by Karen Goff — October 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm 0

House hunting this weekend? Start with these open houses in Reston.

2210 Springwood2210 Springwood Drive
3 BR, 2 BA Condo
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


2421 Glade Bank Way2421 Glade Bank Way
4 BR, 2.5 BA TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


1573 Woodcrest1573 Woodcrest Drive
2 BR, 1.5 BA TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


11964 Sentinel Point Court11964 Sentinel Point Court
3 BR, 2 FB, 2 HB TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


11627 Vantage Hill11627 Vantage Hill Road
1 BR, 1 BA TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


murraydowns13332 Murray Downs Way
5 BR, 3.5 BA SFH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


11530 Links11530 Links Drive
4 BR, 2.5 BA TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


wainwright1602 Wainwright Drive
2 BR, 1.5 BA TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


11715 Great Owl11715 Great Owl Circle
3 BR, 3.5 BA TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


11oo4 Thursh ridge11004 Thrush Ridge Road
4 BR, 3.5 BA TH
Open Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


For more open houses, visit Reston Now’s Real Estate section.

by Karen Goff — October 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm 0

You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown/Credit: Traci J. Brooks Studios

A family friendly theater production deserves some family friendly activities.

That is why the Reston Community Players have added meet-and-greet sessions with the characters of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown after matinee performances on Sundays, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2.

The play opened last week at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage.

The musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown was created in 1967, at the height of the Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic’s popularity. Decades later, Charlie Brown’s angst, Snoopy’s imagination and Linus’ optimism.

“Director Rich Bird has blown each one Schulz’s indelible characters into a nicely kindled flame with this delightful production, which features great casting (the characters look like their cartoon counterparts), and great direction and choreography,”  Yvonne French of DC Metro Theatre Arts wrote in a review.

The cast features Richard Farella as Charlie Brown, Alana Sharp as Lucy, Nina Jankowicz as Sally, Patrick Graham as Linus, Eric Hughes as Schroeder, and Terry Barr as Snoopy. Laura Baughman is the producer. and Richard Bird is the director. Music direction is by Mark V. Deal.

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown runs Friday, Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 8. All performances are at 8 p.m., with matinees at 2 p.m. on Oct. 26 ad Nov. 2.

Tickets ($23) can be purchased through www.restonplayers.org or by calling the CenterStage box office at 703-476-4500 x 3.

Photo: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown/Credit: Traci J. Brooks Studios

by Karen Goff — October 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm 14 Comments

Cabots Point ParkBocce in Reston lives to see another round.

The Reston Association Board of Directors on Thursday voted down President Ken Knueven’s proposal to rescind authorization of the proposal, passed by the board last December, to build a court at Cabots Point recreation area. In the motion, Knueven also suggested scouting new locations for the court.

Three directors (Ellen Graves, Michael Sanio and Eve Thompson) voted in favor of rescinding the plan. South Lakes rep Richard Chew and Knueven voted against pulling the plan. Directors Jeff Thomas and Lucinda Shannon abstained, and two directors were absent from the vote.

A similar proposal about starting over was made by RA CEO Cate Fulkerson in July, but after remarks to the board from Chew — who initiated the plan for the bocce court last year — Fulkerson’s proposal was not considered.

A second motion that returns the plan to the Design Review Board was passed Thursday by the directors. That means there will be further discussion about Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, which may add costs to the project, before the first bocce balls can be thrown.

The 12-by-60-foot court is estimated to cost $2,500 to construct and would be paid for by the nonprofit Friends of Reston. However, other communities say construction, maintenance and other factors could drive Reston’s costs much higher. If that happens, it is questionable whether RA would use its own funds for the project.

The bocce kerfuffle has been ongoing for more than six months. Many residents of South Bay, Cabots Point and Cedar Cove clusters, which are close to the park, say they were not given proper notification before RA approved the project. They also say the courts would take away open space and attract traffic and noise.

At RA’s September meeting, more than 20 residents spoke out against bocce.

On Thursday, several more reiterated their frustration, but RA also heard from one resident who supported the idea and pointed out that the public resistance was not befitting of a recreational amenity.

