Silver Line Phase 2 Construction Over 60 Percent Complete

According to a quarterly update provided Wednesday to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, construction of the Phase 2 of the Silver Line extension to Loudoun County has passed 60 percent completion.

Capital Rail Constructors reports that after nearly 4.4 million manhours of work, 61.12 percent of construction is done. They say the design process is 99.97 percent done.

The facility construction of the Reston Town Center station has continued with steel erection that started in May and will continue through August. Mechanical work projected to happen until fall 2018.

The Herndon Station will wrap up its metal decking by the end of August and start work on the roofing and skylights. The facility work of the station is estimated to be completed by this fall.

The MWAA is overseeing construction of the 11.4-mile project, which began in July 2013 and consists of six stations from the Reston Town Center station to the Ashburn station.

Despite the station construction steadily moving forward, the Silver Line extension will not be done for another three years. Construction on the cable trough is only 44 percent complete, and there are other track adjustments to make before everything is finalized.

WTOP reported earlier this week that the series of delays that pushed the opening back to 2020 will cost $95 million. The delays are being caused by a series of design changes, including safety-related work.

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What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

While the days will be hot this weekend, the evenings will be “cool.”

Enjoy outdoor summer fun at Reston Station this weekend as part of its “Summerbration” series. Tonight from 7-9 p.m., By & By will perform. Saturday night from 8:30-10:30 p.m., there will be a free screening of “The Lorax.” The Summerbration events outside the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will continue through the end of August. (Note: To receive free parking for these events, parking tickets need to be validated by personnel on the plaza. Find the sign that reads “Parking Validation Here.”)

Saturday night, Reston Town Center will continue its summer concert series with Scythian, a gypsy folk rock group. Parking at RTC is free on the weekends.

There are tons of other great events around Reston this weekend. Be sure to take a look and stay cool.

  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August. Also this weekend, Dr. Tuliza Fleming, curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, will visit Reston for a discussion with Bailey. That free event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
  • The Reston Community Center’s July exhibit, “Nature’s Allure,” will continue to be on display through the end of the month at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.).
  • On Sunday, there will be an Art in the Park event at Reston Town Square Park with the Shenandoah Conservatory. From 7-8 p.m., join Robert Larsen for a special evening of jazz trio standards. If jazz isn’t your speed, there will be another Art in the Park event Sunday at 3 p.m. that’s a bit more hands-on. Called “Basic Bead Making,” the event invites children of all ages to come together to transform scraps of paper and magazines into beads.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Lake Anne is also hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, bring the kids out for Family Games Day at Herndon’s Town Hall Square. Cornhole, sack races and more will be part of the free family activity, which starts at 10 a.m.
  • Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza N.) is hosting is “Reston Stories” exhibit through this month. The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has been collecting residents’ stories and preserving them for future generations. The collection includes stories about volunteering in Reston, the Fountain at Lake Anne Plaza, the early history of Reston and the amazing connections we make in our community.
  • Join Berthold Academy and Eastern Ridge School on Saturday and Sunday for a workshop that dives deep into the topic of connecting your children to nature. Experts from Eastern Ridge School will talk to attendees about how to keep children deeply rooted to nature and the outside.
  • Keep exercising Sunday with Athleta in the Reston Town Center pavilion for a free barre class that welcomes anyone.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include: Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) from 7-10 p.m every Friday and Saturday night; CraftHouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m.
  • Kalyspo’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from Lawn Dart Incident tonight from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Saturday night, DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits.
  • Children’s music artist Guava Jelly will be at Reston Town Center Saturday at 10 a.m. for a free show. The artist creates and performs music infused with a lively island feel meant for both kids and adults.
  • If you’re in Leesburg this Saturday, making sure not to miss the Village at Leesburg Block Party. The free party runs from 3-8 p.m. and will feature music, food and family activities.
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Friday Morning Notes

