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by Dave Emke — August 4, 2017 at 12:25 pm 2 Comments

Elden Street will be closed between Monroe and Center for the next several hours, likely through evening rush hour. We will update as information becomes available. 8/4/17 12:04

Posted by Herndon Police Department on Friday, August 4, 2017

For the second time this week, one of Herndon’s main thoroughfares is being affected by a natural gas leak.

Elden Street will be closed between Center Street and Monroe Street through the evening rush hour, according to the Herndon Police Department. The natural gas leak was first reported on HPD’s Twitter account just after 11 a.m.

On Wednesday night, a natural gas leak on Herndon Parkway between Van Buren Street and Palmer Drive required repair. The work at that site continued through Thursday.

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

Gas Line Break on Herndon Parkway — Emergency gas line repair work between Van Buren Street and Palmer Drive will keep one westbound lane closed throughout the day. [Herndon Police Department]

Still No Stop-Arm Cameras on School Buses — County supervisors have directed staff to work with Fairfax County Public Schools leadership to determine the status of the camera-installation program, and obtain a detailed timeline regarding when the equipment would be installed. Video-monitoring cameras capture images of vehicles being illegally driven past school buses that have their flashing red lights and stop-arms activated. [Inside NoVa]

Herndon Working With Comstock on Downtown Development — A comprehensive agreement on the downtown development is the town’s top priority, its new town manager says, and they hope to get it done this year. [Herndon Patch]

County Police Demonstrate ‘Pit’ Maneuver — The maneuver involves an officer using the police car’s front fender to touch the rear bumper of a suspect’s car, causing the other car to turn before coming to a complete stop. [WJLA]

by Katherine Berko — July 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm 12 Comments

A group of people went to Wells Fargo bank on Elden Street in Herndon on Saturday with no intention of withdrawing money.

Instead, they held up signs and yelled chants, calling out the bank for its support of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The climate justice group 350 Fairfax protested July 8, which pipeline opposition group Protect & Divest had designated as an International Protect and Divest Day of Action. The day’s protests were meant to sway banks, such as Wells Fargo, from funding the Keystone XL Pipeline and other environmentally unfriendly projects such as Virginia’s Atlantic Coast pipeline.

The 1,179-mile Keystone XL Pipeline, when completed, will run from Alberta to Nebraska and will transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day. There is an existing pipeline in the region, but Keystone XL will deliver the oil in a more direct route.

It has caused controversy as some people see the pipeline as beneficial because it will create many construction jobs and bolster the nation’s economy. Additionally, if the pipeline is not built, the fear is other companies will transport the same oil but in riskier ways, such as via rail service. However, groups like 350 Fairfax fear for the environmental impact the pipeline’s construction may have.

“[350 Fairfax] handed out flyers to bank customers and passing pedestrians to explain why the Keystone XL pipeline is a disaster for the climate, dangerous for water and soil quality along its proposed route, and is unfair to indigenous peoples whose sacred land would be disrupted,” 350 Fairfax wrote in a press release.

On Facebook after the rally, 350 Fairfax said that pipeline projects can also greatly spur climate change by increasing greenhouse gases emissions.

“The project stands to endanger precious ecosystems, vital aquifers, and Indigenous and sacred lands. It would also exacerbate climate change at a time when a just transition off fossil fuels is critical for the health and well-being of life on Earth,” 350 Fairfax wrote.

The group’s hope is to stop further construction of the pipeline by encouraging its funders to re-evaluate the damage their invested money will be doing to the environment. 350 Fairfax noted that Saturday’s protest was just one of many the group plans to organize.

“We must demand that all investors, including Wells Fargo, #divest from these dangerous and unnecessary projects,” the group said.

Photos courtesy 350 Fairfax

by Brooke Giles — July 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

If the fireworks Saturday night at Lake Fairfax Park weren’t enough for you, the Town of Herndon has you covered.

Herndon’s annual Fourth of July celebration is scheduled for Tuesday night at Bready Park (814 Ferndale Ave.). Free games, bingo, and children’s arts and crafts start at 6:30 p.m. There will be entertainment throughout the night, leading up to the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

Traffic will be rerouted during the event. Ferndale Avenue will be closed to through traffic from Vine Street to Barton Oaks Place once the event parking lots are full, and it will remain closed until the conclusion of the fireworks. Additional parking will be available at Herndon Middle School, Herndon Centennial Golf course and Herndon Community Center.

Cars that are parked at the Herndon Community Center will not be released until the fire marshal clears the area an hour after the fireworks show.

Eventgoers are encouraged to leave their pets at home and to leave the fireworks to the professionals. Blankets and lawn chairs are allowed, but no alcohol or glass containers. Bags and coolers may be searched.

