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by Dave Emke — March 20, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Fun in Fairfax - Instagram - Mar. 19

Reminder: RA Board Special Meeting Tonight  The special meeting of the Reston Association Board of Directors originally scheduled for March 14 will be held tonight at 6:30 p.m. at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the findings in StoneTurn Group’s review of Reston Association’s purchase of the Tetra/Lake House property and the subsequent overruns in the cost of its renovation. [Reston Association]

New Town Center Restaurant Seeks Employees — Hen Penny is the newest restaurant by Pheast Food Group, a subsidiary of Thompson Hospitality. Management says it is planning to open March 30 at 1820 Discovery St., the former home of Pheast’s BRB. The business is looking to hire cashiers, delivery drivers, cooks and more. [Pheast Food Group]

St. Johns Wood Redevelopment Again on Agenda — The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee will have an informational meeting March 27 at 7:30 p.m. on Bozzuto’s planned redevelopment of St. Johns Wood. [Reston Planning & Zoning Committee]

SLHS Grad’s Team Falls in NCAA Tournament — Princess Aghayere, South Lakes High School Class of 2015, played 12 minutes for the University of Pennsylvania Quakers in their NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament first-round game Saturday against Texas A&M. Penn led by 21 points early in the fourth quarter; however, Texas A&M staged the biggest comeback in women’s tournament history and came out victorious, 63-61. Aghayere scored 2 points and recorded 2 rebounds. [Penn Athletics]

Students Named to All-State Band, Orchestra — The All-Virginia High School Band and Orchestra will both perform April 8 in Manassas. Among the performers will be 77 students from Fairfax County, including several local students. On the All-State Band are Catie George and Mason Moy (South Lakes High School); and Nathan Coughlin, Noah McKee and Emma Rood (Herndon High School). Members of the All-State Orchestra include Herndon High’s James Adams and Ethan Morad. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Photo via @FunInFairfax on Instagram

by RestonNow.com — March 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Reston Parkway underpass on W&OD TrailIt’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend and a lot of people will be out celebrating. Safety officials are reminding residents to party responsibly and to be sure to have a safe ride home.

As part of the effort to keep everyone safe, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program is offering revelers free rides (up to a $20 value) through its SoberRide campaign. The program is open to everyone throughout the Washington region through 4 a.m. Saturday.

To get the free ride, use the Lyft app and enter the promo code SOBERRIDE.

Partying or not, though, there will be plenty of things to do in the Reston area this weekend. Here are just some of the options available.

  • The Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) will host its annual spring flea market Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. The free event is available to residents of all ages. For more information, call 703-476-4500.
  • The fourth annual Maker Faire NoVa is Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at South Lakes High School and Langston Hughes Middle School. Tickets at the door will be $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and $5 for children. Family packs of five tickets will be $40.
  • Teen job fairs and resume-building workshops will be offered Saturday by Fairfax County at Chantilly High School (4201 Stringfellow Road) from 10 a.m. to noon, and at Oakton High School (2900 Sutton Road, Vienna) from 1-3 p.m.
  • Reston Town Center is hosting “Family Fun Saturdays” throughout March to benefit Opportunity Neighborhood: Reston. This week’s schedule features horse-drawn carriage rides, free funnel cakes and a performance by the McGrath Academy of Irish Dance. The event will go from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
  • The opening reception of Greater Reston Arts Center’s “Emerging Visions” exhibit is set for 6-8 p.m. Saturday. The show features curated works of art created by Fairfax County students from South Lakes, Herndon and Oakton high schools, and it will be on display through April 1.
  • The Social Justice & Peace Conference will be Saturday from 12:30-6 p.m. at United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive). The free event will include workshops on how people from different religious backgrounds can support immigrants, the trans community, environmental justice and more.
  • A bird walk at Sunrise Valley Wetlands and Polo Fields will be offered from 7:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday. Check out Reston Association’s WebTrac for more information.
  • Reston Community Players’ will put on “Rock of Ages” tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., as well as Sunday at 2 p.m. at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). Use the password “St. Paddy’s” when purchasing tickets for tonight’s show by phone or in person to get them for $10. Regular tickets for each performance of the show, which will run through April 1, are $25.
  • A Kennedy Center Production of “From the Mouths of Monsters” will be performed at Herndon High School (700 Bennett St.) tonight at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children.
  • Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) will be visited by Frying Pan Farm Park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon, featuring animal education, stories and crafts. For adults, the lecture series on World War I will continue at 2 p.m. Sunday.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight for St. Patrick’s Day, with Mark Scott from 4-8 p.m. followed by Sam Gunderson from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
  • ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center St.) will have the opening reception for its exhibit “There’s No Place Like Home,” by members of the Great Falls Studios, from 3-5 p.m. Sunday. The show will be on display through April 8.
  • The Reston Town Center Singles Meetup group has an event scheduled for tonight at Ned Devine’s Irish Bar & Restaurant (2465 Centreville Road, Herndon). Shake 3X will perform at the restaurant from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

