Morning Notes

Michael Delaney Found Dead in Sugarland Run — The remains of Reston resident Michael Delaney were found in the Sugarland Run area on Wednesday (July 21), 14 months after he went missing from Reston Hospital in May 2020. His step-daughter says the family is “heartbroken but feel relieved” to have closure on his disappearance. [Courtney Park-Jamborsky/Facebook]

Matchbox Pizza Opens at Reston Station Today — After a few delays, Matchbox will officially open its new restaurant at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza Drive today (Friday), as promised last month. Some opening activities have been planned, and the venue will serve happy hour specials during the work week with bottomless brunch on the weekends. [Matchbox]

Pickleball Tournament Coming to Reston — “We are excited to announce that the first annual Reston Paddle Battle Pickleball Tournament, on September 18 & 19. See the attached flyer for more info. Register today at pickleballtournaments.com, space is limited!” [Reston Association/Twitter]

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Fairfax County Public Schools is planning to launch an esports program later this year (via Alex Haney/Unsplash)

Some Fairfax County student athletes won’t be headed to courts or fields this winter, but instead, to computer labs, as the 10th largest school district in the country prepares to launch an esports program.

The Fairfax County Public Schools athletic director detailed the new initiative to Tysons Reporter, saying the new program will connect students in high schools through a popular, soccer-like game — in which players drive futuristic cars — called Rocket League.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for our students,” said Bill Curran, director of the FCPS Office of Student Activities and Athletics, noting how students will have another way to fit in. “I think we’re going to have 25 highly competitive schools in the esports realm.”

While concerns about students’ screen time have persisted, even as the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to adopt virtual learning, competitive online gaming has become increasingly popular, with both high schools and colleges getting in on the esports action.

The market research firm Newzoo reported in March that esports viewership increased from nearly 398 million people globally in 2019 to nearly 436 million in 2020 and could potentially reach 474 million this year.

The NCAA governing board voted in April 2019 against bringing esports under its purview, even as the association noted the rapid growth of esports on NCAA campuses.

“You’re going to see this ball roll faster and faster,” Curran said.

ESPN launched a new initiative to cover esports in 2016, though it shut the division down last year. In 2018, it became the first TV network to air a professional gaming contest in prime time for the cartoon-style multiplayer online battle game League of Legends.

YouTube and Twitch have also streamed content that’s worth billions of dollars and expected to grow annually, though that’s just a small slice of the video game industry.

The Virginia High School League, which governs sports, activities, and competitions in public schools throughout the Commonwealth, introduced esports as a pilot program in 2019 before approving it as an “emerging activity” for the 2020-2021 school year that could become sanctioned as an official VHSL activity.

Fairfax County Public Schools is currently looking for coaches to participate in its esports program, which has been in the works for more than two years and will operate under its Activities and Athletics office. Some teachers have already shown interest in helping, according to Curran.

Students will have to pay a $64 fee each season through a startup company PlayVS, which provides computer games and requires students to maintain eligibility through grades and attendance. FCPS is looking at ways to prevent the fee from becoming a barrier to participation.

With schools expected to open for in-person learning five days a week this fall, FCPS plans to have students participate in existing computer labs, rather than remotely. Like a traditional sports team, Curran says Fairfax County’s esports teams will likely have jerseys.

“Our kids, you know, they’re already playing the games,” Curran said. “They’re ready to go, and they’re eager for us to start this.”

Photo via Alex Haney/Unsplash

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Left to right: Olympic athletes Andrew Seliskar, Chioma “CiCi” Onyekwere, and Trevor Stewart (via University of California — Berkeley, University of Maryland, and North Carolina A&T)

Several Olympians competing on the world stage in Tokyo this summer can trace parts of their athletic journeys back to Fairfax County.

Swimmer Andrew Seliskar, discus thrower Chioma “CiCi” Onyekwere, and runner Trevor Stewart all qualified for the 2020 Olympics, which will take place from July 21 to Aug. 8.

