An employee of the 7-Eleven store located at 2303 Soapstone Drive was robbed on Monday, October 27. The victim, a 48-year-old Reston man, was working behind the counter around 2:45 a.m. when a man entered the store, confronted him and demanded money. The victim refused and the suspect displayed a handgun, grabbed several items from the store and fled. The victim was not injured.On Monday, October 27, two Reston men were arrested for the robbery at Soapstone Drive around 2:45 a.m. earlier that day. Both men were transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and charged with robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and were also charged with a robbery that occurred on Sunday, October 19 at the same 7-Eleven store.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
When banana republics in third world countries hold "elections," other countries routinely send delegations to stare solemnly at stuffed ballot boxes, rigged voting machines and/or Jimmy Carter. For some reason, this adds "legitimacy" when the Dear Leader wins by a 99.97 percent margin.
Well, after two hilariously close elections, we're getting that same kind of "help."
A delegation of five Russian leaders will visit Reston from Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 to observe the U.S. election process and learn about government down to the community level.Sweet! Attending that town meeting would be totally worth it, because we know they'll tell some awesome jokes.
The Reston-Herndon branch of the American Association of University Women will host the delegation of economists and government officials with a grant from the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress.
The delegation will visit South Lakes High School, meet with community leaders and elected officials, speak to the Reston Rotary Club and appear on a local public affairs television program. The group also will observe political campaigns in action and visit the polls in Reston on Election Day.
The public is invited to meet the group and learn about Russia at a town meeting at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Okay, so maybe it sounded better when the Great Communicator (tm) said it, in Germany, and when the barrier in question was actually an imposing concrete slab patrolled by heavily armed East German guards and police dogs and whatnot, but Reston bikers are quite nearly as peeved about two attractive metal fences that have been placed alongside a feeder path to the W&OD Trail to keep people from cutting up to the "transit center" that serves Reston's Fake Downtown, which wouldn't be home to anything as declasse as a bus stop.
There's a bike rack adjacent to the station that is well-used, and many people who use the W&OD Trail want to catch a bus.Oh, snap! We're headed down there with a chisel. Some day, you'll be able to sell authentic chips from the Great Fence of Reston on eBay for a fortune.
When the transfer center and the adjacent Sallie Mae properties were developed, local bike/ped advocates met with the county and argued for direct connections from the trail to the Town Center and the bus station. Despite the fact that it was obvious that people would take the shortest route to these destinations, many excuses were given for not providing access.
Surprise, surprise, people cut through the woods next to Sallie Mae and others walked up a bank directly to the bus station. What was the response? Building two fences, one at Sallie Mae and one along the perimeter of the bus station. When the county proposed the fence, it was contingent on providing two new trail connections to the Town Center and the station. Now there's just a tall fence.
We're expressing our displeasure to Supervisor Hudgins' office.
Monday, October 27, 2008
This is the Hunters Woods Village Center in all its glory, back before any nearby houses or apartments could mar its pristine view (or provide customers). It followed the then-emerging trend of the outdoor shopping plaza, where people would park and stroll through outdoor promenades to get to their store of choice, perhaps stopping to enjoy the fountain near one end or shout at hooligan kids on skateboards or scooters or whatever was popular in the early 1970s.
Needless to say, as Americans grew more obese and began requiring crowbars to pry themselves loose from their Barcaloungers, the outdoor mall concept declined in popularity, and Hunters Woods fell on hard times. By the time the mid-1990s rolled around, Hunters Woods resembled a ghost town in the midst of nuclear winter, with just a grocery store, a dry cleaners, and a sad, small post office which required walking through several blocks of empty storefronts to reach, in constant fear of goblins or mutated zombines. Now, of course, the shopping center has been redeveloped as a perfectly ordinary strip mall where people get mugged in front of churches, the end.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Does art imitate life? Read the opening paragraph to this story about an exhibit at the Greater Reston Arts Center in the Washington Post and decide for yourself.
The centerpiece of artist Shinji Turner-Yamamoto's exhibition at the Greater Reston Arts Center is a 25-foot dogwood, the state tree of Virginia. Lying on its side, it scrapes the ceiling with its gracefully twisting branches.So you could go to some fancypants elitist art gallery to see this, or just drive over to North Reston and see what Columbia Gas is up to these days.
The funny thing is that the Post called the exhibit a "Haiku to Nature." So in the spirit of Friday Fun, we thought we'd offer a haiku or two of our own.
Pink flamingo sits
In front of moldy stucco
Unos, Gap, Hyatt
Fill up Reston's Fake Downtown
Edgy urban scene!
Brings out the best in neighbors
Gimme back my Bratz!
Think you can do better? Give it a shot in the comments.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
After meeting with community members, Columbia Gas has decided not to cut down hundreds of trees in North Reston -- just yet.
