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Sunday: Reston Kids Triathlon Returns

by Karen Goff | July 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm | No Comments

Reston Kids Triathlon/File photo by Charlotte GearyThe fourth annual Reston Kids Triathlon will ride and run through South Reston on Sunday.

While registration for the event for athletes ages 6 to 14 is full, here are some things to know if you want to watch the race or need to get around Sunday while the racers are in the streets.

The race begins at 8 a.m. at Ridge Heights Pool, 11400 Ridge Heights Rd.

The bike course will travel down Ridge Heights to Seahawk Drive (younger kids) and on Ridge Heights Road, Soapstone Drive and South Lakes Drive (older kids). Roads will not be completely closed, but lanes will be blocked. Drivers should plan ahead and proceed with caution.

The running portion will take place on the Reston Association paths around Terraset Elementary, Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School. The finish line is at the west end of Langston Hughes.

On Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m., Gearin’ Up Bicycles is teaming up with the Reston Kids Triathlon to hold a one-day collection of used bicycles at the Packet Pickup for the triathlon at the YMCA Fairfax County Reston. The donated bikes will be used for Earn-A-Bike and job training programs in D.C., where kids and adults will recondition the bicycles while learning mechanic skills. For more information, visit

The triathlon will benefit programs at the YMCA Fairfax County Reston and Reston Association.

Photo: Reston Kids Triathlon/File photo by Charlotte Geary

Bocce May Not Happen At Cabots Point

by Karen Goff | July 31, 2014 at 3:00 pm | 333 views | 5 Comments

Outdoor Bocce Court/Credit: Joy of BocceReston Association’s board of directors plans to rescind a proposal to build a bocce court at Cabots Point Recreation Area after complaints from several nearby residents.

In December, RA’s Board of Directors voted to authorize construction of the lawn bowling court at the area off of South Lakes Drive. The $2,500 cost would be paid for by Friends of Reston, said South Lakes Director Richard Chew, who proposed the amenity. The design plan was approved by RA’s Design Review Board in June and $1,700 has already been donated to the project, RA documents show.

RA CEO Cate Fulkerson has now proposed taking the plan off the table and coming up with an alternate plan that may or may not include bocce for Cabots Point. The directors will vote on it at their regular monthly meeting tonight.

Fulkerson says several RA members who live near Cabots Point have contacted RA “concerned that proper notification and opportunity for public input or a hearing was not made regarding the proposed project and change in use of the recreation area.”

Bill Parker, a South Bay resident told the board in an email “we object because, as an affected party, we were not informed of the plan in advance, and because the space that would be compromised is directly in line with Reston’s concept of openness, community, and beauty. In addition, there is extremely limited parking in the area and the corner of Cabots Point Lane and South Lakes Drive is already subject to significant traffic.”

Parker said he hopes the board will listen and this unfortunately conceived and improperly implemented proposal will be overturned. By doing so, the playground and open space that is currently enjoyed informally by so many will not be transformed into a sport-specific park that could easily be placed elsewhere in Reston.”

Photo: Bocce/file photo

Taking Summer Reading to the Streets in Reston

by Karen Goff | July 31, 2014 at 1:00 pm | 263 views | 4 Comments

Terraset staffer Deana Dueno (left) bringing summer reading to kids/Credit: Deana Dueno

With music blaring, a vehicle bearing treats came rolling through some of the neighborhoods near Terraset Elementary in South Reston on Wednesday night.

But it was not the ice cream man.

It was Terraset staffer Deana Dueno, who is hoping to encourage reading for the students this summer.

Dueno was formerly a classroom teacher at Terraset, where she amassed a large collection of books for her room over the past decade. She is transferring to the library this fall, so the classroom collection needs a new home.

In previous years, the school library was open summer hours for students to come in and read and check out books. But with Terraset in the midst of a huge renovation, that is not possible this year, says Dueno.

“I need to pass these books on and kids may need something else to read,” says Dueno. “And , if they haven’t read a thing yet — maybe this help!

Dueno — in her little blue car while playing Pharrell’s “Happy,” — visited neighborhoods off of South Lakes Drive Wednesday night and reports it was a huge success. She and her helpers will be out again tonight along Ridge Heights Road, and will likely drive around next week too, so listen for the song.

Kids are invited to take a book or trade a book. And donations for more books are being accepted. If you have books your children have outgrown and want to help, put your contact info in the comments below or email and we will put you in touch.

Photo courtesy of Deana Dueno

Reston’s Link to Ebola, Nearly 25 Years Later

by Karen Goff | July 31, 2014 at 8:45 am | 1,670 views | 5 Comments

Ebola Virus/Credit: CDCThere is worldwide concern over the worst Ebola outbreak in history. The current outbreak has killed nearly 700 people in four African countries, according to the World Health Organization.

The hemorrhagic disease is half a world away, but when scientists study Ebola and how it spreads, they often look to Reston.

That’s right, Reston, Va. There is a strain of Ebola called “Ebola Reston,” because it was discovered here in 1990.

There are five types of Ebola that can kill humans. Ebola Reston was discovered to only kill moneys, though

However, that discovery came after a serious medical investigation, chronicled in the book The Hot Zone.

Here’s what happened:

In the fall of 1989, Hazelton Laboratories had a lab at 1946 Isaac Newton Square West, where KinderCare is now located. The lab did animal experiments.

There were already about 500 macaque monkeys housed at the facility when 100 more were flown from the Philippines, according to an article in the Internet Journal of Preventative Medicine.

A month later, 29 of the 100 quarantined monkeys had died. During a necropsy, a veterinarian found one monkey’s spleen had tripled in size and hardened and there was blood in the intestines. After conducting several other necropsies he diagnosed the deaths as being caused by simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV), the Journal article said.

