Weekend Discussion Topics

Before we head off into the weekend (which finally feels like fall!), let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Some Members Decry Poor Upkeep of Hidden Creek Country Club
  2. Decision on ‘Midline’ Delayed to November Again
  3. Renovations Proposed for Sheraton Reston Hotel
  4. CVS Pharmacy to Open in Reston Station
  5. Final Vote on Residential Project at Reston Arboretum Expected Next Week

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.

File photo

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Reston Association’s Design Review Board Seeks New Member

Reston Association is looking for a member to join its Design Review Board, an independent body that decides on cases involving design covenants set by RA’s design guidelines.

Specifically, the body is seeking a design profession to volunteer for the position. All terms are for three years.

The nine-member body meets on the first, second and fourth Tuesday evening of each month in panels with three members. The entire board meets once a month on the third Tuesday evenings. All meetings take place at RA’s conference center at 7 p.m.

The following is a breakdown of the DRB’s responsibilities, as provided by RA:

Interpret, administer and render decisions involving the Design Covenants in the Reston Deed of Dedication

Propose amendments to the Design Guidelines to the Board of Directors

Developing administrative and application procedures

Review and render decisions on applications for improvements and alterations to property

Consider and decide appeals from applicants and affected parties

Consider requests for temporary exception permits

A volunteer application is available online.

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Save the Date: Monster Drawing Rally Set for Dec. 1

For the second time in two years, Greater Reston Art Center‘s gallery will be transformed into a public performance space for the Monster Drawing Rally, a live drawing event, and fundraiser.

The event, set for Dec. 1 from 1-5 p.m., draws artists from the Greater Washington area and challenges them to create artwork on-site using their preferred medium. The artwork is hung on the wall and available for purchase for $75 each. If more than one person wants to purchase the artwork, a draw of cards determines the winner.

In a new addition this year, Jessica Stafford Davis, founder of The Agora Culture, a national online multicultural arts platform, and the team at STABLE, a DC-based studio complex, will help event organizers select and invite participating artists.

All proceeds benefit exhibition programming at GRACE.

Here’s more from organizers about Davis and STABLE:

Jessica Stafford Davis is the founder of The Agora Culture LLC (TAC), a national online multicultural arts platform that supports emerging artists of color and collectors at all level through educational programming, art salons, and the annual Art on the Vine exhibition in Martha’s Vineyard. Art on the Vine is one of the only contemporary African-American art fairs presenting critically-acclaimed, institutional level work in the United States, and features a four-week residency created by Ms. Stafford Davis to give young artists of the African diaspora a space to continue to explore their practice.

Ms. Stafford Davis is the 2018 and first recipient of the Arena Stage Emerging Leader Award. She currently serves on the board of The Smith Center for Healing in the Arts, is a member of the George Mason University School of Art Advisory Board and ArtTable. She previously served as a member of the board of Washington Project for the Arts. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science from George Mason University. Jessica resides in McLean, Virginia, with her two sons.

STABLE is a DC-based studio complex that provides visual artists with an active, affordable workspace to pursue their profession. STABLE’s mission is to strengthen DC’s contemporary visual arts community by providing sustainable studio space, fostering an engaged, diverse community, and extending access to local, national, and international audiences through partnerships, programming, and exhibitions. STABLE was co-founded by  Tim Doud, Linn Meyers, and Caitlin Teal Price.

Photo via GRACE

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In Civil Suit, Three Herndon Town Council Candidates Allege Council Member Took Part in Malicious Prosecution

Herndon Town Councilmember Grace Wolf Cunningham is facing a civil suit filed by a trio of candidates, including two current councilmembers, who allege Cunningham, also a council candidate, engaged in malicious prosecution over the summer.

The Sept. 24 suit, filed by Cesar del Aguila, Sheila Olem and Signe Friedrichs, alleges that Cunningham filed three complaints with the Virginia Department of Elections claiming the candidates violated state campaign ad law based on “personal, vindictive reasons.”

Cunningham filed the complaints following a meeting by Dranesville Magisterial District Democratic Committee, which met in late June to recommend six candidates to the Fairfax County Democratic Committee for endorsement. Cunningham was the only candidate who was not recommended by the committee, according to the complaint.

All three complaints were unanimously dismissed by the Virginia State Board of Elections on Sept. 20. Four days after the decision, which took about a minute-and-a-half to reach, the candidates filed the civil suit against Cunningham.

In an email to Reston Now, Cunningham, who has served on the Town Council since 2010, said there was not much to comment on because the matter is ongoing litigation. A motion by her attorney to dismiss the case was denied earlier today.

John Farrell, the plaintiff’s attorney, said a decision on the case is pending and subpoenas to six of Cunningham’s “allies,” including Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel, have been delivered.

“We believe this was a concerted effort and that there are documents that she sent them that prove that she was filing her case for malicious reasons,” Farrell said.

