Dairy cow (via Harry Dona/Pixabay)

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) Monday, August 16

  • Miniature Ceramics (7-8 p.m.) — Head to the Centreville Regional Library to design and create your own mini ceramic. This workshop is in-person and designed for teenagers.

Tuesday. August 17

  • Kids on the Green (10 a.m.) — Get the morning started right by heading to Vienna’s Town Green for some music and fun with the kids. This week, Bill Wellington will bring his unique brand of kid-centric folk music and storytelling to the town green.
  • Bollywood Fitness (6-7 p.m.) — Dance, dance at this virtual Bollywood dance fitness class through the Fairfax County Public Library. Taught by local instructor Aparna Rao, this class is guaranteed to be fun and to get you sweaty.

Wednesday, August 18

  • Dairy Days (12 p.m.) — Churn butter, crank ice cream, and milk a (fake) cow at Sully Historic Site. This hour-long program will teach kids about what it’s like to work on a dairy farm, which were once common in this region.

Thursday, August 19

  • Arlington County Fair (5-10 p.m.) — After a year off due to the pandemic, the Arlington County Fair is back with a full slate of events, activities, and fun. Throw an ax, compete in a pie-eating contest, and be thrilled on a ride. The fair starts Wednesday night and lasts through Sunday evening.

Friday. August 20

  • Movies in the Park (7:30 p.m.) — Grab a blanket, chair, and head to the Hook Road Recreation Area for an evening under the stars to watch the Disney classic “Wreck it Ralph.” While the last “Movie in the Park” was cancelled due to rain, the weather for Friday night currently looks promising.

Saturday, August 21

  • Making Opera Soup (11 a.m. & 3 p.m.) — Join award-winning opera singer Mirabal at Boro Park in Tysons for a one-woman opera. This performance is intended for both children and adults.
  • Tinner Hill Music Festival (11 a.m.-9 p.m.) — The 27th annual version of this music festival in Falls Church City will feature some pretty big headliners this year, including B.B. King Blues Band featuring Michael Lee of “The Voice” and the Legendary Wailers. There will also be food trucks, a kids’ village, and art.

Sunday, August 22

  • Alexandria Restaurant Week — Alexandria’s restaurant week starts this weekend, featuring more than 70 businesses offering both in-person and to-go deals.

Photo via Harry Dona/Pixabay

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Silver Line test trains (Photo by Chuck Samuelson/Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project)

Metro service changes announced last week — including increased services, late night hours, and reduced fares — are being praised by many in the community.

On Thursday (June 10), the Metro Board approved a host of improvements with the intention of luring back riders after more than a year of reduced services and free-falling ridership.

The changes include more frequent service during both peak and non-peak times, extending operating hours until 1 a.m. on weekends, a flat $2 weekend rate, and free transfers between bus and rail.

The changes will take effect starting Labor Day weekend, the traditional end of the summer.

“These are all very positive changes,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn told Reston Now. “The only thing that made these service improvements possible is the money from our federal partners. Because Congress stepped up and delivered, we’re able to make these service improvements and, frankly, do what needs to be done to help build back ridership.”

Metro received nearly $723 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds, including $193 million from the American Rescue Plan enacted in March. These funds not only prevented severe cuts, but allowed Metro to increase services while cutting fares.

Local labor unions are also pleased with the changes, including ATU Local 689, which represents more than 10,000 regional transit workers and said it “strongly supports” the service increases.

“We know that public transit is a safe and effective way for riders to get where they need to go, but we have to do the work to rebuild rider confidence,” ATU Local 689 President Raymond Jackson wrote in an email to Reston Now. “The first step to this is making sure that passengers know there will always be a bus or train there for them when they need it. That requires full service. We’re proud that WMATA took this step.”

Alcorn says that, during the pandemic, cuts to service were a “significant hardship” for those who couldn’t work from home, like hospitality workers, who often need rail and bus service at different times than those in other industries.

“We realized that, in the middle of the pandemic, that there’s still a lot of folks that depend on transit to get to work and to do what they need to do to get around,” Alcorn said.

John Boardman is executive secretary and treasurer for Local 25, a union that represents about 7,000 people who work in hotels, casinos, and restaurants in the D.C. metro region. He says expanding services is inherently beneficial to their members.

“Our jobs are not 9 to 5 jobs. They start early in the morning and can go late into night,” Boardman said. “More transportation and longer hours helps our workforce. Reliable transportation is one of the issues that affects people’s ability to get back to work.”

Increased service and fare cuts will also greatly benefit those most vulnerable in the community, such as the clients the D.C. Reentry Action Network, a regional organization that assists people being released from prison.