Lake Anne Brew House Earns Best Brewery Spot — Determined by the results of the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup, Lake Anne Brew House is one of three breweries that have shared the title of Best Brewery from Virginia Craft Beer magazine. [Virginia Craft Beer]

Gillespie, Northam Confirmed for Debate — The two gubernatorial candidates will participate a debate in Tysons on Sept. 19, hosted by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press” will moderate. [NOVA Chamber]

Former Clyde’s Chef Now in Charlottesville — Patrick Carroll, who formerly served as executive chef with Clyde’s of Reston, has been tapped as the new executive chef at Three Notch’d Brewing Company in Charlottesville. The craft brewer is investing nearly $3 million to expand its restaurant. [Gov. Terry McAuliffe]

Terry McAuliffe on ‘The Daily Show’ — The Virginia governor was on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” earlier this week, talking about how he challenged the Trump Administration’s voter fraud commission. He also weighed in on the GOP’s effort to repeal Obamacare. [The Daily Show]

Suspected Child Predator Nabbed — Jerberth Adallir Palma, 43, of Springfield, was arrested July 13 by Fairfax County Police and charged with numerous sex crimes against children. Detectives believe there might be other victims.  [Fairfax County Police Department]

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Designer From Local Area Has HGTV Pilot That Will Air Later This Month

Lauren Liess has been a face in the Northern Virginia interior-decorating scene for years.

Now Liess, formerly of Herndon and now of Great Falls, has the opportunity to spread her knowhow nationwide.

Liess and her husband, David, are now the stars of their own television show, “Best Home on the Block.” A pilot episode will air on HGTV — and if the response is good enough, it could become a regular series.

Her company, Lauren Liess & Co., was founded in 2010 with the intent to offer stylish full-scale interior design to residents of the D.C. area. She’s worked on clients across the country and many lavish homes in D.C.

Liess also has a blog, Pure Style Home, and an Instagram account with over 50,000 followers. Her rustic style combined with contemporary accents has garnered her a massive following — and the attention of HGTV.

In a blog post last month, Liess said the process to create the show began last spring and filming wrapped up a few months ago.

It was seriously creatively satisfying to get the chance to design, renovate & decorate a home on such a short timeline and we all (especially our clients!!) got a major dose of instant gratification. I used mostly vintage and ready-made furnishings (with a few special custom projects thrown in!) to meet our deadline and it was such a blast.

The pilot will take a different turn from the usual house-flip shows that have dominated HGTV the past few years. Instead, the Liesses plan to follow “underwhelming” houses in the D.C. area and document the renovation process.

“We looked for clients and found a super-sweet couple,” Leiss said in a Facebook Live video announcing the show. “We renovated their house from top to bottom and did it in a really short time period.”

trailer for the show shared by Liess on Facebook shows off blocks of D.C. suburbs crowded with identical homes, while Liess and her husband comment about how they’re all boring and the same. The pair works to deliver a complete renovation on one of them, inside and out.

The pilot episode of “Best Home on the Block” will air Sunday, July 30, at 2 p.m. on HGTV.

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Residents Reminded To Be Wary of Jury Duty Phone Scams

A jury duty scam that circulated in 2014 has returned, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office says.

Several Fairfax County residents have recently reported phone calls from a man claiming to be named “Sergeant Davis.” Victims are told that they have an outstanding warrant and must provide credit card information or purchase a Green Dot money card from Walgreens or CVS to wire over to the scammer.

The perpetrator has attempted several angles in order to scam money off residents. People have been told that they have missed a jury duty court date, failed to pay a utility bill or owe the IRS for unpaid taxes.

According to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office:

Telephone scammers, FALSELY claiming to be Sheriff’s deputies, are seeking personal information and threatening you with arrest so that they can take your money. The scammers may request credit card information for court costs and provide you with a “new” court date. Or they will direct you to go to Walmart, CVS or Rite Aid and purchase a green dot money card. PLEASE HANG UP on these scammers! Do not give out personal information such as your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers, passwords or any other identifying information about yourself or your family members. Regularly monitor all of your monetary accounts and always use strong passwords.

