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by Dave Emke — June 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

If you’ve wanted to reserve a Reston Association garden plot but there’s never been space, now is the time to put down roots.

Patricia Greenberg, RA’s environment resource supervisor, says that “for the first time” there are open plots available with no waiting list.

“There are nine plots available right now, of different sizes and in different locations in Reston,” Greenberg said. “It’s an incredibly popular program, and [right now] there is only a waiting list for the plots in South Reston, and that’s only two or three people.”

Plots are available to Reston Association members only, and are available at half-price since the growing season is already half over. Discount prices to reserve available plots for the rest of the season are as follows:

  • 119.9 square feet and below: $15
  • 120 to 199.9 square feet: $25
  • 200 to 280.9 square feet: $37.50

Gardeners get right of first refusal for their plots, Greenberg said.

“They can renew the same garden plot rental every November, unless they notify us that they do not want the garden plot,” she said.

Anyone interested in reserving a plot should call 703-437-7658 or email [email protected].

by Kalina Newman — June 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

As the community continues to recover after last week’s brutal killing of a Reston teenager, one activist says the psychological impact on surviving youth will live on.

“For many of us in Northern Virginia, it’s really during Ramadan where we carve out special places to feel like home,” said Aya Saed, a Harvard Law School student and organizer for the Deeply Rooted Retreat for Black Muslim Youth. “For the crime to have happened in this moment is really quite traumatic to young people who are just starting to creating safe spaces for themselves and forever.”

Saed and other prominent members of the area’s Muslim community appeared on “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” today on WAMU to reflect on the slaying of Nabra Hassanen and discuss its implications on a future generation of Muslim children.

Nabra, 17, was attacked and abducted in the early morning hours June 18 while walking back from McDonald’s after an overnight service at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society. She was beaten to death and her body was found in a Loudoun County pond. Fairfax County police say that her killing followed an extreme case of road rage.

“Any time this type of incident happens, it runs deep,” said Joshua Salaam, ADAMS Center chaplain, of the community atmosphere following Nabra’s death. “Any individual can point back to five [or] six incidents in the last year where the victim was a Muslim.”

Carmel Delshad, a news producer for WAMU, said young Muslims are fearful in a time when violence against them appears to be increasing.

“I think mosques are doing what they can to ensure extra security measures in place,” she said. “People are looking over their shoulder [and] they’re taking self-defense classes just to be prepared.”

Saed said that kids Nabra’s age, both locally and elsewhere in the country, have been rocked by what happened to her that morning.

“It’s worth talking about the kinds of psychological impact this is having,” she said. “For many young Muslims, this is the only reality that they know in the United States.”

(more…)

by Dave Emke — June 26, 2017 at 2:45 pm 14 Comments

(This article was updated at 7:45 p.m. with a statement from an Il Fornaio representative.)

Rumors circulating about the impending closure of Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) are true, employees say.

The California-based Italian restaurant opened its first East Coast location in 2007 in Reston. Now, as its 10-year lease comes to a close, the business will shutter rather than renew at an increased rate. Its last day of operation will be Friday.

Patrons have been learning the news in recent days.

https://twitter.com/angelwings0122/status/877129698538639360

Melancholy. Our family's favorite restaurant, Il Fornaio, is closing in Reston next Friday. We enjoyed years of date…

Posted by Brenda Zuzolo on Thursday, June 22, 2017

Il Fornaio is located in the Retail at Midtown block of Reston Town Center, which is not owned by Boston Properties. JBG is the block’s landlord, and there is a free parking lot for customers.

Regardless, however, employees on duty Monday reported that business has taken a nose dive since Boston Properties’ paid-parking initiative went into effect in January and led to many customers staying away from Reston Town Center altogether. Lunchtime has been dead and dinner reservations have disappeared by the hundreds, they said.

A “Last Happy Hour” event, scheduled for Friday evening, has been set up by customers on Facebook.

Ted Laymon, vice president of sales and marketing for Il Fornaio, sent the following statement to Reston Now on Monday evening:

Since opening at the Reston Town Center, Il Fornaio has been a proud partner in the community as we strive to provide the most authentic Italian dining experience outside of Italy.

However, after 10 years in the Town Center, we will be closing our doors effective July 1st, 2017, as our lease is not being renewed. Our Senior Leadership at Il Fornaio worked diligently over the past several months to execute a new lease with the current landlord, and unfortunately, we were not able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

We have so many wonderful memories at the Town Center, and throughout the years have developed a loyal guest base who we know are going to be as sad to see us leave, as we are at leaving the Town Center. Most of all, we are saddened that we will be saying goodbye to many of our wonderful employees (many of whom have been with us for the entire 10 years!), while some will be moving back to our locations in California.

Il Fornaio takes pride in creating, developing, and strengthening relationships in our neighborhoods, communities, loyal guests, and most of all our employees.  We know this closure is difficult for so many people, but we wish the Town Center, the greater Reston area, and most of all our loyal guests and wonderful employees, a wonderful second half to 2017 and beyond. We also hope that when you are in California, Las Vegas, Denver, or Seattle, you will visit one of our Il Fornaio or Canaletto restaurants to once again experience the most authentic Italian dining experience outside of Italy!

Grazie Mille Reston!

by Kalina Newman — June 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Orangetheory Fitness is one of the newest fitness crazes around the nation, and now it’s coming to Reston.

The new location is will be at 11410 Reston Station Blvd., at the Aperture building near the Wiehle-Reston East station. It is scheduled for a September opening, said Maggie Parker, spokesperson for Reston Station developer Comstock Properties.

