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by Karen Goff — August 28, 2015 at 9:30 am 0

Kendra Scott store in Plano, Texas/Courtesy Kendra ScottKendra Scott, the national upscale costume jewelry store with expansion plans in the Washington, DC., area, expects to open its Reston Town Center store in early December, a store spokeswoman said.

In June, Kendra Scott filed permits at 11900 Market Street and is into the permitting and construction process.

The line launched in Texas in 2002 and is now sold at major department stores such as Nordstrom, as well at Kendra Scott stores nationwide.Skyler earrings from Kendra Scott/Courtesy Kendra Scott

The Reston store will be the third of the four area stores that will open soon, the spokeswoman said. The Bethesda Row location recently opened its doors, and a new location at the Mosaic District will open Monday.

Most pieces use brightly colored materials for “statement necklaces” that retail for under $120. Earrings are generally in the $50 to $100 range. The store also has a Game Day Collection, where sports fans can purchase jewelry in team colors.

Photos: Kendra Scott store in Texas (top); Skyler earrings by Kendra Scott/Courtesy Kendra Scott

by Karen Goff — August 28, 2015 at 8:00 am 200 2 Comments

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Pricey, Pricey DC — The Washington, DC, Metro area is the most expensive place in the country to raise a family. You need $106,000 just to get by. [WTOP]

Defending Geer’s Shooter — The head of a local police union calls Adam Torres, the former Fairfax County Police Officer charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of unarmed Geer in 2013, a “scapegoat.” [WTOP]

After Issues Found, Silver Line Work Resumes — Officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said crews have resumed placing some of the concrete girders that will support Silver Line Metro tracks at Dulles International Airport. [Washington Post]

Tell VDOT — The Virginia Department of Transportation is updating its regional network of bike routes and needs to measure its progress since 2004. Take a moment to take this survey to help them plan changes to the bike system [Fairfax County]

by RestonNow.com — August 28, 2015 at 5:00 am 0

On Fridays we take a moment to thank our sponsors and advertisers.

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

The Harrison, apartments now leasing near 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.

Becky’s Pet Care, offering friendly pet services in Northern Virginia.

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

Uber Offices, shared work spaces with locations in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.

Hunters Woods Co-Operative Preschool, registration now underway for 2015-16.

Reston Hospital Center, Reston’s medical center that is nearly done with its $40 million expansion.

Knutson, builders of Crescent Place in Leesburg.

Reston Children’s Center, helping kids to know, grow and care.

Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten, educating Reston’s young minds for more than 50 years.

by Karen Goff — August 27, 2015 at 4:30 pm 340 4 Comments

Traffic on Wiehle Avenue/Credit: Reston 2020We’re trying here in the D.C. Metro area. Public transportation. Ride sharing. Telecommuting.

No matter, we’re still No. 1 — in commuting time.

A new report produced by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) shows drivers waste more than 3 billion gallons of fuel and were stuck in their cars for nearly 7 billion extra hours — 42 hours per rush hour commuter — in the last year.

Washington, D.C. tops the list of gridlocked cities, with 82 hours of delay per commuter, followed by Los Angeles (80 hours), San Francisco (78 hours), New York (74 hours), and San Jose (67 hours).

TTI says the problem has become so bad that drivers in the worst areas have to plan more than twice as much travel time as they would need to arrive on time in light traffic just to account for the effects of irregular delays such as bad weather, collisions, and construction zones. Anyone who has driven I-66 on a rainy day can attest to that.

So how do you deal with your commute? Take our poll and tell us more in the comments.

by Karen Goff — August 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm 398 0

Great Falls National Park/Credit: Julie McCool Every weekday in August, Reston Now will be offering suggestions for a Summer Bucket List — things to do, places to check out and activities to try in and around Reston before summer’s end.

Obviously, different ideas will appeal to different residents in different age groups. 

Reston Summer Bucket List No. 18: Get to know Great Falls

We are looking again to the folks at the Fun in Fairfax VA blog, who are experts in local field trips.

We know how to get to nearby Great Falls National Park and take your basic hike and peek at the Potomac River. Fun in Fairfax has a list of “8 Great Things to Do in Great Falls,” which covers what’s beyond the park.

Fun in Fairfax suggests, of course, a hike, and they offer several routes leading to and through the park. They also say to dig into history at the Visitors Center, grab a pint at the nearby Old Brogue Pub, and playing at the playground at the Great Falls Grange.

See Fun in Fairfax VA’s entire list.

Photo: Great Falls National Park/Credit: Julie McCool 

by Del. Ken Plum — August 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm 210 16 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is an opinion piece by Ken Plum, who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Recently, a place of worship in the community asked me to be a speaker in their summer worship series. After getting past the frightening idea that I was to preach a sermon, I started to focus on the fact that I live my life on both sides of the wall that separates church and state.

As an historian, I know that the Virginia General Assembly in 1786 passed one of the most revolutionary laws ever enacted by it or any other legislative body: the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Not only did it end an established state church supported by taxpayers, but it put into law the idea of freedom of conscience. As Jefferson expressed it in the Statute, “no man…shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities.”

Earlier, of course, Jefferson had penned the Declaration of Independence with the pronouncement that “all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Note that Jefferson never claimed that those rights that could not be taken away came from his god, but rather they came from “their (humankind’s) creator” suggesting that different persons could believe in different creators or gods.