Learn more about avoiding various scams, how to recover from identity theft and how to report if you have been the victim of a financial crime. Please share this information with your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Anyone who thinks they have fallen victim to one of these scams should report it through the county’s Financial Crimes Information and Reporting System.

Similar scams have been reported in other jurisdictions, including Arlington.

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Jury Gives Maryland Man More Than a Century Behind Bars for Area Rim Thefts

A Loudoun County jury this week told a Maryland man that his penchant for stealing wheels would cost him a lifetime in prison.

Jason Brooks, 37, who police have connected to multiple tire and rim thefts in the area, was sentenced Tuesday to more than 137 years behind bars. His arrest in 2016 followed two previous felony charges for grand larceny in Loudoun County with intent to sell stolen property.

Brooks’ sentence includes being found guilty of six counts of grand larceny, six counts of larceny with intent to sell, three counts of destruction of property and three counts of tampering with an automobile. Police in Fairfax County have said that Brooks has also been connected to seven different tire and rim thefts here between March and July 2016, two of which occurred in Herndon.

According to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Brooks’ apartment and a storage unit rented in his name contained bags of lug nuts, lug nut keys and business cards for “Jay’s Deals on Wheels.”

Following the guilty verdicts, according to an official statement, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Pohlner asked the jury to hand down a sentence that told Brooks “Jay’s Deals on Wheels is hereby shutdown.”

Brooks will face his final sentence from Loudoun County in October, and he still faces his additional charges in Fairfax County and two other jurisdictions.

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Three Seats on Reston Community Center Board To Be Filled

There will be three seats available on the Reston Community Center Board of Governors come October. Bill Keefe, William Penniman and Vicky Wingert are coming to the end of their three-year terms.

Board seats are filled by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, with guidance from the results of a community preference poll. Candidacy filing for the poll is next month.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Board of Governors must complete a statement of candidacy between Aug. 1-15. The three outgoing board members have the option to nominate themselves again.

All residents of Reston’s District 5 can vote in the poll, which will run from Sept. 8-29. A candidate forum will take place Sept. 18. The Board of Supervisors will then make its appointments in October.

All residents of District 5 who are 18 or older are eligible to apply. For more information, visit the Reston Community Center website or call 703-476-4500.

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Crafthouse’s Changes About Quality over Quantity, Owner Says

Since leaving the World of Beer brand and becoming Crafthouse, Evan Matz is making a lot of changes.

“We used to have over 500 different beers, but now we do about less than half of that,” Matz said in an interview. “Even still, we have 50 beers on tap with the new addition of ciders, wine, spirits, any sort of drink.”

Matz said the changes in the restaurant (1888 Explorer St.), which had an official opening celebration last weekend, are about providing quality over quantity. The restaurant is now centered around local breweries including D.C. Brau, Ocelot, Port City and Blue Mountain; and distilleries including Copper Fox, Catoctin Creek and Filibuster. The menu has also been designed around sourcing ingredients from nearby farms; for example, all of the bread in the restaurant has been replaced by fresh baked products from Lyon Bakery.

“We want you to drink local, eat local and support local,” Matz said. “There’s an elevated difference in the food.”

The fallout with World of Beer Franchising Inc. that led to Matz rebranding his three area restaurants — in Reston, Fairfax and Ballston — has allowed him, he says, to expand the menu and cater to customer wants. Now that he has done so, to include items such as macaroni-and-cheese burgers and special brunch offers, Matz says there is a lot more variety for customers to enjoy.

“Now we’re able to offer all of these new starters and shareable items, which means a different happy hour special every day of the week,” he said.

Of course, there you can’t run a restaurant in Reston Town Center without facing its newest and biggest obstacle — the stigma that has come with paid parking.

