Reston, VA

Monday Morning Notes

Comscore Secures Investment for Stock Deal — The Reston-based media measurement and analytics company is making a cash investment in order to change shares of convertible preferred stock. [Virginia Business]

Library Branches Switch to Curbside Services Only — Beginning Jan. 11, Fairfax County Public Library branches will switch to virtual and curbside services only. [Fairfax County Government]

County Board Asks State Legislators for Flexibility to Recover — “When it comes to what Fairfax County would like to see come out of this year’s state legislative session, flexibility is at the top of the list.” [WTOP]

Police Find Bullet Inside Home — Local police found a bullet lodged inside a home on the 11800 block of Breton Court on Jan. 2. A homeowner called police when they found a shattered glass door and a hole in their curtain. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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As we look forward toward closing the book on 2020 and ring in 2021, there are a few noteworthy closures around the county to be aware of.

Services and government offices throughout Fairfax County have altered their schedules in observance of the New Year’s holiday.

The full list from around the county is as follows:

Fairfax County Government:

  • County government offices will be closed on Jan. 1.

Fairfax County Courts:

  • The Fairfax Circuit, General District, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District courts will be closed all day on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

Reston Association:

  • Reston Association offices, including the Central Services Facility and Nature House, will be closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 in observance of the New Year holiday.

Reston Community Centers:

  • RCC Hunters Woods is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 31, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Jan. 1.
  • RCC Lake Anne is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 31, and it is closed on Jan. 1.

 Public Schools:

  • Fairfax County Public Schools remain closed through Jan. 1 for Winter Break. All students will resume classes virtually on Tuesday, Jan. 5. Monday, Jan. 4, is an independent day.

County Libraries, Recreation Centers:

  • All Fairfax County library branches, community and regional, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 31. They will all be closed on Jan. 1.
  • All Fairfax County RECenters, except George Washington RECenter (GWRC), will be open at their regular times and close at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31. GWRC will be closed on Dec. 31. All RECenters will be closed on Jan. 1.

Town of Herndon government and services:

  • Government offices will be closed on Jan. 1.
  • The Herndon Community Center will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 31, but it will be closed on Jan. 1.
  • The Town of Herndon will not provide trash collection on Jan. 1. Trash that is normally collected on Friday will be picked up Thursday, Dec. 31.

Public Transit:

  • Connector buses will operate on a Sunday service plan on Jan. 1. Check here for operating routes.
  • Fairfax CUE service will not be provided on Jan. 1.
  • WMATA Metrorail service will open at 5 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. through Dec. 31. Service will open at 8 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. while operating on a holiday schedule with Sunday service intervals on Jan. 1.
  • WMATA Metrobus will operate on a regular schedule on Dec. 31 and will go to a Sunday schedule for Jan. 1.
  • Metro’s customer information call center will be closed. Automated information is available by calling 202-637-7000 or online at wmata.com
  • WMATA’s regular fares and parking fees will be in effect on Dec. 31. Off-peak fares will be in effect all day, while parking will be free at all Metro-operated facilities on Jan. 1.

County Trash and Recycling:

  • There will be no change in the county’s trash and recycling collection on Jan. 1. To ensure all trash and recycling is collected, the county urges for all materials to be placed at the curb or street line by 6 a.m.
  • County Public Works and Environmental Services administrative offices will closed on Jan. 1 and reopen on Jan. 4.
  • The recycling and disposal centers at the I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex will be closed at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31 and all day on Jan. 1.

Photo by Elisha Terada/Unsplash

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Young readers now have virtual access to the Fairfax County Public Library through a new program created in partnership with Fairfax County Public Schools.

LEAP, or Library Equity Access Pass, started on Oct. 1. The program was initially piloted in 2019 and was created to ensure student access to library materials, even without a library card or an account with the library, according to the program website.

Now, the program has been adapted to a virtual platform, making access even easier in the midst of the pandemic.

Through LEAP, students grades PreK-12 only need their name to check out materials. Additionally, the program will never charge fines or fees. Each account will allow students to check out up to three items at a time for six weeks each.

The program has been running for about three weeks and has already served students at each of the county’s branches. While the program hasn’t run long enough to collect specific usage data, LEAP customers and staff have reported questions about the program from across the community.

“Word is spreading, our marketing efforts are reaching people, and the community seems enthusiastic about LEAP,” said Ted Kavich, the administrative services division director of the FCPL.

In particular, on Oct. 20, the staff at Reston Regional Library worked with staff from Dogwood Elementary School to check out books to local families using the LEAP accounts, according to Kavich. According to the school, more than 15 families were provided with books.