About 20 neighbors and representatives of Reston’s civic organizations attended the meeting. Columbia representatives agreed at the meeting to put a hold on cutting the trees in question until the legality of such action is resolved. "We have places we can start to work," said John Jackson, Columbia’s pipeline maintenance team leader. An additional 50 trees, not on Basik’s property, are planned to be cleared in the neighborhood, although Jackson did not say the crews would start clearing in the neighborhood.Awww.... that sounds sweet! Maybe we should call the trees "pipeline huggers." Or maybe just "terrorists":
"It’s a challenge," said Frank Lynch, Reston Association’s North Point director. Finding a balance between keeping the public safe and preserving trees, a valued asset in Reston, is difficult. Lynch said he hoped some agreement could be reached between the homeowners and Columbia Gas.
Redd and Jackson argued that tree root systems are the main culprits of corroding gas pipelines. Seitz argued that the pipelines buried three to four feet deep are not affected by the roots of the specific trees in question, as those roots only go about two feet deep.
"I guarantee you there are roots hugging my pipeline," said Jackson.
Thompson-Deahl commented that gas companies used to be more lenient to letting trees stand near the pipelines before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.Wow. We've been wasting all this time making people take their shoes off at airports, when the real culprits are hidden among us, silently growing in our back yards. Good luck sleeping tonight.
Reston's contingent of hippie America-hater artists are holding an art auction to benefit Barrack Obama's presidential campaign. You'd expect that from the Washington elites, what with their paintbrushes and imported French chardonnay and cheese-like substances they call "brie," but this time, they're not alone.
Women artists from Reston are joining Bob Simon, the community’s founder, for an art auction to benefit Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. The auction will take place on Thursday, Oct. 23, at Hidden Creek Country Club, 1711 Clubhouse Road, from 7 to 10 p.m. Some of the works for the Arts for Obama auction were created specifically for the event, depicting themes of his race for the presidency.Conservatives, take heart -- tickets to this event are $50 a pop, and given the events of the last eight years, that's more than most people have in equity in their homes and their 401(k)s combined, the end.
"It sounds like a cliché, but I think it’s true this time, we’ve never had a more critical election," said Simon about his choice to take an active role in the event.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So you finally "move on up" to that de-luxe home in North Reston. Astronaut schools! The fancypants Giant with the handheld scanners, like we're already living in 2011! You're so excited about this enormous sea change you don't really think about that "easement" they keep prattling on about at the settlement. Then you realize the gas company wants to chop down 53 trees on your property, plus "dozens" of others in the neighborhood. What to do? Hold a meeting, of course!
Columbia Gas Transmission is scheduled to remove dozens of trees from a North Reston neighborhood next week, but residents have arranged to meet with representatives from Columbia and the county on Friday morning to discuss alternatives to the plan.The same clearcutting sort of thing happened in Herndon a few years back, which led to the creation of a Web site which is largely comprised of links to stories about gas pipeline explosions, which... um... sort of proves the gas company's point about keeping the easements cleared for safety reasons. Right? But then there's this astute comment.
"The neighborhood feels like those are their trees," said Carleen Basik, who lives in the neighborhood, which is located on Bright Pond Lane off Reston Parkway. About 53 trees on Basik's property are marked for removal, and dozens more are scheduled to be removed from her neighborhood, she said.
Columbia has a right-of-way that runs through the Bright Pond neighborhood, and that right-of-way contains a pipeline that carries natural gas to customers along the East Coast. The gas company notified residents on Oct. 10 that it would be clearing the right-of-way by removing trees and other plants later this month.
Kelly Merritt, communications manager for Columbia's parent company, said the company understood the concerns of the Bright Pond neighborhood, but the company has to "maintain a clear corridor for our pipelines to operate." "By keeping the corridors clear and removing trees that encroach within the corridor, we're helping to maintain that safety and can better monitor the pipelines," Merritt said.
I don't understand how they have large parking lots over their easement but will not let trees overhang into their sacred grounds.Parking lots don't kill people. Trees kill people. Well, trees and undermaintained gas transmission pipelines. Same diff.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Man oh man, if there's one thing we love, it's a good nuisance lawsuit. And Metro's awesome Silver Line, which must be something like the Silver Streak, only without that delightful Gene Wilder but more overcrowded and prone to derail and/or catch on fire, has attracted more of them than a school redistricting hearing where the conversation was dominated by Bratz dolls.
But perhaps the strangest one, which has been around since roughly 1609, when the Metro's original "yellowth" line was built out of moccasin strings, has finally been given the smackdown by a judge.
A state judge in Richmond dismissed a lawsuit yesterday that had challenged the transfer of the Dulles Toll Road to the authority that runs Reagan National and Dulles International airports, clearing the way to use toll revenue for an extension of Metrorail to Dulles.At this point, a stray semicolon in a subcontractor's invoice for those flashing orange cones festooning Tysons Corner could cast doubt on the federal portion of the funding. But assuming it doesn't get shot down by the Straight Talk Express or the collapse of the global economy and maybe even the overall concept of currency as a store of value, that Silver Line will be here before we know it, kids! Go ahead and sell your gas-guzzling SUV now, and just keep clapping!
