Update: And we have a winner, though it took a record 33 minutes. No word if that mess is still out back, but there's a nice Christmas tree out front these days.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Update: And we have a winner, though it took a record 33 minutes. No word if that mess is still out back, but there's a nice Christmas tree out front these days.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Courtesy of our Facebook BFFs at the Reston Association, please to be enjoying this photo album of some sort of
retail-infused exhortation to spend what's left of our disposable income on midscale apparel celebration of the magic of the holiday season!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Per our contract with the League of Filthy Web Loggers, we've been given a paid (ha!) vacation and an earth-toned passport to leave the friendly confines of Reston for the week. So have at it! Document the atrocities, share what you're most thankful for, or maybe just recite catchphrases from your favorite classic '80s movie in the comments.
Monday, November 22, 2010
This fancy shiny metal bollardy traffic light thing was recently erected at the intersection of Fairfax County Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive, and... um... wow. For the first time, we're going to say these words unironically: Where's the DRB when you need it?
Fear not, though. Restonian Secret Operative "Joel" has, as they say in the movies, a plan. Here's his suggestion for a way to turn this shiny metal eyesore into shiny metal lemonade:
With a little more effort, VDOT could have added some tracks on top to provide the first leg of Reston's personal rapid transit system to help us travel from our homes to the Metro stations. Here is my concept:
It's so crazy, it just might work.
Ron Robertson had not left his Reston apartment in more than three years. Depressed and drinking heavily, his one connection to the outside world was Karen Deck, a longtime friend, who brought him food and vodka almost daily.The involuntary manslaughter conviction hinged on the question of why Robertson did not call police after shooting Deck.
Then, one afternoon last year, Robertson shot Deck once in the head, killing her almost instantly. He said it was an accident. Fairfax County prosecutors called it murder.
On Friday, a Fairfax jury ruled that the shooting was involuntary manslaughter, rejecting the prosecution's call for a first-degree murder conviction. The jury then sentenced Robertson, 46, to the maximum term of 10 years. Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Smith can either impose or reduce that sentence at a hearing early next year.
Robertson could face more serious penalties in federal court. Authorities say they hope to bring federal charges against him for being a felon in possession of a firearm - nearly a dozen guns were seized from his apartment after he shot Deck. He had been convicted in 1989 for shooting into an occupied vehicle.
Robertson did not call 911. Instead he called his parents, they testified, and told them that he had shot his girlfriend. His mother didn't believe him. He called his friends. They didn't believe him. Robertson passed out on the sofa, with Deck's body lying nearby.Robertson could spend 10 years in prison if a judge upholds the jury's sentence.
The next day, Robertson still did not notify police. A friend came by, picked up some money and bought Robertson some vodka. Robertson said he drank heavily. Finally, after calling his mother again, she notified police. Officers who arrived said Robertson was so obese and drunk that he could not move himself off the sofa, and he had to be dragged from his apartment.
"If you love someone, no matter who you are," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kelly Pearson said, "you're going to render them aid. He doesn't do a single thing to help her. There's nothing about this case that suggests this is anything less than murder."
[Deputy Public Defender] Dawn M. Butorac responded: "Why would Mr. Robertson want to kill his lifeline, his link to the world? He needed his alcohol, his drug. Why would he kill her? . . . All of the physical evidence supports Mr. Robertson's version, that it was an accident."
Friday, November 19, 2010
Fairfax County police believe a man who was arrested in Potomac, Md., on Wednesday may be responsible for the string of more than 100 burglaries in Fairfax between August and October.Any burglaries from this point onward will be attributed to a lovable purple furry.
Brad K. Edmonds, age 34, of the 1100 block of Kennebec Street in Oxon Hill, was charged in Montgomery County with first-degree burglary, attempted first-degree burglary, two counts of malicious destruction of property under $500, two counts of theft between $1,000 and $10,000, two counts of rogue and vagabond, theft under $1,000, fourth-degree burglary tools, possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The burglaries, mostly in upscale neighborhoods in Fairfax, were linked because they occurred in the early morning hours, largely involved entry through unlocked doors or windows, and mostly resulted in the theft of purses or cash. No one was hurt in any of the burglaries.
