-peak times. Free WiFi is also offering on the buses.
The schedule for the service and information on how to purchase tickets is available online.
Other transportation services have resumed or are planning to resume services, including Fairfax Connector, which will resume service next Saturday.
The neighborhood immediately around the Innovation Center Metro Station in Herndon could look drastically different once the Silver Line extension begins running.
Origami Capital Partners LLC and Timberline Real Estate Partners have a major redevelopment plan in the works for the Center for Innovative Technology campus, a 26-acre property in Herndon.
The companies bought the campus — which was once under consideration for Amazon’s second headquarters — for $47 million. Gov. Ralph Northam made the announcement earlier this month.
Currently, the property, which is near the Innovation Center Metro Station, includes a seven-story tower and three-story building, including the CIT, a publicly-funded corporation.
Origami is planning an “Innovation Station” that would include five residential buildings, a hotel, an entertainment facility and retail, in addition to existing office space.
Renderings submitted to the state describe the new district as a “mixed-use hub” with “bucolic urbanism” and a “connected lifestyle,” according to an application received by Reston Now.
Plans also include a central green park, a technology hub, a retail village, and a grand food hall.
Vote on Herndon HS Monopole Delayed — “The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted Wednesday, March 4, to postpone its decision on whether to approve an application to install a telecommunications monopole on the grounds of Herndon High School until later in the month.” [Reston Patch]
New Mobile Forensics Lab for Fairfax County Police — “Fairfax County police can potentially identify murder suspects much quicker with their new mobile forensics lab. Maj. Christian Quinn said the idea to build the mobile lab started at a crime scene in 2017.” [NBC Washington]
Dulles Customs and Border Protection Seize Date Rape Drug Shipment — “U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on Monday seized five large bottles of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) that arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport in international mail from China. The DEA says GBL is known as a precursor of date rape drug gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).” [Fairfax County Times]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Within the last year, some Reston residents have reported concerns about increased airplane noise in areas where it previously wasn’t a nuisance.
Although changes in flight patterns have resulted in airplanes flying at lower altitudes over neighborhoods across the country, the Federal Aviation Administration says that there have been no such changes in Reston and Herndon that could explain the spike in complaints.
In some cases, residents say planes are flying so low “you can see their tail logo.”
Nanci Jewell, who lives on Quorn Lane in Reston, says that several neighbors have noticed the issue in recent months.
“We’ve always been right under a flight path but it’s never been like this,” Jewell said. “There are whole segments of the day and night when the noise is unbearable.”
In an unscientific poll by Reston Now on Feb. 6, nearly 57 percent of respondents said they noticed an increase in airplane noise. Roughly 33 percent of respondents said they noticed no change and at all. The remainder of the 1,412 total respondents said they were either unsure or didn’t know.
Kevin Wiley, a South Lakes resident for 15 years, says there’s no question of a difference in noise levels.
“In particular, ever so often we get a very loud, large aircraft flying low over our house. It is unmistakable.”
Similar concerns were reported by residents near Glencourse Lane, Armstrong Elementary School, South Lakes Village Center, and North Point Village Center.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority also told Reston Now they haven’t noticed an uptick in complaints from residents affected by more noise.
“We’re not aware of any modifications to the normal flight paths or typical altitude assignment for air traffic operating at and around Dulles International,” an MWAA spokesperson said.
Communities across the country have sounded off against NextGen, a $40 billion nationwide program designed to modernize air traffic control.
FAA officials say that the system will save $160 billion through 2030 in fuel, maintenance and other costs.
Residents concerned about aircraft noise can file a complaint online.
Photo via Unsplash
Ever since the Federal Aviation Administration rolled out NextGen — a new system to modernize its air traffic control systems — communities across the country have complained about increased airplane noise in areas where it previously did not persist.
Recently, Reston, and Herndon residents have raised concerns about airplane noise on social media. It’s possible that the FAA has indeed changed flight paths, which could be leading to complaints.
