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Weekend Discussion Topics

Before we head off into the warm weekend (temperatures could hit above 80 tomorrow again), let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Fairfax County Board Approves Expanded Reston Station Project
  2. Comstock’s Expanded Reston Station Project Heads to County Board for Final Consideration
  3. Updated: Newly Elected Reston Association Board Members Highlight Need for Transparency, Improving Infrastructure
  4. One Day After Election, Vacancy on Reston Association Board Surfaces
  5. Herndon Councilmember Jeff Davidson Dies After Car Crash

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip. We’re also looking for photos of Reston submitted by readers. Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. Have a good weekend.

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In The Design Studio: The Energy Efficient Kitchen

This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact Anna at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and follow her work on HouzzPinterestFacebook and Twitter.

As we get into warmer weather and we switch from heat to air conditioning, finding ways to be more energy efficient in our kitchens can help the environment and our utility bills. Here is our short list of how to have a more energy efficient kitchen.

LED Lights — Recessed, under cabinet and such not only save money on energy costs, but it also produces less heat which is essential in the kitchen.

One thing to remember is kitchens heat up naturally from cooking. So, to have the ability to make sure to put LED lights on dimmers will help keep your kitchen cooler, since we do not need light at 100% output all the time.  

Energy Efficient Appliances — According to website Alliance, Energy Star appliance can help households save up to 30% on their electric bills. Another benefit of energy-efficient appliances is they help you cook faster and healthier light meals. The Steam Combi Ovens allows you to cook all your meal at once in less than 30 minutes.  

Dishwashers — Many homeowners feel that they use the same money/water by hand washing. That is wrong. Dishwasher requires less than one-third the water it would take to do those same dishes in the sink.

A tip to save even more is don’t use the heated dry cycle. A heated dry period can add 15% to 50% to the appliance’s operating cost. Run the dishwasher only when full or if you have the option utilize the dishwasher’s short cycle.

Refrigerators — Did you know your fridge is one of the biggest energy consumers in your home?

Check the temperature inside to be sure you are utilizing the temperature control that is the most energy efficient. Your fridge should be between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (2.78 – 4.44 degrees Celsius), and 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 degrees Celsius) for the freezer. If your refrigerator is running colder than that, you are wasting energy. 

Also, avoid putting super hot food in the fridge, keep the leftover to cool outside and only when in room temp, place in the refrigerator. Allowing your hot dishes outside of the fridge will help the refrigerator with keeping the temp leveled and not work extra hard to make up for the heat source inside it.

Vampire Energy — Vampire energy, also known as standby power, is the electric power consumed by many consumer electronic devices when they are switched off but still plugged in, and that wasted electricity is costing you consumer’s money. We have lots of those in the kitchen.

Most households leave their toasters, coffee machines and cell phone chargers plugged in a while, not in use. An easy solution comes from Lutron with the Lutron Maestro Wireless Plug-In Appliance Modules. You can plug in your appliances to the system and set them to go off the grid while you are not home or asleep.

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Aperture, the 421-unit Apartment Building Near Wiehle-Reston East, Officially Opens

Aperture, a five-story, 421-unit building on 11410 Reston Station Boulevard is now officially open. Local officials and professionals behind the project held an official grand opening earlier this month.

The project is the product of a joint partnership by Reston-based developer Chuck Veatch and Bozzuto Group.  It includes studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, as well three courtyards, outdoor cooking stations, a library, a gum and a lounge area.

Developers aimed to create an art-infused community that mixes city and suburban living in a lower-density setting.

Rents for a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment unit with 628 square feet start from $2,010. The rate for a two-bedroom apartment with 1,034 square feet starts from $2,475.

The building includes a Reston Wall, which offers a nod to Reston’s history and developers. Zachary Oxman’s steel sculpture, “Convergence” in the entrance.

Aperture is one of the first residential projects to open next to the new Metro Station.

Photos via Bozzuto Group and Marion Myers

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Reston Community Center Adds Filmmaking Summer Camp This Year

Reston Community Center has added some new summer camps to its roster including some on filmmaking, jewelry making, engineering and environmental justice.

The camp, Documentary Filmmaking: Summer Studio for Teens, will be taught by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Rebekah Wingert-Jabi. Wingert-Jabi will teach documentary filmmaking for the four-week full-day camp, targeted for ages 13-16. The camp runs from July 9 through Aug. 3.

