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by Dave Emke — January 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Olivia Beckner is fast, and she has her name all over the record books to prove it.

The South Lakes High School junior set her second school record of the month recently, eclipsing by nearly four seconds an SLHS top time for the mile that had stood for 29 years.

The record-setting performance came at the Virginia Showcase Invitational indoor track and field meet last weekend at Liberty University in Lynchburg. Her time of 4 minutes, 55.58 seconds beat out the previous mark of 4 minutes, 59.44 seconds set by Anne Evans during the 1987-88 season.

Earlier this month at a meet in New York, Beckner ran the 1,000 meters in 2 minutes, 54.06 seconds. That surpassed the record of 2 minutes, 58.47 seconds she had set last year as a sophomore.

Beckner leads the five-time defending Liberty Conference champion Seahawks into the conference championship, beginning today and concluding Jan. 28 in Landover, Maryland.

The SLHS boys are no slouches either. They enter the championship with eight consecutive titles under their belts.

Photos courtesy South Lakes High School/Mary Ann Magnant

by Dave Emke — January 19, 2017 at 11:30 am 6 Comments

When tens of thousands descend upon the National Mall on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington, many will be adorned with pink knitted hats. A large number of those hats, products of the worldwide Pussyhat Project, will have filtered through a home on Lake Newport Road in Reston.

The house, which looks quiet from the outside, is filled with bustling action as women of all ages work hard to prepare hats that are arriving every day. Boxes upon boxes of the hats, knitted by concerned people from around the world, are stacked in the home’s basement in various stages of the organizational process.

College student Molly McKnight and her mother, Carrie, volunteered to make their Reston home the hub for the hats. Family friends, including Jeanne Robertson and Diane Brown, are among the dozens of volunteers who have assisted with the project.

“We’re the grunt work,” said Robertson, who was processing hats in the basement Wednesday along with Brown. “There are a lot of friends who are here to help.”

Stefanie Kamerman, the project’s D.C. organizer, is coordinating the effort. She said the final days have been hectic, as many hundreds of hats — some days as many as 2,000 — have been showing up through the mail every day.

“We are hoping to distribute them at the march successfully,” Kamerman said. “We are trying to get the hats from Point A to Point B, to get them to the women who are marching on the 21st.”

Between 200,000 and 500,000 women are expected to participate in the event Saturday, Kamerman said. About 60,000 hand-crafted hats have been donated to the project so far, she said. The collection site on Lake Newport Road has been operating since early December.

Politically, Kamerman said she considers herself a Libertarian. She said concerns about women’s issues that arose during the election of soon-to-be President Donald Trump led her to fight for the female voice.

“It’s not necessarily that we’re anti-Trump; we’re just trying to take back those infamous words he said on the ‘Access Hollywood’ video,” Kamerman said, referring to audio from 2005 that emerged prior to the election in which Trump used vulgar terms to describe his treatment of women.

According to the project’s website, its name is in part a reference to one of those terms used by Trump — and its goal is to “reclaim the term as a means of empowerment.”

Each hat that is donated is accompanied by a note from its knitter, which includes not just a name and a hometown, but a list of women’s rights issues most important to him or her.

“Being involved [in this project] has opened my eyes to a lot of women that are hurting, and who don’t feel like their voices are being heard,” Kamerman said.

More than 50 volunteers are working for the project across the United States, Kamerman said, with about half of them having worked from the Reston site at some point during the past month.

“It’s helping other women get something that is special,” she said. “We’re all working together for something amazing.”

Kamerman said she and many of the other volunteers will be attending the march Saturday, both to support the cause and to see the fruits of their labor.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what we’ve been working so hard for coming together,” she said. “It’s been an amazing experience.”

Kamerman said she is hopeful her 8-year-old daughter, who has been helping with the project as well, will lead the next generation of activism.

“I wanted to raise her in a world where she will continue the good fight for women and men across the nation, regardless of who they love or what they believe or who they are,” she said.

For more information about the Pussyhat Project, visit its website, Facebook page or Twitter account.

by Del. Ken Plum — January 19, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

Ken Plum and Chuck ColganFormer Senator Charles J. Colgan passed away earlier this month. He retired just a year ago as the longest-serving State Senator in Virginia history. He was the last remaining World War II veteran serving in the Commonwealth’s Senate. He truly earned a place among the “greatest generation.”