For more information, students and parents can ask a teacher or librarian at their school, or call any FCPL location.

Photo via Dogwood Elementary School/Twitter

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A controversy at the library level led to a heated exchanged at Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today (Tuesday) as the Board’s lone Republican pushed back against a motion to ensure the various boards and commissions consider the county’s standards of diversity.

Board of Supervisors Chair Jeff McKay started the meeting with a motion for staff to circulate the One Fairfax policy and training to all boards and commissions and that members sign acknowledgement to confirm they have received and reviewed the policy. The One Fairfax policy adopted in 2017 creates a standard of social and racial equity that the Board of Supervisors committed to considering when making decisions or developing programs and services.

The fight centered around what Supervisor Pat Herrity lambasted as an attack on Phillip Rosenthal, a Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees member who faces calls for resignation from Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and others.

At a July 29 meeting, Rosenthal decried highlighting material about Black Lives Matter and by Muslim authors, Patch first reported.

Backlash to Rosenthal’s comments was swift, but Herrity has vocally defended Rosenthal, who he appointed to the Library Board of Trustees in 2018. At the Board of Supervisors meeting, Herrity defended Rosenthal again and said the motion was a move towards silencing dissent.

“When we try to silence the other side we enter a slippery slope,” Herrity said. “To take someone out because they don’t agree with our political agenda… I think that’s a slippery slope.”

While McKay protested that the board matter wasn’t about an individual person, the text of the item did say “comments made at a recent Library Board of Trustees meeting highlight that we still have a long was to go before we truly become One Fairfax.”

“Things appointee said were hurtful,” McKay said. “I called for his resignation for a lot of reasons.”

Herrity found little support from the other members of the Board of Supervisors, receiving particular rebuke from Dranesville Supervisor John Foust.

“[Herrity] totally misstakes and mischaracterizes the statements Mr. Rosenthal has made,” Foust said. “Everything I hear about Rosenthal is that he’s a decent man who makes many contributions to our community, but his comments at the library board need to be read to understand why so many people were so hurt and why we’re being so misled by Supervisor’s Herrity comments about this.”

Foust ran through a list of Rosenthal’s controversial statements at the library board, which included calling Black Lives Matter activists Marxists and expressing frustration about a reading program aimed at supporting LGBTQ youth.

“To characterize them as Herrity does about the statement for the need for more diverse views in the catalog of books is ridiculous, outrageous, and totally misleading,” Foust said.

Supervisor Dalia Palchik, representing the Providence district, argued that while Herrity had appointed Rosenthal, what Rosenthal said and did reflects on the Board of Supervisors as a whole.

McKay’s motion was passed, with only Herrity voting against it.

Image via Fairfax County

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A Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees member has resigned amid a brewing controversy over comments made by another trustee over the inclusion of diverse titles in the library’s catalog.

Darren Ewing resigned from his position after he stated the library’s catalog homepage was “completely one-sided” at a recent discussion among trustees. In an email obtained by PatchEwing clarified that he did not intend to support the comments of Phillip Rosenthal, who is under fire for questioning why Muslim, Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ titles are featured in the catalog.

Here’s more from Patch on Rosenthal’s comments at the July 29 board meeting:

For example, he questioned why Muslim writers were featured but not Catholic, Mormon, Jewish or Baptist writers.

He also took aim at writers involved with the Black Lives Matter movement. On a similar category titled Race in America, Rosenthal said, “Black lives documentaries. Why don’t we have some white lives documentaries?”

And for the category labeled rainbow reads for teens, he said, “Why don’t we have the flipped side of rainbow books for teens?”

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay is joining the NOVA Equity Agenda Coalition’s calls for Rosenthal’s resignation.

“Ultimately, while under the guide of inclusivity, the demand from Mr. Rosenthal serves as a form of division, perpetuating an “us versus them” mentality. It is important now more than ever that we uplift the voices of underprivileged and underrepresented persons in our society,” McKay wrote in an Aug. 26 letter.

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity recommended Rosenthal as a trustee in 2018. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved his post.

Fran Millhouser, the chair of the Board of Trustees, has also publicly stated that comments made by Rosenthal and Ewing “do not reflect the collective policies or positions of the full board or of Fairfax County.”

We will not remove materials because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval,” she added.

The Board of Trustees is expected to discuss the issue at a Sept. 9 meeting at 7 p.m.

Photo via Jessica Ruscello/Unsplash

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As the state relaxes public health guidelines, Fairfax County public libraries will soon be open to the public. 