Virginia Transportation Secretary Pierce R. Homer said the transfer of control from the state to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority could occur by the end of the year, along with an expected announcement of a funding agreement from the Federal Transit Administration.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two toll road users who said Kaine violated the state constitution when he announced plans, without General Assembly action, to transfer the state-owned Dulles Toll Road to the airports authority, which intends to raise tolls and put the proceeds toward the cost of the rail line.
If the court had voided the transfer, it would have put the Metrorail extension in jeopardy. The transit administration is deciding whether to fund $900 million of the $5.2 billion project, and a legal ruling against using toll revenue could have cast doubt on the federal portion.
The MASSIVE CRIME WAVE continues unabated, as does our inappropriate use of the CAPS LOCK key. You'd think we were low-rent Realtors or something. This time, it was the 7-11 on Soapstone Drive that was robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning.
A 48-year-old, Reston man, working as a clerk at the 7-Eleven Store at 2303 Soapstone Drive, was robbed. Shortly before 5 a.m. on Sunday, October 19, a man, claiming he had a gun, approached the clerk and demanded money. The clerk handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and was not injured. The suspect fled on foot. He was described as being white, in his 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing approximately 160 pounds. He was wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and a bandana covering his face.At least he wasn't wearing a lame mask.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Here we are, floating high above Lake Anne sometime in the 1960s, when it was the heart and soul of Reston (click to enlarge photo). Notice that the high-rise Heron House and other buildings around Washington Plaza look pretty much the same today (and the parking lot looks just as desolate). Also pretty much the same: the Crescent Apartments across North Shore Drive. Lake Anne Elementary (bottom left) looks too new to have a single wadded up piece of chewing gum under a single desk, though not far away you can see Hickory and Waterview Clusters and the open spot where the soccer fields on Fairway Drive would someday be built. There also appears to be a weird road that no longer exists snaking through what are now Mooring and Inlet Clusters. Wiehle Avenue hadn't been finished when this picture was taken, but you can also see the larger set of open fields north of Baron Cameron Avenue, where someday a school would be named for an astronaut who hadn't yet landed on the moon. Way off in the distance (upper right) are the gas stations and whatnot along Rt. 7, as well as yet another open field beyond Reston proper that would someday be home to some truly bitchin' McMansions.
The truly weird thing about this photo is that it appears to have snowed ever so slightly. Either that, or the Gulf Reston Co. routinely used Agent Orange-laced loam for deforestation purposes. It was the '60s, after all.
Friday, October 17, 2008
One couple purchased a Reston home that was later found to have structural issues and therefore had to be remodeled, Haukness said. "These things forced them to renovate when they wouldn't have otherwise," she said. But the couple "turned lemons into lemonade," and the contemporary house is beautiful with many green features, Haukness said.Riiight. Lemons into... mauve-colored lemonade.
Anyway, other homes include a Town Center condo (we hope it has a better view than this place), another home on Hidden Creek Golf Course (just follow the sliced balls) and a house with... an elevator. You heard us right, an elevator, like they have in those fancypants tall buildings in New York City and whatnot. What will they think of next -- a mechanical device which, when signaled by a remote-controlled radio transmitter, operates a chain-driven mechanism to open a garage door? Maybe we'll see one of those "garage-door openers" next year, assuming the global economy doesn't utterly and irrevocably collapse and we're not shuffling from Maytag to Whirlpool appliance boxes, gawking in envy at people's corrugated "great" rooms.
It almost seems like a dream now: Remember that time that Fairfax County Schools opted to conduct an awesome yet uneventful boundary study that redistricted the South Lakes High School boundaries, prompting a group of selfless pro-school boosters to initiate the lamest lawsuit in the history of lame nuisance lawsuits? Also, we dimly recall someone said something about Bratz to explain why socioeconomics were important or something, but maybe we're remembering that wrong, because that just sounds crazy.
Anyhoos, after getting such a smackdown in court that the presiding judge couldn't be bothered to write more than a handful of sentences for his ruling, FairfaxCAPS has decided... wait for it... not to appeal, ensuring that kids from Oakton Heights to Fox Mill will be subjected to socialism, social engineering, and social experiments in fashion.
FairfaxCAPS will not appeal the Fairfax County Circuit Court's ruling in favor of the Fairfax County School Board's decision to change school boundaries in the western part of the county, members of the group said during a public meeting on Oct. 9 at McNair Elementary School in Herndon.Sweet! Give or take the trifling matter of $17,000, guess that's all settled then. Right?
Cynthia Fry, chairman of FairfaxCAPS' events committee, said the group decided not to appeal the case because the group would prefer to move forward on other education issues. "If we're in litigation, all conversation stops," she said. FairfaxCAPS wants to stay active in the community and remain involved in discussions about education issues, Fry said.
