Wednesday Morning Notes

Honoring the Greatest Generation — Students from Herndon High School’s marching band reflect on their travels to Normandy, France, where they performed in the festivities commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day. [Fairfax County Public Schools via YouTube]

HawkEye 360 Closes on $70 Million Deal — The Herndon-based company, which uses formation-flying satellites, closed on a $70 million financing round led by Airbus, which bases its North American operations in Herndon. [DC Inno]

StreetShares Raises $30 Million — The Reston-based company raised nearly $30 million in fresh debt funding. The company specializes in small-business loans to veterans. [Washington Business Journal]

Photo via Dario Piparo/Flickr

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Resident Curators Present Plans for Ellmore Farmhouse

Two resident curators presented their plans to repurpose the historic Ellmore Farmhouse as part of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s resident curator program.

Two applicants proposed uses for the property through the program, which allows individuals and organizations to secure long-term lease agreements in exchange for rehabilitating the park authority’s underutilized historic properties.

Applicants Karl and Jessie Scherm proposed to use the property as a residential home, drawing on his memories and experience of visiting Frying Pan Farm Park.

The Scherms proposed to use the property for several community uses, including hosting members of the Chantilly Bible Church and welcoming widows and their school-aged children into the home.

“Our children, much like the Ellmore and Smith children, have had the opportunity to spend time learning about farming and caring for animals through the 4-H clubs they are in,” according to the application. “Living in the Ellmore Farmhouse would allow us more time to learn and share with others about the original families and animals that lived here on this property.”

The second applicant — a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities — proposed to use the property as a gathering space for its longterm and community integration services program, which serves 15 clients.

“Our solution will maximize heritage conservation efforts for the property to benefit the Fairfax community, including Frying Pan Park visitors, adults with disabilities, and the general public,” according to the application.

The next meeting on the proposals will be held on Thursday, September 12 at 9 a.m. at the Herrity Biulding (12055 Government Center Parkway). The meeting is public but no comments will be taken.

All written comments must be submitted via email to [email protected] by Friday, September 6.

The Ellmore Farmhouse is a two-story home on West Ox Road in Herndon that was first used by William Ellmore, a prominent local politician, until 1935. The successive owners continued to operate the property as a dairy forum until it was sold in 1854. FCPA purchased the property for inclusion into Frying Pan Farm Park in 2001.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Herndon-Reston FISH Names New Executive Director

Herndon-Reston FISH, an organization that helps Reston and Herndon residents with short-term financial crises, has the new executive director.

The nonprofit’s Board of Directors announced at a recent annual meeting that Mary Saunders will fill the role, which was vacated when Lisa Groves stepped down at the end of June, according to a press release.

Saunders was previously the development director for Volunteer Fairfax and has been active in the area from serving as a former festival director for Reston’s Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival to a board member of the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center.

“As Herndon-Reston FISH celebrates is 50th anniversary, we are pleased to announce that Mary Saunders of Reston as our new Executive Director” Robert Reed, the board’s president, said. “A local resident for many years, she comes to us with great experience in management and development of nonprofit organizations in our area.”

Speaking on behalf of the board, Reed added, “We very much appreciate Groves’ service to FISH over the past five years and as a board member and volunteer prior to that.”

Photo 1 via Herndon-Reston FISH/Facebook, photo 2 via Mary Saunders/LinkedIn

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Emergency Alert System Test Today — “FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, reminds the public that it will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. The nationwide test message will be sent to radio and television stations beginning at 2:20 p.m. EDT… This is solely a test of alerting on radio and television.” [Federal Communications Commission]

Reston Lending Firm Raises Millions in Debt Funding — “Small business lending platform StreetShares has raised nearly $30 million in fresh debt funding, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday.” [Washington Business Journal]

A Look Back at Herndon’s History — Herndon Patch’s regular “Remembering Herndon’s History” column delves into the Caywood Family. “Benjamin and Philena Caywood were prominent Herndon citizens who settled here before Herndon became an incorporated town, leaving a long Herndon legacy.” [Herndon Patch]

Photo via @vantagehill/Flickr

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Crime Roundup: Herndon Man Arrested in Assault Incident

Town of Herndon police arrested a resident for allegedly assaulting someone.

Police said that a fight broke out among a group of people shortly after 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, in the 1100 block of Elden Street.

“The victim sustained lacerations to his hand when he attempted to break up the fight,” according to the police report. “He was transported to Reston Hospital where he was treated for his injuries.”

Police arrested and charged 33-year-old Jorge Daniel Cruz Martinez with aggravated assault, narcotics violation, and drunkenness.

