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by Karen Goff — August 29, 2014 at 11:00 am 0

Dulles Toll Road Main Plaza/Credit: MWAAIt’s Labor Day weekend, which means many Restonians are on the move.

Fourteen percent of the D.C. area’s population will be going out of town for Labor Day this weekend, says AAA Mid-Atlantic.

That’s 842,100 local residents on the local roads, rails and airways. Nine out of 10 of those traveling — 735,000 residents — will doing so by automobile, says AAA.

That number is up 0.8 percent from 2013. The lowest Labor Day weekend gas prices in four years are helping to drive the increase, an AAA spokesman said.

“It remains the preferred and cheapest mode of transportation for a couple traveling with children trying to squeeze in a memorable family getaway before the school year goes into high gear,” John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs said in a press release.

Air travel this weekend is expected to dip slightly, down 0.3 percent to 64,200 residents who will be flying out of the D.C. area. Other forms of transportation, like rail, are predicted to dip 0.5 percent to 43,100 travelers.

Are you hitting the road or staying put this weekend?

by Karen Goff — August 29, 2014 at 9:30 am 3 Comments

Pyramid of Light/Credit: Sean BahramiSummer is about to end, and so is the the Pyramid of Light.

The public art project built by South Lakes High School art students is slated to be dismantled on Friday.

The project — a pyramid on the base of the concrete spilllway that features brightly painted plexiglass panels — was constructed on the Lake Thoreau spillway in early May.

It was originally supposed to remain in place for half the summer. But the pyramid proved to be a crowd favorite, and the students got permission to leave it up through the end of August.

They even returned to the site in July to repair the structure, which had seen many of its plexiglass panels blow away during storms. The repairs worked and the pyramid has been standing intact since.

The student artists worked on the project for more than year, taking it from sketches to construction. The students had to go through the Reston Association’s Design Review Board process.

Turning the spillway into public art was the idea of James Pan, a Reston resident who suggested the concrete square that can be seen from South Lakes Drive would be a great space for art. He offered financial support if the students would work on a project, said Anne Delaney, executive director of Initiative for Public Art Reston, which sponsored the project.

South Lakes High School art teacher Marco Rando, the advisor for the project, has said he would like to see more projects constructed on the spillway in the future.

by Karen Goff — August 29, 2014 at 8:00 am 201 0

Flowers at RA Community Garden Lake Anne

Cops Say Slow Down – The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County Police Department and dozens of homeowner association and Neighborhood Watch residents kicked off a new community-wide speed initiative at the FCPD driver training track in Chantilly on Thursday. New signs will be added to remind drivers to “Slow Down, We Live Here; You Live Here.” [Fairfax County Police]

SOL Scores Stay Flat — Fairfax County Public Schools’ Standards of Learning scores showed minimal improvement this year, state data shows. While county schools fared better than peers across the state on the 2013-14 Standards of Learning exams, they struggled to bounce back from the large scoring drops of the previous year, when new tests were introduced. [Fairfax Times]

Kudos to LHMS’ Threlkeld – Timothy Threlkeld, who has taught technology and engineering education at Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston for eight years, was named Virginia Technology and Engineering Education Association Middle School Teacher of the Year. Threlkeld is known for teaching technological skills to his students while helping them understand the challenges of their use. His students learn problem solving skills; participate in project design, testing, and evaluation; build prototypes; and learn workplace readiness, the school system says. [FCPS]

 Photo: RA Community Garden Lake Anne

by Karen Goff — August 29, 2014 at 8:00 am 0

On Fridays, we take a moment to thank Reston Now’s advertisers and sponsors.

Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the business community for the vibrant region.

Reston Station, Comstock’s mixed-use development and parking garage at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro stop.

The Avant, new luxury rentals in the heart of Reston Town Center.

Berry & Berry, PLLC, Reston law firm specializing in federal employment, retirement, labor union, and security clearance matters.

Just Cats Clinic, Reston’s first cats-only vet practice.

Reston Real Estate, Eve Thompson of Long & Foster Real Estate specializes in Reston homes.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment, bringing you the Washington Mystics season.

Reston Community Center, Serving Reston’s recreational and cultural needs.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s School of Real Estate, where prospective Realtors can get training to become licensed.

Cindy L. Beyer Design, Reston-based interior design firm with creative ideas for residential and commercial clients.