“Any reduction in the cost of transportation would contribute greatly to reducing the already tremendous hurdles one faces when returning home,” founder Paula Thompson told The Washington Post.

Metro admits it could still take years for ridership to return to pre-pandemic levels. A graph presented at the transit agency’s June 10 board of directors meeting estimates that even by the end of 2024, ridership may still be off by as much as 25% from late 2019 levels.

But it’s hoped that these changes could at least spur gradual growth. Read More

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Tuesday, June 1

  • Scrawl Books Reopening (10 a.m.) — After being closed for more than a year, Reston Town Center’s bookstore is reopening for browsing and shopping. Scrawl Books took time over the pandemic to completely renovate, so there’s now even more space and reading nooks. Masks will continue to be required in the store.
  • Duck Harbor (8 p.m.) — Every Tuesday for the next 12 weeks, 1st Stage in Tysons will present “Duck Harbor,” a live, serialized romantic comedy web series starring actors on both the east and west coasts. Not only that, the actors will only be given their own script so they can react genuinely to what the other character says. If you miss it live, binge-watch it to catch up!

Wednesday, June 2 

  • We Are What We Eat (8 p.m.) — Author Alice Waters advocates for “slow food culture,” a preservation of local food origins and traditions. Join Waters in conversation with Kim Severson, a national food correspondent for the New York Times, as they discuss why slow food culture is vital to our societal needs. This virtual event is being put on by Politics and Prose.

Thursday, June 3

  • A Transgender Virginian’s Story (7 p.m.) — Join a member of Equality Virginia’s Transgender Advocacy Speakers Bureau for an evening to learn their story. There’ll be time for questions and dialogue. This virtual event is hosted by the Reston Regional Library.

Friday, June 4 

  • Fair Oaks Mall Carnival (5 p.m.) — If you didn’t get your cotton candy and ferris wheel fill last year, plenty of local carnivals are back this year, including one at Fair Oaks Mall. So, grab a funnel cake, and jump aboard the whirly-twirly.

Saturday, June 5

  • Gardens of Note (10 a.m.) — Enjoy a self-guided tour of five of Reston’s beautiful residential gardens rarely open to the public. Along the way, there will be pop-up musical performances from members of the Reston Chorale.
  • Owl Prowl (6:30-8 p.m.) — Reston Association invites people of all ages to the Walker Nature Center for this all-ages program celebrating the natural world. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult, and all adults and children over two years of age must wear masks. Registration has filled up, but there is a wait list available. The cost is $7 for members and $9 for non-members.
  • BD Wong at Reston Community Center (8 p.m.) — You may have seen Wong act in the television show “Mr. Robot” or on the big screen in “Jurassic Park,” but he’s also a motivational speaker. He’ll be speaking on racial self-image, the model-minority myth, and LGTBQ rights.

Sunday, June 6

  • Heritage India Festival (12-7 p.m.) — The D.C.-area’s premier South Asian cultural, arts, and commerce festival is back this year at the Dulles Expo Center. There will be shopping, performances, and food. The festival is mostly indoors and will following all state and local COVID guidelines.
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Fairfax County now has enough supply to vaccinate whoever wants to be vaccinated, the county health department announced yesterday (April 28).

This comes only a week after the county said there wasn’t enough vaccine to meet the new demand from eligibility expanding into with the move to Phase 2. Several days after that, vaccine appointments on Vaccine Finder still remained hard to come by due to the short supply.

But that has now changed, thanks to an increase in supplies at the state and federal levels, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay told Reston Now.

Plus, he says, there are now more providers giving vaccines including grocery stores and pharmacies as well as private practices.

A look at Vaccine Finder reveals that grocery stores and pharmacies across the region have more open appointments than they did last week. The Target on Sunset Hills Road in Reston and CVS on Lee Highway in Fairfax, for example, have openings as soon as tomorrow (April 30).

Last week, Fairfax County retail pharmacies received 42,070 vaccine doses as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership. The county was allocated 30,552 doses from the partnership this week, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

“However, since pharmacies shift inventory among themselves, the actual number could be different,” the VDH spokesperson told Reston Now.

There’s also a state-run mass vaccination clinic in the county, which opened last week at the former Lord & Taylor in Tysons Corner Center and is now offering walk-in appointments.

“The Tysons Community Vaccination Center has a very large capacity — 3,000 people per day,” McKay said. “Paired with other sites throughout the county, it has certainly increased the capacity to vaccinate more people.”

