Absentee Voting Begins This Friday — Absentee voting for the general election in November begins on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Fairfax County Government Center. An additional nine satellite absentee voting locations will open on Thursday, Oct. 17. [Fairfax County Government]
Reston’s Place as a ‘Radical Suburb’ Tonight at Reston Community Center Lake Anne – “Author Amanda Hurley speaks about her book Radical Suburbs: Experimental Living on the Fringes of the American City. American suburbs were once fertile ground for utopian planning, communal living, socially conscious design and integrated housing. Hurley’s talk will discuss and compare Reston with other communities.” [Reston Community Center]
Walk to School Day Set for Oct. 2 — Students and employees are encouraged to bike or walk to school and work on October 2. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school, and to work with their school and PTA or PTO to assemble bike trains or walking groups for the event.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Photo by Jay Westcott
Herndon Woman Killed in Crash on Dulles Access Road — “Police said Megan E. Bell, 28, of Herndon, was the driver and only occupant of a Honda Civic involved in the single-vehicle crash that occurred at 2:34 a.m. along the Dulles Access Road (Route 267), a quarter-mile west of Route 123 in Tysons, according to Virginia State Police.” [The Washington Post]
Campus Commons Project Up for Vote — The Reston Planning and Zoning Committee is reviewing the project, which has received criticism from citizen-led organizations, tonight at 7:30 p.m. [Reston Planning and Zoning Committee]
Vehicle Car Payments Due — The county mailed out more than 800,000 annual bills to vehicle owners, and because Oct. 5 falls on a Saturday, this year’s deadline to pay your bill is Monday, Oct. 7. We have many ways to pay and extended hours to help make the process easy for everyone. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo by Jay Westcott
County to Host Zoning Open House — “Sheds, home-based businesses, and outdoor lighting on residential properties are some of the topics that will be discussed at the upcoming Zoning Open House on Tuesday, September 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. It will be held in the South County Center Main Conference Room, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria.” [Fairfax County Government]
Hourly Wages to Rent in Reston — “They say home is where the heart is, but a new report by affordable housing advocates also shows that home is where the money is. The typical household in Fairfax County must earn $32.02 an hour to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment at fair market rate, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. In the report, “Out of Reach,” Virginia is said to have the 13th highest ‘housing wage’ in the country.” [Reston Patch]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
A new nursery school and day care program could be coming to Dranesville United Methodist Church.
The church, which already has a permit for a private school, is seeking to replace the current private school with a nursery school and day care program.
In an application submitted to Fairfax County on June 19, William Bliven, chairman of the church’s board of trustees, said the switch would “more broadly serve the surrounding community.”
The church is proposing no changes to its facilities, grounds or telecommunications facilities. However, 19 spaces for staff and parents — which are available on site — will be needed. The nursery and childcare program would have a maximum enrollment of 99 — 51 seats less than the previously approved private school.
The hours of the church would be tweaked slightly to accommodate working parents. The new program would be open on weekday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The application was accepted by the county earlier this month. Dates for future county meetings have not yet been docketed.
The church is located at 1089 Liberty Meeting Court in Herndon.
Photo via Google Maps
‘Overlooked’ Exhibit Ends This Week — “Join Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) this Thursday to hear Jean Badalamenti respond to the current exhibition Overlooked (closing August 31). DC-based Jean Badalamenti is a licensed social worker with more than 25 years of experience and DC Public Library’s first health and human services coordinator. She received a master’s degree in social work from Howard University and has spent her career advocating for people without homes or jobs, as well as those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.” [Greater Reston Arts Center]
A ‘Jade’ Way of Looking at Your Neighborhood — “Explore your neighborhood in great detail w/ our new mapping application called Jade. It features 170+ layers to view, combine and analyze. It also includes, for the first time, current and historical aerial imagery.” [Fairfax County Government]
Assault Reported Near Florida Avenue — Kawser Ibrahim, 28, of Herndon was arrested for malicious wounding and assault on August 22. Police believe Ibrahim assaulted a man, who was taken to a local hospital for treatment. [Herndon Police Department]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Fairfax County needs election offices for the June 11 Democratic primary election.
The Fairfax County Office of Elections is looking for officers to serve in Reston and Herndon for the primary, during which voters will select a candidate for the Hunter Mill District Supervisor seat.
Election officers must complete a three-hour training before they can work at polls. Training classes will be offered through late May. Officers are paid $175 for a full day, although officers can also volunteer their time.
Bilingual election officers who can speak Korean and English or Vietnamese and English fluently are also needed.
For more information on becoming an election officer, visit the Fairfax County Office of Elections, or call at 703-324-4735, TTY 711.
