Reston, VA

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.

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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.

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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.

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In case you were planning to visit these government facilities around Fairfax County during the holiday season, check to see whether or not they will be closed on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), Christmas (Dec. 25), New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) and Jan. 1.

Fairfax County 

Fairfax County’s government offices, libraries and courts will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas and Jan. 1.

The county’s public schools will be on winter break from Monday, Dec. 24, until Friday, Jan. 4.

The Fairfax Connector will be running on a holiday weekday schedule for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. A full list of routes running in the Reston area is available online. The next day, the bus will operate on a Sunday schedule for Christmas and Jan. 1.

Frying Pan Farm Park and Colvin Run Mill Historic Site will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

County trash and recycling collection will not happen on Christmas. The updated collection schedule for next week is:

  • Tuesday customers will have collection on Wednesday (Dec. 26)
  • Wednesday customers will have collection on Thursday (Dec. 27)
  • Thursday customers will have collection on Friday (Dec. 28)
  • Friday customers will have collection on Saturday (Dec. 29)

Reston

The Reston Association offices will be closed for Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

Nature House will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Reston Community Center Lake Anne will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods will be closed on Christmas. It will have modified hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and from noon to 5 p.m. on Jan. 1.

The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center will be closed on Christmas. It will have modified hours from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 1.

Herndon

Town of Herndon government offices will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas and Jan. 1.

Refuse will be collected on Christmas Eve, but refuse normally collected on Tuesdays will be collected on Thursday (Dec. 27) and New Year’s Eve.

The Herndon Community Center will be closed on Christmas and Jan. 1.

The Herndon Centennial Golf Course will only be closed for Christmas.

Metro, DMV and more

All Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

The Metro and Metrobus will be running a Sunday schedule on Christmas and Jan. 1, operating from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Metro will provide special late-night rail service on New Year’s Eve with trains running until 2 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Speaking of closed offices, Reston Now will be on breaks for Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Biden To Be in Reston on Saturday — The former Vice President will host a roundtable discussion on workforce development Saturday in Reston along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. The event, to be held at Reston Town Center co-working space Refraction (11911 Freedom Drive), will highlight Northam’s jobs plan. [NBC Washington]

Police Help Young Drivers — Officers help teenage drivers learn how to handle themselves on the roadway and what to do in certain situations during the “Youthful Driver Program” every Saturday at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Vienna, Herndon Among Top 5 Virginia Towns in Survey — A website for business professionals ranked incorporated cities and towns in Virginia based on factors including poverty level, unemployment rate and median household income. It names Vienna the “Most Successful” in the state, with Herndon coming in at No. 5. [Zippia]

County’s Fall Book Festival Kicks Off — The county’s library system is offering residents the opportunity to meet numerous authors today through Saturday as part of the “Fall for the Book” festival. [Fairfax County Public Library]

Community Center To Host Cabaret Singer — Beverly Cosham will perform Thursday afternoon at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). [Reston Community Center]

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Hot Again Today — Once again, Fairfax County emergency officials want to make sure residents are aware of the dangers of excessive heat. Temperatures are expected to again reach the 90s today, with a heat index topping 100. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Safety, Health More Urged for School Year — School starts next week, and Fairfax County officials want to make sure all the information residents need is being shared. Topics emphasized include the need to watch for stopped school buses, where to go for anxiety and stress relief, how to pack a healthy lunch and more. [Fairfax County]

‘Fake News’ Seminar Tonight — George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, along with the Fairfax County library system, is sponsoring a workshop titled “News Blues and How to Defuse.” It will take place tonight at 7 p.m. at the Centreville Regional Library. [WTOP]

Herndon Firm Working on Tank Protection — Herndon-based Artis is working on Iron Curtain, defense technology that would protect US Army tanks from rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles. [Business Insider]

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Reston Residents Among Injured in Charlottesville Attack — Two Reston women were struck by the vehicle that crashed into a crowd of protesters during the weekend’s violent clashes in Charlottesville, a friend of theirs told a DC news crew. [NBC Washington]

No More Eclipse Glasses at Library — “Due to extraordinary demand,” Fairfax County libraries are no longer able to provide glasses for next week’s solar eclipse. [Fairfax County]

Special Eclipse Event at Herndon High — There will be an “eclipse party” Monday at Herndon High School, though, where up to 1,000 pairs of the eclipse glasses will be available. Meals will also be provided at a cost of $2 for adults, free for students. [Herndon High School]

Popular Local Blog Celebrates 10 Years — Restonian has been satirically covering the comings and goings of the community since August 2007. This week, it provides a retrospective on all that’s happened in the past decade. [Restonian]

Last Day To Vote for Business Awards — The ballot for the 2017 Best Reston Business Awards went out to our email subscribers for the final time Monday afternoon, and they have until midnight tonight to fill it out. Winners will be announced Wednesday. [Reston Now]

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A new Memorandum of Understanding being proposed by the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees is being labeled by library supporters as a “money grab.”

