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Weekend Discussion Topics

Before we head off into the hot weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Reston Couple Opens Winery in Leesburg
  2. Series of Citations Draw Ire from Residents in Birchfield Woods Cluster
  3. Local Police Arrest Reston Man with Bag of Marijuana
  4. Herndon Police Search for Critical Missing Adult with Autism
  5. Speeding Charges Filed After Fatal Pedestrian 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. Stay hydrated as the sun beats down this weekend and have a great weekend!

Photo via Dave Williams

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Save the Date: Work Sessions Scheduled for PRC Proposal in July

Amid concerns about a proposal to increase Reston’s population density in the Planned Residential Community district, the county is kicking off a series of work sessions with stakeholders this month.

The meetings will address four areas of concern highlighted by Reston Association and the Coalition for a Planned Reston, a grassroots umbrella organization. The concerns were voiced and rebuffed in letters to the Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Zoning earlier this year.

The schedule for the work sessions, which each focus on one subject area, is below. Each session will be held at 6 p.m.:

  • July 17 (Transportation): 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive
  • July 18 (Parks and Recreation): 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive
  • July 24 (Schools, Infrastructure, Fire and Rescue):  12001 Sunrise Valley Drive
  • July 30 (Planning):  12001 Sunrise Valley Drive
File photo
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Effort to Streamline Reston Association’s Review of Design Changes Moves Forward

Residents seeking to approvals of design modifications and improvements may experience a more manageable process following the adoption of new workflows to streamline the design and review approval process.

Reston Association’s Board of Directors voted to pass a number of operational changes that could delegate some responsibilities from RA’s Design Review Board to staff. The DRB is an independent agency of RA charged with reviewing exterior improvements of properties within RA.

The move comes as the DRB seeks feedback from the public on changes to the content of its guidelines amid some concerns that the policies are outdated and inconsistent. The board will hold a public hearing on July 17 at 7 p.m. to discuss changes to the guidelines.

At their Thursday night meeting, the board approved a measure that could delegate the review of select design changes to be considered at a late date to staff instead of a consultation-level review by the DRB. Changes to cluster design standards could also move from panel-level review to consultation-level review.  The board’s votes simply clarified the definition of consultation-level reviews and other terms and created the ability to move reviews from panel to consultation-level. Specific changes to the standards linked above will be discussed in mid-July. 

Additionally, staff would have the authority to disapprove applications that do not comply with design guidelines or cluster standards when the application has no registered affected party. Residents will be able to appeal staff’s decisions to the DRB. The application for requesting design review was also tweaked to clarify requirements and collapse separate forms into one for all applications. Votes were unanimous, with one abstention.

The board also increased the fee for non-residential applications from $1,350 to $2,250 in order to cover staff time spent processing applications and resources allocated for additional meetings. 

For more information on proposed changes to guidelines, visit RA’s website.

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Reston Association Board of Directors Elects New President

Reston Association’s Board of Directors elected Andy Sigle to the position of board president Thursday night.

Over the next year, Sigle said he hopes to ensure a new CEO and CFO are hired promptly, fine-tune RA’s biannual budget, facilitate the passage of policies regarding ethics and conflicts of interest, and work with the community to ensure land use changes, particularly in the Planned Residential Community district, are implemented in a thoughtful and strategic manner.

Sigle was elected to the board earlier this year and previously served on the board between 2011 and 2014. David Bobzien, the former board president, resigned last month due to a leukemia diagnosis.

In opening remarks, Sigle also said he is committed to enhancing communication between RA staff and the board. He also hopes to ensure information is readily available so the board can make informed decisions.

Sridhar Ganesan, the board’s interim president, failed to gain enough votes to maintain the position. Board members cast private ballots and the number of votes garnered by each candidate was not made public at the meeting.

The vote follows a spirited debate during last month’s board meeting when board members failed to make a decision on the next board president. In his opening remarks, Ganesan also noted that transformational change was required to bring about a more “harmonious” tone to board meetings whilst preserving opportunities for vigorous debate.

Photo by Reston Association

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This Weekend’s Deals & Events in Reston

Each Friday, Tim’s Reston sets the table with deals and events for the weekend ahead in Reston.

Highlights for the upcoming weekend include:

Event of the Weekend: 4 Public Ice Skating Sessions @ Skatequest: Adults: $8, Kids: $7; Skates: $4.

