by Del. Ken Plum — October 1, 2014 at 1:00 pm 2 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoI first heard of Vincent F. (Vince) Callahan, Jr. in 1965 when he ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of Virginia.

It was his first run for political office, and while it may seem that he aimed high to start, in those days it was easy to get the Republican nomination since the Republicans always lost.

Callahan got 37 percent of the vote, but four years later his running mate for governor, Linwood Holton, who had also gotten just 37 percent of the vote, was elected the first Republican governor of Virginia since Reconstruction.

In the meantime, Vince had run successfully for the House of Delegates in 1967. He served for the next 40 years, making him the second longest serving member of the House of Delegates in history. Vince recently died of West Nile virus and was buried last week.

In 1978, I joined Vince as part of a five-person delegation representing Northern Virginia that was split with three Democrats and two Republicans. Although we were from different parties, Vince and I worked closely together on many issues including education and transportation.

He was a strong proponent of public schools and was a real champion for George Mason University while on the Appropriations Committee. He eventually became chairman of that committee when Republicans took control of the House of Delegates. He worked hard for money for transportation for the region, and when I organized the Dulles Corridor Rail Association he became vice chairman of the Association.

I will miss Vince very much, and I continue to miss the era of politics he represented. We worked together on behalf of our constituents without regard to party. In the early years we shared the goals of wresting power from the Byrd machine that had controlled Virginia with an iron fist for most of the 20th century.

While I was part of the Democratic majority at the time, I was shut out of many of the decisions of government because I was a Northern Virginian and progressive. Before he left the House of Delegates, Vince was feeling the alienation from his party that now controls the House just as I felt in the early days when the Democrats were in control.

In recent years, Vince started to publicly endorse Democrats including Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and Governor Terry McAuliffe. He simply could not accept the tea party ideology that dominates the Republican Party in Virginia today.

There were excesses of power when the Democrats controlled the House of Delegates when Vince was first elected. During his years in office there was a shift of power to the Republicans where the same excesses of power can be seen.

Vince knew of the experiences under the Democrats and did not contribute to repeating them when his party came to power. He worked on behalf of the good of the Commonwealth and his constituents–not ideology or party. Vince Callahan was a true Virginia statesman.

Ken Plum represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Reston Now.

by Karen Goff — October 1, 2014 at 11:00 am 0

Ralph Cosham/Credit: Audiofile MagazineReston-based actor Ralph Cosham died on Tuesday after an illness. He was 78.

Cosham, a British-born former journalist, was a regular for many years in productions at Washington’s Arena Stage and Shakespeare Theatre.

Since 1992, Cosham’s distinctive voice had been used for more than 100 audiobook recordings, some using the pseudonym Geoffrey Howard.

He won an Audio Publisher’s Audie Award for best mystery and AudioFile Earphones and Library Journal awards for best audiobook.

Some of the classics Cosham recorded in recent years: The Time Machine, Heart of Darkness, Frankenstein, Around the World in Eighty Days, Alice in Wonderland, and Watership Down. 

His best-known audiobooks were as the voice of Armand Gamache in Candadian author Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series.

He recorded many of the books in his home studio in Reston.

“For me, if you don’t get Gamache, the series is lost to you, Penny told the Washington Post earlier this year. “Ralph brings him alive, I think, because he understands Gamache.”

Cosham also appeared in several movies. Among his film credits: Supreme Court Justice Jensen in The Pelican Brief (1993); a driver in Shadow Conspiracy (1997); Judge Assel Steward in Suspect (1987); a Marine Lieutenant in Starman (1984).

Cosham is the husband of Beverly Cosham, accomplished actress and singer. Beverly Cosham is the Chair of the Reston Community Center Board of Governors and a 2011 “Best of Reston” Honoree.

Service information is pending.

Photo of Ralph Cosham/Credit: AudioFile magazine

by Karen Goff — October 1, 2014 at 9:30 am 1 Comment

Lights on Reston ParkwayDevelopment-watcher group Reston 2020 says it is concerned about planned improvements for connectivity in Reston — at the expense of motorists.