Specifically, Fairfax Library Advocates say a call that individual library Friends’ groups can only keep a designated amount in reserve while turning the rest over to the library system for general programming is a case of the county trying to overstep its bounds.

“All of the Friends are 501(c)(3) organizations. We’re all in compliance with state and federal laws, we all publish our financial records every year,” said Dennis Hays, a board member of the Friends of the Reston Regional Library and chair of Fairfax Library Advocates. “The county has no ability to dictate how an independent group conducts its internal affairs.”

Hays said the Friends groups have always in the past had agreeable MOUs with the Board of Trustees. The proposed MOU would require all Friends groups, even the smallest, to be subject to the same licensing and auditing requirements.

“If something isn’t broke, why are you trying to fix it?” he said, adding that some Friends groups may not survive such new rules. “There has never been, to my knowledge, any issues or problems with the Friends.”

Hays said the Friends groups have not been informed by the Trustees why this change, which would only allow groups to hold in reserve three times their annual donation, is necessary. In an interview with The Annandale Blog earlier this month, Fairfax County Public Library Director Jessica Hudson said the proposed MOU is a preventive and protective measure that will also allow the system to “find good ways to spend that [surplus] money, not just have it sit there.”

Hays said that in Reston, where the Friends group has close to $1 million saved, money is being held for a rainy day that is just over the horizon.

“Part of the reason we have a big surplus at the moment is, as you know, we’re looking at a renovation of the library,” he said. “That could last, if worse come to worse, three or four years where we will have to operate off our existing funds if we want to continue to support the library.”

Funds collected by the Friends through donations and events such as their book sale go toward supporting designated projects at the library. The proposal from the Library Board of Trustees to dip into those funds, Hays said, is all about control.

“For the county to try to come in and micromanage these things doesn’t make sense,” he said. “I think they’re headed down that path, and I think it’s a destructive path. I’m hoping that they see the light and back off a little bit on all this.”

Hays has presented an alternative MOU, which he says has been “ignored.”

“What we understand is they are working on their version, which will be presumably released at some point and then we will have to deal with it,” he said. “At the end of the day, we want to work with the County. This is what we do.”

In her interview with The Annandale Blog, Hudson said the work of the Friends groups is valued.

“We would not do anything to egregiously harm the Friends groups,” she told the blog. “The Friends are wonderful people who work very hard.”

There are 23 library Friends groups across Fairfax County.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

LeAnn Rimes Headlining Tysons Concert Series — Nine concerts are planned in June and July at The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center. Highlights include LeAnn Rimes (July 28) and James Arthur (June 22). [Tysons Corner Center]

SLHS Sports Teams Have Big Week — Boys tennis and boys soccer both have playoff matchups tonight, while varsity baseball and outdoor track and field have their regional events later this week. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

New Herndon Official to Start June 1 — Tammy L. Chastain has been hired as the town’s new deputy director of Public Works. [Town of Herndon]

Real Estate Professional Marks 40 YearsCarol Welsh marked the anniversary with Long & Foster’s Reston office last week. She is an active member of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. She is a lifetime member of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors’ Million Dollar Sales Club and Top Producers Club. She is also a member of the Founder’s Club of the Long & Foster Gold Team, and she is an accredited staging professional. [Long & Foster]

County Libraries Sharing Backpacks — The packs include a parking pass for Virginia State Parks, items to help kids explore the outdoors and much more. There are 32 available for loan from the county’s library branches. [Fairfax County]

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Reston Regional Library

What do Fairfax County residents want to see at their local library? The answer to that question will be revealed during a public meeting next week.

Consultants hired by the Library Board of Trustees are slated to reveal the findings of a recent public engagement project during a meeting at the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway) on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.

The public engagement project, which began last December, collected input regarding “perceptions about the library; the types of services that will meet current and future community needs, interests and concerns; and how the library can better communicate its value to the residents of Fairfax County,” according to officials. County residents provided feedback through telephone and online surveys, community forums, focus groups and interviews.

The meeting will include time for attendees to speak or ask questions about the initiative and its findings.

For those who can’t make it to the meeting, the program will be streamed live and televised on Fairfax County Government Channel 16.

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Reston Regional LibraryA Fairfax County Public Library spokesman said claims that library employees are being censored are coming from one employee upset that an intraoffice blog now has moderated comments.

“We support freedom of opinion and free speech,” said Mary Mulrenan, marketing director for the FCPL system. “No one here would ever support censorship.”

Earlier this week, the Fairfax Library Advocates distributed an email to supporters that said library administration was censoring contributions and comments to its “FCPL in the News” blog that were critical of library administration. FLA said “this is wrong and fundamentally against our basic beliefs in regard to freedom of thought and opinion.” The group also put up an online petition saying censorship has no place in the library system.

Mulrenan said the censorship accusations are the result of one employee upset that the blog now has moderators.

“This one employee’s posts were impairing other people from commenting,” she told Reston Now. “There were a lot of posts of a political nature. We have guidelines, such as you cannot post anonymously or of a political nature. So now the software is helping us stick to the guidelines.”