The Hazelton facility veterinarian then sent samples of the monkey tissues to the United States Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) for a conclusive diagnosis.  Meanwhile, Hazelton lab workers began euthanizing the remaining animals, but sporadic deaths began occurring in several other rooms. Soon, 30 monkeys from a different shipment were dead.

More from the Journal: (more…)

Thursday Morning Rundown

by Karen Goff | July 31, 2014 at 8:00 am | 298 views | No Comments

Lake Anne at night/Credit: Charlotte Geary

Felons’ Voting Rights Restored — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe restored the voting rights of 2,500 felons on Wednesday. After previous Gov. Bob McDonnell began the process, McAuliffe in April made the process more transparent by reducing the waiting period for offenders with more serious offenses to have their rights automatically restored. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

South Reston A No-Fly Zone? — Big portions below the Dulles Toll Road are off-limits to drones. [Restonian]

Sailing the Seas In Reston — Lake Fairfax was invaded by pirates last weekend. [Reston Connection]

Landfill’s Future — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday not to extend the life of the Lorton landfill and the 250-acre operation will close in 2018. Here are answers to some residents’ questions. [Washington Post]

Photo: Lake Anne at Night/Credit: Charlotte Geary

Weekend Pick: Fairfax County 4-H Fair at Frying Pan Park

by Karen Goff | July 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm | 117 views | No Comments

Fairfax County 4H Fiar/Credit: Fairfax CountyWestern Fairfax County returns to it agricultural heritage this weekend when the 66th Annual 4-H Fair and Carnival comes to Frying Pan Farm Park, 2709 West Ox Rd. in Herndon.

The fair runs Thursday through Sunday and will feature 18 competitions ranging from woodworking to vegetables to sewing to baking to livestock, among others.

There will also be carnival rides, carousel rides and wagon rides. Unlimited ride tickets can be purchased for $25 or individually for $1 each (most rides are three or four tickets).

Visit the Frying Pan Park website for a ride ticket discount coupon.

Schedule Highlights


  • Carnival rides 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Cow milking demonstration in the Kidwell Barn:  4 p.m; Free
  • Free Concert: Afro Bop Alliance (Afro-Cuban/Jazz)  7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Free parking


  • Carnival Rides: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Cow milking demonstration in the Kidwell Barn 4 p.m.; Free
  • Big Truck Night in the Farm Yard: 6 to 8:30 p.m.; Free
  • 4-H Competition in the 4-H Building: Entry drop off and walk in registration 3 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Stationary departments judged:  7 p.m. (Closed to the public)
  • Free parking


  • 4-H Exhibits, Animal Shows and Entertainment: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Carnival Rides: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Carousel and wagon Rides: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tractor Pull: 4 p.m.
  • $7 parking (cash or check; Debit and Credit cards not accepted)


  • 4-H Exhibits, Animal Shows and Entertainment: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Carnival Rides: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Carousel and wagon Rides: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • $7 parking (cash or check;  Debit and Credit cards not accepted)

Photo of Fairfax County 4-H Fair courtesy of Fairfax County

Del. Ken Plum: Kids Count

by Del. Ken Plum | July 30, 2014 at 1:00 pm | 1 Comment

Del. Ken Plum/File photoSince 1990, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has ranked states annually on overall child well-being in a report called Kids Count Data Book (

The Foundation’s report is viewed as the authoritative source of information on how we are doing nationally as well as state by state for our children. An index of key indicators in four domains measures what children need most in order to thrive: (1) economic well-being, (2) education, (3) health, and (4) family and community.

“States vary considerably in their amount of wealth and other resources. State policy choices also strongly influence children’s chances for success.” (Kids Count Data Book, page 20) Living in the ninth wealthiest state, Virginia, in the wealthiest nation, the United States, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing as well as we should for our future as represented by what we are doing for our children.

Virginia’s rate of 15 percent of children in poverty is better than the national rate of 23 percent, but we can take little comfort in our better percentage when we realize that there are 279,000 children in poverty in Virginia. All regions of the state, including Northern Virginia, contribute to that number that has gotten worse in recent years. Reflecting the recent recession, the percentage of children whose parents lack secure employment has risen from 23 percent in 2008 to 25 percent in 2012.

Despite all the evidence of the importance of early childhood education and the incredible returns that can be realized from an investment in preschool programs, more than half (52 percent) of Virginia’s children are not attending preschool. Unfortunately many of the children who do not have an opportunity for an early start in education contribute to other statistics that find 57 percent of fourth graders are not proficient in reading, 62 percent of eighth graders are not proficient in math, and 16 percent of high school students are not graduating on time, although these numbers have been improving in recent years.

Virginia has seen a slight improvement in the health indicator of low-weight babies at 8.1 percent over the last decade but exceeds the national rate of 8 percent. In Virginia as well as in the nation, about 6 percent of teens abuse alcohol or drugs.

Probably paralleling the increase of children in poverty is the number of children in single-parent families increasing from 29 percent in 2005 to 31 percent in 2012. The number of children in families where the household head lacks a high school diploma has improved from 13 percent to 9 percent during the same period and beats the national 15 percent.

The area of greatest improvement in Virginia is the rate of teen births per 1,000 dropping from 34 percent in 2005 to 23 percent in 2012. Still the lower percentage represents over 6,000 babies born to teenagers each year.

While the statistics are interesting, the much more important question is how they inform public policy. Officials at all levels of government need to demonstrate through our actions that we know how much kids count!

 Ken Plum represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

Wednesday Morning Rundown

by Karen Goff | July 30, 2014 at 8:00 am | 747 views | No Comments

Food Truck Wednesday Is Back — The monthly Food Truck Wednesdays return to Reston Town Center today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop by Reston Town Square Park and…


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