In a letter to Richard Lambert of Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Zoning, Reston 2020 says that autos will still rule in Reston. So whether we are transit-oriented in the future, we still need to accommodate more cars on the road.

The county should start by ensuring that developer proffers should help pay for widening of Reston Parkway to ease future traffic flow, Reston 2020 says.

The lengthy letter comes in response to the Reston Master Plan Phase II “Strawman Draft” released by the county a few weeks ago. The county is taking feedback from citizens and citizen groups as it organized the comprehensive plan for Reston’s village centers and neighborhoods.

Says Reston 2020:

We are enthusiastic about improved connectivity in Reston, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists, but not at the expense of vehicular traffic.

Automobiles will remain the predominant mode of transportation in Reston, especially in its suburban areas, and even the plans for expanded bus service will mean the greater use of Reston’s roadways.

Moreover, the planned addition of some 50,000 people to the TSAs [transit station areas] and the potential addition of several thousand new residents to the village centers means there will be more vehicular traffic.

We would put special emphasis on key north-south roadways that, in our view, received short shrift in the Phase 1 effort. Much of the traffic generated in Reston, including some commuting traffic, involves people moving from the north to south or vice versa suburban (Phase 2) areas of our community.

In particular, as part of the proffer process,we would ask again that Reston Parkway (including the corridor overpass) be expanded to three through lanes all the way north to Baron Cameron Avenue and south to Glade, about one-mile from the Town Center Metro station in each direction, to facilitate the movement of traffic to, from, and through the Town Center TSA.

The standing County approvals for the 23-story Town Center Office Building and the 10-12-story mixed-use Spectrum Center, both outside the half-mile walkability circle, highlight the relatively urgent need for the road’s expansion north of the corridor.

The choking of suburban traffic will only hurt the development of both the TSA and suburban Reston. In addition to ensuring that connectivity does not come at the expense of vehicular traffic, we have proposed stronger language to help ensure that any traffic impacts caused by redevelopment are mitigated by developers.

The plan must at least sustain the existing level of service (LOS) for Restoniansin the Phase 2 study area, including accommodations for TSA residents to drive in the suburban areas of Reston to a school, park, preferred supermarket or other retail outlet, and even their place of work beyond suburban Reston.

See the entire letter and markup of the Master Plan draft text on Reston 2020′s website.

Photo: Traffic on Reston Parkway/File photo

by Karen Goff — October 1, 2014 at 8:00 am 1 Comment

Boat on Reston lake/Credit: Brendan Ross via Flickr

Pay Car Taxes Soon — Residents have five more days to pay this year’s car taxes. Fairfax County is ready for you online. [Fairfax County]

Race for GRACE — Sign up soon for the 2014 GRACE Race, a 5K to benefit the first Greater Reston Arts Center. The course begins at the Pavilion in Reston Town Center, continues on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, and finishes back at the Pavilion. The 5K will be followed by a Kids’ Dash in Reston Town Center at 9:30 a.m. [Potomac River Running]

The Battle for The Nearby 10th — Frank Wolf’s seat in the 10th Congressional District is up for grabs and candidates Barbara Comstock (R) and John Foust (D) are raising lots of money and spending lots of money as the November election nears. [Fairfax Times]

Vote in RCC Preference PollThree seats on the Reston Community Center Board of Governors are up for re-election, and the deadline to cast your vote is Friday. [RCC]

Photo: Reston boat ride/Credit: Brendan Ross via Flickr

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

Mayflowers owner May Bernhardt/Credit: MayflowersCornerstones and Mayflowers are gearing up for the third annual Reston Town Center Help the Homeless Walk Thursday at noon.

Cornerstones says more than 300 participants have signed up for the walk, in which participants will walk from Mayflowers to Embry Rucker Community Shelter and back.

Several groups from Reston Town Center-based businesses such as Microsoft and Leidos will also participate. Two businesses making an impact: Primatics, which will present a $25,000 check at the event as well as well as Cooley, the law office that will give $25,100 that employees have raised to help the homeless.

Participants will walk for a family or individual housed through Cornerstones’ Rapid Re-Housing Challenge. Cornerstones’ goal for the project is to house 15 families and 25 individuals from July through September.