In the case of inclement weather in the evening, the fireworks may be delayed or postponed until Wednesday night.

by Dave Emke — July 3, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Herndon Names New Town Manager — Bill Ashton had been serving as acting town manager since February, following the retirement of previous town manager Art Anselene. [Town of Herndon]

Suicide at County Detention Center — A 33-year-old man being held at the county Adult Detention Center on a malicious wounding charge hanged himself in his cell Sunday night. [Fairfax County]

Numbers to Remember Over the Summer — South Lakes High School provides a list of sources, some from the school system and some independent, that may be of assistance if family emergencies or other needs arise over the summer. [South Lakes High School]

File photo courtesy Surf Reston

by Dave Emke — May 30, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

North Point Meeting Tonight — The third in a series of Reston Association Board of Directors district meetings is scheduled for tonight. North Point Director John Mooney will host the meeting from 7-8:30 p.m. at Armstrong Elementary School (11900 Lake Newport Road). [Reston Now]

Audio, Video of Police Shooting Released — Fairfax County Police released on Friday the 911 audio and helicopter video of the January hostage/barricade situation in Herndon that ended when an officer shot and killed the suspect. [WTOP]

Satirical Musical Gets Good Review — “Urinetown: The Musical” has “ink-black comedy, boundless energy, a dream cast and a brilliant musical score,” a reviewer says. It is playing at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) through June 25. [DC Metro Theater Arts]

Ice Cream Social This Afternoon — Reston Association will host an ice cream social at 4:30 p.m. today at North Point Recreation Area (11515 North Shore Drive). [WebTrac]

File photo via Mark Majoros/RA

by Dave Emke — May 23, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

LeAnn Rimes Headlining Tysons Concert Series — Nine concerts are planned in June and July at The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center. Highlights include LeAnn Rimes (July 28) and James Arthur (June 22). [Tysons Corner Center]

SLHS Sports Teams Have Big Week — Boys tennis and boys soccer both have playoff matchups tonight, while varsity baseball and outdoor track and field have their regional events later this week. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

New Herndon Official to Start June 1 — Tammy L. Chastain has been hired as the town’s new deputy director of Public Works. [Town of Herndon]

Real Estate Professional Marks 40 YearsCarol Welsh marked the anniversary with Long & Foster’s Reston office last week. She is an active member of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. She is a lifetime member of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors’ Million Dollar Sales Club and Top Producers Club. She is also a member of the Founder’s Club of the Long & Foster Gold Team, and she is an accredited staging professional. [Long & Foster]

County Libraries Sharing Backpacks — The packs include a parking pass for Virginia State Parks, items to help kids explore the outdoors and much more. There are 32 available for loan from the county’s library branches. [Fairfax County]

by RestonNow.com — May 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office today issued a statement celebrating the announcement that Windward Consulting is expanding its headquarters in Herndon.

The business, which helps large organizations manage their data centers and networks, will invest $825,000 to expand its headquarters at 2291 Wood Oak Drive, creating 97 new jobs in the process. McAuliffe called this a success for Fairfax County and Virginia as a whole.

“Northern Virginia has long served as a catalyst for the booming IT sector, and Windward Consulting’s entrepreneurial success in Fairfax County is evidence that the industry continues to gain momentum,” the governor said. “We thank Windward for the addition of nearly 100 new, 21st century jobs and for being part of our ongoing efforts to diversify and build the new Virginia economy.”

The global consultancy has been in business, based in Herndon, since 1997. Sean McDermott, Windward’s founder and CEO, said the continued growth of the Dulles Technology Corridor has been instrumental in the company’s successes.

The job creation will be supported by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

According to its website, Windward was selected in 2001 by a member of the intelligence community to bring commercial best practices to the federal government. Since, they say, Windward has “grown a significant presence within the federal government and continues to provide innovative solutions to the Department of Defense, intelligence community and other civilian agencies.”

by Dave Emke — May 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

SLHS Students Help at ‘Senior’ Prom — Members of Interact (pictured) recently volunteered at the Senior Senior prom, an annual dance and lunch for senior citizens, and a favorite club activity. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Water Main Break Still Affecting Herndon Parkway — A water main break Monday afternoon on Herndon Parkway between Spring and Grove streets is still being patched this morning. The inner loop is open to one-way traffic; the outer loop remains closed. Water service restoration is underway and is expected to be completed later this morning. Drivers are advised to use alternate routes. [Town of Herndon/Facebook]

Lake Fairfax Picnic Areas Closed Weekdays — Several picnic areas at Lake Fairfax Park will not be available on weekdays through June 30 because of the ongoing stream restoration project at the park, which has been delayed by weather. Rental areas will remain available on weekends. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Public Schools

by Dave Emke — May 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm 13 Comments

As a going-out-of-business sale continues at Kmart in Herndon (494 Elden St.), the town’s mayor says there are big plans in the site’s future.

In a comment on Reston Now’s Facebook page, Mayor Lisa Merkel says the Kmart’s closing has been “coming for a while,” but that she has been in recent contact with the building’s owners and is optimistic about its future.