These ideas that defined the wall between church and state made their way into the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. For the first time in history there were to be no state established churches; individuals were left to choose and believe as their conscience dictated.

There continues to be a debate as to whether we are a Christian nation. Patrick Henry wanted the Virginia Statute to guarantee Christian religion, but his arguments failed. We are one nation “under God” only because a law in 1954 added those words to the Pledge of Allegiance. There are Christians of many denominations in our country as there are many Jews, Muslims, people of other religions and of no religion. None have legal sanction or supremacy over the others.

I live my life on both sides of the wall. Privately, I am a person of faith. My religious beliefs support my moral beliefs. I believe I should love my neighbor as myself regardless of their race, creed, color, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation. And I believe that loving others requires me to do all I can to ensure their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

On the public side of the wall as an elected official I continue to hold my religious beliefs; they motivate me to vote for legislation to protect all citizens’ rights to vote, to get an education and to live a life free of discrimination. My moral compass is under-girded by my faith, but that does not mean I think my particular beliefs should be the law of the land.

The wall between church and state is intended to protect each person’s right to their own beliefs–to protect my freedom of conscience. .. not my freedom from conscience. I feel I must use my moral compass on both sides of the wall.

by Karen Goff — August 27, 2015 at 11:00 am 148 3 Comments

Reston AssociationReston Association will begin holding a series of workshops this fall aimed at offering info to homeowners.

The first workshop, The “ABC’s of DRB” will provide information on how applications are reviewed by the Design Review Board and processed by RA staff. RA will offer tips  on what is required for submission of complete applications and best practices for updating cluster standards. There will also be a Q&A session.

The workshop will be held on Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. All workshops will be at RA offices, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive.

Other topics later in the fall and winter include workshops for cluster boards; readying your home for winter; selecting a contractor; and landscaping, among others. Click here to download the full 2015-2016 schedule of workshops.

To register for a workshops, email [email protected]. Please provide your name, address, telephone number, email address and the workshops you plan to attend.

by Karen Goff — August 27, 2015 at 9:30 am 498 1 Comment

1950 roland clarke/Credit: LoopNetThe owners of a five-story office building at 1950 Roland Clarke Place are considering selling the property as mixed-use development is planned all around it.

The Washington Business Journal reports that Reston-based intellectual property law firm Greenblum and Bernstein, which occupies much of the space in the building it purchased for $11.5 million in 2002, is seeking to sell the space, as well as an additional building it owns 1941 Roland Clarke Place.

The buildings, about 102,000 square feet over 6.5 acres, are located next to The JBG Companies’ Reston Heights, where work on the second phase of a large mixed-use development is slated to begin soon. The last remaining commercial tenants on the stretch of Sunrise Valley have vacated the premises and construction should begin soon, JBG reps said.

Reston Heights already includes the Sheraton Reston, the Westin Reston Heights, the Mercer Condos and offices.

The next phase, approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2013, will have a six-story residential building, a 15-story residential building, a five-story building that incorporates a parking garage with residences and retail space; and a 10-story building that mixes office space, parking and retail space.

The plan includes 145,000 square feet of above-grade retail, 100,00 square feet of below-grade retail, 428,225 square feet of office and 498 residential units.

The Roland Clarke office buildings are also adjacent to the former American Press Institute building, which has been vacant for more than three years. The owners of the Brutalist office building recently filed a rezoning application to change from industrial to residential and build 37 houses on the land.

And across the street from Roland Clarke Place is Reston National Golf Course, which has been embroiled in its own rezoning fight for several years.

The Fairfax County Board of Zoning appeals ruled in April that the 166-acre course could be redeveloped from a open and recreational space to residential without a comprehensive plan amendment. Several community groups — including Rescue Reston, Reston Association and Fairfax County, are challenging that decision in circuit court this fall.

The firm has been approached by developers in the past, and co-managing partner Neil Greenblum told the WBJ it decided to explore a possible sale now given the increased development in the Reston area.

The Wiehle-Reston East Metro station is just under a mile from Roland Clarke Place. Part of the JBG project includes enhanced pedestrian trails to connect the development with Wiehle-Reston East.

Photo: 1950 Roland Clarke Place/Credit: LoopNet

by Karen Goff — August 27, 2015 at 8:00 am 127 0

Squeals on Wheels visits Reston Association Junior Day Camp/Credit: Sean Bahrami

Date Change For Lake Thoreau Pipe Work — A project to replace a sewer pipe at Lake Thoreau has been postponed to next week. [Reston Association]

Office Vacancies Dragging Down Economy? — Taking a look at the changing economic makeup in Fairfax County, and how office vacancies — above 25 percent in some places — is burdening the tax base. [WAMU]

Beware The ‘Woodchuck’ — Get a knock on your door offering to trim trees? Don’t hire that crew, says Fairfax County. “Woodchucks” often target homeowners with high prices. Instead, call a licensed arborist (or two) for an estimate. [Fairfax County]

Photo: Squeals on Wheels visits Reston Association Junior Day Camp/Credit: Sean Bahrami

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — August 27, 2015 at 5:00 am 53 0

Reston’s first preschool, LANK, is celebrating its 50th year! This year’s special programming, which have a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, promise learning fun to area kids. Enroll now!

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