“We give free validations to everyone who goes to Crafthouse, especially at lunchtime,” Matz said. “It’s just hard to get word out there that parking is now free after 5 p.m., a lot of people don’t seem to know that.”

Matz emphasized that customers need to understand that paid parking is not the restaurant’s fault.

“All we’re asking is that customers continue to come out and support local businesses,” he said.

The restaurant is open until midnight Sunday through Wednesday; 1 a.m. Thursday; and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit its website or call 571-375-0847.

Photos courtesy Crafthouse

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Women’s March Co-Chair to Speak as Part of CenterStage Professional Touring Artist Series

There will be an all-around focus on activism and civil rights during Reston Community Center’s 2017-18 Professional Touring Artist Series at the CenterStage.

As part of that focus, Tamika D. Mallory will speak on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15, 2018) as part of Reston’s Dr. King Birthday Celebration. Mallory was national co-chair of the Women’s March in January, which saw hundreds of thousands protesting in DC and upward of 5 million participating worldwide.

According to her profile on the Women’s March website:

Tamika D. Mallory is nationally recognized as a fiery and outspoken champion for social justice who has worked closely with the Obama Administration as an advocate for civil rights issues, equal rights for women, health care, gun violence, and police misconduct. Tamika has been publicly applauded as “a leader of tomorrow” by Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie B. Jarrett, and was selected to serve on the transition committee of New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio.

Mallory is also considered a “leading figure in the grassroots, community-based effort to stop gun violence,” according to the website. She has been in the news recently for her statements against the National Rifle Association.

Mallory is just one of the speakers slated for the coming season of the CenterStage series. Another is Terry Tempest Williams, who will speak on environmentalism on Saturday, Dec. 2. According to her website, Williams is “a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice.”

Paul Douglas Michnewicz, RCC’s director of arts and events, says there will be something for everyone during the 2017-18 season.

“Deeply personal and highly engaging, the Professional Touring Artist Season at the Reston Community Center will activate your spirit and motivate your soul,” he said.

The activism won’t just come through speakers either. Chicano rock band Quetzal, who will kick off the series Oct. 1, is described as using music “as a form of politically engaged community-building.”

The full CenterStage season lineup is listed below. Tickets will go on sale for Reston residents Aug. 1, and for non-Reston residents Aug. 8.

For more information about any of the performances, visit the Reston Community Center website or call 703-476-4500.

Quetzal — Sunday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. ($20 Reston/$30 Non-Reston)

Mucca Pazza — Saturday, Oct. 7, 3 p.m. ($20 Reston/$30 Non-Reston)

DakhaBrakha — Sunday, Nov. 26, 7 p.m. ($25 Reston/$50 Non-Reston)

Terry Tempest Williams — Saturday, Dec. 2, 8 p.m. ($15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston)

Reduced Shakespeare Company presents “The Ultimate Christmas Show” — Saturday, Dec. 16, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. ($25 Reston/$35 Non-Reston)

Tamika D. Mallory presents Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration — Monday, Jan. 15, noon ($5 Reston/$10 Non-Reston)

The Color Orange: A Hip-Hop Concert about Friendship and Multiculturalism — Sunday, Jan. 21, 3 p.m. ($15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston)

What’s Going On: The Marvin Gaye Project — Wednesday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m. ($20 Reston/$30 Non-Reston)

Theater Alliance presents: Word Becomes Flesh by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, directed by Psalmayene 24 — Saturday, Feb. 10, 8 p.m. ($20 Reston/$30 Non-Reston)

Mark Brutsché is “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” — Sunday, Feb. 18, 3:00 p.m. ($5 Reston/$10 Non-Reston)

Letters from Iraq, composed by Rahim AlHaj — Saturday, Feb. 24, 8 p.m. ($20 Reston/$30 Non-Reston)

Lúnasa – Wednesday, March 21, 8 p.m. ($25 Reston/$50 Non-Reston)