The games were delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they will be held without spectators after Japan announced on Friday (July 9) that it would enter a fourth state of emergency starting today (Monday) due to rising cases of the virus.

Seliskar, who graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in 2015, is taking on his first Olympics after two previous qualifying attempts at ages 19 and 15, including one where he “narrowly missed” a semi-final spot.

As a student, he broke a national high school record for the 100-yard butterfly in 2014 near Richmond with 53.24 seconds, and he won four national titles swimming at the University of California in Berkeley before becoming a professional swimmer.

The 24-year-old McLean native told Fairfax County Public Schools that he relishes his competitions against high school rivals.

“Those were great memories, and for my swimming career, those are some of the best ones,” he said.

He also told WJLA-TV that his Olympic dream began swimming with a youth swim team, the McLean Marlins.

Heats for the men’s 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay are scheduled for 6-8:30 a.m. EDT on July 27, and the final will air from 9:30 p.m. EDT on July 27 to 12:05 a.m. EDT on July 28.

Robinson Secondary School graduate Onyekwere will represent Nigeria at the Olympics, since she is a dual citizen of that country and the U.S.

“I feel like Nigeria made me the person I am today, so it’s so nice to give back in some kind of way and represent them,” she told FCPS.

The Michigan-born former University of Maryland athlete currently holds Nigeria’s discus throw record of 63.3 meters, which she set in April in Chula Vista, California, as part of the Nigerian Olympic Trials.

The 27-year-old engineer works for Ford and relocated back to Fairfax County last fall to be with family amid the pandemic, FCPS noted.

The qualifying round for the women’s discus throw is 8:30 p.m. EDT July 30, and the final is 7 a.m. EDT Aug. 2.

Stewart, who graduated from South County High School in 2016, will run the 4×400-meter relay race for Team USA.

His teammates include a fellow student at North Carolina A&T State University. The pair were part of a 4×400 relay team that won national titles this year for the indoor and outdoor track seasons, capping his senior year.

The 24-year-old switched from karate to track and field when he was in ninth grade. To prepare for the upcoming games, he has turned to prayer and meditation, according to FCPS.

“I worked hard for this,” he told FCPS. “There’s always room for improvement, but I’ve made it right now. I’ve made it right here.”

Heats for the men’s 4×400 meter relay are slated for 7:25 a.m. EDT Aug. 6 and 8:50 a.m. EDT Aug. 7 for the final.

The Tokyo Olympics will feature a total of 339 events across 33 sports. They will be broadcast and live-streamed in the U.S. by NBC.

Photo composite via University of California — Berkeley, University of Maryland, and North Carolina A&T

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Morning Notes

Cone flowers and phlox border at Vantage Hill (via vantagehill/Flickr)

New Police Chief Talks Reform at Reston Meeting — In a meeting at Reston Community Center on Tuesday (July 6), Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis expressed a commitment to reform and community policing, citing plans to diversify the department and encourage non-enforcement-related interactions between officers and the people they’re supposed to serve. Davis and the county have been under scrutiny for past uses of force, particularly when it comes to people of color. [Patch]

Herndon Resident Arrested for Rape — Milton Ernesto Alvarez Martinez, 26, was arrested on June 30 in the 1100 block of Criton Street on “three counts of forcible rape, three counts of sodomy, and three counts of aggravated sexual battery against a juvenile victim that is known to him.” He is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond. [Herndon Police Department]

Fellowship House Work to Close Lane, Block Parking — “Bozzuto Construction plans to remove the construction crane being used at the Lake Anne Fellowship House construction site, July 9-12. In order to remove the crane safely, a lane will be closed and no parking allowed along North Shore, from Village Road up to the construction site entrance.” [Hunter Mill District News]

Reston Park to Host Free Racquetball Clinic — The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour and Fairfax County Park Authority will provide free racquetball lessons on July 24, 31, and Aug. 7 from 8:30 until 9:30 a.m. at Stratton Woods Park (2431 Fox Mill Road). The clinics will be open to youths from the ages of 7 to 17. [FCPA]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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via Pete Wright/Unsplash

Swim caps, swimming goggles, and smiles returned to local pools last month after an unprecedented halt to the Reston area’s primary swimming program in 2020.