NextGen ditches radio in favor of GPS to guide planes and digital communication. Flight paths are narrower and at lower altitudes as a result.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority tells Reston Now they’ve seen no recent rise in complaints. While we’re awaiting a response from the FAA, we’d love to hear from you.
Have you seen a change in airplane noise in your neighborhood? You can also email us at [email protected] to provide information about what’s happening in your area.
Photo via Unsplash
Commemorative Bricks Available for Purchase — The Reston Historic Trust & Museum is selling commemorative bricks, which are installed at Lake Anne Plaza, for up to $250. Bricks are ordered and installed one time per year. [Reston Historic Trust & Museum]
Dominion Energy to Build Northern Virginia’s Largest Solar Facility — “Dominion Energy Virginia and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced Thursday that they will jointly study the possibility of developing a large-scale, 100-megawatt solar energy project at Dulles International Airpor. The project would encompass 1,200 acres at Dulles, and could power 25,000 homes at peak output. Dominion Energy said this project would be one of the largest solar facilities in Northern Virginia.” [WUSA 9]
Herndon Man Charged with Drunkenness and Sexual Battery — Jose Luis Hernandez, 45, was arrested after a juvenile victim reported that the suspect touched him in the genital area, according to police. [Herndon Police Department]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Updated at 10:45 a.m. — Includes information about feeding the TSA workers from Gaurang Shah.
Vapiano in Reston Town Center has been pitching in to help government workers as the partial federal government shutdown looms on without an end in sight.
The recent efforts stemmed from a desire to “take care of those who take care of us during this political standoff,” according to a press release.
Earlier this week, the Italian restaurant at 1875 Explorer Street offered 50 percent off for furloughed federal workers on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Gaurang Shah, the local behind the Reston Going Out Group on Meetup.com and a Vapiano regular, approached the restaurant with an idea: ask for food donations to serve to TSA workers.
Vapiano then created a menu of homestyle Italian meals. Shah told Reston Now that he pitched in supplies and other food, along with reaching out to a TSA Supervisor at Dulles International Airport who agreed with the proposal.
Shah said that hundreds of TSA workers came to the restaurant for the food.
Our Team Vapiano Reston Town Center ❤️ did treat our Washington Dulles International Airport #TSA Team ❤️ Thank you for your service ❤️ #GovernmentShutdown #GovernmentShutdownstories pic.twitter.com/GzfoQ95oxV
— Vapiano USA (@VapianoUSA) January 21, 2019
On MLK Day we'd like to give back to the community & offer all furloughed Federal Workers 50% off their entire check. Just come by & show your government ID when checking out. See you in a bit!#GovernmentShutdown #MLK2019 pic.twitter.com/7K5GqIiuXd
— Vapiano USA (@VapianoUSA) January 21, 2019
Image via Vapiano/Twitter
Updated at 9:52 a.m. — United Airlines said that it does not receive a special jet fuel tax break.
The bill would offset some of the upcoming toll increases by ending what Guzman calls United Airlines’ “jet fuel tax exemption” and directing that roughly $4 million per year toward the Silver Line project, which is currently funded largely by tolls.
That revenue could cancel almost 9 percent of the scheduled 2019 toll increase, according to a press release from UNITE HERE Local 23.
“United Airlines does not receive a special tax break and pays the same jet fuel tax as all other airlines that serve airports in the Commonwealth,” Kimberly Gibbs, a spokeswoman for United Airlines, said.
Gibbs added that the second phase of the Silver Line “will benefit residents, employers and businesses throughout the Dulles corridor.”
In Virginia, larger airlines like United Airlines pay less per gallon in taxes on most of the jet fuel they use, the press release says.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors voted Nov. 14 to increase rates on the Dulles Toll Road for the first time since 2014 to fund the Silver Line extension project and improvements on the Dulles Toll Road, according to the MWAA. Starting in January, the hike will raise the toll from $2.50 to $3.25 at the main toll plaza and from $1 to $1.50 on ramps.