Erth’s “Dinosaur Zoo Live” — Tuesday, March 27, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ($10 Reston/$15 Non-Reston)

An Evening with Maysoon Zayid, comedienne — Saturday, March 31, 8 p.m. ($15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston)

Anthony de Mare presents Liaisons: Re-imagining Sondheim from the Piano — Saturday, April 7, 8 p.m. ($15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston)

PROJECT Trio: Greg Pattillo, Flute / Eric Stephenson, Cello / Peter Seymour, Double Bass — Sunday, April 22, 3 p.m. ($15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston)

Boys in Trouble, Sean Dorsey, choreographer — Wednesday, May 16, 8 p.m. ($15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston)

Furia Flamenca presents Flamenco to the MAX — Saturday, May 19, 8 p.m. ($15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston)

Robert Krulwich, scientist, presents Saddam Hussein’s Secret Octopus and Other Stories — Saturday, June 2, 8 p.m. ($20 Reston/$30 Non-Reston)

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Rare Miniature Water Buffalo Among New Attractions at Roer’s Zoofari

One of the rarest forms of water buffalo in the world can be found right here in Reston at Roer’s Zoofari.

The zoo (1228 Hunter Mill Road) recently acquired a pair of lowland anoa, endangered dwarf water buffalo from Indonesia that are so rare there are only about 70 in the United States.

“We work with several breeding programs to ensure that the Zoofari has adequate environments for these threatened, endangered or even vulnerable animals,” said Vanessa Stoffel, one of the zoo’s owners.

Anoa are characterized by their small, stocky bodies covered with thick, dark hair. They almost look like a brown cattle crossed with a woodland deer. They eat aquatic plants, ferns and grasses. Similarly to other water buffalo, they like to bathe in pools of water and mud.

While the species is technically protected under Indonesian law, its endangered status comes from hunting and habitat loss. In the past, their skulls and horns have been harvested by these hunters and sold for use in traditional medicine.

Visitors to the former Reston Zoo can enjoy the rare animals in a new barnyard area that has lots of fresh air for the animals. Another new addition is the use of buses to transport guests around the zoo, instead of the tractors that were formerly used.

“It was getting difficult to find someone who could control a tractor in Reston,” Stoffel said.

The buses are easier to maintain, she said, and visitors can still experience alpacas and other animals walking up to the buses as they go on the Zoofari.

The zoo also features an interactive exhibit with a camel and giraffe. At certain times, visitors can pay $5 to feel the animals. Patrons are able to go up close and personal with the animals during these encounters.

“If you hold your palm flat [to the camel], he’ll even give you kisses,” said zookeeper Alisha Benack as she monitored the camel encounter. On cue, the camel kissed and nuzzled her just as friendly as a dog would.

Roer’s Zoofari is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with times for special exhibits and encounters available daily. Visit its website for ticket information or call 703-757-6222.

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Keep Your Eyes Out for Painted Rocks as Nationwide Craze Hits Area

Walking down a path in the area and spot a small, hand-painted rock?

Don’t ignore it, because it was probably placed there for a good reason — for you to find it.

Herndon Rocks-Painted Rock Share! is a new Facebook group meant for Herndon-area residents to craftily paint rocks and leave them for others to find, share and trade. Since starting last month, it has grown to more than 200 members who are engaged in the family activity, which is growing in popularity across the country.

In Herndon, even the mayor is in on it. On Sunday, Lisa Merkel posted in the group, “OMG. I love this!!! How can I help promote it?”

The details of the painted rocks range from simple designs to elaborate small paintings, such as those pictured above, which were painted by the niece of the group founder, who goes by the name “Monet Flower” on the site.

On the Facebook page, Flower describes the group as “meant for people to paint rocks and then hide them around town, in public places or on the edge of property.” Participants are requested to put a note on the back of their rocks directing those who find them to take a picture and post it on the Facebook page before re-hiding the rock.

