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Reena Singh

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Pioneering Change For Autism

University of Virginia seminar studies tension between “The Science & Lived Experience of Autism.”

Despite a recent surge in attention and research over the past decade about autism, controversy exists.

Lake Anne Proposal Deferred

New public hearing for apartment redevelopment set for Feb. 17.

The county Board of Supervisors hearing on the zoning for the future Lake Anne Crescent Apartments was deferred last week. Because of a problem with Lake Anne Development Partners LLC’s affidavit, the public hearing was moved to Feb. 17. “We will have a public hearing on the case,” said Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. “I hope we have had enough thoroughness with the plan.”

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New Retirement Building and Community Center Open in McLean

75 apartments in Vinson Hall Independent Living all booked.

New senior living apartments in town will serve as home for 75 retired government workers. After a decade of design and construction, the Navy Marine Coast Guard and Vinson Hall Retirement Community held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new independent living apartment building and community center on Jan. 22.

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Referendum for Land Purchase

A referendum for a parcel of land north of the Dulles Toll Road is being put forth by Reston Association. The parcel, owned by Tetra Properties, will be sold to Reston Association after a voting process that ends in May. “It seems to be a good way to get control of a property that, over time, can be subjected to a lot of pressure as the surrounding areas around it develop,” said Lake Anne-Tall Oaks Director Eve Thompson.

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Fairfax Connector To Connect Even Better?

Proposal promises better connections with route changes.

Fairfax County Department of Transportation is working on a better system of buses for the Reston and Herndon area. Representatives from the county transportation team held a public hearing on route changes for the Fairfax Connector on Jan. 28 for a small audience at the Reston Community Center in Lake Anne.

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Langley Alumna Ranks High at Air Force Academy

Sophia Vasiliadis named Wing Commander of school.

Four years ago, Sophia Vasiliadis was about to graduate from Langley High School and unsure of the direction she wanted to take in life. Since then, it has been up, up and away. Today, the 22-year-old student at the Air Force Academy (AFA) is now leading the entire student body as the new Cadet Wing.

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Chesapeake Chocolates to Take Over Lake Anne Florist Shop

Longtime Lake Anne business owner Linda Fuller retired both herself and her shop, Lake Anne Florist, last week. The shop will reopen Saturday, Feb. 7 as an expanded Chesapeake Chocolates.

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Impromptu Motion Struck Down

Singh resolution reaffirming Town position failed.

A prior incident between a councilmember and the town manager lead to an impromptu motion. Councilmember Jasbinder Singh motioned for a resolution at the Jan. 27 meeting calling for the town manager - currently Arthur Aselene - to give council members any material they want to decide on resolutions.

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Update: Roadway Paving On Hold

VDOT to resume Georgetown Pike project with good weather.

Due to erratic weather conditions, roadwork on Georgetown Pike is moving slower than originally anticipated. The historic byway running through the village was supposed to be finished by the end of November. According to Virginia Department of Transportation Communications Representative Jennifer McCord, the exact date of completion will only be known when there is a break from threats of snow and ice.

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Schools to Expand by $856 Million

Capital Improvement Plan approved, rising enrollment causes concerns about classroom space.

Five more school buildings and renovations for several existing ones may be approved by 2020. The Fairfax County School Board approved the $856 million Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at the Jan. 22 meeting to set priority on the projects the school system wants done in the next five years.

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Outlook: Downtown Herndon Takes Shape

Washington and Old Dominion Trail to become “centerpiece,” says mayor.

This year will be all about creating a livelier, more energetic downtown. The town council will take their plans to make the historic area more business-friendly from resolutions to reality this year.

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McLean Festival Finds a Sweet Spot

Chocolate Festival gets ‘smoother and smoother’ every year.

Chocolate covered bacon, chocolate covered marshmallows, chocolate gelato... And the list goes on. The fourth annual McLean Rotary Chocolate Festival attracted hundreds of sweet tooths to the community on Sunday, Jan. 25, to indulge in their favorite treats.

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Referendum for Reston Land Purchase

Former Visitor Center property could be bought back.

A referendum for a parcel of land north of the Dulles Toll Road is being put forth by Reston Association. The parcel, owned by Tetra Properties, will be sold to Reston Association after a voting process that ends in May.

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Reston National Golf Stays the Course - for Now

Appeal decision to be announced April 15.

Julie Bitzer moved to a home near the Reston National Golf Course so she can indulge in her favorite past time as often as she likes. “I’m a golfer,” she said. “I was ecstatic I could live at and see the golf course and the open space.” With a home that faces the expansive greens of the 18-hole course, she felt her lifestyle and home were at risk when RN Golf - owned by Northwestern Mutual - appealed the Fairfax County Planning and Zoning staff’s decision that the course could not be converted to a residential area. She was not the only one to be concerned by the appeal.

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Outlook: Reston Master Plan Takes Shape

Village Center updates, national golf course appeal mean big decisions.

Restonians may see their ideas become resolutions on paper this year. Community leaders are saying residents can look forward to new village center plans, the beginnings of a new Lake Anne Village Center and a decision on whether Reston National Golf Course wins the appeal on residential zoning.

