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Thursday Morning Notes

FCPS delays opening — The county’s public schools will open two hours late today after being closed yesterday as a snowstorm hit. [FCPS]

Dogs in the snow — ICYMI: “Locals put their photography skills to use for the snow-covered landscape, with some catching pets and cross-country skiing on camera.” [Reston Now, Reston Now Instagram]

Spruced up Safeway — “The Great Falls Safeway at 9881 Georgetown Pike reopened after renovations with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, Feb. 16.” [McLean Patch]

Blood pressure PSA — Did you know kids can have high blood pressure? The American Heart Association has a short video about health screenings to protect kids. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Photo via @greatfallsva/Instagram

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DC-based Fitness Gym Arriving Early March in RTC West

D.C.-based fitness chain Solidcore plans to open its doors in about three weeks at RTC West.

Solidcore plans to open its Reston studio at 12100 Sunset Hills Blvd on March 9, according to an email yesterday (Feb. 14) to potential customers.

The opening is part of a larger expansion of Solidcore, with more than a dozen new locations slated to open in the next year, along with ones in Arlington and D.C.

Started in D.C. in 2013, Solidcore offers pilates classes, along with a boot camp for full-body workouts. The fitness chain has more than 40 locations across the country, including nearby ones in Tysons Corner and the Mosaic District.

The schedule for the grand opening is set to get posted on Feb. 25.

Photo via Solidcore

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Rowing Fitness Studio Team Talks Plans, Parking for New RTC Spot

A new rowing-focused studio in D.C. is eyeing Reston Town Center for its next location.

DC Row’s General Manager Brittany Brunch told Reston Now that the low-impact, full-body workout DC Row offers will be an appealing option for people working high-stress jobs, in addition to people already focused on exercise. “Northern Virginia generally has a pretty high fitness index,” Brunch said.

Like Reston residents, Reston Town Center has been established for a while, Jordan Newsome, one of the studio’s executives, told Reston Now. “We want to bring something new to them so that they come back out a little bit more [to Reston Town  Center].”

While Newsome and Brunch wouldn’t reveal the Reston location, they did say that locals can expect a pop-up near Reston Town Center before the grand opening.

The Reston location will offer similar classes to the ones currently at the D.C. location (790 Maine Avenue SW). Reston’s DC Row will cater to specialized groups, such as opportunities for corporate businesses to enjoy happy hours and gift bags after the classes and more time slots during the day for moms and pregnant women.

Like the D.C. spot, Brunch and Newsome said they want to get local kids involved. “Rowing is a collegiate sport,” Newsome said. “There are a lot of scholarships that go untouched every year.”

The controversial paid parking at Reston Town Center doesn’t have Newsome too worried.

“We are no stranger to paid parking,” Newsome said as he looked out of the window toward Main Avenue SW “The experience that we offer makes people want to come back, and they kind of seek out a way to get back. For as far as parking in Reston goes, I think it shouldn’t have too much of an effect on our business.”

Brunch added that DC Row is looking into subsidizing parking for customers at the Reston Town Center location.

No matter where DC Row goes, one principle stands out: “We really want to be apart of the community,” Newsome said.

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New Salad Bar Adds Leafy Greens at Dogwood ES

Dogwood Elementary School is set to have a salad bar — the third public school in Reston to recently add leafy greens to their cafeterias.

Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive) joins 18 other public schools in the county slated this year to open a Real Food for Kids Salad Bar by May. In the fall, Terraset and Sunrise Valley elementary schools added the salad bar along with 11 other schools.

Principal Mie Devers said that the salad bar stemmed from the Office of Foods and Nutrition Services, which creates healthy programs that get implemented by Fairfax County Public Schools.

“Dogwood worked collaboratively with Food and Nutrition Services to plan the addition of this program,” Devers said. “Based on the conversation with staff and families, the continued focus around nutrition and healthy eating is so important!”

Dogwood Elementary School is adding the Real Food for Kids Salad Bar and Summer F.E.E.D.S (Food for Every Child to Eat During Summer) to its current list of program offerings, including Breakfast in the Classroom and Super Snack.

The salad bar will offer fruits, vegetables and protein such as eggs and hummus to top off the salads, Devers said.

Students will receive a salad bar lesson next week, which is meant to help them understand the procedures and food selection, Devers said.

“Working with the teachers and FNS, we are able to provide lessons around the excitement and importance of fresh foods and explain how it works.”

Image via Google Maps

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Q&A: Cofounder Shares How ‘Electro Fitness’ Studio Debuted in Herndon

Nestled away in Sport and Health at Worldgate Drive is a fitness studio with a surprising twist on exercising: Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS).

Co-founded by Connie and Pedro Ruiz, Personal20 started as an EMS franchise in Portugal before it came to the United States in 2017. The Herndon location at 13037 Worldgate Drive is the only one in the country, although that might change as Connie Ruiz eyes new markets for a possible expansion.

This is how it works: clients don special suits with 10 pairs of electrodes that provide electrical stimulation to the muscles as they work out for 20 minutes. During the sessions, the muscles feel tingly and prickly sensations.