After the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the Reston Swim Team Association last year, the first hiatus in its 50-plus years of existence, the league has now resumed practices as well as competitions and opened up new programming.

“We are thrilled to be back in the water this summer,” Debbie Wagner, the group’s president, said in an email.

Changes this year include the introduction of a program called New Wave for those with basic swimming skills but who weren’t quite ready for a swim team. Wagner noted that the goal is for participants to join a team mid-season.

“We have welcomed many new swimmers to the league and it always amazes me to watch them grow and develop from the first night of practice through the end of our season,” Wagner wrote.

RSTA uses Reston Association pools and targets kids ages 6 to 18.

The group’s board of directors worked throughout the winter and spring to plan for a summer season based on input from members and lessons from what local club and high school teams were doing under COVID-19 restrictions.

“With restrictions loosening and COVID case counts dropping to low levels just before the start of our season, we were able to bring back much of what we typically expect from our summer swim season,” Wagner said in the email.

In April, the RSTA noted changes to comply included 10-foot social distancing, wearing masks immediately before and upon exiting the water, and conducting health screenings, among other measures.

Since then, Virginia ended all COVID-19 capacity and social distancing requirements on May 28 in response to declining COVID-19 cases and rising vaccination numbers. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has also now been authorized for adolescents 12 and older, though no COVID-19 vaccines are available yet for younger children.

Even though Virginia has ended its public health restrictions, RSTA has continued utilizing COVID-19 precautions, such as reduced team sizes and off-deck seating areas have sought to avoid crowds on the pool deck.

The league’s return was also made possible in part by support from local businesses that have served as sponsors, including Synergy Design & Construction as a gold sponsor, Glory Days Grill as a silver sponsor, and Stang Family Orthodontics as a bronze sponsor.

The sponsorships help fund operations, including scholarship opportunities to swimmers unable to participate without the financial help.

“The season has been going well,” Wagner said, “and our swimmers and families are excited to be able to be back in the water this summer.”

Photo via Pete Wright/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Deadline to Register for School Vaccine Clinics Today — Students must be registered by 8 p.m. today (Thursday) to get the COVID-19 vaccine at one of the clinics that the Fairfax County Health Department is organizing at Fairfax County high schools from May 25 through June 10. Appointments are open to all students between the ages of 12 and 18. [FCHD]

Civilian Review Panel to Hold Public Forum for Police Chief — The Fairfax County Police Civilian Review Panel will host a virtual public forum on WebEx at 7 p.m. on May 26 to discuss civilian oversight of law enforcement with new Police Chief Kevin Davis. This is the second opportunity that community members will get to question Davis, whose appointment was met with skepticism from local civil rights advocates. [Supervisor Dan Storck/Twitter]

Nats Alter COVID-19 Health Protocols — “The Washington Nationals announced on Wednesday afternoon that starting June 10, Nationals Park will be open to 100% capacity and starting this Friday, fully vaccinated fans will not be required to wear masks/face coverings at games.” [WUSA9]

Leidos to Recruit Laid-Off Employees on Navy Contract — “Fresh off the closing of its $7.1 billion acquisition by Peraton Inc., Chantilly IT company Perspecta Inc. (NYSE: PRSP) noticed layoffs for more than 480 employees tied to an expiring Navy information technology contract. But Leidos Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LDOS) is swooping in to recruit many of those employees as it ramps up the next iteration of that IT contract, that Reston technology company said.” [Washington Business Journal]

Cicadas Swarm Herndon House — “While some in the National Capital region have yet to lay eyes on a single member of the 17-year Brood X and may be feeling cicada envy, Jeff Herge of Herndon, Virginia, invites you to look at his fence…Herge saw his first cicada a few weeks ago, on his windshield wiper. Since then, he’s observed the sights and sounds of the cicadas’ arrival.” [WTOP]

