Morning Notes

Reston Contractor to Develop National COVID-19 Hotline — “Reston-based government services company Maximus has received a potential $951 million contract to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 national surge support and vaccine assistance hotline.” [Virginia Business]

Reston Farmers Market Opens to Crowds — Reston Farmers Market opened for the spring on Saturday (May 2) “to brisk business” at Lake Anne Village Center. Even with most COVID-19 health protocols still in place, at least 1,900 customers attended, up from 809 customers on the first day of the 2020 season, according to founder John Lovaas. [Patch]

Local Band Teacher Dies — Coates Elementary School Principal Jesse Kraft announced yesterday (Monday) that Kelsey Burch, the school’s fifth and sixth-grade band teacher, had died after a year-long battle with cancer. Before joining Coates four years go, she led the band program at Sunrise Valley Elementary School in Reston for a decade. Sunrise Valley will name its band room in her honor. [Coates Elementary]

Fairfax County Parks Open Registration for Summer Classes — Registration for summer classes, events, and programs from the Fairfax County Park Authority, including at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, begins today. Online registration is available, and spaces in each program are limited. [Friends of Frying Pan/Twitter]

Reston Hospital Named Among Top 100 in U.S. — “Reston Hospital Center has been named to the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list. This is the first time Reston Hospital Center has been recognized with this honor as one of the top performing community hospitals in the U.S.” [Reston Hospital Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Monday, Jan. 4

  • Equity Matters — Reston Community Center’s CenterStage will screen Harriet, a movie about Harriet Tubman. The show, which is free, begins at 10 a.m. Registration is required.

Tuesday, Jan. 5

  • Housing Discussion — The Herndon Town Council is hosting a discussion on housing policy tomorrow. The panel discussion, which begins at 10 a.m. online, will feature comments by a panel of three experts, including state Sen. Barbara Favola, state Sen. Jennifer Boysko, and Jeff Gore, a consultant who represents clients involved in housing issues. Anyone who wishes to participate can register online

Wednesday, Jan. 6

  • Reston Farmers Market — Enjoy fresh produce and farm favorites at the Reston Farmers Market, which is located at 11900 Lawyers Road.

Thursday, Jan. 7

  • Mathnasium Open House — The center’s directors will take part in an hour-long discussion on the program from 6-7 p.m. via Zoom.

Saturday, Jan. 9

  • Make a Bird Feeder — Learn how to make a bird feeder while learning about different kinds of birds at Lake Fairfax Park. The workshop takes place from 1-2 p.m.
  • Planning for a New Baby — Reston Hospital Center is hosting a virtual session from 10 a.m. to noon on how to prepare for your baby.

Sunday, Jan 10

  • Raptors Up Close — In this activity for all ages, residents will explore nature with naturalists at the Walker Nature Center from 2-3 p.m. Registration is required online.
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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Residents Enjoy Small Town Feel — Restonians interviewed by The Connection said that they love the small town, community connection in Reston. The interviews were conducted at the Reston Farmers Market.  [The Connection]

Local Resident Charged in Connection with AssaultOmar Alexander Ayala Molina, 42, of Herndon was charged with aggravated assault, robbery, and gang participation in connection with the assault of two victims. The incident happened on Sept. 5 on the 1100 block of Elden Street. [Town of Herndon]

Herndon Man Accused of DUI in Reston Crash — “Fairfax County Police arrested a Herndon man Monday night in connection with a single-vehicle crash in Reston, according to 2nd Lt. Erica Webb of FCPD’s Public Affairs Bureau. Public safety personnel responded around 8:27 p.m., for the report of a crash near the intersection of Reston Avenue and Wiehle Avenue.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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COVID-19 restrictions have started to ease up around Fairfax County today (Friday).

Now that the county is joining the first phase of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan, here’s what people who live and work around the Reston area need to know about county-operated facilities.

Parks and Recreation 

Parks and parking lots controlled by the Fairfax County Park Authority are open with the exception of dog parks, visitor centers, playgrounds and public restrooms, according to the website.

Athletic fields will officially open for unpermitted groups of 10 or less today under phase one of plans to reopen the county.

