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by RestonNow.com — September 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm 33 Comments

NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is hoping to spark open dialogue about Muslim assimilation and identity in America with the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Disgraced,” which opens Thursday.

According to a press release from NextStop, several recent incidents have made this an issue of great relevance locally:

Not only did a viral video of an anti-Islam encounter in a Reston grocery store recently sweep the internet, with more than 3 million viewers watching the shocking incident, but the family of a recently murdered [Reston] teen believes their daughter was targeted because of her religion. Additionally, incidents of vandalism have also shaken residents recently, with the Northern Virginia Jewish Community Center being targeted and graffiti found on a highway wall of Baron Cameron Drive near Fairfax County Parkway espousing hate messages.

In the play, “Amir” (portrayed by Jesse Bhamrah) is a Pakistani-American who has hidden his Muslim background as he finds success as a Manhattan corporate lawyer. He struggles with his identity and America’s complex attitudes about Muslims and Islam throughout the play.

“This is an opportunity to have conversations with people about identity and open up and explore who you are,” said Thembi Duncan, the play’s director, in the release. “That doesn’t necessarily sound pretty in marketing language, but you’re learning more about yourself by seeing these other people … and the only way that we move forward as a society is by making human connections across lines of difference.”

In addition to Bhamrah, the cast includes other professional actors from the DC area including Nahm Darr, Jordan Friend, Chaela Phillips and Jenna Rossman. The production team includes Jack Golden, set designer; Kristina Martin, costume designer; Jonathan Alexander, lighting designer; Kevin Alexander, sound designer; Keta Newborn, stage manager; Jessica Dubish, assistant director; Cheyanne Christopher, assistant stage manager; Marilyn Lopes, costume design apprentice; Jonathan Abolins, master electrician; and Kristin Pilgrim, fight choreographer.

Performances will be each Thursday through Sunday, through Oct. 1, with general admission tickets ranging from $17.50 to $55. The show contains adult language and situations that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

by Dave Emke — September 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

As the southeast U.S. prepares for the onslaught of Hurricane Irma, the National Weather Service in DC/Baltimore says the Mid-Atlantic region should be paying attention as well.

While the storm will likely dwindle after weekend landfall, the NWS says it may still be able to pack a punch between Monday and Wednesday of next week if its track takes it up the Eastern Seaboard to our region. According to the NWS, if the storm tracks here, threats it will bring will include damaging winds, possible tornados and flooding brought on by rainfall. Tidal flooding is also a concern for coastal area.

“Families and businesses should ready their disaster plans and kits,” the NWS warns.

Residents are encouraged to monitor the National Weather Service in DC/Baltimore, as well as the National Hurricane Center, for updates on the track and power of the storm as it continues through the rest of this week and into the weekend.

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey passed through our area last Friday and Saturday, bringing heavy rain at times and forcing the cancelation of events including the Lake Anne Jazz & Blues Festival.

by RestonNow.com — September 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm 2 Comments

A pair of Terraset Elementary School students worked hard during their Labor Day holiday to help those in need in Texas.

Second-grader Olivia Rosengart and first-grader Kaia Rappe put together a bake sale to raise money to donate to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Olivia’s mother, Sandi Rosengart, said they were able to raise $300 for the cause thanks to donations from neighbors and friends.

“The money will be donated to the Houston Humane Society as well as the Save The Children organization,” Sandi Rosengart said. “Both were organizations of choice by the girls.”

Olivia’s mother said both girls are thankful for the generosity of their community to help them provide some support for the kids and animals of the Houston area.

Photo courtesy Sandi Rosengart

by Dave Emke — September 6, 2017 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

Plans for a temporary home for Reston Fire and Rescue Station 25 will go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission next week for a public hearing.

The permanent fire station, located at 1820 Wiehle Ave., will be replaced in the next few years. During the work, there will be no room on that site for fire operations to be based.

The temporary home for the fire company at 1800 Cameron Glen Drive will be a 7,680-square foot, one-story pre-manufactured modular building containing living quarters and office space, along with three apparatus bays. Construction is expected to begin next summer.

The site was used by Reston Hospital Center as a temporary helipad in 2013. Two years later, it was used as a temporary surface parking lot for the Reston District Police Station during construction of its new station.

Project manager Lisa Goddard, of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, previously told Reston Now that a full restoration of the temporary site, with removal of all improvements back to its original state of a grass lot, will take place once the fire company moves into its new permanent home on Wiehle Avenue. She said no trees will be removed in the implementation of the temporary fire station.

Reston Fire and Rescue was one of five fire stations approved for replacement and/or renovation under the county’s 2015 Public Safety Bond Referendum. The new fire station on Wiehle Avenue, according to the county’s Capital Improvement Plan, will cost about $13 million. It is needed due to “outdated infrastructure and critical operational space deficiencies.” The work on the new station is estimated to take place from spring 2019 through late 2020.

The Planning Commission hearing is scheduled to take place during the Thursday, Sept. 14 meeting, which begins at 8:15 p.m. at 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. The project is then slated to go before the Board of Supervisors for a public hearing at its Tuesday, Sept. 26 meeting at 3:30 p.m.

Map courtesy Fairfax County Planning Commission

Pet of the Week: Maxine

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — September 6, 2017 at 10:15 am 5 Comments

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

Meet Maxine, a terrier mix available for adoption.

Here is what her friends at Safe Haven Puppy Rescue have to say about her:

Maxine is an adorable little terrier mix, likely with some Jack Russell, who weighs in at just 22 pounds, so she can come with you on all sorts of adventures. Only 3 years old, she’s a sweet and affectionate girl who would like nothing better than a family of her own.

Precious dogs like this go fast, so please send your application on in pronto so you don’t miss out.

Maxine is up to date on all shots and dewormings, has been spayed and carries an adoption fee of $329, which includes her micro chip. This extremely friendly little baby girl is going to bring lots of joy to some lucky adopters, so don’t delay, get your application in to [email protected].

Are you and Maxine a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

by Dave Emke — September 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Va. Transit Ridership Continues Downward Trend — Usage of the Metro’s Silver Line stations at Reston and Tysons is increasing, but that’s one of the few bright spots for public transportation ridership in the region. [WTOP]

Board to Determine Fate of Wedell’s Seat — Following Ray Wedell’s resignation from the Reston Association Board of Directors last week, remaining board members have a decision to make about whether to fill the seat and, if so, how. The term on the now-vacant seat runs through April. [Reston Association]

Reston Sisters Make Jewelry for Good Cause — A pair of local girls founded their own charity project, Rays of Hope, in 2012. They make jewelry out of shells they find on the beach in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and sell it to benefit CancerFree KIDS, a cause they became passionate about when their cousin was diagnosed with leukemia. [Connection Newspapers]

County Expands On-Scene Mental Health Work — The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board recently added a second fully operational Mobile Crisis Unit, part of the county’s “Diversion First” initiative to offer alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness and other disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses. [Fairfax County]

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