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Author Tracey Kyle to Debut New Picture Books

Author Tracey Kyle will debut new picture books on Tuesday, July 3 at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Her latest titles are “Food Fight Fiesta: A Tale about La Tomatina” and “A Paintbrush for Paco.”

During the event, Kyle will lead a game of tomato toss and read “A Paintbrush for Paco,” which explores the power of art, imagination and color. The books serve as an introduction to Spanish.

Kyle is a New Jersey native. She decided to learn Spanish when she saw the boy band Menudo perform on a Latino TV station in middle school. Kyle teaches Spanish to eighth-graders and lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats.

Photo via Scrawl Books

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South Lakes High School Alum Returns to Reston to Debut New Children’s Book

Ethan Berlin has written for various comedians’ shows including George Lopez, Jon Stewart and Sarah Silverman. But his latest venture is writing a children’s book.

Berlin will be returning to his roots in Reston on June 2 (Saturday) to read his debut children’s book “The Hugely-Wugely Spider” at Scrawl Books. The reading will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The story tells the tale of the Itsy-Bitsy’s spider’s larger counterpart, who can’t fit into the water spout.

Part of the idea for the story came about when he was singing the Itsy-Bitsy Spider to one of his two kids. Berlin added that he was typically the bigger kid in his class growing up and always wondered if a bigger version of the Itsy-Bitsy Spider existed.

A 1995 graduate of South Lakes High School, Berlin said he loved doing theatre and comedy during his time at SLHS.

“The thing I lived for at South Lakes was theatre,” he said.

Berlin described himself as a “weirdo” in high school and said he’s grateful for how nicely he was treated at SLHS.

Now living in New Jersey, Berlin said he’s excited to read to kids in Reston and catching up with old friends. And if he could somehow maintain his comedy and writing career from Reston he said he would move back.

Image via Scrawl Books’ website

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Reston Regional Library Selected for “The Great American Read” Grant from PBS

Reston Regional Library is one of 50 libraries across the country to receive “The Great American Read” grant from the American Library Association and PBS.

The Great American Read is an eight-episode show that explores the power of reading. Viewers will select the top book of 100 best-loved novels at the end of the show, which runs from May 22 through October.

The Reston branch will host programs related to the television series with the help of WETA, the local PBS station.

“We are delighted to be part of such a unique initiative that encourages appreciation of reading and the world of discovery opened to us through books,” Library Director Jessica Hudson said.

The library will host a premiere party for the series on May 22 and special screenings of each episode thereafter. A lecture series led by local scholars, writing workshops for adults and teens and a discussion with Newbery medal winner and Reston native Kwame Alexander is also planned.

The top 100 books are selected through a public opinion polling service, with 7,200 respondents.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Sold-Out ‘Who is the Black Panther?’ Debuts at Scrawl Books; Author to Sign Advance Copies

Jesse Holland’s novel “Who is the Black Panther?” will debut at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) on Saturday (April 28) for one day only ahead of its general release on May 8. Holland will visit the store at 4 pm.. to sign advance copies and lead a discussion on the novel.

The special event is in honor of Independent Book Store Day, which celebrates the impact of indie book shops on their communities.

The novel follows the story of the Black panther, a warrior-king, who leads the imaginary African nation of Wakanda. The country, rich with technological advancements, faces ruin as outsiders attempt to plunder its riches.

The day-long event includes the following program, provided by Scrawl Books:

10 a.m.: Meet and greet with Maisy the Mouse at Scrawl Books. Young fans are invited to meet Maisy, take photos and enjoy drinks and snacks courtesy of the Reston Town Center. 

10:30 a.m.: Author Ann Marie Stephens visits Scrawl to read from her best-selling picture books, Cy Makes a Friend and Scuba Dog.  Ann Marie will read to the audience, sign books and lead a fun STEM activity for kids of all ages. 

12:30 p.m.: Author Megan Wagner Lloyd joins the party at Scrawl to read from her children’s book, Fort-Building Time.  Following the story, Fort-Building becomes a reality inside the store when the author and her fans gather up boxes, blankets and tape, and build a giant fort. 

4 p.m. : Author Jesse J. Holland, Who is the Black Panther? debuts the paperback version of his sold-out novel, 10 days before its general release.  Holland will lead a discussion on the book, as well as sign copies for fans.  Following the event, the paperback will be removed from the shelves until May 8. 

Photo by Marvel

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Monday Morning Notes

Shooting on Sunday in Ashburn —  A Reston man was shot at early Sunday at a home on the 43500 block of Dunhill Court, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. [Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office]

Population density debate fires up — The Coalition for a Planned Reston will meet tonight to discuss a proposal by the county to increase the community’s population density. [Coalition for a Planned Reston]

Bookmark this, book lovers — Friends of the Reston Regional Library will host its semi-annual book sale from Thursday through Sunday. [Friends of the Reston Regional Library]

Alcohol enforcement update — Officers from the Reston Neighborhood Patrol Unit conducted business compliance checks late last week at 11 businesses. 10 passed. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo by Sarah Mccue

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Reston Native Kwame Alexander to Bring Book Tour to Scrawl Books

Reston native Kwame Alexander will be returning to the area at Scrawl Books on Thursday (April 5) to meet readers and sign copies of his new novel “Rebound.”