Chuck, as he preferred to be called by his peers, was orphaned by age 5, raised by his grandparents, and served in the Army Air Corps. Aviation was an important part of his life; he founded Colgan Airways, flying out of Manassas with service to 53 cities. His wife of 52 years preceded him in death. Surviving him are his eight children and their spouses, his second wife, 24 grandchildren, and 22 great-grandchildren.

Beyond his personal and business life, Senator Colgan’s public life was unparalleled. He served on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors before being elected to the Virginia Senate for the 40-year tenure he completed. His awards and recognitions are numerous — the most recent being the naming of the Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School in Prince William County. All this history of the man does not capture the essence of what made him so highly regarded. He ran and was elected as a Democrat all his life even as he voted consistently pro-life on issues of abortion. He stayed in office while Republicans won most of the elective positions in his area. In the Senate, he was known for his willingness to work across party lines on issues he thought were important. He was an avid supporter of public education and was greatly influential in supporting funding for George Mason University, including its Prince William campus, and funding for new buildings for the Manassas and Woodbridge campuses of Northern Virginia Community College.

He was a much-loved and towering figure for his philosophy of life that he often expressed in folksy terms. He was known to advise that one should always be worth more than you are being paid. A smile, he would say, is like a business card; it only works if you give it away. He was always cheery regardless of the tough issues he faced. These statements of his philosophy were included in the program for his celebration of life as “Colgan’s Top Ten.” He understood that the best way to defeat your enemy is to make him your friend. The qualities that made him so richly admired by his family, neighbors and legislative colleagues inspired 800 people to come to his retirement party and many hundreds to come to his Mass of Christian Burial. That kind of attendance proved he embodied his belief that when you are getting ahead in life, make sure you reach out and give someone a hand up. Live your life, he would say, in such a way that if someone speaks ill of you, no one will believe them.

I believe Chuck Colgan is a true role model for leadership, for he believed that one should always ask yourself, “Am I doing the right thing?”

Each year, I survey constituents on issues of concern to them and on issues that are likely to be considered by the General Assembly. Your views are important to me. Please take a few minutes to respond to the survey that can be found at www.kenplum.com.

by Dave Emke — January 19, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Lake Anne - Jan. 18, 2017

Reston Orthopedic Practice Honored for Community Work — Ortho Virginia was recently recognized by Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna for its continued support of the nonprofit, volunteer-based organization. [Reston Connection]

Yoga Studio Organizes Buses for Women’s March on D.C. — Maryam Ovissi, the owner of Beloved Yoga (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive), has booked transportation for 57 people to the event Saturday on the National Mall. [Patch]

Silver Line Progress ‘Steady,’ Project Officials Say — In recent weeks, the project’s design-­build contractor has reported “significant progress” on the aerial guideways that will carry the tracks through Washington Dulles International Airport. Engineers also say at-­grade track work on Phase 2 of the project, which recently began, is “a very important milestone.” [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

by Eve Thompson — January 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm 4 Comments

Just Sold

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

Here are some Reston homes that changed hands in the last week:

1260 Reston Ave., 5 BR, BA. Sale Price: $1.16 million

11204 Chestnut Grove Square, 2 BR, 2 BA. Sale Price: $212,000

11400 Washington Plaza West, Studio, 1 BA. Sale Price: $180,000

11817 Breton Court, 2 BR, 1 BA. Sale Price: $219,000

by Dave Emke — January 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Local painters and poets have collaborated to help each other’s work come to life in an exhibit set to open this weekend at Reston Art Gallery & Studios.

“Springtime in Winter: An Ekphrastic Study in Art, Poetry and Music” will be on display starting Friday at the gallery (11400 Washington Plaza W., on Lake Anne). Pat Macintyre, the gallery’s director and an active painter, said artists and poets worked in close partnerships to create the linked pieces.

“As the poems were being written, we communicated mainly by email, but some people got together in person,” she said.

The Poetry Society of Virginia worked together with the artists at Reston Art Gallery to create the pieces. Mike Maggio, the group’s Northern Regional vice president, developed the concept.

“This is the first collaboration between PSV and RAGS,” he said in a news release. “We also have Herndon Middle School, Herndon High School and a music professor from George Mason involved, so this collaboration has grown quite a bit.”

Macintyre said music students from the schools will be performing during the exhibit’s opening reception, scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Sunday. Live readings by participating poets are also planned for the event.

Macintyre and poet Steve Bucher partnered for their work.

“The poets applied to join us, and they came in en masse,” Macintyre said. “I was honored [Bucher] picked me. His words are so powerful.”