As of yesterday afternoon (Wednesday), the clinic had administered 11,761 vaccinations since it opened eight days ago. That number was expected to top 12,000 by the end of the day, McKay said.

When visiting the facility around 4 p.m. yesterday, First Lady Pamela Northam noted that about half of Virginians have now received at least one vaccine dose. More than 6 million doses have now been delivered in the state, and close to 30% of residents are fully vaccinated.

The Fairfax County Health Department also continues to operate vaccine clinics at the Fairfax County Government Center and George Mason University. Appointments for those sites can be booked through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).

With supply and appointments becoming more available, including a potential resumption of the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after the pause was lifted last Friday, it’s possible that the county could meet the May 31 deadline set last month by both state and federal officials of delivering at least one dose of the vaccine to everyone who wants one.

However, McKay again didn’t fully commit to that target date.

“It is certainly our goal to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” he told Reston Now.

In some places across the country, vaccine supply is so far exceeding demand that mass vaccination sites are closing and localities are actually declining more vaccines.

According to McKay, that is not the case in Fairfax County, but supply has at last met demand.

“For many months, our demand was greater than supply,” he said. “Supply is now available at the level required to vaccinate anyone 16+ in Fairfax. That said, now is the time to get vaccinated.”

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Morning Notes

New Fairfax County Registrar Sworn In — Scott O. Konopasek was officially sworn in as Fairfax County’s new general registrar by Clerk of the Court John T. Frey yesterday (Monday). Konopasek was appointed by the Electoral Board in March 11 and replaces Gary Scott, who retired after working for the county’s elections office for 24 years. [Fairfax County Office of Elections/Twitter]

Pedestrian and Bicycle Fatalities High Despite Pandemic — “Despite the reduction in vehicle traffic, early data from 2020 indicate the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed in traffic incidents remained steady across the [D.C.] region — accounting for 29 percent of all traffic fatalities, the Metropolitan Council of Governments said in a news release.” [Inside NoVA]

Governor Tours Tysons Mass Vaccine Site — “Today, I toured @TysonsCorner Vaccination Center w/ @GovernorVA, @RepDonBeyer, @DelegateKeam, @JeffreyCMcKay, & @SupvPalchik to see the set up for tomorrow’s opening. From machines that connect folks to a translator in real-time to 3k appointments for tomorrow. The site is ready.” [Senator Mark Warner/Twitter]

Herndon Satellite Company Expands Capacity — “BlackSky, a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services that recently announced a planned business combination with Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: SFTW), today shared that its BlackSky 7 satellite completed the commissioning process and entered full commercial operations within two weeks of launch.” [Black Sky]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A hair salon and spa is replacing a hair salon in North Point Village Center.

Christie-Adam Salon and Spa, which is currently located in Great Falls, plans to open a new location at 1410 North Point Village Center, on March 2, a business spokesperson tells Reston Now.

The space was formerly occupied by KLS Studios, a hair salon that has plans to shift its operation to Tysons earlier this year.

Christie-Adam first opened in 1999 in Great Falls. The full-service salon and spa offers skin treatments, massages, hair cuts, hair dye treatments, and nail services.

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It was love at first sight when Matt Rofougaran walked into a Biergarten in Munich, Germany. The then 23-year-old had just sold off everything he owned and went backpacking around the world for inspiration.

Roughly 16 years later, Rofougaran is bringing a traditional German beer garden to the Town of Herndon at 771 Center Street. Like the Tysons location — which closed late last year due to property redevelopment — the Herndon Biergarten will have daily activities, family-friendly games, events and beer festivals.

But unlike the Tysons location, Rofougaran doesn’t plan to have a token system. At the Tysons location, customers purchased tokens that were exchanged for food and drinks.

The business is expected to open in the spring of next year.

The Herndon location will include more than 60 craft beers, 100+ whiskeys, and a German food menu.

A patio will run along the building, which has a combination of textures like painted black brick and wooden awning. An open area with grass will offer additional seating, along with a 2,000-square-foot rooftop area.

Here’s more from the team behind the project:

In order to get the full picture of this crazy concept Herndon Biergarten (HBG), join us on the journey that brought us here. In early 2015, a group of five young entrepreneurs came together to take on a very ambitious project in the heart of Tysons, VA, and after a year of preparation, Tysons Biergarten officially opened its doors to the public.  TBG brought the features and excitement of a German Biergarten to Northern Virginia, with 40+ taps of German, Belgian, Austrian, and American craft beer, complemented by authentic German food and a great atmosphere. Almost instantly, the public gravitated to the new concept and after a few successful years, it was recognized as local staple.  TBG held events that attracted thousands of people from all sorts of backgrounds, hosted charity events with children from a local homeless shelter, and even hosted campaign fundraisers for local political offices. TBG earned various awards through the years and was featured in numerous publications ranging from local news channel broadcasts to articles in the Washington Post. Catching lightning in a bottle, Tysons Biergarten was truly an American success story.