The first 200 people to check in will receive a floral umbrella from Mayflowers.

Want to walk? Here is what you need to know?

Entry fee is $25 ($20 for youth). Sponsorship of families in need is also available. Visit Cornerstones online to register.

Participants will gather at Mayflowers Floral Studio, 11959 Market St. in the Promenade, for opening remarks by organizers and Delegate Ken Plum and Supervisor Cathy Hudgins.

Photo: Mayflowers owner May Bernhardt with floral umbrellas to give away at walk on Thursday/Credit: Mayflowers

by Karen Goff — September 30, 2014 at 3:00 pm 791 1 Comment

Fairfax County Police Fairfax County Police said report a burglary near Hunters Woods Village Center in Reston on Sept. 23.

Police said a resident in the 12000 block of Greywing Square resident reported someone entered the residence and took property.

A previous burglary took place in the 2400 block of Founders Way in Herndon on Sept. 22. A resident reported someone entered the residence and took property.

In other news from the Reston District Station this week:

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2400 block of Masons Ferry Drive, Herndon, Sept. 21. A woman was in a parking lot when a man exposed himself. The suspect was described as black, in his 30′s and about 5 feet 11 inches tall.

ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 1300 block of Mason Mill Court, Herndon, Sept. 20. 3:04 a.m. The victim was approached by a man while in the garage of his residence. The suspect produced a handgun and demanded money. The victim resisted and the suspect fled on foot.  The victim did not require rescue. The suspect was described as white, between 5 feet 10 and 6 feet 2 inches tall.


  • 11400 block of Isaac Newton Square, purse from vehicle.
  • 11200 block of Chestnut Grove Square, briefcase from vehicle.
  • 11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, beverages from residence.
  • 9400 block of Oak Falls Court, jewelry from residence.
  • 2300 block of Elm Tree Court, bicycles from residence.
  • 2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, bicycle from business.
  • 11800 block of Spectrum Center, beverages from business.
  •  2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, beverages from business.
  • 1800 block of Explorer Street, wallet from business.
  • 900 block of Locust Street, phone from business.
  • 1200 block of Rowland Drive, license plate from vehicle.

by Karen Goff — September 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm 394 30 Comments

Bocce Court in Arlington/Credit: ARLnow.comResidents of three clusters close to Cabots Point Recreation Area have said a planned bocce court there will bring trash, parking issues, and ruin the atmosphere of a child-friendly park.

At last week’s Reston Association Board meeting, one neighbor told the board — which approved South Lakes Director Richard Chew’s proposal for a 60-by-12-foot court last December — that the court would “ruin the lives” of children who play at Cabots Point.

Some Reston Residents are also peeved that the plan was approved without adequate notification to affected parties in South Bay, Cabots Point and Cedar Cover clusters.

It turns out bocce, Italian-style lawn bowling, has raised the blood pressure of residents in other communities too.

In 2012, a proposal for bocce in Arlington’s Bluemont neighborhood led to acrimonious emails, emergency meetings and the resignations of several board members of the Bluemont Civic Association.

The issues sound familiar to the ones voiced by Reston residents.

“There were and continue to be significant concerns from neighbors at large and adjacent to the sites” for the proposed court, Bluemont resident and bocce opponent Maura Quinn told ARLnow.com in 2012. 

“Parking, trash, noise, lack of restroom facilities, and proximity to homes were all brought up over many months at BCA meetings,” she said at the time. “Many also believe that a cinder Bocce Court will cause significant dust/grime issues and will be unsightly in what is now lovely green space. There are Bocce leagues that play on grass throughout Arlington County calling into question the need for tearing out green space and replacing it with cinder.”

The Arlington County Parks Department’s response was that parking wasn’t an issue because most players would walk to the 13-by-50-foot court; that restrooms would not be needed because the park would not have more than 150 visitors at a time; that litter increase would be minimal; and that a public park should be open to the public for a variety of activities.

