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by RestonNow.com — February 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

What's Going On/Dance Place

D.C.-based Dance Place will present its tribute to Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On,” tonight at CenterStage in Reston.

According to information available on Dance Place’s website, the show is the troupe’s first full-length production. The artistic director of the show, which was first performed in November, is Vincent Thomas. Thomas used Gaye’s 1971 album of the same name as the show’s lifeblood.

“Taking inspiration from 1971’s inimitable What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye’s insights into life, love and social justice are given fresh perspectives with new choreography by Vincent E. Thomas, Ralph Glenmore and Sylvia Soumah. What’s Going On seeks to provoke thoughtfulness and spark conversations to ignite change in each community it touches.”

The performance features modern, jazz and West African dance. Gin Dance Company will join the show as well.

The show is scheduled for tonight at 8 p.m. at CenterStage at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-Restonians. For more information, call Paul Douglas Michnewicz at 703-390-6167.

Photo illustration via Dance Place

by Dave Emke — February 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 4 Comments

Reston Town Center logoReston Town Center will host family-friendly events each Saturday in March, to benefit Opportunity Neighborhood: Reston.

The first such event is scheduled for March 4, from 1-4 p.m., and will include free rides on a vintage carousel, free s’mores and hot chocolate, and a performance by the Fairfax Jubil-Aires.

Future events, according to information provided by Town Center owners Boston Properties, will feature complimentary music, pet adoption, balloon artists, carriage rides, funnel cakes, RTC mascot “Resty the Dog,” mini train rides, caricature artists and more.

Opportunity Neighborhood: Reston began in October. It is part of a countywide movement that aims to identify areas of need and provide resources that will allow all children to gain a strong academic foundation, family resilience, and a culture of engagement and success. It was developed and launched by planning partners including Cornerstones, Leadership Fairfax, Reston Association, Reston Community Center, YMCA Reston/Fairfax County, Fairfax County Public Schools and various county departments.

“Opportunity Neighborhood: Reston (RestON) is about community partners working together to foster the health and wellbeing of the next generation. We are grateful to Boston Properties for choosing to support RestON through their March weekend family events at Reston Town Center,” said Toni Francis-Bowie, director of Opportunity Neighborhoods. “When we invest wisely in children and families, the next generation will pay that back through a lifetime of productivity and responsible citizenship.”

For additional information about Opportunity Neighborhood: Reston and these upcoming events at Reston Town Center, contact Cornerstones CEO Kerrie Wilson at 571-323-9571 or [email protected].

by Dave Emke — January 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 12.31.52 PM

Women will gather in Reston this weekend for an event designed to take the intimidation out of networking.

Hub Dot aims to bring women together and help them communicate and connect. Those who attend do not get name tags or other status-defining labels, but rather colored dots that begin to tell their wearers’ stories and help guide the conversation.

Red dots are worn by women who are established in a field and can be a mentor. Yellow dots are for women seeking help with an idea. Green dots are for those looking for inspiration. Blue dots are for women who are socializing. Purple dots are for women with a particular passion or cause.

Founder and CEO Simona Barbieri explains:

“We’ve discovered that when you put together a group of like-minded women in the same space, and you put storytelling in the center of the way they communicate with each other, incredible things happen.”

Speakers at last year’s Hub Dot event in Reston included Amanda Tiede (a corporate executive who raised $100,000 in 10 weeks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society), Anna Whitson-Donaldson (author of a book about struggling with the death of her 12-year-old son) and Kristina Anderson (a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting who now works to prepare others).

Sunday’s event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Kendra Scott (11924 Market St., in Reston Town Center). Tickets are $25. Attendees are asked to bring gently used bras to donate to Support the Girls, a charity for homeless women and girls.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

by Dave Emke — January 25, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Reston Youth Camp Expo/via Reston Community Center

Summer may seem far in the distance, but the time to think about it — especially for kids — has arrived.

