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by Dave Emke — July 18, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Silver Line Delays Have Steep Price Tag — A series of delays that has pushed the opening of the Silver Line’s Phase 2 back to 2020 will cost $95 million. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority disclosed that number in a presentation prepared for its Wednesday board meeting. [WTOP]

Design Review Board Meets Tonight — Among the topics to be discussed at tonight’s meeting of Reston’s Design Review Board (7 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, as well as live on RA’s YouTube channel) is the redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center. [Reston Association]

Zoning Open House Coming Up — Fairfax County will hold an open house Wednesday, July 26 to talk about proposed zoning changes that may affect local communities. Among the topics to be discussed are potential changes to the rules about short-term rentals, such as Airbnb; rear-yard coverage, such as patios; and more. [Fairfax County]

Herndon High Grad to Play at Georgia Tech — After completing his bachelor’s degree in economics in three years while playing basketball at Lehigh University, HHS grad Brandon Alston has transferred to Georgia Tech to play out his final two years of sports eligibility. [Georgia Tech University]

by Dave Emke — July 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 7 Comments

County Remains Among Richest — U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2015 have Fairfax County’s median household income at $112,844, more than twice the national figure. The county trails only Loudoun County ($125,900) and the independent City of Falls Church ($122,092) in the national rankings. [WTOP]

Reston P&Z Committee Meets Tonight — The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee’s monthly meeting will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). Matters to be discussed include JBG/EYA’s project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. [Reston P&Z Committee]

Wanted: School Bus Drivers — Fairfax County Public Schools has 85 openings for bus drivers. A job fair will be held Friday, Aug. 11, at Stonecroft Transportation Center (4641 Stonecroft Blvd., Chantilly). [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Connolly Plans Telephone Town Hall Tonight — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) will answer questions by phone tonight beginning at 8 p.m. [Rep. Gerry Connolly/Twitter]

Gas Grill Safety Tips — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue wants citizens to be safe when they fire up the grill to make summer meals. With that in mind, they shared a video from the National Fire Protection Association that includes tips on where to place the grill, how to turn it on safely and more. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

by Dave Emke — July 5, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Mental Health Screenings Available — The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board now offers same day, in-person screening for mental health/and or substance use concerns to both adults and youth at its Merrifield Center (8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Fairfax). [Fairfax County]

Escaped Detainee Had Been Deported Five Previous Times — Marlo Danilo “Carlos” Rivas-Mendez, who temporarily escaped from ICE custody Monday while being transported, had previously been removed from the United States in 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. [United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia]

Wastewater Treatment Plant Gets Top Score — For the 19th consecutive year, the Noman M. Cole Jr. Pollution Control Plant in Lorton has earned the Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. [Inside Nova]

Former Herndon Man to Run for President — In July 2013, Adam Kokesh’s Herndon home was raided by the U.S. Park Police after he called for a “Final American Revolution” and posted a YouTube video of himself loading a shotgun on DC’s Freedom Plaza. Now living in Arizona, Kokesh says he’s seeking the 2020 Libertarian presidential nomination. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

by Kalina Newman — June 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm 31 Comments

It’s late at night and a resident pulls into their cul-de-sac after a long evening at work. Once they turn into their street, they find their block crowded for the umpteenth time with unfamiliar cars, followed by a new group of people temporarily staying in their neighbor’s home for a couple of days.

How would you react?

The scenario above describes the situation that has been increasingly reported throughout Reston, as more residents have begun to rent out their homes for profit over short periods of time through services such as Airbnb, Homeaway and Roomarama.

Fairfax County is currently in the process of developing stricter regulations for residents who wish to rent out their homes through such services. The County is looking for feedback on what residents think about the proposed regulations.

As of July 1, Virginia state law will give local governments the authority to require registration for these rentals.

According to the survey, the proposal would address:

  • Where these rentals would be allowed in the county
  • How often they could be rented out
  • What types of properties could be rented out
  • How many people would be allowed to stay in a property at any one time

If you’d be interested in participating in the survey, fill it out here.

Reston Association is making efforts to clamp down on those whose rental habits might be a disturbance to their neighbors. Currently, following County legislation, only those who own single-family homes are allowed to rent their space for less than 30 days.

