What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

Embrace your inner child this Saturday at one of Reston’s most mystical events: The Fairy Festival at Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive).

Sip fairy tea, hang out with the fairy queen, dress up like a fairy and admire fairy houses in the woods. People can submit homemade fairy houses to win either the best child’s fairy house or the best adult’s fairy house. There will also be a fairy costume contest as well. There is still room in the 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. slot; register here.

There are lots of fairy-free events going on around the area 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 Oasis Island. Tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m., head to a free outdoor showing of “Pete’s Dragon” 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 Adrian Duke Project (hits from the 1950s to today). The show will take place at the Town Center’s pavilion.
  • Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) will have its official opening party Saturday at 5 p.m., with live music, giveaways, special drafts on tap and more. Events are also being held at Crafthouse’s Fairfax Corner and Ballston locations.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • There’s a “French Classics” cooking class at Mon Ami Gabi on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will learn to make chilled gazpacho, BLT salad with jalapeño bacon, buttermilk blue cheese dressing and fried onions and berry-brioche bread pudding with raspberry-caramel sauce. The class is $55 per person and includes wines paired with the meal.
  • This Saturday, join Berthold Academy for an Open LEARN session (an open house) at 10 a.m. The event will take approximately one hour and you will have the chance to learn all about this Reston school.
  • On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon, participate in untangling the Oriental Bittersweet, an invasive species growing rapidly throughout Reston. Meet across the street from 11300 Stones Throw Drive.
  • The Family Fun Entertainment Series at Reston Town Center will continue this Saturday with classic comedy by Mark Lohr. The event will be a fast-paced, side-splitting family vaudeville show filled with audience participation and circus skills with a sprinkling of magic thrown in the mix.
  • 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.).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Reston Community Center will host its Sunday Art in the Park series Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at the Greater Reston Arts Center. This weekend’s theme is “Dip and Dye.” Learn how to use natural dye techniques to create your own piece of textile art. Design your own piece of small fabric to take home. Following that, from 7-8 p.m., there will be a concert featuring Great Britain’s Jonathan and Su Snowden.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight at 9:30 p.m. from Tommy & The Pickles. Saturday night, DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits.

Image via Walker Nature Center on Twitter

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Reclaim Reston Getting Nowhere With Development Moratorium Request

Reclaim Reston is upset with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who they say are ignoring their urging to slow down development.

The grassroots activist group wrote to the Board of Supervisors last month, asking for a moratorium on proposed zoning ordinance amendments from the county’s Department of Planning & Zoning and on approval of any development projects that haven’t yet been submitted.

After receiving no response in over three weeks, the group is not happy.

“By silently thumbing their noses at the legitimate concerns of the Reston community, the Board of Supervisors sent the unambiguous message that they hold all the cards and view the Reston residents as powerless to interfere with the Supervisors’ cozy relationship with developers,” group member Bruce Ramo wrote to Reston Now.

An online petition Reclaim Reston set up in support of the moratorium has nearly 700 signatures.

Reclaim Reston is urging the Board of Supervisors to control development and ensure that planning and funding for infrastructure such as schools, roads, bridges, parks and other recreational facilities, remains in sync with the influx of new residents.

When asked by Reston Now about Reclaim Reston’s request, Hudgins provided the following statement (presented as written):

I recognize that good economics time, particular the last two years, provides more economic opportunity for new development. This does not mean the support for that development will not occur. While it would be great if all the planned transportation projects were already built, however, infrastructure improvement depend on those developing the land and a blending of federal, state and county funding. Three new Reston north/south crossings and three new rail stations scheduled to open in Reston and Herndon area, will relieve much of the traffic that travel today to Reston and Wiehle stations on many primary Reston arteries. I am working to build these sooner than planned.

My pledge is the outcome of future growth will more than conform to Reston’s planned community. Bob Simon believed people should be concentrated around Villages. Today’s village comes in a more urban form with the support of transit, retail and parks, in addition to housing. Mr. Simon voted for the Comprehensive Plan. I hope the outcome will meet his and your desires when we see it completed.

Ramo, though, says that the board’s silence on Reclaim Reston’s call for a moratorium shows that the County will go forward with its plans no matter what, leaving potential infrastructure problems to be resolved at some future time.

“Fairfax County has every intention of moving forward to convert Reston to the County’s cash cow, regardless of what it means for the education of our children, or the quality of life, safety or environment of our community,” Ramo said.

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Tall Oaks Redevelopers To Meet With Design Review Board Next Week

Developers of the new residential community at Tall Oaks will present their plan to Reston’s Design Review Board during its meeting next week. The developers will seek approval of their plans for landscape and lighting, as well as site amenities and architectural elevations.

