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by RestonNow.com Sponsor February 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm 1 Comment

This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact Anna at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and follow her work on HouzzPinterestFacebook and Twitter.

Did you know that February is not only the month of love but National Family Baking Month? What a fun way to spend the last two of the coldest months of winter, in your house with the sweet aromas of cinnamon rolls in the air.

We have compiled a list of the top 3 essentials to help get you and your family baking together without breaking the bank. And we also found a fantastic recipe link to how to make your version of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls at the end of the article.

Mixing Bowls — An essential to baking is the correct mixing bowls. Mixing bowls come in a variety of materials, such as glass, ceramic, copper, plastic and stainless steel.

Glass and ceramic bowls can be pretty and double as serving dishes, but they are easily breakable. Copper is the most beautiful, but usually the most expensive. Plastic is durable but tends to absorb odors. Stainless steel is the most durable and cost-effective. We love Cuisinart and suggest Cuisinart CTG-00-SMB Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, Set of 3.

Rolling Pins — What is it about a rolling pin, that brings back happy memories of someone baking during your childhood? Of course, like mixing bowls, there is more than one type.

The first rolling pin we think of is the traditional wood rolling pin, as it is the most commonly known. The second rolling pin is the marble rolling pin; these are great for thinning out doughs that usually break easily with a wood rolling pin.

The third type of well-known rolling pin is the french rolling pin. Unlike the traditional and marble rolling pin, they do not have the wood panels connected to them. These are great for your little ones as they do not have to grasp the sides of rolling pin, but can use the bottom of their hands to glide the rolling pin across the dough.

One of our favorites is Sugar Maple French Style Rolling Pin: Tapered Solid Wood Design. Hand Crafted in the USA. By Top Notch Kitchenware!

Hand Mixers — If your family is new to baking, starting out with a high-end top stand mixer may not be the best place to start on your mixing journey.

So, instead, we recommend starting with something that will get the job done, a hand mixer. Hand mixers like stand mixers can come in a variety of different styles for different types of mixing. For instance, hand mixers can come with beaters, whisks or dough hooks.

You can get hand mixers with just the beaters or with all three. We recommend the VonShef 250W 6 Speed Hand Mixer with Stand and 5 Accessories Includes 2 Dough Hooks, 2 Beaters & 1 Whisk plus Turbo Function and Handy Stand — stylish red design that has everything to start your baking journey.

Now for the best part of this article, how to make your own Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. It’s called the Clone of a Cinnabon and it’s from one of our favorite sites Allrecipes.com. Happy Baking!

(This content uses referral links.)

by Fatimah Waseem February 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm 0

Before we head off into Presidents Day weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. We’ll resume our regular publication schedule on Tuesday, barring any breaking news.

  1. &pizza is Opening This Fall in Reston Town Center
  2. Crime Roundup: Herndon Man Arrested In Connection with CVS Pharmacy Robbery in Reston Town Center
  3. Armed Man Robs 7-11 in Herndon
  4. Fairfax Police: Parts Taken From More Than a Dozen Vehicles
  5. Police Investigate Robbery at Sunoco Gas Station in South Lakes

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip. Have a great weekend.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

by Fatimah Waseem February 16, 2018 at 1:00 pm 5 Comments

A four-story hotel could replace surface parking in Lake Fairfax Business Park.

TH Holding Company is seeking to build a 98,500 square foot hotel with 138 rooms next to the headquarters of Thompson Hospitality (1741 Business Center Drive), its retail food and facilities management company.

Reston’s Planning and Zoning Committee will vote on the proposal on Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. The plan outlines 299 parking spaces, including 149 spots for hotel guests and employees. An outdoor terrace will sit next to the hotel’s main entrance and towards the neighboring office building.

The plan is designed to transition into a future street that would connect Business Center Drive to Michael Faraday Drive. Reston’s comprehensive plan proposes a local street running along the southwest border of the site.