The first complaint against Friedrichs stated a grip card that said “Herndon’s Future is Happening Now: Let’s plan it together” contained no identification about the campaign committee that paid for the card. The second complaint against del Aguila did not form a campaign committee and did not file any campaign finance disclosure reports. TThe final complaint against Olem challenges a grip card that stated “Moving Forward Herndon.”

The state’s elections board found all of Cunningham’s complaints were unfounded.

Del Aguila, Olem and Friedrichs are seeking $50,000 in compensatory damages and $100,000 punitive damages. Olem and Friedrichs are current councilmembers.

The complaint filed by the trio goes on to say that Cunningham sought to damage the other candidates’ electoral prospects by “subjecting them to unfounded allegations of campaign advertisement violations, and by forcing them to defend themselves at a public hearing before the Virginia State Board of Elections.”

That process damaged the candidates public standing and threatened their electoral prospects, according to the complaint. It also states that Cunningham was willful, wanton, and malicious, in the sense of acting with ill will, malevolence, grudge, spite, wicked intention, and a conscious disregard for Plaintiffs’ rights.”

Descriptions of the dismissed complaints filed by Cunningham are below and were obtained by Reston Now:

“Cesar Del Aguila is a candidate for Town Council in the Town of Herndon and running in the Nov 6th General Election. His affiliates have been doorknocking and handing out his campaign literature that is allegedly paid for and authorized by “Friends of Cesar” – there is no campaign committee of that name in the entire state,

Cesar Del Aguila has violated campaign finance reporting requirements that he form a campaign committee nor has he filed any of the required campaign finance disclosure reports.

Signe Friedrichs is a candidate for Town Council and up for election in the Nov 6th General Election in the Town of Herndon. Residents are being doorknocked and handed her campaign literature that does not have any disclaimers as to who paid and authorized this piece of printed campaign literature.

No identification of whose campaign committee paid for and authorized this palm card [by Signe for Herndon]”.

Photo via Virginia Department of Elections

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What’s Going On In Reston This Weekend?

Reston Community Players’ first show of their 52nd season kicks off tonight with a performance of Hairspray. The musical is presented in partnership with Music Theatre International.

Tonight’s show begins at 8 p.m. and performances are scheduled for Saturday and next weekend as well. Details about upcoming shows are available online. Tickets are $28 for adults and $24 for seniors and students.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • If you’d rather see a show about South Africa’s fragile democracy, you can take part in a viewing and discussion on the topic at Reston Regional Library today from 2-4:15 p.m.
  • Halloween is just around the corner and kids between the age of six months and 12 years can enjoy the first-ever “Boo at the Pool” at the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center from 1:45-2:30 p.m. Registration is $4 for Reston residents and $8 for all others. Treat will float for little ones and others will sink into the pool for a little more adventure.
  • If you’d rather keep water out of Halloween fun, infant and kids up to 8 years old can take part in Halloween Family Fun Day at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The event includes carnival games, a musical performance and a puppet show. The event is free.
  • Keep Reston beautiful by taking part in a fall stream clean up on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will meet up at Hunters Woods Village Center to help restore Reston’s streams. All ages are welcome but kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Reston Association also needs help monitoring local streams on Saturday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Volunteers will work with a small team to collect data and identify insects, with the ultimate goal of assessing the health of the stream.
  • A book club about books and their movie adaptations is set for Sunday at 4 p.m. at Scrawl Books. This month’s book is Crazy Rich Asians.
  • Reston Town Center will become the site of a 4K walk and run organized by Shatterproof, a national organization that aims to end the stigma against addiction. The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon.
  • RA is also organizing a chartered bus trip to Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Reston’s sister city of Columbia, Md. Participants will enjoy a buffet lunch and see “Ain’t Misbehavin'”. The event will run from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tickets are $75 for RA members and $85 for all others.
  • On Sunday, bestselling author and LGBTQ activist Armistead Maupin will speak at the RCC Hunters Woods at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for Reston residents and $30 for all others.
  • Kids can test their opening tactics and ending strategies at Reston Regional Library’s chess club for kids on Sunday from 2-3 p.m.
  • The 20th anniversary of Acoustic Jam is on for Sunday from 1-4 p.m. The event, which takes place at Frying Pan Farm Park, is free.
  • And Professor Harry Butowsky’s six-part lecture series on the history of World War II continues on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Reston Regional Library.

Photo via Reston Community Players

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Friday Morning Notes

Chinchillas, hedgehogs and hermit crabs — Having these pets could be legal soon. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is looking into changing the definition of commonly accepted pets. The change was spurred by a 12-year-old desire to legally own a hedgehog. [WTOP]

Firing off on a firefighter — A 50-year-old woman who was being taken to the hospital in an ambulance attacked a firefighter and caused several minor injuries. She was charged with assault on a firefighter. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Feedback sought on Fairfax County Parkway improvements — Local and state officials are working on a longterm plan to improve the parkway and Franconia-Springfield Parkway. An online survey is available through Nov. 19. [Virginia Department of Transportation]

Photo by Richard Knapp

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