Juneteenth Celebration Coming to Frying Pan Farm Park — Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon will host a free, public Juneteenth celebration on June 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Commemorating the anniversary of the day when all enslaved people in the U.S. learned that slavery had been abolished, the event will include a presentation by author Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz. Interested attendees are advised to sign up in advance to ensure there’s enough food for everyone. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Photo by Patricia Granholm

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Monday, April 19

  • Game Design Workshop (5:30 p.m.) — Local nonprofit Game Genius, an organization focused on creating games for social good, is holding their Play Week. Join staff member Peter Williamson for an interactive virtual workshop on designing your own game using accessible tools.
  • Owl Prowl (8 p.m.) — Bask in the night and listen for the call of the barred owl, the region’s most frequently observed (and heard) owl. Meet at Potomac Regional Park in Arlington as the sun sets for a hike to find these nocturnal birds.

Tuesday, April 20 

  • Become a Community Scientist (6-7 p.m.) — The City Nature Challenge is now ongoing, asking citizens across the world to track biodiversity in their home cities. Join Jackie Raiford, Montgomery Parks naturalist, as she teaches how to participate and helps make you a community scientist in your own backyard.

Wednesday, April 21

  • Theater Sports (4 p.m.) — Have a little fun over Zoom with theater sports, which are short improv games. Intended to be quick and funny, theater sports allows all to let their inner actor come out.

Thursday, April 22

  • Earth Day Project (1-4 p.m.) — Celebrate Earth Day by beautifying the Walker Nature Center. Help by adding new planting or laying down fresh woodchipped trails at the nature center.
  • Meteor Shower (4:07 a.m.) — For the next two weeks, the Lyrid meteor shower is streaking across area skies. The perfect time to see it is at its peak, which happens to be at 4:07 in the morning. So, get up early, look to the sky, and be amazed by meteors.

Friday, April 23

  • Fighting Injustice (7 p.m.) — Join this virtual conversation with three young adult authors — Angeline Boulley, Tiffany D. Jackson, Sara Faring — talking about their books, solving mysteries, and fighting injustice with writing. The event is sponsored by Reston’s Scrawl Books.

Saturday, April 24

  • Trick the Stick (11:30 a.m.) — Head off to Lake Fairfax to find the perfect walking stick for those spring hikes. Once you find the perfect one, decorate it, take it home, and use it next time hitting any of the county’s 300 hiking trails.
  • Rosslyn Flower Market (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) — For the next three weekends, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District is hosting a flower market. Stock up on flowers, seeds, and plants in a socially distanced manner.

Sunday, April 25

  • Paw-Paw Prowl (5:30 p.m.) — Take a walk around Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly to learn about the importance of the paw-paw fruit in Virginia’s history. While the paw-paw isn’t in season yet (typically, late summer/early fall), get a head start on knowing where to find these unique fruits.

Photo via Peter K Burian/Wikimedia

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Morning Notes

Nats Season Opener Canceled Due to COVID-19 Cases — At least three Washington Nationals players have tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the team to postpone their Opening Day game. The Nats were supposed to play the New York Mets in their first regular-season game in front of fans since they won the World Series in 2019. [WTOP]

Faraday Park Apartments Now Leasing — Leasing recently began for apartments in the West Tower of the mixed-use project near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, with the East Tower expected to be complete in May. When finished, Faraday Park will have about 400 apartments total, along with a rooftop pool, lounges, a fitness center, maker’s workshop area, and other amenities. [The Washington Post]

Reston Telemedicine Company Makes Major Acquisition — “Reston-based SOC Telemed Inc. announced this week it has purchased Texas-based medical practice Access Physicians for $194 million in cash and stocks. The acquisition will create the largest acute care telemedicine provider in the United States.” [Virginia Business]