Tall Oaks Village Center was purchased in 2014 by McLean-based developer Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG). In 2016, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors took an unprecedented step when it unanimously approved JAG’s proposal to rezone, rebuild and transform the smallest of Reston’s village centers.

The plan is to build 156 homes, community space, 8,500 square foot of retail and about 6,000 square feet of office space in the location. JAG has provided an animated virtual tour of the plan.

The 70,000-square foot center was 86 percent empty by the time the redevelopment was approved. Jefferson had conducted a market study that showed attracting a new retail anchor was not an option. Remaining businesses at the village center are in the process of deciding where to go once the redevelopment begins. The last remaining restaurants will all be out of their space by the end of the year.

The DRB meeting will be Tuesday, July 18 at 7 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The public is invited to attend.

Renderings via Jefferson Apartment Group

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Thursday Morning Notes

Saving the Environment One Straw at a Time — Americans use 500 million plastic straws a day. Karan Marari, 11, of Reston, is aiming to reduce their use locally with his “no straw request.” He is educating restaurant owners, urging them to change their wait staff’s behaviors and practices that lead to the unsolicited placement of plastic straws in patrons’ drinks. [Reston Connection]

One Month Anniversary of Nabra’s Death  An event is scheduled for Sunday to mark the one-month anniversary Nabra Hassanen’s killing. The goal of the event is to ease people’s pain through prayer. [All Dulles Area Muslim Society]

Boating Safety Tips  The Marine Patrol Unit has published a list of safety tips for those who plan to spend time on the water. These include wearing a life jacket, checking the durability of one’s boat, bringing emergency items such as snacks and water onboard, and more. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Line Dancer to Instruct Tonight at Lake Anne — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will continue tonight with a dance night from Cedar Creek. Learn to dance as the tunes take over. [Lake Anne Plaza]

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Dogwood Elementary Teacher Will Take Part in Library of Congress Institute

Melissa Green, a sixth-grade teacher at Dogwood Elementary School, has been selected to participate in a Library of Congress teacher institute this summer.

Green, who was one of over 300 educators to apply for the program, will attend the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute from July 31 to Aug. 4. She was one of about 20 applicants chosen for the session, one of five that will take place over the summer.

According to a Library of Congress press release, participants will “work with Library education specialists and subject-matter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom, while exploring some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the Library’s website.”

Primary sources are firsthand materials from history such as journals, letters and artifacts. This year’s program will look at primary sources from World War I.

“Students working with primary sources become engaged learners while building critical-thinking skills and constructing new knowledge,” according to the press release. “Teachers working in the Library’s collections will explore the largest online collection of historical artifacts with access to millions of unique primary sources for use in instruction.”

In addition to classroom teachers, school library media specialists and school administrators from across the country were also selected to participate.

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Reston Association Gets Grant To Help Pay for Lake Anne Dam Evaluation

A state grant will foot half of the $14,590 bill for a recent hazard analysis of Lake Anne Dam.

A $7,295 grant from the Virginia Resources Authority will be put toward the evaluation, which was completed by consulting engineers GKY & Associates. Reston Association helped bring this grant to fruition.

RA says that prior to seeking the grant money, it had three potential construction solutions to bring the dam into compliance with state regulations, which would have cost between $2 million and $4 million. But according to RA:

Additional and more recent guidance provided by the state allows for evaluating certain aspects of the dam, including the spillway capacity and downstream impacts. RA opted to pursue an evaluation under this new guidance, which could result in a solution without excessive costs associated with extensive renovations to the dam.

The grant is part of a decision by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to provide $1.15 million for dam safety and floor management statewide. In a press release, McAuliffe cited the importance of the grant money and how “dam failures can be tragic for families and economically devastating for communities.”

“For almost the entirety of [Lake Anne] dam’s existence, it’s been considered a significant hazard dam,” said Larry Butler, RA’s senior director for Parks, Recreation and Community.

Butler explained that over the past few years, as the state changed dam safety regulations, Lake Anne’s dam was re-classified as a high hazard dam.

“More than half of the dams receiving funding are classified as high hazard, meaning they pose the greatest risk to life and property upon failure and are a priority for the Commonwealth,” said Clyde E. Cristman, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, in the state press release.

Lake Anne was one of the dams to receive their grant as part of a 50/50 matching program. The other half of the evaluation’s cost will come from RA’s capital budget.

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Tips for Staying Cool, Healthy as Temperatures Near Triple Digits This Week

If you ever had that fantasy of cracking an egg on the sidewalk and watching it sizzle to perfection, this week may be your chance to make that a reality.