Fairfax police said a resident who spotted a suspicious vehicle, at 4 a.m. on Nov. 8, gave police a lead to follow, and eventually investigators tracked it to the suspect in Maryland.
During a public hearing earlier this week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors formally approved the awesome Excelsior project, which would add 457 residential units and 820 parking spaces in two new residential buildings to be built on the Oracle campus along Sunset Hills Road.
County staff had originally recommended that the project be denied, but the developer worked with the county to address concerns about the lack of detail in the original architectural designs, which as you can see above are far more clear than the original fancy renderings.
Under the new plan filed by the developer, the two residential buildings would be no more than 15 stories high -- let's call them midrise mauvescrapers. The new plan also includes some traffic management features (including putting some of those fancy countdown timers on nearby pedestrian crossings -- problem solved!), and an increase in workforce housing, which will now make up nearly 10 percent of all residential units. They're also going to add 10 short-term bicycle parking spaces and 44 long-term bike spaces in the parking garage (cough cough creeping socialism).
All joking aside, the county planning commissioners pointed out that the project is well-situated, within walking distance of Plaza America and its myriad craft opportunities, as well as the Fake Downtown and the future Reston Parkway/Targetville Metro station. It is also served by buses and whatnot, so it's in a good spot for this type of development.
And because we love us the random architectural details submitted with these plans, there's this:
What is it exactly? A giant ant farm? A watchtower staffed by goblins?
And lookit, a ditch, or maybe this is one of the "passive recreation amenities" the plan keeps going on about. Just the kind of "world-class architecture" that Reston needs, the end.
- Tennis enthusiasts flocked to last night's Reston Association board meeting to urge the RA to move forward on a referendum on the awesome $3.8 million juice-bar free indoor tennis facility proposed for Lake Newport. Were their (ahem) volleys successful?
RA president Kathleen Driscoll McKee says given the current budget, the message might have to be "not 'no,' just 'not now.' "Would that be love-40? Match point? Or Yahtzee? God help us, we don't understand tennis.
"We are concerned about success of a referendum," she said. "Does it make sense for us to spend $75,000 if it stands a chance of not being successful? This [budget situation] may not be the reality in two years, but right now, the board does not feel ready to go to referendum and have a successful result."
- The fancy new Metro station coming to Wiehle Avenue will have rad 80s art and, eventually, an awesome civic plaza. But you know what's still missing? Security measures.
The missing security features, which will probably increase the project's cost, were identified in a triennial audit by the Tri-State Oversight Committee, a regional panel that oversees safety at Metro. Released last month, the nearly 300-page report noted dozens of problems at Metro, but it also highlighted the lapse in planning for the new rail line to include the "additional processes, design features, and equipment necessary in a 'post-9/11' environment."We recommend a couple of those fun nekkid scanners everyone seems to be so happy about.
- Both the principal and assistant principal at Armstrong Elementary have been reassigned to other county schools. You'd think that removing a school's entire leadership team in the middle of the year might be an ill omen, but then you'd be forgetting this is one of the astronaut schools and everything is totally fine.
- How's this for an awkward correction from the
newspaperiPad app of record?
- After a truck hit the Beulah Road bridge over the Toll Road earlier in the week, the bridge has remained closed, blocking a handy overland route to Tysons that avoids the Toll Road, if not about a million "traffic calming" measures closer to "Fairfax County's downtown." Hunter Mill Supervisor Catherine Hudgins wants VDOT to replace the bridge, which was rated structurally deficient even before the collision. No word on whether VDOT will reach into its pockets and pull out a shiny dubloon or two to do this as of yet.
- A lot of associations are headquartered in Reston, including the one that oversees the vaunted Meat Industry Hall of Fame, which has been awarded to McDonald's Ray Croc and a bunch of Canadians. Um, yay meat?
- Robert Hansan of Reston won $137,000 at the Breeder's Cup Betting handicapping Challenge at Churchill Downs.
- South Lakes High School graduate Grant Hill reminisces about his time in Reston. Meanwhile, there's a nice profile about current SLHS gridiron star Ja'Juan Jones and his brother Rashaan, both of whom spent time in homeless shelters growing up. But when it comes to real sporting matches, Lawrence Jones of Reston takes the cake, losing a close 38-37 decision to Alexandria's Brandon Quarles in the junior middleweight category at the Patriot Center on Nov. 7. We're not 100 percent sure, but this sounds like boxing to us. Um, Yahtzee?
