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Reston Movie to be Shown at Environmental Film Festival in DC

by Karen Goff — February 26, 2016 at 2:45 pm 30 Comments

Another Way of Living/Credit: Virginia Film Festival

The documentary Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA will have a screening at the Environmental Film Festival in the National’s Capital next month.

The 24th annual EFF runs March 16 to 26 at 52 venues around the DC area.

Another Way of Living will screen at 6:30 p.m. on March 24 at the National Building Museum (401 F St. NW, Washington, DC). The film will be followed by a discussion with film director Rebekah Wingert-Jabi.

Wingert-Jabi, a Reston resident who has earned a Peabody Award for her previous work, spent about five years working on the documentary. The final version aired at Reston Community Center in November and featured major edits to include the legacy of Reston founder Robert E. Simon, who died in September at age 101. A rough draft screened for a select audience during Simon’s 100th birthday celebration in April of 2014.

Another Way of Living also made its festival debut in December at the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville.

The 70-minute film shows how Simon envisioned a suburban “new town” that combined the communal spaces of European cities with natural, wooded open space.

He also wanted people of all incomes and races to live together, which was quite revolutionary in segregated Virginia in 1964. It traces Reston’s changes through the years, right up to the Metro arriving in 2014 and Simon’s death in 2015.

The EFF will present 145 documentary, narrative, animated, archival and children’s films selected to provide fresh perspectives on a variety of environmental issues. Films originate from 33 countries, festival organizers said.

Most screenings are free, and an audience of 30,000 is expected, organizers said.

For more information, visit the EFF website.

Photo Courtesy of Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA

  • meh

    He also wanted people of all incomes and races to live together

    Will this film show that the results of this has been vis-a-vis the financial ramifications of property values in Reston (See Shadowood) or impact on FCPS (See ESL) or perhaps crime in general (See: stabbings; shootings; drugs)

    • Ming the Merciless

      Like the author of “Imagine” he lived in a highrise and was insulated from the practical effects of his idealism…

  • Ming the Merciless

    The 70-minute film shows how Simon envisioned a suburban “new town” that
    combined the communal spaces of European cities with the natural
    expanses of American farmland.

    Another greedy developer creating externalities and expecting the community to subsidize him by building infrastructure!

    Didn’t he do a market study to determine whether or not it was economically viable to maintain the existing farmland undeveloped? No, the only thing he cared about was his own profits!

    • Mike M

      Apples and oranges. Redeveloping farmland creates minimal externalities. Not many people to affect. And check the history. The developers carried much of the infrastructure burden.

      • Ming the Merciless

        Are you sure you are an economist? To the contrary, establishing Reston in the first place created far greater externalities than does making this adjustment to an existing Reston. The taxpayers had to contribute (in your terms, “subsidize”) the creation of infrastructure (roads, schools, sewers, etc.) from scratch. All so that a developer could profit!

        • Mike M

          I grow weary of teaching you grasshopper. Such a stubborn student. The financial history of Reston was the issue. As for externalities, the traffic problems were nil. The marginal infrastructure investment was paid for quite differently than today.

          Are you sure you’re a Conservative. Many Conservatives can see plainly that “stimulus programs” generally involve lots of waste. Yet too many think the local government owes any developer the infrastructure support at taxpayer expense to establish their money-making adventure wherever they’d like.

          This thought presumes that all development is, in the net, good for the community. That’s a gross assumption.

          If you have a hard time seeing that there is more than theory behind this, look at China. Here is possibly the worst case in human history of local government taking on massive debt to accommodate developments that will surely fail. This is on a scale that will affect the global financial world.

          The tragedy in these cases is the County apparatus will never do an honest cost-benefit assessment. The developers own those people. The noise is all about design and green space from largely aesthetic points of view. The real diligence due the taxpayer never takes place.

          My point has been that just because a developer thinks he can make a buck, does not mean that you and I should subsidize their investment with tax dollars and/or diminished services.

          • Ming the Merciless

            too many think the local government owes any developer the
            infrastructure support at taxpayer expense to establish their
            money-making adventure wherever they’d like.

