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Friday Morning Notes

by Fatimah Waseem March 9, 2018 at 9:00 am 19 Comments

A little extra planning for the weekend — Not planning to dine out? Carrabba’s Italian Grill (12192 Sunset Hills Road) is launching its own food delivery service. [Reston Patch]

And a little early planning for Easter — Frying Pan Park and Lake Fairfax Park are hosting several events in late March, including an eggspectular “Eggstravaganza.” [Fairfax County Government]

Chimney causes Reston townhouse fire — Heat escaping from gaps in a chimney caused a townhouse fire over the weekend. No injuries were reported, but damages are estimated at around $65,000.  [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

In rumor mill this week — Restonians have asked us if Reston Association plans to close Lake Thoreau. Their head spokesman says Reston Association’s staff plan to discuss details of a future demand analysis of RA pools at the board’s May 7 meeting.

(Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 9:50 a.m. to clarify the subject of discussion by RA staff at the board’s May meeting)

Flickr pool photo via vantagehill

  • Donald

    Closing the Lake Thoreau is more than rumor. The board excuse appears to be maintenance and repair costs.

    It’s time this board (and the next) stop focusing on cutting costs and start focusing on generating income.

    There are a multitude of ways to fund special projects. Friends of Reston raised over $1.5 million for the funding of its flagship project — the Walker Nature Center. The community made it happen.

    Fundraising. What a novel idea.




    • Tetra Troll

      Contributions to RA are not tax deductible.

      Nobody on the current Board wants to close pools.

      The prior CEO cut pool hours to pay for the debt service on the Tetra loan. Now that the Tetra loan is paid off, those hours are restored for the 2018 & 2019 season.

      • Donald

        Contributions to Friends of Reston are tax deductible. There are a number of local (and national) nonprofit community, aquatic, and sports entities that could jump on developing and coordinating fundraising efforts.

        You just like to say — NO!

        Your interpretation of data and timing of events reminds me of my grandmother. She swore Franklin Roosevelt introduced income taxes.


  • Willie Reston

    Will residents in the Lake Thoreau area get to payer lower RA dues on account of not having a pool nearby? If I lived around there I’d be livid.

    • Tetra Troll

      We all would be even more livid if the retaining wall catastrophicly collapses and the whole facility falls into the Lake while people are in the pool.

  • Chris Greissing

    One of the positive things about living in Reston was the easy access to the pools in the summer for kids. These days though, the pools are only open for like 6 weeks. And even then, they are closed at least 2 days per week.

    Rather than making investments in Lake Houses… maybe you should find a way to pay for the upkeep and staffing of the pools that the community actually uses, and maybe keep them open for a longer duration.

    While I am venting, could RA look in to a community center people will actually be able to really use. The one in Hunters Woods is fine for what it is, but again, instead of investing in Lake Houses, maybe invest in a strong, new, Community Center that will actually get used by the community.

    • Donald


      I believe you’re speaking of the Hunters Woods Community Center.

      This facility (and other RCC facilities) is actually owned and operated by the county. Operations are supported by revenues from a special property tax collected on all residential and commercial properties within the very special Reston Small District 5.


  • Todd

    Are there specific upgrades that are absolutely necessary for Lake Thoreau to continue operating even at the reduced schedule they had in the previous season?

    • Tetra Troll

      The RA Board restored the pool hours in the budget for 2018 & 2019 that they adopted in November!

      Apparently there is a retaining wall @ Thoreau that is estimated to cost $1 million to repair.

      The May staff meeting will not be focused on that specific pool but on utilization of all 14 RA pools.

      The RA spokesman is an ad salesman and not a public relations professional.

      • Greg

        Only would the RA pay $1m for a wall…

      • Waterlogged

        1 million for a retaining wall, most of which is 6x6PT construction/ conc. near the hot tub? There has to be a shell issue with the pool or RA is getting gouged on the est. (wouldn’t be surprised)

  • JenC.

    The pools are one of the big draws that set Reston apart. Having to join a country club or get on a waiting list for a pool club – which is the norm in a lot of this area – is a pain and cost prohibitive for a lot of people. I don’t use the pools anymore because they keep reducing the hours and facilities have the same amenities they had in 1985 when I went to Terraset. We need to be investing more not less. I also recall hearing something about a board or staff member saying people are or should just go to Lifetime instead and, if accurate, is some tone deaf classist nonsense. And I am a member at Lifetime. I hope on May 7 the community will be able to have some input that is listened to on this.

    • Tetra Troll

      Since 1985, there have been major upgrades at Dogwood, Ridge Heights and Glade pools to name just three.

      • Waterlogged

        Uplands had a major upgrade, and so did Hunters Woods, but what did they do at Ridge Heights? The RH heater was in with the bubble that was taken down and still runs 100% on elec. even though there are gas lines to Turtle Pond that could have been tapped and saved a ton over the years. Would like to know the usage numbers on Dogwood since the new construction. Grew up in Reston and am still a competitive level swimmer (albeit old!) – I live in these pools over the summer. Just seems like the management of these facilities has degraded over the last 5 years and RA keeps wasting money on pass checking machines, expensive websites, overhead/management etc.

        • Greg

          Hopefully those wasteful days are gone with Catherine “Cate” Fulkerson.

          RA does a terrible job at energy management. I’ve often seen tennis court lights (inefficient ones at that) on in the middle of winter late into the night–with no one playing tennis.

  • Donald
    • Greg

      Turn it into rented garden plots. Much better than a dumpy, underused pool open for two months a year.

  • Greg

    Where’s that editor….”…Reston Association plans to close Lake Thoreau. ”

    I don’t think RA plans to close the lake.

    • Waterlogged

      No, not closing the lake, but bet they thought about it so that they could fund thousands of dollars in RA tee shirts for everyone in Reston, sent out with the RA magazine.


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