Progressive Climate Change Group to Launch at Great Falls Library

A new statewide progressive advocacy group for climate change is set to launch at Great Falls Library on Saturday (August 17).

The group, Earth Rise Indivisible, seeks to seeks to mobilize the public to address what it calls a “climate crisis.”

The science on the climate crisis is precise; climate change is happening, and can likely be attributed to human activities.  We are impacting every facet of life on our planet destructively.  However, we can take action to save our big blue marble.  Immediate action can stop or reduce potential adverse outcomes,” according to a press release issued by the organization today (Thursday).

The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and features a vegetarian bag lunch, a celebratory happy hour at Old Brogue (760 Walker Road), skill-building workshops, yoga breaks and presentations by Climate Reality and Green New Deal VA.

Registration is open online.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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UPDATED: Reston Under Flood Warning Until This Evening

A flood warning is in effect for Reston and parts of Northern Virginia until 6:45 p.m. today (Thursday).

The National Weather Service says that thunderstorms and heavy rain are likely to cause flooding. More than two inches of rain have already fallen in the region.

Earlier this afternoon, NWS also issued a severe thunderstorm warning, which stated that damaging winds are expected to cause damage to trees. Localized power outages are also likely.

Hail and wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour are expected.

Here’s more from the alert:

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by

downed trees. Localized power outages are possible.

Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

* Locations impacted include… Reston, South Riding, Herndon, Broadlands, Lowes Island, Brambleton, Dulles International Airport, Ashburn, Sterling, Chantilly, Great Falls, Countryside, Arcola, Belmont, Gleedsville and Sterling Park.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

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New Left-Turn Lane to Open at Baron Cameron Avenue

A new third left-turn lane is set to open next week from westbound Route 7 to westbound Baron Cameron Avenue.

The addition of the lane is the first of several major improvements planned for the Route 7 Corridor to improve the flow of traffic.

Construction between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive is ongoing. The project will widen the ride from four to six lanes, add shared-use paths and upgrade several intersections between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.

The speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles per hour in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Delta Glen Court.

Eastbound Route 7 traffic turning right onto westbound Baron Cameron Avenue must yield to oncoming traffic before merging into the through lane.

The new lane will be open to traffic on Monday (August 19).

Map via Virginia Department of Transportation

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Hudgins Joins Opposition to Proposed Shelter for Migrant Children

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins voiced disapproval against the Trump administration’s proposed shelter for migrant children in Northern Virginia.

Hudgins joins other Northern Virginia elected officials — including Fairfax County Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova — who spoke out against the proposal.

“It doesn’t like it its is appropriate and it is certainly not representative of the community we live in,” Hudgins told Reston Now.

Earlier this month, the General Services Administration issued a pre-solicitation notice stating that the government is seeking 110,000 square feet of space for up to 14 years in Arlington, Fairfax Loudoun or Prince William counties.

Hudgins also noted that shelter for unaccompanied children may not meet the needs of the children they house.

“It seems like we should be trying to restore family structure,” Hudgins said.

The proposed shelter could house roughly 440 children.

Virginia currently has shelters for unaccompanied immigrant children in Bistow and Staunton.

File photo

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Council Approves First Bicycle Master Plan for Town of Herndon

With little fanfare and a nod to staff, the Herndon Town Council unanimously approved the town’s first bicycle master plan on Tuesday (August 13).

The plan, which was created by staff and the town’s Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee, offers policy guidance for the town’s bicycle network planning and design, as well as a longterm plan for connectivity and network improvements.

The plan highlights the locations of mixed-use trails, cycle tracks, bicycle lanes, and sharrows —  including future connections. Areas in the center of the town are largely designated for further study.

Council members lauded staff for their work on the plan and the town’s efforts to promote cycling as a viable alternative mode of travel.

Councilmember Pradip Dhakal said the document — which is part of the town’s efforts to seek a national award for being a bicycle-friendly community — was a “step in the right direction.”

“This is a product that I think the town can be proud of,” council member Cesar del Aguila added.

The plan also ensures that connectivity is a priority, especially between new developments, said council member Signe Friedrichs.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Del. Ken Plum: Prekindergarten

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.

When asked at a session at the National Conference of State Legislatures what is the most important thing the government should be doing today, the Honorable Robert “J.B.” Pritzker, the 43rd governor of Illinois, responded “preparing young children to be successful in kindergarten.” His answer was not surprising considering that he had written earlier in a publication of his Pritzker Foundation that “preparing young children to learn the first day they enter kindergarten is the single most important step we can take to ensure better K-12 education, healthier kids, lower poverty rates, increased wage-earning capacity, and a stronger, more competitive workforce.”

He is not a former educator turned politician. He is an extraordinary person, however. According to Wikipedia, he holds more private wealth than any other governor in U.S. history and is the second wealthiest U.S. politician to have ever held office, after Michael Bloomberg. Forbes estimates his personal worth at $3.2 billion including his interest along with his family in the Hyatt hotel chain.

Governor Pritzker along with his wife established The Pritzker Children’s Initiative which directs its investments on a single, attainable goal: that all at-risk infants and toddlers in the United States have access to high-quality early childhood development resources, increasing their likelihood of success in school and life. As the Governor explained further, “Early childhood development is an arena that’s long been overlooked by philanthropy and government. Even programs as large as Head Start cover a very small sliver of the population of at-risk kids. It’s an arena attractive for a private philanthropist like me because I see it as a terrific investment.”

There is an abundance of evidence to support the Governor’s conclusion, but government has been slow to invest in early education as he advocates. While Virginia has made some modest beginnings, there is much remaining to be done by state and local government. There are some hopeful signs. Last week Governor Ralph Northam announced release of an Early Childhood Education Needs Assessment and Draft Strategic Plan for public reviews and comment. Echoing the sentiments expressed by his counterpart in Illinois, Governor Northam said that “when children have access to quality, stable, affordable care during their earliest years they build the foundation they need for future success not only for themselves but for their communities.” I encourage everyone interested in this critically important issue to review the draft plan at vcef.org and to submit their comments on it to [email protected] by August 31, 2019. More information on the plan and an opportunity to discuss it is provided on August 14, 10:00 a.m. at the ACCA Child Development Center, 7200 Columbia Pike, Suite 2, Annandale, VA 22003. Sorry for the last minute notice that I just received.

The Virginia State Chamber of Commerce that has been a consistent supporter of early childhood education is teaming up with the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation for a conference in Richmond on “Smart Beginnings for Virginia’s Workforce Pipeline” for legislators and thought leaders to explore a strong, public-private early childhood system in Virginia.

The evidence of the importance of earlier than kindergarten programs must not be ignored by politicians.

File photo 

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Thursday Morning Notes

Several Teens Rob Juvenile — Police believe two to three teens assaulted a juvenile victim and stole his bike on the 1200 block of Herndon Parkway. The incident happened on August 8. [Herndon Police Department]

Texas Chainsaw Horns Concert Tonight — Enjoy rhythm and blues at the weekly summer concert series at Lake Anne Plaza from 7-9 p.m. The event is free and open for all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Leidos Secures Contract to Support Nuclear Detection Office — “The Operations Support and Studies II contract continues the Reston technology company’s work with the U.S. National Data Center, which detects and tracks nuclear-based events globally.” [The Washington Business Journal]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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