- Darius Nichols, who grew up in Reston, played the role of Hud, the "sensuous, omnisexual wild child" in the Kennedy Center production of Hair. We knew Reston was a bit more freewheeling in the 1960s, but we had no idea!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
As we consider all the
awesome Cheesecake Factories mixed-use development that will be following the Metro to Reston, one thing that everyone's acknowledged is that we'll need more of what those government nerds like to call "infrastructure" -- stuff like roads, sidewalks, and, if you're of the French persuasion, bicycle lanes.
And the good news is that between development proffers, grants and regional funds, we've got $9.2 million in the bank for that kind of stuff -- which ought to be enough to at least buy some nice bike lane stencils, a few cans of white paint, and a couple of those PEDESTRIAN CROSSING signs.
The bad news? A 2008 study says that Reston will need a total of $105 million to cover the infrastructure needs around the Metro stations.
Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins told attendees at the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce lunch Wednesday that there needs to be nearly $105 million (in 2007 dollars, as the initial consultant's report on this was completed in 2008) in place to make necessary infrastructure changes in the areas close to the Metro stations.There's no provision in Virginia law that says these kinds of needs have to be funded before development occurs. Guess it's time to start checking under the cushions on our couches.
So far, the county has $1.2 million in proffers, $4 million in grants and has requested another $4 million in regional funds through the Virginia Department of Transportation, said Hudgins.
She added she is confident more money will become available through commercial and industrial tax as buildings round the Metro are built.
"We need more sidewalks and we need more bike lanes," said Hudgins. "The next priority is transit within Reston. We are heavy transit users here. But we have not reached the capacity of demand of riders in our community. Waiting an hour or a half hour for a bus - that is not a bus anyone wants to take."
Confusing Map Shows Where to Catch Fairfax Connector Buses Once Metro Construction Begins, Assuming We Can Figure Out the Difference Between 'Alight' and 'Board'
Flash forward to Nov. 29. The first day of work after the Thanksgiving holiday, you'll likely be tired, almost on autopilot as you zip down Wiehle, jockeying with speeding Loudoun County cut-through commuters on the way to the park and ride lot to catch the 595 or 597 to the Pentagon or Crystal
Worried about finding space to park at Reston North, which is basically a thin strip of distressed school buses along the W&OD? Connector officials suggest trying Reston South, which is at Reston Parkway and Fox Mill, where bus service to the West Falls Church Metro will actually double starting Nov. 28. Or park at Baron Cameron Park, where 50 spaces will be designated for commuter use (as opposed to say, dog park use) and take the 554 to West Falls Church. Or maybe "take a neighborhood bus from your home rather than driving to the park and ride." We suggest skipping the intermediary step and simply not leaving the house, but that's just us.
All of these ch-ch-ch-changes will keep us busy until Feb. 27, when the Wiehle park and ride lot closes completely as construction on the fancy Metro garage begins in earnest and all bus service and parking is shifted to a fancy temporary lot across Reston Parkway near Targetville, at which point we'll just take up hitchhking, the end.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
More This Week in Crime: Winterthur Murder Trial, Serial Bank Robber Strikes Again, and a Mob Assault Arrest
The murder trial of a Reston man who shot his girlfriend in his Winterthur apartment last October began this week.
Karen Deck, 42, was found dead Oct. 24, 2009, inside the apartment of Ronald L. Robertson Jr., 46, who lived on Winterthur Lane in the Hunters Woods section of Reston. Fairfax Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kelly Pearson said Monday that Robertson did not call police on the day he shot Deck, and only after he called his parents seeking help the next day did they notify the authorities.Remember that it took more than four months for police to file murder charges.
Robertson and Deck, who lived on Inlet Court in the Lake Anne area, were a longtime couple who hung out together every day in Robertson's apartment, Deputy Fairfax Public Defender Dawn M. Butorac said. Robertson was an alcoholic who had not left the apartment for several years, Butorac said, and relied on Deck to bring him food and liquor.
Butorac said that on Oct. 23, 2009, Robertson had removed the magazine from a 9mm pistol and was attempting to slide the barrel out of the ready position when the gun, with a round in the chamber, accidentally went off.
