At a board meeting last night (Thursday), the board narrowly selected John Farrell to take Dowling’s seat from a pool of four candidates who submitted applications.
John Farrell, who moved to Reston in 1984 and has a law practice, has represented Reston’s clusters and formed large homeowner associations in Northern Virginia. He previously ran for a board position last year.
Farrell won the board’s blessing over Lynda Alicudo, who has been an RA member in 1986 and owns a condominium and single family home in North Point.
In the first round of voting, Alicudo and Farrell received four votes each from the board — one less than what is needed to carry the seat.
After more discussion, Farrell received the five votes needed to secure the seat. Board member Caren Anton voted against Farrell’s nomination.
Here’s more from Farrell on his goals:
My service on RA’s Parks and Planning Advisory Committee, and previous service on the Parks and Planning Advisory Committee, has convinced me that RA faces millions of dollars of capital expenses. RA’s future capital needs must be accurately understood and funded.
The future residents of Reston represent both challenge and opportunity. Our new neighbors will want recreational facilities different from what we have today: an indoor 50 meter pool and indoor tennis courts. Those facilities are best funded by the developers who will benefit from Reston’s open space and amenities. They need to contribute money to help renovate RA’s existing facilities and build Reston’s future. And the units they build must become part of Reston Association.
To obtain these additional funds, Reston needs an experienced knowledgeable advocate. I offer these proven qualities for service on the Board.
Farrell was also selected over Dan Lender, who moved to Reston in 1998, and founded a small business that oversees and manages unoccupied and vacant homes.
Bill Rountree, a longtime Reston resident, also applied for the position. He has a background in government affairs and conflict management.
Dowling resigned abruptly in April just after the board formally welcomed new members elected by RA members. That election was uncontested.
Farrell’s term would run through April 2023, because the position is board-appointed. The seat will then be placed on the election ballot next year, with the winner rounding out the final year of Dowling’s term in 2024.
(Updated at 11:45 a.m. on 5/25/2022) A man was rescued from North Shore pool in Reston Sunday afternoon (May 22) after a team effort.
According to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, an older man was swimming laps at the pool when he had a medical emergency.
A team of lifeguards and bystanders swiftly intervened to perform CPR and use an Automatic External Defibrillator before county rescue crews arrived.
An FFXnow reader said the response was impressive, as the community came together to rescue the man.
Fairfax County Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene around 12:50 p.m.
The man regained consciousness and was taken to a local hospital.
“No further information is currently available about the condition of the individual,” Reston Association spokesperosn Mike Leone said.
The pool reopened nearly two hours after the incident.
“Reston Association employs American Red Cross certified lifeguards at its aquatics facilities,” Leone wrote in a statement. “Our staff is trained to initiate an Emergency Action Plan in the event of an accident or medical emergency. The safety of our patrons is our first priority.”
RA is now in the second week of its 2022 pool season. The North Shore pool and spa are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends, and from 1-7 p.m. on weekdays.