FairfaxCAPs still owes Steven David Stone, its attorney in the redistricting case, about $17,000 of his total $120,000 bill, according to FairfaxCAPS Director Scott Chronister. Fry said the group needs its supporters to continue to make donations so the bill can be paid. She said donations also would help the group maintain its nonprofit status and continue to research local education issues. Fry reassured attendees that the group does not plan to disband and it is also looking into possible fundraisers.
The Fairfax County School Board has started another boundary study to determine which students will attend Coppermine Elementary School, which is currently under construction. The Herndon area school is located on River Birch Drive and is slated to have 32 classrooms. The school board has determined that Floris, Herndon, Hutchison, McNair and Oak Hill elementary schools will be involved in the study. Fairfax County Public Schools will hold two town meetings to gather input from area residents on the boundary study. The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 at Rachel Carson Middle School and 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Franklin Middle School.Time to go Google Image Search the word "Bratz" again. We'll be needing a lot more clip art.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
A sign of the scary economic times we're living in: a resurgence of newspaper articles that use the term "hobo."
While Robert Simon was building his real estate career in Manhattan, Pat Kane's parents were taking in boarders and giving handouts to hobos on their back porch in California's San Fernando Valley.Sweet! Simon was in college during the last Great Depression, though he admits he was a bit sheltered from the devastation of the time.
Robert Simon, 94, who would later go on to create the planned community of Reston, was in college when the stock market crashed in 1929. While on his last fling to Europe as a young man, he got word that his father died and returned to the states to take over his father's real estate business in Manhattan.That business included owning Carnegie Hall, so it's safe to say he wasn't out selling apples on the streets. And while no one's selling apples in front of Reston Town Center (at least not yet!), some things are eerily the same:
He remembers renegotiating mortgages on some of the properties his father owned to keep them from going into foreclosure.Clearly. As bellwethers of economic sensibility go, we'd take Simon over Joe the plumber any day.
"Clearly this is the kind of thing that should be negotiated today," said Simon, who still resides in Reston.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Here is an exciting rendition of what Lake Anne Plaza might look like someday possibly maybe never. You can see the existing part of the plaza at the bottom of the picture (the comical statuary pictured here is at the bottom center), and what you're looking at is a whole slew of new buildings and a fancypants fountain that would go where the surface parking lot is now. An awesome new underground parking structure would be feasible, according to a new transportation and parking study done by the county, allowing the creation of an awesome, city-like streetscape not unlike the one in Reston's Fake Downtown.
What could possibly go wrong? Besides the economy cratering and whatnot, that is.
Lake Anne revitalization is back on track now that a transportation and parking study of the area has been completed. The staff at Fairfax County’s Planning and Zoning Department is expecting to present a draft of the plan amendment in a public meeting in early November.There's been a lot of complaining about the process, what with even renderings like this being kept under wraps, unanswered questions about the fate of the Crescent Apartments affordable housing owned by Fairfax County, and bad memories of the South Reston Park and Ride lot brouhaha a few years back.
When the first studies and focus groups took place in 2005, said Heidi Merkel, the county’s chief planner on the Lake Anne revitalization project, people probably thought that as soon as a plan amendment is in place construction would begin at Lake Anne. However, in today’s economic climate, she said, the perception is different. "The market decides" when the developers might propose projects in the revitalization area. "With the current economic situation, the status quo might be here a while," said Merkel.
"What I remember is furor over a certain public private partnership proposal in Reston," said Baba Freeman, recalling the resident uprising against a proposal at the South Reston Park and Ride lot at the end of 2006. "That would be an unfortunate mistake to repeat," said Freeman.That would never happen, right?
Merkel said a decision is yet to be made on whether more meetings will be held after the plan amendment draft is presented in November. The date and location for that meeting is yet to be confirmed.Right.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Apparently the YouTubes aren't just for poseur suburban gangsta wannabees anymore. This surveillance video of the armed robbery attempt at the Fox Mill Giant in Reston during last week's MASSIVE CRIME WAVE shows the two assailants used Jason-esque hockey masks to disguise their identity as they ran around trying to rob the store, until they got spooked by their own ringtone. Takes a tough guy to pistol-whip an unarmed woman, yet still be scared of the sound of a phone ringing.
Meanwhile, a reporter visited the scene of the other big event of last week's MASSIVE CRIME WAVE -- the double-shooting on Freetown Court off Glade Road -- and found the locals unsurprised.
GLENVALE RESIDENTS said they were not surprised there was a shooting in their neighborhood. Joy Ezidinma, a mother of five boys, said she does not let her children play in the neighborhood and instead takes them to a playground nearby. "We don’t let them play out here. A lot of adults are always sitting out there," she said pointing to the crime scene. "The kind of people who sit out there, you start to suspect" they may be involved in gang activity, said Ezidinma.For what it's worth, no suspects have been arrested in any of last week's incidents.