“Let’s put this in perspective,” said Jill Norvell, who lives in Cabots Point. “It’s a singular bocce court. It is not a brothel. It is not a multipurpose, lit athletic field. It is one bocce court. I’ve driven on South Bay Lane daily for 20 years. I have managed to navigate the area without an issue. Are you seriously concerned this one bocce court will cause traffic issues? Living in this area, trust me, this is the least of your traffic woes.”

“Not one scintilla or iota of open space will be lost to install this bocce court,” she added. “Its footprint size is less than a neighborhood pool lap lane. Don’t be derailed by knee jerk NIMBYism.”

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — October 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm 0

Rental Trends

This is a sponsored post by Danielle Gray of Apartment Showcase.

Buying a rug for your home or apartment can be an overwhelming process. There are a ton of factors to consider and if you buy one that’s too small you risk making the space feel chopped up and awkward. Rugs come is different shapes — rectangle, square, or round with sizes ranging from 2′ x 3′ to 12′ x 18′.

Let’s face it, rugs are expensive. It’s always best to save money and time by getting it right the first time.

Here are some basic tips to follow to make the rug buying process a lot easier.

The perfect size for your space is determined by how the furniture is arranged in the room.

sofaAs shown here, this basic rug layout is ideal for people with smaller budgets and small spaces.  Depending on the size of your sofa, 4′x6′ or 5′x8′ rugs are perfect here. As a rule of thumb, you want to have at least 5″-10″ of rug on either side of the sofa.

If you have a larger room, consider floating your seating area in the center of the room using an 8′x10′ (or larger) size rug. Anything smaller will make the room feel small and choppy. Remember, your rug is supposed to pull the room together not break it up.


In the bedroom, float the rug towards the foot of the bed.

Use a rug in the bedroom to anchor the bed and to soften the room. If your budget doesn’t call for a large rug, you can also go with a 3′x5′ rug one side of the bed to plant your feet on when you wake up in the morning.

The biggest mistake that people make is buying a rug for the dining or kitchen table that is too small. People tend to stick with rugs that are 5′x8′ or 6′ x 10′ because they are more affordable.

dining The standard size rug in this area is 8′x10′.  Your goal is to fit the table and chairs on the rug. This prevents the chair legs from scratching up your beautiful hardwood floors.

Here’s the rundown on rug shapes. Square rugs are for square rooms. Round rugs are best suited for entry ways, bathrooms, or playful spaces like kid rooms.

Some people may be wondering if the legs should be on the rug or off. I think legs on the rug looks more polished. Your rug should be large enough to fit the front pieces. But if a large rug isn’t in your budget, then legs off is fine; make sure that you  keep this theme consistent throughout the space.

Finally, don’t forget your rug pad. Rug pads keeps the rug neatly in place and adds an additional layer of cushion underneath it.

Happy shopping! Don’t forget to visit the Apartment Showcase to search for your next apartment.

Graphics by Gray Livin’ 

by Elizabeth Arguelles — October 24, 2014 at 11:00 am 0

Live Beyond 9 Lives banner

This is a sponsored post by veterinarian Elizabeth Arguelles, owner of Just Cats Clinic at Lake Anne Plaza. She writes weekly on Reston Now.

Did you know that cats can suffer from environmental allergies? Understanding what your cat is allergic to can help you to limit their exposure to these allergens and improve their quality of life and comfort. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be writing how to define and diagnose allergies, how to identify different types, and how to prevent and treat them.

What is an allergy?

An allergy means that your cat’s immune system has become more sensitive to certain everyday substances and, as a result, has started to identify them as dangerous. Allergens might include pollens, animal dander, mold spores, dust mites and even certain foods. Most of these are found throughout your house or yard, but they are not usually harmful to cats or other animals. However, if your kitty is allergic to any of them, its body will try to rid itself of the offending substance and show moderate to severe adverse reactions in response.

What are the most common allergens found in your home?

Fleas are amongst the most common allergens. Prescription drugs, perfumes and air fresheners, cleaning products, cigarette smoke, fabrics, rubber and plastic materials are other frequent causes of allergies in cats.

In addition to those, your cat could be sensitive to various trees, grasses, weeds, dust mites, storage mites or pollens.

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction?

