Reston, VA

Although cancellations of many major Reston events were announced this week, Reston Community Center’s summer concerts have returned to Lake Anne Plaza and Reston Station. 

The 2020 Summer Concert series is free to the public and features two different recurring concert series. The Take a Break series is held at Lake Anne Plaza on Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m. The Summerbration Fab Fridays series is held at Reston Station on Fridays from 7-8:30 p.m, according to the Reston Community Center website. 

The dates and performances for Take a Break include:

  • July 30: Cheick Hamala Diabate
  • Aug. 6: Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet
  • Aug. 13: Mambo Combo
  • Aug. 27: Alfredo Mojica & Friends
  • Sep. 3: David Bach Consort

The dates and performances for Summerbration Fab Fridays include:

  • July 31: Far Away
  • Aug. 7: King Teddy
  • Aug. 14: Cristian Perez Band
  • Aug. 21: Seth Kibel Band
  • Aug. 28: Swingin’ Swamis
  • Sep. 4: Tobago Bay

RCC will be mandating social distancing protocol and masks to ensure COVID-19 safety at the venue, according to the website.  Additionally, patrons are requested to bring their own chairs or blankets for seating, and capacity will be limited due to social distancing. 

Photo via the Reston Community Center website

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Fairfax County Public Schools’ superintendent said he is committed to tackling racism in the public school system during a town hall last night.

The Fairfax County NAACP met with FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand to talk about how to address systemic racism going into the 2020-2021 school year.

The discussion between Sujatha Hampton, the Fairfax County NAACP’s education chair, and Brabrand, along with several other guests, focused on a list of priorities from Fairfax County NAACP to address equity.

Brabrand repeated throughout the town hall that he was ready to be held accountable for making change. “We need to be more comfortable feeling uncomfortable,” Brabrand said at the end of the meeting.

The town hall began with a discussion on COVID-19 and the status of reopening schools. On July 21, Brabrand announced that schools would be opening virtually on Sept. 8. Hampton made it clear that it will be essential to address the inequities that online learning presents in minority communities.

What would an anti-racist school system look like and how can FCPS strive for that? Hampton had several proposals.

One would address the scope of the chief equity officer position within the county, with Hampton noting the importance of hiring someone with “anti-racist” policies versus a traditional hire for the position.

Hampton’s proposed job description included conveying “transformational leadership” and having “successful experience as a change agent.”

“Anti-racism is a fairly new thing for systems to be considering,” said Hampton when emphasizing the importance of radical change with leadership.

Another priority is creating an anti-racist curriculum. FCPS Social Studies Coordinator Colleen Eddy said that they are already in the process of auditing the existing curriculum.

A major topic of discussion was the disproportionate discipline statistics in the county’s schools. Hampton presented a series of data points showcasing the high number of Black students receiving referrals for “disruptive behavior” versus their peers. FCPS Deputy Superintendent Frances Ivey agreed that it’s time to reinforce positive behavior rather than disciplining students.

Hampton also discussed the lack of Black teachers and principles within the school system and emphasized the importance of creating a data-driven plan to hire more Black teachers in a transparent way. She said the culture of a school stems from a principal, and it is “criminal” to give kids a racist principal.

“I want everyone to remember that these are actual children’s lives,” Hampton said.

Photo via Sam Balye/Unsplash

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CORE Foundation is releasing a DIY race kit to replace Reston’s annual Youth Superhero Splash and Dash due to COVID-19. 

Participants will complete activities for the event kit on their own timeline and in an area of their choice. Everyone is still eligible to receive medals and other gear they would receive in a live experience, according to their Facebook page

CORE Foundation is providing all of the tools necessary to complete a race from home to maintain the event’s authenticity. The kits include a superhero cape, a medal, finish line tape, and superhero crafts.

The virtual event features a “swim-run-fun” format, according to the page, for ages 5 to 15. Those without a pool can substitute the swim feature for any physical activity of choice, from bicycling to hopscotch. 