Although redevelopment does not require this additional step, the company is designing the south side of the site in order to “easily integrate into the ultimate grid of streets,” according to the proposal.

The proposed development is expected to generate 775 weekday daily trips and 929 daily trips.

A map showing the location of Thompson Hospitality and the adjacent parking lot is below:

Photo via handout

by Anna Merod February 16, 2018 at 11:30 am 0

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • Watch the Basketball District Finals at South Lakes High School on Friday. The women’s game will feature Langley High School vs. South Lakes at 5:45 p.m. The men’s game will feature Washington Lee High School vs. South Lakes at 7:30 p.m.
  • Join Stanley Whitaker for an evening of live guitar music at Tavern64 on Friday from 6-10 p.m.
  • Take a dip in the pool with the family for The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center at RCC Hunters Woods. The event is Friday from 7-9 p.m. and entry costs $13 for Reston residents and $23 for non-Reston groups.
  • Learn how to break a board (or five) at Life Champ Martial Arts of Reston. The event is on Friday 7:15-8 p.m. and costs $20.
  • Call yourself a punk? Then you might enjoy the local punk coverband Poprocks who are performing at the Crafthouse Friday from 8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
  • Jam out and skate during the “Rock N Skate” event at the Ice Skating Pavillion Friday from 8-10 p.m. There will be a live DJ and music, prizes and games.
  • Take an exploratory hike, have some outdoor fun or participate in an indoor Nature House program as a part of the “Great Backyard Bird Count: eBird Workshop.” The free program runs on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Walker Nature Center.
  • Share the ice with classic, beloved cartoon characters such as Scooby Doo and Cat in the Hat at Ice Skating Pavillion on Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Need a little practice reading or just love dogs? Have your child read to a therapy dog at the Kingstowne Library. The event is for ages 5-12 and will run from 12:30-1 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Learn more about the opioid crisis in the country in a lecture by a representative of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board. The lecture will take place at the Kings Park Library in the Kings Park Meeting Room on Saturday from 1-3 p.m.
  • Historian Gregg D. Kimball of the Library of Virginia will trace the Prohibition musical legacy through spoken narrative, period images and live and recorded music. The event is from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Chantilly Meeting Room in the Chantilly Regional Library.
  • Don’t miss the free Paulina Peavy exhibit at the Greater Reston Arts Center, which ends Saturday at 5 p.m. Peavy’s work reflects her “personal ontology and the meaning of life,” according to Reston Town Center. Her work includes paper, paintings, films, texts and masks.
  • Tag along as beginner or expert bird finder on a bird walk of Reston Lakes and waterfowl tour. The free bird walk will meet at Lake Newport Tennis and will run from 8-11 a.m. Sunday.
  • Come listen to the Piedmont Bluz Acoustic Duo play traditional African American folk music. The performance will be at the Reston Meeting Room 1 and 2 at the Reston Regional Library from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday.
  • Watch the one man show of Mark Brutsché perform Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the CenterStage RCC Hunter Woods at 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and $10 for non-Residents.

File photo.

by Fatimah Waseem February 16, 2018 at 10:15 am 18 Comments

Relief could be on the way soon for drivers who frequent Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road.

Last night, the Fairfax County Planning Commission approved long awaited plans to tackle traffic backups by realigning Sunset Hills Road to Crowell Road.

The plan also includes adding a roundabout as an intersection control. Hunter Mill Road would become a four-lane road between the intersection of Crowell Road and Sunset Hills Road to the Dulles Toll Road’s westbound ramps.

John Carter, the Hunter Mill District’s planning commissioner, compared the new plan to George Washington Parkway. Conceding the comparison was imperfect, he said the changes feature sweeping curves, major setbacks of 400 feet from houses to the road and a commitment to preserve a pond and a forested resource protection area.