In the end, though, the parks department shelved the idea for Bluemont Junction Park in May of 2103, when it was deemed other sites would be more suitable. The county also did not think enough money would cover the costs — a $15,000 grant was available, but estimates for the project came in at $17,600 and $25,500.

The Reston project is estimated to cost $2,500, to be paid for by the non-profit Friends of Reston.

Even without the Bluemont court, bocce is alive and well in Arlington, where two courts opened in September 2013 in Ballston and bocce is available in a multi-use space in the Courthouse area. There are also two turf courts at La Tagliatella restaurant in Clarendon and bocce courts at Mosaic Park on Pollard Street.

The latter is the site of the DC Bocce League’s Arlington Division, which opens its season Wednesday night.

Photo: Bocce court in Ballston section of Arlington/Credit: ARLnow.com

by Eve Thompson — September 30, 2014 at 11:03 am 3 Comments

Reston Real Estate column banner

This is a sponsored column by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate

Any mom on a budget in the Washington, DC area knows about small change consignments, located at historic Lake Anne Village Center in Reston.

Since 1981, families have visited this small shop to find brand name children’s clothes, toys, and equipment. In fact, many second and even some third generation families are shopping and consigning at small change, a fact that delights owner Susann Gerstein.

Susann and two friends opened small change to make it easier for parents to recycle all those things that their children need, but quickly outgrow. Today, it has become a gathering place for mothers and grandmothers looking for quality clothes, shoes, dancewear, cleats, toys, videos, strollers, cribs, high chairs, Exersaucers and joggers. You can even find one-of-a-kind items from all over the world — a nice reflection of the cultural diversity in Reston.

It has been cited as one of the best consignment shops for children, mothers-to-be and the whole family in the Annual Washington Families Survey, and winner of the 1992 Best of Reston Award for Community Service & Business Excellence for its generous donation to families in need.

In one small shop, small change embodies all of the values of Reston. We hope it remains a vibrant part of the community for years to come. If you are in need of children’s consignments or want to donate clothes, visit their Facebook page.

by Karen Goff — September 30, 2014 at 9:30 am 244 0

Home on Reston Home Tour 2014/Credit: Reston Home Tour

Peek inside some of Reston’s most special homes on Oct. 18 at the 13th Annual Reston Home Tour.

The self-guided tour, which benefits the Reston Historic Trust, runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Since Reston is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, the theme for the home tour is Reston@50 — Celebrating the Decades.

Tickets are $25 before Oct. 11; $30 after Oct. 11; $20 for group sales. Tickets are available online or at Reston Museum and Lake Anne Florist on Lake Anne Plaza; The Wine Cabinet at North Point; and Appalachian Spring and GRACE at Reston Town Center.

Exact addresses are part of the ticket package, but meanwhile, here is how event organizers describe what will be on the home tour in 2014:

Our 13th annual tour offers a look at Reston’s history with homes spanning the decades, beginning with a vintage, 1960s, Charles Goodman townhouse in Hickory Cluster. This Mid-Century modern home is the perfect example of the land-use innovation, design excellence and physical harmony of place that Bob Simon, our founder, brought to this residential community 50 years ago.

  • A nine-month redesign and renovation, with many surprises and hiccups along the way, turned this 1990′s home overlooking Lake Newport into the very special property it is today.
  • A home from the 1970′s highlights local artists, family heirlooms and a loft outpost for the grandchildren, complete with star-gazing skylights.
  • Not your normal attic here! Come and experience a builder’s own creative expansion and renovation of his New England-style home, both inside and out.
  • The “Design on a Dime” concept never looked so good! This home, from the 1980′s, highlights the owner’s careful, yet exciting, investment in updates and decor with an eye toward their resale value.
  • The Avant, a truly inspired environment in Reston Town Center, will offer a look inside an exciting eighth-floor unit filled with a lifetime of collecting. The public spaces will also be available to view, and SLHS Culinary Arts Program will offer a tasting of the decades in the Great Room. The story is familiar. After forty years, three homes, two children, five grandchildren, millions of memories and decades spent collecting – it was time for a downsize.

Photo: “Design on a Dime” home from the 1980s on this year’s Reston Home Tour/Credit: Reston Home Tour


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