  • Friday 12:10pm to 2pm
  • Friday 7:20pm to 9:30pm
  • Saturday 1:10pm to 3pm
  • Sunday: 3:10pm to 5:10pm

Friday: Free Milkshake @ Potbelly, RA Ice Cream Social @ North Shore & RCC Family Splash

Saturday: Mommy & Me Workout @ Plaza America & 4th of July Celebration @ Lake Fairfax

Sunday: Kids Pizza Baking @ Vapiano & Movies & Mimosas @ Bow Tie Cinemas

All Weekend: 20% off a Wine Case @ Harris Teeter

See the entire list by category or scroll through the entire list here:

Follow Tim’s Reston on Facebook,  Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, & his newsletter for new deals and events, posted regularly throughout the week!

Interested in special promotion as the Deal or Event of the Week or Weekend? Have a deal or event tip? Comments? Suggestions? Email Tim at [email protected]!

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Friday Morning Notes

Serving the Walker Nature Center — The center has several open volunteer opportunities in July. Volunteers can sign up online. [Volunteer Reston]

The little mermaid — Tickets for the performance of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” are on sale ahead of the July performance. [Herndon Drama]

Stateside: New laws begin July 1 — New state laws going into effect on Sunday would create a program for abducted adults, prohibit lunch shaming and more. [NBC4]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Author Tracey Kyle to Debut New Picture Books

Author Tracey Kyle will debut new picture books on Tuesday, July 3 at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Her latest titles are “Food Fight Fiesta: A Tale about La Tomatina” and “A Paintbrush for Paco.”

During the event, Kyle will lead a game of tomato toss and read “A Paintbrush for Paco,” which explores the power of art, imagination and color. The books serve as an introduction to Spanish.

Kyle is a New Jersey native. She decided to learn Spanish when she saw the boy band Menudo perform on a Latino TV station in middle school. Kyle teaches Spanish to eighth-graders and lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats.

Photo via Scrawl Books

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Religious Groups to Host Interfaith ‘Families Belong Together’ Vigil

The United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive) will host an interfaith vigil in support of the national “Families Belong Together” campaign tomorrow. 

A rally is scheduled for Saturday in the District in order demand the reunification of families and the end of family separation in detention.

In Reston, organizers hope Friday’s event will “shine a light of truth and hope.” The event is open to all and is organized by United Christian Parish Reston, Unitarian Universalist Reston, Washington Plaza Baptist, Shoreshim, Unity Fairfax, ADAMS Center, MCC NOVA, and others.

“The vigil is very important as we join together to light candles of hope and resistant to unjust and inhumane policies that separate families [and] put children, immigrants, and asylum seekers into cages,” said James Dean, co-chair of UCP’s justice and peace ministry team.

“Some of us can’t march, but we can gather together as part of this interfaith vigil,” Dean said.

Organizers of the national campaign issued the following description of the event:

The Trump Administration is a threat to the lives and safety of millions of immigrant children. Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have torn babies from their mothers, run over, punched, and sexually abused children and Health and Human Services have lost track of thousands of children and youth in their custody. They are unfit to be in charge of children.

We demand that Trump’s immigration agencies stop the implementation of any policy that separates children and youth from their families and that the Administration enlist qualified social service agencies to ensure the well-being of children who are still in their custody or have gone missing.

Photo via UCP

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This Weekend: Fireworks Show at Lake Fairfax Park

Don’t wait until July 4 for fireworks at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). The annual fireworks show will take place on Saturday (June 30).

The park opens at 7 a.m. and the water mine park opens at 10 a.m. Boats can be rented from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and food vendors will be onsite and near the park’s main office.

Parking is $10 per car. A puppet show will take from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and live music will be offered from 4:15-9:15 p.m. Once the sun sets and the skies darken, the fireworks show will begin. 

The campgrounds are available for an overnight stay. Reservations can be made by calling 703-471-5415.

A rain date is set for July 1.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Reston Companies Top Rankings in Washington Post Workplace Survey

Reston-based companies ranked high for their workplaces across all categories, according to annual rankings compiled by the Washington Post.

Appian, a Reston-based software company ranked 57th among midsize companies last year, shot up to the number one spot for highly ranked, large companies. Macedon Technologies, a software company, was also ranked the top small company and Acclaim Technical Services, a government contractor, also topped the midsize company list. 

Rankings are determined based on feedback from a survey of employees. The complete list of Reston and Herndon companies on the Post’s annual rankings is below:

Large Companies (of 30)

Midsize Companies (of 55)

Small Companies (of 65)

Photo via Washington Post

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Del. Ken Plum: Keep Families Together

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now

Last week I joined with nearly fifty of my colleagues in the House of Delegates in signing a joint letter to all the Virginia senators and representatives in the United States Congress about “our outrage at the cruel and systematic separation of immigrant children and their families at the U.S. border with Mexico.”

