Morning Notes

Wayne Schiffelbein Art Studio and Gallery (via vantagehill/Flickr)

Medically Fragile Task Force Vaccinates Homebound Residents — “For the past six months, a dedicated group of Fairfax County Health Department staff and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighter/paramedics have been working to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to those who need to be vaccinated but cannot leave their homes. Through this the successful partnership, nearly 600 homebound residents of the Fairfax Health District have been vaccinated!” [FCHD]

Energy Use Surges Amid Heat Wave — “This week’s heatwave and high temperatures mean a higher demand for power, with Dominion Energy reporting more than double the demand it typically sees during moderate weather. For Dominion Energy’s service area in Virginia and parts of North Carolina, Porter said demand averages 8,000 megawatts a day during moderate weather. But so far this week, it has more than doubled, exceeding 19,500 megawatts a day.” [ABC7-WJLA]

Herndon Residents Surprised by Tree Removal — Town of Herndon residents raised “a furor” when an old oak tree was removed on Tuesday (July 13) during construction on Elden and Center Street improvements. Town Manager Bill Ashton said the tree’s removal was approved as part of the project design back in 2015 because it contributed to visibility issues at the intersection. [Patch]

County Prosecutor Launches Data Program — Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano announced yesterday (Wednesday) that his office will partner with criminal justice reform and data analysis experts to develop a “state-of-the-art data program to track and mitigate racial disparities in Fairfax County’s justice system.” The office will also join a national “Motion for Justice” program to reduce racial disparities in local legal systems. [Fairfax County CA/Twitter]

Reston IT Company to Sponsor Cybersecurity Competition — “Leidos, a Fortune 500 information technology, engineering and science solutions and services leader, has joined as a top sponsor of the inaugural US Cyber Games…Through its sponsorship, Leidos is helping to equip, train and send the first-ever US Cyber Team to compete in December at the inaugural International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) in Athens, Greece.” [PR Newswire]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Herndon town officials and Fort Meyer Construction project manager Cesar Casanova (second from the left) participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Elden-Center street intersection project (Staff photo by Scott Fields)

Construction on improvements to the intersection of Elden and Center streets is now underway.

The Town of Herndon held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday (Monday) to celebrate the initial steps of the project, which will realign the intersection, provide a new traffic signal, and add a turn lane.

“The two primary goals of the project is to signalize the intersection and to align the roadway on both sides of the road,” Richard Smith, a senior civil engineer for the town’s Department of Public Works, said. “And we’re accomplishing that by adding a right through turn lane on the south side of the intersection.”

The project also entails upgrades to the existing storm drain system and enhancements to the intersection’s pedestrian facilities, including improved crosswalks and new ADA signals. It is being coordinated with Comstock’s plans to redevelop downtown Herndon, which will encompass 4.7 acres adjacent to the Elden-Center street intersection.

Smith said there will undoubtedly some interruption to traffic during construction, but the town will do its “best to minimize any of those impacts and advertise those the best we can.”

The town council awarded a contract for the project on May 11 to Fort Meyer Construction Corporation with a low bid of $863,000 from five bids submitted.

Up to 50% of the construction contract will be covered by reimbursement funds through a revenue-sharing agreement between Herndon and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The costs not supported by the revenue-sharing agreement will come from local funds from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.

Town manager Bill Ashton confirmed that the project is currently projected to come in under budget at around $1.4 million. It is scheduled to be completed in spring 2022.

The Elden-Center street project is one of several capital projects in the works for Herndon’s downtown area.

The town council recently awarded a contract for pedestrian improvements at the Elden and Monroe street intersection, and a third phase of streetscape improvements is expected to start construction this year.

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Herndon is moving forward with another capital improvement project.

The Herndon Town Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday (May 25), with Vice Mayor Cesar del Aguila absent, to award a contract to the Ashburn Construction Corporation for the Elden Street and Monroe Street Intersection Improvement Project.

The intersection project is similar to other projects in the town’s Capital Improvement Program in that it will include brick crosswalks and sidewalks as well as ADA compliant curb ramps. The project will also bring a new traffic signal and storm drainage improvements.