Participants can pick any day between Aug. 22 and Sep. 8 to designate as their “event day,” in which they will complete the swim-run-fun challenge. The event emphasizes “participation rather than competition” to the children. 

The kit is $35 if participants register before Aug. 6 and $40 after Aug. 7. The first 50 registrants will receive a BOCA 2019 Splash and Dash trucker hat, according to the page. 

Kits can be picked up from Chick-fil-A North Point Village on Saturday, Aug. 22 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., or can be mailed for an additional fee. 

Those who are in need of a scholarship to participate can email [email protected]. The organization is pairing with the USA Triathalon foundation to offer the experience free of charge.

Photo via CORE Foundation

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Herndon High School third-place finishers in Real Food for Kids’ annual culinary contest were given the opportunity to replicate their winning recipe for community members in need. 

The team consisted of Liam Owens, Eli Shifflett, Alex Chang and Ivonne Claros-Vigil. Their recipe, Carne Asada Tacos with Asian Slaw, was replicated for the Chefs Feeding Families’ Mighty Meals Program to feed those in need, according to a statement from Fairfax County Public Schools. 

The four students were invited to help with the distribution of meals at Harvey Hall Apartments in Arlington earlier this summer, according to the statement. 

“When I found out that our recipe was going to help out with people in need, it made it more exciting and more nerve-racking because it’s a really good feeling knowing that you’re helping people and you’re helping the community,” said Claros-Vigil in the statement.

Claros-Vigil credits her Gourmet Foods class with her success because of the wide variety of spices, foods and traditions they learned. Her background also includes lots of cooking with her mom, which gave her experience cooking new things.

The competition gave students the opportunity to experience how they can create change in a community while innovating in the kitchen, according to Mary Porter of RFFK in the statement. Connecting the competition to Chefs Feeding Families and helping families in need allowed the students to see their work come “full circle,” said Porter. 

“You ever want to grow a relationship with someone? Cook, bake etc., just hop into the kitchen and let your maker mind go to work,” said Owens in the statement. “The goal and challenge of the meal is what was fun.”

Photo via Fairfax County Public Schools website 

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Cornerstones is officially collecting school supplies for its annual Back-To-School Drive

The organization is working in collaboration with Fairfax County Public School officials to provide backpacks and essential supplies to students, despite the continuance of digital learning this fall. 

In addition to backpacks and school supplies for kids grades K-12, they are also collecting financial contributions. Donations can be made online or via mailed check made payable to Cornerstones and sent to 11150 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 210, Reston, VA 20190. 

Those with backpacks and supplies can make a contactless donation at Reston National Golf Course (11875 Sunrise Valley Drive) every Saturday in August from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Cornerstones has a donation drop-off tent set up next to their Laurel Learning Center Bus in the parking lot of the golf course. 

Questions can be directed to Nate King, the Donations and Drives Coordinator, at 571-323-9569. 

Photo courtesy of Cornerstones

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Herndon welcomed Cardamom Cupcakes, a new Indian dessert vendor, to the community last month. 

Nehad Javid, the founder of Cardamom Cupcakes, came up with the idea during the pandemic. She wanted to take classic Indian desserts and converting them into something more Western, such as a cake. 

“It’s a new and interesting twist. It’s a nice introduction to Indian culture and Indian food,” said Javid. 

The cake flavors include ras malai, gulab jamun, jalebi, and mango kulfi. All desserts are made from scratch, according to Javid’s comment on her Facebook post

Javid runs her business from her home in Herndon and offers both pick-up and delivery. She requires that customers wear a mask when receiving, and she will wear a mask as well. 

The opening happened “completely by surprise.” The idea for the business came out of her family’s inability to celebrate Eid due to the pandemic. She wanted to do something nice for her friends and family and decided to make cupcakes with an Indian twist. After receiving good feedback from her friends and family, she decided to create a business out of it.

At the same time, Javid works at a gym experiencing setbacks due to the pandemic. 