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Great Falls Outlook: Facing Hot Issues

Keeping up-to-date on toxic plume, deer management, Turner Farm House, Route 7.

Great Falls residents will see the results of past resolutions and actions in the next 12 months. Community leaders said the biggest topics the village will discuss this year include deer management, the Route 7 expansion and possible Independence Day fireworks.

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McLean Outlook: Developing the Community

Completion of community centers, pedestrian improvements.

McLean community leaders will be busy this year. Between the looming pedestrian improvements and downtown development residents have a lot to look forward to.

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Herndon Residents Air Concerns to Legislators

Town Hall meeting addresses concerns about elections, Dulles Toll Road.

Education, town elections and transportation. Those and more were the topics Herndon residents asked about during the town hall meeting with Del. Tom Rust (R-86) and state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-33) on Jan. 17.

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Demolition at Langley Begins

Three-year renovation project will update local school.

Phase one of Langley High School’s renovation project has begun. The building, built in the 1960s, will receive its first major overhaul in an effort to update the building to create a more effective learning environment for students.

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Mathews Win Final 2014 Herndon Good Neighbor Award

The final Good Neighbor winner was awarded at Herndon Town Council’s Jan. 13 meeting. Shannon and David Mathews, Summerfield Drive, were awarded due to their helpful nature and big hearts.

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Chocolate Lover’s Paradise in McLean

Chocolate Festival returns on Sunday, Jan. 25.

One day every year, McLean Community Center is a chocolate lover’s dream. The McLean Chocolate Festival will host 17 vendors selling decadent artisan chocolate goods on Jan. 25, ranging from candies to chocolate dipped bacon.

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The Dream is Alive

Reston Community Center holds annual celebration for MLK holiday.

Reston Community Center is keeping the dream alive. RCC’s annual Hunters Woods luncheon program to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and analyze current issues in racism was held on Monday, Jan. 20, with keynote speaker Anna Deavere Smith’s series of monologues showing Restonians how Americans have reclaimed grace in the face of adversity.

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McLean Residents Air Concerns to Legislators

Town Hall meeting held in McLean Community Center.

Six local state legislators listened to the concerns of a room full of people last Saturday. Several delegates and state senators took part in a Town Hall meeting on Jan. 17 at the McLean Community Center to talk about some of their bills and find out what issues their constituents thought were important.

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Howell, Plum Meet With Residents

Citizens get chance to voice concerns before General Assembly session.

This General Assembly session will be a tough year to budget, according to two local legislators. State Senator Janet Howell (D-32) and Del. Ken Plum (D-36) met with local residents Jan. 8 at Reston Community Center - Hunter Mill to talk about the upcoming session and hear what their constituents thought are the issues to focus on.

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Reston to the Rescue

Rescue Reston hopes to save local golf course.

Rescue Reston wants to see a sea of yellow T-shirts on Jan. 21. The organization wants supporters to show that local residents do not want the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals to allow Reston National Golf Course to be bulldozed.

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Deadline for School Audit Committee Changes

Citizens Association wants community members added to School Board committee.

McLean Citizens Association (MCA) wants the county School Board to add community members to the audit committee. MCA voted on a resolution Jan. 7- stemming on a resolution made by Fairfax County Public School board members recently - to make changes to the audit committee by July 1.

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Herndon Residents Praise Town Services

Locals give high scores to golf course, community center in survey.

Herndon residents are extremely satisfied with their quality of life in the historic town. According to a survey conducted by Continental Research Associates (CRA), residents find most town services to be exemplary.

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The $2.4 Billion Question

FCPS Superintendent presents next year’s budget.

Fairfax County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza is proposing a $2.4 billion budget for the 2015-16 school year. The proposed Fairfax County Public Schools’ budget includes funds for full-day Mondays, teacher compensation and later high school start times while still finding room for $55.4 million in cuts.

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A Taste of Europe in Herndon

New location means a growth in clientele for Europa restaurant owners.

Europa isn’t new. It’s just new to Herndon. The Mediterranean restaurant, operated by the Fuentes family, moved from Tall Oaks Village Center and found a home on Station Street.

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New Schools, Boundary Changes Possible

Proposed Capital Improvement Plan focuses on rising enrollment.

Several new schools may be added to the Fairfax County Public Schools system in the next decade. The School Board listened to an annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) presentation by Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey Platenberg on Dec. 18, 2014, describing the need for four more elementary schools and one high school to meet the demands of rapidly rising enrollment.

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A Year Ahead: Herndon in 2015

Taking new downtown off paper and into reality.

This year will be all about creating a Metro-friendly downtown. While the town council focused on policies that will make the historic area more business friendly, 2015 will take them off paper and into reality.

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Looking Forward: Reston 2015

Village Center updates planned.

After an eventful year, Reston may see their ideas become resolutions on paper. Community leaders are looking forward to new village center plans, the beginnings of a new Lake Anne Village Center and a new district government center this year.

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Kathleen Murphy wins 34th District

Voters turn up despite snow storm.

Kathleen Murphy was greeted with cheers by more than a hundred supporters as she entered her victory party at McLean Community Center. The democrat won the 34th District seat of the state House of Delegates, 6,406 to 6,082, on Tuesday after Republican Craig Parisot conceded the race.