Fast forward two years… Late December 2018, a small hole in the wall in Alexandria, VA, became the new home for our second restaurant, Hops N Shine. At HnS, we take great pride in being an artisan destination with a unique and constantly evolving menu. If you walk into Hops N Shine today, the first thing you’ll see is our enormous mural, 52 incredible craft beers on tap, a mouthwatering custom gourmet grilled cheese menu, and an extensive list of our delicious moonshine infusions that will have your taste buds singing for more. HnS is the perfect laid-back location for meeting with family, friends, coworkers, or even your dog on the back patio!

In early 2019, with several combined years of experience and loads of new ideas, we began putting a new concept into action that when finished will truly showcase the levels of creativity and ambition of our team.  Insert our newest project, Herndon Biergarten(HBG). HBG will shock your senses when you see its features. 

Overall, the project includes a bar on the main floor, two bars upstairs, a patio, a green room, an outdoor seating area, an outdoor bar, and a rooftop deck.

The beer garden will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Photos via Herndon Biergarten

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Motorcyclist Deaths at Decade High — State officials are reminding motorcyclists to wear their helmets. This year, seven motorcyclist deaths occurred in cases where the rider was not wearing a helmet. [Virginia of Department Motor Vehicles]

Herndon-based Company Secures $50 Million Loan — BlackSky, a satellite imaging company, has secured a loan from Tysons-based firm Intelsat. The two companies are also establishing a commercial partnership to develop data and imagery products. [Space News]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Friday Morning Notes

Silver Line Construction Snag Could Delay Opening — The contractor responding for building the new rail yard near Dulles Airport revealed their latest schedule slipped 67 days in just one month. The estimated completion date is now set for late July 2020. [WTOP]

Project to Widen Route 7 from Tysons to Reston Breaks Ground — The project held its groundbreaking ceremony yesterday (Thursday). It would add a third lane from Leesburg Pike in each direction from Reston to Tysons. [Tysons Reporter]

Triple Left Lane Closure Overnight on the Dulles Toll Road Next Week — Drivers should expect 20-minute stoppages nightly from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 through the morning of Monday, June 24. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A 56-page document gives detailed guidelines on urban design and streetscape implementation for Reston’s Transit Station Areas. Now, Reston Association and county officials are working to bring the guidelines, which were formulated late last year, to life.

A streetscape demonstration is set for May 2 at 3:30 p.m. at RA’s Central Service Facility (12250 Sunset Hills Road). Several design schemes will be revealed to help developers implement Reston’s guidelines.

Suzie Battista of the county’s Office of Community Revitalization said the demonstration helps showcase Reston’s unique character. Unlike design guidelines for Tysons, Reston’s streetscapes are generally divided into three styles. Overall, the landscape panel is lighter, transitioning from lush landscape with multi-level plantings to a suburban streetscape in areas that are pedestrian-oriented. In between these two extremes is a hybrid streetscape. Denser plants are called for compared to the plan for Tysons, according to the county.

“We want people to see it in real life,” Battista told Reston Now.

The county’s Office of Community Revitalization will invite developers to attend the demonstration.

Reston’s design guidelines are based on the following principles:

  • “Streets and their adjacent streetscape are vital parts of the public realm.”
  • “Streetscapes should be places for social interaction, economic activity, civic activity, and public gatherings.”
  • “Designing from the perspective of the pedestrian is important for creating great places.”
  • “Landscaped amenity zones and landscape features should be used to buffer the pedestrian from the road, and are opportunities to integrate Reston streetscape character into a more urban setting.”
  • “Low impact development techniques for stormwater management should be incorporated into new and redesigned streets where practical.”

The complete guidelines are available online.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Cloud computing company Appian Corporation will receive $4 million from Fairfax County for the company’s expansion and new headquarters in Tysons Corner.

The Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors approved the Development Opportunity Fund grant from the Commonwealth at its meeting on Tuesday (Dec. 4).

The funds will pay for the leasing, improvements, equipment and operation of Appian’s Tysons Corner facility (7950 Jones Branch Drive), which is expected to lead to 600 new jobs there.

News of the company’s move from Reston to Tysons first broke in April.