  •  Sneezing, coughing or wheezing (if the cat has asthma)
  • Itchy skin/increased scratching or over-grooming
  • Itchy or runny eyes
  •  Itchy back or base of the tail. The latter can be an indicator of flea allergies.
  • Sores on the body from excessive scratching
  • Scratching ears and possible infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring caused by blocked nasal passages or an inflammation of the throat
  • Unexplained hair loss

With repeated exposure to the allergens, your cat may over time experience changes in its skin texture and/or unexplained hair loss.

Unfortunately, most of these symptoms are not exclusive to allergic reactions. Your veterinarian will likely first run blood work and other diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions or diseases that could be causing the symptoms, including parasites (fleas, lice, mites, as well as intestinal parasites), bacterial and yeast infections of the skin, and some metabolic diseases.

Once it has been established that your cat is not suffering from any other diseases, your vet may check for allergies with an intradermal skin test or with an environmental allergy blood panel. If you opt to do the environmental allergy blood panel, your vet can discuss immunotherapy shots or oral drops that can be compounded for your cat to treat their specific allergies.

Treating environmental allergies also takes a big commitment from the owner. Depending on what your cat is environmentally allergic to, you’ll need to reduce or eliminate the allergens that affect your cat in your home which could include certain cleaning or air freshening products, storage mites, or dust mites.

Food allergies are typically diagnosed by feeding your cat a prescription limited protein or hydrolyzed diet for 12 weeks without any flavored medication or treats. There is also a food allergy blood panel that can test for common food allergies, but frequently veterinarians will recommend the diet trial instead. Next week we’ll go into more detail about limited ingredient diets, hydrolyzed proteins, and food allergy testing.

Talk to your veterinarian about whether your cat could benefit from allergy testing. It can be helpful to know what your cat is environmentally allergic to so you can better understand how to control the symptoms and hopefully improve the quality of life for your furry companion.


by Karen Goff — October 24, 2014 at 9:30 am 4 Comments

Former Lakeside Pharmacy

It’s been about a month since Lakeside Pharmacy closed its doors after more than 40 years at Lake Anne Plaza.

Owner/pharmacist Larry Cohn retired after decades at the store, which also featured a lunch counter and in-store U.S. Post Office.

The space was sold to investors, who had hoped to get an independent pharmacy to take over the site this summer. That did not happen, though, and the store is now closed.

The space, which has a view of Lake Anne as well as patio seating, is available with the lunch counter operation, or can be subdivided.

Tell us in the comments: What do you think should open here?

by Karen Goff — October 24, 2014 at 8:10 am 310 4 Comments

South Lakes High SchoolAfter years of discussion, the Fairfax County School Board finally approved later high school start times for seniors on Thursday.

Starting in 2015-16, high schools will start at 8 to 8:10 a.m.  instead of 7:20 a.m. Middle schools will begin at 7:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. Elementary schools will essentially stay the same starting from 8 to 9:20 a.m.

The board chose an amended version of Option 3 as the preferred way to proceed with changing high school start times.

The board had been presented with four options from experts at Children’s National Medical Center who worked with the school system on a study on teens and sleep and also on the best ways FCPS could implement a new system.

The issue of later start times has been debated and explored for more than a decade in this community,” Tammy Derenak-Kaufax, School Board chairman, said in a statement. “The growing body of research on the health benefits for adolescents has become so clear and compelling, we felt that we had to make a change.”

The preferred option, chosen by Superintendent Karen Garza in September, has high schoolers starting the day between 8 and 8:10 a.m. Middle schools will begin at 7:30 a.m. Elementary schools will remain largely unchanged, with starting bells from 8 to 9:20 a.m. Secondary Schools will follow the high school bell schedule.

Changes will go into effect for the 2015-16 school year and will cost about $4.9 million to implement, says Garza.

“We believe it is best to give our families and employees plenty of time to adjust to a change of this magnitude,”  Garza said after the meeting. “Between now and next September, we will work with intention to finalize bell schedules and to make needed adjustments to ensure that this is a smooth transition for our stakeholders and our community.”

Even though the start time issue is geared at letting teenagers get crucial sleep, the youngest teens will still have to be at school a half hour earlier than the current 8 a.m. start time.

FCPS at-large board member Ryan McElveen says the proposed middle school time is not that different than the current schedule. McElveeen said the board will try to move towards even later start times in upcoming years.