The workouts, which are delivered by certified personal trainers or physiotherapists, are customizable to clients’ goals, ranging from weight loss to minimizing back pain issues. Personal20 claims the technology provides all of the benefits of a 90-minute workout in 20 minutes.

Ruiz told Reston Now that most of the prospective clients find out about Personal20 either through Sport and Health or from current clients. While “Electro Fitness” is a novelty in the U.S., Ruiz said that it has gained popularity in Europe, where professional soccer team athletes and celebrities have brought attention to EMS training.

Reston Now caught up with Ruiz to find out the details behind why “Electro Fitness” landed in Herndon.

Reston Now: Why Herndon?

Connie Ruiz: The demographics supported the brand positioning as a premium service for those with disposable income who are busy working executives and professionals who value exercise but are challenged with time.

RN: How many people can you accommodate now with the two stations per day?

CR: We can service about 28 trainings a day with our two stations. We just now have started considering a third station for the first semester of the year.

RN: Can you describe the very first time you tried electro fitness?

CR: The very first time I tried it was in Europe, after my husband wanted to start the concept however I was initially resistant. When I tried it, I gave up all my other exercise and only did Electro Fitness once a week. After the one month workout (four visits), I was amazed at the results. I got definition in my arms that I never had before and I even lost a couple of pounds.

RN: What’s your favorite part of the training?

CR: The effectiveness in a short time.  I love that I can do a 20-minute workout only twice a week and see body shape change and definition. I can even do one a week for maintenance.

RN: What keeps people coming back?

CR: The common thread that keeps people coming back is the effectiveness of the technology.  It really does deliver all the benefits of a 90-minute workout in only 20 minutes. Also, the clients enjoy the experience as that is what we focus on delivering.

Photos courtesy of Personal20

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UPDATED: Koko FitClub Set to Close in Herndon’s Fox Mill Shopping Center

Updated at 2:05 p.m. — The owner confirmed that the store is closing today.

Less than a month after the Koko FitClub closed in the North Point Village Center, the Herndon location is set to close as well.

“We are closing this location as we have another place in Herndon but waiting on permission and buildout, but our landlord did not agree for a short term lease,” Kavitha Reddy, the owner and managing director for the Herndon location, told Reston Now in an email.

Reddy said that the spot at 2537 John Milton Drive in the Fox Mill Shopping Center will close by the end of today (Jan. 25). 

“[We are] hoping to start back in April [or] May as so many members shared their story on how Koko helped improve their health,” Reddy wrote, adding that the new location is slated to be along Sunset Park Drive. “We want to give something back to the community.”

Back in December, Koko FitClub closed at 1424 North Point Village Center. The owner of that location declined to say why the Reston spot shuttered. 

The “digital gym” offers a three-step Koko Smartraining System, individualized coaching, personalized nutrition, 30-minute strength conditioning and 15-minute HIIT cardio training.

More than 60 locations span 20 states and Canada. The Herndon and Reston closures will leave Koko FitClub without any locations in Virginia.

Image via Google Maps

This story has been updated

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Thursday Morning Notes

SAIC acquires Engility Holdings, Inc. — The merger completed on Jan. 14. The combined company will keep the SAIC name and the headquarters in Reston. [Business Wire]

Free bus rides for furloughed workers — Starting today, the Fairfax Connector will let furloughed workers ride for free with their federal photo ID. [Fairfax County]

How-to for buying a new TV — Head to the Reston Regional Library today for help figuring out which TV is best for you. The presentation by the Fairfax County Department of Cable and Consumer Services will run from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. [Fairfax County]

Flu season is upon us — If you end up getting sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a handy guide for comparing your symptoms to the flu and what to do if the illness worsens. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Photo via Ray Copson

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Polls open for the special election — Voters will decide today who will replace Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton for the 33rd District seat in the State Senate. Democrat Del. Jennifer Boysko, currently representing the 86th District, is running against Republican Joe May, who represented the 33rd District as an Independent delegate from 1994 to 2014. [Virginia Department of Elections]

Bollywood dance class — Get in shape with a fitness class from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Reston Regional Library. [Reston Regional Library]

“Invisible Listeners” exhibit ends — Today is the last day to see Rahshia Sawyer’s photography at the Greater Reston Arts Center at Signature before it closes. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

But a new exhibit opens — The “Three Moves to Divine” exhibit opens today at ArtSpace Herndon to provide a photographic memory of Ghana by Randy Preston, along with written and read work from guest poets. [ArtSpace Herndon]

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Koko FitClub Closes Doors in North Point Village Center

(Updated at 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 30) Koko FitClub closed its doors in North Point Village Center last week.

The fitness club closed at 1424 North Point Village Center last Friday (Dec. 21), Owner Cheryl Butz told Reston Now. She declined to say what prompted the closure.

The club underwent renovations in 2017.

Koko FitClub has more than 60 locations spanning 21 states and Canada.

The “digital gym” offers a three-step Koko Smartraining System, individualized coaching, personalized nutrition, 30-minute strength conditioning and 15-minute HIIT cardio training.