Both publicly and privately run pools are currently not allowed to open yet, the website said, adding that certain pools might open for lap swimming during phase one. Pools run by the Park Authority will not open at all this summer.

At schools in Fairfax County, both the tracks and tennis courts have been reopened but playgrounds, basketball courts and athletic fields will remain closed for the time being, according to the website.

Fairfax County summer camps have already been canceled, according to a press release.

For people indoor entering public spaces, the Virginia Department of Public Health announced that they are required to wear a mask or protective face covering. This order will go into effect on Friday (May 29) but the Centers for Diseases Control have suggested for weeks that people cover their mouths and noses to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Anyone with additional questions can check out the website or email staff members from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets will look different this year with the implementation of preorder options and social distancing guidelines.

Reston Farmers Markets opened earlier this month with new measures to guard against COVID-19 such as people being able to prepay and pick up groceries, the website said. The Reston Farmers Markets are held every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.

In Herndon, it is still unclear when the market will reopen for the year, according to the website.

Libraries

All Fairfax County Public Library branches will be closed until further notice, according to the website — but this doesn’t mean that libraries aren’t offering online resources for patrons.

Anyone with a library card can check out digital resources such as e-books, audio files, online magazines and videos.

People can also pick up a new hobby like learning a new language, redesign their home using tips from the library and even learn about family heritage, according to the website.

Starting Monday, patrons can take advantage of some contactless services — including picking up holds — throughout the county.

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Virginia Reopening Starts Tomorrow — Although Northern Virginia will not reopen or another two weeks, the rest of Virginia will start the first reopening phase on Friday. Gatherings of more than 10 people remain banned and telework is encouraged when feasible. [Reston Patch]

Colvin Run Mill Churns Out New Products — “The 200-year-old Colvin Run Mill is set to begin selling its stone-ground products at the Reston Farmers Market. Fairfax County’s historic mill will be offering bags of cornmeal, white grits and soft, locally grown wheat flour that are produced using the technology of ages past. The mill is currently accepting phone orders for its products Sundays through Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.” [Fairfax County Government]

Summer Entertainment Series Canceled — The summer series by the Fairfax County Park Authority will be canceled through June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Park Authority and Park Foundation will be reaching out to performers and generous local sponsors as the park system plans for a phased reopening of the park system and evaluates all options to continue this series later this summer,” according to FCPA. [Fairfax County Government]

High Honors for Local Volunteer Serve Award Community Champion — “William “Bill” Farrell has been selected as the 2020 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Award Community Champion representing the Hunter Mill District. Each year, the Board of Supervisors selects an individual to be recognized for their commitment to promoting volunteerism within their community while addressing specific needs. For the past five years, Bill has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shepherd’s Center.” [Volunteer Fairfax]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Reston Company Emerges from Bankruptcy — Reston-based IT infrastructure company Internal Corp. has emerged from bankruptcy protection with a new CEO and $300 million in liquidity. The company restructured its finances and appointed its former president and chief financial officer, Michael Sicoli, to CEO. [Virginia Business]

Recap of Reston Farmers Market Opening — The Reston Farmers Market opened for the 2020 season over the weekend. Market managers spread out tents to facilitate social distancing and special rules were also in effect. [Reston Connection]

A Drive-by Celebration of Mother’s Day — The Herndon Harbor Adult Day Health Care Center organized a drive-by parade to distribute personalized Mother’s Day gifts and arts supplies. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Association Board to Meet Today — The board will select new positions, including those for newly elected members. Forms for the organization’s new conflict of interest policy will also be distributed at the meeting. [Reston Association]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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As the Reston Farmers Market prepares to open for the season on Saturday (May 9), vendors are making adjustments for ease and coronavirus prevention.

People will now be able to preorder food and goods, which will then be available for express pickup at the market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon, according to Fairfax County’s website.

To order, people can select from vendors on Fairfax County’s website, preview products offered by each vendor and proceed to make a reservation online on the individual vendor’s website.

When picking up items at the market, people should follow the one-way path to the vendor and give their name, according to the website.

Depending on the vendor, people can either prepay or pay when they collect the items in person.

