The healthiest county — Fairfax County was ranked the third healthiest county in Virginia, following Loudoun and Arlington counties. [WTOP]
Heads up for tomorrow’s Metro commute — Silver Line trains will operate every 24 minutes to due to concrete structural repairs. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]
‘Cat On a Hot Tin Roof’ hits the roof — The play by Reston Community Players is listed as the top show of the week by one online magazine. [Maryland Theatre Guide]
A generous donation — Brandon Guyer, a former member of the Reston Herndon Little League and a baseball outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, donated bats to the league. [Reston Herndon Little League]
An oops moment — Good Morning America incorrectly stated a major walkout near a highway happened at South Lakes High School yesterday. Have doubts? Check out the tweet for yourself. [Good Morning America]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is holding its annual seedling sale for Northern Virginia residents starting this month.
Two seedling packages are being offered for sale. The shrub and small tree package is on sale for $16.95 with 10 seeds, and the tree package features six seedlings for $11.95.
The native seedling sale helps to clean up the water and air. It also helps to prevent soil erosion by keeping the soil in place, said Lily Whitesell, a watershed specialist.
This year’s seedling packages are deer tolerant. Some of the species featured in the seedling packages are less palatable to deer and are fast growing so they can handle some deer as well.
“Across Fairfax County, we’ve really seen a lot of the understory of wooded areas be decimated by deer. We hope this will also help regenerate that growth,” Whitesell said.
Some of the featured plants include Eastern redbud, pawpaw, shortleaf pine, silky dogwood and witchhazel.
“The redbud is of interest to a lot of people because it has a really beautiful spring blossom. A lot of people this time of year are really thinking about the witchhazel because it has a very cool flower in the winter,” Whitesell said.
To keep the seedlings cheap, they are bought in bulk. If someone were to buy the same seedlings sold by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District at the store, it would cost somewhere between $20 and several hundred dollars, she added.
Customers have until April 11 to order seedlings and can pick them up at the Packard Center in Annandale on April 20 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. or on April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon.
On Friday at around 8:18 a.m., the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report about an ongoing larceny at a store on the 46200 block of Potomac Run Plaza.
Cristian Hernandez-Mejia, a 32-year-old resident of Herndon, was charged with grand larceny after police caught him as he attempted to flee by foot to a nearby hotel. He is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on no bond.
On Wednesday, Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station also reported a burglary on the 12900 block of Park Crescent Circle. Someone entered the residence at around 8:30 a.m. and stole electronics, according to the report.
Meanwhile, in Fairfax County, FCPD’s Reston District Station reported the following crimes in the past week:
1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, wallet from vehicle
1500 block of Church Hill Place, documents from residence
11800 block of Freedom Drive, cell phone from building
9800 block of Georgetown Pike, liquor from business
1700 block of Port Plaza, parts from vehicle
11800 block of Sunset Hills Road, wallet from vehicle
12700 block of Thunder Chase Drive, purse from vehicle
1600 block of Reston Parkway, property from business
900 block of Walker Road, property from construction site
11900 block of Winterthur Lane, purse from business
As we reported earlier in the day, Fairfax County Police are investigating the stabbing of a male juvenile on Friday in the Hunters Woods Plaza. The victim is recovering from the non-life threatening injury.
Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).
Herndon Police Department’s weekly press report has not yet been released. This story will be updated.
Touching Heart Hosts Movie Watch Party Tonight — The group will host a movie watch party for the release of the movie, “Wonder,” today at 7 p.m. at Bowie Tie Theater. Funds will help fund initiatives to create secure housing facilities for albino children in Tanzania. The movie is based on the New York Times bestseller. [Touching Heart]
Reston-based Company Opens Offices in Mumbai, India — Graphus, Inc., cloud applications cybersecurity company opened a new office in India which will focus on research, development, sales, marketing and expanding the company’s customer base in India. [Graphus, Inc.]