A neighbor who did not wish to be identified in the article said a trespassing sign fronting Glade Drive had been tagged with gang signs multiple times in recent months. Although he lives across the open area where the shooting took place, the neighbor said he did not hear the shots. However, the person who lives above him did hear them, at first two shots and then a succession of shots.
Juan Hill, a maintenance worker at Glenvale, said there had been a background of apparent drug dealings in the community. "We’ve been trying to get those people out," he said, "but there’s only so much you can do." Hill said he was not really surprised that the shooting took place. "I knew something was going to happen," he said. Hill added that he was told one of the two victims used to live in Glenvale.
The neighbor who does not wish to be identified in the article bought his home in Glenvale eight years ago. He said he did not wish for Glenvale, a community where families and nice people live, to be tagged as a bad neighborhood. The shooting, he said, was the first since he lived there and the first in the neighborhood in decades.
Monday, October 13, 2008
A 31-year-old Reston man died in an early-morning car crash on Sunrise Valley Drive Sunday.
A Reston man died yesterday when he apparently lost control of his car on Sunrise Valley Drive and crashed in Reston, Fairfax County police said.
Police said James R. Hammer, 31, was headed west in the 11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive between Roland Clarke Place and Colts Neck Road, about 1:19 a.m., when his 2004 Nissan Maxima left the road near a bend.
The Maxima continued across grass and struck a tree. The collision caused the car to flip and land on its roof, with Hammer trapped inside. Hammer, who was alone in the car, died at the scene, police said.
This was the 17th fatal crash in Fairfax County this year, police said.
A long time ago in a faraway place called Reston, before the Internets and the cable TV and the text messaging and whatnot, families used to gather around the fireplace in their earth-toned living room and play games together. Games like "The Game of Reston," which looks suspiciously like a certain trademarked game of real estate wheeling and dealing.
But for a community founded on such lofty ideas as new urbanism and mauve, the Game of Reston (click image to enlarge) is a crassly commercial exercise in fundraising. Unlike other Monopoly knock-offs, which give, say, college alumni the chance to own their favorite dorms or pubs, the properties in this game are all local businesses, each with a business card-size advertisement. We guess someone might get excited about rolling double snake eyes and buy the Cameron Glen Care Center or Sir Speedy, but we'd rather own a piece of Reston Town Center or Wiehle Avenue. But what would the Park Place and Boardwalk of Reston be? What would be the cheap properties, a la Mediterranean Avenue? Discuss in the comments.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Tired of watching the global economy collapse? SELL SELL SELL all your worthless stock market investments and get ready to sink that shrinking nest egg into the only thing that has value... real estate in a planned community with a proclivity for earth tones. Let's get ready to play everyone's favorite declining equity game, the High-Low Game!
Our first entry is this lakefront home on Lake Thoreau, which can be yours for just $1.2 million (and change, assuming you consider $30,000 change):
Located along the edge of Lake Thoreau, this one-of-a-kind contemporary retreat was sited, designed, and remodeled by the architect to enjoy magnificent views and natural light. Rich wood-beamed ceilings and angled windows add dramatic impact to the spaces, which include a magnificent living room with a wall of glass, a dining room opening to the family room and gourmet kitchen, and a screened porch and deck overlooking the lake. Creatively designed and finished to perfection, the luxurious master suite opens to its own lakeside deck, and an artist’s studio and loft present a multitude of options.Sounds good to us. And the place must be awesome, since it's listed by Long & Foster's "Extraordinary Properties" division! Then there's the Realtor(tm) bio:
A knowledgeable, accessible, high-energy negotiator, Dan joined Long & Foster in 1989, and is a top producer who nevertheless retains his sense of humor.He'll need it in this market.
On the other side of the price spectrum, this Shadowood condo on Castle Rock Square could be yours for a cool $95,000 -- that's just 22,093 shares of GM stock!
THIS CONDO IS IN EXCELLENT CONDITIONS WITH INSIDE LAUNDRY AND MORE . Subject to third party approval.Guess 6 percent of $95,000 doesn't buy you as many adjectives -- or the proper use of the plural form.
Also, in a sign of the times, struggling Reston-based homebuilder Comstock is selling one of its buildings on Isaac Newton Square for a cool $2.5 million. It might be the first sale it's made in some time. Also, the Lake Anne Plaza restaurant and the ole' distillery are still on the market, the end.
"There is a short-term crime spree going on in Reston right now," said Lt. Andy Hill, assistant commander of the Reston District Police Station. "All the incidents are under investigation."Meanwhile, in our tolerant neighbor to the west, police are on higher alert following an armed robbery there a week ago.
Lt. Jeff Coulter of the Herndon Police Department does not think that the Reston incidents are related to the armed robbery that occurred in Herndon on Oct. 2.At least folks are considering this a common problem and working together. Right?
