Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Drops Flavors of Fall Festival

For years, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce has sponsored and hosted the Flavors of Fall Festival.

But this year, the organization will drop the one-day flavors event, which gives attendees the chance to savor the flavor of autumn brews and food from area restaurants.

Low turnout over the last several years, as well as new priorities for the organization, pushed the chamber to drop the event this year.

GRCC’s Board of Directors and staff issued the following statement earlier today (July 18):

The very popular and successful Taste of Reston is not affected by this announcement and will go on as scheduled next June.

A sincere thank you to the chamber membership for the countless volunteers and support of Flavors of Fall. Thank you to Boston Properties for providing the Reston Town Center venue for the past ten years. We would also like to thank all of the sponsors and participants who made this event a part of their autumn schedules. 

The change of plans will not affect the Pumpkin 5K and Kids Dash, which has seen increases in turnout. That event is set for October 13 at Reston Town Center.

Photo by Don Renner

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Reston Eateries to Participate in Summer Restaurant Week Next Month

Foodies can enjoy discounted prix fixe meals in mid-August during the Metropolitan Washington Summer Restaurant Week.

More than 200 restaurants in the District, Maryland and Virginia are set to participate in the event, which takes place from Monday, August 12 to Sunday, August 18. Restaurants will offer brunch and lunch for $22 and dinner for $35.

In Reston, four eateries will provide discounted lunch and dinner:

Restaurant menus have not yet been posted on the event’s website. Guests taking part in restaurant week can also sign up for a diner rewards program, which gives guests who opt-in exclusive access to deals on meals and prizes.

The event is organized by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, a regional trade association that represents restaurants and the food-service industry in the DC-area.

Photo via RAMV

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Neighbors Dispute Two-Story Addition to Round Pebble Lane Home

A dozen Reston residents voiced criticism for a new two-story addition to a home on Round Pebble Lane Tuesday night (July 16).

Neighbors said the two-story structure, which was approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board in January, was incompatible with the neighborhood and set precedent for applicants seeking approvals for home additions.

Criticism of the DRB’s decision during the board’s meeting this week comes months after the approval and the appeals period granted by Reston Association.

The project is located at 1148 Round Pebble Lane and includes a two story addition. The application was approved with several conditions, including a requirement that all colors, materials, windows, doors, light fixtures, and other exterior elements match the existing home.

Holly Weatherwax, a local realtor, said that neighbors did not have enough information about the project when they signed off on the proposal.

“It looks like it belongs in Colonial Williamsburg, not in our street,” Weatherwax told the DRB.

Other residents said the structure — which is roughly 2,700 square feet — is incompatible with the community and is not sufficiently screened from Reston Parkway and neighboring properties. Some unsuccessfully pushed members of the DRB to respond to their comments at the meeting. Per the DRB’s rules and procedures, the board reviews members comments and does not respond directly to member comments when there is no application to consider at the meeting.

Weatherwax suggested that the DRB should ask residents to initial all pages of application in order to ensure residents are well-aware of proposed projects. She said the DRB’s approval on Round Pebble Lane should be an exception — not a precedent-setting new normal for future structures with similar design elements.

Residents said they were unaware of the nature of the application and did not know the appeals period had passed.

The project is currently under construction.

Photos by Holly Weatherwax

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Del. Ken Plum: A Dysfunctional House

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.

The House of Delegates broke all records for brevity last week when it adjourned 90 minutes after convening. It was not because the 100-member body had become so efficient that it got all its work done; to the contrary it demonstrated how dysfunctional the body has become over the last several decades.

Brought together at the call of the Governor as he is constitutionally authorized to do, the House and the State Senate were asked to enact legislation in response to the gun violence that takes the lives of more than 1,000 citizens of our state each year including the most recent tragic mass murders of a dozen people in a Virginia Beach municipal building. The Republican majorities in both houses instead chose, on a partisan vote, to adjourn the Special Session before legislation on gun safety could even be discussed. Tellingly, the Special Session is adjourned until November 18 which happens to also be past the date of the next election.

The charade of sending the eight bills the Governor had recommended, along with the two dozen or so others that had been introduced, to the Crime Commission for study is laughable. All these bills had been introduced before and defeated in small subcommittees. There is little more that can be said about these bills other than they become more popular with the public as gun violence increases. The bill I introduced on universal background checks has been thoroughly examined over many years and in public opinion has an approval rate among voters hovering around 90 percent.

The argument that there was not time to hear the bills doesn’t ring true when you consider that a regular session of the General Assembly earlier this year considered more than 2,500 bills and resolutions in about a month and a half. All the weaving and bobbing and flimsy excuses are intended to cover up that the House of Delegates and the State Senate under present leadership have become dysfunctional.

The rules under which the Special Session was to be conducted were kept from the members and the public until the session convened even though the leadership had known the date for weeks from the Governor’s call for the session. Even more the sinister plan to do nothing by adjourning both houses came as a surprise to everyone but the smallest number of members in the Republican leadership.

One of the biggest problems in the House with its organization and operation is that the Speaker serves not as Speaker of the House but as head of the Republican majority. As a result there is no neutral arbiter to convene and conduct the business of the House. When I talked with the Right Honourable John Bercow M.P. of the British House of Commons a couple of months ago he spoke of his role as a neutral person who ensures that the House operates fairly. There is no pretense in the Virginia House that the Speaker is anything other than head of the majority party and operates the House not in fairness or impartiality but to the advantage of the majority even if that majority is secured by only one or two votes.

The House is dysfunctional as it currently operates and needs reform in the role of the Speaker.

 

File photo

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Weather Alert: Excessive Heat Watch in Effect for Three Days

(Updated at 2:19 p.m.)

An excessive heat watch is in effect for most of the day tomorrow (Friday),  Saturday (July 20), and Sunday (July 21), according to the National Weather Service.

Heat index values could hover around 110 to 115 degrees, with temperatures in the mid-90s to around 100 degrees.

Here’s more from the NWS alert:

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks

in shaded or air conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency – call 911.

Photo via NWS_BaltWash/Twitter

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Thursday Morning Notes

Fairfax County to Seek Flood Recovery Funds — “At its July 16 meeting, the county’s Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency for Fairfax County as a result of the July 8 torrential rainstorm that caused substantial damage to both public and private property. The heavy rains caused several county closures, numerous road closures, damage to homes, businesses, roads and dams as well as multiple rescues from our fire and rescue personnel of motorists stranded in flooded roadways.” [Fairfax News]

Previous Charges for Sex Offender in Custody for Assault in Reston — Gregg MacDonald reports that the suspect arrested in connection with a June 11 sexual assault was originally convicted of a sex crime in Greenville, S.C. in 2006. He is listed as wanted in the Virginia State Police Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. [Fairfax County Times]

Free Yoga on Reston Station Plaza Today — Beloved Yoga hosts a free yoga session for all at Reston Station Plaza today from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Yoga sessions continue throughout the summer. Attendees should bring water, a mat and a “zen-ready mind,” according to event organizers. [Reston Station]

Photo by vantagehill/Flickr

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