Fairfax Board Offers Same-Day Screening for Mental Health and Substance-Use Concerns — The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board is providing same-day, in-person screening for all ages. Individuals seeking assistance can walk-in without any appointment to the Merrifield Center to address any concerns. [Fairfax County Government]
Mark Your Calendars: Cookies with Santa at The Lake House — Reston Association recently posted a video detailing an event in early December that features cookies with Santa. [Reston Association via YouTube]
Fairfax County is celebrating the first year anniversary of Capital Bikeshare this month as more stations in Reston are on the horizon.
County officials laud the program as a success. According to the Capital Bikeshare’s website, more than 1,000 people have signed up to become members and more than 27,150 miles have been travelled overall. More than 10,000 trips have also been taken with the bikes.
Adam Lind, the county’s bicycle program coordinator, said the county sees the program as a success so far, especially compared to counties like Montgomery County in Maryland and Fairfax County overall.
“Memberships and trips taken have continued to increase and we expect this to continue as we expand bikeshare to new areas of Reston and the county,” Lind said.
Currently, there are 15 stations installed in Reston. Within the next few months, a new station will be on the way near the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. A dozen additional stations are planned for next year in 2019, 11 of which will be funded by a federal grant and pone of which will be funded by a development. Ten of these stations are planned on the south of Toll Road, he said.
Funding is also available for expanding Bikeshare to the west of both sides of the Toll Road within phase two of the Silver Line extension.
The most popular stations are at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station and the Reston Town Center Transit station is the 2nd most busy. The county expects bikeshare to continue to grow as more bike infrastructure is built in the community.
Biden Stumps for Northam in Reston — During a roundtable discussion Saturday in Reston Town Center along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, the former Vice President emphasized the importance of state politics at a time when he said the federal government has faltered in its responsibilities. Current Vice President Mike Pence was also in Virginia on Saturday, joining Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie on the campaign trail in Abingdon. [The Hill]
‘Light the Night’ Raises Funds for Leukemia Research — The walk Friday night at Reston Town Center was part of a campaign expected to raise $3 million in the fight against blood cancers. [FOX5]
County’s Earners On Par with Manhattan’s, Nation’s Wealthiest — Forbes magazine analyzed U.S. Census data to determine where the highest wage-earners in the nation live. Fairfax County tied with Manhattan for the highest percentage of resident full-time workers making over $75,000, at 49.2 percent. [Forbes]
Police Auditor, Review Panel Taking Complaints — Use of excessive force, abusive language, harassment, reckless endangerment and more concerns about Fairfax County police officers can now be submitted using an online form. [Fairfax County]
King Gets on the Stat Sheet — The Cleveland Browns fell to 0-6 on the season with a 33-17 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday, but South Lakes High School football alumnus Deon King did get on the stat sheet. Playing on special teams, King recorded a tackle of Texans’ punt returner Will Fuller V in the third quarter of the game. [ESPN]
Golf Fundraiser Pays Legal Fees in Open Space Fight — Rescue Reston’s recent event at Reston National Golf Course raised money to go toward paying off the $153,000 in legal fees the group has incurred fighting its battle to protect the course from development. [Connection Newspapers]
County Celebrates High-Rise Construction Safety — “The cranes in Reston and Tysons are the most dramatic sign that parts of our county are changing into a more urban environment. Before these new high-rise buildings are built, years of planning go into making sure they are safe for the occupants and the community.” [Fairfax County]
Firefighters Support Breast Cancer Awareness — In an effort to heighten awareness in the fight against breast cancer, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department employees have been authorized to wear FRD-issued pink T-shirts while on duty from Oct. 9-23. The shirts are worn as a symbol of support and recognition for all those who have been touched by breast cancer. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Preparedness Event Slated for Saturday — The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management is partnering with numerous county agencies and other partners, such as the American Red Cross, to host a Preparedness Awareness Weekend (PAW) event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Providence Community Center (3001 Vaden Drive, Fairfax). [Fairfax County Emergency Information]