Ashburn Construction Corporation beat out one other bidder to win the $1.1 million contract.

Half of the funding for the construction costs is available for reimbursement through revenue-sharing funds collected from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. The NVTA funds come from the 30% local distribution revenue given to localities for transportation projects through House Bill 2313, which was passed in 2013.

According to the Town of Herndon’s Fiscal Year 2021-2026 CIP, this project will link the East Elden Project, the Downtown Streetscape Project, and the Elden-Monroe private development project, a reference to the now-completed Junction Square mixed-use development.

The East Elden Project is being designed and constructed by the Virginia Department of Transportation, which plans to widen Elden Street into a six-lane divided section between Herndon and Fairfax County parkways and a four-lane section from Herndon Parkway to Van Buren Street. The project will also include streetscape and median enhancements.

The Elden/Monroe project will provide a transition when the street narrows down to two travel lanes west of Van Buren Street and approaching Monroe Street, according to the CIP.

The Downtown Streetscape project entails widening and enhancing streetscapes with brick sidewalks, grated tree wells and other features. Construction on the project’s third phase is expected to begin this year for an anticipated completion in 2022.

Image via Town of Herndon

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The Herndon Police Department is asking the public to avoid the Dulles Park area of Elden Street while officers conduct an active investigation.

Police say an armed robbery occured in the 1000 block of Elden Street shortly before 10 a.m.

“Please avoid the area so that officers may conduct a thorough investigation,” the HPD said.

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An empty auto repair building, formerly the home of Herndon Auto Care and Dulles Shell Service Center, will flip into a restaurant later this year.

Pollo Campero, a fast-food restaurant that serves fried, grilled and crunchy chicken, plans to move into the 2,900-square-foot building at 1131 Elden Street. The business is expected to relocate from its current location at 496 Elden Street.

The company is seeking a special exception from the town to redevelop the property into a restaurant with a drive-thru and parking.

The car shop moved from its Elden Street location to a new building just two miles away at 45410 Holiday Drive in Sterling, according to its website.

The front of the building will open up to the parking lot and connects to the town’s sidewalks. A walk-up window to pickup orders is also planned. A drive-thru is located at the back of the site, according to Shaghayegh Osipov, a project manager for the company.

Pollo Campero is excited to join the Elden streetscape and looks forward to working together to bring this new Pollo Campero location to life, he wrote.

In a Jan. 29 memo, town staff noted that the company should reconsider the company’s ‘somewhat festive theme’ in order to ensure the building is inviting. Town staff noted that most of the building’s windows are confined to the front of the building.

The town’s Architectural Review Board is set to discuss the item at a virtual meeting tomorrow night.

Image via Pollo Campero/Town of Herndon

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A driver who hit and injured a pedestrian in the 300 block of Elden Street last month has not been cited for any wrongdoing, according to the Herndon Police Department.

After an investigation into the incident, which happened on Jan. 16, police concluded the driver struck the pedestrian but was not at fault. HPD did not release any other information about the investigation.

The pedestrian was taken to the hospital and was in critical condition.

An HPD spokesperson later told Reston Now that the pedestrian sustained injuries that were not life-threatening. The driver remained on the scene at the time of the incident. No charges were filed against the driver.

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Monday Morning Notes

Winter Weather Advisory In Effect — A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the area until noon today. Light, mixed precipitation is possible and snow accumulations of up to one inch are expected. [National Weather Service]

Reston Men Charged in Vehicle PursuitAn officer attempted to stop a 2007 Ford Focus for a traffic violation. The driver initially pulled over but then drove away, resulting in a pursuit. The driver, Chris Kpadeh, 20, of Reston, stopped down the road and was taken into custody. He was charged with reckless driving, speed to elude, and driving on a suspended license. A passenger, Mohamed Abdalla, 21, of Reston, was charged with two counts of possession of a concealed weapon and possessing a magazine for a firearm with the capacity of 20+ rounds. [Fairfax County Police Department]

No Snow Day Today — All county schools will take part in virtual learning today. Students will follow their regular Monday schedule for virtual instruction. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Deadline for Reston Association Assessments Approaches — Members have until March 1 to pay their 2021 assessment. Installment plans are also available. [RA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Outback Steakhouse is coming soon to the Town of Herndon with a new address, according to plans submitted to the town’s Architectural Review Board.