"There is no apparent link right now," he said. "But the shooting in Reston put us on a higher alert."
Coulter said that the Northern Virginia Gang Task Force was in the area, working with Herndon and Fairfax police on Friday, Oct. 3, trying to identify potential gang members in the area.
"Herndon is like an island and we are concerned about the violence around us in Sterling Park and now in Reston," Coulter said.Right. An island. In more ways than one.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Remember how we learned that copperhead snakes were trying to kill us? Well, despite our best efforts to bring bow hunters to bear on the problem, it turns out they bit three Restonians during the month of September.
At least three Reston residents and three pets were bitten by copperhead snakes in September... All of the human bites happened east of Weihle Avenue, Butler said.We'll say!
There were additional unconfirmed reports of residents who were bitten by a snake, but Reston Association officials do not believe those incidents involved the poisonous copperheads because there is no report of the victims seeking medical treatment, said Larry Butler, the association's director of parks and recreation.
"If you get a copperhead bite, you're going to have some effects from it," he said.
Update: Channel 4 sent us this useful nugget:
With cooler temps and plenty of sunshine, the weather’s been great for spending time outdoors! But did you know that—just last month—copperhead snakes bit 3 people and 3 pets in Reston? Watch News4 at 5 tonight for the full story. www.nbc4.comWe'll be there, so long as it doesn't interfere with our daily viewing of Mama's Family on the Super Station.
As we experience a brief lull in Reston's scary MASSIVE CRIME WAVE, we get to revisit a couple of blasts from the past, courtesy of the ever-speedy judicial system.
First, the upstanding youth who helped ring in the New Year in South Reston finally had their day in court. And we finally get to hear a rich, textured tale of star-crossed lovers, mistaken identities... and gangs.
The 19-year-old victim and 19-year-old defendant came from contrasting backgrounds and didn’t know each other, but they will be forever linked by last New Year’s Eve.Oooh, dramatic! Unfortunately, we already know what happens next.
[The victim] was stabbed five times by a Ghost Town Crips gang member from Reston whom he didn’t even know.And that's where the story just gets weird. But it has a little something for everyone -- romance! Action! Guys hanging on accelerating cars!
"I think about it all the time. How can I forget what happened to me that night?" he testified at a sentencing hearing Friday, Sept. 26 in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
The case was only the second Casey M. Lingan could recall prosecuting where gang activity victimized someone with no connection to gangs.
"The Commonwealth has a victim who is completely and wholly innocent, essentially because someone was jealous over a girl," said Lingan, deputy commonwealth’s attorney.
[The victim] AND HIS FRIEND attended a New Year’s Eve party in Loudoun County with a female friend. The female had previously dated the victim's friend and was currently dating a juvenile friend of the defendant.Meanwhile, another upstanding resident had his day in court stemming from a September 2007 attempted murder of a police officer on Sunrise Valley Drive in Herndon.
"The defendant wasn’t even the jealous one," said Lingan.
At some point during the party, the girl asked the victim’s friend to drive her to a house in Reston near the 12200 block of Scotch Bonnet Court to meet her boyfriend.
As soon as the vehicle pulled into the cul-de-sac, a group of 15 individuals surrounded the car.
"I got hit five times in my face, I didn’t know I had been stabbed," the victim testified Friday.
"If it wasn’t for my friend pulling off, who knows what would have happened," he testified.
The 27-year-old man was sentenced Friday, Sept. 26 to 51 years in prison for the attempted capital murder of Fairfax County Police Officer Eugene Bork.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
If there's one thing we know about Mavericky John McCain, who's such a Maverick he's not going to win any Miss Congeniality contests in the Senate, it's that he hates earmarks. But it turns out that when he's not busy referring to his opponent as "that one" or threatening to bomb Spain or whatever, he's out to keep Metro's awesome Silver Line express to Dulles Airport, which will allow area residents to lose their dogs and/or children in record time, from ever happening.
Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va), both of whom are retiring, are appealing to their longtime colleague to publicly back the Metro expansion, which has a rocky history with Bush administration officials. This year, federal officials voiced concerns that nearly sank the project, the first phase of which would stretch through Tysons Corner. Federal officials have since given the project a series of approvals.Yep, it's not at all like another highly publicized transportation project that would have linked yet another vibrant community with its airport.
"It's the nation's subway," Davis said. "Hopefully, I can get the senator, when he comes back here, to commit."
McCain was also one of two dozen senators who voted last week against a bill that included Davis's proposal to authorize $1.5 billion in dedicated funding to Metro over 10 years. The provision was part of broader rail safety and Amtrak funding legislation.
A statement from the McCain campaign, however, targeted the Metro funding as well as Amtrak. "Senator McCain strongly objects to earmarks in the bill such as a $1.5 billion earmark for the Washington . . . Metro system and questions if this money is warranted above the needs that may exist among other mass transit systems in our country."
