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Thursday Morning Notes

Take note, Metro users — Two summer capital improvement projects will disrupt service on the Red, Orange, Blue and Silver lines. During a 10-day period, riders are encouraged to use Metro only if absolutely necessary. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

If you have Verizon — An outage is affecting 911 and ten-digit dialing. County residents should text 911 from a Verizon phone as an alternate. [Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department]

Savor the flavor — A local news outlet offers a recap of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of Reston event, the largest outdoor food festival in the area. [The Connection]

And then savor this flavor — Reston Association will host a wine tasting at the Lake House on Saturday from 3:30-5 p.m. [Reston Association]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Tuesday Morning Notes

First Look: Wegmans — Wegmans is coming to Brookfield Properties’ four million-square-foot redevelopment of the 36-acre Reston Crescent site. In a recently submitted proposed to Fairfax County, The first new building will feature an urban-style Wegmans resting underneath 380 apartment units. [Washington Business Journal]

Dump the pump — Local officials want drivers to dump the pump and hop onto public transit on Thursday. Are you up for the challenge? [Fairfax County Government]

Artificial intelligence 2.0 — “NCI Inc. is pushing to bring more artificial intelligence to government customers to help them boost efficiency and save money. The Reston contractor is starting to sell Shai, or Scaling Humans with Artificial Intelligence.” [Washington Business Journal]

Ken Plum fundraiser — The state delegate is raising money for his campaign. A breakfast-style fundraiser is slated for tomorrow with tickets ranging from $35 to $1,000 each. [Ken Plum]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Delays Expected at Entrance of Wiehle-Reston East Garage

Commuters using the Wiehle-Reston East garage should expect delays this week.

Construction equipment is being delivered to the site from today through Friday (June 22), causing delays of up to 10 minutes.

Delays are only expected to impact the entrance and exit of the Wiehle-Reston East Park & Ride garage.

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Monday Morning Notes

Greats Falls and Reston soccer merge — “The Reston Soccer Association and Great Falls Soccer Club merged in March of this year, combining to form one club of around 2,600 players. The merger has been a subject of discussion for years now, but only recently came to fruition after careful coordination between members of the Reston and Great Falls Boards of Directors.” [The Connection]

Be wary when going outside today — An air quality alert has been issued for today. The heat index could climb into the high 90s or even the low 100s. [National Weather Service]

Herndon’s high hopes for Metro — “The town is preparing for an unprecedented amount of high-density development around the Silver Line’s new Herndon Metro station slated to open in 2020.” [Washington Business Journal]

Nearby: Fireworks and family fun — “Lake Fairfax Park will host its annual fireworks show on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Rain date July 1, 2018). Come to the park early and spend the day. The park opens at 7 a.m.” [Fairfax County Government]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Track Work to Cause Delays on the Silver, Orange and Blue Lines This Weekend

Build some extra time into your plans if you’re planning to take the Orange, Silver or Blue line this weekend.

Trains on all three lines will travel 24 miles apart. Silver Line trains will run only between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston, Blue Line trains will single track between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery and Orange line trains will single track between Foggy Bottom and Arlington Cemetery.

The service changes are necessary in order to allow crews to install cables and communications equipment on the Blue and Orange lines, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Authority.

Customers should use Orange and Blue lines to complete their trip. At Ballston, customers should transfer between Silver and Orange line trains on the same platform.

Photo by Mike Heffner

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Friday Morning Notes

Neuro-witchcraft —  “A judge on Thursday appointed two brain experts to evaluate a man facing the death penalty in the slaying of a teenage Muslim girl last year, despite the objections of a prosecutor who derided the requests as “neuro-witchcraft.” Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows agreed to the appointments of a neuropsychologist and neurotoxicologist to evaluate Darwin Martinez-Torres, 23, of Sterling, who faces charges including capital murder and rape in the June killing of Nabra Hassanen of Reston.” [WTOP]

More Metro inspections — New federal inspections find old Metro problems still persist, including several “code black” track conditions. [The Washington Post]

Stateside: On the front lines — Nurses are on the front lines in battling the opioid epidemic. One nurse says most of her patients are homeless. [The Connection]