Meanwhile, Mulrenan said she appreciates FLA’s efforts in advocating for more money for libraries from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The FLA is planning a rally Wednesday afternoon at the 2016 budget meetings at the Fairfax County Government Center.

The Advertised Fairfax County Budget for 2016 includes $27,612,745 for public libraries. The 2015 budget included an adopted budget amount of $27,828,497, but an additional $2 million was later allocated. Read a detailed explanation of the 2016 library and parks budget on Fairfax County’s website.

Mulrenan said the contracting library budget has affected the system in recent years. The system has  had to cut library hours, materials and staffing since 2008, she said. The FCPL has recently eliminated 14 positions by attrition, she added.

“Every agency in the county is facing budget cuts,” she said. “The library continues to take a cut and it hurts. I encourage people to advocate on the library’s behalf.”

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Reston Regional Library

(Updated, Tuesday 3:43 p.m. with correction on date of rally).

Advocates for Fairfax County’s public libraries, who will be rallying at Wednesday’s Board of Supervisors’ 2016 budget hearing, say the library staff is censoring its employees.

While library budget cuts have been in the news for more than a year, the group, Fairfax Library Advocates, now says library administration is also preventing staffers from speaking freely about changes in the system on an employees-only blogs.

Fairfax Library Advocates said in an email to supporters:

There is no room for censorship in a public library system.

Despite this commonly held belief, library staff themselves are being censored here in Fairfax County. Staff have traditionally been encouraged to share any and all news about our library system with each other on the “FCPL In The News” site. Recently library administration has censored stories and comments that may seem negative toward the current administration. This is wrong and fundamentally against our basic beliefs in regard to freedom of thought and opinion.

Fairfax Library Advocates have joined a coalition dedicated to advocating around budget issues. Invest in Fairfax is a broad coalition of businesses, non-profits, human service providers and advocates dedicated to the proposition that Fairfax County, Virginia is an excellent place to live. Libraries are an essential part of Quality public services in Fairfax County. The members of the Invest In Fairfax Coalition believe that Excellence is at risk in our community.

The FLA is gathering in Rooms 2 and 3 between 4 and 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax. Several members will be speaking to the supervisors in support of quality libraries and services in Fairfax County.

The group also has a petition supporters can sign.

The Advertised Fairfax County Budget for 2016 includes $27,612,745 for public libraries.  The 2015 budget included an adopted budget amount of $27,828,497, but an additional $2 million was later allocated. Read a detailed explanation of the 2016 library and parks budget on Fairfax County’s website.

Questions? Contact [email protected]

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Reston Regional LibraryNow that the new Fairfax County North County Government Center is getting ready to open on Cameron Glen Drive, the county is taking initial steps to start the process for a new Reston Regional Library as part of the makeover of Town Center North.

Tentative plans for a new library in Reston have been in place since 2012, when voters approved a $25 million library bond, with $10 million of it allocated for a new Reston Regional Library.

The remaining money will fund renovations at Pohick Regional, John Marshall Community and Tysons Pimmit Regional libraries.

A new library plan is set to proceed despite a tumultuous last few years for the county library system. Critics have pointed out that the Fairfax system spends less per capita than any other surrounding jurisdiction; has been caught discarding books rather than recirculating them; slashed its budget; and nearly went ahead with a “beta plan” at Reston Regional and Burke libraries that would have cut staff and resources.

In the County Executive’s FY 2016 Advertised Budget, announced on Tuesday, Fairfax County Public Libraries will receive $27,612,745 —  about 7.7 percent less than in 2015.

A new plan is still in the works, though. Reston Citizens Association group Reston 2020 recently obtained the timeline for the process. Some of the details:

The new library was included in the Comprehensive Plan Amendment that was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2014.

The county is expected to rebuild the library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter on its current 6-acre site on Bowman Towne Drive, called “Blocks 7 and 8” in county documents.

The county is expected to issue a Request for Proposals from companies interested in developing the new library. The RFP will go through June 2015.

The county is expected to select a developer in September 2015.

Proposals will be for the library and shelter, as well as “additional county uses,” according to the documents.

The RFP will also determine “highest and best use of the land,” in keeping with the Reston Master Plan and construction costs, among other details.

The project will then go through a rezoning, as well as approval process by the county planning commission and board of supervisors.

Last week, a land deal was announced that will allow the Fairfax County Park Authority build a 90,000-square-foot recreation facility at Reston Town Center North, pending public hearings, a park authority board vote and procurance of millions of dollars for construction.

Part of the deal also includes a 2.6-acre Town Greene to be built on the same block as the new North County Government Center on Fountain Drive.

The Reston comprehensive plan amendment says the Town Center North area is “planned for up to a .90 FAR for non-residential uses, which should include office, public, institutional, medical care, hotel, and retail uses, and a minimum of 1,000 residential units. The public uses may include public safety uses, libraries, shelters, schools, a recreation center, government offices, a performing arts center, and institutions of  higher education.”

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