Alexander has won a Newbery Medal for his book “The Crossover.” His most recent book “Rebound” is a prequel to the award-winning novel and shows a glimpse of the childhood of Chuck Bell and how he became a huge fan of jazz and a basketball star.

“We try to forge connections between the people in our community and the authors, books and artists who inspire them,” said Scrawl Books’ owner and founder, Rachel Wood in a press release. “We believe that reading can change the way people understand and relate to the world around them. We are grateful for the support of authors such as Kwame, and love to see the way the community responds when they visit Scrawl Books.”

Alexander’s fans and readers are encouraged to meet on Fountain Drive near the Pavilion at Reston Town Center at 3:45 p.m. to secure a spot in line and say hello to Alexander when the Rebound tour bus pulls in at 4 p.m.

The first 15 people to pre-order Alexander’s book through the store’s website will receive a free t-shirt and a priority spot in the autograph line.

Photo via Scrawl Books

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Actor Ed Asner To Visit Reston Next Week for Book-Signing, Movie Screening

By his own admission, Ed Asner is a “dauntless Democrat from the old days.”

The legendary actor will be at Bowtie Cinemas (11940 Market St.) in Reston Town Center on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 2-3:30 p.m. to sign copies of his new book, “The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs,” and to chat with fans.

According to the book’s summary, Asner is making the argument that liberals need to step up to challenge “right-wingers who think that they and only they know how to interpret [the Constitution].”

Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.) is selling copies of the book, which will also be for sale at the theater event. Following the book-signing, a screening of Asner’s short film “The Flood” is planned as part of the Washington West Film Festival. Tickets to the film-screening will be sold separately.

Among his many credits, the 87-year-old Asner is likely best known for his role as Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” a character which was later spun off into its own show. He is also well-known by a younger generation for his voice role as Carl Fredericksen in Pixar’s “Up.”

Asner was nominated for seven Emmys for his role as Lou Grant on “Mary Tyler Moore,” winning three. He won two more Emmys for his work on “Lou Grant” and two for his work in other projects, including the acclaimed mini-series “Roots.” Off-camera, he was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981-1985.

For more information about the event in Reston, email [email protected].

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Biden To Be in Reston on Saturday — The former Vice President will host a roundtable discussion on workforce development Saturday in Reston along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. The event, to be held at Reston Town Center co-working space Refraction (11911 Freedom Drive), will highlight Northam’s jobs plan. [NBC Washington]

Police Help Young Drivers — Officers help teenage drivers learn how to handle themselves on the roadway and what to do in certain situations during the “Youthful Driver Program” every Saturday at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Vienna, Herndon Among Top 5 Virginia Towns in Survey — A website for business professionals ranked incorporated cities and towns in Virginia based on factors including poverty level, unemployment rate and median household income. It names Vienna the “Most Successful” in the state, with Herndon coming in at No. 5. [Zippia]

County’s Fall Book Festival Kicks Off — The county’s library system is offering residents the opportunity to meet numerous authors today through Saturday as part of the “Fall for the Book” festival. [Fairfax County Public Library]

Community Center To Host Cabaret Singer — Beverly Cosham will perform Thursday afternoon at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). [Reston Community Center]

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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

Lake Anne Plaza is going to get colorful this weekend, and you can be a part of it.

Reston Art Gallery & Studios is hosting “Painting on the Plaza” from 4-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. According to an event information on Lake Anne Plaza’s website:

“Experience the beauty and vibrancy of the Lake Anne Community as the Plaza comes alive with artists painting en plein air. Join in the fun by painting or watching the artists as they work. Purchase an original artwork to take home. And while you’re at Lake Anne, don’t forget to vote for your favorite painting and enter the drawings for door prizes. Winners will be announced on Sunday at 5:30. The event will be held rain or shine.”

The event is being produced by the Lake Anne Merchants Association and the Friends of Lake Anne. It is sponsored by Pat and Steve Macintyre along with Reston Art Gallery & Studios. For a full schedule and information about how you can participate, check out the event details.

There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Take a look at our list below.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the 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.)