The plan passed by the commission includes several amendments to address concerns raised by the Hunter Mill Defense League and the Hunting Crest Homeowners Association. Changes include:

  • Beginning realignment to the east of the Edlin School and extending no farther than Crowell Road
  • Maximizing the distance between the realigned road and the Hunting Crest community
  • The inclusion of a roundabout as a preferred alternative
  • Modifying transportation maps to include a cul-de-sac on Hunter Mill Road

The county’s Board of Supervisors will hear public comment on the plan on March 6 at around 4 p.m.

Since 2014, the county held several community meetings to lay out traffic management alternatives. The latest plan is a mix of several options, but departs from previously discussed plans, which the county indicated no longer work.

Carter said the county’s studies clearly indicate the current plan is the “better method to calm traffic in this area.”

Photo via handout

by Fatimah Waseem February 16, 2018 at 9:00 am 18 Comments


Let your imagination run wild – Today is the last day an art proposal in response to the prompt, “If you could do anything, what would it be?” Greater Reston Arts Center will select five artists to participate in the Mary B. Howard invitational later this year. [GRACE]

Delays on Metro This Weekend — The Silver, Orange and Blue Lines are scheduled to run every 24 minutes, thanks to weekend track work. [WTOP]

A new home for OVHcloud – The global cloud provider opened its headquarters in Reston. The company’s CEO Russ Reeder said he’s glad to be back in the region. [OVHcloud]

Discussion on Russia’s foreign policy today — Watch a segment of the “Great Decisions” documentary and delve into a roundtable discussion at Reston Regional Library from 2-4:15 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

Empty office space woes – Near Silver Line stations, millions of square feet of office space is available. Some developers and brokers are struggling to court good tenants. [Bisnow]

Body Found in Early February Outside Reston Town Center High Rise – On Feb. 2, a woman’s body was found in a driveway outside condominiums in Reston. Police investigated the incident as a possible suicide.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

by Fatimah Waseem February 15, 2018 at 3:30 pm 51 Comments

Public forums to engage with the 13 candidates vying for seats on Reston Association’s Board of Directors are slated for the end of the month.

There are 11 candidates are running for three at-large board seats and two candidates are running for the South Lakes District seat in an election that could dramatically alter the makeup of the board.

The at-large candidates’ forum for candidates seeking a three-year term is set for Monday, Feb. 26 from 7-9 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The forum for South Lakes candidates and at-large candidates seeking a one-year term is set for the next day at the same time and place. A tentative rain date is set for March 1.

The breakdown of candidates is as follows:

  • Two at-large seats (three-year term): Aaron Webb, Colin Meade, Derrick Watkins, John Pinkman, Sridhar Ganesan, Travis G. Johnson and Ven Iyer
  • At-large seat (one-year term): Andy Sigle, David Ballard, John Bowman, Ray Wedell
  • South Lakes District seat (three-year term): Tammi Petrine and Julie Bitzer

The voting period for the election is March 5 through April 2. Results will be announced on April 10 at the annual members’ meeting at 7 p.m.

Stay tuned for candidate profiles on Reston Now in the coming weeks. Information on each candidate is available on RA’s website.

File photo.

by Fatimah Waseem February 15, 2018 at 2:30 pm 4 Comments

Elementary schools in Reston often give students in need food for the weekend.

But that resource largely ends in middle school, adding to challenge of adjusting to the unfamiliar and sometimes daunting environment of middle school.

When school counselors at Langston Hughes Middle School realized this was the case, they partnered with two non-profit organizations to create a food pantry for students who need meals over the weekend. Since the program launched this year, 20 students have signed on.

The list is growing. Roughly 35 percent of all students receive free or reduced meals at the school, down from nearly 40 percent in the 2014-2015 academic year, according to county data.

“This is run by the community. We want to support all the kids in our building over the weekend so they can be ready for school,” said Marissa Brooks, a counselor at the school.

To jumpstart the program, the school received a grant from Britepaths, a nonprofit organization that offers healthy meals, drinks and snacks over the weekend. Another nonprofit, Blessings in a Backpack, has also committed to providing bagged items through the end of the academic year.

