Top Stories This Week

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

  1. Reston Residents Accuse Local ‘Music Man’ of Repeated Overcharging
  2. Missing SLHS Teacher Found Dead Near Crashed Motorcycle
  3. Crime Roundup: Request for Cigarettes Turns Violent
  4. At Budget Meeting, Residents Push for Lake Thoreau Pool to Remain Open
  5. Local Committee OKs Isaac Newton Square Proposal

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.

Photo via GoFundMe

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Weekend Pick: Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival

This Labor Day weekend, the 13th annual Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival returns to Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday (August 31).

The festival features an afternoon and evening of jazz on the lake. It takes place from 1-8 p.m.

The following performers are set to take part in the festival, among others:

It is hosted by Lake Anne Plaza and sponsored by Friends of Lake Anne and the Lake Anne Plaza Merchants, with support from Reston Community Center.

Photo via Charlotte Geary Photography

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Photos: Golf Course Plaza Redevelopment Plan Heads to Planning Commission

A plan to rezone Golf Course Plaza, a three-acre parcel on the west edge of Isaac Newtown Square, heads to the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a public hearing on September 12.

The proposal, which has been in the works since May 2016, would bring up to 300 residential units in a nine-story building and an office building to the site, which is located at 11480 Sunset Hills Road.

A three-story parking garage, which is connected to the building with a tunnel, with 554 parking spaces is also planned.

In an August 27 report, the county’s planning and zoning staff recommended approval of the project.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Reminder: Sign Up for Reston Now Email Subscriptions

Since 2013, Reston Now has been reporting news about the Reston and Herndon areas. Recently, we started providing additional coverage of Great Falls.

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What’s Open, What’s Closed on Labor Day

As we head into Labor Day weekend, here’s a look at some area closings and schedule adjustments for the holiday.

Public schools, library, county offices, the county’s animal shelter, General District Court, and Reston Community Center Hunters Woods and Lake Anne will be closed.

The Fairfax Connector will be operating on a Sunday schedule. Metrorail and Metrobus will also operate on a Sunday schedule, with off-peak fares in effect all day. Parking will be free at all Metrorail facilities.

Frying Pan Farm Park’s farm and indoor arena will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but its visitors center will remain closed. More information about county closures is available online.

Reston Association offices, the Central Services Facility and the nature house will close at noon today (Friday) and remain closed on Monday.

The pool schedule for the holiday weekend is below:

Glade, Lake Audubon, Lake Newport: Noon to 7 p.m.

North Shore, Ridge Heights: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In the town of Herndon, government offices will be closed. Recycling collection will be postponed from Monday to Tuesday. The town’s Labor Day festival is set from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the town green.

Photo via Ben White/Unsplash

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New Exhibit Explores Centroid Town of Waterford

Since the first United States Census in 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has recorded the mean center of the population as it moves west and south.

Baltimore-based artist Nate Larson’s explores these centroid towns in the next chapter of his project. The upcoming exhibit, “Centroid Towns: Like a Passing Shadow,” features the town of Waterford, Va., the centroid town of 1810. The exhibit will run from September 28 through January 4.

GRACE wrote the following about Larson:

Nate Larson works with photographic media, artist books, and digital video. His projects have been widely shown across the US and internationally as well as featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including WiredThe Guardian, NPR, HyperallergicNew York TimesThe Washington Post, and Art Papers. His artwork is included in the permanent collections of the High Museum Atlanta, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Orlando Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago. Larson is currently serving as Chair of the Photography Department at MICA / Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

Larson’s previous work featured communities like Ellicott City, Md., Bloomington, In., and Mascoutah, Ill.

The exhibit is supported by Virginia McGehee Friend.

The opening reception is set for September 28 from 5-7 p.m. at Reston Community Center. Larson and GRACE’s executive director and curator Lily Siegel will discuss the exhibit. Creative responses are set for October 3 and 24 at 7 p.m.

