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by RestonNow.com — March 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm 8 Comments

Northern Virginia Restaurant WeekThe Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and other regional chambers are sponsoring the fifth annual Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, Monday through March 27.

Northern Virginia Restaurant Week is designed to offer the opportunity for people to enjoy dining at a number of participating restaurants at reduced prices. Restaurants participating in the event offer selections from their menu at special prices.

Restaurants in Fairfax, Loudoun, Arlington and Prince William counties are all participating. In Reston, participating eateries include:

  • American Tap Room (1811 Library St.)
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill (12192 Sunset Hills Road)
  • Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.)
  • M&S Grill (11901 Democracy Drive)
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks (11920 Democracy Drive)
  • Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive)
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse (11956 Market St.)
  • Not Your Average Joe’s (1845 Fountain Drive)
  • Red’s Table (11150 South Lakes Drive)
  • Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.)
  • The Melting Pot (11730 Plaza America Drive)
  • Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive)
  • World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.)

To see special menus being offered as part of Restaurant Week, as well as a full list of participating businesses, visit the event’s website.

by RestonNow.com — March 17, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Reston Parkway underpass on W&OD TrailIt’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend and a lot of people will be out celebrating. Safety officials are reminding residents to party responsibly and to be sure to have a safe ride home.

As part of the effort to keep everyone safe, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program is offering revelers free rides (up to a $20 value) through its SoberRide campaign. The program is open to everyone throughout the Washington region through 4 a.m. Saturday.

To get the free ride, use the Lyft app and enter the promo code SOBERRIDE.

Partying or not, though, there will be plenty of things to do in the Reston area this weekend. Here are just some of the options available.

  • The Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) will host its annual spring flea market Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. The free event is available to residents of all ages. For more information, call 703-476-4500.
  • The fourth annual Maker Faire NoVa is Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at South Lakes High School and Langston Hughes Middle School. Tickets at the door will be $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and $5 for children. Family packs of five tickets will be $40.
  • Teen job fairs and resume-building workshops will be offered Saturday by Fairfax County at Chantilly High School (4201 Stringfellow Road) from 10 a.m. to noon, and at Oakton High School (2900 Sutton Road, Vienna) from 1-3 p.m.
  • Reston Town Center is hosting “Family Fun Saturdays” throughout March to benefit Opportunity Neighborhood: Reston. This week’s schedule features horse-drawn carriage rides, free funnel cakes and a performance by the McGrath Academy of Irish Dance. The event will go from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
  • The opening reception of Greater Reston Arts Center’s “Emerging Visions” exhibit is set for 6-8 p.m. Saturday. The show features curated works of art created by Fairfax County students from South Lakes, Herndon and Oakton high schools, and it will be on display through April 1.
  • The Social Justice & Peace Conference will be Saturday from 12:30-6 p.m. at United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive). The free event will include workshops on how people from different religious backgrounds can support immigrants, the trans community, environmental justice and more.
  • A bird walk at Sunrise Valley Wetlands and Polo Fields will be offered from 7:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday. Check out Reston Association’s WebTrac for more information.
  • Reston Community Players’ will put on “Rock of Ages” tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., as well as Sunday at 2 p.m. at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). Use the password “St. Paddy’s” when purchasing tickets for tonight’s show by phone or in person to get them for $10. Regular tickets for each performance of the show, which will run through April 1, are $25.
  • A Kennedy Center Production of “From the Mouths of Monsters” will be performed at Herndon High School (700 Bennett St.) tonight at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children.
  • Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) will be visited by Frying Pan Farm Park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon, featuring animal education, stories and crafts. For adults, the lecture series on World War I will continue at 2 p.m. Sunday.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight for St. Patrick’s Day, with Mark Scott from 4-8 p.m. followed by Sam Gunderson from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
  • ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center St.) will have the opening reception for its exhibit “There’s No Place Like Home,” by members of the Great Falls Studios, from 3-5 p.m. Sunday. The show will be on display through April 8.
  • The Reston Town Center Singles Meetup group has an event scheduled for tonight at Ned Devine’s Irish Bar & Restaurant (2465 Centreville Road, Herndon). Shake 3X will perform at the restaurant from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

by Dave Emke — March 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm 110 Comments

Several dozen community members filled the cafeteria at Dogwood Elementary School on Thursday to learn more — and express their opinions — about proposed changes to street designs in Reston.

The proposal from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to alter lanes on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road drew a large amount of reaction, positive and negative, from community members who would be affected. FCDOT officials say the changes would increase safety for all users of the roads — drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians — by allowing for the addition of crosswalks, creating bike lanes and limiting speeding.

