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. Report: Uncle Julio’s and Boston Properties Settle Reston Town Center Parking Lawsuit
  2. Maryland Men Arrested Following Robbery, Gunfire Exchange with Police and Carjacking in Herndon
  3. Neustar to Move Sterling Headquarters to Comstock’s Reston Station
  4. Photos: Golf Course Plaza Redevelopment Plan Heads to Planning Commission
  5. The Wooden Horse at Lake Anne Plaza is Now Headless

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 handout/Fairfax County Government

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‘Dog Daze’ Water Park Event and More This Weekend in Reston

As summer draws to a close, the annual Dog Daze event is tomorrow (Sept. 7).

Community members are invited to bring their dogs to the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) and let their friendly four-legged friends take a dip in the community pool.

All ages are welcome to attend, though dog handlers must be 18 or older. This event runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

A $10 d0nation is suggested for the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and the Fairfax County Park Foundation. There will be prizes and treats for both people and their pets.

Saturday (Sept. 7) 

  • 2019 Craft Market Season (8 a.m.) — Local vendors can show off their arts while community members check out the nearby farmers market. This event is free and will be located at Lake Ann Plaza
  • Elephant and Piggy Day (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) — This free event will take place at the Reston Regional Library Branch and feature lifesize characters from Mo Willems’ “Elephant and Piggy” series. Families are welcome to stop by to meet the characters and take a selfie.
  • Wine Tasting at Balducci’s (2-5 p.m.) — The restaurant is having a wine tasting event with its new private stock from California. Participants can get 25% off when buying 12 or more bottles.
  •  Author Peter Kageyama (8 p.m.) — Author Peter Kageyama will speak at the Reston Community Center about how Reston fits into his version of an ideal city.  Tickets are $15, and his books are available for purchase before and after the presentation.

Sunday (Sept. 8) 

  • 18th Annual Herndon Rotary Car Show (10 a.m.-3 p.m.) — Sponsored by the Herndon Rotary International, this show will feature cars of various makes and models. The event is free for everyone, and there will be prizes offered for registered participants who bring their cars. Later in the day, there will be a panel discussion. It will be held at 777 Lynn Street.
  • Beehive: The 60’s Musical” (showings at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.) — This 60s’ themed performance highlights six women and groups who made an impact on music including the Shirelles, Supremes, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Janis Joplin.
  • Healthy Kids Running Series (3:30 p.m.) — This fun-run event will feature 50- and 75-yard dashes, the quarter-mile, the half-mile and the one-mile run for kids ages 2-14. Top-performing kids in each category will receive a trophy. Registration is $10 on-site at YMCA Fairfax County Reston.
  • Lake House Open House (3-5 p.m.) — Community members are invited to the lake house for a social gathering with their neighbors. Light refreshments will be served and people can learn about how the space can serve them.
  • Country Dance (5:30-8:30 p.m.) — This event invites community members 18 years of age or older to join in a social dance session featuring line dancing, swing and two-step. Tickets are $5 for Reston residents. It will take place at the Reston Community Center.

Photo via Fairfax County

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Fairfax County School Board Considers Pitch to Excuse Absences for Protests and Rallies

The Fairfax County School Board is considering a plan to grant middle and high school students an excused absence for taking part in protests, rallies and walkouts.

The board’s governance committee discussed the proposal earlier this week. If approved, students would be given one excused absence from school per year to take part in “civic engagement activities by providing prior notification to the school with evidence of a sponsored/organized event or activity,” according to the draft proposal.

In a letter submitted to the board in February, board member Ryan McElveen said county schools enforced inconsistent policies when students organized walkouts in response to recent school shootings. He wrote the following in his proposal to the board:

A year ago, the devastating tragedy in Parkland galvanized students, parents, and citizens around the country to call for an end to gun violence, a powerful movement demanding action by our elected representatives that continues to this day. The Fairfax County School Board amplified this advocacy through our Resolution on Gun Violence Prevention, which became a national model for School Board resolutions around the country. School systems cannot oppose nor endorse any specific calls to action, but they are constitutionally obligated to recognize and uphold the first amendment rights of students choosing to engage in political activities that do not infringe on the rights of others or disrupt the instructional day. While FCPS provided guidance to schools about how to respond to students who wanted to walkout in support of gun violence prevention in 2018, there was inconsistent enforcement of those procedures in schools, including how schools designated excused student absences. I have spoken with many community members who would like clearer policy guidance in the event of future civic engagement activities.

The discussion is expected to continue on October 2.

At a September 4 meeting, board members sought to ensure that the proposal would not interfere with the school system’s efforts to curb chronic absenteeism. The school board is still seeking information on the absenteeism status of the county’s schools, whether or not other school districts have adopted similar proposals and the projected impact of the proposal on absenteeism.