Better keep clapping, folks.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Good grief. Just because the stock market's gone down several trillion points and the global economy is melting down and most of us are wondering if appliance cartons are sufficiently mauve to fall within Reston's design covenants doesn't mean there has to be a MASSIVE CRIME WAVE in Reston. But after the carjacking and the shooting and the armed holdups and the attempted mugging, now we learn that the Fox Mill Center Giant was nearly robbed on Saturday night.
One female employee of a Giant Food store in Reston was assaulted and another was tied up in an apparent robbery attempt shortly after the grocery closed Saturday night, but the two suspects fled without taking any money after receiving a phone call, Fairfax County police said.Note to would-be robbers: When planning a brazen grocery store robbery, set your cell phone to vibrate.
The masked suspects apparently waited inside the Giant in the Fox Mill Center, 2551 John Milton Dr., until it closed at 11 p.m. About 10 minutes later, police said, the men appeared in one of the aisles, brandished a gun at one of the two female victims and assaulted her.
The women were ordered at gunpoint to the store office, where one was bound, and the men demanded money. The suspects then received a call on a cellphone and left, police said. The victims did not require medical treatment.
That is all.
Need to get away from Reston's resort-like atmosphere for a while? You might want to take your temperature to make sure you're not feverish or something, but in case you really want to leave, JetBlue is holding some sort of ticket "happy hour" at Reston's Fake Downtown this afternoon.
This Tuesday, October 7, the airline will hold a "Happy Jetting Happy Hour," at the Reston Town Center Pavilion from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. JetBlue is offering more than 300 last-minute weekend trips from Dulles, at more than 50 percent off*. The flights, most of which are for this month, include trips to New York, LA and Florida.Awesome! And since it's not United, there's a reasonable chance your pet and/or child might make it to your destination!
* Update: JetBlue's Morgan Johnston just wrote in to tell us that the airline can't officially promise any specific discounts, but he does insist that people will "probably be able to afford a ticket with just the cash on hand."
Police are looking for leads in two Sunday night robberies near Hunters Woods Plaza which appear to be connected.
The first occurred outside a church in the 2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza around 8:55 p.m. on Sunday. The victim, a 22-year-old man, was talking on his cell phone on a bench outside the church when a man approached him, drew a handgun and demanded the man's money.Robbed outside a church? That's pretty cold. But the trail didn't stop there.
After surrendering his money, the victim fled into the church.
This suspect is described as Hispanic, in his late-20s, and about 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Police were still in the process of investigating the first robbery when they were called to the scene of the second. The victim, a 34-year-old Reston man, was walking near the intersection of Colts Neck Road and Winterthur Lane around 9:00 p.m. He too was approached by a man brandishing a gun, and was also robbed. This victim noticed a second suspect waiting in the distance for the first. Both the robber and his apparent accomplice fled the scene on foot.So, Watson, the assailants appeared to have walked about 5 minutes within a 5-minute time span, managing to shrink just two inches in the process. Coincidence? I think not!
Both of these suspects were described as Hispanic men in their 20s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall.
Fairfax County police are pursuing the theory that the two robberies are connected.
Lipstick. Mauve lipstick.
"The hockey mom seems to be the soccer mom on steroids," offered Matthew Grose, general manager of the SkateQuest rink in Reston, where an hour on the ice costs $325 and teams are run in large part on volunteer hours that parents put in.Yeah, but she's from Loudoun County, where people apparently can't take a joke.
How Palin's vision of pit bull hockey moms fits into the hockey world of Washington is debatable. Chris Kelly, president of the Reston Raiders, jokes that "anyone who doesn't think hockey moms are pit bulls hasn't been around this club."
But not all hockey moms see such ferocity in themselves. Reyne Salacain, 46, an Ashburn mom of two hockey players, puts it this way: "I was kind of thinking more of the dog I have, a retriever. You go and get things all the time, and you're warm and friendly."
Monday, October 6, 2008
This Week In Crime: Somewhat Predictable South Reston Shooting Brings Incredibly Predictable Racist Comments
Two men sitting outside a Reston apartment building were shot Monday afternoon.
Two men sitting outside an apartment complex in Reston were shot this afternoon, and police said they were searching for three men who ran away from the scene. Both victims were in surgery this evening and their conditions were unknown, Fairfax County police said.What better excuse to bravely post anonymous comments about the incident on the Washington Post (and other) websites? Here's just a taste:
The victims, whose names were not released, were sitting in a common area in the 2300 block of Freetown Court, just off Reston Parkway in the Hunters Woods section of Reston, about 12:25 p.m. Officer Eddy Azcarate, a Fairfax County police spokesman, said the two men were approached by three men, and that one of the men was armed and shot both victims.