Kimley-Horn has submitted building and site design plans for the new restaurant, which will be located at 365 Elden Street. The 6,525-square-foot structure will be located on a nearly 1.5-acre site that is currently undeveloped.

Another location is under a mile away at 150 Elden Street. The company did not immediately indicate when it planned to move its current location.

The board will review the application at a meeting today (Wednesday). So far, staff has withheld a recommendation on the application to allow the board and the applicant to “further discuss the exterior materials” of the property.

In addition to the single-story building, an outdoor seating patio and new landscaping is planned on the site.

Outback Steakhouse offers casual American dining and is based in Florida. The chain has more than 1,000 locations around the world.

Image via Google Maps

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An MS-13 gang member was sentenced to 28 months in prison for serving as a getaway driver in an armed robbery on the 1100 block of Elden Street.

William Pena, 27, who arrived in the United States illegally, drove several gang members from Maryland to Herndon to rob a store in the Town of Herndon of roughly $19,500, according to court documents. The incident happened on Aug. 18, 2017.

The men entered a neighboring restaurant and kept patrons and staff on the floor for several minutes before escaping from a. Rear exit.

Court documents state that Pene drove three of the armed robbers away from the scene and back to Maryland.

Here’s more on the multi-jurisdictional effort that led to the conclusion of the case:

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), Operation Blue Heat. The OCDETF program is a federal multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force that supplies supplemental federal funding to federal and state agencies involved in the identification, investigation, and prosecution of major drug trafficking organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.

This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said the case was a “prime example of our need for strong borders.”

After previously being deported, this admitted MS-13 gang member again illegally crossed our southern border to get back into the United States. Then, as we’ve seen so often, once back here in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area he continued his criminal activity and participation in MS-13.”

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Portions of Elden Street will be closed today (Thursday) around 5:30 p.m. due to a planned demonstration in Herndon.

According to the Herndon Police Department, access to Elden Street from side streets between Sterling and Monroe Drive will be blocked.

HPD is providing security and traffic control in order to “ensure a safe environment for lawful demonstrators.”

Herndon residents are expected to take part in a car rally that begins at Herndon Middle Middle School.

The event is intended to show solidarity with the black community following the killing of George Floyd, according to the event page.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Reston Association Annual Meeting is Tomorrow — The annual meeting for members will take place via Zoom tomorrow at 7 p.m. After members’ comments, the results of this year’s board election will be announced. [Reston Association]

Grove Street Reopens After Accident — The intersection of Elden Street and Grove Street has reopened after an accident caused a shutdown in the area last night. [Herndon Police Department]

Local Transportation Meeting Moved — The Hunter Mill Transportation Advisory meeting, which was originally scheduled for today, has been postponed to May 27 from 8 to 10 a.m. [Walter Alcorn]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Friday Morning Notes

Wind Advisory in Effect Today — Day two of holding onto your hats continues today. The National Weather Service has issued an advisory from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. [National Weather Service]

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Member Tests Positive — A member of the department tested positive for the coronavirus and has not been to work since the symptoms began over three weeks ago. Although no other personnel have tested positive, 17 department members are under quarantine due to unrelated exposures. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

A Feature on The Elden Street Tea Shop — Rachel Eisenfeld, a town resident, reflects on how the Herndon community will get through the coronavirus crisis together. [Reston Patch]

School Lottery Deadline Extended — Registration for the Kindergarten Immersion Lottery and the Magnet School Lottery programs has been extended to Monday, May 4. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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State Gov. Ralph Northam recently ordered restaurants, bars, and gym to enforce a 10-person limit in their establishments.

Unlike DC and Maryland where restaurants were ordered to close earlier this week, many local restaurants are continuing operations. Some are open with reduced hours and while others are shifting entirely to carry out and delivery.

Small businesses are reporting financial distress as COVID-19 continues to spread. So far, the county’s health district has 16 confirmed cases — a number that’s expected to rise as more people receive tests.