by Dave Emke — March 3, 2017 at 9:00 am 25 Comments

Morning Notes - Winter

Local Meeting on County Budget is Saturday — Residents of the Hunter Mill District will have their chance to weigh in on the proposed Fairfax County FY2018 budget from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Frying Pan Farm Park visitor center. [Reston Now]

‘Monsters’ to Be on Stage at Herndon HS — The Herndon High School Drama Boosters will present “From the Mouths of Monsters,” a Kennedy Center Production inspired by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” March 17-19. [Herndon High School Theatre]

Wolf Trap Summer Lineup Features Big Names — Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp and Sheryl Crow are just a few of the many top acts who will perform this year at Wolf Trap. Mary J. Blige will kick off the summer season with a show May 25, followed two days later by Fifth Harmony. [Wolf Trap]

Reston Association Elections About to Begin — Ballots can be cast starting Monday in this year’s Reston Association Board of Directors election. Eleven candidates in total are vying for four seats on the nine-member board. No incumbents are running. [Reston Association]

by Dave Emke — February 27, 2017 at 9:00 am 10 Comments

Morning Notes - Winter

Officer’s Name to Be Made Public — The Fairfax County Police Department has been informed by the FBI that there is no credible threat to the officer who shot and killed a Herndon man Jan. 16, ending a chaotic barricade/hostage situation. Police Chief Edwin Roessler says the officer’s name will be released. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Community Council on Land Use Meets Tonight — The group, chaired by former county planning commissioner Walter Alcorn, aims to produce a set of recommendations that would improve Fairfax County’s public outreach and community engagement in the land use and development process. It plans to meet every other Monday at 7:30 p.m., through April 24, at the Fairfax County Government Center. [Fairfax County]

Robin McGreer/FCPDPolice Say Man Bites Another’s Face in ‘Bias-Related’ Attack — Robin McGreer (pictured), 35, of McLean, faces a charge of maliciously causing bodily injury after police say he used racial slurs while threatening a man before biting him, resulting in a “significant facial wound.” The incident took place in a Tysons Corner Center parking lot. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Australian Company Takes Full Ownership of Greenway — Macquarie Atlas Roads last week became full owner of the Dulles Greenway. The company’s chief executive said he hopes to boost revenues by improving entry and exit points. [Australian Financial Review]

Reston Native Working to Defend Against Cyber Threats — Cmdr. Nick Shur is serving in the U.S. Navy Reserves as a member of Space and Warfare Systems Command, which works to improve cyber war-fighting capability and enhances technology on surface ships, aircraft and submarines. [Fairfax Times]

Herndon High Grad Is a Diamond Star — Ky Parrott, of the Herndon High School Class of 2013, has been named to the preseason first-team all-conference baseball team in the Colonial Athletic Association. A senior at James Madison University, Parrott has started the season strong as well. [JMU Breeze]

by Dave Emke — January 10, 2017 at 11:30 am 29 Comments

Ryan Alcorn and Jonathan Rodriguez Chicas ('Primo')

His name is Jonathan Chicas. But his friends call him “Primo.”

“‘Primo’ means ‘cousin’ in Spanish,” said Ryan Alcorn, a senior at Herndon High School and a Reston resident. “He’s like family.”

And when he was going through some tough times recently, his local “family” was there to help him out. He had fallen sick with pneumonia and was facing a seemingly insurmountable medical bill.

His worries were alleviated when the bill was covered in less than 24 hours, thanks to a GoFundMe page and a community that supports those in need.

“I was sure that I was going to need to leave school to pay this,” Jonathan said. “Wow, I was so happy.”

Jonathan, a junior at Herndon High School, came to the U.S. with his family from El Salvador. Living in Herndon, they sometimes have trouble making ends meet. To pay the bills, Jonathan sometimes has to help out by doing odd jobs.

Recently, he was working on a concrete job in unfriendly weather.

“It was cold — very, very cold,” he said.

It wasn’t long after that he started to feel sick — very, very sick.

“I was sneezing and I was getting headaches,” he said. “The next day, it was getting worse.”

Jonathan tried to fight the illness without taking medicine or going to the doctor. Instead, he visited the school clinic.