Martinez is being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, bicycle from residence

12700 block of Fantasia Drive, package from residence

13300 block of Glen Echo Circle, bicycle from location

4100 block of Hummer Road, merchandise from business

1900 block of Isaac Newton Square, wallet from location

1400 block of Lake Fairfax Drive, cash from location

1400 block of Lake Fairfax Drive, wallet and cell phone from location

1800 block of Library Street, cell phone from location

3300 block of South Jefferson Street, merchandise from business

12000 block of South Lakes Drive, tools from vehicle

11700 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, electronic devices from vehicle

11700 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, laptop bag and jewelry from vehicle

12000 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, purse from vehicle

1600 block of Reston Parkway, merchandise from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

In a separate incident, Herndon police are investigating a robbery that happened on Monday, July 29, around 11 p.m. in the 12 block of Herndon Parkway.

Police said that two men robbed a man who was walking home and ran off with the victim’s wallet towards Parcher Avenue.

“The suspects are Hispanic males; one was wearing a mask, shorts, and white sneakers and the other was wearing a mask, pants, and white sneakers,” police said.

File photo

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Firefighters Jump Into Herndon Pool for Survival, Water Rescue Training

Recent pool-goers at the Pinecrest Swim and Tennis Club in Herndon might have noticed firefighters wearing their gear and uniforms for training in the water.

Units from the First Battalion on B-Shift completed various activities for self-survival and victim water rescue training, according to a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue post.

“All personnel swam two laps of the pool giving unit officers the ability to evaluate the swimming skills of each member,” according to the post. “This is valuable information to have ahead of being called to a water-related emergency as the officer now knows who their strong swimmers are and who to place in the water for victim rescue.”

More from the fire department:

Personnel then participated in backboard training with the lifeguard staff from the pool. They learned the actions lifeguards take to secure a victim to a backboard when they are suspected of a spinal injury from a pool mishap.

Finally, personnel donned structural firefighting gear and walked off the pool’s edge into the water to feel the impact of falling into [the] water while wearing the protective clothing.

Firefighters conduct a variety of tasks inside and outside a structure while operating at a house fire and many of the residences have swimming pools. A firefighter falling into the water with gear on poses a significant safety concern due to the added weight as the gear tends to pull firefighters under the water. The training today was conducted to provide firefighters with techniques on how to react and exit a pool should they face this situation while operating on an incident scene.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescuefire

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JUST IN: Herndon Man Arrested for Alleged Attempted Murder of Cop

Virginia State Police arrested a Herndon man for allegedly trying to murder a police officer following a Clarke County shooting.

Police charged 33-year-old Timothy B. Neal with attempted capital murder of a police officer, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and shooting into an occupied vehicle, according to Virginia State Police.

Shortly before 9 a.m. on Monday (Aug. 5), a Clarke County sheriff’s deputy responded to a medical emergency call at a farmer’s market in the 4800 block of Harry Byrd Hwy (Route 7), Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, said.

“When the Deputy and an ambulance arrived on scene, the male subject who reported being in distress had left the market on foot,” Geller said.

More from the Virginia State Police:

The Deputy began a search of the area for the male — later identified as Neal — and located him walking in the median of Route 7. Neal was compliant with the Deputy’s request for an ID. The Deputy had returned to his patrol car and was seated inside checking the man’s information when Neal pulled a concealed weapon from his waistband and fired at and struck the Deputy’s vehicle.

The Deputy immediately took cover and returned fire. Neal was struck and was transported to the Winchester Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The Deputy was not injured in the incident.

At the request of the Clarke County Sheriff, the Police Shooting Investigation Team, out of the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Culpeper Field Office, is investigating the officer-involved shooting. The incident remains under investigation at this time.

Neal is being held without bond at the Northwest Regional Adult Detention Center.

File photo

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New Grocery Store Comes to Downtown Herndon

The Town of Herndon has a new food store now open in Junction Square.

Marigold International Foods opened at 710 Elden Street, Suite A back in June, a company spokesperson told Reston Now.

Shoppers can find African and Caribbean groceries at Marigold.

The store is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m. to around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays.

Marigold joins Lotte Plaza Market, Bestway Supermarket, Safeway and other grocers in downtown Herndon.

Image via Google Maps

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Herndon House Fire Causes $50,000 in Damages

A house fire on the 600 block of Pemberton Court in the Town of Herndon on Tuesday (July 30) caused nearly $50,000 in damages.

The homeowner and the homeowner’s son — who were at home during the incident — evacuated the area before the fire department arrived. No injuries were reported.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s investigators believe a malfunctioning ceiling fan in a covered screen porch caused the fire.

“The cause of the fire involved an electrical event in the junction box of a ceiling fan,” the department wrote.

Three residents were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross Services were accepted by the family.