Here’s a list of spots to check out for takeout and delivery options. Please note that restaurants are updating hours and policies on a daily basis.

Carryout and Delivery

  • Amphora: Reduced bakery hours on weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call ahead for curbside delivery
  • Ariake: To-go orders only between 11:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Bobby’s Bagel Cafe: Carryout and delivery offered
  • CAVA: Some locations have closed, but the Reston location is open for pick up orders
  • CarPool Herndon: Carryout offered; 10-guest limit for dine-in
  • Charred: Customers can grab a $10 cheeseburger with chips and drinks all week.
  • Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant: Foodservice discontinued, but the tasting room remains open
  • Elden Street Tea Shop: Customers can place an order online
  • Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern: Delivery and pick-up only via Doordash. Free delivery is offered within a 10-mile radius. The kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
  • Lake Anne Brew House: A new “taproom to go” site was launched yesterday (Thursday)
  • Lucia’s Italian Ristorante: The restaurant is also open for dine-in
  • Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls — The owner tells us the Reston Town Center location is open from noon to 7 p.m. Carryout, curbside pickup and free delivery in RTC are available
  • Mission BBQ: Open for take-out and delivery only. Free delivery for all orders of $25 or more through March 31
  • Founding Farmers: Delivery and takeout offered, with first respondents. Current and formers employees get 50 percent off for curbside pick up orders.
  • Finn Thai: Open for dine-in, delivery and carryout
  • Glory Days (North Point and Fox Mill Locations) — Carryout, online ordering and delivery
  • Gregorio’s Trattoria: Open and also offering delivery and carryout
  • Kalypso’s Sports Tavern: Free delivery and takeout
  • Mezeh Mediterranean Grill: Pickup and delivery available. Buy one bowl, get one free.
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse: Takeout offered from noon to 8 p.m. daily. Half off of select wines with purchase of food.
  • Nando’s Peri-Peri: Delivery and carryout
  • Nordic Knot: Orders can also be placed online
  • North Italia: Delivery and carryout offered only
  • Silver Diner (11951 Killingsworth Avenue): Carryout, curbside, and delivery online available
  • Ted’s Bulletin: Dine-in is open “with strict sanitation and health checks,” according to the company
  • The Counter: Online orders open
  • The Melting Pot: Reduced hours from Sunday through Thursday, with an early closing time of 9 p.m.
  • The Counter: Online orders open
  • Virginia Kitchen: Open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Curbside service highly encouraged
  • Weird Brothers Coffee: The Worldgate Metro Plaza location is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The roasting factory is open on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The coffee shop is also offering takeout, curbside delivery and local delivery

Temporary Closures

Help us update this list by commenting below with the name of the business and a link with details

Photo via Lake Anne Brew House/Facebook

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A new tutoring center plans to open in Herndon soon.

Huntington Learning Center, a nationwide company the offers tutoring for K-12, will open up at 366 Elden Street.

The center also offers test preparation services for the ACT, SAT, PSAT and other standardized assessments. The company has not yet indicated when it plans to open.

Other area centers are located in Ashburn, Sterling, and Centreville. More information about the company’s services is available online.

Image via Google Maps

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Three local businesses decided to partner on a brand new monthly book and tea pairing for people looking for book lovers and stay-cationers.

The program, which makes its debut on Wednesday (Feb. 26), allows people to pick up a predetermined book and tea pairing at Elden Street Tea Shop (714 Pine Street) for $34.95, according to Bridget Blakely, a spokesperson from Mascot Books.

“Three weeks after the pairing’s launch, readers are invited to participate in the novel-tea book club and discussion at the tea shop, ” Rachel Eisenfeld, the owner of Elden Street Tea Shop, said in a Q&A.

Each month, the tea for the pairings will be chosen by Elden Street Tea Shop while books will be chosen by Mascot Books and then supplied by Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive), according to Blakely.

For the first month, program participants will be able to read “Anna Incognito” while sipping a cup of Crème Earl Grey, Blakely said.

“We tried to do a good mix of fiction and non-fiction and caffeinated teas versus herbal teas,” Blakely said.

Going forward, a new pairing will be available at the end of each month, according to a press release.

Photo courtesy Bridget Blakely

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