70°Clear

by Karen Goff — July 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm 629 0

Emergency crews at Lake Fairfax Park/Credit: Paul Boyum

Lightning struck several times at Reston’s Lake Fairfax Park during Monday’s quick-but-strong thunderstorm.

Park managers said the visitors center, the boathouse and a tree all appeared to be hit by lightning when the storms rolled through about 4 p.m.

Children in the after-camp program were in the building at the time but were evacuated to the locker rooms at The Water Mine, managers said. The Water Mine also closed for the day when the storms came.

Fairfax County emergency crews were called and it was determined there were no injuries and no significant damage other than a damaged tree.

Photo: Emergency crews at Lake Fairfax Park/Credit: Paul Boyum

by Karen Goff — July 27, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Lake Anne Jazz Fest/Courtesy Lake Anne PlazaLake Anne Plaza, the site of a Jazz & Blues Festival for the last nine years, will now have an entire week devoted to the genre.

Lake Anne Jazz Week (Aug. 30 to Sept. 5) will feature a variety of jazz-themed events, including  live music, merchant activities, an outdoor movie and, of course, the Jazz & Blues Festival.

The Jazz & Blues Festival is a free, family friendly, all-day event on Sept. 5 from 1 to 8 p.m. It will showcase a variety of talented regional and national jazz & blues artists.

Here’s what the rest of Jazz Week will include:

Restaurant Activities 

  • Aug. 30 (sundown) – Summer Film Festival Series Movie “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” (1959 Classic)
  • Sept. 1 (7-10 p.m.) – The Red Tree Solo (Café Montmartre)
  • Sept. 1 (8 p.m.) – Jazz Trivia Night (Kalypso’s Sports Tavern)
  • Sept. 1 (6-9 p.m.) – Mykle Lyons Trio (Plaza)
  • Sept. 2 (8-10 p.m.) – The Caterpillars Duet (Café Montmartre)
  • Sept. 2 (9:30 p.m.) – Jazz Karaoke Night (Kalypso’s Sports Tavern)
  • Sept. 3 (7-9 p.m.) – Take A Break Concert Series featuring the Chris Vadala Quartet (Plaza)
  • Sept. 4 (7:30-10:30 p.m.) – Cabernet (Café Montmartre)
  • Sept. 4 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) – The Jason Kearse Trio (Plaza)
  • Sept. 5 (9:30 p.m.) – Post Festival Late Night with Sam Gunderson (Kalypso’s Sports Tavern)

Merchant Activities

  • Chesapeake Chocolates – Special Edition chocolate musical notes and instruments. Wine Tasting, Sept. 3,  5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Reston’s Used Book Shop – 50 percent off all books about music
  • Small Change Kids Consignment Shop – Melissa & Doug musical toys 50 percent off
  • The Reston Museum – Music sale on local jazz performers Beverly Cosham, Menda Ahart and Felicia Crowley

Jazz & Blues Festival, Sept. 5

Adrian Duke is this year’s headliner. Duke leads the New Orleans sounds of the Adrian Duke Project. Although he has found a home as a Blues artist, by blurring the lines between Blues, Funk, R&B, and Jazz, he has found critical acclaim, audience acceptance, and artistic peer recognition.

Lineup:

  • 1:00 p.m. – Ted Garber
  • 2:00 p.m. – Cissa Paz
  • 3:00 p.m. –  Integriti Reeves
  • 4:00 p.m. –  Nia Olabesi
  • 5:00 p.m. –  Mykle Lyons
  • 6:00 p.m. – Texas Chainsaw
  • 7:00 p.m. – Adrian Duke

The festival is sponsored by Lane Anne Merchants, Friends of Lake Anne, the Reston Community Center, and Reston Association. For the full schedule of events/times, visit www.lakeanneplaza.com.

by Karen Goff — July 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm 352 6 Comments

Happy first birthday to Metro’s Silver Line, which transported its first passengers on July 26, 2014.

Since then, Wiehle-Reston East has become the most popular station on the young line, spurring development — as well as a few traffic headaches — nearby. Metro, meanwhile, is about to start airing TV commercial (see above) starring “Alan,” whose life was changed by rail service here.

Take our poll and tell us whether rail in Reston has impacted you a little, a lot or not at all.

by John V. Berry — July 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm 65 0

Berry&BerryRevised 

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Reston Town Center that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.

