Top Stories This Week

Vapiano at Reston Town Center

Before we head off into Memorial Day weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now this week.

  1. Reston Town Center’s Vapiano is Temporarily Closed Again
  2. Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival and More This Weekend in Reston
  3. Town Center Parkway Underpass Targets Completion in 2032
  4. After Ownership Change, Future of Reston National Golf Course in Question
  5. Report: Facelift Planned for RTC’s Common Areas

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

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Reston Live and More This Weekend in Reston

CORE Foundation hosts “Reston Live,” a music festival featuring live bands, a talent competition, local market and foods vendors, on Sunday.

The event, which takes place at Lake Anne Plaza from 3-8 p.m., will also include a magic show and face painting. Attendees should bring their own lawn or tailgate chair to enjoy the festival.

So far, the following performers are confirmed:

  • Actress and singer Sissy Sheridan
  • Magician Derek Jasper
  • Singer and songwriter Lindsey Hirchfeld
  • Catchin Toads

More information is available online.

Tomorrow (May 25)

  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Bookworms will dive into “The Little Red Fort” and “Fort Building Time” at this weekly book club at Reston Regional Library. Young readers will then get the chance to build something themselves to take home.
  • College Application Essay Workshop (3-4 p.m.) — College applicants will learn more about what college admission officers expect during this free essay workshop at Reston Regional Library.
  • A Star-Spangled Salute (7-8:30 p.m.) — Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a free patriotic concert at Reston Town Center’s Pavilion. The event features The Reston Chorale and Brass of the Potomac. You can also support troops serving overseas by donating items for the Chorale’s Operation Care Package drive.

Sunday (May 26)

  • Bird Walk through Stratton Woods (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Adults can take a stroll through Stratton Woods. Walks are sponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store. No registration is required. Attendees should park at Stratton Woods Park.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Exclusive: Reston Man Fires Gunshots Against Imaginary Kidnappers

A Reston man suffering from hallucinations fired several gunshots against imaginary kidnappers that he said were holding a child hostage in his town home.

The incident happened on May 7, according to court documents filed by the Fairfax County Police Department in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

A police officer arrived on the 1500 block of Poplar Grove Drive after the man told police kidnappers were holding a young child inside his townhome.

When an officer got to the scene, the man ran out of the home with a fully loaded gun, according to police. The officer handcuffed him and searched the townhome.

Police found no one in the home, but did spot two shell casings and evidence that two rounds were fired at a wall. No injuries or damages resulted.

The suspect was released on recognizance, after the man was held involuntarily “for his safety and the safety of the public” under a temporary detention order, according to the documents.

Police executed a search warrant to seize additional weapons from his home.

The suspect was arrested and charged with one misdemeanor count of the reckless handling of a firearm on Tuesday (May 21). He will be arraigned on May 28. 

Reston Now does not publish the identity of suspects involved in cases with mental health implications.

File photo

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Reminder: Send Reston Now Your News Tips, Feedback

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Send us your news tips, press releases and feedback to [email protected] or use our anonymous message form. Our news team does not have a phone line for inbound calls.

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Hunter Mill District Supervisor Election: Meet Maggie Parker

Five Democrats are running for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor after Cathy Hudgins, the current supervisor, announced plans to retire earlier this year. This week, Reston Now will publish candidate statements for each of the candidates. This is the last profile.

Statements, which are in question-and-answer format, are published in the order in which they are received. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had the opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. 

What inspired you to run for this seat?

I’ve always welcomed an opportunity to serve. I thrive on learning, meeting new people, and learning from a broad range of voices. I learned early on that one must consider many perspectives in order to develop a personal viewpoint. I’ve learned that life experiences impact viewpoints, and that thought process is evolutionary. Humans, hopefully, evolve as they age and engage.

I was compelled to run for Hunter Mill Supervisor when it became a vacant seat, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins having announced retirement after 20 years of bold and noble service to Hunter Mill. I am honored to be a candidate; it is privilege.  

Inspiration comes from varied places; I was most fortunate to grow up in a family that was committed to serve. Both my mom and dad were elected officials in my hometown; my two brothers have served their local jurisdictions and my little sister chairs the Board of Education in a town with a school system that rivals that of Fairfax County. My other sister has chaired noble community efforts in California and is a perennial elections officer in her small town. One might say service runs in the family.

What are the three biggest concerns you have for Reston? What do you plan to do address them?