The bill responds to community concerns about the increasing tolls, which are expected to rise to more than $11 by 2043 without alternative funding, the press release said.
“Virginia continues to face a transportation infrastructure funding crisis,” Guzman said. “But Virginia commuters should not be asked to accept higher tolls to fund transit projects that benefit United Airlines, while the airline receives millions in state tax breaks.”
Dels. Kaye Kory and Lee Carter, Virginia AFL-CIO, UNITE HERE Local 23 and CASA in Action, joined Guzman by the windows outside the United Airlines ticketing counters on Wednesday (Dec. 12) at 5 p.m. for the announcement about the bill.
Supporters of the bill argue that the Silver Line project will redirect more of the consumer air traffic market to Dulles International Airport, bringing an additional $66 million to United Airlines with 1 percent more of the regional passenger airline market.
Similar efforts in New Jersey are also underway. In September, the New Jersey Senate passed similar legislation to end United’s jet fuel tax break there to fund aviation-related transit projects.
“Commuters and every other business along the Dulles Corridor are already paying their fair share for the Silver Line. United Airlines should too,” Doris Crouse-Mays, president of the Virginia AFL-CIO, said.
Tonight I proudly stand with @unitehere23, @NovaLabor, @CASAinAction, and my colleagues in the House of Delegates as I introduce legislation for the 2019 session that will reduce tolls on the Dulles Toll Road. Thank you @NBC4DC for the coverage tonight. https://t.co/Vry7w3vjUP pic.twitter.com/WN9PPkz0yV
— Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (@delegateguzman) December 13, 2018
— UNITE HERE Local 23 (@unitehere23) December 12, 2018
Photo via Nova Labor/Facebook
MCR, the owner of a new Courtyard by Marriott near Dulles International Airport, is motivated by the potential of a possible newcomer in the area: Amazon’s HQ2.
The owner is marketing the 187-room hotel, which is located at 13717 Sayward Blvd., with Amazon packages in the foreground in promotional materials. The company converted the former Sheraton hotel into a Courtyard.
“We developed the Courtyard by Marriott Dulles Airport Herndon with Amazon.com in mind,” said Tyler Morse, CEO and Managing Partner of MCR and MORSE Development. “In our hotel, the area’s tech workforce will have flexible spaces and free lightning fast Wi-Fi to stream, shop and work online.”
Amazon is expected to make a decision on the location of its second headquarters by the end of the year. Northern Virginia is among the 20 finalists, including the 26-acre Center for Innovative Technology campus.
The hotel includes a restaurant called The Bistro and a fitness center.
Photo via MCR
Metro is offering a glimpse into its next generation of rail cars, which are similar to the stainless steel 7000-series launched three years ago.
On Tuesday (September 5), Metro announced it has begun the procurement process for the 8000-series, which will replace the 2000- and 3000-series cars, which went into service more than 10 years ago. Trains are needed to meet expanding service, especially as the expansion of the Silver Line to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County comes closer to fruition.
Departing from previous ideas, which included open, raised platforms to reduce overcrowding, heated floors and onboard WiFi, the latest plans are similar to the 7,000-series currently in operating. New features include new digital advertising screens, support for remote PA announcements, digital system mats, 110-volt power outlets to charge electronic devices and more lighting, floor markings and signage for ADA areas.
“Today Metro is beginning the multi-year process of acquiring our next railcar fleet, which will take everything our customers love about 7000-series trains and build upon that success,” Wiedefeld said in a statement. “I would take this opportunity to again thank our local jurisdictions — Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia — for creating a dedicated capital funding source for Metro that has made this possible,” according to a statement by Metro.
Metro has issued a formal request for proposals, which will close in late January. A contract will be awarded sometime next year. The contract calls for purchasing up to 800 cars, including options to run more trains during rush hour, and retiring the 6000-series fleet. The new trains are expected to be in service in 2024.