“All of this is happening because [the Virginia Department of Transportation] is repaving the roadways, so we have a chance to re-stripe,” said project manager Adam Lind, Fairfax County’s Bicycle Program manager. “The county has a Bike Master Plan that they adopted in October 2014, so we are here simply trying to implement those recommendations.”

The meeting was a followup from a November meeting at which community feedback on priorities for the three roads was gathered.

FCDOT street design community meetingResidents raised concerns at Thursday’s meeting about the potential loss of parking in certain areas, including near Hunters Woods and Lake Anne elementary schools and the Lake Audubon Pool. In addition, worries were brought up by residents including increased congestion on Colts Neck Road and the potential danger of having one center turn lane in areas with left-hand turns on both sides.

“We’re definitely getting feedback from both sides,” Lind said. “A lot of it is people who have their concerns about their specific neighborhoods, and we think we’ve done a decent job trying to address a lot of those concerns, but the point of these meetings is to get this local feedback so we can continue to make upgrades and updates to the design.”

Bruce Wright, of Reston, is a Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling board member. He said making Reston a more bike-friendly community is important. In addition, he said, pedestrian safety on Colts Neck Road is a particular concern.

“There have been two pedestrians killed crossing Colts Neck, and I think by going from four lanes to two lanes, it’s going to be safer for everybody,” he said. “I think it’s going to be great if the county goes through with that plan.”

(more…)

by RestonNow.com — March 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

HeidiAnne Werner/RAVoting in the 2017 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run through April 3. We have posted profiles on each of the candidates. Featured here is HeidiAnne Werner, who is facing five other candidates in the race for an At-Large seat. Her opponents are Roberto Anguizola (profile), Eric Carr (profile), Mike Collins (profile), Charles Dorfeuille (profile) and Ven Iyer (profile). The six squared off in a candidate forum last week.

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

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

I have lived in Reston my whole life. I attended RA summer camps, was a camp counselor and even worked at RA in the Parks & Recreation office for a couple of summers. There was no question I wanted to come back to Reston after college. As an adult, I love living in a community that has such wonderful recreation offerings. I love playing tennis, walking my dog on our great path system and relaxing at the pools in the summer. When I was in the market to finally buy property, I knew that Reston was the place I wanted to be.

What inspired you to run for the board?

I love living in Reston, but there are many things that concern me which I would complain about to others. I realized that I had to stop complaining about the things I did not like unless I was willing to get involved in the process. I went to a Board meeting and it was one where they were talking about changing the dues structure. When I did not hear any opposing viewpoints I got scared that we would all quickly see a huge increase in our dues. So I decided I wanted to get involved and offer another viewpoint.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

  • Financial Management — We keep on seeing dues increase year after year without cuts to ancillary services. Are non-Reston-residents being charged enough to use our services? Or are residents picking up the bill for everyone?
  • Deviation from Original Purpose — Do all of the programs that Reston offers fit into the purpose of our community?
  • Development — There is no question that Reston is changing. What is Reston’s responsibility to making sure we are not overtaken by development? How are we making sure our green space and recreation is being protected?

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

As a board member I cannot promise that I will cut dues, stop development or save our pools. But I can promise that I will work hard with the board, RA staff and residents to make sure that issues are discussed and addressed; to make my case for the issues. I promise I will work to collaborate with everyone and come to the best solution. I know that might not be the most popular viewpoint, but no one board member can drive through their platform. I will do everything I can to continue to make Reston a great place to live and work.

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

My career is association management and I am in the process of studying for my CAE (Certified Association Executive) exam. Through my career, I have practical hands-on experience dealing with boards, association staff and members. Through my CAE study I am learning the theoretical best practices. But my experience is not only through my career. In my personal time, I have served on various committees and boards and, in addition, I serve on my cluster board, which gives me the experience in dealing with homeowner concerns. My experience makes me a well-rounded candidate for this position.

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED CANDIDATE PROFILES:

by RestonNow.com — March 17, 2017 at 11:30 am 38 Comments

Ven Iyer/RAVoting in the 2017 Reston Association Board of Directors election will run through April 3. We will be posting profiles on each of the candidates. Featured here is Ven Iyer, who is facing five other candidates in the race for an At-Large seat. His opponents are Roberto Anguizola (profile), Eric Carr (profile), Mike Collins (profile), Charles Dorfeuille (profile) and HeidiAnne Werner (profile). The six squared off in a candidate forum last week.

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

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

I have enjoyed living in Reston near Lake Anne for eight years.

I was born and raised in Mumbai in a middle-class family. After completing my bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering, I came to the United States to earn a master’s degree in Computer Science. After graduation, I proceeded to take a job at IBM, which allowed me to live anywhere in the country and travel across the United States to customers.