April Is Alcohol Awareness Month — “Governor Ralph Northam has officially recognized April as Alcohol Awareness Month in Virginia. In issuing a proclamation, the governor emphasized the need to increase public awareness and understanding about the dangers associated with alcohol misuse.” [Virginia ABC]

What’s Open and Closed in Herndon on Easter — “Another pandemic Easter calls for a low-key day with close family. Whether you’re skipping the big meal, heading to a movie, or crossing items off your spring to-do list, it’s helpful to know which libraries, restaurants, and stores are open before you head out.” [Herndon Patch]

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(Updated, 4:40 p.m.) Reston Association is in the midst of renovating the Hook Road tennis courts on Fairway Drive.

In recent years, the courts have started to crack and show their age, considering they were built in the mid 1970s. The project was first discussed in 2016.

Renovations began in early March and are expected to be completed by late June or early July, though RA Director of Capital Projects Chris Schumaker says that the project is currently ahead of schedule.

In a video update on the renovation, Schumaker explains that RA is doing a “full depth reclamation process” that involves pulling up the existing asphalt, grinding it up, and mixing it with cement so that it can be compacted and laid down as the base for the new tennis court.

On past tennis court projects, RA typically put down a layer of gravel and then added a new layer of asphalt over it, according to Schumaker, but due to the age of the Hook Road courts, which already had several layers of asphalt, they made the decision to instead start over.

By mixing in cement with the asphalt, it should provide a stronger base and make the courts last longer — perhaps as long as 30 to 40 years, Schumaker says.

Reston Association tells Reston Now that the project is estimated to cost $650,000, which also includes refurbishment of the multipurpose court.

The tennis courts renovations are part of a conceptual master plan for Hook Road recreational facilities that includes baseball field upgrades and pathway renovations.

Those portions of the project remain in the “engineering phase,” according to Schumaker.

Back in 2017, tempers flared at several meetings about the Hook Road project. It was related to then-RA Board of Directors Member Ray Wedell’s adamant disagreement with the project and confrontational tactics in expressing them. He subsequently resigned from the board.

Photo via Reston Association/Youtube

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The county is seeking to gauge the public’s support for pickleball, a new and rapidly expanding paddleball sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis.

The Fairfax County Park Authority has launched an online survey to gauge support for new pickleball activities. The survey is open through Jan. 24. County officials say they’ve received multiple requests to expand the number of pickleball facilities in its parks, recreation centers, and community centers.

The game was invented in 1965 by two dads in Washington who wanted to entertain their kids and use an old badminton court.

A feasibility study is underway on how to address the desire for the sport, identify sites for possible improvements or new facilities, and develop criteria and design guidance used for selecting and constructing pickleball amenities.

The parks at Stratton Woods and Stuart Road (12001 Lake Newport Road) have pickleball facilities. A map of other options available in the county is linked here. Reston Association’s tennis courts also offer some options for pickleball enthusiasts, who appear to be growing in number.

The county’s feasibility study will be completed by the spring of 2021. Currently, the county has 15 parks with either a tennis or basketball court lined for pickleball. Within these parks, there are 28 courts available to play the game.

Photo via Joan Azeka/Unsplash

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The Virginia High School League is currently working with the governor’s office to potentially get a waiver that would let public school students compete in sports starting on Dec. 7, even if the state remains in Phase 3 of its reopening plan.

Signs point to Virginia public schools “likely” getting permission to proceed with a truncated winter sports season, Fairfax County Public Schools student activities and athletics director Bill Curran said in a virtual town hall on student athletics hosted by Hunter Mill District School Board representative Melanie Meren on Wednesday (Oct. 28).

“VHSL has worked very closely with the Virginia Department of Health and governor’s office with regard to opening back up and what guidance and changes would need to be made so we can have high school sports on Dec. 7,” Curran said.

Virginia has been in the third phase of Gov. Ralph Northam’s Forward Virginia plan for guiding the Commonwealth through the COVID-19 pandemic since July 1.

