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by RestonNow.com April 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm 9 Comments

The 26th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is just a little over a month away.

Thousands of people are expected to enjoy the festival, which will take place May 19-21 at Reston Town Center. The event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.).

Around 200 exhibiting artists will be filling the streets to show off their wares during the event. The festival is an honoree in the America’s Best Art Fair Awards competition, which recognized it as one of the top juried art fairs in the country.

The event will begin with a kickoff party Friday, May 19 from 6-9 p.m., featuring complimentary food and wine along with the opportunity to mingle with artists and other dignitaries. Tickets are $50.

The festival itself will follow the next two days, with admission a $5 suggested donation for adults. It will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 20; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 21.

All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk. Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during the kickoff party Friday.

File photo

by Dave Emke April 10, 2017 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

Reston’s roots and its future were celebrated Saturday during Founder’s Day, marking the 53rd anniversary of the community.

From the art walk to the crafts, food and music, there is a lot to like about Founder’s Day, said Raba Letteri.

“This is like a tradition for us,” said Letteri, who was attending along with her husband, Paul, and sons Joseph and Aaron. “Every year, we go do the 5K and then we come here for the event … and to support the businesses.”

Those who were at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday had a lot of activities from which to choose. The opening of Kiln & Co. was a big hit with many children and adults, all of whom were able to enjoy free custard. Kids including little Leila (pictured) and her brother Emory enjoyed painting their very own ice cream bowls — after their faces had been painted by the artist outside on the plaza.

Kiln & Co. wasn’t the only business with special goings-on Saturday, as all of the plaza’s storefronts were bustling with activity and special offers for visitors. Grown-ups also were able to enjoy a public art tour, films, book signings and more as they learned more about Reston during the day.

Joseph Letteri, a senior at South Lakes High School, said he’s been coming to Founder’s Day with his parents as long as he could remember and he’s always had a good time. He said he respects what Reston’s founder, Bob Simon, had in mind when he created the community.

“[Reston] is very unique,” Joseph said. “From the very start, Reston accepted all different types of backgrounds.”

The annual Founder’s Day celebration is presented by the Reston Historic Trust with support from Reston Community Center, and it is co-sponsored by Reston Association and Public Art Reston.

by RestonNow.com Sponsor April 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Legal Insider

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Plaza America that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.

By Kimberly H. Berry, Esq.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, most employees are considered “at will,” which means they can resign or be terminated at any time. When employment ends, an employer may offer severance to an employee in exchange for the employee’s waiver of his or her rights, including the right to sue for any work-related issues. In Virginia, in the absence of an employment contract, an employer usually has no obligation to provide an employee severance pay. If severance pay is offered, an employer will provide the employee with a severance agreement.

What is a Severance Agreement?

A severance agreement is a contract between an employee and an employer that specifies the terms of an employment departure. Severance agreements can be offered in cases of terminations, resignations, layoffs and/or retirement. In order for a severance agreement to be valid, it must usually provide something to the employee to which the employee is not already entitled. For example, in most cases, a certain financial sum is provided to the departing employee by an employer in exchange for a waiver of rights, usually referred to as a general release, by the employee.

In addition, in Virginia and many other states, employers are generally required to provide an employee time to consider a severance agreement before signing. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), in part, requires that an employer provide employees over 40 years of age with a 21-day consideration period, or a 45-day consideration period in the case of a large reduction-in-force (RIF), and at least a 7-day revocation period. Oftentimes, employers rush employees to sign a severance agreement and do not adhere to the procedures for severance agreements.

The terms of a severance agreement are generally negotiable between the employer and employee. However, an employee will not necessarily be told this when the employer offers the severance agreement.

Potential Considerations with Severance Agreements

Some of the issues to consider in advance of signing a severance agreement may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Financial terms and timing of severance payments
  • Tax issues
  • Continuation of employment benefits
  • Ability to claim unemployment compensation
  • What claims are waived
  • Confidentiality terms
  • Non-disparagement
  • Re-employment/re-hiring possibilities for departing employee
  • Scope of non-competition after leaving employment
  • Preservation of trade secrets
  • References and points of contact
  • Recommendation letters
  • Consequences of violating the severance agreement

Each case is different and an employee may need legal representation in negotiating a severance agreement. Before an employee signs a severance agreement, he or she should consult with an attorney to discuss the rights that he or she may be waiving and the terms of the severance agreement.

