What to Know About the Delta Variant — The Fairfax County Health Department issued a blog post yesterday (Thursday) answering common questions about the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus. The department says evidence suggests fully vaccinated people can spread the variant to others, and a small number have gotten sick, but the COVID-19 vaccines remain overwhelmingly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. [FCHD]
Metro Police Chief to Retire — Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik Jr. will retire on Sept. 1, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in an internal memo sent to employees yesterday. Assistant Chief Michael Anzallo will serve as interim police chief for the transit agency, which has faced recent scrutiny over its use of force and reported failure to investigate thousands of crimes, including armed robberies and sexual assaults. [DCist]
Volunteer Fairfax Seeks PPE Donations — The nonprofit Volunteer Fairfax hopes to collect 65,000 cloth masks, particularly children-sized ones, as well as face shields, cleaning supplies, and other equipment to support the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations can be dropped off at Fairfax County police stations, and the group accepts monetary donations online. [Patch]
New Exhibit Opens at Reston Art Gallery and Studios — The show “At Water’s Edge” by painter Sandra Dovberg is now open for public viewing through August on weekends at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (11400 Washington Plaza West) by the lakeside “ART” sign at historic Lake Anne Plaza. Highlighted by jellyfish wall hangings, the exhibit focuses on the meeting of land and water and joins work on display from seven other artists in the cooperative. [RAGS]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Hot Water Issues Return to Lake Anne Condos — “Ongoing lack of hot water is an issue again for nearly all condominium owners at the 27-unit, mixed-use Quayside building located at Lake Anne Village Center in Reston. Frustrated condo owners fear another four-month struggle, similar to Quayside’s first no-hot-water experience.” [Connection Newspapers]
Application for Development Near Herndon Border Rejected — The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted on June 15 to deny a rezoning application for a proposed housing development on a parcel along the W&OD Trail near the Fairfax County border and the historic Oak Grove Baptist Church. The rejection came after the applicant cut back on its proffers, including plans for an archaelogical survey and a commemorative sign. [Loudoun Now]
New Bicycle Racks Installed at Reston Town Center — The company Bikeep has installed new bicycle racks around Reston Town Center. With space available for five to nine bicycles at each station, the racks have no time limit or cost and are intended for short-term visitor parking, though the company plans to install lockers this summer “to provide long term parking for employees or more secure parking for visitors.” [Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling]
Longtime Herndon Teacher Retires — “Ann Godden moved to Herndon from Arlington more than 33 years ago and has been a staple part of the Herndon Elementary School community ever since…Godden is thankful for the school where she taught, and all four of her children ended up going to that school as well.” [Fairfax County Times]
Multicultural Festival Deadline Extended — “Calling all Vendors and Entertainers! Celebrate your roots with us at the 2021 Reston Multicultural Festival at Lake Anne Plaza on Sept. 25. The application deadline has been extended to June 25.” [Reston Community Center/Twitter]
Reston Association is honoring several employees for reaching career milestones and recognizing others as they leave the organization.
In a release from earlier today, RA recognized mechanic Dale Wilson for 20 years of service with the association.
Lily Melgar, a financial services supervisor, Sandy Behrs, a senior administrative assistant, and Ashleigh Soloff, the events supervisor, were also recognized for reaching 25 years of service respectively.
Several RA staff are also leaving the organization, including Dave Schumaker who has been with RA for nearly seven years as a construction supervisor.
Bret Nelson, also a construction supervisor, is leaving as well. RA described him as “one the of the most skilled craftsmen to ever work for RA’s Central Service facility.”
Claudia Thompson-Deahl, RA’s senior advisor on environmental resources, has also left the organization. She was instrumental in getting Reston to be recognized as a Tree City and an international Biophilic City.
Work is now underway on the $12 million renovation for the Hunters Woods Fellowship House in Reston.
The groundbreaking took place on Thursday (Feb. 27) for construction on the building (2231 Colts Neck Road), which serves as low-income housing for more than 300 seniors, according to a press release. All of the residents have a yearly income of roughly $12,000.
Fellowship Square Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and other services in the area, have several planned changes to update the 225-unit facility.
The project will include new flooring, finishes and lighting; an update to a game room; a new lobby; updated landscaping and exterior; improvement of energy efficiency; and other features to help battle resident loneliness, the press release said.
“Here in Northern Virginia, we have nowhere near the level of housing for low-income seniors that we need, and this trend will only grow worse with the aging of baby-boomers and expanding redevelopment projects that drive prices up,” Christy Zeitz, the CEO of Fellowship Square said.
Renovations are expected to be completed in 2022 and will take 18 months, according to the press release, which added that this is Fellowship Square’s second “major” project since it was built in 1979.
Photo via Fellowship Square/Facebook
(Updated at 14:25) Almost two years after its ceremonial groundbreaking, the Hunters Woods Retirement Community at 2222 Colts Neck Road in Reston is planning on opening in two months.
According to an employee at Hunters Woods, the first residents will be moving in end of May.
The $72 million project will add 210 housing units. Of those, 91 will be for independent living, 80 will be for assisted living and the remaining units will be a mix of memory care and continuing care.
The new complex will also bring 200 new jobs to Reston, mostly in hospitality and resident wellness fields.
In addition to housing, the Hunters Woods Retirement Community will include multiple dining venues, resident gardens, several fitness centers, an art gallery and a movie theater.
Photo via Facebook
After two years on the force, Leon recently retired from his police dog duties at the Herndon Police Department.
The 4-year-old German Shepherd was diagnosed with advanced stages of an undetermined form of cancer, a spokeswoman for the Town of Herndon told Reston Now.
Leon graduated from the Fairfax County K9 School in late December 2016. He was trained in tracking and narcotics detection.
