Rollicking Roundup Playtime at Frying Pan Farm Park — Children and their caregivers can attend a free morning session of playtime at the park on 2709 West Ox Road tomorrow from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow. This session’s theme is vehicles. For more information, call 703-437-9101. [Fairfax County Government]
Free Screening of McFarland, USA Today at 10 a.m. — CenterStage Cinema (2310 Colts Neck Road) presents a free screening of McFarland, USA, a movie based on the 1987 true story of novice runners from an economically challenged town in California’s Central Valley who attempt to build a cross-country team. A free continental breakfast will begin at 9:30 a.m. [Reston Community Center]
Reston’s Used Book Shop Celebrates 40 Years — The book store held an anniversary open house on Sunday to celebrate 40 years of operation in Reston. The shop is currently located at 1623 Washington Plaza and first opened on Jan. 7, 1978. [Reston’s Used Book Shop via Facebook]
Holiday Toy Distribution Set for Today — The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department will host a toy distribution today to offer toys to more than 350 children at 3304B Culmore St. in Falls Church. The distribution will begin at 10 a.m. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]
Fairfax County Park Authority and Pathways Sign Agreement — The partnership will allow adults with disabilities to intern in programs and activities by FCPA. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide competitive employment chances for qualified individuals. For more information, contact the pathways to careers employer relations coordinator John Gyourko at 571-249-9468 or [email protected]. [Fairfax County Government]
Free Wine Tasting on Friday at 1194 Market St. — Celebrate the holiday season at Boxwood Estate Winery’s Trellis with a free wine tasting sponsored by The Tasting Room from 7 – 10 p.m. [Reston Community Center]
Fitness Challenge Offered for the New Year — Start the new year with a 30-day fitness challenge at Reston Community Center Lake Anne. Participants will perform a selected fitness activity for 30 minutes. At the end of each week, a drawing will take place for participants who perform and log in at least five days of fitness activities. The log will be maintained at RCC Lake Anne. [Reston Community Center]
Pop Up Tea Shop Opens in Herndon — Every Saturday, Elden Street Tea Shop will hold a pop up shop at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The opening of a brick-and-mortar store in the Junction Square mixed-used building in historic downtown Herndon is set for the spring of 2018. Pre-opening tea selections include chai, herbal, rooibos, green, black and seasonal specials. [The Connection]
Local Food Service Operations Recognized for Outstanding Food Safety — Atrium Catering & Design, a Herndon-based business, and Simply Elegant, a Reston-based business, were recognized for outstanding food safety in the annual 14 Carrot Gold award this week. Businesses were selected from more than 3,400 permitted establishments inspected each year by the health department. [Fairfax County Government]
The authority will hold a public information meeting on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lake Drive) to discuss possible revisions to the park’s master plan. The process establishes the longterm vision for how the park will be used in the future and current unmet needs.
Updates come as demand for more recreation and park options grows, according to county officials. The current plan, which was launched in 2001, is outdated as additional parcels and structures have also been added to the park since its creation. Roughly five acres along Hunter Mill Road were also added to the park within the last decade.
“The plan will focus on the features of the added property, potential new facilities, and reevaluating existing facilities to see if they are still meeting the community needs and preferences,” said Judy Pedersen, the authority’s spokeswoman.
The meeting in November will introduce the project to the community and include time for community input as the authority assembles a draft concept plan. At a second meeting, staff will present the draft plan to the community and hear feedback, after which the Park Authority Board will make a decision about the final master plan.
The plan will also recommendations for land uses of recently acquired parcels and potential new facilities, Pedersen said.
“Ultimately, the purpose of the master plan revision is to determine how to best incorporate the newly acquired acreage and determined needs within the existing framework of the park,” she said.
While the master plans lays out a refined vision for the park, it requires capital funding for complete implementation.
The park, which was originally a dairy farm in the early 1900s, currently includes a 20-acre lake with fishing, boat rentals, a carousel, athletic fields, picnic shelters, a skate park and campgrounds. The authority acquired a 292-acre parcel in 1966 and a 129-acre parcel in 1972.
As of mid-October, the authority owns or cares for more than 23,000 acres or roughly nine percent of all open space in the county.