The school has an Amazon wishlist and accepts donations from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.  Accepted donations include dried fruit, snack packs, pasta, sauce and breakfast bars.

Other local schools like Hunters Woods Elementary School and South Lakes High School also offer similar programs.

Photo by Susie Finotti

by Anna Merod February 15, 2018 at 12:30 pm 5 Comments

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum will host a panel tonight exploring whether Reston is living up to founder Bob Simon’s goal of being a diverse place.

The panel of speakers will include residents who have lived in Reston for different periods of time. Panelists are Beverly Cosham, Victoria Cosham-Rivera, Omer Gorashi, Gerald Zavala and Anthony Zavala.

The event is free and will run from 7-9 p.m. at the JoAnn Rose Gallery at the Reston Community Center Lake Anne.

One of Simon’s goals was to ensure individual dignity was the focal point of all planning.

“We are interested in not only the experiences of the early pioneers, but also the experiences of those who grew up in Reston, those who came later and their children’s experiences, and the impressions and experiences of those who are the more recent members of our community,” organizers said in an Facebook event page.

by Del. Ken Plum February 15, 2018 at 10:15 am 8 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

In a sight too seldom seen in the State Capitol, Governor Ralph Northam and Speaker of the House Kirk Cox stood together at the same podium to announce a bipartisan agreement on criminal justice reform. Governor Northam has agreed to sign a bill on restitution in criminal cases that when it passed last year was vetoed by Governor McAuliffe, and the Republicans agreed to pass a bill to raise the threshold for felony larceny from the current $200 to $500 for which many interfaith and social justice groups have been forcefully advocating. While there are details about the agreements that continue to be open for criticism, they represent important steps in criminal justice reform. 

The Governor intervened in a controversial bill on electric energy regulation that is likely to make the ultimate outcome more satisfactory to multiple stakeholders. The original bill was referred to as the “Dominion” bill because it impacted Dominion Energy, American Electric Power Company and the electric cooperatives. After the Governor called together 30 stakeholders and a professional mediator, a revised bill emerged that will keep the electric power companies financially stable while granting refunds to consumers with advances in smart metering, energy conservation and a giant step in moving towards renewable energy. For critics of any bill that deals with electric energy, take a look at the new bill that has been negotiated; I think there are very good reasons conservationists are happy with the new bill. 

The critical need for Metro funding presents a challenge for working out a solution. There is no debate about the importance of Metro; all business organizations testify to its critical role in the success of the Northern Virginia region. Holding up the process of working out the new funding are legislators who continue to want to talk about reforms of Metro without specific proposals and who are not willing to make a commitment on funding. Hopefully the partisan political speeches can be set aside, and serious discussions can be carried on by sane heads that will result in a satisfactory compromise.

A bill passed recently that supports a work requirement for recipients of Medicaid that was supported by the Speaker was the first indication that there may be a path to an agreement on Medicaid expansion. Such requirements are becoming common among the states. While such a requirement may be adverse to some people, we need to do what is needed to move the program forward for the maximum number of persons who are otherwise qualified. Certainly, the program will be revised and improved most every year. I share the Governor’s priority that we make progress on expanding health care this year. 

On every issue that comes before the legislature there are multiple points of view and different interests. Each has a legitimacy in the mind of the proponent. The continued challenge that keeps me interested and excited about legislating is the working out of complex issues to the best interest of the citizenry.

by Fatimah Waseem February 15, 2018 at 9:00 am 0

NII Holdings hangs on — The Reston-based company is trading above the minimum share price to retain its place on the NASDAQ. But it hasn’t fully steered clear of financial trouble yet. [Washington Business Journal]

Hunting down traffic — For years, county officials have mulled plans to tackle backups on Hunter Mill Road near the Dulles Toll Road. A county commission is set to vote on a new solution tonight. [Fairfax County Government]

A shoutout to Ms. Anne — In honor of Crossing Guard Appreciation Day, the employee at Lake Anne Elementary School was selected as one of the top six crossing guards in the state. [Lake Anne Elementary School]

Honoring young artists — The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers selected 14 students from South Lakes High School for the annual Scholastic Art Awards, one of the most prestigious scholarships for creative teens. [The Connection]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

by RestonNow.com February 14, 2018 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

As Girl Scout cookie season kicks off, there are plenty of places in Reston to satisfy your sweet tooth beginning tomorrow.