After the exhibit closes at Reston Art Gallery on Feb. 18, it will move on to ArtSpace Herndon (Feb. 20-26) and Northern Virginia Community College in Sterling (March 25).

Poets featured in the exhibit are Don Carlson, Stanley Galloway, Claudia Gary, Cathy Hailey, Bennie Herron, Susana Notar and Jack Underhill, as well as Bucher. Artists are Gail Axtell-Erwin, Dorothy Donahey, Ronni Jolles, Joan Kelly, Maggie Stewart, Roberta Thole and Wayne Schiffelbein, along with Macintyre.

The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, or by appointment.

For more information, visit the gallery’s website or Facebook page, or call 703-481-8156.

Pet of the Week: Selma

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — January 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

Meet Selma, a cute little Labrador Retriever mix.

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

This beautiful little girl is named Selma. She and her brothers Peak and Noah, along with her sister Franny, had a yellow lab mix mother, but their father is a mystery.

All these terrific pups love to play, but also enjoy just hanging out. They’re great company either way. We’re sure that this terrific pup will brighten your day and make a most excellent new best friend for any lucky adopter.

These precious pups go fast, so please send your application on in pronto so you don’t miss out.

Selma is up to date on all shots and dewormings and carries an adoption fee of $329. We can also have her microchipped for only $25 additional.

Are you and Selma 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.

by Dave Emke — January 18, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Police line

Fairfax County police reports from the past week include an attempted home break-in in Herndon.

The incident took place at about 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9. A resident in the 2600 block of New Concorde Court made the call.

From FCPD:

A resident reported that, while he was home, he heard someone trying to gain entry through the sliding glass door. He saw a man attempting to open the door and the suspect ran off. He was described as white, approximately 5 feet 7 to 8 inches tall, thin build and a dark beard.

Local officers also responded to an attempted home break-in on Lake Shore Crest Drive in Reston, which we reported last week. An arrest was made in that case.

Other reported crimes from the Reston District Station this past week include the following:

LARCENIES:

1500 block of Pennycress Lane, wallet from vehicle

2400 block of Thomas Jefferson Drive, phone from office

2100 block of Centreville Road, merchandise from business

2300 block of Freetown Court, cash from vehicle

1200 block of Shaker Drive, gun and TV from vehicle

1800 block of Fountain Drive, merchandise from business

1700 block of Business Center Drive, cash from business

2300 block of Corporate Park Drive, wallet from business

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Police from the Reston District Station also were dispatched to a pair of major crimes in recent days: a double stabbing on the soccer fields near South Lakes High School and a chaotic hostage situation in Herndon.

Police shot and killed the suspect in the latter incident, who had earlier shot and wounded his two brothers, after he allegedly lunged at officers while wielding a knife. The man was later identified as 32-year-old Mohammed Azim Doudzai.

The suspect in the stabbing remains at large.

by Dave Emke — January 18, 2017 at 10:15 am 60 Comments

Herndon police shooting

The 32-year-old Herndon man killed Monday by police after a chaotic barricade situation had shot his brothers after a fight with his girlfriend.

Fairfax County Police say 32-year-old Mohammad Azim Doudzai of 13316 Covered Wagon Lane was arguing with his 28-year-old girlfriend when she called his brothers to come talk to him. The fight escalated, and he pulled a gun and shot his brothers, ages 37 and 23. The injured men fled the home along with the girlfriend, driving to the hospital and calling police.

Officers who responded to the home, where Doudzai had barricaded himself inside. During the incident, police say, Doudzai set fires inside the home and there were reports of what sounded like gunfire.

From FCPD:

As officers attempted negotiations with the suspect, they discovered there was a 29-year-old man trapped inside the home. He was a roommate and not related to the family. When the incident escalated, he hid in a room upstairs and called 911 to report he could not escape. Following the response of the Special Operations Division (SOD), officers made the decision to approach the home out of concern for the hostage, neighbors and suspect. Smoke had filled the home and was billowing out the windows. When a team of officers approached the door, the suspect came out with at least one knife in hand and was shot. Members of SOD quickly entered the home and rescued the hostage.

The officer who shot and killed Doudzai, a 16-year veteran of the department assigned to the Special Operations Division, has been placed on routine administrative leave while the investigation is conducted.

Detectives recovered a gun and a knife from the home, police say.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Fairfax County police at 703-691-2131, use Crime Solvers, or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

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