Another new offering is a sensory-friendly camp called “We Rock the Spectrum,” a half-day camp for ages 6-11 that encourages strength, sensory processing, movement and positive social interactions through activities that include a zip line, rock wall, trampoline and obstacle course. The camp runs from June 25-29.

The other offerings include “Trendy Jewelry Making” where campers will create up to five pieces in this weeklong session. There will be two sessions one from July 2-6 and the other from July 9-13.

“STEAM I” is a half-day, weeklong introductory engineering camp where campers will create structures such as rollercoasters and catapults as well as Rube Goldberg machines. The camp will be from June 18-22 for ages 8 to 12.

“Green Earth Rangers” teaches campers how to work toward solving environmental issues in Northern Virginia. This full-day camp runs from July 30 through Aug. 3 for ages 11 to 14.

Registration for all camps is open at the community center’s website.

Photo courtesy of Fairfax County

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Some Metro Users Scramble for Parking Space at the Wiehle-Reston East Garage

Some Metro users say the Wiehle-Reston East garage is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. Limited spaces are available during weekday morning hours as construction continues in the area.

Beginning at 9 a.m., few non-reserved parking spots are available in the 2,300-space garage, Metro users said. The garage (11389 Reston Station Boulevard) includes reserved spaces, which open up to the public at 10 a.m. if they are unused.

Garage users said some drivers park their cars in reserved spots not assigned to them due to the challenge of finding space. Jude J. said police often issue tickets to those individuals ten minutes before the parking space opens up to the public.

“You’re lucky if when you enter the ‘lot full’ light is on, otherwise you’re stuck in a dangerous situation with cars going every direction trying to find a spot,” said Jude. She has been commuting for past year and a half from Leesburg to Washington D.C..

County and transit officials pointed to several possible explanations for the scramble for space. County data indicate the average paid utilization rate in March was 88 percent. The rate for reserved parking is $65 a month and $4.95 on weekdays, except Thursday when the rate is $3.

Robin Geiger, head of communications for the Fairfax County Department of Communications said temporary construction in the garage may explain why spaces are limited. Construction is expected to end next month, Geiger said.

In response to space constraints, the county is promoting other alternatives like the Reston South Park and Ride, as well as Fairfax Connector Routes 553, 557, 559 or 585 to Wiehle.

Comstock, the developer behind Reston Station which sits above the garage, built the garage through a public-private partnership with Fairfax County. The county retains garage ownership while the Washington Metropolitan Area Authority operates the facility.

Maggie Parker, a spokesperson for Comstock, said space may also be limited due to “increased activity” with events like the cherry blossoms in the District. WMATA indicated they have seen an increase in parking demand as a result.

Signs in the garage are programmed to display “lot full” when 15 spaces or less are available.

Parker also said it is possible that people are not driving down far enough into the garage, especially three levels down in the ParkX parking area.

The situation has some hoping for other parking alternatives, especially as summer swings in and the recent opening of restaurants like Founding Farmers and Sweet Leaf attracts more customers.

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Weekend Deals & Events In Reston

Every weekday, we highlight deals and events around Reston, with help from Tim’s Reston Directory. Some require a coupon or have more instructions, so be sure to click the link for details and any additional requirements.

All Weekend:

Friday, April 13:

Saturday, April 14:

​Sunday, April 15:

Follow Tim’s Reston Directory on Twitter and Facebook and visit TIMS.US for a comprehensive monthly calendar of deals and events around Reston.

Interested in special promotion as the deal or event of the day? Have a deal or event tip? Email Tim at [email protected]!

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Friday Morning Notes

No rush for rush hour service — “Metro plans to stick with rush-hour service cuts implemented last summer for years to come, an update to the rail fleet plan to be presented to the Metro Board Thursday suggests.” [WTOP]

A life line — Coffee pod maker Keurig Green Mountain is partnering with Reston-based LifeFuels to increase sales of its high-tech, battery-operated water bottles. [WTOP]

In it for the ride — Young adults ages 10 and up with special needs get a tour of Frying Pan Farm Park Today, as well as a wagon ride and a chance for some social dancing. [Fairfax County Government]

In school sports — South Lakes High School JV Boys Soccer and Girls Soccer teams secured wins over Herndon High School yesterday. [South Lakes Athletics]

Photo by Jami Ojala

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