Photos via FCFRD

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Lack of Affordable Housing in New Developments Near Future Herndon Metro Station Sparks Debate

Within the last five years, more than 500 residential units have been proposed at the door of the future Herndon Metro Station, which is on track to open by the end of 2020 In all three place-making projects that were recently approved by town officials, there are no affordable or workforce housing units.

Comstock’s downtown Herndon redevelopment project — which has 273 apartments — and Penzance’s mixed-use development less than one-tenth of a mile from the future station — which has 455 residential units — will not have any ADU or WDU units. Stanley Martin’s Metro Square project — which has 64 two-over-two condos — also has none. Prices for those units start at $679,990.

Newly elected town council members Cesar del Aguila and Pradip Dhakal are currently mulling ways to create more new affordable and workforce housing. They plan to discuss policy instruments with the county’s Board of Supervisors, the town’s legal staff, and other town and county officials to decide next steps. 

“If we do not interfere now and talk to builders, it will be very difficult to manage later. This is the time for the change,” Dhakal said. “We need to work with the county and work independently as a town to see what we can do.”

It’s unclear if the town has enough workforce housing to meet the demands of people who work within or near the town’s borders. The number of residential units in Herndon is expected to increase by 30 percent over the next 25 years, according to county data. Major growth is anticipated in Herndon’s transit station areas.

Unlike Fairfax County, the Town of Herndon does not the statutory authority to mandate the inclusion of workforce or affordable housing units. But now, as the Silver Line trains approach, some local elected officials are pushing for the town to explore ways to include workforce units in new developments at a critical juncture in the town’s history.

Policy options could include seeking state-enabling legislation to create an ADU and WDU program for the town — likely modeled after the county’s program.

Others are looking to dip more into the county’s penny fund — which includes tax dollars from town of Herndon residents and has historically been used to preserve and promote affordable.

But some caution that a WDU and ADU program managed by the town could be too cost-inhibitive.

Melissa Jonas, chairwoman of the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission, said seeking such a change would likely require a town charter amendment, state-enabling legislation, the creation of a housing office, and other administrative requirements that could result in a “net zero” win for the town.

“It’s not easy and it’s not cheap,” Jonas said.

Jonas, who has worked with the county on numerous affordable housing initiatives, notes that affordable housing is a region-wide challenge that cannot be addressed in isolation of other issues and initiatives.

In the past, the town has leveraged its relationship with the county — which has the administrative and financial resources to maintain and preserve older affordable housings units — to ensure inclusion and housing affordability are a priority in the town. Town officials have also made an effort to educate the town’s planning commissioners about housing affordability issues as new applications cross their desk.

The town’s comparative advantage lies in finding other ways to ensure projects are affordable — including working with places of worship to pursue creative new projects on unused land, increased transparency about development approval timelines, and decreased the cost of doing business in the town.

The county currently provides most of the funding for the town’s housing rehabilitation specialist, who finds ways to preserve and rehabilitate current affordable and workforce housing units. The county also provides administrative support for housing vouchers and other federal programs.

Projects like the units set aside for lower-income households at Herndon Harbor House II are a good start to ensure housing affordable is a central part of community planning. That retirement community was partly financed by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.

Dhakal says that’s not enough and Del Aguila says that a town-led ADU or WDU program is “the right thing to do.”

“This initiative will provide several benefits: positively impact the future of many people [and] families by providing an option for home ownership in Northern Virginia,  improve the quality of life for people in our town… and create opportunities for financial security for more residents,”  he said.

Not everyone on the council is convinced of the need to enable the town to regulate affordable housing, including town councilmember Signe Friedrichs.

Friedrichs says there is a lack of consensus on whether or not there is enough affordable housing in the town and that the county is better positioned to manage housing affordability programs. Instead of managing its own program, the town should work with the county to maintain and improve affordable housing options.

“I moved to Herndon partly because it was affordable, and I hope it can stay that way while also improving its housing stock. But I also hope we can maintain, improve and possibly expand our workforce and affordable housing without also increasing our budget, the cost of which would cause people to move out of town,” Friedrichs said.

Photo via Town of Herndon Planning Commission
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‘Beehive’ Musical Comes to NextStop Theatre Next Month

“Beehive: The 60’s Musical” comes to NextStop Theatre Company next month.The production, which is directed by Monique Midgette, takes audiences on a trip down memory lane by celebrating six songstresses that defined a generation.

Shows will take place between August 22 and September 22. The musical stars Rebecca Balinger, Allison Bradbury, Bethel Elias, Kayla Gross, Shayla Lowe and Hilary Morrow.

Tickets are available online. Prices range between $40 and $55, depending on the time and day of the performance. 

Beehive is presented through a special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

NextStop is located at 269 Sunset Park Drive in Herndon. 