Vendors will sell items including baked goods, fresh meat and produce, dairy products, ready-made food, pickled items and snacks, according to their websites.

Here’s a complete list of the vendors:

Photo via Reston Farmers Market/Facebook 

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Reston Farmers Marke will open this weekend with new social distancing rules in place at Lake Anne Plaza.

But it may be a while before other farmers markets in the county, including the Herndon Farmers Market, welcome customers.

The Fairfax County Park Authority says that it will determine when and if it is safe to open other markets after it evaluates operations, staffing needs, volunteer resources and other conditions.

The Reston Farmers Market kicked off the 2020 season on May 9 and will continue to take place on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. The Mount Vernon/McCutcheon Farmers Market is set to begin on Wednesday, May 13 while the Burke Farmers Market is set to begin on Saturday, May 16.

Market shoppers should comply with safety guidelines and social distancing orders, including limiting no more than two family members in the market, wearing a face covering, and avoiding touching surfaces. No pets are allowed.

Photo via Photo by Anne Preble/Unsplash

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Local residents looking to get their farmers market fix and support small businesses can do so beginning next month.

Reston Farmers Market will return to the parking lot at Lake Anne Village Center on May 9 from 8 a.m. to noon. The Fairfax County Park Authority approved the opening of the market this week.

Organizers say the market will have a very different look and feel due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Layout stands will be spread out in order to practice social distancing at the parking lot (1609 Washington Plaza-W).

The following new rules are expected to be implemented:

  • Do not enter if sick
  • Keep at least six feet apart from other people
  • Everyone should wear a face mask or other facial covering
  • No pets are allowed
  • One customer at a stall at a time
  • Do not touch products and surfaces. Vendors should manage bag purchases
  • No on-site eating of purchases or sampling
  • Payment by credit or debit card preferred
  • Do not linger. Try to complete shopping as quickly as possible
  • Leave by designated exits only

“It will be important that all customers adhere to them in order to assure that the Reston Farmers Market be permitted to stay open to serve you and to protect the health and safety of everyone in the market,” said John Lovaas, co-market manager.

Opening dates for other farmers market in Fairfax County have not been determined, but are expected soon.

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After deliberation from Fairfax County officials, the fate of farmers markets around Reston and Herndon is still undecided.

Many farmers markets were expected to open within the next few weeks but were indefinitely delayed because of safety concerns over COVID-19, according to Fairfax County’s website.

Though this decision will likely negatively affect local vendors who sell goods at these markets, it is unclear what the long-term economic impact might be.

People who still want to support vendors in this time of crisis can check out places like Sterling-based Baguette Republic, which allows customers to order freshly baked goods online. Customers can score six personal size ciabatta rolls for $6, according to the website.

Ashburn-based Roots to Rise is another local food producer that offers pickup at several locations. Customers can order fresh juices, breakfast and lunch, the website said.

Fairfax County Chairman Jeff McKay issued a statement today (April 14) during a Twitter Q&A saying that county staffers are trying to come up with a configuration that allows people to shop while still practicing the six-foot social distancing requirements.

Photo via Anne Preble/Unsplash

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Spring is around the corner and farmers markets around the are preparing to open for the season — offering visitors an array of fresh vegetables, fruits, baked goods and other locally sourced commodities.

Reston Now rounded up a list of markets in the area so shoppers can plan ahead.

The Reston Farmers Market will open for visitors next month, on April 26, according to the Fairfax County website, which added the market will take place Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon at 1609 Washington Plaza N.

For those who drive, the web page said parking will be available along North Shore Drive. A list of vendors from previous years can be found online.

Community Foodworks in Reston, which takes place at St. Johns Neuman Catholic Church (11900 Lawyers Road) is part of a larger network of markets around NoVA, which includes a location in Tysons. The Reston location set to open on April 17 and run through the end of November on Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m., the website said.

Shoppers can expect roughly 20 various local vendors to check out, each of which offers things ranging from dog treats to fresh pastries, according to the market’s website.

The Herndon Farmers Market will make its debut this year on April 23. It will be open every Thursday from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at 765 Lynn Street until Nov. 5, according to Fairfax County’s website.