At a community feedback meeting at Reston Association headquarters Wednesday evening, the home-sharing issue was named as a challenge RA will face going forward.

“I view this as one of the greatest threats to the way we live here in Reston,” said Rick Hamilton, of the Polo Fields cluster. “From the description of what goes on in the one [discussed at the May 26 RA meeting], that is frightening.”

by Dave Emke — June 26, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Ribbon Cutting for Clothing Store — Scout & Molly’s (11944 Market St.) hosted its official ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday morning. Among attendees were Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, representatives of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and more.

Summer Meals Program Starts Today — The Free Summer Meals for Kids Program provides free, healthy meals to children ages 5 to 18 at designated meal sites in Fairfax County. [Fairfax County]

Officials Talk Metro, Fields, More — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and more addressed the Vienna Town Council recently to give updates on the Silver Line, placement of athletic fields and more. [The Connection]

Kids Can Earn Prizes for Reading — Kids who complete the summer reading adventure at any Fairfax County library by Sept. 2 can win a coupon book with dozens of free and discounted fun treats like ice cream and miniature golf. [Fairfax County]

Image courtesy Powers Brand Communications LLC

by Katherine Berko — June 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm 21 Comments

Jo-Ann Duggan, the Director of Outreach at St. John Neumann Parish, knows there are people struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

“Yesterday, I was speaking to someone who was trying to find housing for a friend of hers who has three children and earns $23,000 a year,” Duggan said Wednesday. “She works in retail. She’s a single mother.”

St. John Neumann Parish (11900 Lawyers Road) will play host Thursday to a meeting with the Housing Matters program, opening the conversation about the need for affordable housing in Fairfax County.

The goals of the meeting, which will take place from 7-8:45 p.m. at the parish’s auditorium, include helping residents understand how housing can affect other facets of a community. Other related topics will include a discussion of how much affordable housing is needed for an economically sustainable Fairfax County.

Duggan is hopeful that the Housing Matters program will receive lots of community input to help alleviate the housing struggles of many residents. Duggan first heard of the program from John Horejsi, who works for Social Action Linking Together, a legislative advocacy group. Horejsi attended a Housing Matters program and thought it would be worthwhile to bring to the church.

“Housing Matters is all about safe and affordable housing so that communities can thrive,” Horejsi said. “When you achieve that — when you have safe and affordable housing — the families do better, there’s more upward economic mobility, the kids do better in school. We all benefit.”

Horejsi explained that when there is affordable housing, more businesses are attracted to the area due to its stable workforce. He said that currently, the average rent in Fairfax County is $1,700-$1,800 a month, while half of the jobs in the area reap less than $50,000 a year. Rents are increasing while salaries are not. Horejsi explained that as rent gets more expensive, workers start to move away.

“If the workers in our community whom we need can’t afford to live here, then they’re just going to clog up all the roads and that’s going to create more air pollution,” said Horejsi. “Doing nothing [for affordable housing] is going to cost a lot more in the long run.”

Thursday’s meeting will feature a presentation from Vin Rogers, the division director for the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development. After Rogers speaks, facilitators will help lead conversations among groups of attendees. Feedback and input will be encouraged during these group discussions.

“It’s going to be a dialogue first of all,” Horejsi said.

Duggan said she anticipates 50-100 people to turn up at the meeting. Anyone interested in the meeting is encouraged to fill out a survey about housing in the area.

For more details about the event, contact Duggan or Horejsi by email.

Chart via Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development

by Brooke Giles — June 16, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

There are some big events this weekend in Fairfax County, highlighted locally by the 27th annual Taste of Reston festival, tonight (3-11 p.m.) and Saturday (noon to 11 p.m.) at Reston Town Center.

The event is put on by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and features fine cuisine, family activities, live entertainment, beer and wine, cooking demonstrations from local chefs, and much more. Parking at Reston Town Center is free all day today and Saturday.