The authority is accepting public comments and questions through Dec. 1 via email at [email protected]. For more information on the planning process and for project updates, visit the county’s website.
Fairfax County Police Department’s Citizens Advisory Committee Meets Tonight — Join the committee for its monthly meeting at the Reston Police District Station (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) at 7 p.m. The body is designed to improve communication between residents and local police officers. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Film Screening, ‘Art of Community’ Reception on Thursday — Public Art Reston and Reston Historic Trust & Museum will co-host a reception to celebrate the exhibit “Reston: The Art of Community” at the Reston Historic Trust & Museum (1639 Washington Plaza) from 5:30 – 7 pm. The event is free and open to the public. [Public Art Reston]
VolunteerFest Begins On Saturday — Volunteers can participate in volunteer projects throughout Fairfax County from gardening to painting. Last year, more than 500 volunteers participated in the project, donating more than 1,600 hours of their time. [Volunteer Fairfax]
(Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 3:25 p.m. to clarify information about when the construction will begin and how long the facility will be closed.)
Upgrades to the Reston Community Center’s aquatics center are expected to begin in early 2019.
RRMM/Lumire, an architecture firm selected by Fairfax County in July, will submit an assessment of the Terry L. Smith Aquatic Center‘s current conditions and recommendations about renovations to the county and the RCC’s Board of Governors by the end of the month.
The $5.5 million price-tag for the project includes $3.5 million for construction and roughly $2 million for permitting, architectural and engineering costs, according to RCC director Leila Gordon. The cost also includes related studies of soil conditions and other pre-existing conditions issues that will need to be examined fully before the full architectural and engineering design is accomplished, Gordon said.
Gordon previously told Reston Now the project would not impact tax rates.
The proposal calls for using the existing footprint of the center for a six-lane, 25-yard lap pool with an attached family pool, as well as a separate warm-water therapy pool.
According to information provided by Gordon, the entire calendar year of 2018 will be taken up by pre-construction activities.
“We hope, in fact, that the maintenance we did this year will allow us to remain open continuously through December 2018,” Gordon said. “The construction start date is not until January 2019.”
The project is expected to be completed around October 2019.
“We’re pleased with the process so far and the support we’re getting from the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and the Department of Management and Budget,” she said. “We’re pleased with the architectural and engineering team that’s working on the project and we hope to remain pleased.”
RCC’s Board of Governors expects to discuss the architecture firm’s report this month.
Reston-based security firm accused of smuggling, human trafficking in Iraq — A scathing Associated Press story that came out Wednesday accuses a Reston-based contractor of allowing some risky operations to take place while being paid hundreds of millions of dollars to provide security to an F-16 air base in Iraq, and then firing independent investigators that uncovered it. The investigators told the AP that U.S. security personnel “turned a blind eye” though they were fully aware of prostitutes and alcohol being smuggled into Baghdad and onto the base, as well as not interfering when they witnessed power generators being stolen off the base by local militia and driven away on huge flatbed trucks. [MSN.com/Associated Press]
Reston Chamber Seeks Nominations for Annual Business Awards – The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its annual ACE awards (Awards for Chamber Excellence). The awards recognize outstanding member businesses that demonstrate “excellence, innovation and community involvement” while supporting the Chamber’s mission. Categories include Small/Medium/Large Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and more. Nominations can be submitted online through May 12. Winners will be announced at the ACE Awards in June. [Greater Reston Chamber]
County to review policies after some rack up more than $100,000 in overtime pay — County supervisors are reviewing departmental staffing and pay policies after a review of the books revealed that more than 1,700 county employees earned more than $100,000 last year, in large part due to overtime pay. Several employees are said to have made more than $100,000 just in overtime pay alone, and some even doubled or tripled their salary. Supervisor Pat Herrity said especially with first responders, so much overtime presents safety concerns. A review is now being conducted to determine if hiring additional staff will reduce the need for so much overtime. [WTOP]
Teen arrested for shooting BB gun at occupied car in Herndon — A 19-year-old man was arrested after firing multiple shots from a BB gun at an occupied car in Herndon. The teen is being held in Fairfax County jail without bond. [Herndon Patch]