While immigration issues are mainly federal responsibility, the actions on the part of the current administration have been so horrendous that we felt an obligation to speak out. We asked our Virginia delegation to intercede with the administration to cease the policy and to reunite the children involved with their families without delay.

Since our letter there have been some pronouncements from the administration about changes in the policy, but it remains entirely unclear what will happen with the thousands of children who have already been separated from their families and are being held in mass facilities that seem more like prisons than homes.

It is equally unclear as to whether a continuation of a zero-tolerance policy on border entry will simply replace prisons for children with adult prisons. I am pleased that Governor Ralph Northam has withdrawn the use of any Virginia National Guard forces from being involved in implementing this inhumane program.

The politics of building fear of immigrants to further political goals stinks as does the attempted use of children as pawns to bargain for a disastrously conceived wall with our neighbors. Beyond the politics are the long-term human rights issues that many thought and most hoped America was beyond. The negative long-term impact on the children involved cannot be over-looked or not addressed. Nor can the impact be underestimated of sending people back to a country from which they were seeking asylum in fear for their lives.

Earlier this month, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) along with 540 other organizations wrote to the administration as part of the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign stating their opposition to actions that would separate children from their parents. As NAEYC stated it, “There are no ends that justify these means.”

The organization that is well respected for its research on the education of young children went on to state, “The research is clear, and so are our core values…We have an obligation to create and advance policy solutions that support child well-being and strengthen the bonds between all children and their families.”

Part of that research has found the traumatic impact of separation on young children can negatively impact them for the rest of their lives. As NAEYC said, “You don’t have to be either a parent or an educator to understand that separating children from their families–and putting them in a place where they cannot be hugged, touched, or loved–causes harm. And not the kind of harm that is easily repaired. This is the kind of harm that is significant and long-lasting, interfering with positive child development and well-being.”

Please take some time and join me in expressing to the administration our opposition to their policies and actions on immigration.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Time for the crescent — The Fairfax County Planning Commission is scheduled to review the Reston Crescent project, a mixed-use development plan that includes a new Wegmans, tonight at 7 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

And time for the full moon — Experience the moon at Frying Pan Park tonight at 8:45 p.m. Attendees between ages seven and above can view the moon through telescopes, take a walk around the farm and enjoy a theme-related dessert. [Fairfax County Government]

Nearby: Unarmed man dies in police custody — Six local police officers have been placed on administrative leave as an investigation continues on how an unarmed, naked man died after encountering police in Northern Virginia. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

“Take a Break” concert series tonight –– Cheich Hamala Diabata brings the traditional music of Mali, mixed with modern grooves, to Lake Anne Plaza tonight at 7 p.m. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Tomorrow: ‘Lunch in the Park’ at Reston Town Center

Reston Town Center Association is hosting a lunch event at Reston Town Square Park tomorrow from noon to 1 p.m.

Gin Dance Company will offer a free one-hour performance. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch to the park. Vapiano and Le Pain Quotidien will offer brown bag specials for take-out orders placed between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Vapiano is offering 10 percent off takeout pizzas and Le Pain Quotidien is offering 20 percent off entree orders of a sandwich, salad, tartine or soup, along with a free dessert.

The event is produced by Reston Town Center Association and Reston Community Center.

Photo via Reston Town Center Association

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Reston Association Board to Consider Improving Design Review Process

Reston Association’s Board of Directors will consider recommendations to make the process of the Design Review Board more efficient at a meeting tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in RA headquarters.

The board will also elect a board president and welcome Catherine Baum, the new apartment owners’ board representative, to the governing body.

According to RA, the volume of applications received by the DRB and staff cannot be processed with current staff resources unless the process is streamlined. The DRB is an independent unit responsible for reviewing exterior improvements of properties within RA.

Under the recommendations, approvals for more “ordinary” applications, which could include signs, storm windows, utility boxes and roofing, would be reviewed by staff.

Some cluster standards applications would be reviewed by a panel of consultations instead of selected members of the DRB. This change would open up the panel’s agenda by 30 percent, according to RA. The DRB would meet monthly to review standard cluster applications with two members of the DRB.

The changes would also increase the DRB application fee for development and redevelopment of sites from $1,350 to $2,250.

The meeting will be live streamed tomorrow. The complete agenda is available online.

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Pet of the Week: Ellie

Becky's Pet Care

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

Meet Ellie, a Great Pyrenees mix available for adoption locally.

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

This is Ellie. She appears to be part Great Pyr — about 60 lbs, HW negative and around 1-2 y/o.

She’s great, low key, sweet and gets along wonderfully with other dogs. Have not ever seen a snarl, growl, or really even a bark.

She’s gorgeous — the whole package.

Are you and Ellie 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.

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