Reston Community Center will host its fourth annual Reston Camp Expo on Saturday. The event is an opportunity for parents and children to learn about all the opportunities available to them in the area once school is out, said Eileen Boone, RCC learning and leisure director.

“It’s nonprofit organizations and government agenices, so there’s a strong emphasis on programs that provide scholarships, transportation options, and even congregrate lunches and snacks for children,” she said. “There is definitely an emphasis on making sure that every child this summer will have an opportunity to stay engaged and active, even if they may not necessarily have the funds.”

Boone said the expo was originally the idea of Reston founder Bob Simon.

“He wanted to get all of the different rec agencies and community organizations together and he wanted us to really talk to each other and figure out where there were gaps in programming, wait lists in some camps,” she said. “[He wanted us] to share that information and try to help these kids get into camps in the area.”

In addition to RCC, many other organizations will be present at the expo to share their summertime offerings. Exhibitors will include Reston Association, Fairfax County Public Schools, the county Parks Authority, the county Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Reston Regional Library, YMCA Fairfax County Reston and more.

On top of that, Boone said, representatives from area nonprofit youth sports organizations including Reston Soccer, Great Falls Youth Rugby Club, Herndon-Reston Youth Field Hockey and others will be at Saturday’s event.

“We’ve expanded it a little bit to try to feature other programs and organizations,” she said. “It’s just to let the parents and kids know what else is out there.”

Boone said many regional summer camps and clubs will begin enrollment soon, and they often fill up quickly.

“[This expo] is really like a one-stop shop,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to see all of the different camp programs and learn all about the various scholarships and fee waivers that exist.”

Some organizations will be registering campers at the expo, Boone said. Attendees do not have to register on-site, however, as they will receive an updated Camp Resource Guide to help them research their decision for summertime fun.

The expo will be at RCC’s Hunters Woods location (2310 Colts Neck Road) beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. For more information, call Boone at 703-390-6162.

by Dave Emke — January 20, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Prom dresses/Reston Town Center

Prom season is quickly approaching, and for many, that means stress.

There’s the stress of finding a date and the stress of planning for the big day, among others. But for some, the stress could be in figuring out how to afford one of the night’s most important features — the dress.

To help alleviate that for as many girls as possible, Reston Community Center is once again rolling out its Diva Central Dress Drive.

Donations of dresses that are less than five years old can be made at Reston Community Center’s Hunters Woods or Lake Anne locations between Jan. 30 and Feb. 28. In addition to dresses, donations of prom accessories — including shoes, jewelry, handbags, scarves and shawls — will also be accepted.

Donated items must be in good condition, and it is requested that dresses be dry-cleaned if possible.

Reston Town Center will also accept donations in its building lobbies beginning next week.

For more information about the drive, contact Ali Clements at [email protected] or 703-390-6177.

Photo via Reston Town Center

by Dave Emke — January 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm 4 Comments

Wiehle-Reston East station/Credit: Elvert Barnes vis Flickr

You may have heard the nation’s 45th President, Donald Trump, will be inaugurated Friday on the National Mall.

In celebration of the historic event, Reston Station Plaza is hosting a series of festivities including entertainment and games.

Beginning at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the plaza (1904 Reston Metro Plaza, at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station), patriotic displays will include live music and presidential trivia. The fun is scheduled to wrap up at 7:30 p.m.

On Friday, events are scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. and Inauguration Day coverage will be displayed on a big-screen television throughout the morning. A Donald Trump impersonator is also expected to be part of the show.

For updates, watch the event’s Facebook page.

Those who are planning to use the Metro to travel to D.C. for the inaugural events are being encouraged to plan ahead and use caution on what is expected to be an extremely crowded day. Metro is once again selling commemorative SmarTrip cards for the event, and Wiehle-Reston is one of a number of stations at which special card sleeves will be distributed.

by Dave Emke — January 17, 2017 at 11:30 am 16 Comments

Traffic on Reston Parkway/Credit: Reston 2020

The next community meeting for the Reston Transportation Funding Plan is scheduled to be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).