More Attention for Town Center Parking Debate — Reston Town Center merchant Aaron Gordon was on The Kojo Nnamdi Show on D.C. radio station WAMU on Tuesday speaking about paid parking at the Town Center. Supervisor Cathy Hudgins was also on the show to give her thoughts. [WAMU/player.fm]
Whole Foods Purchases to Benefit Fairfax County Charity — Five percent of purchases today at Northern Virginia locations of Whole Foods — including in Reston at 11660 Plaza America Drive — will benefit Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue, which partners with Fairfax County Fire and Rescue to provide coats, books, toys and needed supplies to families. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Elected Officials to Discuss Economic Growth in Area — Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and delegates Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax/Loudoun) and Kathleen Murphy (D-Fairfax/Loudoun) will be among the speakers at a forum on economic drivers and opportunities March 30 in Herndon. [Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce]
County Officials Worry About Effects of Immigration Fear — At Tuesday’s meeting of Fairfax County’s Public Safety Committee, officials discussed concerns that members of the immigrant community will become afraid to report crime, ask for help or provide police information. They say that distrust may jeopardize overall safety in the county. [WTOP]
After two mass shootings in the last week, Fairfax County Government has embarked on a public awareness campaign on what to do if you are part of a mass shooting situation.
On Wednesday, 14 people were killed and many more injured when two shooters — a husband and wife — opened fire in a county government building in San Bernardino, Calif. Last Friday, three people, including a police officer, were killed in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo.
San Bernardino was the 355th mass shooting this year, says The Washington Post.
“Just like in any other emergency situation, the best thing you can do is to be prepared with information on what to do next,” says Fairfax County materials.
“Whether it’s an incident like Wednesday’s shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., or you are in the checkout line at the mall or drafting an email in your cubicle — what would you do if you heard gun shots and realized an active shooter was nearby?”
FCPD says remember the words “Run/Hide/Fight” to get you through.
If there is an escape route, attempt to evacuate.
Leave your belongings behind.
Follow instructions of responding emergency personnel.
Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view.
Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
Send a text message to 9-1-1 if you’re able, but ensure your safety first.
As a last resort and only when life is in imminent danger.
Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter.
Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.
Police also say when calling 911, here is info to provide:
- Location of the active shooter.
- Number of shooters.
- Physical description of shooters.
- Number and type of weapons shooter has.
- Number of potential victims at location.
When You Are in a Safe Place:
- Remain calm and follow instructions.
- Raise hands and spread fingers.
- Keep hands visible at all times.
- Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety.
- Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling.
See more Run/Hide/Fight resources on Fairfax County Government’s website.
The county will hold a series of public hearings this month to get community feedback on changes its noise ordinance. The county zoning department says the goal of the proposed noise ordinance is to “minimize nighttime noise and guarantee residents a certain level of quietness within their homes.”
The proposed new noise ordinance would replace both the existing Noise Ordinance (Chapter 108), which went into effect in December, and the existing Excessive Sound Generation in Residential Areas and Dwellings provisions (Article 6 of Chapter 5 of the County Code).
This may be good news to five homeowners on Longwoood Grove in Reston. The group recently filed an injunction against Reston Dogs and the Fairfax County Park Authority about excessive noise at the off-leash dog area at Baron Cameron Park.
Under the proposed new noise ordinance, “noise from animals that is plainly audible and discernible for more than 10 consecutive or nonconsecutive minutes in any 30 minute period (1) across property lines, (2) across residential unit partitions, or (3) a distance of 50 feet or more from the noise” may be a ticketable offense, if approved.
However, dog parks are considered “recreational grounds,” so barking dogs in a dog park would be permissible from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., a county spokesman says.
The new noise ordinance also has guidelines for trash collection, motor vehicle noise, band practice, construction equipment and lawn mowers, among other situations. See the full list of amendments. Misdemeanor fines are $500 for a first offense.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a new nuisance ordinance in late 2013.
But the most recent ordinance deals mainly with loud parties. The proposed amendments break down noise by individual situations.
