by Eve Thompson — March 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm 0

Reston Real Estate: Just Listed

This is a sponsored post by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate.

In spite of the snow and ice, 16 new properties came on to the Reston real estate market in the last week.

The total number of homes for sale has dropped to 199 – an inventory of about  three months. These numbers push the market slightly in favor of the sellers, but finding the right crossroads of price and condition are still critical when bringing a property to the market.

Here are a few of the new listings this week.

12025 New Dominion Pkwy. #301. 3BR, 2BA. $1,299,900

1560 Regatta Lane. 4BR, 3.5BA, $869,000

11340 Links Drive. 3BRm 2.5BA. $419,800; Open Sunday

11866 Saint Trinians Court. 3BR, 3.5 BA. $409,000

1520 North Point Drive. #2. 3BR, 2BA. $355,000; Open Sunday

11553 Underoak Court. 3BR,  2FB, 2HB. $359,900; Open Sunday

Visit Reston Real Estate for more listings and real estate information.

by Karen Goff — March 5, 2015 at 1:00 pm 0

singstrong20151Musical groups from high school to professional return to South Lakes High School this weekend for the seventh annual SingStrong International Charity a Cappella Festival.

The schedule is packed with five concerts at SLHS, an auction, and more than a dozen classes and coachingsall featuring nothing but the human voice.

Event proceeds support the Alzheimer’s Association and local music programs. Fans can attend single concerts or purchase weekend discount passes, which offer savings of up to 50-percent off.


This year’s performers include:

Groups will use only their voices to perform leads, harmonies and to vocally imitate a virtual orchestra of sounds  – including jazz trumpet, classical strings, distorted electric guitar and a full drum set.

Some of the other highlights:

Friday, 7 p.m. Concert features  “ACA-Idol,”  an a cappella competition for professional and collegiate groups in the style of American Idol. Celebrity judges will give live feedback. The show is hosted by Jonathan Minkoff (of Blue Jupiter, acappella101.com, RARB.org). First place is $1,000, and audience members get to vote using their cell phones to help determine the winner. Competitors include: The BluesTones from JMU, The Seabelles, The Rhythm and Roos from University of Akron, Uncommon, The Lobby, CATCH-22, Pitches Be Crazy and more.

Saturday, 7 p.m. Main Event Concert features multiple professional a cappella groups including  Traces, Blue Jupiter, Anna-Maria Hefele, and Apollo Link (aka Spideyboys).

Saturday, 9:30 p.m. Main Event Concert features more pro a cappella groupsincluding  Resound, Ball in the House, Vocaldente, Ensamble Fenix, Feedback and more.

Saturday, 2 p.m. Concert features the Finals of SingStrong’s High School Competition, with awards for performance, arranging and composition, as judged by respected a cappella educators from around the country.

Sunday, 2 p.m. Concert features Resound, Traces, Ensamble Fenix, The Alexandria Harmonizers, Feedback, and Apollo Link (aka Spideyboys).

Amateur singers will be involved in classes and coaching on such topics as recording techniques, stage presence, forming and directing an a cappella group, beatboxing, copyright law, and musical arranging. 

For singers who attend without a group to perform with, SingStrong offers an open a cappella group, The Single Singers. Attendees sign up, get their music online, briefly rehearse together at the festival, and then perform on the mainstage.  
Tickets range from $15 to $35. Discounted passes available for Seniors, Students and groups of 10 or more. Free Parking. Tickets and complete info at www.SingStrong.org.

by Del. Ken Plum — March 5, 2015 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

Del. Ken Plum/File photoI voted for the Conference Committee Report on the FY2016 budget even though I did not particularly like it. Earlier, I voted against the House version of the budget.

There were some major provisions I did not like about either one. Neither accepted the more than $1 billion dollars available for Medicaid expansion that would have insured nearly 400,000 working poor Virginians and would have freed up state monies for other programs.

Neither version did enough for education. The conference report did expand mental health services and left some funds for preschool and for state employee and teacher raises. My conclusion was to vote for the conference committee report for it was the best we were going to be able to get.

Voting in the legislature is like that. You fight all you can for the issues in which you believe, but in the end state government has to continue so you vote for the best compromise you can get.