            That is not a “stimulus program”. Nor is it a subsidy.

            This thought presumes that all development is, in the net, good for the community.

            You and the other NIMBYs think that all development is, in the net, bad for the community.

            I contend that it is BAD for the community to have a moribund concrete wasteland at Tall Oaks. Redevelopment to include shops and homes will be BETTER for the community than the current situation.

            If you have a hard time seeing that there is more than theory behind this, look at China.

            China is totally irrelevant to Tall Oaks. NOTHING the County government does, or approves, is analogous to what China does.

            look at Reston as originally planned. Much of it failed.

            There is a fundamental difference between the failures of capitalism in Fairfax County and the failures of communism in China. Any economist would understand this. You don’t understand this. Therefore, your claim that you are an economist becomes increasingly risible.

            The tragedy in these cases is the County apparatus will never do an honest cost-benefit assessment.

            If the definition of “honest” is that they incorporate your crazy assumptions, I hope they don’t.

            just because a developer thinks he can make a buck, does not mean that you and I should subsidize their investment with tax dollars and/or diminished services.

            THE COUNTY IS NOT SUBSIDIZING THEIR INVESTMENT. PERIOD!

          • Mike M

            Well, all caps. I guess you win.
            Stasis: I believe that any marginal adjustment to local infrastructure that is required to accommodate the development ought to be covered by the developer in some form or another. If not, the taxpayers are subsidizing the developer. That is my point. You declaring things not so has no meaning.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Is the County providing tax dollars to JAG? THAT is a subsidy. And NO they are not doing that. The County using tax dollars to do things that it should do anyway – e.g., improve roads – is NOT a subsidy. Your attempts to define subsidy in this way are meaningless.

            I did not say the County has to pay for it because of jobs, beautification, and housing. The County should pay for public infrastructure because the public uses it and everyone benefits from it.

            Reston’s failures are relevant to the argument because Tall Oaks was built in accordance with the original Reston concept.

            Reston’s failures are not relevant because Reston was not planned and executed by the Fairfax County government. Reston was planned and executed by a business enterprise with the intention of making money. Sometimes such enterprises, or parts of them, don’t make money and fail. That is fundamentally different from “ghost cities” in China that are planned by the government, and are not intended to make money. But I get that you won’t get that.

          • Mike M

            Scroll up. I think I’ve said what I have to say on this.

          • Mike M

            There are many forms of subsidy. Look it up. You did defend the county’s subsidy because you said they thought they were creating jobs, and businesses, and places to live. See your comments on the Tall Oaks article of the 24th. There are many examples in China of local governments paying for infrastructure to accommodate private business. Tis relevant.You might say Tall Oaks is a ghost mall, eh? I think I’ve said everything I have to say about this. (Not sure why my last comment never made the gate.)

          • Ming the Merciless

            The government is not furnishing them with funds or reducing their taxes. What the government is doing is not doing something – i.e., they are not taxing JAG to do things that Mike M thinks should be done on public property. If and when the government taxes the people to improve public property, this is not a subsidy to JAG.

            You did defend the county’s subsidy because you said they thought they were creating jobs, and businesses, and places to live.

            Approving development is not the same as furnishing a subsidy. They can (and have) approved development in Reston because they want more jobs, businesses, and residences in Reston without subsidizing that development.

            There are many examples in China of local governments paying for infrastructure to accommodate private business.

            There are many examples in the USA of local governments paying for infrastructure in order to benefit the general public.

            You might say Tall Oaks is a ghost mall, eh?

            The analogy fails. The County did not build the TO mall. The County is not going to build the new TO plaza. Neither the existing nor the new mall will be a government enterprise.

          • Mike M

            I already responded to the subsidy definition. Approving while paying for infrastructure adjustments, or adding to the locals’ inconvenience are all forms of subsidy. If you shoulder any amount of the burden of someone’s enterprise, you are subsiding them. Not all subsidized development pays net dividends to the community. That is a faulty assumption. Not all Chinese ghost installation were built by the government.