If you need assistance with negotiating a severance agreement in Virginia, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also like and visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.

by Dave Emke April 10, 2017 at 11:30 am 5 Comments

At the annual Members’ Meeting on Tuesday at Reston Association Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive), the four new members of RA’s Board of Directors will be introduced.

In this year’s Reston Association board election, which ended April 3, 11 candidates ran for four positions. The winners of the election, to be announced Tuesday, will replace outgoing board members Ellen Graves, Dannielle LaRosa, Lucinda Shannon and Jeff Thomas.

The new members will join continuing members Julie Bitzer, Sherry Hebert, Michael Sanio, Eve Thompson and Ray Wedell on the board.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:

  • Board President Ellen Graves will give the “State of the Association” report
  • CEO Cate Fulkerson will provide her report
  • the 2016 Reston Association Employee of the Year Award will be given out
  • members will be given time for comment

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The board will meet for its initial meeting Wednesday. On the agenda for that meeting is the election of officers, and discussion of committees and upcoming training. Fulkerson will also present the board with its 2017 calendar and strategic issues for consideration in the next three months.

That meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, also at RA Headquarters.

Both meetings will also be streamed live on Reston Association’s YouTube channel.

by Dave Emke April 10, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

The 2017 Runners Marathon of Reston on Sunday was paced by 20-year-old Ben Connelly.

Connelly, a club runner at the University of Virginia, took the 26.2-mile race in a time of 2 hours, 51 minutes and 57 seconds. He was the only runner to complete the course in under 3 hours.

The rest of the male Top 5 included Robert Young (3:01:10), Erick Kuhlmann (3:03:06), David Simons (3:03:15) and Scott Melchior (3:05:05).

The winner of the women’s marathon was Kacey Gibson, an assistant coach for the Christopher Newport University running team. The 27-year-old completed the course in just under 3 hours and 17 minutes.

https://twitter.com/CNUXC/status/851242350684889089

The rest of the female Top 5 included Alexandra Peterson (3:23:20), Paulina Campbell (3:23:31), Sam Kubica (3:24:09) and Erica Cline (3:37:30).

The half-marathon winners were Alexander Hetherington (1:21:17) and Brittany Leuenberger (1:28:25). Relay winners were “Team Fantastic Four” (3:25:10).

Take a look at the full marathon results, half-marathon results and relay results.

Race proceeds go to the Reston Runners Community Fund, designed to support the Reston community by providing scholarships to area student-athletes and financial support for athletic programs.

Photo of Connelly crossing the finish line via Runners Marathon of Reston/Facebook

by Dave Emke April 10, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Herndon Man Dies in Route 7 Crash — Rush Hone Elmore, 69, died Friday after his vehicle was rear-ended near Leesburg. The impact of the crash forced his car off the roadway, where it overturned. He died at Reston Hospital Center. [Leesburg Police Department]

Units Respond to Kitchen Fire in Reston — Firefighters attacked a blaze Sunday afternoon at a home in the 12300 block of Brown Fox Way. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter]

Plum Campaign Event Set for April 30 — Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) will kick off his campaign for re-election to the state House of Delegates with a fundraiser at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.). Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is scheduled to be in attendance to show his support. [Del. Ken Plum]

Reston Students Profiled in ‘KidsPost’ — Katie Damon’s second-grade class at Terraset Elementary School voted on their favorite author, singer, sport and more for a profile in this weekend’s Washington Post. The kids also reported what they want to be when they grow up and what superpower they’d like to have. [Washington Post]

Bridge Title Claimed by Herndon Woman — Li Yiting was part of the team that won the Machlin Women’s Swiss Teams event at the Spring North American Bridge Championships last month in Kansas City. This is her third championship win. [Fairfax Times]

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