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2014 in Great Falls: A Year in Review

Groundwater contamination and a swell in volunteerism.

In the past year, the village has gone through changes that will impact the future of the community. 2014 in Great Falls saw an uptick of volunteer support, walkability in the village center and a corrective action plan for the Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) groundwater contamination.

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Jones Branch Connector Hoped to Relieve Tysons traffic.

The proposed Jones Branch Connector may be the answer to some of the congestion issues on Route 7. During the public hearing on Dec. 10 at Spring Hill Elementary for the pending transportation project, Project Manager John Dresser said it would be a pressure valve for the increasingly heavy traffic through Tysons Corner during rush hour.

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Ellen Findley Honored with Herndon Good Neighbor Award

Another winner of the Good Neighbor Award was named at the Dec. 9 Town Council meeting.

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Parisot: Running with Purpose

Colleagues say delegate candidate Craig Parisot’s ‘got his priorities straight.’

Craig Parisot can juggle. Whether that means candy canes or work-life balance, he catches everything that comes his way. With a growing new family, a growing list of leadership roles in the community and an active campaign as the Republican candidate for Delegate of the 34th District, this is a job that requires both hands.

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November Herndon Elections Approved

May elections nixed, two year terms stay.

Herndon elections will transition into a November election schedule. Herndon Town Council voted to amend the town charter at the Dec. 9 meeting to allow for the elections to be held in November rather than May after four public hearings.

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Langley Principal Leaves for South County

Matthew Ragone created “Saxon Country,” says school family network committee co-chair.

For six years, he was the glue that brought Langley High School (LHS) together. LHS Principal Matthew Ragone has left the school to boost South County High School’s academics as its new principal.

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2014 in Herndon: A Year in Review

Rezoning, trail lighting and November elections events of the year.

In the past year, Herndon made sure to make small steps to make the future brighter and easier to plan. Between rezoning downtown for future revitalization and creating more inclusiveness in the community by giving a voice to minority groups, the town is paving its way into the next 20 years.

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2014 in Reston: Metro Comes to Town

Metro brings change on community’s 50th anniversary.

Reston has gone through historic changes in the past year. 2014 brought Phase One of the Metro’s Silver Line and community input to redevelop all of Robert’s Simon’s village center visions on the 50th anniversary of his namesake.

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County Superintendent Listens to Reston

Dr. Karen Garza’s listening tour stops at Hunters Woods Elementary.

She’s listening. At the last stop of 2014 for her listening tour, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza listened to parents, students, teachers and residents about their concerns about the school system, ranging from cyberbullying to teacher pay on Saturday morning at Hunters Woods Elementary.

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Fighting for Common Sense

Colleagues say Kathleen Murphy is compassionate and dedicated.

According to her friends and colleagues, Kathleen Murphy is dedication and compassion personified. The cancer survivor and former military child is turning her experiences into action by running for a second time for the state House of Delegates 34th district - this time with more wisdom.

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Holiday Season Begins at Mesmeralda’s in McLean

One of McLean's oldest shops is getting in the holiday spirit. Brimming with candles, cards decor and a host of holiday and hostess gifts, Mesmeralda’s is a store where a visitor can pick up something for everyone on their list.

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Garza on School Matters

School system superintendent addresses citizens’ concerns.

Dressed in a black skirt suit and a maroon blouse, Dr. Karen Garza was ready to take on questions and comments from concerned area residents. At the last event of McLean Citizens Association, the Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent was invited to talk to residents about pressing education matters like overcrowded classrooms and budget concerns at the McLean Community Center on Dec. 1.

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Senior Safety Summit Held at the Herndon Harbor House.

Area senior citizens got a lesson on safety from the professionals. The first of two Senior Safety Summits was held on Friday, Dec. 5 at the Herndon Harbor House to show the area’s oldest residents how to remain safe for the holidays and beyond.

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Community Behind Potential Garden Plots in Herndon

Community gardens in Herndon are a step closer to becoming a reality.

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Herndon Florist Ready for the Holidays

The shop boasts red, green and white arrangements and decor.

As a shop that has been a local institution for nearly 40 years, Herndon Florist has experienced the holiday season many times. The shop is stocked with its usual items that have grown to be popular for holiday shoppers as the temperatures drop.

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Saddling Up to the Holidays in Great Falls

The Saddlery has gifts for all, equestrian or not.

Tucked inside of a Walker Road shopping center is a local equestrian’s holiday secret. The Saddlery, a shop that specializes in equestrian gear and clothing for women, is brimming with hostess gifts, stocking stuffers and presents for nearly all women.

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Residents Speak Out Against Cluster Development

Basheer and Edgemoore representatives meet with residents for discussion.

More than 150 residents showed up on a Wednesday night to speak against cluster development proposal seeking rezoning. The Citizens for the Heart of Great Falls, among other area residents, left unsatisfied with Basheer and Edgemoore’s answers on Dec. 3 at Forestville Elementary about their development proposal, many stating they would prefer to have the zoning kept to 5 acre lots rather than splitting them.