Ten years ago, I was living in Florida, and planning to start my own technology company. I was searching for a place to call home, with plenty of open space and outdoor activities. I happened upon Reston, which was featured as one of the top places to live in America. I flew into Dulles to explore the area, and I was captivated by what Reston had to offer.

After renting in Ashburn for a couple years, I bought my first home near Lake Anne in May 2009. I also went on to start my technology company. We are a small and minority-owned business, and our customers are local, state and federal government agencies. Thus, Reston has been instrumental in my personal and professional life.

What inspired you to run for the board?

Our assessments have nearly doubled in the past 15 years. This is neither warranted nor sustainable. I have spoken to retirees who are faced with the difficult decision of moving out of Reston. They lived within their means, their homes are paid off, and now the assessments are a sizable portion of their fixed income. If this does not worry you now, think again. In another 30 years, the Reston that we know now won’t be affordable by those who aren’t wealthy.

The cumulative year-over-year assessment increase percentage is almost twice that of inflation over the past 15 years. Those additional monies fuel RA’s well-documented spending habits of operating outside the scope of its mission statement. I want to stop the rapidly rising assessment bills and stop RA’s bad spending behavior.

I want to stop projects that are invasive on our neighbors and nature. I recently campaigned along with the Preserve Newport Fields coalition of residents, and together we successfully stopped the Lake Newport Soccer Proposal to demolish natural fields. Other proposals like redevelopment of St. Johns Wood apartments and Reston National Golf Course to dense residential properties puts RA in the frontline to protect the Reston way of life.

What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?

The biggest concerns for the Reston community are from RA’s behavior of wasteful spending, operating outside its mission scope, and simply put, strange conduct.

RA pushed for the purchase of the Tetra Lake House at more than twice its county-assessed value, made estimates on complex repairs instead of getting multiple professional estimates, drafted sloppy rent-back agreements allowing former owners to walk away and did not write an objective referendum. When the community wanted an independent investigation, RA conveniently appointed its own Tetra Review Committee, hardly making it independent, and therefore ineffective. This is evident when an effort by citizen subject-matter experts for a truly independent investigation at a pro-bono price of $1 got derailed, and another bidder’s $45,000 deliverable yielded 30 pages of process and policy philosophies devoid of individual culpability, law-breaking and conflicts of interest.

I wrote to the RA Election Committee in February asking them to collect COI disclosure statements from all candidates so that the community knows who they are voting for, to which they refused. Meanwhile, the Lake Newport Soccer Proposal is a $2.4 million spending proposal by a special interest group with tremendous access to the officers of the corporation. These proceedings are anything but normal.

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

I want to establish effective audits, member inclusion and better two-way communications to improve transparency.

Currently, RA uses it own convenient interpretation of rules, closed executive sessions, bare meeting minutes and restrictive member input in its decision-making process, rendering RA’s edicts to be unilateral and unfair to members. RA decisions in Tetra, the land swap and the soccer proposal demonstrate this pattern.

I also want to dismantle the ineffective Tetra Review Committee and salvage the independent pro bono investigation bid by citizen subject-matter experts. Who else but the citizens of Reston, completely removed from the Tetra deal and directly affected by it, will help give us closure? This time, RA must make certain that its board and legal counsel don’t stonewall and derail this effort.

I will vote to reduce operating expenses and review excess reserve funds. Projects related to safety and maintenance of existing facilities will be given priority, and all capital expenditures will be thoroughly vetted.

I will remind RA of its mission statement and make certain that it does not expand or operate outside those boundaries. I will remind RA that they operate with their members’ money and trust, and the board must always be cognizant of that.

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

I am grateful to this country; it has facilitated everything I’ve achieved, and that makes me want to give back even more.

I have already been involved in community service with Fairfax County organizations. At HART, I drove a van full of rescue animals to and from Fauquier County to Fairfax County for adoption events. At FACETS, I assisted parents and children affected by poverty in Fairfax County and mentored students towards well-paying careers in technology.

I am running for the Reston Association Board of Directors as an At-Large candidate because I believe my positions on key issues will benefit the entire Reston community. You can learn more about my positions on key issues at veniyer.com or facebook.com/voteforven. As the President of a technology company with customers in state, local and federal government, I have experience in bringing the required change while operating within a defined scope and constraints.

Finally, during my campaign, I have met some terrific Restonians with excellent insight into the issues and solutions, and many who are eager to help. I am certain that I can do my job better with their involvement and hope that the community will participate in making my service successful.

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED CANDIDATE PROFILES:

by Dave Emke — March 17, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Lake Fairfax Park construction work

Stream restoration at Lake Fairfax Park continues; however, the Lake Fairfax Drive bridge to the upper section of the park has been reopened to visitors.

