News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, March 30, 2020

Reston's Plague Year: Week Two (Updated 3/31)

A message from Fairfax County, echoing the governor's stay-at-home order:

Meanwhile, the cranes in Reston keep moving. Some people ask if that’s okay.

This week is the Virginia is for lovers takeout restaurant week. Lots of good options out there.

A message from RCC Center Stage: "Even though we have canceled all performances in April and May, we know artists will return. Art will again be made here. Audiences will return." Videos from canceled performers at the link.

Beware coronavirus scams.

A message of solidarity from the W&OD trail, via (shudder) Nextdoor:

Gov. Ralph Northam will discuss a major announcement about Virginia's COVID-19 response at 2pm Monday.

The Reston Association extends its assessment payment deadline to April 30. It's still the last week to vote in the RA board elections.

Say goodbye to the purple glass recycling bin at the Reston South Park and Ride, among other county locations and changes to trash and recycling pickup. You can take your glass bottles to the I-66 transfer station, or just put them in the trash.


VDOT is taking advantage of the light traffic that, you know, a pandemic causes:

Monday, March 23, 2020

Reston and COVID-19: Links and the Latest (Updated 3/27)

• Another sign of the impact that's already being felt:


Despite strong recommendations from federal, state and county officials to cancel large gatherings due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Reston Association allowed social gatherings with more than 20 people to take place at The Lake House.

• Not all work has slowed to a halt this week:

• Looking for something to do this weekend? The Reston Museum has a Founding Principles scavenger hunt. One item on the list looks like... something we don't want to find at the moment:

• Better than Tinder a soap opera during this time of social distancing:

• Add Kalypso’s at Lake Anne to the growing list of closing restaurants.

• County deliberation on the Reston Master Plan has been postponed.

• RA extends cancelations of basically everything through the end of April, but assessments are still due March 31. They’re extending phone hours to help people figure out how to pay using (shudder) WebTrac.

• The new normal:

• Reston YMCA to distribute produce. Also offering virtual activities.

• Roer's Zoofari (formerly Reston Zoo) seeks support feeding and caring for animals after closing its doors to the public and field trips.

• Metro closes 19 stations, but Wiehle-Reston East remains open.

• Fairfax County closing all government facilities and buildings at 5pm Friday. County parks already closed, though trails remain open for use.

• See them while you can!

• Fairfax Connector suspends fare collection, asks passengers to enter and exit through rear doors.

• All Virginia schools closed through the end of the school year, sports and extracurriculars canceled. This note from Herndon HS:

• A list of grocery store special hours for seniors and at-risk shoppers.

• Fairfax County closes all park authority playgrounds, skate parks, and restrooms.

• An (unverified) sign of what's to come -- both in terms of the economic toll and the growing anger:

• From Hunter Mill Supt. Walter Alcorn, a list of ways to help/volunteer. A new need: ponchos and rain gear for the Embry Rucker shelter:

• Cabin fever sets in:

• Just weeks after the Lake Anne eatery opened:

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๐Ÿ“ฃ Update from Local VA Team ๐Ÿ“ฃ

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Lake Anne's Cafe Montmartre also has closed indefinitely.

• Reston Hospital Center is "prepared" for a surge in COVID cases.

GoFundMe for the bartenders of Cooper's Hawk in Reston.

Relief for Uncle Julio's of Reston employees.

Red's Table employee relief fund.

Relief for Crafthouse employees.

Relief for Team Passionfish.

• Social distancing:

• Tired: Twitter snaps of empty grocery shelves:

Wired: Twitter snaps teasing the possibility of snagging a single sad four-pack of single-ply:

• And lest we forget, our own link to a viral outbreak continues to be used to justify calling COVID-19 the "Wuhan virus" or "Chinese virus:"

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Not-So-Hot Zone: Reston Has First Potential Brush With Coronavirus, And Of Course It Involves Golf

We here in Reston know our infectious diseases, including the one so nice they named it after our plastic fantastic planned community. Now, as the coronavirus continues its (legitimately frightening) progression around the globe, it's hardly surprising there's a potential Reston connection. But unlike Ebola, this one doesn't evolve monkeys, but (shudder) a Marylander. And, of course, golf.

