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by RestonNow.com — March 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm 12 Comments

Reston HospitalReston Hospital Center recently became the first hospital in the region to perform a total knee replacement surgery with the help of robotic arm-assisted technology.

According to a press release, orthopedic surgeon Bradley Boyd performed the procedure using the hospital’s new Mako Technology.

“The advantages of the Mako Technology allow me to combine a preoperative 3D model CT scan with intra‐operative robotic templating,” Boyd said in the release. “This enables an extremely accurate alignment of the knee components and leg length, fitting each patient’s unique anatomy.”

The hospital acquired the technology in 2015 for total hip and partial knee replacements, but it has now been expanded to total knee replacement surgeries.

“The addition of the Mako Total Knee Application to our current system is a direct reflection of our commitment to providing the best outcomes for our patients,” said John Deardorff, president and CEO of Reston Hospital Center, in the release. “It is our goal to remain at the forefront of technological advances in surgery so that we can continue to give our patients and medical staff access to the latest in surgical care.”

For more information about Reston Hospital Center, visit its website.

by Dave Emke — March 9, 2017 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

Graphic design students at South Lakes High School have once again used their talents to create a new jersey design for members of the Reston Bicycle Club.

Bike Club member Ken Thompson said the annual design contest has been taking place for the past several years. Each year, the Bicycle Club selects a winning design through a member vote, and it is produced by a jersey manufacturer. The winning student receives a jersey, as does the school, and they are also made available for sale to club members.

This year’s winning design is by SLHS student Clark Bautista. In addition to the jersey, he will receive a $500 prize. Bautista took second place in the contest last year.

Other honored students this year were:

  • Sierra Schuman, second place, $300
  • Seiji Urano, third place, $200
  • Maggie Mark, Ashley Wallace and Joycee Zhiyi, honorable mention, $100 each

The students’ teacher at SLHS is Amy Saylor.

Thompson said the awards presentation will take place around late May.

Jersey designs courtesy Reston Bicycle Club

by Dave Emke — March 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Several local high school students will be heading to California next month after qualifying for the international DECA competition with their performances at the state competition last weekend.

South Lakes High School DECA chapterDECA is an international association of teachers and students in marketing, management and entrepreneurship. Competitions are held across the world each year to allow students to show their skills in those fields and more.

Twenty-nine students from South Lakes High School participated in the state competition March 3-5 in Virginia Beach. Five individual students and three teams of students earned spots at the international competition in Anaheim, April 26-29.

Winning students were as follows:

  • Sara Bhadra, freshman, Job Interview (third place)
  • Kristine Paulikonis, sophomore, Principles of Hospitality and Tourism (state finalist)
  • Vincent Giordano, freshman, Selling (state finalist)
  • Isabelle Wnek, junior, Restaurant and Food Service Management (role play finalist)
  • Allison McCue and Kimberly Yeatmen, sophomores, Hospitality Services Team Decision-Making (second place)
  • Emily Taylor, Olivia Heatherly and Claire Thomas, seniors, Hospitality and Tourism Operations Research (second place)
  • Peter Steidler and Liam Lawrence, sophomores, Business Law and Ethics Team Decision-Making (role play finalist)

South Lakes High School DECA chapterIn addition, Alex Loukili, a junior, was recognized as the top chartered association performer in the first round of the 2016-17 Virtual Business Challenge in Accounting, a collaborative effort between DECA-Marketing and FBLA’s Business Accounting students.

The South Lakes High School DECA chapter was also honored with the Annual Report Preferred Award, and SLHS marketing instructor and DECA sponsor Darlene Ricks earned the conference’s Outstanding DECA Advisor Award.

Photos courtesy South Lakes High School DECA chapter

by Dave Emke — March 9, 2017 at 11:30 am 110 Comments

North Point candidates forum

Arlene Krieger and John Mooney, the two candidates in the race for the North Point seat on the Reston Association Board of Directors, made their cases Wednesday during a candidate forum at the Lake House.

The venue itself was a major topic of discussion during the event. The Lake House has been the subject of a great deal of community debate since its controversial purchase and costly renovation by Reston Association.

Krieger, a longtime community activist, said Reston Association’s board should have recognized from the start that it lacked the expertise to make such a deal.

“It is very, very foolish to initiate a plan when you have no idea what you’re doing and you don’t even know that you have no idea what you’re doing,” she said. “This thing should never have been taken on by this particular group of people. We need to recruit from the community experts who know what they’re doing, [and] we need to include them from the first day anything is planned.”

Mooney, a senior manager in Arlington County for 17 years, said major deals such as the Lake House purchase require an ability to do proper analysis from the get-go.

“[It’s about] making sure that we have the analytic capacity within Reston Association to deal with complex issues, to do upfront, thorough investigation of the issues so that we don’t make false starts and big mistakes,” he said. “We need that both for the renovations and the programming for income, we need advice on both of those.”

John MooneyMooney made similar statements when asked about the Lake Newport soccer field renovation project, which has been tabled indefinitely by the RA board after strong outcry from the community.

“When a community process becomes very divisive, so that fruitful dialogue can’t occur, the board needs to decisively and quickly stop the process,” he said. “We need careful and thorough analysis of complex proposals before endorsing them. … I think that could have been analyzed better, and to me it indicates an improvement the Association can make.”