Beginning Monday, July 13, patrons can take advantage of express services that focus on “grab-and-go style” activities. Patrons can browse shelves, use computers and pickup holds.

But even as the state enters into phase three of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan, restrictions will be in place. All daily visits will be limited to 30 minutes.

During the first week of express services, library staff will explain the new model and make sure capacity limits are maintained. Disposable masks will also be offered to library patrons. 

Here’s more on other modifications:

  • Each branch will have a capacity limit to allow social distancing to take place
  • Virtual programs will continue
  • Meeting rooms will be unavailable
  • Furniture will be removed from the public floor
  • No donated materials will be accepted
  • No print daily newspapers or in-house laptops will be offered
  • No in-person programming will take place
  • Plexiglass shields will be installed at customer service desks
  • Every other PC will be disabled

Curbside services will continue for patrons who are not yet comfortable using library facilities. The service is offered daily except Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Express services will be open on Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Book lovers can check out books and pick up holds at Fairfax County Public Libraries beginning next week — albeit under different circumstances.

On Monday, June 1, FCPL will kick off a curbside pickup and grab bag program. Although libraries remained closed, patrons can park in designated areas, call the bank number and pick up any items on holds. Patrons must provide their library card over the phone. Once the items have been deposited on a designated pickup table and library staff has returned to the building, items may be picked up.

Over the phone, residents can also request a specific book or a grab-and-go bag prepared by staff based on reading levels and preferences.

All returned library materials, however, should be deposited in the library’s book drop. Returns will be accepted based on a staggered system since more than 500,000 items are currently are in the queue to be returned:

On Mondays we will accept returns from borrowers with last names beginning with letters A-H (Anderson, Daqqa, Howard, etc.). On Wednesdays we will accept returns from borrowers with last names beginning with letters I-Q (Jefferson, Nguyen, Park, etc.), and on Fridays we will accept returns from borrowers with last names beginning with letters R-Z (Rodriquez, Shen, Williams, etc.).

Staff will wear cloth face masks and all books will be packaged in a plastic bag in order to “streamline handling.”

More information about changes to services is available online.

File photo

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As people self-isolate and social distance, there are activities happening digitally to help fight the boredom and redundancy.

Fairfax County Libraries announced closures through March 29, but people who normally visit local libraries can check out free online resources including audiobooks and e-books.

Anyone with a library card can log into a system called Overdrive, which allows people to choose from a wide range of works from all genres.

Though some titles have limited availability and a waitlist, the system offers a list of popular titles available now.

The Brews and Books event at Lake Anne Brew House will take place online this week from 7 -8:30 p.m. on Saturday (March 21), according to the Facebook page. This week people will be talking about “Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity” the page said.

People can log onto Zoom to attend the event. The meeting “ID”  is 332 501 624 and the “password” is 649440.

Lake Anne Brew House also announced it will be able to deliver pretzels, food and beer to anyone who is interested.

Fans of musical theatre can stream broadway musicals online using Broadway HD, which lets people stream certain productions in the comfort of their own home. The company is offering a free 7-day trial but costs around $9 each month after that.

Photo via Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

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Monday Morning Notes

School Buildings Closed — All Fairfax County Public School buildings are closed until further notice. Beginning today (Monday), grab-and-go food distribution sites will be set up at 18 locations. Breakfast is served from 8-10:30 a.m. and lunch from 10:30 a.m.t o 2 p.m.[Fairfax County Public Schools]

Local Parks, Libraries Closed — The Fairfax County Public Library System and local parks will be closed for due weeks to the novel coronavirus threat. [Patch]

Telecom Entrepreneur Dies — John McDonnell Jr., who started Recon-Based Transaction Network Services, died in March at a hospital in Florida. He was 82. [The Washington Post]

Boston Properties Sell Properties — The company has sold its New Dominion Park property, including 499 Grove St., in Herndon to an affiliate of USAA Real Estate. [Washington Business Journal]

Photo by Cbreezy

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Monday Morning Notes

In-person Absentee Voting Underway — This past weekend, in-person absentee voting opened at 13 locations in the county. Locally, the Herndon Fortnightly Library will be open Mondays through Fridays from 3-7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Library Coalition Proposes County Plan — “The Coalition to Expand Library Access formally launched its “It’s About Time” campaign with an information meeting for community groups on Feb. 6 at the George Mason Regional Library in Annandale.” [Fairfax County Times]

County Police Mourns Passing of K9 — The Fairfax County Police Department is remembering K9 Doby, the department’s “four-legged brother” who died unexpectedly while responding to an armed robbery. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Most Fairfax County offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving.

Fairfax County libraries will be closed both days. Courts close at noon tomorrow (Wednesday) and will remain closed on Thursday and Friday.

