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by RestonNow.com — May 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

On Monday, construction is set to begin on 210 new senior living units in Reston.

The units, to be called Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, will be located in place of the former United Christian Parish Church at 2222 Colts Neck Road.

Of the 210 units, 90 will be designated as independent living, 81 for assisted living, 15 for special needs, and 24 assigned to memory care.

The project will offer 20 percent of the independent living units as affordable units, and 4 percent of the assisted living beds will be available for residents who are eligible for the Virginia Department of Ageing and Rehabilitative Services Auxiliary Grant Program.

The project will offer 20 percent of the independent living units as affordable units, and 4 percent of the assisted living beds will be available for residents who are eligible for the Virginia Department of Ageing and Rehabilitative Services Auxiliary Grant Program. (more…)

by RestonNow.com — May 4, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

As part of a national effort to help prevent drowning and water-related injuries and illnesses, Reston Community Center will offer free beginning swim lessons for children ages 6 to 12 this summer.

May is recognized nationwide as National Water Safety Month. The initiative is a joint effort of the American Red Cross, The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, the National Recreation and Park Association, and the World Waterpark Association.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), accidental drowning is the leading cause of death among young children ages 1 to 2, and the second leading cause of death for ages 3 to 6. Most of those deaths occur when a child either falls into a pool or is left alone in a bathtub.

The NSC recommends that all children be taught the following basic life-saving swimming techniques: (more…)

by RestonNow.com — May 4, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

Locally based Gin Dance Company will perform at the 26th annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, celebrating a public art installment at Reston Town Center.

The dancers will perform “Hello! Goodbye!” at 11 a.m. both days of the festival, May 20 and 21, at Mary Ann Mears’ “Reston Rondo” sculpture in Hyatt Park. The performance was created by the company’s artistic director, Shu-Chen Cuff.

From a press release:

“Just as the Mears sculpture shows a clean organic form which brings a feeling of lyricism and whimsy. Shu-Chen Cuff explores through her choreography of ‘Hello! Goodbye!’ to bring a high energy of joy, grace and humor. Shu-Chen will bring in her Gin Dance Company Dancers that will transform the Hyatt Park into a living theatrical experience not to be missed.”

The free festival 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 a kickoff party Friday.

Photo courtesy Gin Dance Company

by Del. Ken Plum — May 4, 2017 at 10:30 am 17 Comments

Last week I attended the retirement reception for the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates. The Honorable William Howell of Stafford is retiring after 30 years in the House with 14 years as Speaker. His tenure is the second longest in the modern period

The Republican majority in the House wasted no time in picking his successor, who was known during the last session as the “Speaker designee.”

Speaker Howell was the 54th Speaker of the House; Edmund Pendleton was the first, serving for one year in 1776. The predecessor to the House of Delegates, the House of Burgesses, under the Royal Colony of Virginia, had speakers as well.

The role of the speaker is to allow for orderly debate by requiring all speaking to go through the speaker–hence the name. Under today’s rules, as in the past, members must be recognized by the speaker to request to speak or to ask a question and must receive permission to speak. No debate is allowed among members without going through the speaker. While it may sound cumbersome, it actually works to keep debate orderly and to prevent the chaos that could result from members shouting at each other directly.

The role of the Speaker has evolved over the years. Far from just directing debate, the speaker has tremendous other powers. For example, the speaker appoints the members of committees, assigns bills to committees and renders opinions on enforcing rules and parliamentary procedures.

Up until 1950 there had been 48 persons who had served as Speaker of the House for an average of 3.5 years each. Since 1950 there have been six speakers serving an average of eleven years each. One speaker during that period left office after two years because of a sex scandal. If he is not considered, the remaining speakers have served for an average of 13 years.

I served under the last five speakers. My observation on the office of the speaker is that it has become increasingly partisan. In 1950 Delegate E. Blackburn Moore of Frederick County who was a leading lieutenant in the Byrd Machine became speaker and served in that role for 18 years. He ruled with an iron fist. Many of the stories that are still told about abusing the role of speaker come from his era when he refused to put Republicans on committees that met. The House was referred to as “Blackie’s House,” borrowing the name of a popular restaurant of the time.

His successor was the Gentleman from Mathews, the Honorable John Warren Cooke, who was the first speaker under whom I served. He was a sharp contrast to Moore and treated all members alike regardless of political party. Since his service the office has been held by a series of nice individuals of both parties who have expanded the role to be in practice, if not name, the majority leader of the House.

With the change in individuals holding the role of speaker and with the potential change in the near future of the political party controlling the House, it is too bad that there cannot be a discussion of elevating the role of speaker to be the leader of the House and not the leader of the majority party. This kind of thing is not political nature for sure, but it would be the right thing to do and would change the outcomes of legislative sessions.

by RestonNow.com — May 4, 2017 at 9:43 am 2 Comments

For the second time this week, a significant portion of Reston is without power.

Just after 9 a.m., between 700 to 1,000 customers lost power in South Reston.

The outage area mostly stretched along the eastern side of Reston Parkway, from just north of Hunters Woods Elementary to just north of the Dulles Toll Road around Sunset Hills Road.

Dominion Power’s website indicates a crew has been dispatched, and the cause of the outage is still under investigation.

It was estimated power would be restored to these customers between 11 a.m. and noon today.

See a map of the outage area on Dominion’s website.

On Tuesday, more than 1,700 lost power in the same area along Reston Parkway.

by RestonNow.com — May 4, 2017 at 9:00 am 7 Comments

Reston-based security firm accused of smuggling, human trafficking in Iraq — A scathing Associated Press story that came out Wednesday accuses a Reston-based contractor of allowing some risky operations to take place while being paid hundreds of millions of dollars to provide security to an F-16 air base in Iraq, and then firing independent investigators that uncovered it. The investigators told the AP that U.S. security personnel “turned a blind eye” though they were fully aware of prostitutes and alcohol being smuggled into Baghdad and onto the base, as well as not interfering when they witnessed power generators being stolen off the base by local militia and driven away on huge flatbed trucks. [MSN.com/Associated Press]

Reston Chamber Seeks Nominations for Annual Business Awards – The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its annual ACE awards (Awards for Chamber Excellence). The awards recognize outstanding member businesses that demonstrate “excellence, innovation and community involvement” while supporting the Chamber’s mission. Categories include Small/Medium/Large Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and more. Nominations can be submitted online through May 12. Winners will be announced at the ACE Awards in June. [Greater Reston Chamber]

County to review policies after some rack up more than $100,000 in overtime pay — County supervisors are reviewing departmental staffing and pay policies after a review of the books revealed that more than 1,700 county employees earned more than $100,000 last year, in large part due to overtime pay. Several employees are said to have made more than $100,000 just in overtime pay alone, and some even doubled or tripled their salary. Supervisor Pat Herrity said especially with first responders, so much overtime presents safety concerns. A review is now being conducted to determine if hiring additional staff will reduce the need for so much overtime. [WTOP]

Teen arrested for shooting BB gun at occupied car in Herndon — A 19-year-old man was arrested after firing multiple shots from a BB gun at an occupied car in Herndon. The teen is being held in Fairfax County jail without bond. [Herndon Patch]

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