37°Rain

by RestonNow.com — February 8, 2016 at 4:30 pm 1 Comment

SLHS indoor track wins Liberty titles/Photo by Harry Lister

Paced by record-setting performances in the 500 meters, seniors Golden Kumi-Darfour and Skander Ballard led the South Lakes High School indoor track and field teams to Liberty Conference titles in both the boys and girls divisions Friday at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Md.

The South Lakes girls team scored 138.50 points and placed in 13 of the 15 events to win its fifth consecutive conference title. James Madison finished second with 89 points and McLean was third with 64. Langley scored 49.50 points for fourth, followed by Fairfax (44), Washington-Lee (39), Yorktown (21) and Hayfield Secondary (17).

SLHS boys team finished with 190 points, placing in 14 of 15 events, for its eighth straight conference championship. James Madison, was second with 55 points. Fairfax and Washington and Lee tied for third with 49 points followed by McLean (40), Hayfield Secondary (30), Yorktown (29) and Langley (23).

Fourteen SLHS girls and 15 boys contributed to the team scoring. Kumi-Darfour was unbeatable in all of her events, especially in the 500 meters where her 1:16.55 broke the meet record of 1:17.92 set in 2005.

Kumi-Darfour, along ith senior Monica Lannen, and sophomores Olivia Beckner and Sarah Wolfe, won the 4×800 meter relay (9:43.55). She finished the meet with a win in the 4×400 meter relay with Beckner, freshman Sophie Halkett and junior Jessica Lister.

Ballard also had multiple wins. His 1:07.16 time in winning the 500 meters broke the 2008 record of 1:07.55 set by Nick Vaughn. He also won the 300 meters (35.96), triple jump (43-09.00) and teamed with seniors Nikolai Waithe, Connor Smith and sophomore Alex Wallace in winning the 4×400 meter relay (3:33.28). Ballard was also fourth in the long jump (19-03.50) and seventh in the pole vault (10-06.00).

Additionally, SLHS dominated several events, including:

  • Winning all six relays
  • Girls 55 meter hurdles (freshman Kristen Williams, 9.82; senior Anas Fain, 7.72)
  • Girls 55 meters (juniors Nikayla Hoyte; 7.42 and Timiebi Ogobri, 6.64)
  • Boys 300 meters (Hoyte, 42.60; Ballard, 35.96)
  • Boys 500 (Ballard, 1st; Waithe, 2nd, 1:08.38; Wallace, 3rd, 1:09.71; Smith, 5th, 1:10.02; senior Chris Byron, 6th, 1:10.69)
  • Boys 300 (Ballard, 1st; Waithe, 2nd, 37.14; senior Eric Kirlew, 4th, 38.38; Wallace, 5th, 38.40, Ogobri 6th, 38.47)
  • Girls 500 (Kumi-Darfour, 1st; Halkett, 4th, 1:20.99; Lister, 5th, 1:24.29)
  • Girls 300 (Hoyte, 1st, 42.50; Jones, 2nd, 42.99; Halkett, 4th, 43.98)

Photo of SLHS indoor track teams by Harry Lister

by Karen Goff — February 8, 2016 at 2:45 pm 2 Comments

National Weather ServiceThe National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Reston, Fairfax County and most of Northern Virginia from 10 p.m. Monday through Tuesday night.

Snow is heading here, with accumulations of 1 to 3 inches. Locally higher amounts are expected North and West of D.C.

The weather will begin as a mixture of rain and snow Monday night, turning to all snow after midnight. Periods of snow will continue into Tuesday, the NWS said.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is urging commuters to plan ahead for Tuesday morning’s commute.

VDOT says c rews have treated interstates and major roads in Fairfax and surrounding counties with brine and liquid magnesium chloride in advance of the snow. About 1,450 trucks will pre-deploy Monday night along interstates, main roads and neighborhood streets. They will remain on duty to plow and treat roads through the day Tuesday, says VDOT

More from the NWS:

EXPECT SNOW COVERED ROADS AND TRAVEL DISRUPTIONS.

WINDS…NORTH 5 TO 10 MPH.

TEMPERATURES…IN THE LOWER TO MIDDLE 30S.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES…AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.

Reston Now will keep you up to date on any school delays or closings, as well as road conditions.

by John V. Berry — February 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm 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 that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.

In a significant move, President Obama has initiated the process for new rules that would be a stronger focus on enforcing equal pay. Specifically, the president, through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other agencies, is proposing new regulations that would require companies with over 100 employees and certain government contractors to report pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity. The proposal would cover over 63 million employees.