“Although the plan is not perfect, it is the best feasible hybrid of multiple plans,” he told Reston Now in September. “Over the coming years, the board will continue to support pushing the middle school start time closer to 8 a.m. through small efficiencies that are realized annually.”

The FCPS board has been talking about changing the high school start times for several years, and made a formal proposal in 2012 to move the high school start time from 7:20 a.m. to after 8 a.m.

They commissioned doctors from Children’s National Medical Center, whose report said teenagers were chronically sleep deprived. Pushing high school start times past 8 a.m. would have an impact on everything from behavior to grades to driving records and sports injuries, the CNMC experts say.

In August, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement that recommended later start times so that school schedules would be aligned with the biological sleep rhythms of adolescents. 

The board held a series of community meetings last spring to gain public feedback on four options for changes.

The original Option 3 had high schools beginning from 8 to 8:10 a.m. and ending between 2:30 and 2:40 p.m. Elementary schools would start between 8 and 9:20 a.m., which is essentially the current schedule. Middle schools would see a big change with a 7:20 a.m. start and a 2 p.m. dismissal.

The board says that in the future, “our goal will be to continue to seek improvements for even later start times so that  middle schools will move towards 8 and high schools will move towards 8:30.”

The revised plan will cost less than anticipated, according to FCPS documents. The original Option 3 was estimated to cost $5.5 million, mostly to cover 46 new buses.

The revised plan will use fewer buses, and the purchase of 20 new buses has already been allocated in the FY 2015 school board budget, bringing costs to an estimated $1.5 million to $4.9 million.

by Karen Goff — October 24, 2014 at 8:00 am 0

Lake Anne Plaza/Credit: Brendan Ross via Flickr

Reston Lakes Part Of the Mix in Nashville — The Opryland Gaylord Conference Center Tennessee created its own body of water with H2O from all over the country, including Reston. [Restonian]

Stock Up On Puzzles — The Reston Regional Library is holding its annual jigsaw puzzle sale Oct. 30 to Nov. 2. There will also be gently used games available. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Reston Regional Library. Hours are Thursday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m; Friday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m; Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; and Sunday, Nov. 2, 1 to 5 p.m. Puzzle donations welcome through Sunday, Oct 26.

SLHS Singing And HelpingSouth Lakes High School’s Choral Department will open its concert season 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 28 with a benefit for pediatric Wegeners Granulomatosis, a extremely rare, but often fatal auto immune disease. “Music’s Healing Powers” will feature a variety of musical genres performed by the South Lakes Choirs: Women’s Chorale, Men’s Camerata, Chamber Singers and Bella Voce. The concert is free, but donations are accepted and will go to the Wegeners Awareness Campaign for Kids and Youth, which raises funds for research and treatment of the disease. 

Name That Station — Now that Phase I of Metro’s Silver Line is up and running, it is time to name the Phase II Stations. Phase II is expected to open in 2018. Loudoun officials are now asking for public comment on what to call the stops. [Washington Business Journals]

Photo by Brendan Ross via Flickr

by Karen Goff — October 24, 2014 at 5:00 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.

The Harrison, brand-new apartments now leasing at 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.

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

Realtors Valerie Kappler and Debra Granato of Long & Foster.

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

Van Metre Homes, handcrafted homes since 1955.

D.R. Horton Builders, America’s largest home builders.

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

CrossFit North Reston, Reston’s newest place to train Crossfit style.

Greater Reston Arts Center, sponsor of the first GRACE Race on Oct. 25.

Just Listed in Reston

by Eve Thompson — October 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm 918 0

This is a sponsored article from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate.  New listings of homes for sale in Reston have gone to just over 300 – a six-year high. I know that…

by Karen Goff — October 23, 2014 at 8:00 am 0

Hunters Woods Students Tackle Book Writing — About 100 fifth graders at Hunters Woods Elementary School will take part in November’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The students are currently in…

by Karen Goff — October 22, 2014 at 4:25 pm 429 3 Comments

Some Reston residents have noticed sponge-like organisms floating in Lake Audubon and Lake Anne recently. Reston Association staffers have identified the creatures as Bryozoa (moss animals). The freshwater aquatic colonial animals…


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