Group member Melory Mika is hoping that the group will grow and develop throughout the community.

“Our goal is that we want to give families a real-life treasure hunt and bonding time,” Mika said.

She said that given the relatively small number of people currently in the group, and the fact that everyone can’t be painting rocks all at once, it might be a little hard at first to find these painted objects.

“Since we are a new group, we are working hard in creating our hidden treasures at the moment,” Mika said. “Once we have grown and more people become involved, finding these will become easier.”

While the group may be new, the craze isn’t. Participation in rock-painting groups has exploded across the country in recent months. Reston Now editor Dave Emke even stumbled upon a painted rock on the W&OD Trail near Town Center Parkway a few months ago.

Someone left this piece of good advice on a W&OD signpost today. #RestonVA #WODTrail

A post shared by Dave Emke (@emkedave) on

Flower said she became hooked on the pastime when she discovered it through her grandchildren while visiting them in Southern California.

“For me it’s about a nice way for the community to get outside, participate in a craft activity, and share in fun,” she said. “It’s an inexpensive way to get outside in nature and connect with other Herndonites.”

No matter the age, Mika said, everyone and anyone is welcome to join, paint, discover and trade with Herndon Rocks.

“It’s hard to find 100 percent family-friendly things for all ages, but rock finding and painting is great for everyone,” she said.

Images via Herndon Rocks on Facebook

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What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

It’s a long weekend! Fourth of July is coming up on Tuesday, but be sure to check out the awesome things going on around town before the holiday.

If fireworks are the one and only thing you’re looking for this weekend, check out our list of events around the area.

On Tuesday, whether you’re worn out on fireworks or you’re saving them for that night, spend the day at the Water Mine Swimmin’ Hole for its Family Day. Everyone will be allowed to enjoy the expansive waterpark for $11 each.

But there are lots of other things going on this weekend too. Here are some fun things that are happening around Reston this weekend:

  • Reston Station’s “Summerbration” series continues tonight at 7 p.m. with a free concert by Elikeh. Tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m., head to a free outdoor showing of “Sing” on the plaza. The Summerbration events outside the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will continue through the end of August. (Note: To receive free parking for these events, parking tickets need to be validated by personnel on the plaza. Find the sign that reads “Parking Validation Here.”)
  • Reston Town Center’s summer concert series continues Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. with the Deanna Bogart Band, a boogie-jazz and blues performance. The show will take place at the Town Center’s pavilion.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza N.) is hosting is “Reston Stories” exhibit through July. The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has been collecting residents’ stories and preserving them for future generations. The collection includes stories about volunteering in Reston, the Fountain at Lake Anne Plaza, the early history of Reston and the amazing connections we make in our community.
  • Lake Anne is hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • On Sunday, be sure to catch the Art in the Park with the Shenandoah Conservatory at Reston Town Center. The band Two Brass Hit presents a program of jazz and other international music, all on two bases.
  • Family Fun Entertainment Series  at Reston Town Center presents Turley the Magician, an interactive magic show.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include: Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) from 7-10 p.m every Friday and Saturday night, CraftHouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday form 6-10 p.m.
  • It’s Family Splash tonight at Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center. The whole family can play from 7-9 p.m. for $13 ($26 for non-Reston families).
  • Enjoy the outdoors? Come to the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia for a day of tracking and identifying butterflies. This survey supports the North American Butterfly Association’s (NABA) Butterfly count.
  • Tonight, join the Walker Nature Center for a screening of an action-adventure movie Mission Blue. There is a suggested donation of $5 a person.
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Friday Morning Notes

Weather Report for Holiday Weekend  This Saturday, expect a high near 90 degrees, but a chance of afternoon thunderstorms might impact projected fireworks shows in the area. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will also have highs in the low 90s, but there’s a chance of rain on the Fourth. [The Weather Channel]