The Reston Network Analysis Advisory Group consists of locals who seek feedback from people who are the most affected by local development and changes to the transportation system. Through the Reston Network Analysis, the county seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of pedestrian-friendly streets and paths around the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, as well as the future Reston Town Center and Herndon stops.

The committee’s most recent meeting on planned projects, estimated to cost more than $2 billion over the next 40 years, was held Dec. 19. Projects being discussed include:

Reston Transportation Funding Plan

The transit areas are expected to see the greatest level of development — and will need the most street grid, lane additions and traffic signals, among other improvements — as Reston grows over the coming decades.

The cost of the improvements is expected to be a public/private split, roughly 50/50. In this framework, Reston roadway projects would be paid for with public revenue, while intersections and the grid would be covered by private funding. A significant portion of the private funding “is expected to be paid for through in-kind contributions to the grid from developers as redevelopment occurs,” the committee says.

The advisory group works with the county and the Virginia Department of Transportation to come up with ways to secure funding for Reston’s network and maintaining local roadways. Last fall, RNAG expressed strong opposition to creating a special tax district, in which residents who live near the Metro stations would be taxed to help with road improvements.

by Dave Emke — January 13, 2017 at 4:00 pm 17 Comments

She's Crafty beer night via Tracy Bailey Converse/Facebook

Melissa Romano, the co-owner of Lake Anne Brew House, said she has had interesting experiences with women coming into the pub.

They didn’t want beer, and she wanted to change that.

“Guys would come in with their girlfriends on their arm, and the girlfriends wanted wine,” she said. “When we were able to actually bring them into the bar and let them taste our local, hand-crafted beers, we were typically able to find a beer they liked as much as the wine that they claimed was the only thing they were going to drink.”

Romano owns the brewery along with her husband, Jason. She has made educating women about beer her mission, and part of that goal is the implementation of women’s-only nights at the pub, dubbed “She’s Crafty” nights. The first one took place in December, and the next is scheduled for Sunday night.

“I’ve always been very interested in making sure women are comfortable around craft beer,” she said. “It’s kind of a male-dominated field, and we want to make sure the women get their time to shine in the brewery, to ask questions and learn.”

Lake Anne Brew House, which opened in April, also has a female assistant brewer, Tracy Converse. Romano said with so much female influence on the beer, it is important to the brewery to keep women engaged in their process.

“We wanted to make sure that we made special time for women,” Romano said.

Romano said the women who frequent Lake Anne Brew House have organized as an affiliate of Barley’s Angels, an international organization dedicated to helping women explore and appreciate craft beer.

“Girls can really enjoy this experience too,” she said.

Romano said the first “She’s Crafty” event was very successful and she is hopeful this weekend’s will be as well.

“We just want to give women a little bit of a foothold, so they can walk in [to a brewery] and say, ‘This is what I like,'” she said. “We give them a knowledge base to work from, as it relates to beer.”

This weekend’s event will include pairings of three specialty beers with different plates of food, Romano said.

“We’re going to talk about beer and food pairings and educate the women about not only the styles of beers they’re drinking, but why they taste good with a particular style of food,” she said.

The brew house plans to continue hosting the events monthly, Romano said.

Sunday’s event is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the pub, located at 11424 Washington Plaza West in Lake Anne Plaza. There is no cost, other than the accrued tab. Romano said the event is “come as you are,” with no RSVP required.

by Dave Emke — January 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Taarka via www.taarka.com

If you enjoy the sounds of strings, you may want to be at the Reston Community Center’s CenterStage next Sunday.

String group Taarka is scheduled to perform a live show at 3 p.m. Jan. 22. The band posted on Facebook that it is excited for the opportunity to entertain here.

“We are really looking forward to this matinee concert at the Reston Community Center,” the post reads. “It’s been over a year in the making.”