It’s been a quiet two months since the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to indefinitely defer the consideration of the hotly debated Planned Residential Community district proposal in early March.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and the county’s planning staff plan to discuss future steps in an internal meeting by early May, according to a legislative assistant for the Hunter Mill District. The office deferred questions on the proposal and next steps until discussions have taken place and new leadership for the Planning and Zoning Department are updated about the process thus far.
The proposal, which would have increased the maximum allowed population acre in PRC from 13 to up to 15 people, was put on hold on March 5 at the request of Hudgins. She said she wanted to work with the community to address concerns about the redevelopment of village centers, managing growth with infrastructure improvements, and misinformation in the community.
County officials will likely examine the future of Reston’s village centers before reconsidering the PRC proposal — a plan suggested by the Fairfax County Planning Commission. Hudgins also concurred with the suggestion.
No other information about the future of the proposal was released as the county takes “a short breather,” the legislative assistant told Reston Now.
After pleasant weather earlier this week, expect conditions to get wet and windy today.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch starting from noon today (Friday) until 5 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday) for Fairfax County.
Isolated thunderstorms are expected to begin in the late morning today, with rain accumulations of up to a half-inch. The main storm front is expected after 4 p.m., with as much as two inches of rain possible across the county.
High winds of 11 to 15 miles per hour, with gusts as high as 30 miles per hour are also expected. Keep an eye out for hail too.
Here’s from Fairfax County Government:
A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should monitor weather forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.
If you encounter water on roadways, please remember — Turn Around, Don’t Drown! It is never safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
Cars from Train Near Wiehle-Reston East Detach While Moving — Commuters were appalled Monday night when cars from a train approaching Wiehle-Reston East separated on the track. The Washington Metrorail Safety Commission is now investigating the incident. In a statement, the commission said the first of two cars of a six-car train uncoupled while the train was moving. An investigation is underway. [Washington Metrorail Safety Commission]
How Reston Became the Place for Tech Expansion — “Sandwiched between major roadways within its close proximity to the nation’s capital, Reston has grown to become a noteworthy technology town in Northern Virginia. Located in an area often dubbed the “Silicon Valley of the East,” Reston continues to see significant growth in the technology sector.” [ICS Blog]
County Responds to Public Record Requests — The volume and complexity of Freedom of Information Act requests continues to increase. Last year, the county received 8,459 FOIA requests, an average of 34 requests per working day. [Fairfax County Government]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
Reston Association Volunteer Service Awards Next Week — “Two individuals were named as Volunteers of the Year. Doug Britt, who has been instrumental in collecting environmental data, and Cindy Metcalf, who coordinates and leads class instruction on how to start a garden, both won the top honor.” [Reston Association]
Penzance’s Plans for 555 Herndon Parkway — The District-based developer is out with new renderings for its planned development just one tenth of a mile away from the entrance of Herndon Metro Station. [Town of Herndon Government]
Community Emergency Response Guide — The new guide offers tips on how community partners and neighbors should collaborate during an emergency. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo by Joe Heflin
“Nothing in your hands. Obey commands.”
The Fairfax Police Department has released a short video via Facebook Live giving instructions on what to do if you find yourself in an active shooter situation.
Lt. Brian Ruck, a police officer from the Franconia District, said most shootings are over in around 10 minutes, ending either in “self termination” or law enforcement intervention. Ruck said most shootings are a single shooter, though law enforcement often gets reports of a second shooter in the chaos as a shooting starts.
Ruck encouraged people to follow the “Run, Hide, Fight” policy recommended by the Fairfax County Police Department.
“It’s a decision based model,” said Ruck. “Every situation is different, dynamic and complex. Unfortunately [we] can’t give viewers an exact answer to what they should do.”
If possible, Ruck says anyone in an active shooter situation should do their best to flee the area.
“Running away from the bad situation is ideal,” Ruck said. “But they may have to hide if they can’t. Barricade the door. The last phase is fight. If you have to fight for your life, that’s what you need to do.”
Even once the police arrive, that isn’t always a guarantee of safety. In November, security guard Jemel Roberson was killed in Chicago by police who mistook him for the shooter. Ruck said it’s important to when police show up to empty your hands, show them to police officers and obey commands.
“Get on the ground and have nothing in your hands,” said Ruck. “Expect them to shout at you and have weapons drawn. People see that and it’s traumatic, but officers are going in with intention of stopping a threat… Nothing in your hands. Obey commands.”
If you’re hiding, Ruck says to remain in hiding until the police come and find you.
In the meantime, Ruck encouraged people to be aware of escape routes, hiding spaces, and potential weapons around them.
“Play the ‘what if’ game,” said Ruck. “If I had to fight for my life right now, what around me could I use to defend myself? How could I get out of here? What’s an alternate exit? Not just at work, do it at home with your kids.”