Photo via Nate Larson/GRACE

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Friday Morning Notes

County to Host Zoning Open House — “Sheds, home-based businesses, and outdoor lighting on residential properties are some of the topics that will be discussed at the upcoming Zoning Open House on Tuesday, September 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. It will be held in the South County Center Main Conference Room, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria.” [Fairfax County Government]

Hourly Wages to Rent in Reston — “They say home is where the heart is, but a new report by affordable housing advocates also shows that home is where the money is. The typical household in Fairfax County must earn $32.02 an hour to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment at fair market rate, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. In the report, “Out of Reach,” Virginia is said to have the 13th highest ‘housing wage’ in the country.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Lululemon Launches Free ‘Run RTC’ Fitness Program

Lululemon, a Canadian athletic apparel retailer, is launching a weekly fitness program in Reston Town Center next week.

Participants in the program, which is called Run RTC, will meet every Thursday at 6 a.m. outside its RTC location (11957 Market Street).

Each run will be between 25 to 45 minutes in the area.

The event is free and open to all. Registration is open online.

Photo via lululemon

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Months After Fatal Hit-and-run, Police Search for Driver that Killed Local Teen

Local police are still looking for the driver of a car who hit and killed Marvin Daniel Cruz Serrano, 16, of Reston in December.

Police said the vehicle was likely a sedan, according to witness accounts. The make, model and driver of the car are unknown.

The Fairfax County Police Department requests any with information to call the department’s crash reconstruction unit at 703-280-0543. Tips can be submitted anonymously by calling 1-866-411-TIPS or by text by sending “fccs” to 847411.

Seranno was killed while walking across South Lakes Drive towards Castle Rock Square on December 31.

Photo via Madison Grace Shannon/Facebook

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Reston Community Center Candidates’ Forum Set for September 11

Five candidates will participate in Reston Community Center’s candidate forum on September 11. The forum, which will guide voters on their preferences on who should fill three seats on RCC’s Board of Governors, takes place at RCC Hunters Woods at 6:30 p.m.

Voting in the annual preference poll will take place from September 6 through 27.  Ballots will be delivered via mail to Small District 5 residential and commercial addresses after September 5. Voting requires a user ID and PIN to vote online, in-person or by mail.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will appoint members to the three three-year positions based on preferences stated by participants in the poll. RCC’s board is designed to bring social, recreational, cultural and educational activities throughout the district.

First-time candidates Laurie Dodd and Robert Petrine join incumbents Beverly Cosham, Michelle Moyer and Paul Thomas in the race for three positions.

Photos via RCC

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Washingtonian Magazine: Local Waterpark is ‘One of the Region’s Best’

The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax Park has been named one of the region’s best waterparks by Washingtonian Magazine.

The publication, which made different selections based on the type of waterpark, wrote that the water mine was one of the best in the area for children between ages 7 and 11.

“Older children beeline for the three lengthy, winding water slides standing three stories tall,” the magazine wrote. “There’s also a log walk, a lazy river, more slides, and a splash area for younger kids.”

The Fairfax County Park Authority wrote the following about the waterpark:

The Water Mine captures the excitement of the Old West’s Gold Rush with themed attractions including more than an acre of slides, flumes, sprays, showers, floatables, and an interactive water playground. Kids can careen off covered wagons, float on wild animals, dash through showers tipped from water-filled ore carts, or float along the Rattlesnake River, a 725-foot lazy river. The centerpiece is Pete’s Peak, a craggy mountain featuring water slides of various size and intensity. 

Although the water mine will be open tomorrow (Friday) from noon to 6 p.m., it goes to the dogs with a season-ending event on Saturday (September 7) to benefit the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and the Fairfax County Park Foundation.

Photo via FCPA

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Monster Drawing Rally Set for September in Reston Town Center

More than 50 artists will converge at the Greater Reston Art Center’s gallery in Reston Town Center next month for the annual Monster Drawing Fundraiser.

The rally turns the gallery into a public performance space as artists create artworks on-site using the media of choice from 4-8 p.m.

Completed works are hung on the wall and are available for purchase at $75 each. If more than one person is interested in an artwork, the buyer will be determined through a drawing.

All proceeds from the event will benefit GRACE’s exhibition programs.

The event, which is sponsored by Collective Arts Brewing, is free and open for all.