Van Metre Homes, handcrafted homes since 1955.

Apartment Showcase, your guide to apartments for rent in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Dulles Town Center, the premier shopping and dining destination of Loudoun County.

by Karen Goff — August 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm 0

2014 Jazz & Blues PosterThe sounds of jazz return to Lake Anne Plaza Saturday at the 8th Annual Lake Anne Jazz & Blues Festival.

The free event offers fun for the whole family, with notable regional and national jazz musicians. The festival runs from 2 to 8 p.m.

There will be cornhole for the kids and beer and wine for adults, featuring Champion Missile IPA from Charlottesville and Bells Oberon Ale from Michigan.

The Initiative for Public Art Rest (IPAR) will have two displays/activities at the festival. One is a mural by Reston artist Abbie Fundling. People of all ages are invited to add their touch of color to the mural.

The other project is Before I Die by artist Candy Chang. Before I Die is an interactive temporary public art project that invites people to share their personal aspirations in public spaces.

The original wall was created in February 2011 on an abandoned house in Candy Chang’s neighborhood in New Orleans. Since then, more than 525 Before I Die walls have been created in 70 countries in over 30 languages.

This year’s musical headliner is the Adrian Duke Project. Duke is a New Orleans-influenced pianist, composer and vocalist.

Performance Schedule

  • 2 p.m. — Nia Olibesi Trio
  • 3 p.m. — John Lee Quartet
  • 4 p.m. — Mykle Lyons Quintet
  • 5 p.m. – Chip Bubeck Trio
  • 6 p.m. – Sam Gunderson
  • 7 p.m. – Adrian Duke Project  

The festival is sponsored by Lane Anne Merchants, Friends of Lake Anne, Northern Virginia Magazine, the Reston Community Center, Reston Association and Republic Land Development.

The festival will be held rain or shine.

by Karen Goff — August 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm 0

RCC LOGO The cost of swimming in Reston Community Center’s indoor pool will rise next week.

“This fee increase is necessary in order for us to ensure that RCC and the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center continue to offer patrons a high-quality experience,” says RCC executive director Leila Gordon. “Rest assured that our pricing will always factor in the subsidy that Reston patrons should and can expect as a result of the Small District 5 taxes they pay to support RCC.”

Individual swim passes will rise from $4 to $4.50 for an adult Reston resident. That same daily swim rate will now be $9 for a Fairfax County resident (up from $8) and $13 for a non-resident (up from $12). Youth and senior rates will be $2.75 (formerly $2.50), $5.50 and $8.25.

A 20-visit pass will rise to $73 from $65 for Reston adults; the pass will remain at $45 for youth and senior residents.

Other new prices:

  • 20-visit pass Fairfax County adult/youth or senior: $146/$90
  • 12-month pass Reston adult: $425; County resident, $850; non resident: $1,275
  • 12-month pass Reston youth/senior: $215; County resident, $430; non-resident, $645

The pool is currently closed until Sept. 14 for annual maintenance.

For more information, visit www.restoncommunitycenter.org or stop by the Aquatic Services Desk at RCC Hunters Woods.

by Taylor Ryan — August 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm 0

Rental Trends

This is a sponsored post by Taylor Ryan of Apartment Showcase. Rental Trends runs alternating Thursdays on Reston Now.

Moving can be expensive, time consuming, and stressful. Here are some tips to save you from the pitfalls and hassles of moving! For additional tips on moving and finding apartments, stop by the Apartment Showcase blog.

Boxes

Boxes are meant to be free – Have you seen how much brand new cardboard boxes go for these days? U-Haul sells moving “kits” for no cheaper than $68.74. That’s madness! Considering you’re almost certainly going to toss the boxes out after you move, the act of buying those boxes is literally the equivalent to throwing your money away. You may not believe it, but other people fell for buying new boxes. Now they have lightly used boxes that they don’t want to throw away (because they spent money on them), but need the boxes to go away. This may be why craigslist was created. On any given day, you can find an assortment of boxes on the “free” section of craigslist. Find a listing near you and snag yourself enough boxes to get the job done. Always grab more than you think you need.

Packing

Keep similar things together If you’re packing up the kitchen, make it easier on your future self and only pack kitchen supplies in that box and label it. Labeling will help save you trips and keep you organized. The only exception to this rule is below.

