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Weekend Discussion Topics

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Breaking: Four Men Arrested After High-Speed Chase
  2. Developing: Body Found on Browns Chapel Road
  3. Updated: Incumbents Return but Cunningham Ousted from Herndon Town Council
  4. Cow Attempts Daring Escape During Lunchtime Stroll in Herndon
  5. Fairfax County Planning Commission Approves Midline Project

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip. We’ll resume our regular publishing schedule when we return from our Veterans Day holiday.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo via FCPD

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Five Seats Open in 2019 Reston Association Board Election

Reston Association has issued a call for candidates for the 2019 Board of Directors’ election. Five seats are open.

The following seats will be open next year: an at-large seat for a three-year term, apartment owners representative for a one-year term, Hunters Woods/Dogwood district representative for a one-year term, North Point district representative for a three-year term and Lake Anne/Tall Oaks district representative for a three-year term.

Interested candidates must complete a candidacy statement form. RA’s elections committee will validate candidates in late January and the election will begin on March 4.

The nine-member board is responsible for setting the mission and goals of RA, policies and procedures, monitoring finances, approving budgets and setting the assessment rate.

Photo via Reston Association/YouTube

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Town of Herndon Candidates Gear Up for Final Stretch Ahead of Council, Mayoral Election

Candidates for the Herndon Town Council are gearing up for election day on Nov. 6.  Over the last month, fundraising totals for Grace Wolf Cunningham, a current councilwoman running for reelection, surpassed her opponents who are also vying for seats on the Council.

Cunningham reeled in nearly $7,000, moving her ahead of funds raised by other candidates — even after factoring in a $3,000 loan she took from herself. Ten candidates are vying for six town council seats: Cunningham, Jennifer Baker, Cesar Del Aguila, Pradip Dhakal, Signe Friedrichs, W.J. Sean Kenis Jr., Bill McKenna, Sheila Olem, Joe Plummer and Roland Taylor. Baker, Cunningham, Friedrichs, McKenna and Olem are incumbents.

Mayor Lisa Merkel is running unopposed and reeled in $4,374 between Oct. 1 and Oct. 25, including donations from Cunningham, and State House Rep. Jennifer Boysko, Fairfax County Board of Director John Foust. She had roughly $2,345 cash on hand.

Most other Council candidates brought in roughly $1,000 in contributions over the past month. Baker raised around $2,519 and was left with $1,542. Dhakal received more than $4,000 over the last reporting period through 51 contributions, largely from the Indian community.

Del Aguila raised nearly $900 and was left with $677 in his campaign coffers, a number similar to Kenis Jr. who raised nearly $2,000 but was left with around $692. Friedrichs received nearly $610 and was had roughly $1,200 in his coffers. McKenna received around $1,528 and was left with a little over $1,000. Olem held on to most contributions, with around $1,015 raised and $3,682 in the bank. Plummer raised $1,161 and had just $390 remaining.

Data for Taylor was not available because he is a self-funded candidate and is only required to file campaign finance reports at the conclusion of his campaign.

Donations across campaigns were common. For example, Merkel donated to the several council candidate committees, including that of Cunningham, McKenna, and Plummer. 

Alliances have also emerged during a recent civil suit filed by Olem, Del Aguila and Friedrichs against Cunningham alleging she engaged in the malicious prosecution against them. A judge is likely to make a decision on the civil suit following the election.

Cunningham’s legal representative, State Sen. Chap Peterson, called the lawsuit a “distraction.”

 “My client, the Honorable Grace Wolf Cunningham looks forward to Election Day and continuing to represent her constituents and achieving results. Once Election Day is over we will deal with whatever legal issues remain,” Peterson wrote in a statement.

File photo

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South Lakes HS Homecoming Parade Cancelled

Tonight’s South Lakes High School homecoming parade has been cancelled.

The high school cited safety and health concerns for the cancellations; the forecast tonight calls for heavy rain and cold temperatures, as a Nor’easter storm moves into the area.

Tonight’s South Lakes vs. Yorktown football game is still on for 7 p.m.

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

Get ready to get in the Seahawk spirit tonight as South Lakes High celebrates homecoming!

The parade kicks off at 5 p.m. from Hunters Woods Shopping Center. It will continue north on Colts Neck Drive, turn east onto South Lakes Drive and finish at SLHS. The football game against Yorktown High School begins at 7 p.m. shortly after the parade. Admission is $5 and the Class of 1998 will also be on-site to celebrate their 20th reunion.

(Update: the homecoming parade has been cancelled due to rain.)

The Washington West Film Festival celebrated opening night Thursday, and screenings of films will continue to take place throughout the weekend in Reston and other locations west of the District. See the full schedule of films and purchase tickets online through the festival’s website.