Currently, Appian is headquartered at 11955 Democracy Drive, Suite 1700 in Reston Town Center.

Fairfax County competed with another jurisdiction for the expansion of Appian’s headquarters, according to county documents.

As part of the grant, Fairfax County must provide a local match which will be in the form of the Lincoln Street project, a roadway improvement which is already planned and funded in the county budget. The road improvement was identified by coordinating with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

Additionally, the county will provide an estimated funding of $288,000 from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority will monitor Appian’s performance metrics agreed upon for the grant funding, updating the Office of the County Executive annually on the number of jobs and capital investment achieved during that time.

Photo via Appian/Facebook

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(Editor’s note: This story was updated at 1:30 p.m. to include more information about the selection process for “Tech 100.”)

More than a quarter of companies selected for the Northern Virginia Technology Council’s inaugural “Tech 100” call Reston or Herndon home.

The companies span a variety of categories — cyber, software, IT services, artificial intelligence, genomics, health IT — in order to represent growing sectors in the region’s technology corridor.

“The NVTC Tech 100 is composed of companies and individuals who are driving tech innovation, implementing new solutions for their customers and leading growth in the greater Washington region,” Eileen Filler-Corn, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing Fairfax County, tweeted today.

The nomination period ran from Sept. 19 to Oct. 19, with the requirement that nominees must have a location in the Northern Virginia region, according to Allison Gilmore, vice president of NVTC’s Communications and Strategic Initiatives. An independent panel of judges reviewed and selected the nominations.

Out of the 85 companies chosen, 17 have headquarters in Reston and six are based in Herndon.

The Reston-based companies are the following:

Companies headquartered in Herndon include:

The roundup included companies that have locations in Reston, including ArdentMCDecisiv and Digital RealtyForcepoint, which has an office in Herndon, also made the list.

“Tech 100” also featured more than a dozen executives. Judy Bjornaas from Herndon-based ManTech, Matthew Calkins from Appian in Reston and Stu Shea from Peraton made the cut.

A party at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner at 6 p.m. tonight will celebrate the Tech 100.

Images via the Northern Virginia Technology Council

This story has been updated

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A new hair salon arrived in Lake Anne Plaza last week.

Top Style by Kate Noda Hair Studio offers haircuts for women, men and kids; coloring; styling; makeup; and other services. The salon opened in Reston on Thanksgiving (Nov. 22), an employee told Reston Now.

The salon updated the address on its website from a location in Tysons Corner to the one at Lake Anne Plaza — 1641 N. Washington Plaza, Unit A.

A Facebook post in June said the salon would in Tysons until September and shows a video of the Lake Anne Plaza spot under construction.

Photos via Top Style by Kate Noda/Facebook

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Wednesday Morning Notes

A word about panhandling — Last year, local police received about 2,100 calls related to panhandlers in the county. Here’s what you need to know about laws, public safety and steps you can take if you come across a panhandler. [Fairfax County Government]

Updates on a Herndon apartment fire — A fire sprinkler extinguished a fire in garden-style apartments on the 13600 block of Legacy Circle in Herndon late last week. No one was in the apartment unit that caught fire, but 20 people were in the building at the time. No one was injured. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Nearby: Facebook and Tysons — Facebook, Inc. is edging closer to a deal to open a 75,000-85,000 square foot office in Tysons. [Washington Business Journal]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will contribute up to $40 million to help close a funding a gap in the widening of Route 7.

The $278 million project, which will widen Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive from four to six lanes, will cost roughly 95 million more than what engineers’ originally estimated.

The board unanimously voted to approve additional funds on Tuesday (June 19). The Virginia Department of Transportation is expected to also contribute up to $40 million.

Tom Biesiadny, director of the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said cost overruns were linked primarily to how the contract was bid. The state is currently negotiating between two offerors who offered bids above the estimated price. The contract is a design-to-build, which is costlier than design-to-bid projects and would allow the project to begin two years earlier than originally anticipated,  Biesiadny said.

Officials hope to reduce the expected costs of the project by negotiating with the two offerors. Final bid offers must be in by early July.

Most funding to meet the gap will be taken from dollars allocated for Tysons projects. A plan to widen Frying Pan Road will also be deferred, Biesiadny said.

Biesiadny said bicycle and pedestrian improvements are also planned along the seven-mile stretch, which he said connects Reston and Tysons.

It provides benefits to both of those areas by allowing traffic to move more quickly through those areas, reduc[ing] congestion, but also provid[ing[ bicycle and pedestrian improvements and bus stop improvements,” he said.

File photo via FCDOT

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