“I didn’t want to go to the hospital, because I knew it was going to be very, very expensive,” he said, adding that he does not have health insurance.

After a few days, his health turned from bad to worse.

“I went to the clinic and I told the nurse that now I was feeling miserable,” he said. “I went to the bathroom and I was vomiting, and I saw some red spots, and I knew it was blood.”

An ambulance was summoned to transfer Jonathan to the emergency room. He spent a morning there, where he received a pneumonia diagnosis. He was given antibiotics and quickly felt better. After about a week of recovery, he was good as new.

That is, until the bill arrived.

“Just from the hospital, not including the ambulance, it was $4,196.75,” he said. “For three hours.”

Jonathan felt sick again, this time for another reason.

“We were supposed to have dinner, and I wasn’t hungry at all,” he said. “I had lost it, to be honest.”

Ryan had been used to hearing from “Primo” regularly. They spent a lot of time together after becoming friends in personal fitness class.

When he hadn’t seen his friend around or heard from him for several days, he texted to ask what was going on.

“He was like, ‘Aww man, I was really sick,'” Ryan said. “He didn’t really go into detail, so I was just like, ‘All right, I’m glad you’re feeling better.'”

But when Jonathan brought the bill over to show Ryan, the true scope of the problem came to light.

“He looked really depressed, and that was something I’d never really seen before,” Ryan said. “I kept telling him on the way home, ‘I think everything’s going to be all right, it’s going to be OK.’ But I knew at that point he didn’t believe me, and I don’t know if I totally believed myself.”

Jonathan’s mother makes $380 a week at her job, and his dad makes some cash here and there through handyman work, but not much in the winter. In addition to helping to pay the bills, Jonathan sends money back to El Salvador to help his grandmother.

“I kind of know his financial situation, about having to pay other bills,” Ryan said. “The amount of work he has to put in just to get by is incredible.”

Ryan floated the idea of a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to pay the bill.

“I knew, just from the people that Jonathan is friends with and people he’s met, they all love him,” he said. “I knew they would come out and support him.”

Jonathan wasn’t as optimistic, but Ryan was able to convince him. The page launched Jan. 4.

And it took off, Ryan said.

“At first it was people we knew, good friends of Jonathan, and then it was people who had heard about him or just heard the story, and they all wanted to get involved,” he said. “That’s truly a testament to this community that we have here. I knew there were some really great people, but I didn’t realize how much support they could bring for someone they barely knew. I just thought that was awesome.”

From the GoFundMe page:

“Our friend Jonathan, known to many as ‘Primo’ needs our help. In early December Jonathan caught pneumonia and despite trying to soldier through it, he ended up in the Emergency Room. Primo doesn’t have insurance and he’s now facing a staggering medical bill. In addition to being a student a Herndon High School, Jonathan works multiple jobs to support himself and his family. He’s considering dropping out to take on yet another job to pay this bill. If we can all pitch in, even a little bit, we might be able to cover the expenses and keep Primo on the path to graduation. If you know Primo, you know just how wonderful a guy he is. He needs our help. Please consider donating today.”

Donations of $10, $50, $100 and more came pouring in. The GoFundMe page hit its $4,197 goal within a day, and the total has now risen to nearly $5,000.

The money is currently in a special account, being handled by Ryan’s mother, Kristina. It will soon be transferred to pay the bill in full, with some cash left over to help Jonathan’s other expenses.

Jonathan said he is hopeful that he can pursue a career in the U.S. Marine Corps once he is done with school. He is involved in the ROTC program at Herndon High and he has been talking with a recruiter about making his dream a reality.

“(I’d be) serving the country that has helped me,” he said. “I just want to protect my family and my friends, so they can have the rights that they have.”

Ryan said that selfless determination is further proof of the type of human being “Primo,” his “cousin,” is.

“He’s just a nice guy, really kind,” Ryan said. “He really is loved by this community.”

by Karen Goff — October 26, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Brandon Guyer/Credit: Cleveland IndiansThe Cleveland Indians got off to an early lead in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series Tuesday when outfielder Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch to force in the Indians’ second run. The Indians went on to crush the Cubs 6-0 and take a 1-0 lead in the series.

If you are looking for a local guy to cheer for, Guyer’s the one.

Guyer, 30, is a 2004 graduate of Herndon High School, where he also was a star tailback for the Hornets. He is still remembered for scoring seven touchdowns — a school single-game record — in the 2003 Homecoming game against West Potomac.

But back to baseball. Guyer was part of the Hornets 19-4 Concorde District championship squad in 2002, which was the last time Herndon won a district title. As a senior, he had 23 RBI, a .483 batting average and was walked 19 times.