“They have a kiosk on the [Wiehle-Reston East Metro] plaza and they’re recruiting members,” Parker said.

The Aperture building is being developed by the Bozzuto Group.

The fitness studio offers 60-minute workout classes that operate in the format of a group-personal training. The classes combine 10- to 30-minute intervals of running and weight training that add up to an hour of constant exercise.

According to its website, “Orangetheory’s heart rate monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.”

There is a sign-up for an email newsletter available on the Reston location’s website.

Membership options include a basic package for four classes a month, an elite package with eight classes a month and an unlimited package. For more information on pricing, call 703-822-5272.

The Florida-based chain has hundreds of locations nationwide, including many in the area.

by Kalina Newman — June 26, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Who says you can’t celebrate July 4 three days early?

On July 1, Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) will host a “Fireworks, Food and Family Fun” event from 7 a.m.-9:15 p.m. The all-day event will feature live music, a puppet show and a fireworks show, plus more.

Parking will cost $10 for the event, said Dave Hantagimana from the Lake Fairfax Park staff. That is up from last year’s parking fees, which were $5 a car. The year before in 2015, parking was free with a suggested donation.

The rain date for the event is Sunday, July 2.

All of the park’s usual amenities will be open for families to enjoy. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole will open at 10 a.m.

Pedal boat rentals will also be available to take out around the lake at the rate of $7 for a half hour. At least one person in the pedal boat must be 16 or over. There will also be tour boat rides and the opportunity to take out a private boat.

Food vendors will be set up near the park entrance, according to the Fairfax County Park Authority flyer for the event.

Campgrounds are available for an overnight stay but reservations are recommended.

by RestonNow.com — June 26, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

The 51st season of the Reston Community Players will feature four performances of well-known and critically acclaimed shows.

It will begin in October with a staging of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida.” A story of an enslaved Nubian princess that finds her heart entangled with an Egyptian soldier who is betrothed to the Pharaoh’s daughter, the musical will be staged by RCP from Oct. 20-Nov. 11.

Next, “Peter and the Starcatcher” is the story of an apprentice starcatcher and a young orphan boy who find themselves on a life-changing adventure when they are charged with protecting magical starstuff from fearsome pirates. It will be performed Jan. 19-Feb. 3, 2018.

Tennessee Williams’ play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is an American classic brimming with intensity and wit. RCP will bring it to the local stage March 9-24, 2018.

RCP will close the season with “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” a spirited musical romp that takes the audience back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City. It will be performed April 20-May 12.

Reston Community Players perform at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at Reston Community Center. Season tickets are now available for purchase online, and single-ticket sales will begin Saturday, Sept. 23.

For additional information, visit www.restonplayers.org or call 703-476-4500.

by Dave Emke — June 26, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Ribbon Cutting for Clothing Store — Scout & Molly’s (11944 Market St.) hosted its official ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday morning. Among attendees were Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, representatives of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and more.

Summer Meals Program Starts Today — The Free Summer Meals for Kids Program provides free, healthy meals to children ages 5 to 18 at designated meal sites in Fairfax County. [Fairfax County]

Officials Talk Metro, Fields, More — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and more addressed the Vienna Town Council recently to give updates on the Silver Line, placement of athletic fields and more. [The Connection]

Kids Can Earn Prizes for Reading — Kids who complete the summer reading adventure at any Fairfax County library by Sept. 2 can win a coupon book with dozens of free and discounted fun treats like ice cream and miniature golf. [Fairfax County]

Image courtesy Powers Brand Communications LLC

by RestonNow.com — June 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm 3 Comments

This week’s news cycle was dominated by the shocking and horrific killing of Nabra Hassanen. The community showed its support Wednesday evening with a massive and beautiful vigil at Lake Anne Plaza.

All of our coverage of the Nabra Hassanen story is available here.

In case you missed them, these were the other most-read news stories on Reston Now since last Friday:

  1. Garage Parking is Free for Jackson’s Customers… But How Does It Work?
  2. Cooper’s Hawk Plans to Hire 200 People in Next Two Months
  3. South Lakes Seniors Return to Elementary School Roots to Celebrate Graduation
  4. Reclaim Reston to County: Pump the Brakes on Density, Development
  5. Closed: Mama Wok at Tall Oaks Village Center

Feel free to discuss these topics and anything else that happened locally this week. Have a great weekend!

by Katherine Berko — June 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

If you have the thirst to tap into your inventive side, this summer you’ll have the chance to quench it.

In August, homemade cardboard boats will compete in a first-of-its-kind regatta at Lake Anne. All the proceeds will go toward the Reston Historic Trust & Museum.

Participating teams of all ages will construct and decorate their own life-size cardboard boats, which will then take to the water in timed heats. Each team will row on a course that leads to a designated buoy before returning to the docks at Lake Anne Plaza.

There will be awards for the fastest cardboard boat in each category as well as an award for the most “Titanic-like” boat, i.e. the fastest one to sink.

The event’s rules include:

  • no pre-treated or coated “waterproof” cardboard
  • no staples, clamps, nails or screws
  • water-based paint or sealer is OK, but not tar, wax, silicone, fiberglass resins, epoxy glues or Styrofoam
  • no motors and no kicking — oars and paddles only

“There is no limit to the number of rowers or participants assisting with the construction of the cardboard boat,” according to a press release. “So throw a boat-building party and get creative.”

The event is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. Volunteers are also needed.

For more information or to register a boat, visit the event’s webpage. Team sponsorships for adults start at $100, while children between 10-18 years of age pay $40.

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