Down in Fairfax on Saturday, the county will be celebrating its 275th anniversary with a big event at the Historic County Courthouse (4000 Chain Bridge Road). Lord Nicholas Fairfax, a direct descendant of the county’s name-bearer, will be the guest of honor during the event, which will also include live entertainment, children’s activities, historical presentations and much more. The event is slated for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

And if you’re looking for something to do with dad this Father’s Day, the Fairfax County Park Authority has you covered:

  • Take dad to the Antique Car Show at Sully Historic Site (3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly) from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Come see more than 400 antique and classic cars. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for children.
  • Dads can tour the mill at Colvin Run (10017 Colvin Run Rd, Great Falls) for free on Sunday when they bring one of their kids. The tours will run from noon to 3:00 p.m.
  • Dads and kids between ages 2 and 6 can pretend to be penguins, wolfs and beavers as they learn about dads in the wild at the Hidden Oaks Center (7701 Royce Street, Annandale). The program is from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and costs $6 per child.

That’s far from all there is to do this weekend, though. Here is just a sampling of the many events you can enjoy:

  • Reston Station’s “Summerbration” series continues tonight at 7 p.m. with a free concert by The Bad Influence Band. Tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m., visit for a free outdoor showing of “Bad Moms” on the plaza. The Summerbration events outside the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will continue through the end of August. (Note: To receive free parking for these events, parking tickets need to be validated by personnel on the plaza. Find the sign that reads “Parking Validation Here.”)
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Terraset Elementary School (11411 Ridge Heights Road) will have its first student-run farmers market event from 4:30-6:30 p.m. today.
  • Reston Town Square Park will be hosting Nicolo the Jester as a part of their Family Fun Entertainment Series Saturday morning at 10 a.m., for a free show. It’ll be fun for all ages as Nicolo brings a blend of poetry, music, juggling, comedy, character acting and audience participation.
  •  This Sunday at 7 p.m., the Shenandoah Conservatory Brass Quintet will be performing at Reston Town Square Park as a part of the Sunday Art In The Park series. The group will be playing selections spanning from Handel to Fats Waller.
  • Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza N.) is hosting is “Reston Stories” exhibit through July. The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has been collecting residents’ stories and preserving them for future generations. The collection includes stories about volunteering in Reston, the Fountain at Lake Anne Plaza, the early history of Reston and the amazing connections we make in our community.
  • Work out with Athleta in the Reston Town Center Pavilion Sunday morning from 11 a.m. to noon.
  • Lake Anne is hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Tonight from 7-8 p.m. at Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive), bring the kids out for the Walking Stick Workshop. Prices are $7 for children, $9 for adults.
  • Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) continues its series of live music tonight from 6-10 p.m. Afterward, let the live music continue at Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
  • Urinetown: The Musical” is being performed at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive) through June 25. Performances this weekend are tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. General admission tickets start at $40.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight at 9:30 p.m.
  • Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night. This weekend’s performers are Jason Morton (Friday) and Jason Masi (Saturday).

by Brooke Giles — June 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm 5 Comments

The Fairfax League of Women Voters is set to host a public presentation on Fairfax County’s Diversion First program.

The event will be on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne (1609-A Washington Plaza N.). 

The presentation will include a panel led by the Hon. John Cook, Braddock District supervisor and chairman of the Board’s Public Safety Committee. On the panel will be law enforcement members such as Lt. Ryan Morgan of the Fairfax County Police Department; PFC Janelle Colie of the Fairfax County Office of the Sheriff; and Marissa Farina-Morse, Falls Church Community Services Board Service Director for Diversion First. 

Diversion First was developed to limit the number of mentally ill and disabled people in jail. The county found that it was costing too much money to incarcerate people who needed help rather than jail time, according to information about the program.

The program relies on changing how law enforcement interacts with those with special needs. The county has required officers go through Crisis Intervention Team training so that they can better understand mental illnesses and learn how to de-escalate conflicts. The hope is that officers will be able to make informed decisions when confronting those with mental illnesses.

Part of the program allows officers to transfer nonviolent offenders to the CIT-trained officer or deputy assigned to the Merrifield Crisis Prevention Center. A law enforcement official is on duty at least 21 1/2 hours a day, every day of the week.