He went on to play at the University of Virginia, and then moved through the minors. He briefly made an appearance with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, hitting a home run in his first at-bat against Baltimore.

By 2014, he was back in the majors for good. In 2015, he led the American League in being hit by the most pitches. The Major League single-game record for being hit by pitches is three, and that has happened to Guyer several times, most recently on April, 21 2016. That’s why they call him “La Piñata.”

Guyer — who is married to former Fox5 sports anchor/reporter Lindsay Murphy — was traded to the Indians on Aug. 1.

Look for Guyer as the series continues Wednesday in Cleveland. Game times is 7 p.m. on Fox5.

Photo courtesy Cleveland Indians

by Karen Goff — October 14, 2016 at 10:00 am 1 Comment

Herndon High Band in Homecoming parade 2015/Credit: YouTube

Herndon High marks Homecoming on Saturday with its annual parade through downtown Herndon.

Here is what you need to know, whether you are an alumni or student heading to the event or someone who may need to get down Elden Street while it is happening.

The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. The 2016 theme is “Music through the Decades – the Twenties to Today.” Bring a chair to watch the parade along Elden Street.

The parade route extends along Elden Street from Sterling Road to Lynn Street. Street closings and detours will occur approximately between 6 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Bring a few canned food items. Del. Jennifer Boysko will collect canned goods for LINK, a nonprofit helping stamp out hunger in Herndon, Sterling and surrounding communities.

Scheduled street closings include:

  • 6 a.m. — Crestview Drive at Sterling Road and Sterling Road eastbound at Herndon Parkway closed
  • 8 a.m. — Sterling Road westbound at Elden Street closed
  • 8:30 a.m. — Lynn Street in both directions closed
  • 9-9:15 a.m. — Elden Street from Monroe Street to Sterling Road closed

In addition, side streets between Vine and Elden Streets (Center, Grace, Main, Peachtree and Ferndale) and between Locust and Elden Streets (School, Center, Grace) will be closed during the parade.

All routes will reopen between noon and 1 p.m. as the parade clears.

At 1 p.m., the action moves to Herndon High School, where the Hornets host Centreville for the Homecoming football game.

Photo: Herndon High Band in Homecoming parade 2015/Credit: YouTube

by RestonNow.com — August 22, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

Herndon HornetsA Herndon High graduate will be the new coach of the Herndon High’s Boys Basketball team.

Joshua E. Headen has been hired to lead the Hornets, the school announced on Friday. He replaces longtime coach Gary A. Hall, who retired from Fairfax County in June after 22 years as Herndon’s head coach (1990-2007, 2013-2016).

Headen is a 2006 HHS graduate. At Herndon, he was a senior member of the 2006 Hornet team that captured the Concorde District and Northern Region Titles and played in the Div. 6 State Championship game.

Headen earned a B.A. in English from George Mason University in 2010. He graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a Master of Arts, Secondary Education in 2012 and completed his Master of Teaching, Special Education in May of 2016 from Liberty University.

Headen’s sister, Deborah, also played basketball for Herndon’s girls team during her prep career, and his father, Ken, currently serves as Herndon’s girls tennis coach.

Headen has been promoted from an assistant varsity coach at Herndon. He also formerly served as the head freshman boys basketball coach.

In addition, he is a special education teacher at Herndon, working with students in their English classes and teaching English 9 and 11.

by Karen Goff — June 27, 2016 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

Emily Melius/Credit: David Cordts

Reston Swim Team Association and Herndon High swimmers will have their eyes on the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha today and Friday, where swimmer Emily Meilus is competing for a spot on the team.

Meilus, a rising senior at HHS and a previous Washington Post All-Met selection, swims for the Lake Anne Stingrays.

Meilus will be competing in the 100m backstroke (Monday) and the 200m backstroke (Friday).

Meilus swam in the Lake Anne vs. Lake Audubon meet in Reston on Saturday before leaving for Omaha.

by Karen Goff — June 13, 2016 at 3:25 pm 0

Herndon High School/File photoHerndon High School officials said school police officers caught an unknown man trying to enter the building during school hours Monday morning.

As at all FCPS schools, the school’s doors are locked and visitors must be let in through an electronic camera system.

The man, who was not armed, was charged with trespassing, said Principal William Bates.

Here is the memo Bates sent to HHS families Monday afternoon:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

At 8:45 a.m. this morning, an unknown adult male was observed on school grounds attempting to enter the building.  A staff member located this individual near door #9 and radioed security for assistance. Our safety and security specialist along with the SRO [School Resource Officer] approached the individual who cooperated with the SRO’s instructions. The individual was taken into custody and charged with trespassing. The suspect did not have any weapons in his possession.