The Chair of the EEOC, Jenny R. Wang, stated that “[t]he pay data will provide EEOC . . . with insight into pay disparities across industries and occupations. Our agencies will use this data to more effectively focus investigations, assess complaints of discrimination, and identify existing pay disparities that may warrant further examination.”

Chair Wang’s remarks and additional information were delivered at the White House Equal Pay event on Jan. 26.

Companies with over 100 employees and certain government contractors with more than 50 employees are currently required to report the number of individuals they employ by job category and by race, ethnicity, and sex. Under the new rule, such companies will also be required to report employees’ taxable earnings for the past year, including tips, taxable benefits, and applicable bonuses.

These new reporting requirements will help the enforcement of equal pay laws and likely cause employers to ensure that they are paying attention to disparities in pay between men and women. The new regulations are likely to be completed by 2016 and the initial reporting requirements for employers are likely due in September 2017.

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 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 — February 8, 2016 at 1:30 pm 11 Comments

Reston Station constructionThe Virginia Senate will vote today on a bill that would weaken developer proffers, which Fairfax County officials commonly use to get builders to contribute to park, roads and other improvements in exchange for development.

This is important in Reston, which is undergoing a period of multifamily housing growth as it turns towards being a transit-oriented community.

For instance, the Fairfax County Park Authority has said it will seek developer proffers to partially pay for a multimillion indoor recreation center, now slated for Reston Town Center North. The county also has identified more than $2 billion in infrastructure improvements needed in Reston over the next several decades — money that would likely come from proffers, as well as taxes and even a new special tax district.

Features of the bill require that proffers be limited to offsetting impacts that are directly attributable to new residential developments, such as traffic. The Senate version of the legislation does not apply to high-density areas, commercial developments or neighborhoods near Metro stations.

The bill places restrictions on what local officials can ask for in development negotiations. A House version of the bill passed 68-27 last week.

Officials in Northern Virginia told the Washington Post that changing the legislation would hamper their ability to negotiate for extra amenities from developers. They also argue that amending the land-use tool would open them up to lawsuits if builders whose projects were rejected argued that they were denied because of their refusal to agree to “unreasonable” proffer requests.

The proffer system in Virginia has been around for three decades. In Fairfax County, rapid growth in the 1970s prompted local government to demand that builders contribute to offset population growth’s effect on traffic, sewers and other systems, as well as help grow affordable housing.

The presidents of the Home Builders of Virginia told the Post that the proffer system has gotten out of control, developing into a list of demands rather than requests.

“We feel that proffers have gotten out of control,” said J.M. Snell, whose group helped craft the legislation. “They’ve grown out of proportion to where now localities have already predetermined proffers, which become demands, which is exactly the opposite of the word ‘proffer.’ ”

Fairfax County Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova says the new restrictions could lead to development projects’ not being approved.

by RestonNow.com — February 8, 2016 at 11:30 am 12 Comments

Traffic LightThis is an op-ed submitted by Terry Maynard, co-chair of Reston 2o20. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a seminar called, “The Changing Future of Reston, ” but — as the agenda shows — it’s really about who will pay for the added public infrastructure the intense private development of Reston’s urbanizing corridor will require.

Noting that Fairfax County has identified $2.63 billion in needed transportation improvements because of the expected Metro-related development, the Chamber agenda includes:

During the first half of 2016, the County expects to settle on a plan:

  • Who should build the new transportation improvements; and
  • Who should pay for them; and
  • What revenue sources should be used to pay for it (sic). Potential revenue sources include federal, state and/or county taxes, new or expanded tax districts on existing businesses and residents, proffers or other vehicles, with collections commencing as early as 2017.”

And the panelists? Two developers, the chief of the county transportation staff, and RA’s Chief Executive Officer, all led in their discussion by a developer-paid Reston land use attorney.

It doesn’t take much thought to figure out where this discussion is headed: Developers are looking for ways and rationalizations to shift the infrastructure cost burden to others. And the only significant option within the County’s control is shifting the cost burden to us, its residents. (more…)

by Karen Goff — February 8, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Reston Community CenterHave something to say about Reston Community Center’s future planning and programming?

The attend RCC’s Board of Governors Community Relations and Program/Policy Joint Committee Meeting  Monday at RCC Hunters Woods at 6:30 p.m.

RCC’s Board of Governors is working on its 2016-2021 Strategic Plan, which will guide the center’s efforts for the next five years.