Under Phase 3, both indoor and outdoor recreational sports are limited to 250 people, including players, staff, and spectators. Those individuals are also expected to maintain 10 feet of physical distance “where practicable.”

As it is now written, Phase 3 “basically does not allow for high school sports” beyond optional workouts for individual teams, Curran says.

As the nonprofit that serves as Virginia’s governing body for student athletics and activities, the VHSL has spent the past several months developing guidelines that it hopes would enable high school sports to resume this winter with Phase 3 restrictions in place.

After voting on July 27 to delay all sports and activities until mid-December, the VHSL executive committee unanimously agreed on Sept. 17 to adopt a condensed schedule with winter, fall, and spring sports.

The proposed “Championships + 1” Condensed Interscholastic Plan would generally unfold as follows:

  • Dec. 7-Feb. 20: winter sports, including basketball, gymnastics, indoor track, swim and dive, wrestling
  • Feb. 4-May 1: fall sports, including football, volleyball, golf, field hockey, cross country, and competitive cheerleading
  • Apr. 12-June 26: spring sports, including baseball, softball, tennis, lacrosse, soccer, and track and field

Trying to resume sports when FCPS is still wrestling with how to reopen schools for in-person learning might raise some eyebrows, but Meren says she believes it is an important discussion to have.

“I know how important it is for kids to be active,” Meren said. “Sports can be a gateway to scholarships, academics, and careers.”

Moreover, there are potential equity concerns when public schools are abstaining from athletic competitions, but private youth and club sports have continued to operate. Curran says those leagues obtained waivers to proceed, while the VHSL has opted for a more cautious approach.

If high school sports do return this winter, FCPS is currently operating under the assumption that there will not be any spectators, at least initially, though a plan to live-stream competitions is in the works, according to Curran.

Curran says that students and staff have been consistently following health protocols during the limited workouts that FCPS has been conducting since June, and there have been no reports of COVID-19 spread between athletes so far.

However, limited resources mean that FCPS will not be able to test athletes on a daily basis like professional and even college sports have been doing, and while a single COVID-19 case might just affect one player or team, a serious outbreak could jeopardize entire seasons.

Staffing shortages could also present a challenge, with only 70 percent of officiators expected to be available for the upcoming basketball season, according to Westfield High School student activities director Terri Towle, one of two FCPS workers on the VHSL executive committee.

Even if VHSL gets approval to go ahead with its planned schedule, the ultimate decision about whether to engage in sports will lie with individual students, parents, and school divisions.

Towle says that two jurisdictions in Virginia have already notified VHSL that their schools will not participate in winter sports.

“There are going to be certain things out of our control depending on how things go across the county, across the state, across the country,” Towle said. “We’re working toward the goal of as many student athletes playing as possible.”

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority

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ABC Stores Now Offering Curbside Service — Of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority’s 15 stores in Northern Virginia that are now offering curbside pick-up, one is in Herndon (378 Elden Street) while another is in Reston (1454 North Point Village Shopping Center). [Inside NoVa]

Sports Stalled —“The Virginia High School League’s Executive Committee voted Thursday to cancel the spring sports season altogether for rest of the 2019-20 calendar year due to the coronavirus outbreak.” [Inside NoVa]

Hospitalizations Rising Again in Virginia — “The number of coronavirus patients in Virginia hospitalized and on ventilators has increased since Tuesday, according to the latest data from the state hospital association. Despite the increase, the number of ventilators in use in Virginia represents only 20 percent of the total number in the state.” [Patch]

Photo courtesy Marjorie Copson

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South Lakes High School students won the boys and girls titles at the 6A Northern Region D Indoor Track and Field Championships this week.

The girls’ team defended their title, scoring 116 points and just enough to win a third consecutive championship. The boys’ win, with 96 points, for the Northern Region title was the first for the team since 2011.