Metro Leaders Step Down — Metro General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld and Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader resigned, effective immediately, last night (Monday) after the transit agency pulled 72 operators for failing to recertify. Wiedefeld had been set to leave on June 30 but says he wanted to “provide a more timely transition to Interim General Manager Andy Off.” [WMATA]
Mosby Woods Residents Split Over Possible Street Renamings — “The increasingly diverse neighborhood named after Confederate army battalion commander John S. Mosby…is another battleground, with the [Fairfax] City Council set to decide in June whether nine streets in Mosby Woods should be called something else.” [The Washington Post]
Pipe Replacement to Disrupt Wolf Trap Area Traffic — “Lawyers Road (Route 673) just south of Carhill Road will have one lane of alternating traffic in each direction via flagging Tuesday, May 17 through Wednesday, May 18, between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day to replace a stormwater pipe…Through traffic will be detoured via Garrett Street, Trott Avenue, Vale Road, Hunter Mill Road and back to Lawyers” [VDOT]
Police Share Details on I-95 Crash — “The woman who died in last week’s fatal three-vehicle crash on Interstate 95 in Springfield, Virginia, was identified Monday by Virginia State Police….Speed and driver distraction are being investigated as contributing factors in the crash.” [WTOP]
Herndon IT Company Bought for $4.2B — “Herndon information technology contractor ManTech International Corp. (NASDAQ: MANT) said Monday morning it has agreed to be acquired by D.C. private equity powerhouse The Carlyle Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CG) in an all-cash transaction valued at $4.2 billion.” [Washington Business Journal]
Decision Nears on Lake Accotink Dredging — Fairfax County will make a final decision “in just weeks” on how to address sediment build-up in Springfield’s Lake Accotink. The options currently on the table would transport the sediment to a nearby industrial park or pipe it to Wakefield Park, where it would then be taken to a quarry via I-495, raising environmental and traffic concerns. [ABC7]
Reston Association’s Pool Season Underway — “Our Pools season has officially started! Check out these scenes from opening weekend at North Shore and Lake Audubon! Thanks to all who came out! We’re ready to have an amazing summer at the Pools!” [RA/Twitter]
Bear Sightings Might Become More Common — “Due to warmer weather, bears are beginning to move throughout the county. Be safe by securing your trash cans and bird feeders, reducing the likelihood of on of our hairy friends popping up in your community.” [Pat Herrity/Twitter]
It’s Tuesday — Clear throughout the day. High of 73 and low of 58. Sunrise at 5:56 am and sunset at 8:18 pm. [Weather.gov]
Austin Transit Leader Named New Metro General Manager — “Metro on Tuesday tapped the chief executive of a Texas transit agency to lead the system through safety and pandemic-related challenges that have frustrated riders and strained public transportation…Randy Clarke, 45, will replace Paul J. Wiedefeld, who announced in January that he would retire on June 30″ [The Washington Post]
Fairfax County Firefighter Gets Funeral Procession — “Tuesday marked the final farewell for Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Captain Kimberly Schoppa, who died last month from occupational cancer. Her line-of-duty funeral included a procession and escort to the church, with her flag-draped casket onboard a fire truck and then carried inside by the Honor Guard.” [ABC7]
Jury Awards Tysons Company $2B in Damages — A Fairfax County Circuit Court jury awarded Appian over $2 billion in damages after finding rival software company Pegasystems Inc. stole its trade secrets. Announced yesterday (Tuesday) after a seven-week trial, the damages are the largest ever awarded in Virginia court history, Appian says. [Appian]
County Board Approves New Budget — “On Tuesday morning, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave final approval to the fiscal year 2023 budget, which reduces the real estate tax rate by 3 cents. The approved budget did not change from the budget markup the board approved on April 26.” [Patch]
Teachers’ Union Calls for Continued Virtual Learning — The Fairfax Education Association sent a letter to Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand and school board members last week urging them to “continue offering a limited virtual school program for vulnerable students and staff.” FCPS announced in March that it will discontinue the option in the next school year. [WTOP]
Former Reston Association Board President Dies at 84 — “In the words of one reporter, Mike [Freeman Jr.] had a case of chronic community activism for a myriad of Reston organizations, including St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, FISH, and soccer and swim teams. He was a volunteer driver for the first local RIBS bus, and an elected board member of the Reston Association, serving as Board President 1988-89.” [Patch]
County Opens West Falls Church Transportation Survey — “The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will hold a second round of virtual community meetings to present updates on the West Falls Church (WFC) Active Transportation Study…The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide input as well as completing an online survey to provide feedback.” [FCDOT]
Fairfax County Honors Hockey Team and Teachers — The Board of Supervisors recognized the Langley High School ice hockey team yesterday for winning the Northern Virginia School Hockey League championship in February while also completing the season with the least amount of penalties among teams. The board also designated May as Teacher Appreciation Month. [Fairfax County]
Veteran and Military Spouse Career Fair Starts Today — “The free-to-attend event features two days of opportunities for candidates to connect with companies, with in-person sessions between 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET on May 11 at the National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and a virtual fair taking place from 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET on May 12″ [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 69 and low of 50. Sunrise at 6:01 am and sunset at 8:12 pm. [Weather.gov]
A familiar site intended to liven up Reston’s Colts Neck Road underpass is slated for temporary removal.
