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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Kageyama to Discuss ‘Love for Reston’ in September at CenterStage

Author Peter Kageyama dives into his love of Reston during a special event at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage in September.

Kageyama, the author of “For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Place,” will discuss how Reston exemplifies his ideal.

The event is set for Saturday, September 7 at 8 p.m.

Kayegama’s book explores the “mutual love affair between people and their places,” according to the book’s descriptions.

Here’s more about the book:

The mutual love affair between people and their place is one of the most powerful influences in our lives, yet rarely thought of in terms of a relationship. As cities begin thinking of themselves as engaged in a relationship with their citizens, and citizens begin to consider their emotional connections with their places, we open up new possibilities in community, social and economic development by including the most powerful of motivators–the human heart–in our toolkit of city-making. The book explores what makes cities lovable, what motivates ordinary citizens to do extraordinary things for their places and how some cities, such as New Orleans, Detroit, and Cleveland are using that energy to fill in the gaps that “official” city makers have left as resources have disappeared. Meet those amazing people who are truly “in love” with their cities and learn how they are key to the future development of our communities.”

Tickets are $15 for Reston residents and $20 for all others. The box office is open from 4-9 p.m. on Thursday, August 1 for residents and employees of business in Small District 5 to purchase tickets. Sales will open up to the public and online on Thursday, August 8 at 4 p.m.

Photo via Reston Community Center

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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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Fairfax County Police Investigating Mob Assault in Reston

Fairfax County police are investigating a mob assault in a residential Reston neighborhood by the Hidden Creek Country Club.

The incident occurred around 10:45 p.m. on Saturday (June 1) in the 1700 block of Torrey Pines Court.

Police said the victim heard loud knocks on the front door and saw a group of 15 men running away from the house. “The victim ran after the group when they turned around [and] assaulted the victim,” according to police.

“The group of men were described as black with white shirts and dark pants,” according to the police report.

The victim received minor injuries, police said.

Image via Google Maps

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After Firefighters Help with Delivery, Baby’s First Birthday Party Held at Fire Station

Happy birthday to 1-year-old Lauryn, who local firefighters and paramedics in Reston helped deliver last year.

Last year, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue members from Station 39 B-Shift in North Point received a call to help deliver a baby girl at a local home shortly before 11 p.m.

After the birth, the mother and baby were transported to an area hospital, and the paramedics and firefighters continued working for the rest of the night.

Fast forward one year later and the family of baby Lauryn reached out to the members from Station 39 to join in the birthday celebration.

The birthday bash included a “Happy First Birthday Lauryn” sign outside the fire station, two cakes with one of them shaped like a miniature fire truck, balloons and a photo shoot with Lauryn and mom by a fire truck.

“Cake, balloons and Lauryn’s big sister, who was a big help during the delivery, were all part of the celebration,” the fire department posted.

Photos via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue 

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Hotel coming to Reston Station — “Comstock Holdings Cos. Inc. has closed a franchise agreement with Marriott International Inc. to bring a Renaissance hotel to Reston Station… The hotel building, to be topped by 80 luxury condominium units, is expected to deliver in 2022 on a site bounded by Reston Station Boulevard, Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road. It is being designed by Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects.” [Washington Business Journal]

Crash caused lane closures — Commuters heading on Fairfax County Parkway by West Ox Road last night around 6 p.m. may have noticed a multi-car crash that closed two southbound lanes on the parkway for about half of an hour. All of the lanes opened up shortly before 7 p.m. [Fairfax County]

Reston makes “hottest up-and-coming” list — Reston was included in the Northern Virginia Magazine’s annual roundup of neighborhoods to keep an eye on in Northern Virginia. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Make dip dye scarves — Tonight from 7-9 p.m. at ArtSpace Herndon, you can learn how to make dye scarves and some basic Shibori style folding and binding methods. [ArtSpace Herndon]

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Something to Bark About: Fur Factory Celebrates 37 Years of Business in the New Tall Oaks Village

Since 1982 The Fur Factory has been grooming the Reston region’s canines.