Image via Google Maps

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Feeling Outdoorsy? Consider Starting the New Year Off With a Hike

Hit the trails on Jan. 1 if you want to enter a photo contest.

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s “First Hike Fairfax” returns this year with expanded hike options — including any FCPA trail — and photo contest prizes for hikes on New Year’s Day.

The FCPA teamed up with America’s state parks and Virginia State Parks for the First Day Hike Programs.

Locals can visit any FCPA trail on Jan. 1 and snap pictures for the photo contest. Nearby trails include the trails at Lake Fairfax and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. More trails can be found at Trail Buddy.

Then, enter one photo in First Hike Photo Contest by Jan. 2. Park Authority staff will select a “Judges’ Choice,” and the general public will vote on a “People’s Choice” winner. Both winners will receive a free four-month RECenter pass valued at up to $300.

All photographers will receive two free RECenter guest passes.

“First Hike Fairfax” also kicks off the Park Authority’s “Healthy Strides 12 Steps for a Healthier 2019,” which offers monthly tips with healthy living ideas.

File photo

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Herndon Animal Medical Center Seeks Expansion

After more than 30 years of business in the Herndon community, the Herndon Animal Medical Center is gearing up for an expansion.

In a proposed before the county up for a vote by the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission tonight, the center is seeking a special exception to allow a veterinary clinic in land zoned for office and light industrial uses. If approved, the new clinic would move to 360 Herndon Parkway.

“Our current space limits our ability to see patients and practice easily with modern equipment and modern handling techniques,” wrote Kristan Gutowski, the center’s owner.

The building will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday; between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday. The clinic, which employs 15 people, could expand its hours to accommodate more clients and patients.

Gutowski said the new facility will allow staff to continue practicing a handling technique called “Fear Free” that aims to reduce patient anxiety by separating patients from each other in separate exam rooms away from other animals and noises. The move will also allow the center to avoid odors from its current neighbor, a boarding facility that Gutowski said has “negatively affected” the center’s work environment.

We do everything we can to control an unpleasant odor that can occur with pets,” Gutowski said.

Town of Herndon staff recommended approval of the project.

Photo via Town of Herndon Government

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Farmers Market to Begin in Reston Town Center Tomorrow

A farmers market is coming to Reston Town Center starting tomorrow (September 11) through September October 23. Every week, the market will be located at the pavilion, with the exception of October 9, when it will be located at Town Square Park.

Items available for purchase include produce, kettle corn, pastries, meats, salsa, honey, and smoothies. The hours of the market are between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Other area farmers markets will remain open through early December. The market at Lake Anne is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon through December 1 at Lake Anne Plaza.

The Reston Farm Market (10800 Baron Cameron Avenue) is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A fall festival, which will include face painting, a petting zoo, a train raid, balloons and a petting zoo, is set for Saturday, September 22 to celebrate the market’s anniversary.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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Now Open: Inova Urgent Care in North Point Village Center

An Inova urgent care center is now open at 1488 North Point Village Center.

The newest Reston location is open seven days a week and offers pediatric emergency services. On-site exam rooms and x-ray and real-time interpretations by experts with the Association of Alexandria Radiologists are also offered.

The center takes up the former location of Ravel Dance Studio, which left its home of 20 years to relocate to a larger studio at 1763 Fountain Drive.

Other services include treatment for minor illness and injury, lab tests, sports physicals, and flu shots.

The center’s first day of business was on Monday (August 13).

An Inova emergency room center, which focuses primarily on emergency room services through a partnership with Inova Fairfax Hospital, is located just 1.2 miles away at 11901 Baron Cameron Avenue.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Opioid Reversal Training Now Offered in Reston

As the opioid epidemic grips the nation and on the local level, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board announced plans this week to expand their opioid reversal training in Reston.

The one-hour, free course will be held on Friday, June 29 at 10 a.m. at the CSB’s Northwest Center (1850 Cameron Glen Drive).

Attendees will learn to administer naloxone and what to do in an overdose emergency, along with safety plans to help individuals prevent overdose in the event of a relapse. Free naloxone will also be given to attendees who meet eligibility requirements.

CSB has offered community training in Fairfax County since 2015.  The training series started as CSB partnered with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Chris Atwood Foundation.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Town of Herndon to Become First Dementia-Friendly Community in Virginia

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The Town of Herndon is aiming to become Virginia’s first dementia-friendly community in order to spread awareness about the impact of the disease on individuals.

Using a toolkit to engage community members, town officials and community partners aim to develop respect and inclusion of people with dementia. A dementia-friendly community also has services and resources throughout all community areas that promote quality life, educates people with dementia and their families and promotes engagement with the community.

There are 38 other communities in the Dementia Friendly America network, an initiative that includes more than 30 organizations to foster dementia friendly communities across the country.

Toni Reinhart, the owner of Comfort Keepers, a Herndon-based home health care service, is leading a team of community leaders throughout each phase of the initiative.

“With her to drive to enhance community awareness for persons with dementia and 16-year commitment to serving the Herndon-Reston area, her passion for senior care would only serve greater purposes statewide,” said Herndon Mayor Lisa C. Merkel.

Photo via DFAHerndon.org

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