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by RestonNow.com — March 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Reston Community Players logoReston Community Players’ performance of “Gypsy” took home five honors Sunday night at the annual Washington Area Community Theatre Honors (WATCH) awards ceremony.

In addition to the awards won by “Gypsy,” the Community Players were also recognized with an award for their performance of “Mary Poppins” to bring their total number of wins for the 2016 season to six.

The full list of awards won Sunday night by Reston Community Players:

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical: Jennifer Lambert (as Rose) in “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical: Ken and Patti Crowley, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical: Joshua Redford, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical: Kathy Dunlap, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Hair Design in a Musical: Chris Dore, “Gypsy”
  • Outstanding Special Effects: Greg Steele, Sara Birkhead and Rich Bird, “Mary Poppins”

The troupe was nominated 23 times, second-most among the 27 participating theater companies.

The next production by the Reston Community Players, “Rock of Ages,” will open Friday night at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).

by Dave Emke — March 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm 27 Comments

Sherri Hebert/Credit: RAThe independent review of Reston Association’s purchase and renovation of the Lake House provided 15 recommendations for the Board of Directors, but at least one director says the community deserves more.

Director Sherri Hebert (Lake Anne/Tall Oaks District) says she has been fielding “many calls and emails” from residents since the review came out Wednesday, asking what the next step in the ongoing process is going to be.

“[They’re asking] ‘What are you guys going to do? Are you going to sweep this under the rug?'” Hebert said. “There are a lot of questions still from a lot of the community members.”

A public meeting is scheduled for March 14 for the Reston Association board to “review the report and hear comments on the suggested improvements,” according to a news release. In a Friday email to fellow board members, candidates in the 2017 election and community advocates, Hebert explained what she would like to see happen at that or another special meeting in the near future.

“I strongly suggest, and maybe it is already set up this way, that the meeting on the 14th be a Q&A with the public, StoneTurn and the Board. By Q&A, I mean that the public can ask questions of either StoneTurn or Board members about the findings in the report. It would be great if former Board members attended as well. A good old fashion public meeting of give-and-take. Short of giving the public an opportunity to express their views and ask questions, we will be handling individual requests one at a time (not very efficient). If this can’t be done on the 14th, another session needs to be scheduled prior to any decisions of the Board.”

When contacted by Reston Now for further comment, Hebert said she believes the findings in StoneTurn’s report to be valuable; however, she said more needs to be done to regain the community’s trust in the board.

“There needs to be some accountability — somebody or some group of people needs to stand up and say, ‘You know what, I messed up on that, I made a mistake,'” she said. “Until that happens, I’m not sure we’re ever going to be able to move on.”

Hebert was elected to the board in 2016, after the controversial Lake House purchase and subsequent cost overrun had occurred.

The director also said she wants to see any decisions regarding the next steps in the Lake House process be handled by the incoming board. The nine-member board will have four new faces in April, after the election.

“That’s a huge shift in the board, and whoever ends up winning needs to be a part of these discussions,” she said.

Hebert said discussions about how a question-and-answer session with the community would be handled are in their early stages.

“Hopefully, I can meet with some of my peers this week and find out what we’re going to do on the 14th,” she said. “And if not the 14th, then when?”

by Dave Emke — March 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm 3 Comments

Have a family heirloom, piece of art or an antique you think might be worth a fortune?

Reston Association’s biannual “Appraisal Roadshow,” a chance to uncover treasures already in your possession, is scheduled for Tuesday. Ashleigh Soloff, RA community events supervisor, said the event is always well-attended and there have been some big finds in the past.

“We had one woman who had a piece of jewelry estimated at $10,000,” Soloff said.

Experts from Peenstra Appraisals and Gouterman & Associates will examine items for authenticity and value during the “fun, educational and rewarding forum,” Soloff said. The event, for people 55 and over, will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). Cost to participate is $10.

For more information, email Soloff at [email protected].

Photos of previous Appraisal Roadshow event courtesy Reston Association

by RestonNow.com — March 6, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

David BobzienVoting in the 2017 Reston Association Board of Directors election begins today and will run through April 3. We will be posting profiles on each of the candidates. Today, we feature David Bobzien, who is unopposed in the race for Apartment Owners’ representative. Profiles of candidates in the three contested races will run following those races’ candidate forums, which are scheduled for later this week.

The profiles are in a Q-and-A format so each candidate has an opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words.

How long have you lived in Reston? What brought you here?

I moved to Reston on March 1, 1975, upon finishing active duty as an Army JAG officer. I had accepted an offer from a Fairfax law firm and needed close-by housing for me, my wife Cathy, and our 3-year-old son. Reston was very new, and it offered a variety of housing that would enable our family to make Reston our “forever” home. Being the son of an Army officer and having attended eight schools in 12 years, we wanted to put down roots, and Reston was perfect for fulfilling that desire. We purchased a townhouse in Pinecrest Cluster and moved to our current house in early 1980.

What inspired you to run for the board?