Regarding big, raucous parties, the county is also seeking feedback on adding language to its zoning ordinance concerning large group gatherings. The county would like to limit group assembly in a home to 49 people at a time, and limit large group gatherings to fewer than three times in a 40-day period. (more…)
Having a holiday party that could get a little loud?
That may soon be a misdemeanor in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing at 4 p.m. Tuesday to consider a new noise ordinance that will allow police to file charges if necessary, according to Board of Supervisors’ documents.
Fairfax County has a longstanding policy that certain audible and discernible sounds are a serious hazard to the public health, welfare, peace and safety and adversely affect the quality of life of its citizens,” according to Board of Supervisors’ documents. “Fairfax has historically addressed the concern of “nuisance noise” in the County. However, in April 2009, the Supreme Court of Virginia, in the case of Tanner v. City of Virginia Beach, ruled that Virginia Beach’s ordinance was unconstitutional, which raised possible concerns about the constitutionality of the ‘nuisance noise’ provisions.”
Although the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning is currently working on a comprehensive revision of Chapter 108, excessive sound generation in residential areas is an issue that requires more immediate redress. Accordingly, this addition to Chapter 5 (Offenses) is necessary as an interim solution to allow the Police Department to effectively respond to calls for service regarding excessive sound or sound generation in residential dwelling areas.
Fairfax County Police say they received an average of 152 calls per month for loud parties in 2012.
The addition of Article 6 to Chapter 5 (Offenses) should allow the Police Department to temporarily enforce these types of sound violations.
“As the holiday party season nears, it is recommended that language in the County Code be in place to address loud party complaints from residents, among other sources of excessive sound, that may adversely impact the quality of life of its residents,” the proposal states
The main proposed rule — “No person in any residential dwelling or residential area, including the common areas of multifamily dwellings or mixed use structures, shall permit, operate, or cause any source of sound or sound generation to create a sound that is audible in any other person’s residential dwelling with the doors and windows to the other person’s residential dwelling closed. In addition, the source of sound or sound generation must be discernible regardless of whether such doors and windows are closed.”
Included in the prohibitions: Use of a loudspeaker or other amplifier between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.; repairing a car outdoors between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.; trash collection near homes between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. and power lawn mowing between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
There are lots of exceptions, including noise from cars, heat pumps and emergency vehicles.
To see the full agenda item, visit the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors website. The item begins on page 371.
Most Fairfax County offices will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. Here is a complete list:
County Government – Closed Nov. 28-29.
Animal Shelter – Closed Nov. 28; open Nov. 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Courts – Close at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 27; closed Nov. 28-29.
Public Schools and School Offices – Two-hour early closing for students only on Wednesday, Nov. 27; closed Nov. 28-29.
Library – Closed Nov. 28-29.
- Nov. 28 – Sunday schedule. Routes with Sunday service operate according to the Sunday schedule. Routes without Sunday service will not operate.
- Nov. 29 – Holiday weekday schedule. Routes with weekday service operate according to the weekday schedule except 335, 394, 395, 585, 595, and 597, which will not operate. (These routes do not operate when a holiday weekday schedule is in effect.)
Fastran – No service Nov. 28-29.
- Nov. 28 – RECenters open at regular time and close at noon, except George Washington RECenter, which is closed. Nature centers, historic sites, Frying Pan Farm Park and the Green Spring Gardens horticultural center and historic house are closed.
- Nov. 29 – RECenters open regular hours. Nature centers open noon to 5 p.m.; historic sites open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Frying Pan Farm Park open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the visitor center open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Green Spring Gardens horticultural center open noon to 4:30 p.m.; the historic house is closed.
Community Centers – Closed Nov. 28-29.
Reston Community Center Hunters Woods – Open Nov. 28, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.;Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center will close at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 29 – regular hours.
Reston Community Center Lake Anne – Open Nov. 28, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 29 – regular hours.
County Trash and Recycling Collection – Residents receiving trash and recycling collection from Fairfax County will have regular collection service Nov. 28 and Nov. 29. Residents receiving trash and recyclables collection service from private collection companies should contact service provider for the holiday schedule.
Recycling and Disposal Facilities at I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex – Closed on Nov. 28. Open on Nov. 29 with normal operating schedule.