Digital-Media Company Moves Into New Town Center Home — Intermarkets, a Reston-based digital-media company whose portfolio includes The Drudge Report and The Political Insider, is now headquartered on the 11th floor of Reston Town Center’s One Freedom Square. [Virginia Business]
Herndon Center Pitched for Amazon’s Second Headquarters — As other jurisdictions make similar bids, local officials will make a combined offer for Amazon’s headquarters to be located on the 26-acre Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon. [Washington Business Journal]
Reston Man Killed in Plane Crash Remembered by Industry — Steven B. Zaboji, who died Saturday in a plane crash near Front Royal, is being remembered as “one of the most iconic manufacturer sales representatives in the consumer electronics industry.” He was the owner of Balaton Marketing, which represented the Yamaha line of electronics and other well-known brands. [Strata-Gee.com]
RA Seeks Volunteers for Halloween Event — Reston Association is looking for volunteers to help with the “Halloween House & Trick-or-Treat Trail,” the Walker Nature Center’s annual Halloween event. The program runs on Oct. 27-28 from 5-9:30 p.m. [Reston Association]
Public Art Reston to Celebrate 10th Anniversary — The nonprofit organization, which formed in 2007, will celebrate its 10th anniversary Nov. 9 with a fundraising event, which will include live music, refreshments, a live auction and a raffle. Public Art Reston’s mission is to inspire a new commitment to public art in order to support community arts and culture in Reston. [Public Art Reston/Facebook]
Registration for Free Disaster-Preparedness Training Open — The Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department is providing free Community Emergency Response Team training, a program that trains residents on disaster response skills like fire safety, light search and rescue and disaster medical operations. The program takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays from Nov. 6 through Dec. 6, from 7-11 p.m. each night. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Date Announced for 2018 Polar Plunge — The 11th annual Virginia Polar Dip at Lake Anne will take place Saturday, Feb. 3. [Lake Anne Plaza/Facebook]
Boston Properties Residential Project Nears Completion — Designed as a gateway to Reston Town Center, The Signature apartments on Freedom Drive and New Dominion Drive are set to become available in January. The 508-unit project will include two towers, two six-story buildings, a specialty grocer and 4,600 square feet of retail. [Washington Business Journal]
Children Left in Car Rescued by Police — The Fairfax County Police Department says a 26-year-old Falls Church woman brought her three children (ages 5, 6 and 7) to work but left them in the car because she didn’t want to bring them inside. FCPD was called to the scene and got the kids out of the car. They were taken to the hospital for treatment of heat exhaustion, and their mother was hit with three counts of felony child abuse. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Fairfax County Promotes Domestic Violence Awareness Month — On a monthly basis, domestic violence hotlines in Fairfax County receive 200 calls and victims request 75 family abuse protective orders. The county is encouraging residents to help prevent and end domestic violence by volunteering with the county’s Office of Women and Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. Volunteers work on special events, help run a 24-hour hotline, among other duties. [Fairfax County Government/Facebook]
Fairfax County Worker Found Not Guilty in Fatal Stabbing — Kempton Bonds, 20, was found not guilty Wednesday of fatally stabbing 35-year-old Tyonne Johns, a caterer at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly. Bonds was working as a seasonal employee with the Fairfax County Park Authority when the incident occurred last year, according to officials. [FOX 5]
Open Houses Scheduled at All Fire Stations — In celebration of Fire Prevention Week, all Fairfax County Fire and Rescue stations will be hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Citizens are invited to meet firefighters, see the fire trucks, join in the activities and learn about fire safety. Local stations include Reston (1820 Wiehle Ave.), North Point (1117 Reston Ave.), Herndon (680 Spring St.) and Fox Mill (2610 Reston Parkway). [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Farm Harvest Days Coming Up — Watch the cider press in action, milk a goat, shell corn, peel apples, meet the farm animals, see traditional farm demonstrations, take a wagon ride, hop on the carousel and more during the annual Farm Harvest Days, Oct. 14-15 at Frying Pan Farm Park (2709 W. Ox Road, Herndon). [Fairfax County Park Authority]
County Helping Residents Combat Scammers — This week’s Fairfax 50+ Podcast concerns the county’s new Silver Shield Anti-Scam Campaign, which works to protect older adults by sharing critical information to help them avoid being scammed. [Fairfax County/Soundcloud]