Packing supplies  If you’re thinking about buying packing paper for your plates/dishes; don’t. Newspaper does the exact same job. For larger objects that are bit more delicate, use blankets, towels, and clothing to soften the blow. A small note on tape, there isn’t much of a difference between what they sell at the dollar store to what is sold at the Penske truck rental center, except for the price.

Transporting

Renting a truck  Schedule your move in advance. Not only do you want to make sure the Apartment Community knows what day you’ll be moving in, but you need to make sure you have a truck reserved if you need one. You can’t expect to reserve a moving truck the day before your stuff has to be out of your old place. It might make for a funny story later, but it only serves as an agonizingly stressful speed bump in the moving process. Sometimes there are specials and coupon codes online that can save you $20+ on your truck. Do a quick google search for, “Moving truck coupon code” or something similar to it and you’ll find some deals. And just like a rental car, make sure you put gas back in the tank before you return the truck.

Rental truck insurance – A quick google search of “Should I buy insurance on my moving truck” will confuse and worry you. Do you know for certain that your personal auto policy will cover that truck? What are the exceptions in their policy? Before you fork over the extra $25-$50 that might not even cover you in case of an accident, place a quick call to your insurance agent and find what their policy is on moving trucks. You pay them every month to answer your questions.

(more…)

by Karen Goff — August 28, 2014 at 11:00 am 0

Fill the boot/Credit: MDAFairfax County Fire Rescue personnel will be out on the streets in Reston and the rest of Fairfax County this weekend as part of the annual Fill The Boot campaign. The fundraiser benefits the Greater Washington Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Fairfax County has been taking part in the fundraiser for 30 years, and for the pst eight has consistently finished among the top three in the nation for amount collected during the weekend campaign. Fairfax has frequently topped  such large cities as Houston and Los Angeles.

During the 2013 Labor Day weekend campaign, Fairfax County collected over $602,000 for Greater Washington MDA, which was the highest amount collected by any municipality in the US and Canada in 2013. It also was the highest amount collected at any time in the 59-year history of Fill the Boot nationwide.

Firefighters will be out with the boots from Friday to Monday at controlled intersections all over Fairfax County and the Town of Clifton.

Proceeds raised during the  campaign help support MDA services and research programs in the Washington, D.C. area, including MDA’s annual camp for kids affected by neuromuscular disease and outpatient clinics for people with more than 40 neuromuscular diseases at Children’s National Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital.

Photo courtesy of MDA

by Karen Goff — August 28, 2014 at 9:30 am 734 0

Wendi Kaufman/Credit: Elizabeth OsborneWendi Kaufman, an accomplished writer who lived in Fox Mill, died on Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. She was 50.

Kaufman’s collection of short stories, Helen on 86th Street, is set to be published by Stillhouse Press in September.

Kaufman was a graduate of George Mason University’s MFA writing program. She was a frequent contributor to Washingtonian and The Washington Post. Her fiction writing had been published in the New Yorker, as well as many literary journals and magazines.

“I grew up in a sleepy town in the Hudson River Valley, about an hour from New York City, the kind of place Washington Irving wrote about,” Kaufman told an interviewer who used the original Helen on 86th Street story as a classroom assignment.

“I always felt it was a boring town, a place where nothing ever happened. What I didn’t realize was that the most important things were happening around me every day, the drama of daily life.”

A New York native, Kaufman was a winner of the Mary Roberts Rhinehart Award for Short Fiction and was a Breadloaf Writer’s Conference Scholar in Fiction. She also was a fellowship awardee from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Kaufman was also a voracious reader. She once gave this advice for young writers:

“Simple: Read, read, read. And, of course, keep writing. There are things that come out on the page, when pen hits paper, that you weren’t expecting, that you didn’t plan for. Those are the moments we all strive for. Writing is about possibilities, about freedom of the blank page.”

Kaufman was a member of Shoreshim of Reston. She is survived by her husband, David, and two teenage sons, Alex and Eli.

Memorial contributions can be made to Inova’s Life With Cancer Program.

 Photo: Wendi Kaufman/Credit: Elizabeth Osborne

by Karen Goff — August 28, 2014 at 8:00 am 201 0

Lots of Soccer — Join the Reston Soccer Association for their Fall Kick-off Festival on Sunday, Aug. 31 at South Lakes High School. The free event is from 9 a.m. to…

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