I’m concerned about:

  • Responsible economic growth: Appropriate development in the right places and making sure that our approved development applications are delivered in the highest quality and are integrated with our community. Whether in Reston or Vienna or Herndon, we must make sure that we welcome the new, engage our new residents and business workers, and integrate all with open arms. Reston is a New Town studied by a world-wide audience; as we enter into the ‘next fifty years’ it’s imperative that we be true to the founding tenants.
  • Improved transportation options: Our community needs to respect the fact that we have and will continue to grow, and additional asphalt lanes are a ready solution to congestion. As soon as a lane is built, it is congested, adding exponentially to our carbon footprint. We need to provide safe and connected pedestrian and bicycle pathways, provide overpasses or underpasses across or beneath some of our wide thoroughfares. We need to adapt our suburban-built thoroughfares into a more urban street grid; often slowing traffic results in better throughput through intersections and community centers.
  • Quality of Life for All – Equity in Housing Options: We have a shortage of housing options — running the range from low-income for-sale and for-rent inventory, through housing options for our service workforce, and onto aging in place and/or affordable senior alternatives. We have thought leaders and industry leaders in our community; we can find solutions.

How can the county improve how it manages growth and development in this growing community, especially as it relates to infrastructure needs, transportation, and affordable housing?

The County is doing a good job of working to plan for our future. Like anything, it can always do better. Current attention can to transportation and infrastructure financing options needs to remain a priority, and efforts to evaluate options for means to provide housing diversity are imperative. Solutions come through many avenues, such as developer commitments to provide work force housing programs in new multifamily buildings, developers paying a fee per square foot per commercial development added and convening industry experts to review national best practices for finding and funding diverse housing types. We will need to review zoning code; we can find solutions.

What do you hope to accomplish in this position?

I hope to provide excellent customer service to all of the Hunter Mill constituents, to enable transparent and inclusive conversation about pressing issues and to ably represent the voice of Hunter Mill on a board of ten. I hope to make the voice of Hunter Mill influence the continued success of Fairfax County, and be recognized as the key driver in the County’s prominence.

Photo via Maggie Comstock

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Comstock and County Clash Over the Legality of Campaigning at Reston Station Plaza

Comstock Companies, the developer of Reston Station, has barred political campaigning at Reston Station Plaza — a policy that clashes with the county’s official position on the issue.

Conflicting stances on the permissibility of political campaigning at the plaza has piqued some concerns about the privatization of public spaces in Reston.

A spokesperson for Fairfax County told Reston Now that state election law “doesn’t prohibit campaign activities including voter registration on private property.”

Comstock leases Reston Station Plaza from Fairfax County under a 99-year ground lease. This public-private partnership does not prevent political campaign activities, the county says.

The company, however, has adopted a longstanding policy that political campaigning is not allowed at the plaza, according to Maggie Parker, Comstock’s vice president of communications.

“It would be like me setting up shop on Walter [Alcorn’s] front lawn,” Parker, who is also a candidate in the race for Hunter Mill District Supervisor, said. 

Alcorn, who is also running for the seat vacated by longtime Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, said volunteers from his campaign were recently barred from campaigning outside of the Starbucks on the plaza.

He says a security officer told campaigners that political activity was not allowed at the site.

“It’s unfortunate that what should be publicly usable space is being operated as private space,” Alcorn said. “This is one of the challenging and frustrating things about where we are as a community. We’ve really privatized our public spaces.”

Parker, who has campaign signs plastered along a fence near the entrance to the garage at Wiehle-Reston East, said she is seeking Comstock’s approval for all candidates to campaign at the plaza before the primary election on June 11.

“Given the interest in the campaign, I would like an opportunity to challenge our management and have one day — maybe the Thursday before the primary — for all candidates to come out. I would love to work on that,” Parker said.

Jubal Thompson, general counsel for Comstock Companies, noted that Reston Station Plaza’s unique public-private partnership sets it apart from other Metro stations, which may allow political campaigning.

“Comstock has a 99-year leasehold interest for the exclusive use to the land and the improvements it makes to the property. So effectively Reston Station Plaza is private property with public access rights,” Thompson wrote in an email to Reston Now.

Alcorn also took issue with Parker’s campaign signs on Comstock’s property, which he says muddies the line between private and public interests.

Parker noted that her signs are on private property.

“My company is very enthusiastic and support of the campaign and the signs are all on private property,” she said. “I wouldn’t go stick my signs in someone’s yard without them agreeing.”

Comstock’s marketing team is open to selling sign space to any candidate, she added.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Friday Morning Notes

Six Metro Stations to Close from Memorial Day through September 8 — Fairfax County commuters should plan to travel ahead and avoid gridlock as six Metrorail Blue and Yellow line stations close for major reconstruction and station improvements. County officials are urging commuters to use online tools to travel via transit, ride sharing, and alternate connections.  [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Association Board of Directors Meets to Discuss Boats, Docks, and Other Issues — At the board’s meeting last night, a new at-large director was appointed. Board members also heard findings from the lakes, docks and boats working group, among other issues. [Reston Association]

Ravel Dance Studio Presents “Sleeping Beauty and the Street Scene” — Young dancers will perform a variety of dance genres at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage today at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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