Meanwhile, the FBI has joined the search for the serial bank robber -- not to be confused with the Serial Hamburglar (tm) -- that struck two Reston-area banks in October, following a new robbery linked to the man in Winchester.
The search for a person of interest in the Oct. 6 armed robbery of a bank in Sterling now stretches from Winchester to Great Falls and includes the FBI.Nice picture. Nothing says "I'm a serial bank robber" quite like a bouquet of flowers.
The man, described as being white and in his late 20s, is wanted for questioning in four bank robberies, one each in Sterling, Reston, Great Falls and Winchester.
He is further described as being between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing between 150 and 180 pounds.
The most recent robbery happened in Winchester Nov. 4 when a man robbed the Bank of Clarke County in the 200 block of North Loudoun Street.
A 19-year-old Reston man became the fifth person to be arrested following a mob assault in Sterling on Friday.
Fredy F. Alfaro, 19, of Reston, was charged with simple assault by mob, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.Finally, this fancy YouTube video was put together by friends of the Reston resident and Herndon High School student hit by a car on Friday, who remains in critical condition.
The assault happened at 11:40 p.m. when a 17-year-old a 20-year-old were walking in the area and suddenly assaulted by a mob. The 17-year-old was also stabbed. The victims' injuries were not life threatening, police said.
Also charged in the case were Alexander Garcia, 25; Matias C. Garcia, 20; Manuel O. Rivera, 26; and Christopher A. Bryant, 21.
It's a nice gesture; hope he improves soon.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
2011 RA Board Elections: Ask Not What Your Earth-Toned HOA Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do For Your Earth-Toned HOA
Is it really that time again? After a completely uneventful election earlier this year, the Reston Association is seeking candidates to run for two open seats on the RA Board of Directors next spring.
This spring, Restonians will elect two members to the Reston Association Board of Directors, which represents the interests of the 62,000-member community association. Representatives serve three-year terms and are eligible to be elected to one additional term. Seats are open for the Hunters Woods/Dogwood district and for one at-large seat. Anyone who is a member of the association, including those who rent, is eligible to run.Sweet! Let the vaguely inappropriate e-mails fly, and may the best
All joking aside, here's hoping the 2011 campaigns are less acrimonious than the ones earlier this year. In the meantime, the RA is holding an "election information session" on Dec. 15 at RA Headquarters, so if you want some information about the election, that's the session to attend, the end.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Three Reston area burglaries between Nov. 5 and Nov. 9 have not been linked to the serial Fairfax County Hamburglar -- at least not yet.
The first incident took place in the 900 block of Towlston Road off Rt. 7 near Wolf Trap, between 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4 and 6 a.m. Friday, Nov. 5. A purse was stolen after someone entered an unlocked door, which does seem to match the M.O. of someone -- robble robble.
The second involved several businesses in the 11400 block of Washington Plaza on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 7, which are the buildings along the western side of the lake. Police say some damage occurred during the burglaries, which doesn't seem to match our robbling friend's style.
The final incident was at around 2:30 a.m. last Tuesday, Nov. 9, in the 2200 block of Golf Course Drive. The suspect was described as white, about 6 feet tall, 150 pounds and had short, brown hair. He wore a jean jacket and brown pants, but apparently not the striped shirt we've come to expect.
Police have not updated their fancy list of all 100-plus incidents officially linked to the serial burglar since Nov. 2, so it's possible the two residential burglaries could be added to the list. Or not.
Meanwhile, a hilarious Cops-style high-speed chase that began on the Toll Road the night of Nov. 4 ended at the intersection of South Lakes Drive and Soapstone Drive after the driver jumped out of the car and tried to run. They always try to run.
Officers stopped a vehicle on traffic charges in the area of the Dulles Toll Road and Wiehle Avenue on Thursday, November 4 around 2:15 a.m. A brief pursuit took place and near the intersection of South Lakes Drive and Soapstone Drive the driver and single passenger of the vehicle bailed out of the vehicle and fled on foot. The passenger, Naytasha McNeil, 22, of 4337 4th Street in Southeast Washington, D.C., was apprehended and charged with possession of marijuana. Warrants for felony speed to elude and driving on a revoked license were obtained on the driver.Marijuana? Talk about a high-speed chase.