Below is a limited list of other events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.

  • Enjoy the first free Harvest Festival at Lake Anne Plaza from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Activities will include wine and beer tastings, a morning craft project for kids with the Reston Art Gallery and Studio, consignment and souvenir sales, a used book sale, sweet treats and much more, featuring all local businesses.
  • Bring the kids and enjoy an indoor dip at the Family Splash at RCC Hunters Woods on Friday from 7-9 p.m. The cost for families with up to 5 people is $13 for Reston residents and $26 for non-residents.
  • In the mood for a little theater? The Reston Players present the musical Hairspray at 8 p.m. Friday on CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods. Tickets are $28 for adults, $24 for seniors 65 and older, and $24 for students and youth under 18.
  • Looking to give back to your local community? Habitat For Heroes will host its “Stop the Choking, Save the Natives” event this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are needed along the asphalt path between Sanibel Drive and Dogwood Elementary School to help remove invasive English ivy vines, in order to help give native wildflowers a chance to thrive. No prior experience is required, and guidance will be given by experts.
  • As the weather gets colder, you may be thinking ahead to indoor family activities like playing board games and putting together jigsaw puzzles. The Friends of the Reston Regional Library will hold their annual Puzzle Sale today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring gently used puzzles, games and more.
  • Children ages 5 to 12 can learn more about the culture of China and learn some of the country’s traditional folk dances at the Reston Regional Library today from 2-5 p.m at the library’s free Chinese Dance Workshop.
  • The Great American Read continues this weekend with a free Green Screen Photo Booth at the Reston Regional Library from 2-4 p.m. Saturday. Place yourself in an exciting scene from one of your favorite books through the magic of green screen technology.
  • Celebrate the fall season with Frying Pan Farm Park’s “BOO-stravaganza” tonight at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Children ages 3 to 8 will enjoy a variety of themed games, go trick-or-treating to animals and enjoy a wagon ride, and will finish the evening with a small treat bag for the road. Reservations are required, and the cost is $10 per person.
  • The Reston Farmers Market is still going strong. With the end of summer, cold-weather favorites like greens, gourds, pumpkins, peppers and apples can now be seen among the stands, along with the usual baked goods and a variety of fresh meats from beef, pork, and chicken to healthy water buffalo. The markets take place every Saturday through Dec. 1, from 8 a.m. to noon at Lake Anne Plaza, including this Saturday for the free Harvest Festival.

File photo

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Herndon Man Arrested in Connection with Strangulation

The Herndon Police Department recently released information on a strangulation in the area.

Salvador Aguilar Ramos, 52, of Herndon, was arrested on Oct. 16 for assault and strangulation of a victim. The individual was known to Ramos, according to the Herndon Police Department.

The incident happened on the 500 block of Florida Avenue. Ramos is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond. Police released no further information about the incident.

File photo

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Free Seminar Offers Safe Driving Tips for Older Adults

Driving skills change as you age — prompting Reston Community Center to hold a free session on safe driving for older adults.

The program is set for Oct.23 (Tuesday) from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods. The event is free and registration is not required.

Participants will learn how to stay safe on the road and assess when to stop driving altogether. Workshops will include information about equipment, using technology to find rides, helping neighbors who do not drive and other ways of finding safe and reliable transportation.

More information is available on RCC’s website.

Photo via RCC

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Here Comes South Lakes High School’s Homecoming Parade

The South Lakes High School homecoming parade is scheduled for Oct.26 (Friday), and students are taking advantage of the opportunity to fundraise for a good cause.

The school’s leadership class will fundraiser for Hungry for Music, an organization that buys instruments for children who cannot afford their own. The class aims to raise $1,000 to purchase 20 instruments for an after-school program. Collection baskets and tables at homecoming activities will be open for donation throughout the week of the parade.

The parade, which is set for 5-6 p.m., will feature student organizations, class councils, clubs, team, community groups, elementary schools, and the school’s marching band, The Spirit of Reston. Student-built boats will reflect the theme of “Tune in to South Lakes.” Each grade will select a music genre and the grand marshall this year is SLHS teacher Chris Moorhead, according to information provided by the school.

The parade begins at 5 p.m. from Hunters Woods Shopping Center. It will continue north on Colts Neck Drive, turn east onto South Lakes Drive and finish at SLHS. A small food court will be set-up in the stadium-side parking lot with food trucks from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The football game against Yorktown High School begins at 7 p.m. shortly after the parade. Admission is $5 and the Class of 1998 will also be on-site to celebrate their 20th reunion.

Photo via Lyn Fiscus

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Photos: Flavors of Fall Brings Food and Fun to Reston Town Center

Flavors of Fall, Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor food festival, returned to Reston Town Center this weekend.