Even Dawn Caicedo, the Reston resident who has owned the shop since 2005, can’t imagine how many dogs — and how much fur — have been shorn in the Tall Oaks Village Center shop, both in her previous location at the center and her new location in the recently remodeled retail building at 12054 North Shore Drive.

The number of satisfied clients — both human and otherwise — are legion, and the confidence in the groomers comes from the years of experience each has put into the craft. The groomer at the Fur Factory with the least amount of time in the trade has 83 dog years of beautifying just about any breed to their credit (that’s 15 “human” years).

The Fur Factory experience begins with a shampoo bath — oatmeal, medicated, hypoallergenic and others — before towel and blow drying (depending on the desired look). The finishing includes brushing, combing, de-shedding (when needed), nail trim and sanitary trims.

Others will want the full haircut, and the Fur Factory’s experienced staff of certified groomers is skilled in the standard look for all breeds, as well as happily following the styling from a photograph.

A community staple, The Fur Factory is located in Reston’s Tall Oaks development and is one of the most valued amenities of the neighborhood. The Fur Factory’s early hours (7:30 a.m., Tuesday to Friday; 8 a.m. Saturdays) accommodate many dog owners’ schedules.

Tall Oaks Village Center is undergoing an exciting transformation as Stanley Martin Homes plans a mix of residential developments that will include townhomes and condominiums, as well as a landscaped plaza which will provide a central community gathering place between the residential area and retail offerings.

Additionally, the recently renovated commercial and retail buildings offer several new and unoccupied professional office and retail suites that are available for lease from 1,290 to 5,430 square feet.

Located less than one mile from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, Tall Oaks Center is conveniently situated in North Reston, at the intersection of Wielhe Avenue and North Shore Drive.

For Tall Oaks Village Center office or retail space leasing information, call Ty Hausch at 703-272-2680 or send an email to [email protected]The Fur Factory is located at 12054 North Shore Drive, Suite 100D, in Reston. To schedule an appointment, call 703-437-7794 or send an email to [email protected].

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Musician Luke Brindley to Perform Friday for Deepwood Sessions

Luke Brindley will bring folk rock and acoustic guitar music to the Deepwood Sessions, a series of house concerts hosted in Reston, this Friday (March 8).

Based in Virginia, Brindley is a fingerstyle guitarist and singer-songwriter. He also runs with his brothers a music venue, bar and cafe in Vienna called Jammin Java.

He released the “Dream Songs EP” in 2018.

The 7 p.m. show asks attendees each for a $15 minimum donation. Each concert for the Deepwood Sessions has a suggested minimum donation, which goes to directly to the artist.

According to the website, the series hosts its acoustic and unplugged concerts featuring independent artists with a variety of styles and musical genres.

RSVP-ing in advance is strongly recommended.

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Mascot Books Shares Favorite Books by Local Authors

Looking for some reading suggestions? Mascot Books has some recommendations for books by local authors.

The full-service hybrid book publishing company (620 Herndon Parkway #320) started in 2003 with a self-published book about a collegiate mascot. Since then, it has published more than 2,500 fiction, nonfiction, children’s and cookbooks since then, according to its website.

Reston Now asked Mascot Books to share some favorite books about Reston or written by local authors. Here’s what the staff recommended, along with reasons for why they are worth reading.

“Ruby Foo and the Traveling Kitchen: Finding the Foo Identity” by Tiffany Foo

Description: Ruby Foo may seem like your middle schooler, but in the kitchen, she turns into a culinary superhero called the Fantastic Foo! When a mysterious photograph leads her out of her own kitchen and into her grandfather’s, she must use her culinary skill and courage to uncover some long-hidden secrets about her family’s storied past.

Why we love it: Part history, part culinary adventure (and including several kid-friendly recipes!), “Ruby Foo” is perfect for chefs of all ages — she is as smart as she is fearless and is a great role model for middle school-age kids. Tiffany Foo is a Herndon resident.

“Reston A to Z” by Watt Hamlett

Description: “Reston A to Z” takes young readers on a tour of America’s first modern planned community. Guided by Robert E. “Bob” Squirrel (reminiscent of Reston’s beloved founder, Robert E. Simon), readers will undoubtedly recognize the town’s many landmarks in the photos of the places, activities and nature that make Reston a treasure to families.