I did not think the ethics bill reported from a House committee was strong enough, and I voted against it. The conference report improved it somewhat, and I voted for it as being better than current law and a beginning on which we can make improvements in the future. I voted for the several bills that are making incremental improvement in reducing testing and other mandates in the public schools, but we need to continue in that direction in future years.

Most bills are voted on several times: in subcommittee and full committee, with amendments or a substitute, for engrossment and passage to third reading, maybe with amendments from the other house and a conference committee report, and sometimes amendments or a possible veto from the Governor.

Virginia legislators vote hundreds of times. You can follow the tortured path some bills take before passage as well as legislators’ votes at lis.virginia.gov. During the course of the legislative trail, bills get amended in sometimes small and other times major ways. Legislators sometimes are criticized for voting both ways on bills, but that happens as bills are modified. While bills may keep their same number, they can through amendment be changed significantly. Obviously persons not familiar with the process can become confused as to one’s stand on the issue, and political operatives can misuse voting information to confuse voters.

While bills may change in their specifics, they must remain consistent with the purpose as found in the bill’s title. All amendments must be germane to the purpose, and a bill can address only one purpose or object.

Hence there are no “Christmas tree” bills in the Virginia legislature. The meaning of a vote can only be discerned within the context of which it is cast. The process is fast in order for more than 2500 bills and resolutions to be considered in less than 45 days.

I have been pleased to work over many years to make the legislative process transparent in order that citizens can understand what is behind a single vote.

Ken Plum represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. His opinions are not necessarily those of Reston Now.

by Karen Goff — March 5, 2015 at 9:00 am 455 1 Comment

Ted's Bulletin at Reston Town Center

Honors For Hunters Woods Teacher — Ji Ahn, a resource teacher at Hunters Woods Elementary, was named one of two second place finishers in the Sally Ride-Deloitte 2014-15 Award for Teaching Innovation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) competition. Ahn developed a program to introduce female students to the engineering design process via hands-on design challenges. Ahn earned a $2,500 cash prize and a Sally Ride STEM license for her school that will provide professional development for teachers, eBooks, teacher guides, and technical support.

Supervisors Give Themselves A Raise — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to raise their salaries. Board members now will earn $95,000 annually. The county is facing a $90 million revenue gap. [Washington Post]

County Tax Rate To Remain SteadyThe Fairfax County Board of Supervisors took the possibility of a real estate tax rate hike off the table Tuesday. The board voted to advertise a tax rate of $1.09 per $100 of assessed value, which is the current rate, in advance of next month’s public hearings on the proposed county budget. This means that the board can reduce the tax rate but cannot increase it. [Fairfax Times]

by Karen Goff — March 5, 2015 at 7:35 am 222 0

Snow in Forest Edge Cluster/Credit: Robbie Nolan via FacebookAs expected, the overnight rain turned to snow about 7 a.m. Thursday. The latest National Weather Service forecast for Reston says 3 to 7 inches are expected. Plan for snow all day.

Here are some updates on closings and conditions:

Fairfax County Public Schools are closed.  School Age Child Care (SACC) centers are closed.

The Federal Government is closed.

Fairfax County Government offices are closed. Employees are granted emergency administrative leave. Emergency service personnel should report as scheduled.

The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are closed.

Fairfax Connector bus service may be affected by the inclement weather. Check the Connector Web page at fairfaxconnector.com for the current operating status.

For information about FASTRAN, call 703-222-9764Call: 703-222-9764, TTY 711, or online at fairfaxcounty.gov/ncs/fastran.htm.

View the public meetings calendar for any potential cancellations of public meetings of Fairfax County government Boards, Authorities or Commissions.

Emergency information is available on Fairfax County’s website (www.fairfaxcounty.gov), Facebook (www.facebook.com/fairfaxcounty), Twitter (www.twitter.com/fairfaxcounty), Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts or by calling the Fairfax County Emergency Information Hotline at 703-817-7771Call: 703-817-7771, TTY 711.

Reston Association offices are are also closed.

What do you plan to do on what seems like the 100th snow day this season?

Snow file photo by Robbie Nolan

by Karen Goff — March 4, 2015 at 7:10 pm 212 2 Comments

fcps logoFairfax County remains under a Winter Storm Warning through Thursday night.