Today, the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for Fairfax County and other Northern Virginia areas. This outlook applies to the coming days as well. In the next few days, the mercury will be way up on the thermometer — even nearing the triple-digit zone.

While your instinct may be to throw some “floaties” in the pool and stock up on bottles of rosé for the fridge, you may want to keep an eye out for symptoms of heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

According to the National Weather Service, symptoms of heat exhaustion include feeling faint or dizzy, sweating excessively, cool, pale or clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, a rapid, weak pulse, and muscle cramps. It is recommended that anyone experiencing those symptoms should go indoors to a cool place, drink water, and take cool showers or use cold compresses.

Signs of heat stroke include throbbing headaches; the absence of sweating; a body temperature above 103 degrees; red, hot, dry skin; nausea or vomiting; a rapid, strong pulse; and the potential to lose consciousness. Should a person encounter this scenario, they must call 911 immediately.

For those who do not have air conditioning in their house, Fairfax County recommends going to the movies, visiting shopping centers or going to one of the county’s designated cooling centers — including Reston Regional Library and the Southgate Community Center.

The county also recommends that citizens:

  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Take several breaks from the heat, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and sunscreen. Remember that you should reapply sunscreen every three to four hours.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check on friends or neighbors during extremely hot days and have someone do the same for you.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.

Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization in Reston, offers short-term emergency financial assistance to people who need help with their cooling bills.

So, keep cool and carry on.

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Crime Roundup: Alcohol Leads to Charges for Local Residents This Weekend

A pair of Herndon residents are facing charges after separate alcohol-related incidents in Loudoun County over the weekend.

Just before 3 a.m. Saturday, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the intersection of Waxpool Road and Loudoun County Parkway in Ashburn for a report of a disabled vehicle. When they arrived, they charged the driver — 32-year-old Alok K. Choubey — with DWI. Choubey was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on a personal recognizance bond.

The next night, at about 2:16 a.m., a patrolling LCSO deputy found a 33-year-old Herndon man asleep in a common area at the One Loudoun shopping center. The man was charged with being drunk in public and taken to the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center, where he was released on a personal recognizance bond.

Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Police Department reported the following crimes in recent days:

LARCENIES:

1600 block of Becontree Lane, property from residence

13300 block of Feldman Place, property from vehicle

11500 block of Hearthstone Court, laptop computer from vehicle

10300 block of Lawyers Road, property from residence

1600 block of Reston Parkway, merchandise from business

2300 block of Soapstone Drive, liquor from business

1000 block of Utterback Store Road, property from vehicle

11600 block of Vantage Hill Road, wallet from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

In addition, as we reported last week, FCPD is investigating the painting of a swastika on a wall in the 11600 block of Hunters Green Court.

Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Brabrand’s First Day as FCPS Superintendent — Monday marked Dr. Scott Brabrand’s first day as Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent. A former Herndon High School teacher, Brabrand is contracted for his new position through the 2020-21 school year. Brabrand tweeted during his first day on the job: “Excited to reconnect w/ old faces, get to know new ones, and talk about our shared vision to engage, inspire, and help our kids thrive.” [Scott Brabrand/Twitter]

Leesburg Hazmat Incident Mucks Up Flights — An evacuation at a Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control center in Leesburg delayed hundreds of flights around the region Monday night, including at Dulles. [Washington Post]

Fired Airport Worker Fighting for Wages — Swartha Tujare of Reston, a 67-year-old former Dulles Airport employee, was fired in December for striking for wage raises for airport workers. Tujare is having difficulty paying her bills, so she is trying to get her employer, Huntleigh USA, to pay her $8,000 in lost wages. [WUSA]

FCPS Taking Feedback on Mathematics Material — From now through July 30, FCPS is encouraging Fairfax County residents to provide their opinions on the proposed textbooks and online materials for the proposed Mathematics Basal Resources. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Free Yoga Tonight — The recurring event, Summerbration Yoga, will take place today from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Reston Station. [Reston Station]

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Herndon Protestors Let Wells Fargo Know They Oppose Keystone XL

A group of people went to Wells Fargo bank on Elden Street in Herndon on Saturday with no intention of withdrawing money.

Instead, they held up signs and yelled chants, calling out the bank for its support of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The climate justice group 350 Fairfax protested July 8, which pipeline opposition group Protect & Divest had designated as an International Protect and Divest Day of Action. The day’s protests were meant to sway banks, such as Wells Fargo, from funding the Keystone XL Pipeline and other environmentally unfriendly projects such as Virginia’s Atlantic Coast pipeline.