The Reston Farm Market (10800 Baron Cameron Ave) isn’t a traditional farmers market– but is instead a seasonal family-owned and operated business that offers things similar to what someone would expect to find at a weekly farmers market.

The Weinstein family, who owns the market, announced on their website that it will open for the 2020 season this upcoming Monday (March 16).The daily hours of operation will be 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Photo via  Anne Preble/Unsplash

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Dania Abimourched’s baking business bloomed out of the Reston Farmers Market in December 2018 when the Reston resident began selling granola bites and other sweets.

A little over two years after her launch,, who has lived in Reston for more than 30 years, is opening a new location for her business, “Dano’s Granola,” in Chantilly.

An open house to celebrate the opening is set for Feb. 8 and will include the chance to try new products and tips on how to use granola in different recipes.

A $5 registration fee will be donated to the charity No Kid Hungry, a DC-based nonprofit organization.

Photo via Dania Abimourched

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The trio behind Reston Farmers Market was awarded for more than 20 years of community work. The managers received the Elly Doyle Park Service Award from the Fairfax County Park Authority.

From a program that gives dollars for low-income families to an initiative to reduce plastic waste, the managers have put on the market on Saturday mornings from April through December.

John Lovaas has managed the market for 22 years. His wife Fran Lovaas joined him after her retirement 16 years ago and Keith Strange joined the initiative a decade later.

Northern Virginia magazine featured their efforts in a recent article:

“Community service is probably the number one thing that sets them apart for this award,” says Mary Olien, site operations manager of the Fairfax County Park Authority. “They know the farmers and vendors very well, so they can promote the products in an honest way. They are highly respected, which makes for a very fun and organized market.” 

The market managers have worked with local nonprofit Cornerstones since 2012 to enable low-income families to use their SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at the Reston Farmers Market. Plus, after all the shoppers have cleared out, vendors gather all of the untouched produce together and bring it to local shelters, decreasing food waste.

The managers partnered with Clean Fairfax to decrease plastic use by encouraging the use of reusable mesh bags. So far, five vendors have joined the sustainability initiative thus far.

FCPA established the Elly Doyle Park Service Award in 1988 to recognize the service of former ParkAuthority Board Chairman and member Ellamae Doyle. The award publicly recognizes a volunteer or group of volunteers for outstanding contributions to county parks.

Photo by John Lovaas

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New Pop-Ups at Reston Farmers Market — The market, which is held on Wednesdays between 3-7 p.m. through Nov. 27, will feature Bon Becca and It’s Baking Day, two pop-up businesses. Mike Henry will also join the market to play some tunes. The market takes place at St. John Neumann Church. [Reston Farmers Market]

Energy Surge Causes Minor Fire — Local fire and rescue crews put out a small building fire at the 1800 block of Samuel Morse Drive. No injuries were reported. Lightning reportedly struck a power transformer next to the building, leading to an energy surge. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Fractal Industries Breaks New Ground  A whole new ballgame is beginning for Reston-based Fractal Industries. The analytics and insurance software provider today announced it closed its Series A funding round totaling $78.6 million, led by Cannae Holdings and Motive Partners. Coinciding with the fresh round, the company changed its name to QOMPLX. The tech firm will use the capital to expand its headcount – currently at about 100 – and accelerate growth.” [American Inno]

Photo submitted by Christian Bolus

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Readers of Virginia Living magazine named the Reston Farmers Market the best farmers market in Northern Virginia.

The selection was made from the magazine’s annual readers’ survey in January and also covered categories like best in arts, culture and entertainment; living and recreation; shopping; services; and food and drink.

The market, which is operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority, is open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays through Dec. 7 at Lake Anne Village Center. It is one of 10 producer-only farmers markets run by FCPA.

The magazine wrote the following about the market:

 “Market managers John and Fran Lovaas and Keith Strange manage the volunteers who keep the Fairfax County farmers’ market going. All products are strictly producer-only; vendors may only sell what they raise or make from scratch. These truly local vendors travel an average of just 50 miles to the market.”

Photo by John Lovaas

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