DIY Art Studio to Open in Herndon Early Next Year

A new studio to make wooden art is opening early next year in Herndon.

AR Workshop Reston, which currently has a location in Loudoun County, plans to open at the Reston-Herndon Business Park (315 Spring Street) in January.

Co-owners Michelle Shepard and Jacqueline Maglione, who have been friends for more than a decade, said the Herndon location is currently under construction. They hope to create a space where friends and families can come and create together.

Patrons can make home decor like wood signs and centerpiece boxes at the studio. The business offers more than 900 deign options. Bookings for kids parties and other group events are available.

“We empower our guests to be creative and learn how to use power tools. Each project begins with a stencil and raw wood, but leaves as a gorgeous new piece of Home Decor the guest will be proud of,” they said.

The business is currently hiring part-time instructors.

The co-owners met through their children. They look forward to launching the new location in the coming year. An exact opening date has not been set yet.

Photos via AR Workshop Reston

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LA Fitness Studio in Herndon Opening Earlier Than Expected

The LA Fitness coming to Herndon is going to open earlier than previously expected.

The center at 494 Elden Street is now expected to open on Jan. 16 at the recently remodeled Herndon shopping center, according to a company representative.

Kristhian Reyes, the general manager of the location, originally thought the fitness studio was going to open around early February.

“Our Herndon location will be the biggest location in the state of VA,” Reyes said on Facebook.

Those interested in membership can preregister online. Memberships cost roughly $45 per month and personal training will be available on-site for an extra charge.

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Nova Labs to Host Market with Items Made from 3D Printers, Laser Cutters

An upcoming event in Reston will offer patrons a chance to purchase out-of-the-box holiday gifts.

Artisans from Nova Labs, Inc. will display gifts made from 3d printers and laser cutters at a maker market and artisan fair this weekend.

Nova Labs, Inc. (1916 Isaac Newtown Square West), a nonprofit organization that offers artisans tools and equipment to create items, will display work like glassware, personalized items, vases, cards, and jewelry at the fair, which is set for Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The fair will also include blacksmithing demonstrations, tours, a magic sandbox and virtual reality rooms.

The event is free and open to all.

Photo via Unsplash

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Legal Insider: Supreme Court to Decide Whether Sex Discrimination Laws Cover LGBT Employees

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By John V. Berry, Esq.

On October 8, 2019, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments as to whether or not Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 involving sex discrimination applies to LGBT employees.

The U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal are currently split on the issue. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will focus on the text of the law, not politics, and do the right thing here. In my opinion, the Civil Rights Act clearly protects LGBT employees from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender status. The civil rights law was written broadly and anticipates other forms of sex discrimination.

The Three Cases

The Supreme Court heard three combined cases on the issue during oral argument. They involve 3 employees, two gay males and one transgender female. The two men were fired due to their sexual orientation and the transgender woman was fired from her employment because of her gender identity. A link to the synopsis on Scotusblog can be found here.

Common Sense Should Prevail

As with so many other issues in the law, common sense has been distorted through the various legal arguments. Most individuals know that “sex” discrimination is discrimination based on some aspect of sex. Those opposing the inclusion of LGBT employees from sexual discrimination protections have tried to twist the plain meaning of the statute’s wording by claiming it to be different than it reads.

To some, it could reasonably appear that LGBT employees are attempting to enlarge the definition of a law which was meant to protect women from sex discrimination back in 1964. However, the law was also meant to broadly define sex discrimination, which can happen to anyone, regardless of whether they are straight, LGBTQ or otherwise. Opponents have argued that gender identity, sexual orientation and sex discrimination have multiple different meanings in an effort to confuse the issue.

One of the arguments put forth seems to make the concept clear to me:

The argument before the Court is that sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination under Title VII, because when an employer fires a male employee for dating men, but does not fire a female employee who also dates men, the employer discriminates based on sex. 

History of Sex Discrimination Law is Non-Existent

Furthermore, Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination was a last-minute inclusion in the Civil Rights Act that was intended to scuttle the bill by former Congressman Howard Smith from Virginia. Apparently, Congressman Smith elicited laughter from his colleagues when he proposed this addition at the last minute. He must have been shocked when the sex discrimination law passed Congress.

As a result, the definition was left broad, without any hearings and debate to define it. Many courts and the EEOC have concluded that the law was intended to protect LGBT employees. Hopefully, the Supreme Court will do the right thing here. Nobody should be subject to sex discrimination.

A ruling, either way, is probably likely to be 5-4, either way. The swing justice is likely Justice Neil Gorsuch, who has taken the view that the text was clear in that sex discrimination could include these forms of discrimination. If the 3 employees prevail it will likely be because Justice Gorsuch and/or Kavanaugh rule with them. However, if the Court rules against LGBT employees, it will only be a matter of time before a future Supreme Court overrules them and the justices that supported this type of discrimination will be remembered poorly.

Conclusion

If you are in need of employment law representation or advice, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Town of Herndon Moves Forward on Free WiFi, Charging Station in Downtown Herndon

Free WiFi and a new electric vehicle charging station is coming soon to downtown Herndon.

The Herndon Town Council is considering amending its agreement with Vivacity Networks to add an electric vehicle charging station and set up WiFi and smart city functionality in the town.

The council will discuss changes to the agreement at a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday).

Last year, the town announced a plan to launch a pilot program to bring LED lights and free WiFi to the downtown area.

In response to questions about the implementation of the project, a town spokeswoman told Reston Now that the town will release more information about the project soon, including when free WiFi will go live.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. tomorrow (Dec. 3) at the Herndon Council Chambers building (765 Lynn Street).

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Walker Nature Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Nature House

This Sunday (Dec. 8), the Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its indoor facilities.

The center invites the community to come by its Nature House for an afternoon of nostalgia and celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. The event features live music, guest appearances from Santa and the center’s mascots, ornament crafting, sing-alongs and a cake-cutting ceremony.

The event organizers also ask that attendees bring along photos that they’ve previously taken and hang them to a wall along with written notes about memories surrounding the center, which will be on display through January.

A cake-cutting ceremony will take place at 1:15 p.m. and Santa is expected to arrive around 3 p.m.

Before the Nature House opened in 2009, the center was forced to turn people away due to a variety of reasons, Katie Shaw, the center’s manager said. Inclusion of the nature house was a gamechanger, she said.

The implementation of the facility allowed the center to host guests and student groups regardless of inclement weather, which Shaw said often left dozens of kids disappointed when their field trip was canceled.

“The fun goes on, the learning goes on. It has been wonderful,” she said.   

Though the Walker Nature Center is nearly as old as Reston, Robert Simon included a suggestion for an indoor nature facility in his original plans, which was finally built thanks to financial assistance from the Friends of Reston.

Now, the center includes on-site naturalists to answer community questions, running water and plumbing, seasonal programs for all ages, event space and even an environmental film series for adults.

“Our environment, especially here in Reston, is under a lot of pressure now,” Shaw said. “Having this center here in the middle of this community engages people in something bigger than themselves.”

Photo via Friends of Reston

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Monday Morning Notes

Reminder to Sign Up for Fairfax Alerts — The county is reminding residents to sign up for the alert system in order to keep up to date with winter travel news. [Fairfax County Government]

FCPS Scores High on Environmental Ranking — “Fairfax County Public Schools has earned “Platinum” status in the Virginia School Board Association’s “Green Schools Challenge” for 2019.” [Inside NoVa]

Annual Holiday Gift Shopping Event Set for Saturday — Reston Community Center’s annual “Gifts from the HeART” shopping event returns this Saturday (Dec. 7) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to all. [Reston Community Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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