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Reminder: Send Reston Now Your Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor

Have thoughts about Reston Now’s coverage of Reston, Herndon and Great Falls? Want to share your opinions about local issues?

Reston Now welcomes letters to the editors and op-eds of specific interest to the Reston, Herndon and Great Falls community.

The key difference is that an op-ed can be an opinion piece about a local issue, while a letter to the editor responds directly to a Reston Now story.

Please email it to [email protected] You are also welcome to contact us with your idea for feedback before submitting it.

While there is no word limit, we suggest under 1,000 words. Contributions may be edited for length, content and style/grammar.

Reston Now does not publish op-eds relating to a specific candidate running for political office — either from the candidate’s team or opponents.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted op-eds and letters to the editor already.

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Colts Neck Road Underpass Art Receives Final Design Approval

Artist Ben Volta’s public artwork for the Colts Neck Road Underpass — which uses more than 700 drawings created by 600 people — has received its final design approval, putting the project on track for installation later this month.

The project — a partnership between Public Art Reston, Reston Association and Atlantic Realty Companies — is the second public art to be permanently installed at an underpass in Reston.

Panels with drawings of interconnected and bright pathways will be set on the exterior and interior walls of the underpass — bringing together artwork created under Volta’s supervision with local students and residents from local senior living communities.

Volta conducted eight workshops with students at Hunters Woods and Dogwood elementary school, students at Southgate Community Center’s after school program, residents of Hunters Woods Fellowship House and Hunters Woods at Trails Edge. Participants were asked to draw a path, drawing on Volta’s inspiration from Reston’s 55 miles of pathways. The Philadelphia-based artist was also inspired by poet Henry David Thoreau’s statement, “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”

Public Art Reston wrote the following about the project:

Philadelphia artist and educator Ben Volta has been selected to create a permanent public artwork for the Reston community at the Colts Neck Road Underpass. A 2015 recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Volta is known for his public artwork, including intricate public murals and sculptures, working within the fields of education, restorative justice, and urban planning. He has a participatory approach to making art and has worked with numerous organizations and schools. According to Volta, his practice “stands on the belief that art can be a catalyst for change, within individuals as well as the institutional structures that surround them.” Volta–who as a young artist was a member of the groundbreaking art collective “Tim Rollins and K.O.S.” (Kids of Survival), in the south Bronx section of New York City–earned his certificate in sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2002 and his BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005.

The final design was approved after months of review, including consideration by an art selection committee and RA’s Design Review Board. A ribbon-cutting is planned for October.

Photos via Public Art Reston

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Herndon Teen Wins National Scholarship for Method to Diagnose Parkinson’s Disease

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development has selected a Neeyanth Kopparapu, 17, of Herndon as a 2019 Davidson Fellows Scholarship winner.

The senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is one of 20 students across the country selected for the program, which offers scholarships between $10,000 and $50,000 for developing projects that have the potential to benefit society in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, and music.

Kopparapu developed what the institute said is the first diagnosis system for early-stage Parkinson’s disease using an MRI scan. The Herndon resident was inspired to create the system — which is accurate nearly 97 percent of the time — after his grandfather was diagnosed with the disease at a late stage and was unable to use commonly-prescribed medication to fight the disease.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Davidson Institute for this recognition of my work in artificial intelligence,” said Kopparapu in a statement. “I am looking forward to meeting other Fellows and becoming part of the Davidson Fellows Scholarship community.”

Siona Prasad, 18, of Vienna, was also selected for the scholarship. Her work to measure and monitor greenhouse gas emissions successfully predicted an emission inventory for Washington, DC. A reception program to honor the fellows is set for Friday, September 27 in the District.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Davidson Institute for this recognition of my work in artificial intelligence,” said Kopparapu, a rising senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria. “I am looking forward to meeting other Fellows and becoming part of the Davidson Fellows Scholarship community.”

Photo via Davidson Institute for Talent Development

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Friday Morning Notes

Deer Management Archery Programs to Begin — “The county’s annual Deer Management Archery Program begins this Saturday, Sept. 7 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. The archery program is conducted in parks and other locations throughout the county under our oversight and working closely with the Park Authority and NOVA Parks.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Goodbye to Plastic Straws — “Suggestions presented by a group of students to the Fairfax County School Board have resulted in a procedural change on the availability of plastic straws in Fairfax County public schools’ cafeterias. For the 2019-20 school year, plastic straws have been removed from the serving lines at middle and high schools.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

North Shore Pool Hours Extended — Reston Association has extended pool hours for North Shore pool for season six. The Pool will be open on weekends from 10 a.m.  to 7 p.m. and from 4-9 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the pool will be open from 4-7 p.m. [Reston Association]

Photo via Flickr/vantagehill

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