Volunteers can sign up online to help with the event.

Photo via GRACE

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Del. Ken Plum: Electric Vehicles to be the Norm

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.

 

In 1996, I had the great learning experience of chairing the Northern Virginia Electric Vehicle Launch Committee through the sponsorship of the Electric Transportation Coalition (ETC) and the US Departments of Energy and Transportation. The national goal to clean up the air we breathe was the impetus to the study we did in our region as was being done in nine other suburban regions throughout the country. The one-inch thick report we produced–“The Path to an EV Ready Community”–provided a guide that is still relevant and valuable today.
General Motors came out with its EV-1 vehicle which I had the pleasure to drive for a day; prospects were looking good for electric vehicles until suddenly the bottom dropped out of the market. All big manufacturers dropped their testing and production of electric vehicles. Our report was clearly ahead of its time.
Fast forward a couple of decades and electric vehicles have come into their own. All manufacturers I know of are predicting that over the next couple of decades electric vehicles will be the only cars and trucks they produce. They are environmentally clean, outperform traditional cars, need less maintenance, and are safer.
Hybrids that use traditional engines with electric assist have virtually taken over the market. Jane and I felt like pioneers in 2003 when we bought our first Prius. It got great gas mileage, required little maintenance, had less harmful emissions, and ran until we finally traded it in with more than 150,000 miles. Our experiences with the Priuses we bought in 2007 and 2012 were the same.
The path to electric vehicles that my earlier study had considered has made huge strides over the past several years. While Tesla is probably the best known of the electric vehicles, most manufacturers have an all-electric option. Chevrolet has the Bolt and Nissan has the Leaf among the better known models. They will help us reduce our carbon footprint, clean up the air, and more easily adapt to the many new automatic features that are becoming available.
But the shift in the power sources of our vehicles brings new challenges, all of which must be recognized and can be met. At a session “Juicing Up for Electric Vehicles” at the recent National Conference of State Legislatures I attended some of the issues were discussed. How should the sale of electricity be provided and regulated if necessary? Will utilities be able to handle the increased demand? How can equity and access be assured for drivers in the market if prices go up?
Coming with the electric vehicles are many automated features that can make driving safer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that of the over 37,000 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2016, more than 90% had a human error factor. Maybe the new cars will be able to have safety engineered into them.

Continuing my story about electric vehicles that began more than two decades ago, Jane and I purchased a Tesla a week ago. It is environmentally friendly, has many safety features, and will be very comfortable for my numerous trips to Richmond!

File photo

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Thursday Morning Notes

Take a Break Concert Series Today — Enjoy a performance by The Rick Whitehead Trio at Lake Anne Plaza today form 7-9 p.m. The event is free and open to all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Reston Built to Live, Work and Play — “Reston is an unincorporated area in Fairfax County, approximately six miles from Washington Dulles International Airport and 17 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. In 2018, Money magazine ranked it as the Best Place to Live in Virginia due to its many parks, lakes, golf courses and bridle paths and noted the shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities in Reston Town Center.” [The Connection]

Unlawful Entry Reported at Ledura Court Home — Police believe someone entered a vacant condominium on the 11700 block of Ledura Court sometime between August 24 and August 27. Nothing was taken. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Dranesville United Methodist Church Seeks Approval to Add Nursery School and Day Care Program

A new nursery school and day care program could be coming to Dranesville United Methodist Church.

The church, which already has a permit for a private school, is seeking to replace the current private school with a nursery school and day care program.

In an application submitted to Fairfax County on June 19, William Bliven, chairman of the church’s board of trustees, said the switch would “more broadly serve the surrounding community.”

The church is proposing no changes to its facilities, grounds or telecommunications facilities. However, 19 spaces for staff and parents — which are available on site — will be needed. The nursery and childcare program would have a maximum enrollment of 99 — 51 seats less than the previously approved private school.

The hours of the church would be tweaked slightly to accommodate working parents. The new program would be open on weekday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The application was accepted by the county earlier this month. Dates for future county meetings have not yet been docketed.

The church is located at 1089 Liberty Meeting Court in Herndon.

Photo via Google Maps

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