Car Tax Is Due Friday, But Why? — Some historical reference for why Virginia residents must pay an annual tax on their vehicles. [WTOP]
Walking Tour of Colvin Run Planned — The first phase of the Colvin Run restoration project, within Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive), was completed in August. A walking tour of the 2,220 restored feet of the stream is slated for 10 a.m. Friday. [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Fairfax County is celebrating the 275th anniversary of its formation, when in 1742 it was split off from Prince William County to be a separate county encompassing what we now know as the current county plus Loudoun and Arlington counties and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax. It was named for Thomas, sixth Lord Fairfax, who had a proprietary of 5,282,000 acres. For a time a part of the county that is now Arlington County and the City of Alexandria was a part of the 10 square miles that made up the District of Columbia, until those jurisdictions were returned to Virginia.
Fairfax County is compared today with jurisdictions throughout the country as it leads in economic growth and development in many ways. That national comparison was not always appropriate. In its early years, it was a struggling community, raising tobacco with the labor of enslaved black persons. By 1749, the county’s population was 28 percent enslaved persons; by 1782, that number had reached 41 percent.
The county’s early fame came from its two most important residents: George Mason, who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the Virginia Constitution and whose work led to the Bill of Rights in our national Constitution; and George Washington, who as our first President brought the country together and whose service in office set important precedents that continue today.
Surprisingly, Fairfax County voted with the South to secede from the Union leading up to the Civil War. While the County was not the scene of major military battles, there were many skirmishes and an almost constant flow of troops passing through it. After the war and Reconstruction, investments started to flow to the county that helped its recovery. Although still an agricultural community at that time, the following decades brought significant changes that led to the community as we know it today.
Not surprisingly, one of the big issues was transportation. In the early years most settlements were along the rivers that provided a means for transporting tobacco and crops. As inland developments occurred, there was no governmental mechanism for building roads. Those that were in place were narrow without a hard surface. New turnpikes supported by tolls included the Little River Turnpike, Columbia Turnpike, Leesburg Turnpike and Falls Bridge Turnpike. The start of railroads before the Civil War accelerated with the electric trolley lines that followed. It is estimated that as many as a million passengers or more were carried per year by the Washington, Alexandria and Mt. Vernon electric railways that ran 30 trips per day.
The growth of the federal government after the Great Depression and the World Wars brought huge growth to Fairfax County. Its population of 40,000 grew to 98,000 in 1950, and by 1970 was 454,000. It is now approaching 1.2 million people. Recognized as among the best places in the country to live and to start a business, we have clearly left behind our humble beginnings.
It is worthwhile to remember our history and the 275th anniversary provides many different opportunities. (www.fxva.com/275/)
Final Week for Reston Community Center Preference Poll — Three incumbents are seeking to return to the Reston Community Center Board of Governors, and the community preference poll that guides the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in its choices ends this week. Each property in Small District 5 (SD5) is to have received a ballot in the mail. Mail-in ballots must be received by no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, while walk-in and online ballots can be submitted through 5 p.m. the following day. [Reston Now]
Herndon Police Collect Items for Hurricane Relief — The department collected the items to send to Puerto Rico and help residents there recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. [Herndon Police/Twitter]
SAIC Gets $250M USDA Contract — The Reston-based technology integrator was awarded the blanket purchase agreement to provide enterprise architecture and security support services to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [Digital Journal]
Homeowners Save With Solar Energy — According to Fairfax County, 47 homeowners who signed contracts for discounted systems through Solarize Fairfax County will save about $1,250 per year on their electric bills. [Fairfax County]
Tree Management Workshop Set for Wednesday — Bartlett Tree Experts will discuss tree inventories, management plans and basic tree care during the event at Reston Association headquarters. [Reston Association/Twitter]
As Amazon searches for a home for its second headquarters, local government leaders across the nation have pitched their communities.
