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Lake Anne Brew House Works With Breweries to Create Special Brew for International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day and Lake Anne Brew House is brewing up something special to celebrate.

The business, which is located on 11424 Washington Plaza West, will join 15 breweries to make a special beer called 15 Shades of Grisette. The recipe was piloted at Lake Anne Brew House.

The collaboration is part of the Pink Boots Society Collaboration Brew Day, which aims to raise the profile of women’s roles in the beer industry.

A release party will be held at Old Ox Brewery on April 13, followed by a taproom release at Lake Anne Brew House on April 14.

Here’s more from Melissa Romano, owner of Lake Anne Brew House:

As a female owned brewery, with a female Brewer on staff, we are active members of the Pink Boots Society (PBS), which is an organization that supports women in the Brewing industry. PBS sponsors an annual collaborative Brewing day (on national Women’s Day) where breweries are encouraged to come together and Brew a beer which will be shared among all participants. Portions of proceeds realized from the sales of the beer at each location go to sponsor scholarships and programs funded by PBS.

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Fairfax County Board Unanimously Approves Sunset Hills Road Realignment

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved plans to realign Sunset Hills Road this week, pencilling in planning language caught in gridlock the proposal hopes to prevent.

Although the project remains far from groundbreaking, the board’s vote approves the realignment of Sunset Hills Road to Crowell Road — a move board supervisors said preserves the character of the surrounding residential area while calming current and future traffic. A roundabout will act as the intersection control and Hunter Mill Road will be converted to four continuous lanes from the realigned area to the Dulles Toll Road’s westbound ramps. 

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the plan balances the community’s interests while calming traffic in a “critical” area long-slated for improvements. Still, Hudgins hinted much more remains to be done to calm traffic in surrounding areas. 

“I would love to say we’re finished,” she said.

The issue boasts a long and beleaguered history. Proposals have been in county’s books since 1975, when an alignment similar to the current plan was approved.

County staff pitched the plan after a two-year public engagement period yielded seven options, including a no-build alternative. Staff narrowed options to three possibilities, two of which were struck down because they fell in the path of a Metrorail power station or would have required purchasing land from Reston Presbyterian Church. 

“We wanted to come up with a solution that helped preserve the character north and the roundabout really does that,” said Kristin Calkins, who works with the county’s transportation department.

The addition of the roundabout increases the total price tag of the project by around $3 million. No comprehensive cost analysis has been conducted to date.

Some residents expressed satisfaction with the plan after the county’s Planning Commission added language to push the realignment east of the Edlin School, restrict the alignment past north of Crowell Road, and maximize the distance between the new Sunset Hills Road and the adjacent Hunting Crest Community when the road is designed.

Lauding community engagement by Hudgins and Planning Commissioner John Carter, Raj Jain, president of the Hunting Crest Homeowners’ Association, said the changes addresses the community’s concerns about traffic noise and safety. He suggested completing a noise impact and mitigation study during the design phase of the project.

But others like Benise Ungar, vice president of the Hunting Creek Homeowners’ Association, said amendments to allay community concerns carried no legal weight.

Citing her appreciation for the county’s “good faith efforts,” Ungar said the roundabout “will be massive and not compatible with the surrounding area.” She also said residents and property owners impacted by the plan have publicly stated they will not sell their land to make way for the project.

Staff conceded the plan was an imperfect solution. The approved plan adds language into the county’s comprehensive plan. The roundabout is not a prescriptive solution — only  the “preferred solution.”

Information on the following phases, including designing, was not immediately available.

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Northern Virginia Restaurant Week Begins on March 19

The Northern Virginia Restaurant Week is back this year. The annual event, which runs from March 19-26, offers reduced price at more than 50 restaurants in Northern Virginia.

Customers are strongly encouraged to make reservations.

Several eateries in Reston and Herndon are participating in the event, including:

For a complete list of all eateries taking part, visit the event’s website.

Photo via Northern Virginia Restaurant Week

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This Sunday: Screening of ‘Blind Boys of Alabama,” A Documentary Directed by Reston Native

Trace the story of the Blind Boys of Alabama, a legendary gospel quartet that blossomed after its members met in the 1930s at a segregated, state-run institute for the blind, this Sunday at Reston Community Center.

As part of the ReelAbilities Film Festival, an offshoot of the New York film festival, CenterStage will show the film, “How Sweet the Sound — The Blind Boys of Alabama,” at 3 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods.

The documentary is directed and produced by Reston’s own Leslie McCleave. The independent filmmaker graduated from Herndon High School and was raised in Reston. The screening will be followed by a conversation with McCleave, who currently teaches film and video production at Emerson College in Boston, Ma.

The festival, run by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, features films by and about people with disabilities. Screenings will take place at several venues throughout Northern Virginia.

Sunday’s screening is restricted to viewers ages 18 and above.

For more information about other screenings, visit the festival’s website.

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Del. Ken Plum: Follow the Children

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 I ended a walking tour of Capitol Grounds as I always do with a stop at the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial that is between the Executive Mansion and the Capitol. The Memorial is very attractive as a physical structure, and the story it tells is especially meaningful to Virginia’s history. Featured prominently on the Memorial is a bronze statue of 16-year-old high school student Barbara Johns. In April of 1951 Barbara had become increasingly upset at the fact that she had to attend school in a tar-paper building without adequate heat or a gymnasium while the white kids in the area attended a new brick school.

The plan she put together led to all the students walking out to dramatize the unfairness and inequities of the segregated school system. Once the differences were so dramatically shown, there was no going back. Two NAACP lawyers agreed to represent the students, and their case made it to the Supreme Court and was combined with the Brown v. Board of Education case decided in 1954. It took another decade for Virginia to desegregate its schools.

As I recounted that story to the visitors to the Capitol it became clear to me that we are at another Barbara Johns moment in Virginia albeit of a very different kind. I shared my realization with members of the House of Delegates in a floor speech last week. I pointed out that the children of the Commonwealth are bringing to our attention our failure to pass any kind of legislation to keep them safe from gun violence. Not only have common-sense gun safety bills not been passed, they have been defeated with the most minimal debate and with as few as four votes in a subcommittee defeating them. A bill that would have allowed guns in places of worship was withdrawn at the very last minute.

As guns and the violence of which they are a part proliferate, the students through their walking out of schools and by their expressions of concern are seeking answers that incumbent legislators are going to have to answer. I told my colleagues that we could expect when we get back home in a few weeks to get questions as to our lack of action to address gun violence as an issue that warranted our attention. We can expect to get these questions first from our children and our grandchildren and at appearances at educational and civic events. There really is not an adequate answer that will make sense to the children and to parents. My youngest grandchildren often follow my answers to their questions with a follow-up, “why?” Try telling a child that one person’s constitutional right can take away another person’s life.

Society had to answer the questions raised by Barbara Johns and her classmates even as it took decades. We now have to answer the questions raised by the children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and those expressed here in Virginia. The General Assembly cannot tarry in taking action. Lives depend on it!

File photo

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Thursday Morning Notes

Big wins for Boston Properties — Ray Ritchey, senior vice president of Boston Properties, can’t remember a better year for the company, which has inked major deals since last July. [Bisnow]

Last chance to hit the ice — The season for skating at the Ice Skating Pavilion in Reston Town Center will be over this Sunday. Get on the ice while you can. Ice ice baby! [Reston Town Center]

If you’re concerned about issues in Reston — The Reston Citizens Association, a civic, non-profit organization, is looking for volunteers for various committees. [Reston Citizens Association]

Free caregiver support group — Are you a caregiver for an older adult? The county is offering a free online program to help you navigate the process. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

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