Heavy Congestion Projected on Holiday Weekend  According to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s interactive traffic trends map, expect major traffic jams along Interstate 95 on Sunday as people travel for the holiday. [VDOT]

Residents Reminded to Be Safe With Fireworks  Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them, never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse, never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned, and never point or throw fireworks at another person. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

New Laws Take Effect Tomorrow — Take a look at some of the new legislation that will go into effect July 1, including changes to rules about absentee voting, concealed carry permits and more. [Fairfax County]

Toll Road Ramp Work Starts After Holiday  Make sure to reevaluate the morning commute starting next next Friday. The ramp from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road to the Fairfax County Parkway will be diverted through the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride parking lot, starting next Thursday night and lasting “through 2017.” [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Local Artist Wins Tröegs Contest — Marni Manning’s “Renaissance of Beer” painting was the big winner in the Pennsylvania craft beer company’s recent art contest. [Tröegs]

Herndon Man Admits to Bank Robberies — Bruce Wayne Higgins robbed four banks in Maryland and New Jersey last December. [WTOP]

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County Moving Forward With Home-Sharing Regulations, Seeks Feedback

It’s late at night and a resident pulls into their cul-de-sac after a long evening at work. Once they turn into their street, they find their block crowded for the umpteenth time with unfamiliar cars, followed by a new group of people temporarily staying in their neighbor’s home for a couple of days.

How would you react?

The scenario above describes the situation that has been increasingly reported throughout Reston, as more residents have begun to rent out their homes for profit over short periods of time through services such as Airbnb, Homeaway and Roomarama.

Fairfax County is currently in the process of developing stricter regulations for residents who wish to rent out their homes through such services. The County is looking for feedback on what residents think about the proposed regulations.

As of July 1, Virginia state law will give local governments the authority to require registration for these rentals.

According to the survey, the proposal would address:

  • Where these rentals would be allowed in the county
  • How often they could be rented out
  • What types of properties could be rented out
  • How many people would be allowed to stay in a property at any one time

If you’d be interested in participating in the survey, fill it out here.

Reston Association is making efforts to clamp down on those whose rental habits might be a disturbance to their neighbors. Currently, following County legislation, only those who own single-family homes are allowed to rent their space for less than 30 days.

At a community feedback meeting at Reston Association headquarters Wednesday evening, the home-sharing issue was named as a challenge RA will face going forward.

“I view this as one of the greatest threats to the way we live here in Reston,” said Rick Hamilton, of the Polo Fields cluster. “From the description of what goes on in the one [discussed at the May 26 RA meeting], that is frightening.”

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Hays Becomes President of Reston Citizens Association

After Monday’s Reston Citizens Association meeting, the group’s Board of Directors walked away with a new leader.

The RCA appointed Dennis Hays as the president of its Board of Directors, succeeding Sridhar Ganesan. Ganesan stepped down from his position on the Board after being appointed to serve on the Reston Association Board of Directors, as both an At-Large member and treasurer.

“I am excited to work with a proven network of community leaders who are drawn from the heart of the Reston community,” said Hays in a press release. “As Reston grows we need to work with the community and build a coalition of voices to preserve the ideals Reston was founded on.”

On the Board since 2014, Hays was recently re-elected to serve another three-year term. In addition, Hays is the chairman of Fairfax Library Associates, serves on the Friends of Reston Regional Library board and is a former president of the Reston Runners.

In addition to Hays’ appointment, Moira Callaghan of the North Point District was elected as vice president and Izzy Santa of the South Lakes District was elected to the Board. Joe Leighton of the South Lakes District was re-elected as treasurer; Nick Georgas, At-Large, was re-elected as secretary; and Connie Hartke, Hunter Woods district, and Hank Schonzeit, Town Center/Lake Anne/Tall Oaks District, were re-appointed to their seats.

There are still two vacant board seats that need to be filled: an At-Large (one-year term) seat and a North Point (three-year term) seat. If you’re interested in applying, contact [email protected].

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