Cookies are sold by Girl Scouts of the USA to help fund its local scout units. The fundraising campaign has in effect since 1971.

Here’s a breakdown of local cookie booths in Reston and a Herndon:

  • Flippin’ Pizza (11130 South Lakes Drive)
  • Ledo Pizza (2254 Hunters Woods Plaza)
  • Safeway (11120 South Lakes Drive)
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop (12150 Sunset Hills Road)
  • Reston Metro Station (1862 Wiehle Avenue)
  • Modell’s (11680 Plaza America Drive)
  • Reston Town Center (11900 Market Street)
  • Giant Food (1450 North Point Village Center)
  • Lucia’s (2531 John Milton Drive)
  • Launch Trampoline Park (13348 Franklin Farm Road)
  • Giant Food (13330 Franklin Farm Road)
  • Worldgate Center (Worldgate Drive)
  • Mellow Mushroom (1030 Elden Street)
  • Safeway (413 Elden Street)

A complete list, which includes exact opening dates, is online. Orders can also be placed online.

Photo via Girl Scouts USA

by Fatimah Waseem February 14, 2018 at 3:45 pm 11 Comments

An armed man robbed the Sunoco Gas Station on 11190 South Lakes Drive Tuesday night, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

A man entered the gas station at around 10 p.m. yesterday and demanded cash while displaying a weapon. The suspect took the money and then ran away, police said.

The police department issued the following description of the suspect:

The suspect was described as white, 30 to 38 years old, 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet 2 inches tall, wearing a black mask, black hooded jacket, pants, and gloves.

Anyone with information should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

File photo.

by Anna Merod February 14, 2018 at 2:30 pm 3 Comments

The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is returning to Reston Town Center for its 27th annual event, and this year the festival is a day longer.

The festival established by the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) will run from May 18-20 at 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day and will bring more than 200 artists from across the country to show original works in 16 different categories of fine art and fine craft.

“The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is an event unlike any other. The quality of the fine art is exceptional, and the variety ensures that there is something for everyone, from woodwork to jewelry, ceramics, and painting,” said GRACE Executive Director and Curator Lily Siegel in a press release.

Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market will also be joining the festival as a title sponsor in time for its move to the Reston Town Center this spring. The market will be providing attendees food at multiple locations throughout the festival.

On top of the showings there will be a festival party for artists, sponsors and their guests from 7:30-9 p.m. There will also be an announcement of the 10 winners of the Awards of Excellence who will receive $500 in cash prize, a blue ribbon for their artist booth and admission into next year’s festival.

Donation tickets cost $5 per adult to benefit GRACE. There will also be free parking in all Reston Town Center garages throughout the entire festival.

Pet of the Week: Shotzy

by RestonNow.com Sponsor February 14, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

Meet Shotzy, a Spaniel mix available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at Safe Haven Puppy Rescue have to say about her:

Shotzy along with her sister Scout are gorgeous little spaniel mix babies of just about one year old. She is a perfect size at 30 pounds or so, has a beautiful black coat along with soulful brown eyes.

Either of these pups are going to make terrific companions for some lucky adopters out there. Shotzy is a sweet, affectionate girl who would like nothing better than a family of her own and will be great company.

Precious pups like these go fast, so please send your application on in pronto so you don’t miss out. Shotzy is up to date on all shots and dewormings, has been spayed and carries an adoption fee of $339 which includes her micro chip. This friendly little girl is going to bring lots of joy to his adopters, so don’t delay, get your application in.

Are you and Shotzy a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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