Ruck also encouraged anyone who knows of someone who shows signs of mental distress and might become violent to contact the police. Ruck said a common misconception is that police’s only response is to arrest the person in question. Ruck said police could also help respond to a mental crisis and get the person to care they need.
“We’re told frequently afterwards that people saw the signs, that there was someone exhibiting certain symptoms,” said Ruck. “These people were projecting this and no one called… if you see something, say something.”
Plans to restore roughly 800 linear feet of Lake Audubon’s streams were approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board Tuesday night. The project, called Snakeden, would involve tree removal, stream construction and revegetation along RA’s parcels between Cedar Cove Cluster and Wakerobin Lane.
Meghan Fellows, the county’s manager of watershed projects, said a design team has been working on the project, with the input of RA, property owners and residents, for nearly three years.
“The stream is desperately in need of some assistance,” Fellows said at the DRB meeting, noting that portions of the area are degrading significantly.
Richard Newlon, the board’s chairman, said he hopes the project team will minimize the loss of trees by tweaking designs and implementation to conserve trees — even if it meant a minor tweak to save just one tree.
The project was challenged by the need to secure easements across private property and Reston Association property to construct the stream. Land rights for the project were obtained in June following a more than a year-long period of tree and stream surveys and conceptual planning.
After a cycle of revisions, permits were granted in October. After receiving final approval for designs, drawings and permits in the spring of next year, construction is likely to begin in the summer, Fellows said.
Overall, several sanitary crossings in the area are exposed and RA found that 40 trees are likely to fall down if no action is taken. Trees will be replanted during later phases of the project.
County staff estimates the project will cost under $1 million.
Photos via handout/Reston Association
What you should know before heading to the polls — View your sample ballot online, which includes a public safety bond referendum and two state constitutional amendments. Voters should bring their photo identification and plan ahead, as poll locations will be very busy during peak commuter hours. [Fairfax County Government]
Solidcore is coming to Reston — The DC-based fitness chain, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary, is opening 125 studios by 2022 and one of them will be located in Reston. [Washingtonian]
Reston Town Center Farmers Market canceled today — Due to inclement weather, the second-to-last farmers market in Reston Town Center has been canceled. Next week is the last day to take advantage of the market, which began this fall. [Reston Town Center]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
Thanksgiving food drive kicks off today — Reston Community Center, Cornerstones, and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce are seeking non-perishable food and other items for the food drive. Requested donations and drop-off options are available online. Donations will be collected through Nov. 19. [Reston Community Center]
Decisions on decisions for Fairfax County Planning Commission tonight — The commission kicks off November with decisions on the Midline project on the north side of the Dulles Toll Road, east of Wiehle Avenue, as well as Woodfield’s plan to replace offices with multi-family units on the opposite side of the toll road. [Fairfax County Government]
Meet the artist event canceled tonight — A performance by Luke Frazier scheduled for this afternoon at CenterStage has been canceled due to an artist injury, according to organizers. Plans are underway to reschedule the performance in the spring. [Reston Community Center]
If you thought it was just the young folks — In Fairfax County, one in seven Medicare beneficiaries leave hospital care with an opioid prescription. Of that number, 42 percent remain on opioids three months later, according to county data. [Fairfax County Government]
Meet the author event at Scrawl Books — Young adult author Jessica Spotswood returns for a conversation about her Cahill Witch Chronicles series and short story collection. Special guest Nura Behgoman from Herndon High School’s book club will also join Spotswood. [Scrawl Books]
Nearby: Information sought on Farea sisters’ disappearance — Local police are looking for information about two sisters from Fairfax County who were found dead in New York several days ago. [Fairfax County Police Department]
(Photo of Lola, a local cat caught “wondering why our azaleas are blooming in late October,” snapped and submitted by Gretchen Bock)
Fairfax County voters will be asked to vote on a $182 million public safety bond question on Election Day (Nov. 6).
If approved, the county will sell general obligation bonds to fund renovations, expansions, and the replacement of fire, police, sheriff and court facilities.
The heftiest of the bond referendum is nearly $73 million to replace four fire and rescue departments, which are located in Mount Vernon ($16 million), Fairview ($16 million), Gunston ($13 million) and Seven Corners ($13 million). Each facility is at least 37 years old. An additional $15 million will be used to expand another volunteer fire station.
Roughly $59 million would be allocated to renovate and upgrade the Mason District Police Station ($23 million), renovations to the Criminal Justice Academy ($18 million), and upgrades to a police evidence storage building, which is used to store evidence for the court system.
The courts and adult detention center would also see an additional $50 million in funding. Security systems and major building systems in all three wings of the center need to be replaced, along with nearly $5 million for upgraded lighting, ADA-friendly facilities, and technology updates to the Jennings Judicial Center.
More information about each project is available online.