Fairfax County is no exception.
In June, it was announced that Amazon Web Services would use the One Dulles Tower (13200 Woodland Park Road, Herndon) as a new East Coast corporate campus, bringing up to 1,500 new jobs to the area. But local officials would like to see it make an even bigger investment.
“Fairfax County would love to be home to Amazon’s second headquarters,” said Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, recently to the Fairfax News. “In our community they would find a well-educated, talented and motivated workforce, and an outstanding quality of life.”
Amazon’s new headquarters could require up to 8 million square feet, the Washington Business Journal reported, and jurisdictions all over the DC Metro area have expressed their interest. But of course, they are nowhere close to alone — interest in the project has been expressed almost everywhere.
Do you think Amazon would we wise to make Fairfax County home to its new headquarters? If so, why — and if not, where else? Let us know below.
Va. Transit Ridership Continues Downward Trend — Usage of the Metro’s Silver Line stations at Reston and Tysons is increasing, but that’s one of the few bright spots for public transportation ridership in the region. [WTOP]
Board to Determine Fate of Wedell’s Seat — Following Ray Wedell’s resignation from the Reston Association Board of Directors last week, remaining board members have a decision to make about whether to fill the seat and, if so, how. The term on the now-vacant seat runs through April. [Reston Association]
Reston Sisters Make Jewelry for Good Cause — A pair of local girls founded their own charity project, Rays of Hope, in 2012. They make jewelry out of shells they find on the beach in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and sell it to benefit CancerFree KIDS, a cause they became passionate about when their cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. [Connection Newspapers]
County Expands On-Scene Mental Health Work — The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board recently added a second fully operational Mobile Crisis Unit, part of the county’s “Diversion First” initiative to offer alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness and other disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses. [Fairfax County]
As Fairfax County considers developing regulations to govern the use of short-term rentals (e.g., Airbnb), three community meetings — including one in Reston — have been scheduled to gather community input.
The community meeting in Reston will be held Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). Additional meetings are slated for Alexandria on Sept. 13 and McLean on Sept. 25.
Community members are also invited to submit their input in an online survey, which is available through the end of August.
Currently in Fairfax County, short-term rentals — properties rented for less than 30 days at a time — are only allowed with approval of a special exception by the Board of Supervisors to classify a home as a bed and breakfast. In Reston, where residents must follow county laws related to the practice, short-term rentals have been the source of debate. Most recently, at the May meeting of the Reston Association Board of Directors, short-term rentals at a home on Trails Edge Lane were the topic of controversy.
At that meeting, the Board decided to consider amending its governing documents to clarify the RA’s position on homesharing, to strengthen its standing in the effort to stop violations of county rules.
This county’s proposed zoning rules for short-term rentals may address issues including where the rentals will be allowed in the county, how often they can be rented out, what types of properties can be rented out, and how many people will be allowed to stay in a property at any one time.
According to information provided by the county:
The county is considering the regulations as a result of new state law passed this year that allows localities to require registration of short-term rentals. The Board of Supervisors directed county staff to initiate an analysis of STRs and propose draft zoning regulations.
Ultimately, the board will decide whether to adopt the new rules, and both the Planning Commission and board will hold public hearings on the zoning rules before any action is taken. No public hearing dates have been scheduled at this time. Any additional meetings and the future public hearing dates will be posted on the short-term rental webpage.
To get more information or to offer feedback, contact the county’s Zoning Ordinance Administration Division by email or call 703-324-1314.