Finally, police are still investigating a Friday crash that critically injured a 17-year-old Herndon High School student from Reston.
A 17-year-old Herndon High student was badly injured on Friday when he was struck by a car at the intersection of Baron Cameron Avenue and Reston Parkway.Since the student is a minor, we're not running his name, though it's included in the story linked above.
Fairfax County Police said [name redacted] of Reston was going south on Reston Parkway about 3:30 p.m. when he was struck by a car heading east on Baron Cameron.
[He] was flown by helicopter to Fairfax Hospital with head injuries. He remains in critical condition.
Police Lt. Thomas Rogers says accident investigators are still working on the details and no charges have been filed. The driver's name has not been released.
Friday, November 12, 2010
So remember when that county task force with a ludicrously long name (TFWALLN) made recommendations for long-term development around the upcoming Wiehle Avenue, Reston Parkway/Targetville, and Herndon-Monroe Metro stations, and now we're surrounded by 99-story mauvescrapers and Jumbo Cheesecake Macaroni Grill Factories? Yeah, that was awesome.
Well, maybe not, but it's safe to say that the developer voices who were represented on the task force haven't exactly been shy about talking up the benefits of high-density development. And now that the focus of the Task Force is shifting away from the Toll Road, where high-density stuff makes sense, to the Village Centers, the Reston Citizens Association and others are asking Supervisor Cathy Hudgins to incorporate different voices in the planning process for "Phase 2" of the Task Force's work, so our righteous stucco strip malls aren't torn down and replaced with even bigger and more righteous stucco strip malls or something.
RCA’s Reston 2020 Committee indicated a need to talk with our Supervisor about the composition of the Reston Task Force, as it approaches Phase II (Village Centers). Marion Stillson, who requested the meeting, gathered participants who would represent all three “sister” organizations in Reston, both political parties, and a number of clusters. The ten people who participated were: Paul Thomas, Joe Leighton, both from RA; Marcia McDevitt and Diane Royal from ARCH; and Tammi Petrine, John Hanley, Dick Rogers, Kathy Kaplan, Dick Stillson and Marion Stillson from RCA.That's good, since development in the Village Centers could change the character of the existing neighborhoods around them, particularly since language in county plans does suggest that the centers could grow as they're redeveloped. Wait, what?
First, Paul Thomas, speaking officially for RA, framed the issue. He stated that the stakeholders for Phase II the Task Force are different: more local and more residential than for Phase I, where large developers and non-residential interests were pertinent. Supervisor Hudgins agreed that different interests are involved, stating the neighborhoods of Reston are ‘owned and stable.’ She added to Paul’s list of groups who might want to be involved in Phase II by saying not only seniors but the young, with child care and other needs.
Kathy Kaplan asked about County maps which imply a larger footprint in future for the Village Centers. Supervisor Hudgins did not deny this and instead distinguished between two concepts of continuity: “character continuity” and “use continuity.” In addition, she regretted the mistakes made with Lake Anne Village Center and spoke of Lake Anne’s “capture area” which is larger than the Village Center itself.That's definitely true of Lake Anne, which was almost doomed from the get-go by poor decisions about what was -- and wasn't -- built around it. But Lake Anne is a completely different kind of animal than the remaining village centers, which are now all pretty much your run-of-the-mill strip malls. The rest of what Hudgins told the group wasn't particularly comforting.
When asked what percentage of current residents must agree to sell out to a developer, Supervisor Hudgins stated “not 100%.” She spoke with approval of neighborhoods defending themselves, such as when Island Walk was decaying and re-invented itself. She also mentioned the need to help neighborhoods defend themselves (no details).In big-picture deliberations like this, there should be a healthy debate between developers and existing residents -- otherwise we get unfettered development or completely fettered NIMBYism. To her credit, Hudgins is supportive of the idea of changing the composition of the task force as it looks at the Village Centers. And we're lucky there are community groups like the RCA that care enough about this to provide a counterbalance to developer's interests in the first place; drive down the main four-lane drag of almost any exurban community to see what happens when there's so little there there that people don't blink an eye at the endless, soul-sucking strip of car dealerships, fast-food joints, and generic "office" space that's separated from their particleboard one-sided brick McMansions by a ratty untreated wood "privacy fence," the end.