Here’s more from SLHS on the win:

Hannah Waller won the 55 meters with a region record time of 6.95. The previous mark of 6.96 was set by Alyssa Aiken of Chantilly in Feb. 26, 2000. Waller also won the 300 meters (40.05) and was second in the triple jump (38-08.25). Waller anchored the 4×200 meter relay team of freshman Julianna Byrd and sophomores Megan Luczko and Jillian Howard, that finished third (1:46.73).

Emily Lannen, who was third in the 1,000 meters last year, won the event in 3:05.89 this season. She also teamed with senior Caitlyn Morris, sophomore Annika Yu and freshman Annalise Williams to win the 4×800 meter relay (9:43.68). 

Mary Gregory won her third consecutive 500 meters with a time of 1:16.57. She was also third in the 55 meters and 4×400 meter relay with teammates Lannen, Yu and Luczko (4:05.52).

Jackson Cooley dominated the horizontal jump events winning the long jump (21-05.50) and triple jump (43-07.25). He also finished second the 55 meters (6.59).

Mira Cuthill won the girls high jump (5-01.00) while Caleb Miller successfully defended his title in the boys shot put (50-08.50).

David Ramirez was third in the 500 meters (1:09.13).

The regional championship took place on Feb. 12 in Landover, Md.

The school plans to send two dozen athletes to the 6A State Championship on Feb. 28-29 in Hampton, Va.

Photos by Deborah Lannen

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A new business has opened up shop in Woodland Park Crossing in Herndon.

US Taekwondo College is offering classes and programming at 12950 Highland Crossing Drive, Suite 8. A grand opening celebration took place last month.

Here’s more from Myers Public Relations, which represents Rosenthal Properties:

 The USTC instructors are champion Taekwondo practitioners with years of experience, offering classes and programs for adults, children, and families. USTC also has Spring and Summer Camps and an After School Program that offers pick-up at 15 elementary schools in Reston and Herndon. Children can enjoy martial arts classes and have time to read, play games, and/or do arts and crafts, all under the watchful eyes of highly qualified staff. 

The business is located above Visionworks in the mixed-use center, which is anchored by Harris Teeter.

In recent months, the retail mix in the center has been in flux. In 2018, four businesss left Woodland Park Crossing in Herndon.

Photo courtesy

US Taekwondo College

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Reston Association plans to explore ways to repurpose the Hunters Woods Ball Field using funds originally allocated for path lighting near Hunters Woods Village Center.

The field, which is located behind Reston Community Center, is no longer used by the Reston-Herndon Little League due to its distance from the nearest parking lot.

RA’s Board of Directors approved a motion to reallocate funds previously approved for pathway lighting at a meeting last Thursday (Sept. 26) to design, study and implement the project.

In tandem, RA plans to install 16 lights near the village center and the ball field. The roughly $100,000 project uses $81,300 in proffer commitment funds from the developer of Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, a senior living community on Colts Neck Road. The proffer is designated specifically for path lighting and cannot be used for any other purpose.

Larry Butler, RA’s Chief Operating Officer, said staff will work with the community to brainstorm possible ideas for the ball field. The Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition — which has long advocated for pathway lighting to improve safety in the area —  requested that RA examine the issue.

“We could do a lot of things there,” Butler said, adding the plan is in its early phases.

In a July 19 letter, the county’s planning staff indicating the ball field is classified as open space, which is designed for scenic or recreational purposes.

Meanwhile, RA is working with Dominion Energy to develop preliminary design plans for the pathway lighting project. The latest plan — which Butler said addresses the “area of most concern” —  is a scaled-back version of a 2014 plan to install 52 lights, which faltered due to limited funding.

The cost of the study is unclear, especially because RA will likely engage with a design architect to determine constraints on the site, including utility polls, Butler said.

The preliminary design calls for 16 LED, shoebox lights likely spread out by about 80 feet. The original plans did not call for LED lights.

Once plans are in place, the project will head to RA’s Design Review Board for a discussion and a vote.

File photo

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