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by Dave Emke — February 8, 2017 at 4:15 pm 22 Comments

Lake Newport Soccer

Reston Soccer Association and Reston Association are holding a community input meeting tonight from 7-9 p.m. “with residents from clusters adjacent to the Lake Newport Soccer Fields to discuss their potential concerns regarding RSA’s proposed enhancements to the field.” The meeting will be at RA’s headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

The upgrades would involve the installation of artificial turf fields, LED lighting and a clubhouse building. All would be paid for by Reston Soccer.

Earlier Wednesday, women’s professional soccer team the Washington Spirit announced they would be partnering with Reston Soccer to bring a U.S. Girls’ Development Academy to Reston later this year. Robert Anguizola, Reston Soccer president, said the project and the academy are not directly related, as Reston Soccer also plays at a number of other facilities in Reston. However, he said, improvements to Lake Newport’s fields would be beneficial from multiple standpoints.

“[The partnership] highlights the need for better fields so that we can continue to attract good players, coaches and soccer programs here,” he said. “The partnership with Washington Spirit, that we hope will be a long-term partnership, gives us a good fundraising platform.”

Not everyone is happy about the development, though.

Eric McErlain, president of Bayfield Station, one of the clusters in question, says he is a soccer fan. However, he adds, he was irked by the fact that very few people in his community were even aware of the meeting or the proposal as a whole.

“Only a portion of the community received letters by mail from the RA,” he said. “The letter was dated Jan. 27, but the envelope wasn’t postmarked until Jan. 30, and the envelope itself didn’t get to me until Friday. I didn’t open my mail until Saturday, and there it was.”

McErlain said he and other residents of the area — which also includes Arbor Glen and Concord Green clusters — have been trying to spread the word about tonight’s meeting.

Anguizola has previously estimated the improvements will add 191 extra field hours during the season and 550 during what is now the offseason. McErlain said he is worried about what that will mean for the neighborhood.

“I’m incredibly concerned, now that I see more and more the scale and the scope of it,” he said. “I can’t help but be alarmed, and I can’t help but feel the RA is rushing us and not giving us enough time to study this project and be able to comment on it intelligently.”

Reston Association and Reston Soccer are separate and independent entities.

The Reston Association board set a timeline in October on discussion about the project, including public hearings in the early part of this year. Tonight’s meeting is the “first in a series” on the matter, said Mike Leone, RA’s communications director. Should the board allow the project to move forward, a member referendum would take place.

Anguizola said continued discussions with the community, starting with tonight’s meeting, will help determine the future of the project.

“It should be a happy development for the community, because I think it’s part of the civic fabric,” he said. “[But] we’re happy to have a conversation.”

by Dave Emke — February 8, 2017 at 2:45 pm 13 Comments

Bob Simon Black History Speech/YouTube screengrab

Robert E. Simon founded Reston in 1964 on the principle that it would be inclusive for all. Six years ago this month, during a Black History Month event at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum, a 96-year-old Simon shared some of his thoughts about racial inclusion.

His words, which are available on YouTube, are transcribed below:

“The story is something I read in the New Yorker magazine. In those days, if you wanted to go from one coast to the other, you had to change trains in Chicago. After Chicago, there were no more cars where you could get food. You got off the train and went into Harvey Houses.”

“So, the story tells of this troop train. Black soldiers transporting white prisoners from one place to the other. After Chicago, they stopped at the Harvey Houses – the prisoners were put in the dining room and the soldiers were put in the kitchen. Well, that really blew my mind.”

“And so when I got started here, it was inconceivable that we would not be an open community. [unintelligible] It wasn’t that great an idea to some fellow Virginians at the time. The brokers outside of Reston were prone to say ‘That’s communist.'”

“At any rate, the rest of the history is pretty heart-warming. You have, I think I heard someplace, 100 different languages. I don’t know if that’s possible. But we do have enormous diversity here.”

“At the moment, if you want to pick on ethnic origin, it’s not so much Black. At the moment it’s Latino, which is very interesting, what’s going on in the world, if you think about it — how hate can be transferred.”

Simon died in September 2015 at the age of 101.

H/T Restonian. Screen grab via YouTube.

Pet of the Week: Doll

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — February 8, 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 Doll, a red and white adult English Setter.

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

Doll is just that…. a DOLL!! She is a 2-year-old, 45-pound English Setter. She was brought to the shelter when her owner realized she would make a better pet than a hunting dog. Doll is new to the shelter and is still a little nervous about being in a new place. She has gotten along with every dog she has been around so far. This beautiful girl deserves a home of her own.

Doll is up to date on all vaccines and is heartworm negative. She will be spayed and micro-chipped on 1/26. Her adoption fee is $350.