Supervisor Hudgins cautioned that in Virginia, development cannot be slowed down until infrastructure is ready. She added that while some citizens are willing to consider devices such as Community Development Authorities, others oppose self-help on the grounds that Reston should not always have to find its own funding (others interpreted this as that the county should not always have to come up with funding).
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Fancy 'News Paper' Visits Reston, Gets Scoop from 2009 on Reston! License Plate Drive That Began in 2007
The "Washington Post," which is apparently some sort of iPad app that confuses octogenerian journalists, wrote what those of us (not) in the business call an "article" about the ongoing push to get the Virginia DMV to issue awesome Reston! license plates. Not bad, given that we were ridiculously late to the party when we wrote about it over a year ago -- the contest to select the design ended in 2007, apparently back before there were "web logs" or "Internets" or "news papers" in Reston and the only way to hear news was to stand at Lake Anne Plaza as Dear Leader rang a bell and shouted it through a megaphone.
Anyhoo, how's the big campaign going?
The campaign, started by the citizens association three years ago, has seen gradual success. McGuire has collected 150 of the 350 signatures he will need to get the plates processed. Helping his cause is the fact that the plates are not revenue-sharing, meaning they only cost $10 annually. Revenue-sharing plates cost $25 annually, with the extra $15 going to the city or area at hand.Restonian Secret Operative (or should we say Reston! Secret! Operative! "Ryan" has a theory as to why they haven't collected the 350 signatures:
McGuire said signatures are his biggest obstacle.
"Three hundred and fifty people is a good chunk for a town like Reston," said McGuire, who admits he has not been as aggressive in promoting the plates as he would like.
Perhaps the RA is withholding their support until "and Get Involved" is added. Or, perhaps they are offended by the disturbing lack of bona fide earth tones. Personally, I am not signing until they get rid of that ridiculous exclamation point.All we know is that if we swipe down on our iPad far enough, we see that the Post says that Reston would be the first town in Virginia to get its own license plate -- except that, as we all know, Reston isn't a town. Details!
You can visit the Reston Citizens Association site, which is sponsoring the initiative, for more details on how to sign up for the plates. They certainly beat these other new plates.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
On the YouTubes: We Watch the Reston Association Videos So You Don't Have To, Plus Learn All About 'Essential Reston'
So what is the "Essential Reston?" Glad you asked.
- Environmental stewardship
- Commitment to the arts
- Recreational amenities
- Housing opportunities
- Planning and design excellence
But enough of the thinky-think stuff. We're back to Andy, who ominously lists four of the eight banned plants in Reston before showing us what we've all been waiting for -- graphic pictures of Fannie Mae volunteers usin' all kinds of bitchin' implements to tear these verboten invaders right out of the woods during a recent "weed warrior" project. YEAAAAH!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Behold, in all its beige glory, the newest mixed-use development proposed for Sunset Hills Drive! Sandwiched between the Comstock Wiehle Metro development and its fancy "civic plaza" and the proposed "Michaels View" apartments at Plaza America, developer RPB & M, LLC wants to build one mid-size multi-family residential building with 520 units, a 170,000 square-foot office building, and 8,000 square feet of retail. Sweet!
Don't break out that Cheesecake Factory gift card just yet, though. The county is awaiting the results of a traffic study before advancing the proposal through the public hearing process, which as we all know, can take a while. While we're no experts on 527s or other traffic-measurin' methodology, we're going to go out on a limb and say 520 residential units and enough office space for 1,700 Restonian World Headquarterses might create a soupcon of additional traffic.
In case you're not familiar with this parcel of land because it doesn't currently contain a chain eatery or big-box store, it's
between the BAE Systems building on one side and that complex of one-story (mostly) medical offices on the other. It's currently home to one of two similar looking office buildings adjoining the Toll Road and some vaguely longish shed-looking things which would have made an awesome Guess the Mauve Bits entry if we had thought about it. See?
Monday, November 8, 2010
Breaking: Holiday Season Apparently Imminent, Officials Urge Mindless Retailing as Response to Onslaught of Shiny Decorations
Guess it's time to start stocking up on those Macaroni Grill gift certificates for friends and loved ones.