The public art installation — called “Thoreau’s Ensemble” by Philadelphia-based artist Ben Volta — will be removed in the coming weeks so the Virginia Department of Transportation can conduct a structural inspection of the concrete underpass.
The inspection, which happens every four years, will require Reston Association staff to remove and store the panels in coordination with the timing of the inspection.
“Once the inspection is done, the panels will be replaced on the underpass,” RA wrote in a statement.
If maintenance work is required, the installation of the panels will be delayed until the work can be completed, according to RA.
The public art installation was unveiled in October 2019 and features the work of hundreds of drawings by community members. Volta was inspired by poet Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reference.”
Community members and residents created drawings of paths based on the quote through a series of meet-ups. It was made possible through a partnership with Public Art Reston, Atlantic Realty Companies and RA.
The panels will be removed tomorrow (Tuesday), according to RA spokesperson Mike Leone.
VDOT told FFXnow it’s not clear when the panels will be installed again.
“This type of inspection is routine and typically takes a couple days to evaluate. Based on those findings, panels will likely be reset,” a spokesperson told FFXnow.
Just like that, Bow Tie Cinemas has left Reston Town Center, leaving Reston Association’s longest running program in limbo.
Reston Town Center owner Boston Properties confirmed last month that the movie theater chain hadn’t renewed its lease, but no firm closure date was given, beyond that it would be sometime in May.
The closure now appears to be official. No show times are listed on its website or the box office marquee, and the doors were locked today (Wednesday).
The company did not return multiple requests for comment on the last day of business. Boston Properties also did not respond to multiple requests for comment on when the company’s lease expired.
RA’s Senior Movie Day, which brings more than 100,000 patrons over the years, will be on pause, as the cinema changes theater companies.
The program begin in 1994 and is expected to resume later this year or in early 2023. RA says that roughly 315 people aged 55 and above attended the shows and enjoyed other Reston Town Center amenities after watching the movies.
Bow Tie Cinemas, which took over the theater in April 2011, will be replaced by LOOK Dine-in Cinemas, which plans to open its first location in Virginia in the last quarter of the year. The business declined to provide additional details about the theater beyond what was reported last month.
LOOK also declined to comment on whether or not it plans to continue the senior movie day tradition once the new theater opens.
Two Reston pool projects are facing some delays.
The Ridge Heights Pool will open two weeks later than anticipated.
In a statement released Friday (April 29), Reston Association said the delay was prompted by “continuing supply chain delays and manufacturing shortages that have slowed repairs to the facility.”
Repairs include re-plastering of the previous pool surface layers, tile line and in-pool tile replacement, and coping stone replacement on the main and wading pools.
The pool will now open on May 28 instead of May 14. Lake Audubon Pool will open on May 14, along with the heated pool at North Shore.
RA noted that the scheduled opening is “pending supply and contractor availability and weather conditions.”
Raw materials like aggregate and binders are in high demand and short supply, according to Chris Schumaker, RA’s capital projects director. RA has been waiting several months for coping stones.
“RA is doing everything within its control to complete the Ridge Heights pool for a May 28 opening,” RA’s spokesperson Mike Leone told FFXnow.
RA has also delayed the groundbreaking of Lake Thoreau pool’s renovation to May. The $3.5 million project had an anticipated groundbreaking of October or November.
“Unfortunately, we do not have a more specific date. We are focused on a 2023 Memorial Day Weekend opening but it will be tight,” Leone said.
The opening timeframe could be pushed back if permitting delays continue. RA is currently working through the remaining county permits required for the project to proceed.
Key design elements of the renovation include ADA access with a ramp into the pool, a redesign of the overlook deck, pool reconstruction, expansion of the parking lot, and repositioning of the spa away from the bathhouses as well as modifying and expansion of said bathhouses.