Why we love it: Reston was one of the first planned communities in the state, and “Reston A to Z” does a great job not just showing off the local sites, but also talking about the history of this great town. We particularly love the piece about the town center — it’s amazing to see how it’s changed! Hamlett is a Reston resident.

“Hoos in the Kitchen” by Melissa Palombi

Description: Inspired by the flourishing food scene and endless pride of the University of Virginia, “Hoos in the Kitchen” features more than sixty recipes from members of the UVA community. This collection is perfect for UVA fans everywhere, with recipes designed to incorporate Virginia-based ingredients to those of international origins.

Why we love it: Melissa grew up in Reston and moved to Charlottesville to work for the University of Virginia. Hoos in the Kitchen does a great job of showing the local culture and community through food. We’d love to see a “Reston Kitchen” cookbook one day, too! Palombi was raised in Reston.

Photos via Mascot Books

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UPDATED: Car Crash, Downed Pole Close Fox Mill Road at Lawyers Road

Updated at 8:45 a.m. — Fox Mill Road is now open, FCPD tweeted at 8:45 a.m.

Earlier: A car crash today (Feb. 14) has shut down Fox Mill Road at Lawyers Road.

Fairfax County Police tweeted that the closure is “due to a crash and pole down.”

A traffic alert from Fairfax County indicates that the crash happened shortly before 2:47 p.m.

There is no word yet on whether anyone has reported injuries.

Police advise people to avoid the area and find an alternative route.

Image via Google Map

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Planning Commission Suggests County Board Deny PRC Proposal

Fairfax County’s Planning Commission finally weighed in on a controversial zoning ordinance proposal for Reston by recommending that the county’s Board of Supervisors deny the specific proposal, yet take steps to resolve PRC issues with the use of a taskforce.

The zoning ordinance would increase the maximum allowed population per acre in the Planned Residential Community (PRC) district — Reston’s primary zoning district — from 13 persons to any number up to 15, along with allowing residential development at a density of up to 70 dwelling units per acre in certain areas.

Vice Chairman and At-Large Commissioner James Hart, the main person leading the proposal, gave a lengthy speech before the commission voted and approved his motions on the proposal. “We are close to the PRC cap, but the level of pushback we have received has confirmed to me it’s the wrong way to do this amendment,” Hart said. “We owe it to the citizens to try.”

Hart added that inflexibility around the PRC cap “is highly problematic.” His vision for resolving the PRC issue involves recoupling the planned number of village centers and the density cap.

The Planning Commission approved all of Hart’s recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, which include directing the board to:

  • deny the zoning ordinance proposal at this time
  • withdraw authorization
  • direct staff to do a Comprehensive Plan amendment
  • establish taskforce with representatives from the community and industry to work on recommending a plan amendment to the board and Planning Commission

If the Board of Supervisors follows the Planning Commission’s recommendations, Hart said he sees two options for future development once the cap is hit on PRC: if applications want to be zoned as PRC, the staff can ask for incremental increases to the PRC cap on a case-by-case review with analysis of each application or applications will zone out of PRC and will need to come in as similar categories — such as Planned Residential Mixed-Use (PRM).

“Either way, those applications can continue,” Hart said.

Hart also tried to tackle the controversy surrounding the proposal, saying that “an unusual amount of misinformation and confusion” from freelance experts helped fuel the concerns. “All of that antidevelopment frustration was focused on this particular amendment,” he said.

He took the time to debunk some of that misinformation he had heard, which included saying that the proposal would not increase the density for Reston overall. He also pushed back on criticisms that said there are no plans for infrastructure to support the proposed PRC changes, reminding locals that because Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, the process of securing infrastructure requires an ongoing basis. “It’s rude to claim that nothing is being done,” he said.

Hart said that he wants to see locals stay engaged in the land use process, which he argued keeps the process grounded in reality. He also thanked the citizen groups and individuals who testified at public hearings and have sent in comments on the proposal.

The PRC decisi0n was the last one the commission tackled before the meeting ended shortly before 9 p.m. with a round of applause from the audience.