This Week in Crime: Death Sentences for '88 Murders, a Fox Mill fire, and the Serial Hamburglar Strikes Again
Alfredo R. Prieto was sentenced to two death sentences for killing a couple in a lot off Hunter Mill Road in 1988.
A Fairfax County jury imposed two death sentences Friday on serial killer Alfredo R. Prieto for the murders of Rachael A. Raver and Warren H. Fulton III near Reston in December 1988.This brings to an end proceedings that have run on... let's just say less than speedily since the county's cold case homicide unit linked Prieto to the slayings in 2005, including a mistrial and a ruling from the Virginia Supreme Court. Three times is (apparently) the charm.
The jury was told that Prieto, 44, had been sentenced to death for a 1990 rape and murder in California and that he was linked by DNA to a fourth slaying, in Arlington County in May 1988. But jurors were not told that ballistics tests link Prieto to a fifth homicide, in Prince William County in 1989.
Neither did they learn that authorities in California are linking Prieto to four additional slayings there, involving a pair of abductions and double homicides in spring 1990. That would link Prieto to nine killings in slightly more than two years.
Meanwhile, our old new friend the Serial Hamburglar (tm) struck again on November 2, attempting to burgle a half-dozen houses on Riverscape Run in "Great" Falls. It's the first time since October 12th that he is believed to have struck homes in Fairfax County, and this brings to 109 the number of incidents linked to our robbling buddy since August.
A Nov. 1 fire in Fox Mills Estates caused $200,000 in damage to a single-family home. Fire officials say that improperly discarded smoking materials on a screened-in porch on the back of the house caused the fire.
Otherwise, the most exciting thing that's happened in Reston in the past week, according to police, was that an iPhone was stolen from a residence on Bowman Towne Drive. There's not an app for that, but there you go.
Friday, November 5, 2010
It's been ages since we've taken a look at the crazy kids, what with their Twitters and all. Back in the day, when we wanted to share something random with the world, we'd write on the sidewalk with lead-based chalk. Only it would be hard, because the sidewalks were always sloped uphill and covered with shards of broken glass and it was always snowing, except when it was too cold to snow and then the chunks of ice were even sharper and colder than the shards of broken glass. And we liked it, by gum!
Now where were we? Oh, right -- the twitters.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
After numerous postponements, the Fairfax County Planning Commission recommended approval of the Excelsior LLC proposal to build two residential buildings with 457 units and 830 parking spaces on the Oracle Campus on Sunset Hills Drive. The plan, which was recommended for denial by those killjoys in the county planning staff earlier this year, now goes to the Board of Supervisors later this month.
Unlike the Fairway proposal, which has been postponed indefinitely, this one appears to be moving forward, and it will become the first major project the Board of Supervisors will consider following the Comstock Wiehle proposal at the site of the future Metro station. It definitely won't be the last.
A fun referendum on building a $3.8 million indoor tennis facility at Lake Newport is unlikely to happen in 2011. At least that's what a "web log" commenter called "Reston Association" said on another "web site."
The Board has not decided to move forward with the referendum and there is no 2011 funding for one. Reston Association would like to emphasize that the Board is conducting research, doing its due diligence and gathering information. Speculative details and enthusiastic possibilities are part of the conversation and that process. Should the Board decide to move ahead, community involvement, meetings, comments and engagement would be the top priorities. Therefore, all funding options would be considered at the appropriate time.Those crazy bloggers! The reason the RA is looking for "speculative details and enthusiastic possibilities," whatever those are, is because preliminary plans call for RA to borrow the full cost of the facility. According to staff proposals, the tennis facility could turn a profit in two years, according to North Point Director Mike Collins.
The estimates included many assumptions that need to be vigorously tested, but they seemed encouraging. Personally, I'd like to explore many financing options, such as donations (large and small), sponsorships, public-private partnerships, etc..Is it too soon to suggest putting the juicery back into the plans?
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Election 2010: Reston Remains Socialist Island Surrounded by Ocean of Tea and Grizzly Mamas, Or Some Similarly Bad Political Metaphor
We here at Restonian Election Headquarters have been busy "crunching the numbers" (not really), and Reston voters definitely bucked state and national trends last night, reelecting longtime incumbent and charming town hall host James P. Moran to Congress, even as his perennial Fairfax County Democratic colleague Gerry Connolly faces a possible recount battle. Don't we watch the CNN or anything?