According to the band’s website:

“Taarka’s live shows strike a balance between well-crafted songs and spirited instrumentals these days, expanding on its beginnings as a purely instrumental string band putting a modern spin on Gypsy and Eastern European folk music. Taarka has drawn from wide-ranging influences over the past 10 years. Sophisticated listeners would be able to distill flavors of Western and Eastern folk traditions, jazz, rock, bluegrass, old-time, gypsy, Indian, and Celtic music all in a string band setting.”

Tickets for the show are $15 for Reston residents and $20 for non-residents.

by Dave Emke — January 12, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

2016 Amy's Amigos Triathlon/Joseph Letteri

Registration for Reston’s Sprint Triathlon filled in a flash last week. Now, young triathletes will have their chance to do the same.

The seventh annual Reston Youth Triathlon will take place Sunday, May 14, and registration opens the evening of Jan. 18.

A group of preteens founded “Amy’s Amigos” in 2008 to honor their friend Amy Boyle, who was battling brain cancer. The fundraising “Be Amyazing!” triathlon began three years later, following Amy’s death. Proceeds benefit the Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation.

The founders of Amy’s Amigos and the triathlon, now college students, were honored last year with a Best of Reston Award.

The triathlon is open to kids ages 6 to 15. It consists of a swim at Ridge Heights pool, a bike ride on roads near South Lakes High School and a run on Reston Association paths. Lengths are different for each age group.

The event is coordinated in conjunction with the CORE Foundation.

Photo credit: Joseph Letteri

by Dave Emke — January 10, 2017 at 2:45 pm 24 Comments

Sierra ClubConcerned citizens plan to meet soon in Reston to discuss worries they have about the future of environmental legislation.

The Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter and the Sierra Club NOVA Hub organize monthly “Climate Action Night” events in Reston. Kelsey Crane, Northern Virginia program coordinator for the Club, says this month’s meeting — the time and date of which are in flux — will discuss major fears regarding the incoming Trump Administration.

We are going to be looking at some of the terrible climate deniers that Trump has in important positions and how we can work with our senators to have them block those nominations and stand up for the environment,” Crane said.

In November, Virginia was one of 18 states to pledge support of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, is a strong opponent of the legislation.

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) of Fairfax County called the pick of Pruitt part of a “Cabinet of Horrors” being assembled by Trump:

“The decision to appoint an individual who has repeatedly tried to stymie and rollback important environmental regulations — and a climate change denier no less — to head the very agency charged with protecting public health and safety is reckless, cynical and must be opposed.”

The Sierra Club is asking its supporters to show their displeasure with Pruitt’s nomination by petitioning Senate. They contend the Clean Power Plan offers an “unprecedented opportunity” in the effort to “reduce harmful carbon pollution by increasing our use of energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

Another Sierra Club petition exists to ask senators to block the nomination of Trump’s Secretary of State choice, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Crane said the Club is concerned about protecting not just the Clean Power Plan, but other existing efforts to battle greenhouse gases, including the nation’s participation in The Paris Agreement.

This is our first meeting of the year to really get together and strategize what are the biggest priorities we can put our attention and our efforts onto to protect our environment against what could be a disastrous administration,” Crane said. “[We’ll be looking at] how we can build a strong base of advocates and people who can do outreach in our community, to our media and to our decision makers.”

Local Climate Action Nights are usually held at the Reston Regional Library, Crane said, and they are open to the public. For further information about this month’s meeting and other local efforts, contact Crane at 703-438-6246 or [email protected].

by Dave Emke — January 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Capitol Steps 2016/Credit:Chip McCrea

No matter where you find yourself on the political landscape, there is always something to lampoon. The current state of politics in the nation leaves no shortage of targets.

Political satire troupe Capitol Steps will be in Reston once again this month to throw their barbs at those targets, all to benefit a good cause.

For the 34th straight year, the D.C.-based group will perform here to benefit Cornerstones. This year’s event is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street).

Tickets for the show are $100, with full tables and sponsorship opportunities also available.

Proceeds from the performance will benefit Cornerstones’ efforts to provide affordable housing, emergency shelter, food, financial assistance, childcare and other essential resources to individuals and families in need. Last year’s show raised over $230,000 for those efforts.

