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by RestonNow.com — May 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

Reston Town Center has released the schedule for its 2017 Concerts on the Town series, featuring live shows on Saturday nights from June through August.

Performers in the series, which is in its 27th year, will include:

  • June 3 — Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. (jazz crooner, former “America’s Got Talent” winner)
  • June 10 — Hard Day’s Night (Beatles tribute)
  • June 24 — Matuto (Brazilian, roots-rock, funk)
  • July 1 — Deanna Bogart Band (boogie-woogie, jump blues)
  • July 8 — Chuck Redd and the International Jazz All-Stars
  • July 15 — The Adrian Duke Project (hits from the 1950s to today)
  • July 22 — Scythian (Celtic, gypsy folk rock)
  • July 29 — Love Canon (bluegrass covers of 1980s hits)
  • Aug. 5 — Incendio (Spanish flamenco guitar, Latin fusion)
  • Aug. 12 — Navy Band Commodores (big band jazz)
  • Aug. 19 — Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience (Grammy winner)
  • Aug. 26 — David Akers and the Soul Shakers (Motown and more)

(June 17 is the second day of the Taste of Reston, which will feature live entertainment throughout.)

A dance floor will also be available for each concert, with the exception of the Navy Band Commodores show.

Each concert is scheduled for 7:30-10 p.m., to be held rain or shine in the pavilion (11900 Market St.)

The series is free, because of a grant from the Reston Town Center Association with support from Boston Properties. Garage parking at Reston Town Center is also free on Saturdays.

File photo courtesy Reston Town Center

by RestonNow.com — May 18, 2017 at 4:00 pm 2 Comments

Organizers of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, slated for this weekend at Reston Town Center, are expecting a big crowd.

According to information provided by Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE):

“The festival is the largest annual fundraiser for GRACE and attracts over 30,000 visitors from across the region. Participating artists uniformly view the event as one of the ‘top five’ outdoor art festivals in the country, extending high praise to the level of hospitality they receive from volunteers and involvement from a community that appreciates the high quality of the art presented.”

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.

Around 200 exhibiting artists will be filling the streets to show off their wares during the 26th annual event. All interior streets of the Town Center will be reserved for pedestrians only, leaving an 11-block art walk.

The event will begin with a kickoff party Friday 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 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Boston Properties’ parking fees will be waived during the event, including during the kickoff party Friday. The festival is one of three special events throughout the year during which this will happen. The others are the Taste of Reston (June 16-17) and the Reston Holiday Parade (Nov. 24).

The weather will be decidedly cooler this weekend than it has been in recent days, with forecast highs in the low 70s.

by Dave Emke — May 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

Reston businesses, services and events were the recipients of nearly two dozen honors in Virginia Living magazine’s 2017 Best of Virginia awards.

According to the Eden Stuart, the magazine’s assistant editor, the awards issue, which is on newsstands today, is a “statewide guide to all that is ‘best’ in Virginia — from dining to shopping to doing.” More than 50,000 ballots were cast in a reader survey to find the honorees in 106 categories, Stuart said.

Lake Anne Plaza was particularly honored, with five businesses selected as being among the best of the best in the Northern Virginia region. Those winners include Lake Anne Brew House (first place, Best Local Craft Brewery); Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar (first place, Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop); Reston’s Used Book Shop (second place, Best Book Store); Small Change Consignments (first place, Best Children’s Clothing Store; second place, Best Consignment Shop); and Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts and More (third place, Best Chocolatier).

“Please join us in saying congrats to these awesome Plaza merchants,” reads a post on Lake Anne Plaza’s Facebook page celebrating the honors.

In addition, the Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne Plaza was honored with a second-place award for Best Farmers Market.

The full list of honorees from Reston in the 2017 Best of Virginia awards are:

FIRST-PLACE HONOREES

Taste of Reston
Best Food Festival

Edibles Incredible Desserts (11917 Freedom Drive)
Best Bakery
Best Chocolatier
Best Dessert Menu

Bacon N’ Ed’s
Best Food Truck

Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.)
Best Local Craft Brewery

Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar (1612 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop

Life Time Fitness (1757 Business Center Drive)
Best Gym

CST Group (10740 Parkridge Blvd.)
Best Accounting Firm

Small Change Consignments (1629 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Children’s Clothing Store

Austin-Weston, The Center for Plastic Surgery (1825 Samuel Morse Drive)
Best Cosmetic Surgery Practice

The Eyewear Gallery at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.)
Best Eye Care Provider

Miye Wire LLC (1818 Library St.)
Best Financial Planning Firm

AKG Design Studio
Best Kitchen Design Firm

Davelle Clothiers (11921 Freedom Drive)
Best Men’s Clothing Store

Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center (1831 Wiehle Ave.)
Best Physical Therapy Group

SECOND-PLACE HONOREES

Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
Best Art Event

Cornerstones
Best Charity

Reston Farmers Market
Best Farmers Market

Small Change Consignments (1629 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Consignment Shop

Reston’s Used Book Shop (1623 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Book Store

THIRD-PLACE HONOREES

Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts and More (11426 Washington Plaza W.)
Best Chocolatier

Trader Joe’s (11958 Killingsworth Ave.)
Best Grocery Store

The Wine Cabinet (1416 North Point Village Center)
Best Wine Shop

Image courtesy Virginia Living magazine

by Dave Emke — May 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon in July 1969.

Now, 48 years later, he again has walked the halls of a school bearing his name in Reston.