Photo via Planning Commission

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Newly Started Colvin Run Stream Valley Restoration Expects Summer Completion

Stream restoration efforts are underway at Colvin Run Stream Valley at Wiehle South.

The Reston Association released a video on Tuesday (Feb. 5) detailing the project’s progress, which is expected to be finished by the summer.

Construction crews are working on small sections of the stream at a time as they use track equipment and various sizes of rocks to raise the bottom of the stream, according to the video. The rock is meant to reconnect the stream with the flood plain.

The Reston Association is working with the Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc., a consulting group that has designed and restored streams for Reston before. The Northern Virginia Stream Restoration Bank is funding the project.

Once the project is finished, the area will be stabilized with erosion netting and native plant seeds will be planted sometime in the fall, according to the video.

Until then, caution signs mark the walkable paths around the work site, which will only be closed during construction hours.

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Reston Historic Trust and Museum Shares Favorite Local Books

Several books focus on the history of the Reston and Herndon areas, and the Reston Historic Trust and Museum has some favorites to get you started.

The Reston Historic Trust, which operates the Reston Museum and Shop, was founded in 1997 as a community-based non-profit to keep Reston’s history alive. The museum debuted at Lake Anne Plaza in the late 1990s and offers exhibits and archives, walking tours, workshops and public events.

Reston Now asked the museum staff to share some favorite books about Reston or written by local authors. Here’s what the staff recommended, along with their reasons for why they are worth reading.

“In His Own Words” by Kristina Alcorn

Written by a Reston author and the vice-chair of our board, it is a wonderfully intimate look into the life of Reston’s founder Robert E. Simon, Jr. based on interviews the author conducted with him. It is truly a one-of-a-kind book and one of the best ways to learn about Reston’s founder.

The book costs $14.99 at the gift shop.

“Reston, Virginia” by the Reston Historic Trust & Museum

This book features archival artifacts from the Reston Historic Trust & Museum’s own museum collection to tell the story of Reston’s beginning. Seeing the pictures of the past are the perfect way to see and learn about Reston’s founding and evolution.

The book costs $18.99 at the gift shop.

“Reston’s African American Legacy” by Rev. LaVerne Gill

Gill, a Reston author, profiles 25 African-American Restonians who have made major contributions to the quality-of-life of Reston. It expertly highlights each person, making the reader feel as if they know the person themselves (and some readers might know them personally as many are active in the Reston community today). The book also allows the reader to understand the impact of their involvement in the Reston community.

The book costs $35 at the gift shop.

Photos via Reston Historic Trust and Museum and Amazon

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Traffic is Building as Snow is Falling in Reston

Update at 8:25 p.m. — Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed Wednesday.

Earlier: Traffic is already starting to back up as commuters head home early to beat expected icy roads from today’s rain and snow.

Traffic is heavy heading westbound on the Dulles Toll Road, according to Google Maps, and drivers should also expect scattered heavy traffic on the Reston Parkway and other primary roads around the area.

A Winter Weather Advisory is currently in effect. Forecasters are warning commuters to be aware of potential travel disruptions and allow for extra time getting back in the evening. Additional problems on the roads are possible Wednesday morning.

From the National Weather Service:

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT…

* WHAT…Snow, mixed with rain before 5 PM, will turn to all snow by 5 PM this afternoon, and continue through the evening rush before ending between 7 and 9 PM this evening. Total snowfall accumulation around one inch is expected.

* WHERE…Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, the District of Columbia and its southern and eastern suburbs.

* WHEN…Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until midnight EST tonight.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Temperatures will fall below freezing during the evening rush, causing the potential for wet or slushy surfaces to freeze.

Classes and activities at the Reston Community Center are canceled after 3 p.m. today, and RCC facilities are set to close by 5 p.m. The Reston Association offices also closed at 3 p.m.

Fairfax County public schools closed two hours early today.

Flakes started in the Reston area earlier this afternoon. As of 4 p.m., some local roads were becoming snow-covered.

 

While drivers may not be enjoying the weather right now, at least one furry local is.

Images via Google Maps and Virginia Department of Transportation

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