On July 21, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a new anti-discrimination bill. The bill, referred to as the Federal Employee Antidiscrimination Act of 2015, H.R. 1557, enhances existing discrimination laws. The protections proposed by the bill largely focus on federal agency and supervisor accountability involving discrimination of federal employees in the workplace.

If the bill becomes law, it would require that each federal agency restructure its operations so that the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program head reports directly to the agency head. Federal agencies would also be required to post notices on their agency’s website of any adverse findings of discrimination made against the agency for at least one year.

In addition, the new law would require an agency to notify the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding whether it has taken disciplinary action against an employee found to have engaged in discrimination or retaliation. The new law would further require that the EEOC refer any federal employees who are found guilty of committing discrimination or retaliation to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel for disciplinary action.

A finding of discrimination against a supervisor does not often result in disciplinary action against the supervisor. Therefore, these new reporting and disclosure requirements would likely motivate agencies to take more disciplinary action against supervisors.

Lastly, the new law would prohibit non-disclosure agreements that prevent a federal employee from disclosing wrongdoing involving whistleblower matters to Congress, an Inspector General, or the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. Federal agencies typically insist on these types of non-disclosure clauses in their settlement agreements with federal employees. However, the new law would certainly end this practice.

Since the Act passed in the House 403-0, there is a strong likelihood that it will pass in the Senate and become law. It was received in the Senate on July 22, and has been referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

We represent employees in federal employment matters nationwide, as well as private and public sector employees in employment matters in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. If you need assistance with an employment law issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

by Karen Goff — July 27, 2015 at 11:00 am 499 1 Comment

Some of the Silver Line's first passengers on July 26, 2014A year ago yesterday, the Silver Line’s first train rolled into Wiehle-Reston East.

After years of talk, political maneuvering, construction, construction delays and budget busting, Reston was finally connected to Washington, D.C. by rail.

Phase 1 of the Silver Line has five stations that run from Tysons Corner to Reston. Additional stations will be part of Phase 2, which will stop at Reston Town Center, Herndon, Route 28, Dulles International Airport and Ashburn.

However, Wiehle-Reston is the end of the line until at least 2019. It is the only Phase 1 station with parking (3,300 spaces at the Comstock-Fairfax County garage). That makes it by far the busiest of the five stations.

It only took a few weeks for the Reston stop to exceed expectations after it opened July 26. 2014. By mid-September, Wiehle-Reston East was counting more than 8,000 entries daily, surpassing first-year ridership goals. Overall Silver Line ridership was about 60 percent of where Metro expected it to be after a full year.

Wiehle-Reston East is now seeing more than 9,100 entries daily. Other stations: McLean, 1,842; Tysons Corner, 3,423; Greensboro, 1,185; and Spring Hill, 1,441 (17,088 Silver Line entries daily).

“Wiehle-Reston East continues to be the Silver Line’s commuting powerhouse, surpassing first-year ridership projections with nearly 9,200 boardings, or 18,400 weekday entries and exits last month,” a Metro spokeswoman said.

There have been some growing pains, though. Many commuters have complained the Silver Line saves them neither time nor money; Metro service in general suffers delays and issues daily; and the addition of the Silver Line may have slowed Metro service overall.

There has also been criticism of faulty timed lights getting in and out of the Wiehle-Reston East garage, as well as a poorly designed kiss-and-ride area.

Still, it has had an impact on the Reston economy. Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Mark Ingrao says his organization has seen a 22- percent increase in membership from new businesses or businesses new to Reston in the last year. The chamber itself also moved its headquarters from the Reston Town Center area to within walking distance of Wiehle-Reston East.

Jerry Gordon, President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, says the Metro’s economic impact can be seen countywide.

“We have direct evidence that two companies that are in Tysons Corner are there because of the Silver Line,” Gordon told Reston Now. “Instelsat moved from DC, and they told us ‘no Silver Line, no Intelsat.’ The county was also able to retain Cvent in Tysons. Without the Silver Line, Cvent undoubtedly would have left.” (more…)

by Karen Goff — July 27, 2015 at 9:30 am 1,136 7 Comments

Red’s Table, the long-awaiting, locally owned restaurant slated to open at the former Lakeside Inn space at South Lakes Village Center, hopes to open by the end of August, said co-owner Ryan Tracy.

The date is tentative, depending on county permits and inspections. However, after months of construction — and construction-related delays — the business appears on track, he said.

