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by Karen Goff — September 26, 2016 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

2016 Reston Multicultural Festival/Credit: Charlotte Geary, Modern Reston

Festival Fun — New citizens were sworn in and cultures from around the world were celebrated through song and dance, stories and food at the 2016 Reston Multicultural Festival on Saturday. Modern Reston captured the fun in pictures. [Modern Reston]

Fairfax County’s New PSA — Fairfax County has a new “See Something, Say Something” message for citizens. [YouTube]

Giant SLHS Win — South Lakes football scored 75 points while keeping McLean scoreless until the fourth quarter in a 75-8 victory over the Highlanders Fridat. SLHS is 4-0 and will host Washington-Lee on Friday. Herndon (1-3) fell to Chantilly 26-7 for its third straight loss. [Washington Post]

Post Endorses Meals Tax — The Washington Post editorial board endorses voting in favor of the Fairfax County Meals tax Nov. 8. The proposed 4 percent tax on meals and other prepared foods will generate about $100 million annually, and 70 percent will go to Fairfax County Public Schools. [Washington Post]

Photo: Turkish dancers at 2016 Reston Multicultural Festival/Credit: Charlotte Geary, Modern Reston

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — September 26, 2016 at 6:00 am 1 Comment

This is a sponsored post from Reston Children’s Center, which has been providing quality childcare, preschool and kindergarten in Reston for 50 years.

By Buzz McClain

In 1967, a $1,000 donation by the Reston Foundation was enough to open the Reston Children’s Center, a preschool-through-school-age children (up to 12-years-old) institution that was badly needed by the burgeoning planned community. Thirty children attended the school in the United Christian Parish building on North Shore Drive.

That was 50 years ago. Now the RCC has its own building, an annual budget of $3.5 million, 70 teachers, administrators and support personnel and more than 250 children under their care.

To celebrate the half-century, Reston Children’s Center is starting the party early, with a kickoff picnic Saturday, Oct. 1 at Lake Fairfax Park.

The festivities, open to current and former families, students, teachers and staff are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., with fun and games in between. Refreshments will be provided, of course.

“It has been very rewarding to serve Reston for so long,” said Fahemeh Pirzadeh, the RCC’s executive director who herself has been with center for 30 of its 50 years. “This is our way of thanking the community while bringing together old friends and new friends to celebrate our — and their — achievements.”

Reston Children’s Center is at 11825 Olde Crafts Drive in Reston. Call 703-476-8150 or email at [email protected]. See the website here. For information about the celebration at Lake Fairfax and to share your memories of RCC, see RCC’s Facebook page here.

by Karen Goff — September 23, 2016 at 4:20 pm 4 Comments

Lake Thoreau in fall

Yesterday was the first day of autumn.

In typical Northern Virginia fashion, that means its is warm enough for shorts, a few pools are still open and trees are all green.

Boots and pumpkin patches seem so far away right now. We thought of a few uniquely Reston things that say “a change of seasons” though. We’ll know fall when we see it. Take our poll and tell us your favorite sign.

by Karen Goff — September 23, 2016 at 2:45 pm 3 Comments

Rendering of Lincoln Property Co. Project off Sunrise Valley Drive/Credit: Fairfax CountyThe Fairfax County Planning Commission deferred decision until next week on Lincoln Property Company’s plans to build 260 multifamily residences on what is now a parking lot at Sunrise Valley, Commerce Park and Association drives.

Hunter Mill Commissioner Frank de la Fe asked that the decision be delayed after Wednesday’s public hearing. Reason: the amount of the developer contribution to the Reston Road Fund — which will be used to help  make more than $2.6 billion in transportation improvements here over several decades — is not yet known.

De la Fe said more information on the road fund is expected this week. Lincoln Property Co. has agreed to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue proffers and money to provide public access to the private street.

There are still proffers that need to be worked out: the extension of a sidewalk along Association Drive; additional tree plantings along Sunrise Valley Drive; and the number of Universal Design Units (developer has offered 2 percent; county has asked for 5 percent). (more…)

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — September 23, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

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 her at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and check out her work on HouzzPinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

While thinking about your upcoming remodeling project one thing to think about is sustainable design.

To create a truly green design, a space not only has to have energy-efficient appliances and planet-friendly features, it must be designed to withstand the test of time. Replacing or remodeling every few years is just as wasteful.

Let look at some items that can help save energy, save the earth yet keep you on track with your design style and needs.

 Lighting

Lighting/Photo by HouzzTo cut down on lighting costs, try using LED lighting. This cuts energy use by more than 50 percent.

If possible, add windows to use natural light to brighten up your kitchen and bring down your electrical bill.

(more…)

by Karen Goff — September 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm 36 Comments

Reston AssociationThere is a good chance that Reston Association assessments could top $700 annually in 2017.

RA Treasurer Dannielle LaRosa presented some of the financial realities to board members at their regular meeting Thursday. The board spends September and October looking at next year’s budget needs before setting next year’s assessment in November.

LaRosa reminded board members that RA members paid $657 in 2016, however, that amount was offset by a $1 million surplus moved over from operating fund reserves. RA members have been getting a service level as if they paid $705 in 2016, she said.

LaRosa warned last fall that the $1 million would not be available in 2017, so the board needed to be prepared to possibly set a large jump in the 2017 assessment amount.

“Our members are used to paying $657,” she said. “I personally wouldn’t feel right having a $712 starting point [for 2017 assessments].”