Krieger said the community has “totally and completely made up its mind” on the soccer project, and RA stumbled out of the starting blocks by not including them in the discussion from Day One.

“The mistake Reston Association made again is that they started a project 10 months before the community and the affected parties knew about the project,” she said. “They once again underestimated the power of the community, and that’s why they got themselves again in so much trouble.”

Krieger said the community should always be involved from the outset of a project, and that she would work to create an ad hoc telecommunications committee in the attempt to better that communication. While Mooney agreed that community dialogue is important, he said it’s also important to remember that some projects need to be vetted before involving residents.

“[The community wants] the board to winnow issues down, to structure issues, so the community doesn’t waste time,” he said. “Then you engage the community fruitfully, otherwise the community becomes frustrated and will walk away from the whole process.”

Both Krieger and Mooney have been involved in the fight against redevelopment at St. Johns Wood, though that was a source of disagreement for them in Wednesday’s forum. Mooney cited his work on a critical analysis of the proposal that helped bring it to a stop; Krieger, though, said Mooney didn’t do as much as he claims.

Arlene Krieger“The reports were a composite of everyone else’s research,” she said. “The only original thing that John did [was when] I assigned John to do a traffic study at the Sept. 14 meeting. I figured out how to get this before the Board of Directors, nobody else could figure that out.”

Mooney said he was “astounded” by Krieger’s claims.

“What I did was not a composite of other people’s work,” he said. “It was the result of 80 hours-plus of careful analysis of the Reston Master Plan and the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan and identifying in very particular, quantified ways how this did not comply with the Reston Master Plan.”

The candidates also answered questions on assessment rates, transparency, potential golf course redevelopment and more. The forum can be viewed in full on the Reston Association YouTube channel.

The candidate who wins the race will serve the remaining two years of a term being vacated by Dannielle LaRosa, who announced in December she would step down. Voting will continue through April 3.

Candidate forums in the races for the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District and an At-Large seat will take place tonight, at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. respectively, at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

by Del. Ken Plum — March 9, 2017 at 10:15 am 32 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

The best way I can describe the 2017 session of the General Assembly is to call it a mixed bag. Some good work was done for sure, but if not for the governor’s veto pen, it would have been marred by some backward legislation. Most disappointing are the missed opportunities that were not addressed in the 46-day short session.

Although budget matters are supposed to be dealt with only in the long, even-year session, there are budget adjustments that creep into the short session as well. The good news is that the Assembly passed amendments to the biennium budget to bring it back into balance from a $1.2 billion shortfall in revenue. There were reductions, but the governor proposed and the Assembly agreed to keeping 3 percent salary increases for state employees who have been without a raise for many years. Funds were provided for the state share of a 2 percent raise for teachers. Additional funds were provided to deal with the critical needs in mental health care.

Four bills were passed to deal with the opioid epidemic. They established needle exchange programs, increased access to the overdose drug naloxone, increased services to infants exposed to opioids in utero, and strengthened opioid prescription policies. Five million dollars was appropriated for permanent supportive housing for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless because of mental illness. A bill to require insurance companies to cover a 12-month supply of prescription birth control also passed.

Of the bills I opposed, most will be vetoed by the governor. Not only did a committee in the House defeat my bill to require universal background checks for gun purchases, but it passed several bills to make access to guns easier. The Republicans do not have the supermajority that is needed to overturn the governor’s veto of these bills. Likewise, the governor is expected to veto a bill that would prevent localities from becoming “sanctuary” zones. He has already vetoed a bill that would have denied funding to Planned Parenthood, and the House was not able to override his veto.

Despite public support for establishing an independent system to draw legislative boundary lines, my bill and several others with that goal were defeated in a House committee. Bills that passed the Senate on this issue were defeated in the same House committee. The public support for legislation that would prevent legislators from being able to pick their own voters was as strong as I have seen on an issue in recent years.

Beware that a new law passed that creates a fine of $100 for failing to drive on the right side of the road. The intent of this new law is to prevent slow drivers from driving in the left lane. Legislation that would have created a bill of rights for college student loan borrowers did not pass.

by Dave Emke — March 9, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Morning Notes - Lake Fairfax Park

Is It Going to Snow This Weekend or Not? — A few snowflakes are possible this weekend, but forecasts seem to indicate a growing chance that a storm previously predicted to hit us will miss the area. [Capital Weather Gang]

RA Focusing on Future of Golf Courses — In the latest “Reston Today” dispatch, Reston Association land-use attorney John McBride breaks down what’s going on with potential threats to Reston National Golf Course and Hidden Creek Country Club. [Reston Association/YouTube]

Seuss To Be Celebrated at Library — Children ages 4 and up are invited to Reston Regional Libary on Monday at 4:30 p.m. for a celebration of the works of Dr. Seuss. Steve Somers will present the stories at the event, co-sponsored by Friends of Reston Regional Library. [Reston Regional Library]

Reston Company Named to CNBC ‘Upstart’ List — Reston-based Cloudistics gives its customers “all the simplicity, elasticity and consumption characteristics of the public cloud, with the predictability of performance, cost and data governance that a private cloud offers.” Its work has been honored by recognition on CNBC’s list of 25 startups that are breaking industry barriers. [CNBC]

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