The 1,179-mile Keystone XL Pipeline, when completed, will run from Alberta to Nebraska and will transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day. There is an existing pipeline in the region, but Keystone XL will deliver the oil in a more direct route.

It has caused controversy as some people see the pipeline as beneficial because it will create many construction jobs and bolster the nation’s economy. Additionally, if the pipeline is not built, the fear is other companies will transport the same oil but in riskier ways, such as via rail service. However, groups like 350 Fairfax fear for the environmental impact the pipeline’s construction may have.

“[350 Fairfax] handed out flyers to bank customers and passing pedestrians to explain why the Keystone XL pipeline is a disaster for the climate, dangerous for water and soil quality along its proposed route, and is unfair to indigenous peoples whose sacred land would be disrupted,” 350 Fairfax wrote in a press release.

On Facebook after the rally, 350 Fairfax said that pipeline projects can also greatly spur climate change by increasing greenhouse gases emissions.

“The project stands to endanger precious ecosystems, vital aquifers, and Indigenous and sacred lands. It would also exacerbate climate change at a time when a just transition off fossil fuels is critical for the health and well-being of life on Earth,” 350 Fairfax wrote.

The group’s hope is to stop further construction of the pipeline by encouraging its funders to re-evaluate the damage their invested money will be doing to the environment. 350 Fairfax noted that Saturday’s protest was just one of many the group plans to organize.

“We must demand that all investors, including Wells Fargo, #divest from these dangerous and unnecessary projects,” the group said.

Photos courtesy 350 Fairfax

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Lake Anne’s First Cardboard Boat Regatta Scheduled for August

If you have the thirst to tap into your inventive side, this summer you’ll have the chance to quench it.

In August, homemade cardboard boats will compete in a first-of-its-kind regatta at Lake Anne. All the proceeds will go toward the Reston Historic Trust & Museum.

Participating teams of all ages will construct and decorate their own life-size cardboard boats, which will then take to the water in timed heats. Each team will row on a course that leads to a designated buoy before returning to the docks at Lake Anne Plaza.

There will be awards for the fastest cardboard boat in each category as well as an award for the most “Titanic-like” boat, i.e. the fastest one to sink.

The event’s rules include:

  • no pre-treated or coated “waterproof” cardboard
  • no staples, clamps, nails or screws
  • water-based paint or sealer is OK, but not tar, wax, silicone, fiberglass resins, epoxy glues or Styrofoam
  • no motors and no kicking — oars and paddles only

“There is no limit to the number of rowers or participants assisting with the construction of the cardboard boat,” according to a press release. “So throw a boat-building party and get creative.”

The event is scheduled for 2-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. Volunteers are also needed.

For more information or to register a boat, visit the event’s webpage. Team sponsorships for adults start at $100, while children between 10-18 years of age pay $40.

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What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

It’s Friday and school is officially out!

To celebrate, you may want to go to the “School’s Out for Summer Party” at the Hunter Woods Recreation Area this evening. The event will take place from 4-7 p.m. and there will be a pool party and cookout.

Tomorrow, continue your celebrations by heading to Family Fun Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dulles 28 Centre (22000 Dulles Retail Plaza, Sterling). There will be music, amusement rides, balloons, inflatables and much more.

Finally, top off a wonderful weekend by going to Scrawl Books on Sunday. The shop is having a special event from noon-6 p.m. There will be storytelling, games and a distribution of summer reading challenge cards for the kids.

There are plenty more events for the Reston area this weekend. Here is just a sampling of the events you can enjoy:

  • Reston Station’s “Summerbration” series continues tonight at 7 p.m. with a free concert by King Teddy. Tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m., head to a free outdoor showing of “Sully” 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 a performance by Matuto, a Brazilian roots, rock, funk band. The show will take place at the Town Center’s pavilion.
  • Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visit Reston Station’s BLVD for an open house (with free mimosas!).
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Reston Town Square Park will be hosting The Uncle Devin Show as a part of their Family Fun Entertainment Series Saturday morning at 10 a.m., for a free show. It’ll be fun for all ages as Uncle Devin takes children on an interactive musical adventure.
  • 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.
  • This is the last weekend for “Urinetown: The Musical” at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon). Performances this weekend are tonight at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2.p.m. General admission tickets start at $40.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • 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.
  • Reston Town Square Park (corner of Market and Explorer streets) is hosting an “I Hear America Singing” event, with selections of music from the American Songbook, from 7-8 p.m. Sunday.
  • Scout and Molly’s Fashion Boutique (11944 Market St.) is having its grand opening Saturday and Sunday. There will be refreshments, snacks and raffle prizes at the event.
  • Habitat Heroes’ Slow Mile-A-Minute Weed event will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. This is a volunteer project to pull invasive species out of Reston’s parklands.
  • Reston Association will host an open house for the Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.) Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.
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Kids in Herndon Will Get Tickets This Summer — For Good Deeds

This summer, the Herndon Police Department is ticketing children.