Fairfax County Public Schools have canceled school Thursday as 4 to 8 inches of snow may fall in Northern Virginia.

From FCPS:

All Fairfax County public schools and offices will be closed March 5 (Condition 1).

The following activities in schools and on school grounds are canceled:

extracurricular activities
interscholastic contests
team practices
field trips
middle school after-school programs
professional learning and training courses
adult and community education classes
recreation programs and community use by outside groups not affiliated with FCPS
School age child care (SACC) centers are closed.

by Karen Goff — March 4, 2015 at 4:30 pm 739 2 Comments

Tyler Scott Polkinghorne/Credit: FCPDFairfax County Police have arrested a teenager in connection with a series of police impersonations on Fairfax County roads.

Police charged Tyler Scott Polkinghorne, 19, of 5066 Dequincey Dr. in Fairfax, with one count of Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer. Polkinghorne turned himself in at the Adult Detention Center on Monday.

Police said the investigation remains ongoing. Further charges are possible.

Fairfax County Crime Solvers said last week they were offering a reward to anyone led them to information on the run of impersonations that began last October. This arrest did bot end up as the result of a tip through Crime Solvers, however.

Crime Solvers said each of the three incidents in Fairfax County, a person driving on a public highway encountered a vehicle behind them that activated emergency lights, similar to what you would see on an unmarked police car.

Police did not say where in the county the incidents occurred.

The suspect vehicle in each of these three incidents has been described as a black Volkswagen sedan such as a Jetta or Passat, bearing Virginia license plates.

In each of the three incidents, the drivers did not believe the vehicle was an actual police car and therefore, did not pull over. The suspect vehicle drove away without further contact.

Photo: Tyler Scott Polkinghorne/Credit: FCPD

by RestonNow.com — March 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm 4 Comments

Ray Wedell/Credit: David Madison for RAVoting in the 2015 Reston Association Board of Directors elections is now open. We will be running candidate profiles Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The profiles are in a Q-and-A format so each candidate has an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words.

Today’s profiles are of At-Large Candidates, both of whom are running unopposed.

Ray Wedell is a leader with Rescue Reston, the advocacy group aimed at protecting Reston open space. He is a Realtor in Reston and has a background in finance.

Reston Now: What makes you want to serve — or continue to serve — on the RA Board?

RW: I love my involvement with, and the positive citizen reaction to, the work on the Rescue Reston Board (preserving the Reston National Golf Course from the ravenous reach of redevelopment by private interests).

Given the intense growth in Reston both now and in the immediate future, we are at the vortex of future growth in Northern Virginia, with complex issues involving the environment, traffic, rising employment, impacts on property values, and the entire Reston way of life. Rather than observe the change and debate its impact from the outside, I prefer to help drive the change in the direction we need it to go.

As hockey great Wayne Gretzky famously said, “Do not focus on where the puck is; focus on where it is going.”

I have the ability to not get lost in the past or present, clinging to the status quo so to speak; we need to be able to anticipate the nature and dynamics of a changing environment, and steer it in a positive direction for Reston residents.

RNWhat is the biggest issue facing RA right now and do you have an idea to improve it?

RW: There are three major issues: 1) Preserving open space and not relinquishing Reston land to private developers for their commercial interest; 2) Preserving open space and not relinquishing Reston land to private developers for their commercial interest; 3) Preserving open space and not relinquishing Reston land to private developers for their commercial interest. (more…)

by RestonNow.com — March 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm 0

This week’s Reston Pet of the Week is Brady, a puppy who is going end up being a big guy.

Here is what his owner, 10-year-old Alysa, has to say about him:

Brady is a 5-month-old puppy. He is a very energetic puppy.

Brady is the perfect dog for our family. He’s always extremely excited to see us.

Brady loves to drive in passenger seat of the car, eating snow, chewing sticks, running really fast with no leash and jumping on people’s beds.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email news@Restonnow.com with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet.

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

by Karen Goff — March 4, 2015 at 8:00 am 348 0

SAIC Acquires Reston’s Scitor – Science Applications International Corp. has purchased Reston-based Scitor for $790 million. [Washington Post] Big Deal For Urgent.ly – Local start up Urgent.ly, a roadside assistance app, has struck a…


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