Tracy, along with brother Matt and Pat, first signed on for the project in early 2014, a few months after Lakeside Inn closed after more than 20 years at the spot.

The Tracys had expected to open in March 2015, but a roof issue, which resulted in the whole roof having to be replaced, delayed the project to summer 2015.

The new roof is in place, and the interior remodeling is in its late stages.

Here are some details:

Adam Stein, a well-known DC chef, is running the kitchen. The menu is still in the planning stages, but Red’s Table will concentrate on an abundance of locally sourced products, Tracy said.

The restaurant has hired Sharon Wetteland, an experienced restaurant manager, as its general manager. Wetteland comes to Reston from jobs in San Diego and Minnesota.

Red’s is still looking for a bar manager and an assistant general manager. Apply by sending a resume to [email protected].

On Friday, crews were putting awnings into place on the new patio overlooking Lake Thoreau. Tracy said there will be heaters on the patio, and they expect to seat restaurant patrons there most of the year. The existing patio, to the right of the front door, will be a bar patio, he said.

The full bar will include craft cocktails and 14 craft beers on tap (as well as a wide assortment of national brands in bottles), Tracy said.

The restaurant will be open for dinner at first, with lunch and weekend brunch to come soon after.

by Karen Goff — July 27, 2015 at 8:30 am 247 9 Comments

Lake Audubon

Inmate Treatment Review — After the in-custody death of Natasha McKenna earlier this year, Fairfax County Sheriff’s are re-evaluating how to treat mentally ill inmates. [NBC Washington]

Disability Reform Time? — A Justice Department report says Virginia is not being serious enough about efforts to comply with court-ordered reforms to its program for people with disabilities. [Washington Post]

Public Transportation 101 — New to Metro’s Silver Line? Learn the basics at a workshop Friday, July 31, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Reston Community Center Lake Anne. Learn how to ride a Reston bus to the Silver Line, determine fares, purchase fare cards, load SmarTrip cards, read system maps, and board trains. Free. Register at restoncommunitycenter.com or call 703-476-4500. [RCC]

by Karen Goff — July 24, 2015 at 4:20 pm 285 2 Comments

Collection boxes at South Lakes Village CenterThe Fairfax County Planning Commission has recommended for approval tighter rules on charity drop off boxes, which have good intentions but often end up as neighborhood dumps for castoffs.

The boxes are currently not covered by any county zoning rules, officials say. Instead, Fairfax County has applied its rules for secondary structures like garden sheds or garages.

Under new rules OKed by the planning commission on Wednesday:

  • May not be larger than seven feet tall, six feet wide or six feet long.
  • Are limited to two boxes per property in an area not to exceed a total of 120 square feet.
  • Must be made of weather-proof, noncombustible materials.
  • Must get regular collection with no items left outside the boxes.
  • Must list the following information on the outside of the box: name and telephone number of the owner/operator, the items for collection, and a statement prohibiting liquids and dumping.
  • May only be placed on certain commercial properties, like shopping centers, that are 40,000 square feet or larger; in any commercial area of a planned district when shown on an approved development plan; and in any residential district on lots with a non-residential principal use, like a church, or in conjunction with approval for another use by a special permit, special exception or proffered rezoning and only when shown on an approved development plan.

The new rules will now move on to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.

by Eve Thompson — July 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm 263 0

justlistednew

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

We’re midway through the summer and Reston’s real estate market has been oddly slow.

The volume of transactions is up slightly from last year but the days on market (the length of time it takes for a house to go under contract), is way up. Last year at this time the average days on market was 18, today it is 56!

We have 383 active properties on the market that have been on the market for an average of 58 days. Having a more competitive market forces seller to be much more thoughtful about their pricing strategies and as always condition becomes even more critical.

Here are a few of the new listings this week.

11616 DEER FOREST RD. 4BR, 2.5BA. List Price: $724,900

11202 WEDGE DR. 3BR, 3.5BA. List Price: $699,999

2407 MYRTLE LN. 4BR, 3BA. List Price: $650,000

11123 GLADE DR. 3BR, 2.5BA List Price: $599,999

11518 SUNDER CT. 3BR, 2.5BA. List Price: $519,000

To see all the new listings visit Reston Real Estate’s page.

by Karen Goff — July 24, 2015 at 8:00 am 68 0

Geer Case Change — The daughter of John Geer, the man shot and killed by Fairfax County Police in 2013, will not have to speak before a Grand Jury next…

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