The catch? Rather than punishing bad behavior, the tickets reward good behavior with a free 12-ounce 7-Eleven Slurpee at any participating store.

The program is called Operation Chill and has been around for more than 20 years. It includes hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

“Operation Chill is a partnership between 7-Eleven and local law enforcement,” said Jane Ross, HPD public information specialist. “Its purpose is to encourage children to be good citizens and to help reduce crime and enhance relationships between police and youth.”

Whenever officers spot children engaging in model behavior, such as playing together nicely or cleaning up after themselves, officers will hand them tickets.

Millions of the Operation Chill tickets have been distributed nationwide in the program’s history. Officers will continue to give out tickets to children until they run out. The coupons are good through the end of the year.

“We love anything that can help that crossover between us and the kids,” Ross said. “All of our officers love interacting with the kids in the town. I think it’s one of their favorite things to do.”

(Note: According to Tawny Wright, public information officer for the Fairfax County Police Department, FCPD is not participating in Operation Chill this summer.)

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Fairfax County’s Lack of Affordable Housing To Be Topic of Meeting

Jo-Ann Duggan, the Director of Outreach at St. John Neumann Parish, knows there are people struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

“Yesterday, I was speaking to someone who was trying to find housing for a friend of hers who has three children and earns $23,000 a year,” Duggan said Wednesday. “She works in retail. She’s a single mother.”

St. John Neumann Parish (11900 Lawyers Road) will play host Thursday to a meeting with the Housing Matters program, opening the conversation about the need for affordable housing in Fairfax County.

The goals of the meeting, which will take place from 7-8:45 p.m. at the parish’s auditorium, include helping residents understand how housing can affect other facets of a community. Other related topics will include a discussion of how much affordable housing is needed for an economically sustainable Fairfax County.

Duggan is hopeful that the Housing Matters program will receive lots of community input to help alleviate the housing struggles of many residents. Duggan first heard of the program from John Horejsi, who works for Social Action Linking Together, a legislative advocacy group. Horejsi attended a Housing Matters program and thought it would be worthwhile to bring to the church.

“Housing Matters is all about safe and affordable housing so that communities can thrive,” Horejsi said. “When you achieve that — when you have safe and affordable housing — the families do better, there’s more upward economic mobility, the kids do better in school. We all benefit.”

Horejsi explained that when there is affordable housing, more businesses are attracted to the area due to its stable workforce. He said that currently, the average rent in Fairfax County is $1,700-$1,800 a month, while half of the jobs in the area reap less than $50,000 a year. Rents are increasing while salaries are not. Horejsi explained that as rent gets more expensive, workers start to move away.

“If the workers in our community whom we need can’t afford to live here, then they’re just going to clog up all the roads and that’s going to create more air pollution,” said Horejsi. “Doing nothing [for affordable housing] is going to cost a lot more in the long run.”

Thursday’s meeting will feature a presentation from Vin Rogers, the division director for the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development. After Rogers speaks, facilitators will help lead conversations among groups of attendees. Feedback and input will be encouraged during these group discussions.

“It’s going to be a dialogue first of all,” Horejsi said.

Duggan said she anticipates 50-100 people to turn up at the meeting. Anyone interested in the meeting is encouraged to fill out a survey about housing in the area.

For more details about the event, contact Duggan or Horejsi by email.

Chart via Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development

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RA Board to Discuss Filling Seat Vacated by Thompson

Following the resignation of Eve Thompson earlier this month, the Reston Association Board of Directors has a decision to make.

At their meeting Thursday, directors will discuss how to move forward. Thompson, who had served on the board since 2013 and was voted to an At-Large seat in 2016, announced her decision to step down June 6.

Thompson’s vacated term doesn’t expire until April 2019. This means the board has three options:

  • Do nothing. If this option is selected, the seat will remain vacant until next year’s RA Board election.
  • Appoint a member in good standing. If this option is selected, the eight remaining members of the board would decide among themselves who to put into the seat immediately.
  • Issue a call for candidates. If this option is selected, the position will be posted by RA within 24 hours, and qualified applicants will appear before the Board at its July meeting.

Staff has recommended the Board fill the position rather than leave it vacant for nine months. If a new director is selected, he or she will serve through April 2018. The final year of the term will be voted upon in next year’s election.

The meeting will be held Thursday, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). It will also be streamed live on RA’s YouTube channel.

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