Officer Trent Ashman, Leon’s handler and partner, told Reston Now that Leon has been deployed to the field 125 times since his 2016 graduation. Leon helped police discover and seize narcotics and weapons 49 different times, he added.
During his time at the police department, Leon aided with nine criminal apprehensions, Ashman said.
A highlight was when Leon tracked and found two suspects in a stolen vehicle case who were hiding in a creek miles away. “The stolen gun used in the crime was also located approximately 20 yards away from where the suspects were taken into custody,” Ashman said.
Leon officially retired on Feb. 22. “He will remain comfortably at home surrounded by his family,” the Herndon Police Department tweeted. “Thank you for your service, Leon. You’re a good boy.”
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the retirement of #K9 Leon for medical reasons. He will remain comfortably at home surrounded by his family, including his handler and partner, PFC Ashman. Thank you for your service, Leon. You're a good boy. #herndonpd pic.twitter.com/yVt9mqsqPt
— Herndon Police (@HerndonPolice) March 4, 2019
Photos via Herndon Police Department
A senior living community at Hunters Woods will kick off next week the first of three job fairs for 200 jobs ahead of its opening this year.
Currently under construction near the Hunters Woods Village Center, Hunters Woods at Trails Edge (2222 Colts Neck Road) is on track for its spring opening, Reston Now previously reported.
The IntegraCare facility will have 210 senior-living units — including 91 independent living units, 80 for assisted living, 24 for memory care and 15 for special needs. A temporary office and showroom opened last year at the Hunters Woods Shopping Center (2254B Colts Neck Road) to provide more information.
The jobs range from working with the hospitality to maintenance teams, according to a press release.
Positions are open in the following fields:
- Resident Wellness: LPN supervisor, medication associate, resident wellness associate
- Dining Experience: chef, associate, server, porter
- Hospitality: lead associate, associate, executive associate, laundry associate
- LifeStages (Activities): life styles associate, transportation associate
- Maintenance: painting and maintenance associate, safety and maintenance associate
The job fairs will take place:
- Tuesday, Feb. 26: 1-6:30 p.m. at the showroom
- Thursday, March 7: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the NOVA Medical Education Campus in Springfield
- Saturday, March 16: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the showroom
The retirement community will include multiple dining venues, resident gardens, several fitness centers, a juried art gallery and a movie theater, according to the press release.
Rendering by Moseley Architects
The announcement came shortly after 11:30 a.m. during the Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Her planned retirement adds to list of supervisors who have also said they are leaving.
Hudgins, who is nearing the end of her fifth term, was first elected to the board in 1999.
Her colleagues on the board took to Twitter shortly after the announcement to share the news and praise her work.
Chairman Sharon Bulova, who announced her plans to retire in December, tweeted that Hudgins “will be sincerely missed when she retires from the Board at the end of 2019.”
Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity posted — and then deleted — a tweet saying, “At today’s Board meeting, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins has announced that she will not seek re-election. It was a pleasure serving with her and I wish her the best on her future endeavors.” A few minutes later, he wrote, “At today’s Board meeting, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins has announced that she will not seek re-election.”
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who was the chairman before Bulova, tweeted that Hudgins has been a “tireless advocate for the Hunter Mill District,” pointing to her work on affordable housing.
Thank you to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins on her decades of service to Fairfax County. She will be sincerely missed when she retires from the Board at the end of 2019.
— Sharon Bulova (@SharonBulova) January 22, 2019
Cathy Hudgins has been a trainblazer and an advocate for Hunter Mill District and Reston for many years. We wish her the best in her retirement and look forward to great things for the rest of the year!!! https://t.co/DMNiSbDKDm
— Bill Bouie (@bbouie) January 22, 2019
Supervisor Cathy Hudgins has been a tireless advocate for the Hunter Mill District. She’s been a champion for affordable housing and has dedicated her career to making sure every voice is heard in our community. I'm proud to call her a friend and wish her well in her retirement.
— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) January 22, 2019
Two Democratic candidates have already joined the race for her seat, Reston Now previously reported.
Shyamali Hauth, a United States Air Force veteran and community advocate, has her campaign focused on transportation, affordable housing, construction practices, budgets, security and education systems. Parker Messick, a recent graduate of Roanoke College, is running on a platform to “stop big development.”
The election for the county’s Board of Supervisors will take place on Nov. 5.
A new study says that Fairfax County is one of the best places in Virginia to retire.
The rankings were compiled by financial website Smartasset.com, which used factors like healthcare access, the number of retirement-focused recreational centers and overall tax burden, to determine the best places to retire in Virginia.
The website wrote the following description about Fairfax County’s retirement-friendliness:
If you’re looking to retire in the great outdoors, Fairfax County may be the perfect place for you. The region houses many national parks, including Great Falls National Park and Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s first sanctuary for bald eagles. You can also visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
You’d also have more than 300 miles of hiking trails to tackle as you stay active. In fact, the Fairfax County Park Authority runs more than 400 parks among more than 20,000 acres. Some feature wildlife preserves and working farms. But nature isn’t Fairfax’s only perk. You also have more than 200 regional shopping centers. And don’t worry too much about your wallet. The region’s mid-range 16.7% tax burden falls well below that of major cities. So it would behoove you to invest in tax-advantaged savings vehicles like a 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA). And where can you use your hard earned savings? At tons of recreation centers, including an ice-skating rink and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. You also have more than 800 playgrounds you can bring the grandkids to. And if you need it, Fairfax has more than 13 medical centers per 1,000 people. Overall, Fairfax County is definitely the place to retire in if you love the outdoors and still want some action in your life
Other areas that made the list include Falls Church (#2), which was described as a welcome sport for outdoor enthusiasts, and Vienna (#7), which was described as a place best-suited for art lovers.