Overall, Moran beat bus accident prone Republican challenger Patrick Murray by 58 percent to 40.6 percent -- the first time in eons that he hasn't cracked the 60 percent mark. Countywide turnout was 45.8 percent of active voters, which ain't bad for a midterm. Despite Reston's historic left-leaning penchant, some precincts leaned a bit more to the right than others. Moran won by just five votes in the Sunrise Valley precinct, and by around 50 votes each in the North Point, Aldrin, and Cameron Glen precincts. Careful, fellas! If you're not careful, you might get annexed by Herndon or Oakton, and then you won't get to keep your fancy socialist health insurance or, whazzitcalled, "roads."
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Craft Junkies Rejoice! Preliminary Plans for Plaza America Redevelopment Would Maintain Existing Retail
As redevelopment plans near the future Wiehle Metro station begin to emerge, we've wondered what will become of Plaza America, which, like the Spectrum Center, takes a traditional strip mall approach to retail which is really already out of character with present-day Reston, much less the future
high-rise urban nightmare transit-oriented development. On the other hand, it's got a bitchin' craft store, and we'd hate to have to drive to Sterling the next time we need three gross of googly eyes. So we're torn.
But good news! Members of the Reston Master Plan Task Force Which Will Require All Future Task Forces To Have Acronyms of Twenty Letters or More (RMPTFWWRAFTFTHATLOM) have learned that Plaza America's owners plan to maintain the existing retail and build residential units above it.
Adam Schulman of Atlantic Realty and Jared Wilcox, architect, came to present preliminary AR plans re Plaza America. They are thinking of adding, in phases, 5 stories of residential (with underground garage) over the existing retail. They would keep the existing retail parking. 410-430 residential units; wood frame construction, pool outside/internal gym.Sounds pretty nice. And if that wood frame construction ever shows signs of wear, you could always pop downstairs and get some glitter glue to fix it right up!
On the YouTubes: Non-Feral Pet Fox Freed From Canine Bastille, Amnesty International Cancels Letter-Writing Campaign
Because you, like us, probably didn't get a minute of sleep last night thinking about the imprisonment of an anthropomorphized fox named after a toddler's TV show, please to be enjoying this touching video of Swiper's reunion with its owner, 20-year-old Alayna Sitterson of
The 7-month-old silver cross fox, typically found in Canada, was named by his owner, 20-year-old Alayna Sitterson of Sterling after that trouble making character on "Dora the Explorer."So, um, yay. Apparently, animal control officers told the nice TV reporter that they weren't sure if the rabies shots given to the fox by its (nearsighted?) vet were 100 percent effective, so if Swiper ever bites someone, "he would have to be put down." Hey, happy Tuesday!
The trouble started Sunday morning when Sitterson dressed up her pet fox in a skeleton costume for Halloween and walked him on a leash at Reston Town Center. Someone called police and animal control impounded the black-socked fox.
Sitterson was charged with unlawful possession of a wild animal. But Sitterson insists that her fox was bred for domestication and does not require a special permit.
"You tell him to shake and he'll give you his paw. He was born a pet and he was raised a pet," stated Sitterson.
The county deferred to a state wildlife biologist who sided with Swiper's owner. Monday night, Swiper was back in her arms.
"I'm so grateful to have him back, you just don't understand," shared Sitterson.
And in other almost-as-important crime news, the serial Hamburglar and serial bank robber are both still at large, the end.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Instead, meet "Swiper." His crime? Being a fox. In costume. In a fake downtown, where he could jeopardize Unos-loving flash mobs.
Animal Control Officers charged a 20-year-old Herndon-area woman with Unlawful Possession of Wildlife after she was seen walking a fox wearing a skeleton costume at Reston Town Center around 10:30 a.m. on Halloween.Now that this scourge of flash mobs and fake downtowns has been brought to justice, there clearly will be no crime again anywhere forever, the end.
Officers charged Alayna Sitterson of 23096 Fontwell Square after it was determined she did not have the proper permits issued by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. The Silver Cross Fox, named “Swiper,” is seven months old and according to the owner, is neutered, litter-box trained and vaccinated for rabies.
Swiper was seized by officers and will be held at the Animal Shelter until it is determined whether or not DGIF will issue the required special permit.