For more information about Wednesday’s event, visit the website of the League or call 703-658-9150.

by Dave Emke — June 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

Founded in 1742, Fairfax County was named after landowner Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.

This weekend, Lord Fairfax — the 14th, to be exact — is coming back. Lord Nicholas Fairfax, a direct descendant of the county’s name-bearer, will be the guest of honor during Fairfax County’s 275th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the area of the historic Fairfax County Courthouse (4000 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax).

Lord Fairfax’s visit is just one of many items on the jam-packed schedule for the celebration. Among other items on the agenda:

  • Over 80 county historical sites and organizations, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall, all Fairfax County Park Authority historical attractions, Fort Belvoir, the Fairfax County History Commission and the Workhouse Arts Center
  • Three entertainment areas with performances and family-friendly activities
  • Various living history encampments and interactive storytelling
  • Historic Fairfax Courthouse tours and talks
  • Children’s activity area with different craft and project opportunities
  • A petting zoo
  • Antique service vehicles on display from county first responder agencies
  • Historical plaque dedication honoring Revolutionary War soldiers from Fairfax County

Both admission and parking at the event, which is scheduled to be held rain or shine, will be free. Food trucks will be available.

Opportunities to volunteer at the event are still available.

For more information, visit the event’s website or find it on Facebook, or email [email protected].

by Dave Emke — May 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 6 Comments

(Updated at 12:10 p.m. after Reston Association’s annual Community Yard Sale was postponed.)

Another SafeTrack Surge Starts Next Week — Metro’s latest round of work will have five stations on the east end of the Orange Line closed, which will also affect Silver Line traffic. Tuesday through June 15, trains will operate between Wiehle-Reston East and Stadium-Armory only every 12 minutes. This means more than 50 percent fewer trains during morning peak hours. Fairfax County is suggesting alternatives for commuters, including car pooling and buses. [WMATA]

League of American Cyclists Honors County — Fairfax County has been recognized with Bronze-level status as a Bicycle Friendly Community. It is one of 416 communities nationwide that have been honored. [Fairfax County]

Community Yard Sale Postponed to Sunday — With rain in the forecast, Reston Association’s annual Community Yard Sale has been postponed from Saturday. It will now be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday at 1900 Campus Commons Drive, at the corner of Sunrise Valley Drive and Wiehle Avenue. Those planning to attend are still encouraged to call 703-435-6577 after 4:30 a.m. Sunday to check the event’s status. [Reston Association]

County Embracing Driverless Future — Fairfax County is the testing ground for self-driving cars and connected infrastructure in Virginia. Officials recently brought in autonomous-vehicle experts, policymakers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs to share their research. [Fairfax County]

Reston Couple Share Love Story — Roger and Anita Lowen are approaching 50 years of marriage. It all started, they remember, with a prank call. [Washington Post]

by Dave Emke — April 26, 2017 at 9:00 am 7 Comments

Full-Scale Terror Response Exercise Today — Fairfax County is one of six sites in the DC Metro area participating in a drill today “designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the region.” The county’s exercise site is the former Lorton Reformatory prison site. [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Amazon to Move Into Herndon Office Tower — One Dulles Tower (13200 Woodland Park Drive) will be leased out by Amazon Web Service, the Washington Business Journal first reported. That building is just across the Toll Road from Amazon’s facility on Worldgate Drive. [Bisnow]

BXP First-Quarter Earnings Down from 2016 — Boston Properties, owner of Reston Town Center, announced Tuesday that profits are down 8.9 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Revenue fell 5.1 percent. In addition to the DC region, BXP has properties in Boston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. [Nasdaq]

Seahawks Soccer Team Ranked in Region — The South Lakes High School boys’ soccer team, 6-2-2 so far on the season, is ranked No. 8 in the Washington Post’s Metro region Top 10. The team next plays Thursday night at Hayfield. [Washington Post]

Golf Tournament Will Benefit Families of Heroes — The 47th annual HEROES Inc. golf tournament will be July 13-14 at Twin Lakes Golf Course in Clifton. The event benefits the HEROES scholarship fund, which provides financial aid and professional counsel to the surviving family members of law enforcement officers and firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

by Dave Emke — April 25, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

J.McLaughlin Now Open at Reston Town Center — The new clothing store at 11932 Market St. opened to the public Monday. [Reston Town Center/Facebook]