“They are going to upgrade the facade significantly and subdivide the very large space into several new businesses,” Merkel wrote. “I was mostly pleased with what they shared and gave some specific feedback that we are looking to elevate the status of that end of the center.”

Merkel said she could not share specifics about the new businesses coming in, as leases are still being negotiated.

Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Kmart owner Sears Holdings Corporation, said the store will remain open for customers into late July. He called the decision to close the store “difficult, but necessary.”

“We have been strategically and aggressively evaluating our store space and productivity, and have accelerated the closing of unprofitable stores as previously announced. We often hear from our members who are disappointed when we close a store, but our Shop Your Way membership platform, websites and mobile apps allow us to maintain these valued relationships long after a store closes its doors. As a result, we hope to retain a portion of the sales previously associated with this store by maintaining our relationships with the members who shopped this location.”

Kiefs also said customers can continue to shop at the company’s other area locations, and that employees who are eligible will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at those stores. The nearest remaining Kmarts will be in Springfield and Annandale, while Sears has stores at Dulles Town Center and Fair Oaks Mall.

The 84,000-square foot store was purchased in August by Florida-based real estate-investment firm Sterling Organization at a cost of $7 million. At the time, the firm’s CEO said “the real estate fundamentals of — and the demographics surrounding — this property are nothing short of exceptional.”

The rest of the shopping plaza, known as Herndon Centre, is owned by A.J. Dwoskin & Associates Inc.

by Dave Emke — May 12, 2017 at 11:30 am 24 Comments

Signs are going up this morning at Kmart (494 Elden St., Herndon) advertising a store-closing sale.

The 84,000-square foot store was purchased in August by Florida-based real estate-investment firm Sterling Organization at a cost of $7 million. At the time, the firm’s CEO said “the real estate fundamentals of — and the demographics surrounding — this property are nothing short of exceptional.”

The chain announced 150 store closures earlier this year; however, the Herndon location was not on that list.

A manager at the store Friday morning told Reston Now he was not authorized to provide further details about the situation.

by RestonNow.com — April 28, 2017 at 10:15 am 3 Comments

Food left cooking on a stove ended up causing a fire that has four people out of a home in Herndon.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units responded before 2 a.m. Thursday to a reported townhouse fire in the 800 block of Sycamore Court. When they arrived, they found smoke showing from the front of the three-story, end-unit house. The fire was found in the first-floor kitchen and quickly extinguished, fire officials say.

The three adults and one child who were in the home at the time of the fire all were able to get out after smelling something burning. One was transported to a hospital for evaluation, and Red Cross assistance is being provided.

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $25,000.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue offers the following safety tips to help avoid kitchen fires and other calamities:

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking. Long, loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains or paper at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

by Dave Emke — April 28, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Reston-Based Software Company Looking to Grow — Oracle is seeking new talent in the effort to outpace the competition in fields such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality. [Fairfax County EDA]

Crane Removal to Affect Toll Road Traffic — Eastbound traffic on the Dulles International Airport Access Highway will be detoured onto the Toll Road tonight through Monday morning as the tower crane at the future Herndon Metro station is disassembled and removed. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Town of Herndon Adopts $51M Budget — The budget, approved this week by the Herndon Town Council, features no tax rate increases. It also includes resources to support development of a first-class arts facility to act as an economic driver for the downtown. [Town of Herndon]

Civil War Stories at Frying Pan Park — The Meeting House at Frying Pan Farm Park (2739 West Ox Road, Herndon) served as a field hospital, encampment and picket post during the Civil War. From 1-3 p.m. Sunday, re-enactors, exhibits and a special guest speaker will share information about the lives of those soldiers. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

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 20, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

More Info Released on Herndon Tornado — After detailed analysis, the National Weather Service says a tornado that touched down in Herndon on April 6 was one of seven in the area during that storm. It is now estimated the tornado first came to ground near the Dulles Greene and Capstone apartment complexes in Herndon and lasted about five minutes. It downed numerous trees, including one that was thrown into the window of an apartment building. [National Weather Service]

Reston Islamic School Spotlighted by NPR — Al Fatih Academy (12300 Pinecrest Road) was the subject of a segment on today’s Morning Edition on NPR. The academy’s goal is “to cultivate and nurture a thriving American Muslim identity that balances religious, academic and cultural knowledge and imparts the importance of civic involvement and charitable work.” [NPR]

Local College Student Fighting Pollution — Reston’s Elizabeth Merin, a junior biosystems engineering major at Virginia Tech, is part of a group of students working to scrutinize emissions at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Blacksburg, as well as pollution in the New River Valley. The students have started a chapter of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, calling their group Citizens for Arsenal Accountability. [Roanoke Times]

Herndon Farmers Market Now Open, Rain and All — The opening day of the Herndon Farmers Market, which goes through 12:30 p.m. today, is on despite this morning’s rainy weather. It will take place each Thursday into November, in front of the caboose on Lynn Street. [Reston Now/Twitter]

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