Photo by Ressa Blair

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Water-logged tunnels found in all Metro lines— “While standing water, clogged drains, debris around cables and tunnel leaks were found on all Metro lines, Federal Transit Administration inspectors found the most significant problems on the Red Line, according to three months of newly released inspection reports.” [WTOP]

Newly surfaced interview with Bob Simon — Sam Moyer interviewed Reston founder Bob Simon when Moyer was nine. Now 27, Moyer reflects on the interview. [Fairfax County Times]

No golfing around — Rescue Reston, a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving Reston’s open space, provides an update on efforts to protect Hidden Creek Country Club. [Rescue Reston]

Happening nearby: Nine-year-old boy dies in school accident — “FCPD officers say a 9-year-old boy has died after an accident at Franconia Elementary School on May 19. The boy, who was in the School Age Child Care (SACC) program at his school on Beulah Road, was in the gym at about 4:45.  The child, Wesley Lipicky, and a teacher, both simultaneously pressed a button to open a large, motorized room partition that splits in the middle.” [Fairfax County Times]

Photo by Ralph Tartaglione

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Federal Government Joins Whistleblower’s Lawsuit Over Faulty Concrete in Silver Line Project

The Justice Department and the Virginia attorney general’s office are joining a whistleblower’s lawsuit that accuses a subcontractor of intentionally using defective concrete for the $2.7 billion Silver Line project.

In 2016, Nathan Davidheiser, the whistleblower, filed the lawsuit against Universal Concrete Products Corp., alleging the company urged him to falsify records when concrete failed quality testing. Results showed concrete was prone to cracking and water erosion, according to the lawsuit.

The documents in the case, which include text messages ordering falsification of data, were unsealed Wednesday.

“Make something up and make sure it’s a good number,” one supervisor said, according to the lawsuit.

Davidheiser worked as a lab technician for Universal Concrete, which has a contract for the Silver Line project worth $4 million, according to the lawsuit.

Last month, the Silver Line project came under fire after it was revealed that major concrete issues in thousands of locations. Metro officials said they plan to coat panels every decade to boost their durability, an added cost that would be shouldered by the contractor.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Expect Long Rides On Metro This Weekend

Metro rail service will be interrupted by single tracking and rail readjustment maintenance work this weekend.

Expect Orange and Silver Line Metro trains to operate approximately every 24 minutes, according to WMATA.

Silver Line trains, however, will only operate between Wiehle Reston East and Ballston-MU Metro stations. Anyone trying to travel further along the line should transfer to the Orange or Blue lines.

However, the Orange and Blue lines will both be single tracking between Eastern Market and Stadium Armory Metro stations for maintenance.

File photo

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Friday Morning Notes

You don’t want to use Metro, anyway — Sign up for the Bike To Work Day event closest to your place of business. [Reston Bike Club]

Some like it hot  According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this summer is going to be a scorcher. [Patch]

Bae (systems) wants to move  Aerospace company BAE Systems is reportedly looking to consolidate offices. They’ve currently got one office in Reston. [Washington Business Journal]

Spooked yet? — South Lakes High School will present a performance on “Phantom” today through May 5. Tickets are available online. [SLHS]

Flickr pool photo via vantagehill

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This Week: Lane Closures at the Intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive

The right lane of Reston Parkway at the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive will be closed for parts of the week.

Dulles Corridor Metrorail crews will complete drill testing related to the traffic signal.

Closures will remain in effect today (April 23) through Thursday (April 26) from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Friday (April 27) from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Drivers should pay attention to all signage and traffic barriers, as large, slow vehicles may exit and enter the highway at various times throughout the week.

Map via Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project

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Some Metro Users Scramble for Parking Space at the Wiehle-Reston East Garage

Some Metro users say the Wiehle-Reston East garage is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. Limited spaces are available during weekday morning hours as construction continues in the area.

Beginning at 9 a.m., few non-reserved parking spots are available in the 2,300-space garage, Metro users said. The garage (11389 Reston Station Boulevard) includes reserved spaces, which open up to the public at 10 a.m. if they are unused.