You see, more than 500 members of Christ Church in Georgetown who were asked to self-quarantine after the rector and organist were diagnosed with COVID-19, have mostly complied--mostly. Give us some not-at-all-alarming blockquote, BFFs at the Washington Post:

Although most parishioners appear to be taking the self-quarantining guidelines seriously, [one Marylander] was struck by another piece of advice: Don’t panic.

On Monday, he went golfing in Reston, Va., keeping a club’s distance away from friends and riding his cart solo on the course. He planned to contact a doctor, but felt no symptoms, he said.

“This isn’t the black plague; we are not dropping like flies,” [he] said. “I guess I’ve just been around too long to think we all need to go in shelter mode.”

We're sure that's of great consolation to next lucky golfer who unwittingly rode in the same cart. "We in Reston have every right to be teed off, so to speak, at your behavior," our favorite correspondent, the Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston, says of our (redacted) golfing friend. Given other news of late, we can only hope that the golf course itself doesn't fall prey to the same fate as Reston's ebola monkeyhouse, the end.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Not-So-Super Tuesday: RA Board Elections Kick Off, Predictably, With A Software Glitch, But At Least Most Races Are Contested

If you were an Eager Election Beaver and tried to vote for your favorite candidates in this year's Reston Association Board of Directors election when the (electronic) polls opened on Monday, you'll have to try again. A wacky, sitcom-like error voided all votes cast electronically on March 2. Give us some face-saving blockquote, BFFs at the RA:

Due to a technical error by Intelliscan, all previously submitted votes that were cast on Monday, March 2 have been cleared. Intelliscan wants to ensure that the integrity of the Reston Association’s election process is kept in place and that RA members receive the correct ballot for their property location.
People give the RA a hard time about being technically inept, but we'd like to point out that this is a big improvement over last year, when a bunch of paper ballots got screwed up, forcing an equally embarrassing kerfuffle. So, progress!

Of course, we learned of this latest problem the same day we found out that another, unrelated technical glitch has forced the RA to extend its deadline for paying our annual assessments through the end of this month. If only we had known this before handing our dog-earred check to a uniformed federal agent last week, we could have shorted the stocks of RA's technology providers with that $700 over the next month and made a killing!

But we digress. The good news is that after last year's uncontested slate, two of the three seats up for grabs and accessible to us Common Restonians this year are actually contested. (Even the fourth race, open only to slumlords apartment owners, has two candidates). That's good, as there's been a bit of activity round these here parts of late, making the fact that people are willing to run for what is a thankless job all the more important.

The candidates are:

At- Large Seat (3-year term)
Kerri Bouie
Robert T. Petrine

At-Large Seat (1-year term)
Paul Berry
Sarah Selvaraj-Dsouza

Hunters Woods/Dogwood District Seat (3-year term)
Caren Anton (unopposed)

Apartment Owners' Seat (3-year term)
Jennifer Sunshine Jushchuk
Mike Collins

To learn more about the candidates that us mere mortals can vote for, click on the video above. You can also read the official statements of all the candidates here or watch the full video of the candidates forum held last week.

The geriatric day-glo rave community groups focused on Reston development are paying close attention. In endorsing Petrine and Selvaraj-Dsouza for their respective contested seats, the Coalition for a Planned Reston says:

The Reston Association Board of Directors election will bring new voices to the Board—voices that will have a significant say in the upcoming review of the Reston Master Plan that was recently announced by Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn. The future growth of Reston will be forever impacted by the review, particularly in the PRC, the established residential neighborhoods outside of the Transit Station Areas.
Rescue Reston has posted position statements from all candidates about protecting both of Reston's golf courses on its own website.