Since my early days in Reston, I have been active in the community, and in 1989, the Board of Supervisors, at the request of Martha Pennino, appointed me to the Planning Commission to represent what is now the Hunter Mill District. I served on the Planning Commission until I was appointed County Attorney in January 1993. My retirement in July has given me the opportunity to get back to my involvement in Reston. While County Attorney, I represented the Board of Supervisors and the Redevelopment and Housing Authority, which between them own 16 percent of the apartment units in Reston. I now seek to represent them, the other apartment owners and their tenants in a new capacity, that of apartment owners’ representative on the RA Board.

What are the three biggest concerns you have for Reston?

My three biggest concerns are:

1. Maintaining and refurbishing RA’s pools, tennis courts, trails, lakes, and open space and “right sizing” only if community needs can continue to be met;
2. Ensuring that development protects Reston’s open space and is largely confined to transit-oriented locations; and
3. Providing additional recreational facilities only when they are supported by a strong business case that takes into account the existing financial burden on RA members.

What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?

I hope to give voice to the needs of the apartment owners and their tenants and to do so in a respectful, civil manner. I also hope to use my experience as a long-time Reston resident and a land use practitioner in navigating the many land use matters in which the RA has become increasingly involved.

How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?

During my four years as Reston’s planning commissioner and over 23 years as County Attorney, I have been intimately involved in Reston’s development. (My office took the lead in thwarting the recent effort to develop the Reston National Golf Course.) I will bring that experience and expertise to the position.

Read more about Bobzien and the other candidates in the 2017 Reston Association election on RA’s website.

by Dave Emke — March 6, 2017 at 10:15 am 52 Comments

Hundreds of displeased residents braved chilly temperatures Saturday to participate in a march to protest paid parking at Reston Town Center.

“We believe it’s a huge success, despite the cold weather,” organizer Guarang Shah said. “Final numbers are 450-plus.”

Reston Town Center patrons and business owners have been making their displeasure known since RTC owners Boston Properties announced last year their plan to institute paid parking. The initiative went into effect Jan. 3, after which businesses have said their customer base has dwindled.

The throng of protesters began their afternoon march in the parking lot of Winwood Children’s Center on New Dominion Parkway. Aaron Gordon, owner of Red Velvet Cupcakery at RTC, stood among the protesters in the parking lot and said the support shown by local residents means a lot to merchants affected by the decision by RTC owners Boston Properties.

“It feels like we’re not the only ones in this battle; it feels like everyone has the same anger,” Gordon said. “We’ve been making the argument that we’re down in sales and customers are no longer coming, and this proves our point.”

The protesters were not given permission by Boston Properties to march within Reston Town Center; however, the marchers’ path did cut through — under the close eye of security — as they worked their way back to New Dominion Parkway. After looping around Not Your Average Joe’s, the protesters lined up along the parkway and were greeted by a large amount of honked support from passing motorists.

Marchers were encouraged to document the event on social media with the hashtag #parkfreertc.

Boston Properties has said that the paid parking initiative is “here to stay” and that the distress claimed by businesses is being overblown. Gordon, who is organizing a group of merchants considering legal action against Boston Properties, said he is hopeful that the company will eventually see business in the Town Center is down “disastrously” and will have a change of heart.

“If there are 500 people out here, that represents 50,000 people that feel the exact same way,” Gordon said. “Just as Boston Properties is saying they’re never going to take away paid parking, we’re never going to go away.”

Wendy Warren, of Herndon, was one of the former Town Center patrons who came out Saturday to support the cause. She said she and her family visited RTC two or three times a week prior to paid parking. Now, they go to the Mosaic District or One Loudoun instead.

“There are no other suburban shopping areas around here that have paid parking, or such a poorly designed app,” she said, citing concerns that have been raised by a number of people who’ve spoken out against the system’s ParkRTC app. Boston Properties insists the app is secure.

Wendy’s husband, William, said Boston Properties should consider a different approach to its paid-parking initiative.

“Three hours of free parking, so that you could come here for something like dinner,” he said. “They state they want it to guard against commuter parking, but they could easily accommodate for people who want to come use the amenities here at the Town Center.”

Shah said if Boston Properties didn’t take notice of Saturday’s protest, there will be more to come.

“If they don’t change their mind, there will be another march,” he said. “We are already planning another march that will take place in summertime.”

by Dave Emke — March 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 7 Comments

Morning Notes - Lake Anne trail sign

Police: Bodies Found in County Park Linked to Gang Activity — Two sets of human remains were located Friday in a park near Falls Church. These are just the latest apparent victims of gang activity in Fairfax County, Police Chief Edwin Roessler said. [WTOP]

Registration for SLHS Summer Sports Camps Underway — Signups are now available for youths looking to participate in summer camps for basketball, field hockey, football, lacrosse and volleyball. [South Lakes High School]

Another Round of Metro SafeTrack Work in State — Work on the Blue and Yellow lines in Northern Virginia began over the weekend and will last into April. This is expected to be the final round of the work. County supervisors Sharon Bulova and Cathy Hudgins are urging patience from commuters. [Washington Post]

Feds: Herndon Man Previously Jailed for Bank Robberies Strikes Again — Bruce Wayne Higgins Jr. served four years in prison after robbing banks in D.C. and Arlington in 2009. Now law enforcement says he committed heists at five more banks in December in Baltimore, Ocean City and Atlantic City. [NJ.com]

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