“Our hours have been really affected, and we have to take a lot of precautions into account,” said Javid about the adjustments. 

Javid said she doesn’t plan on adding new items to the menu right now, but that is subject to change.

“You never know what the future holds,” said Javid.

Photo courtesy of Nehad Javid

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After 11 years as the executive director for Public Art Reston, Anne Delaney is ending her time at the organization. 

Her last day is today, July 31, Delaney wrote in an email to Reston Now. Delaney first joined Public Art Reston in 2010, according to her LinkedIn.

Delaney will be starting a new job with WMATA’s Art in Transit program. The program’s goal is to incorporate visual and performing arts to enhance the Metrorail experience for passengers, according to the program’s website.

“I have enjoyed my years helping build the organization and collaborating with community organizations and developers to realize new public art projects and related programs,” she wrote.

Photo via Public Art Reston/Facebook

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The Reston Community Center Board of Governors is hosting an in-person Annual Public Hearing for Programs and Budget on Monday, August 10.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., and is located at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).

The RCC plans to discuss highlights and challenges from the past year while giving the community the opportunity to view the agency budget approach for the upcoming fiscal years. The RCC’s annual report will be provided for attendees, according to a press release from the community center. 

Those interested in attending can reserve a seat by emailing [email protected] by August 7. The reservations are to ensure COVID-19 safety at the in-person meetings. Written comments can be sent to the same email address, according to the statement. Organizations are urged to send just one attendant to accommodate a bigger pool of attendees. 

The RCC will not sit more than allowed by Phase Three guidelines, and will not be providing their usual hospitality to comply with CDC requirements. 

The meeting can also be viewed on the RCC Facebook page

Photo via Reston Community Center

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Sandstone Care opened up a new Reston branch to the public on July 20. The drug and alcohol rehabilitation center has locations in the DMV area, as well as in Colorado. 

Since the onset of COVID-19, there has been a notable increase in overdoses and suicide deaths, according to Marcello LaRocca, the founder of Sandstone Care. With the enforcement of staying at home and social distancing, it’s not surprising that people are feeling disconnected. 

“The pandemic is bringing about isolation in pretty significant ways,” said LaRocca. “It’s definitely fueling a mental health surge, unfortunately.”

The community-based outpatient program specializes in serving teens and young adults. A big issue the age group is currently facing is uncertainty regarding the fall, specifically whether or not they will be going back to school.  

 Sandstone Care is aiming to support people through virtual services and assessments, while also keeping an in-person option for people when possible. 

“A lot of families, four months into the pandemic, have screen fatigue. Not having that connection can be a real challenge,” said LaRocca. 

The facility is taking many measures to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. In their day treatment programs, they are enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing and giving temperature screenings. There will be increased sanitation, and only essential personnel are allowed in the office. 

The reception from the public has been very positive. Virginia is a pretty underserved area, especially with resources for teens, according to LaRocca, so there has been a lot of support around their establishment.  

“I think there’s a lot of excitement and support from the other community mental health centers and hospitals,” said LaRocca. “It’s hard to be a human being right now.” 

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. 

Photo via the Sandstone Care/Facebook

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Fairfax County confirmed it is still mandatory for all students enrolling in Fairfax County Public Schools to receive their required immunizations, despite the school year starting virtually.

The county’s health department is providing nine additional community childhood vaccination clinics and encouraging families to take advantage of free vaccination opportunities before the start of the school year, according to the Fairfax County Emergency Information website.

Required vaccinations protect against life-threatening illnesses such as polio, measles, whooping cough and chickenpox, according to the website. Additionally, incoming seventh-graders need a booster dose of the Tdap vaccine, and preteens need vaccines to protect against diseases such as HPV.

