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by RestonNow.com — April 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm 0

Children ages 6 to 14 are invited to participate in the annual Reston Kids Triathlon. Registration starts next week.

The triathlon is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 6 at Ridge Heights Pool (11400 Ridge Heights Road). Participants will be broken into three age groups to tackle the course:

  • Ages 6-8: swim 50 meters, bike 1.1 miles, run 7/10th of a mile
  • Ages 9-11: swim 100 meters, bike 2 miles, run 1 mile
  • Ages 12-14: swim 150 meters, bike 4 miles, run 1.4 miles

At least one free training clinic will be offered to registrants in June or July to help them understand what to expect on the day of the event.

Volunteers are also sought for the event. In addition, individuals or businesses are invited to make donations to sponsor children in the race. The event itself is co-sponsored by Reston Association and the YMCA Fairfax County-Reston.

The 2016 race had more than 200 participants.

Registration for the seventh annual event begins Wednesday, April 12, at 7 p.m. at the event’s website.

Image via Kristina Alcorn/Reston Association on Facebook

by Dave Emke — April 6, 2017 at 3:00 pm 3 Comments

A number of trees are reported down in Reston after a nasty storm passed through Thursday afternoon.

At the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunrise Valley Drive, a large tree has fallen and crashed onto the traffic lights on eastbound Sunrise Valley. The intersection is not shut down; however, eastbound traffic on Sunrise Valley Drive is proceeding gingerly as the through-lane is blocked by debris, including a fallen signal.

A Fairfax County police officer on scene said it is one of several reported incidents across Reston. Trees are also reported down on Glade Drive, Hunter Mill Road, North Shore Drive, Baron Cameron Avenue and Leesburg Pike.

The officer said cleanup will be contingent upon when the Virginia Department of Transportation, Dominion Power, and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue will be able to respond. There are many such reported incidents across the county, the officer said.

The storm that came through Thursday afternoon was accompanied by a tornado warning from the National Weather Service.

by Dave Emke — April 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm 18 Comments

At its meeting Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to officially establish the Reston Transportation Service District, part of the 40-year, $2.27 billion plan to upgrade roadways in Reston’s Transit Station Area.

Supervisors in February approved the project’s funding plan, which includes a proposed 2.1 cent/$100 of assessed value tax assessed to properties in the Transit Station Area. That rate will be discussed and finalized when the county budget is approved in May.

The overall project includes road widening and upgrades to intersections and interchanges, in addition to construction of new Dulles Toll Road crossings, including at Town Center Parkway and Soapstone Drive. Roadway projects would be paid for with public revenue, while work on intersections and the street grid would be covered by private funding.

Under the agreed-upon plan, current homeowners in the TSA will be responsible for up to $44.6 million of the estimated cost. The remainder of the tax funds (totaling $350 million) will be collected from commercial/industrial properties and from residential properties built in the future. The rest of private funds, about $716 million, is expected to be collected through in-kind contributions to the grid by developers.

In addition, the board voted Tuesday to create a 13-member advisory group for the service district. The group will consist of the following members:

  • One member from the Dranesville District
  • Two members from the Hunter Mill District
  • Three members to represent residential owners and homeowner/civic associations
  • One member to represent apartment or rental owner associations
  • One member to represent residents of Reston Town Center
  • Three members to represent commercial or retail ownership interests, including the Reston Town Center Association
  • One member from the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce to represent lessees of non-residential space
  • One member from Reston Association

Among the group’s responsibilities, county Department of Transportation Director Tom Biesiadny said, would be to “work with staff to ensure that estimated funding levels are coordinated with construction of transportation projects, that the timing of the construction is coordinated with development, and that the funding is being spent in an appropriate and efficient manner.”

Supervisors Linda Smyth (Providence District) and Pat Herrity (Springfield District) both abstained from the votes, as they have throughout the process. Herrity once again stated that the cost of the project, which he called “gold-plated,” is too high.

We’re taxing our residents out of the county and I think we’re going to see some of them fleeing Reston,” Herrity said.

A pair of TSA residents who spoke during a public hearing Tuesday, Robert Perry and Hank Schonzeit, both expressed feelings that taxing a small group of residents for work that benefits the entire community — as well as developers — is unfair.