Photo via Chip McCrea Photography

by Dave Emke — January 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Reston Sprint Triathlon 2016 Participant (via Facebook)

The 11th annual Reston Sprint Triathlon is still nearly five months away, but organizers say registration has already reached capacity.

The registration process for the event began at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Less than 24 hours later, nearly 1,000 participants had signed up and it was cut off.

“Thanks to the 950 athletes that chose our race and whose participation in this race helps those in need,” the full Facebook post continues. “You are making a difference in your life and in the lives of those around you.”

The event, scheduled for Sunday, June 4, benefits Cornerstones. Kerrie Wilson, Cornerstones CEO, said the relationship between her organization and the CORE Foundation, which stages the annual fundraiser, is cherished.

Truly, 100 percent of the proceeds go to benefit the organization,” Wilson said. “Those kinds of partnerships are very unique and just amazing.”

Wilson said the event has raised about $240,000 for Cornerstones in the past decade.

Every year it has grown, every year since 2007, as the race itself has grown and so has the sponsorship to be able to support our mission,” she said. “Annually, we can count on the fact that those resources are there so that we can provide stability and hope to the clients we support.”

A 1/4-mile swim at Lake Newport Pool, a 12-mile bike ride on North Reston roads and a three-mile run on North Reston pathways make up the course.

More than 600 volunteers are also needed for the event. Anyone interested in being a part of the effort is encouraged to sign up at the triathlon’s website.

by Jennifer van der Kleut — January 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

R2016 Virginia Polar Dip/Credit: David Madison Photographyeston residents can don costumes and get “ice, ice, crazy” during an annual charity event next month.

This year’s Virginia Polar Dip is slated to take place at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne on Feb. 11. The benefit helps raise money to send children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to Camp Sunshine in Maine.

This year’s goal is to raise $100,000, which would be enough to send about 40 area families to the camp, organizers said. The Reston event is held in conjunction with other Polar Dip plunges across the U.S.

In previous years, participants have worn wetsuits, superhero getups and pirate costumes as they leapt in the lake. But they don’t need to fully submerge themselves: attendees can also participate by just dunking their toes in the water during the so-called “Chicken Dip.” Participants who raise $100 or more for the cause will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

Registration on the day of the event is scheduled to begin at noon. The event itself will begin about two hours later.

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by Jennifer van der Kleut — December 29, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Reston Association/Credit: RAWith four of the nine members of the Board of Directors up for re-election in the spring, the Reston Association is putting out a call for candidates and prepping for next week’s Candidates’ Information Session.

Anyone who is interested in learning more about running for election to one of those four seats is invited to come to the session to learn more about the process of becoming a candidate, and learn more about the duties and responsibilities of a board member. The session will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

The four board positions opening up in April include one at-large director, the apartment owners’ representative, and the directors for the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District and the North Point District.

Board positions have three-year terms. The first three board positions are coming to the end of their three-year terms. However, earlier this month, North Point District Director Danielle LaRosa — who also currently serves as the board’s treasurer — announced her intent to resign from her position at the end of the first year of her current three-year term. Therefore, the RA will hold an election to fill her seat, and the candidate that is elected will serve out the remaining two years of her term.

The other three positions are currently filled by Hunters Woods/Dogwood District Director Lucinda Shannon, At-Large Director Jeff Thomas, and Apartment Owners’ Representative Ellen Graves, who also currently serves as the board’s president.

Potential candidates must reside within the boundaries of the Reston deed, and may not have any outstanding balances owed to the association. In order to run for election, one must write a candidate’s statement and obtain signatures of support from at least 25 different households. If running to represent a particular district, all 25 households must be located within that district.

All forms must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Jan. 27 in order to qualify for the election.

Votes are cast by residents either in-person or by mail-in ballot between March 3 and April 3, and the winners are announced at the RA board meeting on April 11. The new board is sworn in on April 12.

Visit the RA’s election page for more information.

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