Photo via NextStop Theatre Company

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Curators to Present Plans for Historic Ellmore Farmhouse

Applicants will present their plans for Ellmore Farmhouse, a historic property on West Ox Road, to the county’s resident curator evaluation team later this month.

The curator program opens up the property to long-term lease agreements with individuals or organizations. Curators lease the property in exchange for a financial commitment toward rehabilitation of the county’s underused historic properties. Curators are selected through a competitive application process.

The team will hear proposals for the two-story property during a public meeting on Wednesday, July 31 at 7 p.m. in the Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s Office (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). The evaluation team will ask questions about the project and provide feedback.

The Ellmore Farmhouse was constructed in 1891 for Mary Ellmore and her two children. The property was sold after the Ellmore family lived in the home for more than 50 years and ran a dairy farm through 1945. William Ellmore, who operated the dairy farm and was a prominent local politician, served on several boards, including the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

After his death in 1935, the owners attempted to operate the dairy farm until they sold the farm in 1954. FCPA purchased the property in February 2001 for inclusion in Frying Pan Farm Park.

An additional meeting is set for Thursday, Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. in the Fairfax County Park Authority’s office (12055 Government Center Parkway).

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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DMV 2 Go to Reinstate Suspended Driver’s Licenses

Gov. Ralph Northam will be in Herndon tomorrow (Tuesday) to promote his successful move to reinstate driver’s licenses that were suspended for failure to pay court fines.

Northam’s initiative, which began on July 1, allow any Virginian whose driver’s license was suspended for failure to pay court fines and costs to have their driving privileges restored. Fees for reinstatement will also be waived.

DMV 2 GO, the state Department of Motor Vehicles’ mobile office, will set up shop at the Herndon Fortnightly Library (768 Center Street) to raise awareness about the policy from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

State elected officials will be also be on-site to deliver remarks.

The Virginia General Assembly passed Northam’s proposed budget amendment in April, a move that his office said would “help countless others by preventing future debt-related suspensions for the remaining duration of the state budget.

“All Virginians must have a fair opportunity to fulfill their obligations without losing their jobs, their ability to take care for their families, and their dignity,” Northam wrote in a statement.

The mobile offices will come to Herndon every third Thursday of the month.

File photo

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Free Musical Performances and More This Weekend in Reston

This week’s Summerbration Fun Brunch will bring Cello Fury to Reston for a free concert.

Self-described as “a cello rock powerhouse featuring three cellists and a drummer,” Cello Fury performs original music combining cello sounds with rock beats.

The performance will take place at Reston Station Plaza from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday.

Parking is free on weekends in the Metro parking garage.

Tomorrow (June 29)

Sunday (June 30)

  • Guesstimation Game (all day) — Preschoolers to sixth graders can learn how to guesstimate at the Herndon Fortnightly Library.
  • Reston Runners (7 a.m.) — The Reston Runners will meet at the Lake Anne Village Center for 3- and 6- mile walks, 10- and 17-mile runs and a 12-mile trail run.
  • Sunday Art in the Park: Two Bass Hit (7-8 p.m.) — Professor of Bass Donovan Stokes will lead a diverse program of jazz, gypsy jazz and other international music for two basses at the corner of Market and Explorer streets in Reston Town Center. The event is free and open to all

Photo via Cello Fury/Facebook

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Where to Find Fourth of July Festivities Around Reston

The Fourth of July is coming up next Thursday, and several festivities are planned nearby.

Here’s where to head in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls for Independence Day events.

Reston July 4th Celebration

Lake Newport Recreation area (11601 Lake Newport Road); noon-4 p.m.

A precursor to fireworks, this free event will include a DJ, contests and pool time. Pizza, popcorn and cotton candy will be available to purchase.

Firecracker 5K for the Troops

Reston Town Center (11911 Democracy Drive); starts at 8 a.m.

The annual race is now in its 10th year. Refreshments and live music will be offered. There will be cash awards for the top three men and women finishers ($300, $200, $100) as well as $100 for the top master runners.

Fourth of July Hometown Celebration and Parade

Great Falls Village Centre Green (776 Walker Road); 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Great Falls has a packed schedule for its Independence Day celebrations, including a 5K starting at 8 a.m.; two parades — a kids’ parade at 9 a.m. and the main parade at 10 a.m.; and food, games and a magic show from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fireworks will start at 6 p.m. at Turner Farm Park (925 Springvale Road).

Town of Herndon’s Independence Day Celebrations

Bready Park softball field (814 Ferndale Avenue); start at 6:30 p.m.

The free, family-friendly events kick off with games, kids’ crafts and bingo at 6:30 p.m. Then, the ’80s cover band Guys In Thin Ties will perform at 7:15 p.m. The fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. Food will be available to purchase from vendors.

Photo by Elisha Terada on Unsplash

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