If you’re going to have a situation where you’re going to try to flog us the most you can get away with, in the smallest possible area for the fewest taxpayers, I say that’s not fair,” Perry said. “The developers who probably live in a different state who are getting rich from this [are] the ones that should bear the payment, not us.”

Developers will be responsible for 96 percent of the private share of the project, Biesiadny said, and 53 percent (about $1.2 billion) of the project is to be paid out of the county coffers. Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill District) said that while developers will be benefiting from the major road improvements, she believes residents will see the benefits of the work as well.

“We’re hoping it will not be considered onerous, but I think anytime we ask the citizens to [be taxed], they may assume it’s going to be an onerous assessment,” Hudgins said. “But I think they’ll see the return.”

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — April 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

  • Address: 1720 Lake Shore Crest Dr. #31, Reston, VA, 20190
  • List Price: $285,000
  • Open House: Sunday, April 9, 2-4 p.m.

Enjoy this sunny, 966-square foot, top-level condo with two-story ceilings and a loft with hardwood floors, perfect for an office space or guests with a Murphy bed that conveys. It includes a balcony overlooking trees, a built-in bookcase and gas fireplace, washer and dryer, master bedroom with a walk-in closet, and vaulted ceilings.

This residence is just a few blocks from Reston Town Center, and the Wiehle-Reston East Metro stop is less than three miles away.

The community features a swimming pool, an exercise room, a lake, and a bike and jogging path.

The HVAC and hot water heater were replaced in 2014 and the windows and roof are the responsibility of the condo association.

Directions: From the Dulles Toll Road, exit on Reston Parkway North. Take a left on Baron Cameron Avenue, a left on Town Center Parkway, the first right on Edgemere Circle and the first right on Lake Shore Crest Drive. The residence, #31, is on the top level.

For more information, contact listing agent Melissa Terry, of Keller Williams Realty, at 703-475-5896.

by RestonNow.com — April 6, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

UPDATE: This alert has been canceled by the National Weather Service as of 1:50 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for an area including Reston, to be in effect until 2 p.m.

According to the alert, radar has indicated rotation within an incoming storm:

IMPACT…For those in the direct path of a tornado touchdown,
flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
shelter. Damage to roofs, siding, and windows may occur.
Mobile homes may be damaged or destroyed. Tree damage is
likely.

* This dangerous storm will be near…
Linton Hall around 135 PM EDT.
South Riding around 145 PM EDT.
Centreville, Brambleton, Dulles International Airport, Chantilly
and Arcola around 150 PM EDT.
Broadlands around 155 PM EDT.
Reston, Herndon, Lansdowne, Lowes Island, Ashburn, Sterling, Great
Falls and Countryside around 200 PM EDT.

Other locations impacted by this tornadic thunderstorm include
Catharpin, Garrett Park, Derwood, Clarksburg, Woolsey, Washington
Grove, Belmont, Belleview, Bradley Farms and Kensington.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest
floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a
mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter
and protect yourself from flying debris.

A severe thunderstorm warning until 2 p.m. had previously been issued, as well as a severe thunderstorm watch until 5 p.m.

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

Reston Community Players will put a wrap on their 50th season next month by staging the Noël Coward comedy “Private Lives.”

Coward’s 1930 play features a divorced couple who meet by chance while honeymooning with their new spouses. According to a press release from RCP:

“[The characters] reignite the old spark and impulsively elope. After days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between passions of love and anger. Their aggrieved spouses appear, and a circle dance of affiliations ensues as the women first stick together, then break ranks, and new partnerships are formed.”

The show’s director, Adam Konowe, said the play is not as “flippant [or] even superficial” as it might appear at first glance.

“Look closer and appreciate how Coward skillfully embedded critiques in rapier-like dialogue,” he said.

The show’s cast includes Richard Isaacs as Elyot Chase, Rachel Hubbard as Amanda Prynne, Andy Gable as Victor Prynne, Caity Brown as Sibyl Chase, and Lisa Young as Louise. The creative team, headed by Konowe, also includes Suzanne Johnson, Laura Baughman, Mary Ann Hall, Eileen Mullee, Tel Monks, Michael O’Connor, William Chrapcynski, Maggie Modig, Doug Rolston, Scott Birkhead, Sara Birkhead, Bea Morse, Jerry Morse, Julie Cherundolo, Lilya Eberle and Mary Jo Ford.