Thermal Cameras Available for Home Inspections — Fairfax County residents can now reserve thermal imaging cameras for loan from any branch of the Fairfax County Public Library. The county says it is making the cameras available so that residents can inspect their home or business for hot and cold spots, which can indicate energy-saving opportunities. [Fairfax County]

SLHS Runner Takes Meet MVP Honors — Olivia Beckner (pictured) ran the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 16.03 seconds and the 1,600 meters in 5 minutes, 1.35 seconds on her way to winning the Most Valuable Female Track Athlete award at the recent Lake Braddock Hall of Fame Invitational. The SLHS track team next competes in the Penn Relays, Thursday through Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania. [Press Release]

Reston Man Up for Bowling Board — Adam Mitchell is one of four candidates for three seats on the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Board of Directors. Mitchell has been a board member for Nation’s Capital Area USBC since 2014, and is a current Virginia State Youth Director. The vote will be done this week during the group’s annual convention in Las Vegas. [USBC]

Photo of Olivia Beckner courtesy South Lakes High School track and field

by Dave Emke — April 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Reston Dad’s Idea Selling Around the WorldSwipe and Feed is an attachment parents can put on their smartphone, allowing them to feed their babies at night while still comfortably holding the phone. Its creator, Reston’s Tim Causa, says he is selling to customers in multiple countries. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Howell, Plum to Meet with Constituents — Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) will host a town-hall meeting tonight from 7:30-9 p.m. at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne (1609 Washington Plaza N.) along with Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax). [Sen. Janet Howell]

Campaign Starts for County Residents to Go Solar — The Solarize Fairfax County campaign begins tomorrow and goes through June 30. Fairfax County citizens are invited to sign up for a free solar assessment and to attend an information session to better understand pricing and financing options, as well as meet contractors. [Fairfax County]

Book-Signing Luncheon Slated — The Reston-Herndon Area Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Reston/Herndon Section of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) are sponsoring a Mother-Daughter and Friends book-signing luncheon. The guest speaker will be Paula Young Shelton, author and daughter of civil rights activist, congressman and United Nations ambassador Andrew Young. The event takes place Saturday at Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive) in Reston Town Center. For more details, call 703-620-9873. [Reston-Herndon AAUW]

by Dave Emke — April 11, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Today To Be Warmest of Week — Temperatures should get up into the mid-80s today, with humidity rising a little bit as well. The rest of the week should be “pretty springlike.” [Capital Weather Gang]

Tech Networking Event Set for Il Fornaio — Engineers, tech professionals and executives are expected to gather Wednesday evening at Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) for a “Wine Wednesday” networking event. Registration is free. [Eventbrite]

Dispatchers Honored This Week — This is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and the county’s dispatchers are being recognized for their work at the “first of the first responders.” [Fairfax County]

Herndon TED Talks to Feature Powerful Speakers — The third annual TEDxHerndon event is slated for May 6. The lineup of presenters is filled with innovators, leaders and social changemakers including writers, nonprofit founders, CEOs and more. “Early bird” tickets, available through Monday, are $40. [TEDxHerndon]

by RestonNow.com — April 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm 22 Comments

A community meeting is scheduled for later this month at South Lakes High School to discuss the formation of a countywide strategic housing plan.

The goals of the plan, according to Fairfax County, include:

  • To create a shared community vision of how housing supports local economic growth and community sustainability
  • To quantify the housing needed to sensibly accommodate future growth
  • To develop specific, measurable and actionable strategies for meeting countywide housing goals
  • To identify the program and policies, and specific funding sources, that will be required to address housing needs in 5, 10, and 15 years

The plan will be led by the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee will oversee it. The community meeting at SLHS this month is part of a communication plan by HCD to “engage residents and stakeholders throughout the entire process.”

The stated goal of the HCD is to complete the strategic plan by December and implement it in 2018.

The meeting will be held Monday, April 17 at 7 p.m. in the lecture hall at the high school (11400 South Lakes Drive).

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