          • Ming the Merciless

            I already told you repeatedly your definition is false. Fortunately the Board of Supervisors does not agree with your definition and will ignore it.

          • Mike M

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsidy

            This is basic politico-economic stuff.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Maintaining the infrastructure in Reston is not a subsidy for JAG. It is a basic obligation of the County government. It benefits every resident and every business — and we all pay for that benefit.

          • Mike M

            Ming, not maintenance. Every marginal expenditure by anyone not benefiting from the investment to support that development is subsidizing it. You say the county will benefit in the net. Perhaps. You don’t know. You presume. As do the Chinese municipalities we discussed. In some cases they were preposterously wrong. The original investors in Tall Oaks were wrong. (There is a LOT of empty commercial space in Reston.) But let’s say the investors win here and the community loses in the aggregate? That’s unjust subsidy. The County could responsibly try to weigh costs against forecast benefits to the community before approving and taking on infrastructure enhancement. But they do not. They are bogged down in a disingenuous game of placating the green-spacers and self-appointed aesthetics police with as little cost as possible. The County “planners” care not one wit about the interests of the citizen. They affiliate closely with the developers.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Name a “marginal investment” that the County will make “to support the development” that will benefit JAG and nobody else.

            (ignoring all the conspiracy blather)

          • Mike M

            I’m not a planner, but the intersection with Wiehle may need an expansion or overhaul to safely accommodate traffic.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Expansion of that intersection benefits everyone in Reston and a large number of people in Loudoun County, too. Sounds like something the taxpayers should do.

          • Mike M

            I meant the intersection of Wiehle and the road to the development. THAT is the essence of our disagreement. If it’s not necessary except for the new development, the developer should cover the costs. That is what I believe. It was for adjustments such as this for which proffers were originally intended. But now it’s Democratic causes such as greenspace, work force housing, quirky aesthetics, modern art, etc.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Wiehle and North Shore needs improvement already. Lots of people other than inhabitants of the JAG property would benefit from it. The only reason that intersection is tolerable now is that nobody goes to that plaza because it is dead. Sounds like the County should pay for that to me.

          • Mike M

            I think the developer bear the cost of what would need to be done for their development. That’s my point. Since they can’t do everything and they have chosen not to do that, this would be their opportunity to get it done.

          • Ming the Merciless

            This is not needed for their development, but for the entire larger neighborhood. The developer should, perhaps, pay for improvements that only their development needs, but this is not an example of that.

          • Mike M

            Yea, Ming! You are coming along! Now, take it a step further. If the County can’t afford to do all the improvements they’d like, and the developer will benefit, then the developer should pay part. This enables the County to leverage the development to accommodate the development AND the community. I also posit that the reason there are so many unfunded reasonable “improvements” out there is because the County has not asked the developers to kick in to cover the burden. I’d even give them an offset for objectively forecast benefits their development may bring. Unfortunately, the County planners are not going to be objective, and the politicians are hung up on low income housing deals and green space issues.

          • Ming the Merciless

            No. The “further step” goes too far. If the County can’t afford to do what they’d like, then the County should do without. The reason there are so many “unfunded improvements” out there is that the taxpayers want to spend other people’s money. That is exactly what is wrong with America today.

            If the taxpayers benefit – e.g., from improvements to the Wiehle intersection – then the taxpayers should pay.

        • Mike M

          Sigh. It was not that way with financing Reston. The externalities were nearly nil since few were affected. You are repeating yourself.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Everyone who moved to Reston after it was founded paid to create the infrastructure, and everyone who moved to Reston after it was founded was affected by the creation of Reston.

            Going from a few hundred to 5,000 people affects the 5,000 not just the few hundred.

  • Karen Goff

    good point, Sally. I try to keep up with the negative posts but it is overwhelming sometimes. You should see what doesn’t make it on the site! I will comb through and take a second look. Some violate our terms of service, some are merely repetitive.

  • Karen Goff

    oops. should have said “sally.” No, no relation to Angie Goff, though many people assume she is married to my husband.

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