The 87-year-old visited Buzz Aldrin Elementary School last week while he was in the area to attend the annual Humans to Mars Summit. At the school, Aldrin presented for students his thoughts and hopes for future travel to the Red Planet. He also gave them a large map of the planet.

Aldrin last visited the school for its 20th anniversary in 2015. In the school’s early years, he visited each year. He now comes more sporadically, maybe every two or three years, school representative Lesley Aschenbach said.

“Hopefully, kids get to see him twice in their career here,” she said.

After the recent presentation, Aldrin gathered on the Mars map with representatives from each grade level while a videographer recorded testimonials from the students on their thoughts about space exploration and what travel to Mars would mean for mankind. The students’ discussion will be used as part of an emerging program for Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation.

In addition, Aldrin Elementary School STEAM resource teacher Jackie Wheeler, school-based technology specialist Eve Davies and Principal Shane Wolfe printed a special bracelet for Aldrin on a 3D printer during his visit.

by Dave Emke — May 18, 2017 at 11:05 am 1 Comment

(This article was edited at 3:25 p.m. Thursday after additional information was released through a statement by the school principal.)

Students and staff at South Lakes High School were evacuated Thursday morning after a chemical scare that administration says may result in criminal charges.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Principal Kim Retzer said the evacuation just after 10 a.m. was prompted after “some type of aerosol was apparently discharged in the hallway in the vicinity of the library.”

“As a precaution, five students and one teacher were taken to Reston Hospital for treatment. They have all been released. Others affected by the spray were treated at the scene. The fire department quickly responded and we were allowed to return to the building about 50 minutes later to resume normal operations. The fire department and hazmat team determined that the odor was not related to our on-going construction.”

Retzer said her office, with the assistance of a school resource officer and the Fairfax County Public Schools Office of Safety and Security, is conducting a “thorough investigation” of the incident to “identify the individual or individuals responsible.”

“Appropriate disciplinary consequences will be assigned in response to this very serious event and criminal charges are also a possibility.”

The principal also commended students and staff for their cooperation during the incident.

“The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority and we will continue to be diligent in our efforts to provide a safe learning environment.”

by Del. Ken Plum — May 18, 2017 at 10:15 am 11 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.

Last week, without provocation, a woman in the checkout line at a local grocery store told another customer — a Muslim woman — “I wish they didn’t let you in the country.”

In the exchange that was recorded on a camera phone, the woman to whom the remark was directed explained that she had been born in the United States. Rather than leave it at that, the first woman went on saying, “Obama’s not in office anymore; you don’t have a Muslim in there anymore. He’s gone — he may be in jail in the future.”

I realize that there are more people than I would like to acknowledge that have strong prejudices against others because of their race, religion, ethnicity or other reason. It continues to shock me when I see the ugliness of the expression of such prejudices as the recording of this event provided. As the woman to whom the remarks were directed pointed out, it’s abnormal to start a conversation like that with someone you do not know. There really is something wrong with people who are so blinded by their prejudices that they feel compelled to lash out at a person who has done them no wrong. The comments reflect a deep-seated hatred that comes out for reasons only a mental health expert could help discover.

What is particularly troubling these days is the blurring of the line between political convictions and prejudice toward individuals. In our deeply divided political landscape, too often political views become opportunities to demonize people who hold different views. Unfortunately talk radio, social media and some cable news shows tend to invite this destructive phenomenon.

In addition to the repulsiveness I feel about the hateful comments, I was also saddened that social media and news accounts described the scene as a store in Reston, Virginia. I know from a lot of personal experience the amount of effort that so many people have made over the years to ensure that Reston is an open, welcoming and inclusive community. While I understand why the store did nothing to address the situation, I wish somehow there had been a disclaimer on the video: The woman speaking does not represent the views of the people of Reston.

The situation reminds us that building community is not a one-time occurrence, a workshop, or a feel-good session. Building a community of respect and love is an ongoing process that we work at a little every day. We greet those we meet; we hug each other; we attend each other’s houses of worship; we show respect to others; we speak out against hate and prejudices; we listen to each other. We use appropriate channels to discuss political views, and whether in person or online we stick to the issues and don’t resort to personal attacks.

A display of hateful and ugly prejudice as we have just witnessed must bring us together in mutual support and respect as we want Reston and every other community to display.

by Dave Emke — May 18, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Hot Weather Continues Today — The DC area had weather hotter than nearly anywhere else in the country Wednesday, including a record high of 91 at Dulles International Airport. Temperatures are expected to be similar today and Friday. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has issued information to help people avoid heat-related illness. [Washington Post]

Bicycle Commuting Up in DC, But Not Here — A report shows that the nation’s capital now has the third-highest percentage of bicycle commuters among major cities in the nation, 4 percent. The number has nearly doubled from 2010. However, in Fairfax County, only about 0.3 percent of commuters ride to work. The difference is in part due to lacking infrastructure, says the Fairfax Alliance for Better Biking. [WTOP]

Cicadas Making Early Entrance — Thousands of the bugs have already turned up in the region, four years ahead of their regular schedule. The 17-year cycle on Brood X means this is just a precursor of a major emergence in 2021. [WAMU]

SLHS Track Teams Tops Again — The boys and girls track teams at South Lakes High School have won their conference championships. It’s the seventh title in a row for the girls and the fourth for the boys. [Press Release]

Commentary: Increased Class Sizes Will Hurt — An advocate for Class Size Matters says Fairfax County Public Schools’ plan to increase average class size by half a student per room will have “a negative impact on students’ ability to learn and succeed, and on teachers’ ability to teach.” An online petition is opposing the increase. [Reston Connection]

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