Garage users said some drivers park their cars in reserved spots not assigned to them due to the challenge of finding space. Jude J. said police often issue tickets to those individuals ten minutes before the parking space opens up to the public.

“You’re lucky if when you enter the ‘lot full’ light is on, otherwise you’re stuck in a dangerous situation with cars going every direction trying to find a spot,” said Jude. She has been commuting for past year and a half from Leesburg to Washington D.C..

County and transit officials pointed to several possible explanations for the scramble for space. County data indicate the average paid utilization rate in March was 88 percent. The rate for reserved parking is $65 a month and $4.95 on weekdays, except Thursday when the rate is $3.

Robin Geiger, head of communications for the Fairfax County Department of Communications said temporary construction in the garage may explain why spaces are limited. Construction is expected to end next month, Geiger said.

In response to space constraints, the county is promoting other alternatives like the Reston South Park and Ride, as well as Fairfax Connector Routes 553, 557, 559 or 585 to Wiehle.

Comstock, the developer behind Reston Station which sits above the garage, built the garage through a public-private partnership with Fairfax County. The county retains garage ownership while the Washington Metropolitan Area Authority operates the facility.

Maggie Parker, a spokesperson for Comstock, said space may also be limited due to “increased activity” with events like the cherry blossoms in the District. WMATA indicated they have seen an increase in parking demand as a result.

Signs in the garage are programmed to display “lot full” when 15 spaces or less are available.

Parker also said it is possible that people are not driving down far enough into the garage, especially three levels down in the ParkX parking area.

The situation has some hoping for other parking alternatives, especially as summer swings in and the recent opening of restaurants like Founding Farmers and Sweet Leaf attracts more customers.

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Friday Morning Notes

No rush for rush hour service — “Metro plans to stick with rush-hour service cuts implemented last summer for years to come, an update to the rail fleet plan to be presented to the Metro Board Thursday suggests.” [WTOP]

A life line — Coffee pod maker Keurig Green Mountain is partnering with Reston-based LifeFuels to increase sales of its high-tech, battery-operated water bottles. [WTOP]

In it for the ride — Young adults ages 10 and up with special needs get a tour of Frying Pan Farm Park Today, as well as a wagon ride and a chance for some social dancing. [Fairfax County Government]

In school sports — South Lakes High School JV Boys Soccer and Girls Soccer teams secured wins over Herndon High School yesterday. [South Lakes Athletics]

Photo by Jami Ojala

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Wednesday Morning Notes

A bedroom community awakens — A look at how younger people are leaving cities and settling in communities like Reston. [U.S. News & World Report]

For job seekers — Reston Association has officially posted a job listing as it continues to search for a new CEO after Cate Fulkerson’s sudden departure from the position this year. [Association Career]

So[lar] awesome — Virginia’s capacity to generate solar electricity is expected to triple over the next year. Can the Commonwealth handle that power? [WTOP]

Going mobile — Joining the rest of the digital world, Metro plans to enable customers to pay for trips by using a mobile device next year. Of course, there isn’t an app for that (yet). [WMATA]

$20 million for Expel — The cybersecurity startup based in Herndon has raised the funds led by a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Funds will fuel the company’s product development and go-to market efforts.  [Washington Business Journal]

Photo by Lauren Pinkston

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Friday Morning Notes

Three hours to get to work — Thursday’s morning commute was complicated for some Northern Virginia residents. Congestion brought the toll on I-66 inside the beltway to $47. [The Washington Post]

Register for bike to work day — “Join more than 500 local commuters for a celebration of bicycling as a clean, fun and healthy way to get to work by participating in the Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 18 from 6:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.” [Reston Association]

Planting a beer garden — Herndon-based Aslin Beer Co. has opened a beer garden just outside of Nationals Park just in time for the Nationals home opener. [WTOP]

A reset in Reston — Fairfax County zoning officials won’t back off from commitments already made, despite pressure to allow fewer homes in Reston. [Greater Greater Washington]

Work from Lake Anne Brew House — The brew house is offering special deals at its first “work from the brew house” event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. [Lake Anne Brew House]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

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