Only a select number of appointments will be available at community vaccination clinics to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To schedule an appointment, call 703-246-6010, TTY 711. Clinics encourage families to send a picture of their child’s vaccination records to decrease face-to-face time at the clinic.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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On July 28, Reston’s biannual Appraisal Roadshow will be going online. The virtual event will take place via Zoom from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

The Appraisal Roadshow aims to deliver an educational and rewarding treasure hunt from your own home in an engaging forum. Participants are invited to present one personal valuable each, and the appraisal experts will educate the audience with information about what it is, what it’s worth and what you can do with the treasure, according to the event description

Items to present include jewelry, coins, a timepiece, porcelain, artwork or other heirlooms.   

Those interested in participating can register for the event via WebTrac, by emailing [email protected], or by calling 703-435-6577. The event is $14 for Reston Association members and $16 for non-members. 

Photo via Reston Association

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Beginning July 28, lane shifts and traffic patterns will be changing between Utterback Store Road and Reston Avenue.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will be adding a third lane and shared-use paths in each direction, running about seven miles along Route 7. 

The department is also adding a pedestrian underpass to access Colvin Run Mill Park, replacing and raising the bridge over Difficult Run and making more bicycle, pedestrian and intersection improvements, according to a statement from the department. 

Work shifts will take place during daytime and overnight hours, according to the statement. 

Starting on or around August 3, cleaning crews will begin work clearing during the daytime hours. All residences, businesses, and public facilities will still be accessible. 

The speed limit on Route 7 will be reduced to 45 miles per hour in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive. 

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation

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Herndon Rocks’ Friday Night Live! concerts are returning on a virtual platform this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first virtual concert will take place on July 24 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., and they will return again on July 31 at the same time. The July 24 show will feature 8 Track Jones, and the July 31 show will feature The Reflex.

The live streams will be available on the event’s Facebook page, website and Youtube channel

The organizers are still working on safely getting the event back to the Town Green this summer, according to their website. 

To keep people engaged, Herndon Rocks is planning to include giveaways and donation opportunities to help the non-profits and schools normally supported by the concerts, according to their website.

The virtual concert series is presented by the Volkswagen Group of America and produced by the Herndon Chamber Committee of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Herndon.  

Photo via Herndon Rocks/Facebook

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The Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans to hold its first set of virtual community input meetings to display preliminary recommendations for the Fairfax County and Franconia-Springfield Parkways Alternatives Analysis and Long-Term Planning Study. 

According to a statement released by the county, there will be three opportunities to participate. The sessions will be held on July 29, July 30, and Aug 4. 

FCDOT has held two rounds of community input over the past two years. Their mission is to gather feedback from the community and identify deficiencies along the Parkway corridors 

The department is aiming to maximize efficiency for commuters while serving local residents at the same time. Officials want to minimize the impacts that more efficiency will have on the community and the environment, according to the county website.

FCDOT plans to evaluate final recommendations in its transportation models and send them to the Board of Supervisors this winter, according to the website. FCDOT will begin the process of amending the Comprehensive Plan in Spring 2021 following endorsement by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.  

File photo

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Reston’s Apple store reopened on July 16 after moving to a new location following their old location’s closing back in March. 

The store had been planning and building a reconstruction of the old store for over a year now, and has finally opened up right next to the old store. The new building is more than double the size of the previous, according to 9To5Mac

Unlike the usual celebrations that follow Apple Store unveilings, the new Reston store chose to keep their opening quiet to prevent people from crowding, according to 9To5Mac. Cheering, lines and high-fives were frowned upon. A small notice on the window was the only evidence of the store’s opening.

The new store is designed with white quartz, a revolving door and a wall-to-wall glass facade. These changes are apart of a “breakaway” from the store’s stainless steel design most people are familiar with. According to 9To5Mac, other contemporary Apple Stores in Clarendon and Pentagon City have a similar look.

New COVID-19 safety protocols include mask requirements, temperature checks and a limited number of customers in the store. Customers will be asked to wait in a line outside before entering. Additionally, shopping and repair services are available online.

The Apple Store has not yet responded to questions regarding the reopening.

Photo via Apple

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