Park visitors who use the bridge are being urged by park officials to exercise caution, as the active construction zone remains.

According to a press release from the Fairfax County Park Authority:

“Heavy construction trucks will be entering and leaving Lake Fairfax Park Monday through Saturday, and all posted signage must be obeyed. The contractor also may use flagmen to direct traffic flow. If there is any serious disregard of the posted traffic signage in the construction zone, facilities at the back of Lake Fairfax could be closed again until deemed safe to reopen.”

The stream restoration project will restore 1,700 feet of Colvin Run below the Lake Fairfax dam, and almost 500 feet of tributaries. It will also provide better access to the stream for recreation and environmental education but protect banks from excessive foot traffic that can kill vegetation and cause erosion, according to park officials.

Americans with Disabilities Act improvements also continue at a park restroom and a bathhouse.

Visitors are encouraged to contact Lake Fairfax Park (703-471-5415) prior to visiting to be certain facilities are available to the public.

by Dave Emke — March 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Morning Notes - Winter

Early Education Teachers Sought — Bright Horizons will host an on-site interviewing session Tuesday at its Vienna location as it looks for early childhood teachers and associate teachers for its centers throughout Fairfax County. Dinner will be provided for event attendees. [Bright Horizons/Eventbrite]

Public Art Reston logoPublic Art Organization Has New Image — As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, The Initiative for Public Art Reston has been re-branded. Now known simply as Public Art Reston, the nonprofit has unveiled its new website and logo. The organization seeks to inspire an ongoing commitment to public art and create a new generation of artworks in Reston. [Public Art Reston]

Construction on Metro to Detour Some Traffic — Again this weekend, work in the median of the Dulles Airport Access Road will result in eastbound traffic being detoured onto the Dulles Toll Road. The work will be done from about 9 p.m. Saturday to 5 a.m. Sunday, as crews set several large precast concrete elements at the Silver Line’s future Herndon and Reston Town Center stations. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Community Matters Reston logo‘Community Matters Reston’ Plans First Meeting — A new volunteer organization promoting community-building initiatives and outreach has scheduled its first public meeting. Community Matters Reston will meet Monday from 6:30-8 p.m. at Sunset Hills Montessori School (11180 Ridge Heights Road). The organization is also selling decals featuring its logo, designed by Dana Scheurer, with all proceeds going to Cornerstones. The group’s goal is to “promote two of the founding principles of Bob Simon’s neighborhood: fostering and celebrating diversity, and offering a helping hand to those who need it.” [Community Matters Reston/Facebook]

by RestonNow.com — March 17, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

On Fridays, we take a moment to thank our advertisers and sponsors:

Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the business community for the vibrant region.

BLVD, Comstock’s apartments at Reston Station.

AKG Design Studio, boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales.

Berry & Berry, PLLC, Reston law firm specializing in federal employment, retirement, labor union, and security clearance matters.

Reston Real Estate, Eve Thompson of Long & Foster Real Estate specializes in Reston homes.

Reston Carpet Cleaning, local cleaning service.

Becky’s Pet Care, offering friendly pet services in Northern Virginia.

Reston Community Center, serving Reston’s recreational and cultural needs.

MakeOffices, shared work spaces with five area locations, including Reston.

Boofie O’Gorman, Top Producer Realtor at Long & Foster Reston.

Goldfish Swim School, specializing in children’s swim lessons year-round.

Small Change Consignment, serving Reston’s kids for more than 30 years.

A Cleaning Service, professional residential and commercial cleaning.

Reston Montessori, private co-educational school for children ages 3 months to sixth grade.

Kalypso’s Sports Tavern, providing great food and drink at Lake Anne Plaza.

All Spice Cafe & Catering, bringing flavor to your events.

Bright Horizons at Commerce Metro Center, new child care facility in Reston.

Susannah Palik, residential Sales Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate.

Inform Fitness, personal training studio that offers results with 20-minute workout.

Fusion Academy, accredited private middle and high school for grades 6-12.

Reston Children’s Center, providing care, preschool and private education and summer camp enrichment.

Ryan Homes — Westmoore, Loudoun County’s hottest new Metro community in the heart of Ashburn.

Knutson Brambleton, Loudoun County urban townhomes with yards in the sky.

Knutson Crescent Place, urban townhomes in Leesburg — Loudoun’s authentic town center since 1758.

Eric Carr, John Mooney and Victoria White, candidates for the Reston Association Board of Directors.

DC Bike Ride, Washington’s closed-road and car-free 20-mile scenic bike ride, coming May 14.

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