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Bus Tour Planned To Offer Newcomers to Reston Overview of Community

by Fatimah Waseem — October 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm 24 Comments

In an effort to acquaint newcomers with the area’s history and hidden gems, Reston Association is offering free bus tours to residents who have moved to the community within the last six months.

During the tour, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents will see the Walker Nature Center, Lake Anne Plaza and Reston’s four districts, as well as learning about services provided by RA.

The tour will begin and end at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.). Lunch will be served from 1-2 p.m. there. RA Board members, staff and committee members will be available to answer questions and meet with tour participants.

This year, RA departed from its tradition of holding open houses for newcomers at its main center. The bus tour allows residents to experience Reston in a dynamic way that reveals the area’s hidden gems beyond widely known attractions like Reston Town Center, according to Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications and community engagement.

“People know the main locations but there’s lot of hidden jewels and hidden history,” he said. “We want the community to know more about Bob Simon’s founding principles as well.”

As of Thursday, 17 seats are available for the 40-member bus tour, Leone said.

Bus participants will visit major sights and services like RA’s main facilities, the Reston Farmers Market and the Reston Museum. Ann Delaney from Public Art Reston will give a presentation on the importance of public art in the area.

“It’s kind of like a neighbor-to-neighbor social from start to finish,” Leone said.

To register for the free tour online, visit RA’s website.

  • SuperCoop1280

    “n an effort to acquaint newcomers with the area’s history and hidden gems”

    Before they are replaced with more apartments.

  • Mike M

    Sweet Christmas for Realtors!
    Conflict of interest much?

    • EliteinReston

      When the bus gets to the town center, Boston Properties charges a fee for the tour.

    • One LibIknow

      Where are Realtors mentioned here?

    • Hieronymus Bosch

      Who said there is no such thing as a free lunch?

  • Greg

    “Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications and community engagement.”

    One more overpaid do-nothing who can be eliminated.

  • One LibIknow

    How much is the bus costing us?

  • One LibIknow

    Please share the story of the Lake House w/ the new members so they know why the fees are so high. Tell them how Fulkerson overpaid by millions, made up rental income numbers (fraud) to get a loan, and lost copies of the contracts on the repairs/renovations. There was also the rent back agreement that wasn’t in writing, and the previous owner did not rent back since he killed himself. Then she threw good money after bad to have a consultant tell her where she screwed up. And now, in the new budget, please tell them her salary and whether or not she will also get a bonus.

    • John Higgins

      I’ve only had to post this a dozen times, so one more won’t kill me. The story of rent-back to Tetra Partners is completely wrong. Tetra agreed to a rent-back for six months. It was in writing…it was part of the sales agreement. (Available at the RSA website.) Folks get confused because there was also an option for Tetra to extend the rental term for about 12 months. That, too, is in writing. The firm chose not to exercise its option. Prior to the seller’s death, there was good reason to believe it would have been exercised, so RA made a judgment to include it as anticipated revenue. Want to fault that judgment? Fine. But let’s make those calls based on facts rather than the growing Legend of Lake House.

      • JoAnne Norton

        We did not need it. We don’t need a bus tour. We need more help for seniors so this can truly be a community Simon planned for. We need more affordable housing. You need to REALISTICALLY look at what Reston and the region will be 20 – 40 years from now. Think through going up against Hudgins in a group think saying building up is bad.

        • Greg

          No, we don’t need more “affordable” housing. Reston has are more than 100 units for sale at less than $300,000 right now and more than 80 of them are less than $200,000.

          At the same time, there are more than 100 units for rent at less than $2000 per month and 75 of those are under $1500.

          Fairfax County owns hundreds more rental units in Reston and a homeless shelter not counted in the numbers above. None of these units produce any tax revenue and 50 percent or less of the RA assessments the rest of us pay.

          What we do need is a cemetery.

          • Chuck Morningwood

            Absolutely we need a cemetary, so that Reston can truly be a cradle to grave experience.

      • One LibIknow

        So do you agree with the rest of my post? “Prior to the seller’s suicide in midst of bankruptcy” is more accurate. Is this not fishy to you? They made up the anticipated revenue Pure magical thinking. And Fulkerson is still CEO. Its unbelievable.

        • John Higgins

          One, I did not support the Lake House purchase. Even after the referendum passed, I tried to persuade directors to default on the contract, pay the small penalty, and move on. That was just my opinion, and it did not take hold. I watched carefully as the RA made its revenue estimates and did not find them unrealistic. Optimistic, perhaps, but not unrealistically so.

          I take issue with a suggestion of fraud. I see no sign of that and a forensic accounting firm who examined every aspect of the purchase saw no impropriety. Note, also, that the CEO did not “throw good money after bad”. That consulting contract was called for by quite a few RA members (many of them commenting here) and the RA board. We may never know if we got value for those dollars. One would hope that new procedures and better controls will avoid the costly mistakes found in the Lake House deal.

          The renovation fiasco is a total mystery to me. If someone can solve that mystery with facts, fine. But I won’t fill the blanks with guesses, suspicion, or undocumented inferences.

          • One LibIknow

            The Stone Turn report
            was complete crap and a total waste of 40K. It told us nothing we didn’t already know.

  • Scott

    “Reston Association is offering free bus tours to residents who have moved to the community within the last six months.”

    Seriously? It’s certainly not free to Reston residents who are paying for this dumb idea. I’m certainly not happy to see any of my annual RA dues going to this concept.

    • Greg

      Nor are we.

    • One LibIknow

      There is no such thing as free.

  • the law is in our side

    i think its great that RA has a bus so they can keep the inebriated safe as they pass throu the dinner party circuit

    as for the newcomers, drop them off at the tennis courts?

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Lookie here. RA is trying to find a use for the Lake House.

    If the newcomers are truly interested in the Reston experience, the tour should start and end at Winterthur, and run across the DTR bridges during rush hour.

  • Slret

    My goodness, these comments certainly don’t make one feel very welcome. I recently moved here and am interested in learning about the area.

    • John Higgins

      Siret, welcome to Reston. I’d suggest that you put this in perspective. There are over 60,000 people in Reston, the vast majority of whom have little to no interest in what the Reston Association does or does not do. That’s unfortunate, but it’s reality. The displeasure expressed here is certainly not directed at new residents (or long-timers, for that matter)…enjoy your early days. Decide for yourself if you are getting value for what you pay into your homeowner’s association.

    • TheKingJAK

      We just love our community’s founding values, and are willing to defend them. We also hope that you, as a new Restonian, find these values to also be worthy of praise and defense.

  • Wings!!

    Too bad there isn’t a hooters for the bus to stop at so everyone can get a cold beer and a plate of wings.

    #HootersForReston

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