LaRosa also said assessments rose at a $25-a-year rate from 2008 to 2014, which added to both the cash surplus as well as a marked increase in the Reserve, Repair and Replacement Fund.

From 2011 to 2013, the RRRF was about $4 million, she showed the directors in a graph. That was an amount recommended by a reserve study that looked at RA’s needs for an aging infrastructure.

There is now $6 million in there — heading for $7 million in 2017. At the same time, RA has been spending a little more than $2 million annually on those RRRF projects. (more…)

by RestonNow.com — September 23, 2016 at 11:30 am 18 Comments

Ted's BulletinThis is an op-ed by Frank Sullivan of Chantilly. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

In the Nov. 8 General Election, a meals tax ballot question will ask Fairfax Country voters to allow the Board of Supervisors to impose an additional tax on prepared foods. Below are six reasons why voters should vote (Vote No) against the imposition of this meals tax:

  1. The tax on prepared foods in the county will increase to 10 percent, a 4-percent meals tax plus the current 6-percent state sales tax. This tax will not only apply to what one purchases in restaurants, but to all prepared foods and beverages regardless of where purchased (grocery stores, restaurants, lunchrooms, cafeterias taverns, coffee shops, cafes, delis, food trucks, etc.).
  1. The ballot question leads one to believe the meals tax will reduce the dependency on real estate taxes. The facts are the Board recently approved a property tax increase of $1.13 per $100 which represents an increase of 6 percent to the average homeowner. This now represents an increase of 26 percent over 5 years. The average annual Real Estate tax bill will increase $304, this on top of the $185 increase from last year. Over the last two years, the Board also has voted to increase stormwater taxes, sewer service charges, and youth athletic fees all the while voting to raise their own pay by 27 percent. If anyone believes the meals tax will provide property tax relief, recall that the Board promised to eliminate the Car Tax (i.e., personal property tax) — we are still paying the Car Tax. Enough is enough on more taxes.
  1. While there are exceptions to the meals tax, the exceptions will only apply to very few living in the country. This is a regressive tax that will impact the hard working middle class and those that can least afford it, including minorities and senior citizens.
  1. The Board would have voters believe that a portion of the meals tax revenue will be used for capital improvements and property tax relief and that the majority of the revenue would lead to higher teacher pay and funding for school classrooms. The truth is this revenue can go to various fund, including what the county budget generically calls ‘county services’. The Board also has shown it cannot be trusted to apply any of this revenue to property tax relief (again remember the Car Tax relief).
  1. The Board would have voters believe the country budget still suffers the impacts of sequestration. Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield) has identified areas of the budget that could be cut such as developer proffers and the $1 million earmarked for the Supervisors’ offices ($100,000 each) but has been ignored by the Board. If this were a responsible Board they would be willing to set priorities and address its fiscal issues, including conducting a review of the County’s spending and a review of the budget for waste before raising taxes once again
  1. Once this tax is passed, there is no guarantee that this tax will not increase.

Please join the Fairfax Families Against the Food Tax by voting NO to the meals tax question on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Frank W. Sullivan

Something on your mind? Send opinion letters to [email protected]. Reston Now reserves the right to edit letters for clarity.

 

by Karen Goff — September 23, 2016 at 10:00 am 4 Comments

Election season officially begins when absentee voting opens Friday in Fairfax County.

There are 19 valid reasons to vote absentee in Virginia, including working and commuting to and from home for 11 or more hours between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Election Day. Check the Virginia Department of Elections list to see if you are eligible.

Absentee voting will be available at the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax) through Nov. 5.

Hours:

Sept. 23 to Oct. 14

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thursday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Monday, Oct. 10 (Columbus Day).

Oct. 17 to Nov. 4

  • Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Saturdays

  • Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and Nov.5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Satellite locations, including the North County Governmental Center, 1801 Cameron Glen Dr. in Reston, open Oct. 1. Satellite location hours:

Saturdays 

  • Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Oct. 17 to Nov. 4. Monday – Friday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Mail-in

Visit the Virginia Department of Elections citizen portal to get a mail-in absentee ballot. Your ballot must be received by Nov. 1. You will need your Social Security Number and information on your Virginia Driver’s License to complete the application. Information is also provided on how to apply if you do not have a driver’s license.

See the above video for information on how to mail in your ballot so it will surely count.

by Karen Goff — September 23, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Trees near Reston National Golf Course

Crossfield Challenge Growing — Parents with children at Crossfield Elementary School are ready to battle as a proposed cell phone tower goes before the Fairfax County Planning Commission next week. [NBC4 Washington]

Greater Reston Chamber Part of Coalition For Cash — The State of Virginia has made available $36 million to a coalition of Norther Virginia Chambers, which includes the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. [Washington Business Journals]

Football Tonight — Undefeated South Lakes (3-0) is at McLean tonight. Herndon (1-2) is at Chantilly. Game times are 7 p.m.

Art Auction Tonight — The Greater Reston Arts Center is holding an art auction from the estate of Mary Howard, a Reston collector “with a valuable collection that is “an eclectic mix that is just as unique and free-spirited as the woman herself.” [Reston Now]

Modern Market In Reston — Colorado-based Modern Market, a fast casual restaurant, is making planning to open in Reston in 2017.  A location has not been announced. [Borderstan]

by RestonNow.com — September 23, 2016 at 6:00 am 0

On Fridays we take a moment to thank our advertisers and sponsors: Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the business community for the vibrant region. Matthew A. Cash, financial advisor at Baird’s Private…

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