Dozens of restaurants offered up their favorite fall items for samples during the event, which is hosted by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

The festival also included live entertainment and events for the family.

Photos by Don Renner

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Financial Study: Fairfax County is the Best Place to Retire

A new study says that Fairfax County is one of the best places in Virginia to retire.

The rankings were compiled by financial website Smartasset.com, which used factors like healthcare access, the number of retirement-focused recreational centers and overall tax burden, to determine the best places to retire in Virginia.

The website wrote the following description about Fairfax County’s retirement-friendliness:

If you’re looking to retire in the great outdoors, Fairfax County may be the perfect place for you. The region houses many national parks, including Great Falls National Park and Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s first sanctuary for bald eagles. You can also visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

You’d also have more than 300 miles of hiking trails to tackle as you stay active. In fact, the Fairfax County Park Authority runs more than 400 parks among more than 20,000 acres. Some feature wildlife preserves and working farms. But nature isn’t Fairfax’s only perk. You also have more than 200 regional shopping centers. And don’t worry too much about your wallet. The region’s mid-range 16.7% tax burden falls well below that of major cities. So it would behoove you to invest in tax-advantaged savings vehicles like a 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA). And where can you use your hard earned savings? At tons of recreation centers, including an ice-skating rink and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. You also have more than 800 playgrounds you can bring the grandkids to. And if you need it, Fairfax has more than 13 medical centers per 1,000 people. Overall, Fairfax County is definitely the place to retire in if you love the outdoors and still want some action in your life

Other areas that made the list include Falls Church (#2), which was described as a welcome sport for outdoor enthusiasts, and Vienna (#7), which was described as a place best-suited for art lovers.

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Save the Date: Fall Bazaar in Reston Set for Oct. 13

A fall bazaar, which will feature a mix of craft jewelry, decor, candles, and homemade baked goods, is set for Oct. 13 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church (11400 North Shore Drive).

A silent auction will also take place during the event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is the second year the free event has taken place.

Family activities include Zumba by the YMCA, book readings for children and an activity led by Beloved Yoga.

Event organizers are no longer accepting applications from vendors. For more information, email [email protected].

Flickr pool photo via J0nathan

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New Exhibit at Hunters Woods Features Art by Older Adults

A new exhibition featuring the work of artists age 55 and above is coming to Reston next week.

The exhibit, “Young at Art,” opens on Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the showroom of Hunters Woods at Trails Edge (2254B Hunters Woods Plaza).

Attendees can meet the artists behind the event and enjoy local wines paired with desserts. RSVP by emailing [email protected] or by calling 703-708-4047.

Hunters Woods at Trails Edge is an independent living and assisted living facility expected to open by the spring of 2019. The $72 million project is the first Virginia location for IntegraCare.

Photo via Marion Myers

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Take a Tour of Lake Anne Plaza’s Public Art

Aside from several stand-out pieces, there are a lot of art displays to explore around Lake Anne Plaza.

On Friday, Oct. 10, art historian Phoebe Avery will offer a walking tour of art around the plaza. The tour begins in front of Lake Anne Coffee House.

The event is presented by Reston Association and Public Art Reston. Registration is $5 for Reston Association members and $8 for all others. The tour will run from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Other tours are also planned by RA, including a newcomers’ bus tour on Saturday and a Hunter Mill Road historical tour on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

File photo

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CenterStage to Screen Norman Lear Documentary Ahead of Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival

The Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival is coming to the Angelika Film Center and Cafe in Fairfax on October 18 through 28. Reston Community Center will hold a preview ahead of the festival with a screening of the documentary “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the CenterStage.

The documentary explores the legacy of lear’s 1970s TV sitcoms. Lear created and produced sitcoms, including All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and Maude. His shows explored social and political issues ranging from the Vietnam War, racial prejudice, sexism, and homophobia.

The 18th annual Northern Virginia Film Festival is presented by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia. More than 12 films will be screened during the festival that explores Jewish life, culture, and identity.

The preview screening in Reston is free and open to all ages.

Photo via RCC

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Decision on ‘Midline’ Near Wiehle-Reston East Delayed

A decision on The Midline, a 1.8-million-square-foot development proposed near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station was delayed to Oct. 11 by the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Thursday (Sept. 27).

JBG Smith, EYA and Chevy Chase Land Co. are partnering to create a 17.5-acre development east of Wiehle Avenue and south of Sunset Hills Road with up to 1.2 million square feet of residential development, 260,000 square feet of office space and up to  250,000 square feet of retail.

The development team plans to design four blocks and has offered the county two development options. The first would include 1,058 residential units and 251,150 square feet of secondary uses and the second plan would include 1,098 residential units and 187,750 square feet of secondary uses.

The case is not yet docketed for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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