Opening night for the production will be Friday, May 5 at 8 p.m. at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at Reston Community Center. Evening performances will follow each Friday and Saturday through May 20; in addition, there will be a matinee show Sunday, May 14, at 2 p.m.

The Community Players’ 2016-17 season opened with “Gypsy,” which won five Washington Area Community Theatre Honors awards. RCP has also presented “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” and “Rock of Ages” this season.

RCP has announced its first two shows of the 2017-18 season will be “Aida” (Oct. 20-Nov. 11) and “Peter and the Star Catcher” (Jan. 19-Feb. 3).

For more information about “Private Lives” or to buy tickets, call 703-476-4500, ext. 3, or visit restonplayers.org.

Image courtesy Reston Community Players

by Del. Ken Plum — April 6, 2017 at 10:15 am 24 Comments

This 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.

When Thomas Jefferson finished what he considered one of the most significant deeds of his lifetime in writing the Declaration of Independence in the summer of 1776, he returned home to Virginia and set about turning the ideals of the Declaration into steps that could lead to the formation of the first democratic republic.

Among his proposals was that a system of grammar schools be established throughout the state to be topped off by a grand university. He lived to see the University of Virginia become a reality, but his plan for a universal form of education for the masses did not come about in the Commonwealth until 1870 with a Reconstruction-era system of public schools.

The genius of Mr. Jefferson was the recognition that government by the people in a republic could be successful only to the degree that people were educated and that education could make them informed participants in the election of their representatives. Education is as important today, if not more so, as it was in the formation of the union. I am reminded of that fact daily.

The experiences of my early days as a classroom teacher remind me that there is a sharp difference between being schooled and being educated. The emphasis in recent times on the acquisition of facts with Standards of Learning and standardized testing fall short of the educated citizen that we need in today’s world. What facts could I have transmitted to my students that would stay with them to guide them through the rough waters of governance today? A few of course, but more important are the skills they may have learned by being social scientists, historians, and political scientists in my classroom and using the skills of those disciplines to understand and react to the world we face today.

Popular in the mid-1960s, when I was in the classroom, was the discovery approach to teaching the social studies made famous by Amherst College. There were few lectures in the classroom about what happened in history. Rather the students were taught to collect information, weigh evidence, identify points of view, question sources, draw conclusions and “discover” what went on in historic periods of history and why.

Those skills are more important today than ever. The ability to separate among news stories the fake news, alt-news, satire, points of view and evidence is increasingly vital. Hopefully there will come a time when more of those who make the news will be acting in an ethical and responsible manner, motivated to serve with the good of the whole in mind rather than simply personal gain.

With the increasing speed and number of sources of mass communications, skills of the social scientist are more important than ever. Thomas Jefferson was right — schools are critically important to democracy. Even more important is that the students coming out of school have the skills necessary to be functioning members of society that will preserve and strengthen our democratic republic.

by Dave Emke — April 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 5 Comments

Magazine Article Makes Case for Paid Parking at RTC — A breakdown of the paid-parking controversy at Reston Town Center that appears in the April issue of Washingtonian argues that “parking is never actually free” and that RTC “was designed so people could get there without a car.” [Washingtonian]

Fifth-Graders Debate School Issues — Students from Terraset and Forest Edge elementary schools recently worked on their speech-writing and public-speaking skills as they squared off in a debate. Topics argued during the event included school uniforms, homework and recycling. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Asks Residents to Report Potholes Properly — Sharing a news blast originally written last February, Fairfax County is reminding residents that they can call or use an online reporting tool to let VDOT know where potholes are in the county. [Fairfax County/Twitter]

Technology Services Company Moves to Reston — CDW has moved its D.C.-area headquarters, one of 24 offices nationwide, to Edmund Halley Drive. Among the features of the new space is a technology demonstration lab featuring the latest technologies from the company’s top partners. [CDW]

Fairfax County Republican Delegate Stepping Down — Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax), who has served the area in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1994, announced his retirement Wednesday on the House floor. Among his legislative contributions, Albo listed securing transportation funding for Northern Virginia, closing DUI loopholes, allowing marijuana-derived oils to be used to treat epilepsy, boosting punishments for child molesters and writing the language that banned smoking in restaurants. [Richmond.com]

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