With the assistance of the Fairfax County Police Department and the FCPS Office of Safety and Security, we will continue to be diligent to ensure the safety of our students and staff.  Thank you for your support and understanding.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to contact the school office.

by Karen Goff — June 7, 2016 at 10:30 am 1 Comment

Herndon High School/File photoThe nearly 500 members of Herndon High School’s Class of 2016 are heading for colleges all over the United States next year, as well as entering the workforce and military service.

While the greatest number of college students will attend universities in Virginia, there will also be former Hornets studying from coast to coast.

Below is a list of where students are enrolled, courtesy of Herndon High School.

Did you miss our list from South Lakes High School last week? You can find it here.

Congratulations, Class of 2016.

Herndon Class of 2016

by RestonNow.com — May 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

SLHS "Funny Thing Happened"/Courtesy SLHS

South Lakes High School’s theater department has earned six Cappie award nominations for its production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

The Cappies, “Critics and Awards Program,” is a program where high school theater and journalism students are trained as critics. Students attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers. The nominees are selected by the vote of high school critics from 57 schools around the Washington, DC area.

South Lakes nominees include: Comic Actress in a Musical (Mely Megahed); Comic Actor in a Musical (Jalen Robinson); Featured Actor in a Musical (Jacob Kemp); Female Featured Dancer (Izzy Edgerton); Set Design; and Orchestra.

Two Herndon High performers were nominated for their roles in Legally Blonde: The Musical. Allie Lytle earned a nod for Lead Actress in a Musical for her performance as Elle Woods. Isatu Fofanah was nominated for Comic Actress in a Musical for her performance of Enid Haupt.

The 16th Annual Cappies Gala will take place on Sunday, June 12 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Photo: SLHS’ production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”/Courtesy SLHS 

by Karen Goff — March 31, 2016 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

Herndon High renovation rendering/Credit: FCPSThe Fairfax County Planning Commission has deferred decision on the planned $105 million addition to Herndon High School until its April 13 meeting.

The planning commission discussed the more than 100,000-square-foot addition to the school at its March 16 meeting. It moved to defer a vote, which would recommend the addition for approval to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, in order to further review proffer amendments outlined in this planning staff report.

HHS has not been renovated in more than 20 years and is at 107 percent capacity, FCPS documents show.

According to a Planning and Zoning Staff Report, the plans for HHS include 138,558 square feet of additions and modifications that will expand the school to 431,000 square feet with a capacity for 2,500 students (from 2,146).

The Herndon addition was approved and partially funded as part of the FCPS Fiscal Year 2017 – 2021 Capital Improvement Program. The CIP reflects $310 million approved by county voters in a 2015 School Bond Referendum. Countywide, FCPS plans $777 million in renovations and expansions to schools.

See specifics of the plan, which calls for 193 more parking spaces and moving and replacing some athletic facilities, in this previous Reston Now article.

Rendering of planned HHS addition/Courtesy FCPS

by Karen Goff — March 10, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

PEACE1Students from South Lakes High School and Herndon High School are among the 22 students chosen for this year’s Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County.

The students will be honored in a reception at Sherwood Community Center in Fairfax Sunday.

Local awardees include:

Aditi Takle, senior, South Lakes High School

Takle is president of the school’s chapter of Girls Learn International, a national nonprofit that seeks to provide resources and support to girls in other countries from low-income families who want to have an education, but whose families either cannot afford to send them to school or who, with the limited resources at their disposal, prioritize their sons’ educations. The chapter raises money for a school in India and holds advocacy events to raise awareness of the plight of so many girls across the globe who need access to education and opportunities for greater self-sufficiency. Aditi is also a volunteer with Cornerstones, where she tutors elementary school students from low-income families.

Smriti Subedi, Senior, Herndon High School

The disastrous earthquakes last year in Smirti’s country-of-origin Nepal inspired her to organize relief efforts to assist Nepalese people suffering loss of their homes, livelihoods, food, and water. As president of Herndon High’s Interact Club, she organized students to raise money and collect material goods to provide relief. She and her family volunteered in Nepal over the summer, helping in schools and hospitals.

High schools in Fairfax County may recognize one junior or senior who devotes time, energy and creativity to being peacemakers in local, national or international service, says Reston’s Ken Fredgren, who is on the awards committee.

The Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County started in 2006 with the hope of moving people to think more about peace as both a means and an end, andto recognize young people who work as peacemakers, says Fredgren.

Honorees receive a monetary gift as well as a gift made in their honor to a peace-focused charity of his or her choice.

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