The public is invited to participate in a facilitated conversation to review and make recommendations. After considering all input, RCC Board and staff will present a revised Strategic Plan draft to the public on March 14.

Can’t make it? Residents of Small Tax District 5 are invited to send suggestions and comments to [email protected]. A copy of the Strategic Plan draft may also be requested through that address.

by Karen Goff — February 8, 2016 at 9:00 am 0

Heron at Lake Audubon/Credit: Laura Noll

Loudoun Runner Breaks Webb’s Record — Drew Hunter of Loudoun Valley High School broke the longstanding high school indoor mile held by Reston’s Alan Webb on Saturday. Hunter ran a the mile in 3:58.25 at New York’s Armory Track Invitational. Webb became the first American high school student in indoor history to turn in a sub-4 minute mile with a 3:59.86 at the same meet in 2001.

No Chiptole For Lunch — Today’s the day all Chipotle stores, including the three in Reston, will close for part of the day for a “national team meeting” after recent outbreaks of foodborne illness at the chain. Stores will open at 3 p.m. [News 4 Washington]

Laptop Drive at Supervisors Office — Help America’s Adopt a Soldier program reach its goal of collecting 500 donated working computer laptops/pads/tablets for homeless youth in Fairfax County. You can drop off your unwanted hardware at the Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s Office at 1801 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston, through Feb. 29.

Dippers Raise $95K — The ninth annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip raised $95,000 to help children with life-threatening illnesses attend Camp Sunshine in Maine. There were 204 jumper who paid to jump into Frigid Lake Anne, organizers said.

Photo: Heron at Lake Audubon/Credit: Laura Noll

by Karen Goff — February 5, 2016 at 4:15 pm 24 Comments

Wiehle-Reston East Metro stationThe Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority’s plan for the Reston Town Center Metro station.

What to know now: The station, which will be located in the Dulles Toll Road median just west of Reston Parkway and about a half-mile from the current Reston Town Center, will look exactly like other Silver Line stations.

That is disappointing news to the Reston Town Center Association and its Design Review Board, which requested adding some flair in order to give the station area, particularly on the north side closest to town center, a sense of place.

“The station proposal reflects ‘standard’ station design and does not distinguish this stop as a place of special distinction appropriate to Town Center’s status in, and contributions to, the county and the region,” Robert Goudie, RTC Association Exeuctive Director wrote in a letter to Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova. (more…)

by Karen Goff — February 5, 2016 at 2:45 pm 2 Comments

Sharkey/Courtesy News4Jax

A flight passenger is appealing to Jet Blue to change its alcohol policy after he was allegedly assaulted in flight Sunday by a Reston man who had been drinking, a Florida TV station reports.

Florida resident Kyriakos “Dom” Doukas, the passenger allegedly assaulted by Joseph Michael Sharkey, 36, of Reston, en route from Reagan National to Jacksonville, said Sharkey put him in a headlock about 2o minutes before they were to land in Jacksonville.

According to a criminal complaint, Sharkey, who was served four drinks during the flight, verbally assaulted Doukas and place him in a headlock; assaulted two flight attendants; and tried to open the cabin door while the plane was in flight.

Sharkey was charged by federal authorities with assault or intimidation of a flight crew. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

According to the complaint, after Sharkey’s scuffle with Doukas:

Sharkey got up from the seat and told the flight attendant that he was going to leave the aircraft; Sharkey had also told [flight attendant Robert] Studebaker he was a Federal Air Marshal and that the flight crew was under investigation; Sharkey attempted to walk to an exit door; Sharkey pushed flight attendant Studebaker who attempted to stop Sharkey; at some point Sharkey struck Studebaker in the groin with his knee; then two flight attendants used volunteers aboard Flight 715 to subdue Sharkey and place him in flex cuffs.

Doukas told News4Jax he was told by another passenger that Sharkey was “hammered before boarding” and that “as passengers waited for the FBI another flight attendant told him that he served Sharkey four rum and cokes during the flight.”

Doukas has asked Jet Blue to implement an internal policy of one alcoholic beverage per legal passenger per hour of a flight, the TV station reported.

Graphic via News4Jax

by Karen Goff — February 5, 2016 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Remain Calm, Connolly Asks — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va 11th) has asked for that Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza ” tone down the rhetoric and the hyperbole so…

by RestonNow.com — February 5, 2016 at 5:00 am 0

On Fridays, we take a moment to thank our sponsors and advertisers: Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the business community for the vibrant region. The Harrison, luxury apartments near Reston Town…

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