The victims' were taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital. One of them was 20 years old, Azcarate said. The assailants were described as Hispanic men, Azcarate said, but he did not have any other details. Azcarate declined to say how many times the men were shot or whether the incident was gang-related.
checkered1 wrote:Awesome. Just awesome.
"The assailants were described as Hispanic men..."
10/6/2008 7:02:57 PM
Thanks, Gerry Connelly.
Here is a map of the Reston area, ca. 1890. As you can see, there really was nothing where Reston is today -- not even the drunken village of Wiehle. Just the town of Herndon (where they were no doubt hurriedly drafting legislation to keep Yankees and Frenchmen from riding unicycles) and the hamlet of Hunter Mill, plus the hill where they’d someday plop the Reston International Center and a couple of streams which would be dammed to make Lake Anne, Lake Audobon, and Lake Thoreau. There were roads, but most of them don't match the ones we know today.
Of course, Reston had something then it still doesn’t have today -- working rail service. Keep clapping, kids!
Friday, October 3, 2008
This Week in Crime: Attempted Mugging in Fake Downtown, Plus Maybe Someone Really Wanted to Watch the VP Debate
Two men allegedly attempted to rob a 25-year-old Reston-area man at about 1 a.m. Sunday. The man reportedly exited the Metro bus at Bluemont Parkway and two other men followed him off the bus. As he crossed the street in Reston Town Center, the two men assaulted him and demanded his money and property. The man broke free, refused to comply and continued walking. The men fled the area on foot and no injuries were reported.And then there's this:
Fifteen flat-screen televisions were reported stolen from a residence in the 1000 block of Aziza Court.Fifteen TVs in one house? We know the McMansions get pretty big in that neck of the woods (some even have four-side brick!), but that's still.... wow.
We may not have awesome four-side brick houses and band days and whatnot, but even as foreclosures more than tripled in Fairfax County, Reston has bucked the trend of cratering home prices.
As far as [Fairfax County] median sales prices are concerned, the 12 month trend is steeply down, coming in at $375,000 – a drop of 22 percent from $478,750 last year, according to MRIS.Awesome -- we already feel 3.5 percent richer! Frankly, we give all the credit to the spastically dancing open house signs and creative Realtor verbiage.
Lorton, which clocked the highest percentage increase in sales, also had the largest drop in median sales price compared to last year, falling 41 percent to $327,500, according to Fulton. Only Reston posted a gain in median sales price, by 3.5 percent, compared to last year.
I lived in North Reston for 11 years and I own a business that is on Isaac Newton Square. We moved from Reston to Brambleton - the neighborhood you condescendingly described in your trivial posting. I sold my 15-year old North Reston House on Craig's List for 2.5 times the amount I paid for it, and purchased a brand new 4-sides brick, lake front Gulick home that was three times the size, for not much more than my sale. Brambleton is the most incredible community a family could want. you should come and see us now - perhaps on the day of the Brambleton Festival, or July 4th Festival, or during the many park concerts we have during the summer. Your posting shows that you are uneducated about your topic, snobby, and condescending. And for those reasons, you would never fit into Brambleton.We wouldn't fit in? Not even in a foreclosed 1-side brick, 3-side particleboard townhouse?
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Obviously not safe for work, or for people with functioning digestive systems.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
A Reston woman was the victim of a carjacking on Rt. 7.
A 52-year-old Reston woman was the victim of a carjacking at about 1:15 a.m. on Sept. 27, Fairfax County police said.We love how this incident was described as taking place "near" Great Falls. The only crimes that happen there, after all, involve cut-through undesirables and game show hosts.
The woman was in a parking lot near the intersection of Dranesville Road and Leesburg Pike near Great Falls. She was standing next to her 2004 Toyota Corolla when an unknown man pushed her aside and took her car, police said.
The victim sustained minor injuries. Her car was later discovered abandoned in Washington, D.C., police said.
The suspect was described as Hispanic, in his late 30s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with short hair, wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans.
Much as the national media has converged on the meth capital of Alaska of late, some absinthe-swilling elitist from the now-bankrupt Washington City Paper managed to get away from his
rat-infested hip pied-a-terre somewhere off U Street long enough to take a field trip to the awesome Reston Zoo.
On the Zoofari ride, Reston’s uniqueness as an animal experience becomes more pronounced. Snappy detached homes loom above the basin in which bison, deer, camels, and other ruminants run free; their yards end in high chain link fences, as much to prevent animal intrusions as to keep barbecues from getting out of hand.We think the author was making fun of the awesome Reston Zoo, but he used subtle elitist literary techniques like "sarcasm" that those of us who live outside the Beltway aren't able to process.
What I didn’t see much of was zookeepers; the AZA and the USDA both insist that “animal contact areas should always be supervised by a trained zoo representative” but this does not appear to be the policy at Reston.
We decided to skip the pony rides, figuring that at this point we’d racked up enough karmic debt for the day. The gift shop is very nice, though.
Maybe we don’t live in some
We think not.