The RA elections run through April 3. We're always terrified that these elections won't meet the required quorum, increasing the odds of having to redo the election at increased expense (three guesses who winds up footing the bill for that), so do you duty to your plastic fantastic planned community and vote, the end.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Meanwhile at Tall Oaks, (Narrow) Foundations Rise

As spring approaches, we're seeing some very exciting stirrings in our long-lamented former home of oddly totemic playgrounds, sexist bread, and "Susie de los Santos."

Confidential Restonian Operative "Joel" sent us the above, almost cinematic cellular telephone photo of the foundations of 2-over-2 condos rising from the not-so-proverbial stucco wreckage of the former village shopping center. Behold our transit-oriented, not-so-retail-oriented future!

The renderings have improved from the early images of CGI grannies, but we can't help but notice that skyline in the background already needs updating.

"All the conveniences of everyday life coexist with tranquil leafy streets and the vibrant local culture," says the development's fancypants website. While we love the idea of "lifestyle living with urban convenience," the development's three models have some.... pretty non-Reston-y names:

"Aston" and "Kellan" sound like the nongendered names of kids being raised by Reston "graduates" in some three-brick-sided townhouse in the wilds of Loudoun County. "Marley" sounds like their dog.

You may remember that construction was held up while the developer went back and forth with the county about whether the proposed garages were too narrow. As CRO "Joel" points out, there's nothing to worry about, silly rabbits!

"The photo shows that the controversial narrow garage doors will be wide enough to park a Bobcat," CRO "Joel" reports. "Plan for new Restonian readers moving in this summer," hopefully each with his or her own midsize piece of construction equipment to snarl traffic between Tall Oaks and the Wiehle-Reston garage.

While we're waiting for that, plus the "future onsite retail," let's look at the awesome amenities Reston has to offer advertised on the Tall Oaks website. Why, this one's just a quick walk away!


Monday, February 24, 2020

Queer Eye for the Straight Planned Community: An Honest-to-Goodness Lake Anne Celebrity Sighting (Updated)

Brace yourselves, Restonians: the next South Beach could be on the shores of Lake Anne. According to the Facebooks, Tan France of the Queer Eye teevee series was out at Lake Anne on Saturday, filming... something.

The mind boggles: Was Tan there to shake up the DRB color palette, replacing burnt orange and russet brown with some paisleys? Or do a makeover of Metal Bob? Maybe, but don't count on it. According to one Facebook commenter, Tan was there to film a different show -- on "how to market yourself on Facebook, or something like that."

True story: Your humble Restonian witnessed the filming firsthand, but being of a Certain Age and accompanying hipness quotient, we weren't sure whether Tan was a celebrity or just a particularly handsome Reston Association representative filming the latest Reston Today video. Given the natty earth-toned jacket Tan was sporting in the picture above, we honestly think that was a reasonable mistake, the end.

Update: Celebrity Deems Reston 'Purrrrty':

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Virginia, you is purrrty!

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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

McTacoHut Remains Just 'Taco,' At Least For Now

Confidential Restonian Operative "Erin" sent in this stealthy cellular telephone imagery of Reston's beloved carbohydrates complex, wherein the "Mc" portion of McTacoHut has been undergoing a butterfly-like transformation from its 1970s beige and brown chrysalis into a sleek, transit-oriented-ready factory of fast eats and clean architectural cladding, complete with very non-Reston, non-McTacoHut, light-up signage up on that turret-like thingy at the left, from which besieged staff presumably can pour boiling (vegetable) oil on angry mobs.

But, given the departure of the McTacoHut's Hut and the continued closure of the Mc, McTacoHut remains "Taco" for now. CRO "Erin" writes, "no less than a week and a half ago we were told to come on in, but in 6 days, for the Grand Re-opening. Fast forward 10 days later and it's only 5 days away!"

That's a lot of math for us filthy English major "web loggers" to process, but we think that means Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Taco Supreme are what's for dinner for the 47th consecutive night at Restonian World Headquarters, the end.