This beautiful DOLL is going to bring lots of joy to some lucky family.

Are you and Doll 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 — February 8, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Commerative Bricks/Reston Historic Trust & Museum

Commemorative bricks for Reston’s annual Founder’s Day are being sold through next week.

The bricks will be installed on Lake Anne Plaza and dedicated during the event Saturday, April 8. Restonians are encouraged to become part of Reston’s history by purchasing one.

“The commemorative bricks support the Reston Museum and Founder’s Day — an opportunity each year to celebrate Robert E. Simon and his vision for this special and inclusive community,” said Elizabeth Didiano, executive director of Reston Historic Trust and Museum.

A commemorative brick can also be lasting gift to someone special, Didiano said.

“[The bricks] are a unique way for us to record Reston’s history,” she said. “[They allow] individuals to share their names, relationships and contributions to Reston where everyone can see them — surrounding the statue of Reston’s founder Bob Simon on Lake Anne Plaza.”

Bricks can be purchased from the Reston Historic Trust and Museum for a tax-deductible contribution of $100 for a standard-sized brick, or $250 for a large brick. Orders can be made on the museum’s website, by emailing Didiano at [email protected], or by calling 703-709-7700.

The deadline to order bricks is Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Founder’s Day is presented by Reston Historic Trust and Museum, Reston Association, Reston Community Center, Initiative for Public Art — Reston, and Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association.

Photo courtesy Reston Historic Trust and Museum

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — February 8, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

This is a promoted post from Ryan Homes — Westmoore, Loudoun County’s new Metro community in the heart of Ashburn.

It’s no secret. Westmoore is Loudoun County’s hottest selling townhome community. And for good reason, too. Coming on the scene a year ago, Westmoore made a bold statement. And the buzz was all around. Westmoore would become Ashburn’s only Metro community with direct city connections via the highly anticipated Silver Line Metro. And the sales are record breaking, with Phase Two nearly 30 percent sold in less than a year. But that’s not where the differences stop.

Proximity to city lines usually dictate the value of a home. And we’ve certainly seen our share of overpriced residences near the Metro. Homes in Arlington and Reston can easily reach or exceed the million-dollar mark. But the builders at Westmoore are changing the game. NVHomes and Ryan Homes are offering affordable townhomes in Ashburn all the while keeping you close to urban life.

The townhomes themselves are refreshed for a more urban vibe. Open sightlines, lots of natural light and sleek finishes create a completely modern look, often times not seen in the suburbs. Westmoore also is changing the way residents kick back and relax. By connecting indoors and out with the use of rooftop terraces. Thoroughly metro and modern, it’s the perfect melding of form and function in an effort to bring out the best of both.

At Westmoore, amenities are rich. See for yourself the many reasons to keep residents entertained right at home:

  • Modern, resort-style clubhouse Opening in early Spring.
  • Outdoor pool with a beached entry and poolside cabanas.
  • Expansive deck with pond views.
  • Club lounge and café.
  • Fitness center and yoga studio.
  • Urban fenced dog park.
  • Amphitheater.
  • Natural playgrounds.
  • Miles of trails.
  • Urban inspired parks and playgrounds.

New Urbanism has arrived here in Ashburn. A revival of a connected life, outside the city where walkability and energy are its lifeblood. With Phase Two nearly 30 percent sold in just one year, there is no time like right now to make life simplified. Where just by moving in, life becomes easier and more refreshed.

Westmoore is at 43393 Ghazwa Square, Ashburn, VA 20148. The sales office is open Mondays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays – Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call 571-707-5090.

by Dave Emke — February 8, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Morning Notes - Lake Thoreau (Feb. 8, 2017)

(Edited 12:45 p.m. after the postponement of a previously announced event.)

VW’s Electric Vehicle Work to Be Done Locally — As part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency, Volkswagen AG has been required to spend $2 billion over the next decade in support of zero-emission vehicles in the United States. The company announced Tuesday that under the subsidiary Electrify America LLC, that work will be headquartered in Reston. [Bloomberg]

Name of Officer in Standoff Shooting Still Not Released — The identity of the Fairfax County Police Department officer who shot and killed Mohammad Azim Doudzai last month, ending a chaotic hostage/barricade situation in Herndon, is still not being released. Police Chief Edwin Roessler, who says an assessment of potential threats to the officer is not complete, will appear in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Thursday for a preliminary injunction hearing regarding the matter. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Police to Teens: Pay Attention When Behind the Wheel — According to information provided by the Fairfax County Police Department, an estimated 571 crashes involving teenage drivers in 2016 were attributed to various distracted driving actions. At this week’s Student Advisory Committee meeting, officers are promoting the #PhonesDownTouchdown campaign to try to lower that number. [Fairfax County Police Department]

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