Photos via Washington Metropolitan Area Authority
PRC Zoning Ordinance Amendment Info Session Tonight — Reston 20/20, Reclaim Reston and the Reston Citizens Association will present the forum tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). This is being held in advance of the fourth public meeting on the proposal, being presented Monday by Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and County Planning and Zoning staff. [Reston Now]
Site Lists Top Places to Eat in Reston — Eater’s list includes 10 locations within Reston Town Center, but it also branches out to Lake Anne, South Lakes and more. [DC Eater]
Copperhead Spotted on W&OD Trail — The venomous snake was spotted last week on the trail near the Luck Stone Quarry overlook in Ashburn, serving as a reminder to be watchful when out in nature. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]
Dulles Day Festival is This Weekend — The 25th annual open house event at the airport Saturday will include a 5K/10K on runways, a festival on the airfield, and the plane-pull competition. [Dulles International Airport]
Another Brewery Coming to Route 28 Corridor — Rocket Frog Brewing Company is looking to open in Sterling early next year. This is on the heels of Ono Brewing Company opening recently in Chantilly. [The Burn]
File photo by Audrey Lawson
Brabrand’s First Day as FCPS Superintendent — Monday marked Dr. Scott Brabrand’s first day as Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent. A former Herndon High School teacher, Brabrand is contracted for his new position through the 2020-21 school year. Brabrand tweeted during his first day on the job: “Excited to reconnect w/ old faces, get to know new ones, and talk about our shared vision to engage, inspire, and help our kids thrive.” [Scott Brabrand/Twitter]
Leesburg Hazmat Incident Mucks Up Flights — An evacuation at a Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control center in Leesburg delayed hundreds of flights around the region Monday night, including at Dulles. [Washington Post]
Fired Airport Worker Fighting for Wages — Swartha Tujare of Reston, a 67-year-old former Dulles Airport employee, was fired in December for striking for wage raises for airport workers. Tujare is having difficulty paying her bills, so she is trying to get her employer, Huntleigh USA, to pay her $8,000 in lost wages. [WUSA]
FCPS Taking Feedback on Mathematics Material — From now through July 30, FCPS is encouraging Fairfax County residents to provide their opinions on the proposed textbooks and online materials for the proposed Mathematics Basal Resources. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Free Yoga Tonight — The recurring event, Summerbration Yoga, will take place today from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Reston Station. [Reston Station]
Metro Naming Rights To Be Sold? –The Metro Board’s Customer Service, Operations and Security Committee is expected to vote this week on whether to move forward with the idea of selling naming or branding rights to stations or even entire bus routes or Metro lines. Some board members believe selling naming rights could be one of the best ways to prevent another round of fare increases next year. [WTOP]
Reston Resident on Litter Board — Nicholas J. Surace of Reston has been named to the state’s Litter Control and Recycling Fund Advisory Board. The appointment is part of the governor’s work focused on finding common ground with members of both parties on issues that will build a new Virginia economy and create more jobs across the Commonwealth. [Gov. Terry McAuliffe]
First Non-Stop Flight from India to Dulles — Met with celebratory water cannons, the sold-out plane touched down at 7 a.m. Friday at Dulles. The inaugural Air India flight from Delhi was in the air for 15 hours and 20 minutes. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]
Weather Changes Schedules for Kids — Schools in Fairfax County are on a two-hour delay today due to the winter weather that struck overnight. The weather is expected to continue to fluctuate throughout the week, with highs around 50s projected for the next two days, followed by a return of winter heading into the weekend. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Governor to Be in Reston This Week — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is scheduled to travel to Reston on Wednesday morning. The governor’s official schedule for this week includes the visit to StreetShares, in Isaac Newton Square, to announce finalists for the Veteran Small Business Awards. [Governor’s Office]
Airport Protesters Decry Immigrant Ban — Washington Dulles International Airport saw a number of protesters at the international terminal over the weekend. The demonstrators were there to show their support for immigrants after President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning international travelers from a number of Muslim countries. [Washington Post]