Two heads with a complex web of activity spilling about them will float on the Lake Thoreau spillway in Reston sometime this year.
Students from South Lakes High School’s STEAM team have prepared designs for their yearly project under the supervision of SLHS art teacher and sponsor Marco Rando.
This year, two heads — representing the right and left sides of the brain — will be strung together using several reflective cords. The sculpture would be tied down with aircraft cable, as has typically been done with previous installations.
The 9-foot-tall sculpture aims to reflect the brain’s role as a “superintelligent force” that powers the body and displays the brain’s synergetic functions, challenging the idea of individuals simply being left-brained or right-brained.
“Our sculpture will be recognizing the beauty and the complexity of the human brain,” said Sophia Pick, a SLHS student.
Evening lights will be hidden inside platform boxes. The two contrasting faces of the sides of the brain will be connected with wooden beams and a web of neurons made out of paracord — a design that aims to reflect the interconnectivity of the brain.
The sculpture takes inspiration from the Moire effect, a method using dots or lines that creates illusions. The effect would be incorporated into the wire mesh of the sculpture.
Students from the club presented the project to Reston Association’s Design Review Board on April 19.
The board unanimously approved the application after seeking clarification on how the project would be anchored for stability.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing this out there,” said member James Lozoskie.
Rando noted that the club got off to a “slow start” due to the transition from virtual to in-person learning, but have made good progress so far. Students have been working on the project since the beginning of the school year.
He did not immediately indicate the cost of the project and the expected date of installation.
This year, several community sponsors — including Red’s Table, Public Art Reston, and Mary and David Prochnow — helped raised funds for the project.
Students hope to display detailed artwork on panels essentially made of an aluminum composite — a feature they said was possible because significant funds were raised for the project.
Reston Association’s search for a leader to head the association has been extended to May.
The announcement comes as the association’s Board of Directors said it planned to hire a CEO soon after new board members took office after elections in mid-April.
The position has been vacant since September after former CEO Hank Lynch resigned in August after a little over four years with the organization. RA’s chief operating officer Larry Butler has been serving as acting CEO since then.
RA declined to comment on why the application deadline was moved to May 9 after the association had interviewed applicants and discussed the search process in several closed session meetings.
The association also declined to comment on the number of applications it has received, and how many applicants moved to the final round of discussions.
“The RA Board is continuing their search for a new CEO, and they have extended the application deadline to May 9,” RA spokesperson Mike Leone told FFXnow in an email. “The decision to continue the search is a personnel matter. RA does not comment publicly on contractual or personnel matters.”
In mid-March, finalists were interviewed, but no decision was made.
At the time, Leone told FFXnow that the board hoped to complete the hiring process in early April before the next board was seated.
Consulting firm Baker Tilly has been conducting a nationwide search for the next CEO. The position is advertised with an annual salary in the mid-$200,000s.
The vision for a mixed-use development — formerly known as Midline — is coming to life at Michael Faraday Drive.
Bethesda-based developer EYA plans to demolish an office building at 1840 Michael Faraday Drive within a month or so to make way for a seven-story apartment building with 229 units and around 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
EYA project manager Alexander Collich said demolition permits are currently processing for the site, and the building has already been decommissioned. Collich presented the project design to Reston Association’s Design Review Board at a meeting Tuesday night.
Although the presentation was only informational with no vote required, DRB members lauded the architect for the design of the building.
Michael Wood, president of the board, said the proposal depicted a “beautiful-looking building.” Others called the mix of colors and materials on the building interesting and appropriate.
But member Bruce Ramo lamented that the site — which is near where he works — is packed with so much density.
“That is a ship that is long gone,” Ramo said.
The site is part of a major mixed-use development that courted two big-name developers in the region: JBG Smith and Chevy Chase Land Company.
EYA began building 115 townhouses as part of The Townhomes at Reston Station in the summer of 2020. The project has since been completed.