All Reston Association offices, including the Nature House and Central Services Facility, will be closed. Offices close at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).

The Fairfax Connector operates on a Sunday schedule on Thursday. Routes without Sunday service will not operate. The next day, commuters can expect a modified holiday weekend schedule.

Reston Community Center Lake Anne is closed both days, while the location at Hunters Woods is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Friday.

Residents who receive trash and recycling collection from the county will have regular collection services both days. Residents with collection services from a private company should contact the service provider for the modified holiday schedule.

File photo

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Wednesday Morning Notes

New Library Catalog Goes Live Today — The new library catalog will be available today (Wednesday) and will include major upgrades. Access to digital content from OverDrive and RBdigital will continue to be available during the transition. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Company Among Fastest Growing Company List — Brillient, a Reston-based company, ranked #459 on Deloitte’s 2019 ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in the country. Other Fairfax County companies were also represented on the list. [Deloitte]

Metro Moves to Sell Naming Rights — “Metro could soon sell the naming rights to stations, offices or entire lines as part of an effort to make more money as bus ridership falls and rail ridership only slowly starts to bounce back. General Manager Paul Wiedefeld told reporters last week he supports naming rights deals, as do at least a few members of the Metro Board.” [WTOP]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Reston Museum Searches for Final Townhome in Reston — The organization is looking for a Reston townhouse to feature in its annual Reston Home Tour. This year’s event is set for Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Reston Museum]

Adult Summer Reading Program Kicks Off This Week — The Fairfax County Public Library system is launching its first system-wide adult summer reading programs for readers age 18 and up. Participants can pick up reading logs from any county library and read or listen to four books. Incentives will be offered for completing up to two logs. [Fairfax County Government]

Artemis House Needs Old Cell Phones — Artemis House is looking for old cellphones and cellphone chargers that can be used temporarily by its residents. The organization offers emergency shelter to victims of domestic violence. Phones must be unlocked and data should be removed prior to donation. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via Milepost 14/Flickr

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Several government facilities around Fairfax County are closed today (Jan. 18) for Lee-Jackson Day and on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this coming Monday (Jan. 21).

Fairfax County 

Fairfax County’s courts are closed today and Monday.

Fairfax County’s government offices and libraries will be closed on MLK Day.

The county’s public schools will get off three hours early today and be closed on MLK Day.

The Fairfax Connector will run on a holiday weekday schedule MLK Day. A full list of routes running in the Reston area is available online.

Frying Pan Farm Park will remain open on MLK Day, while Colvin Run Mill Historic Site will be closed.

County trash and recycling collection will not have any changes to its schedule on MLK Day.

Reston

The Reston Association offices, including Central Facilities and the Nature House, will be closed on MLK Day.

Herndon

Town of Herndon government offices will be closed on MLK Day.

The Community Center will have altered hours from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. on MLK Day.

Metro, DMV and more

All Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers will are closed today and Monday.

Metro will operate on a Saturday schedule, opening at 5 a.m. and close at 11:30 p.m. on MLK Day. Off-peak fares will be in effect all day, and parking will be free at all Metro-operated facilities. Meanwhile, Metrobus will run on a Saturday supplemental schedule with some late-night trips canceled on selected routes.

Speaking of closed offices, Reston Now will be on a break on MLK Day.

File photo

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As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues, Fairfax County Public Schools is offering resources to furloughed government workers after most missed their first paycheck of the shutdown last Friday (Jan. 11).

FCPS plans to hold a second hiring event for furloughed federal employees interested in substitute teaching positions.

The hiring event last week hit capacity. The event is set for tomorrow (Jan. 15) from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the FCPS Administration Center at 8115 Gatehouse Road in Falls Church, Va. Participants are encouraged beforehand to register, complete an application for employment and bring original documents required for the I-9 form I-9.

FCPS’s “No Student Will Go Hungry” program is supporting families affected by the federal government shutdown by providing breakfast and lunch to all students regardless of their ability to pay or temporary financial circumstances. FCPS will also allow unpaid balances to accrue during the shutdown.

Furloughed workers can also look at Fairfax County’s resources online, including a Human Services Guide to seek assistance from nonprofits and a list of free or low-cost events at county libraries and parks.

The county also plans to have a “Stuff the Bus” event on Saturday (Jan. 19) where locals can bring food and cash donations to support local nonprofit food pantries. One of the collection spots will be the Fox Mill Giant (2551 John Milton Drive) in Herndon from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Food, utility and rent assistance is available from the county’s Health and Human Services agencies.

File photo

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