  • Reston Association’s semi-annual yard sale (8:30 a.m. to noon) and the Reston Expo (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) are both scheduled for Saturday at 1900 Campus Commons Drive.
  • The JamBrew series wraps up this weekend in Herndon. Tonight, live music will be offered from Right On Records, Tommy Gann and Todd Wight, and Black Masala. The free event is slated for 6-10 p.m. at the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn St.). On Saturday, from noon to 10 p.m., the OktoBrewFest will rock the town green. Music will be provided by Bach 2 Rock, Darlingtonia, Unsullied, Dr. Robinson’s Fiasco and Throwing Plates. There will also be cold beverages from Aslin Beer Co., wine, nitro brew coffee from Weird Brothers Coffee, pizza from Brama Italian Cuisine, Nordic Knot Pretzels and much more.
  • In celebration of 11 years of service to the community, the Southgate Community Center (12125 Pinecrest Road) will host its annual Family Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. According to information provided by the center, the event will include giveaways, music, moon bounces, refreshments and games.
  • Chicano rock band Quetzal will perform Sunday at 3 p.m. at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) as part of Reston Community Center’s Professional Touring Artist Series. Tickets are $20 for Reston residents and $30 for non-residents.
  • Friends of the Reston Regional Library will be continuing their fall book sale through the weekend at the library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). The fundraiser for the library will be open until 5 p.m. today; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and from noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • The 16th annual TFcon, a convention for fans of the “Transformers” franchise, is taking place this weekend at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents St.). Check out its website for the full schedule and admission prices.
  • Pulitzer Prize-winner display “Disgraced,” exploring Muslim assimilation and identity in America, will wrap up this weekend at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon). Performances are tonight at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 8 p.m.; and at a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets range in price from $17.50 to $55.
  • The National Kidney Foundation’s Northern Virginia Kidney Walk is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at Reston Town Center. Proceeds benefit awareness of kidney disease, a top 10 public health problem.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include 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.
  • Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from The Vandalays tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits during those hours Saturday night.
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Thousands of Books Available at Friends of Reston Regional Library Fall Fundraiser Sale

Thousands of books are available for purchase this weekend during the semi-annual sale by Friends of the Reston Regional Library.

More than 750 boxes of books, CDs, DVDs and more were donated to the cause for this event at the library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive), which focuses on books geared toward adults. Science fiction, religion, romance, cooking, sports, history and many other genres of titles are available. Small paperback books are available for as little as 50 cents, with hardcovers books priced as low as $1.50.

According to information provided by the Friends, the nonprofit organization has raised more than $700,000 for the library through its book sales over the past 15 years. In addition, it has been able to donate $200,000 to direct library support programs — including $100,000 in eBooks, $25,000 in children’s series books, a Braille printing station for the Access Services branch, librarian scholarships and more.

The sale began continue through Sunday. It will be open tonight until 8 p.m.; from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and from noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Friends’ next sale will be the puzzles and games sale, scheduled for Oct. 26-29, followed by its Holiday Sale in early December. A book sale for children, teens and educators is scheduled for March, followed by the Spring Book Sale in April.

Friends of the Reston Regional Library is made up of nearly 100 active volunteers who donate over 10,000 hours a year to process donations, run sales and reach out to the community.

For more information about Friends of the Reston Regional Library and its book sales, visit its website or its Facebook page, find it on Twitter, call 703-829-5467, or email [email protected].

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Board Meets Tonight — Directors are scheduled to give their thoughts about Fairfax County’s proposed zoning ordinance amendment on Reston density, appoint a new member to the Board and make decisions on budget items, among other actions and discussions. [Reston Now]

Search Warrant Gives Details of Nabra Hassanen Killing — The newly unsealed document reports that the man accused of killing the Reston teenager in July led police to her body after officers found him in his blood-stained vehicle. [Washington Post]

Fall Book Sale Starts Today — The Friends of Reston Regional Library will be hosting their semi-annual fundraiser sale from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. [Friends of Reston Regional Library]

Sound Artist at GRACE Gallery Tonight — Alex Braden will perform a new piece composed in direct response to “Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo,” now on display at the gallery (12001 Market St.). The event is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

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Two Olympians, Including 2016 Gold Medalist, Will Visit Reston for Book Signing

Matthew Centrowitz Jr., whose accomplishments as a runner include a gold medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2016 Olympic Games, will visit Reston Town Center next week for an event with Potomac River Running.

Centrowitz and his father, fellow Olympian Matthew Centrowitz Sr., will be at the Reston Town Center pavilion Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 6:30 p.m. to share their stories and sign copies of the elder’s new book, “Like Father, Like Son: My Story on Running, Coaching and Parenting.”

Centrowitz Sr. was a member of the U.S. Olympic Team in 1976 and 1980, while he son has done so in 2012 and 2016. The gold medal won by Centrowitz Jr. in Rio de Janeiro last year marked the first time an American had accomplished that feat in the 1,500 meters since 1908.

At Reston Town Center next week, the Centrowitzes will share their Olympic experiences and offer running advice. The event is free, but space is limited. Those who wish to attend should visit www.prraces.com to register.

According to an event schedule released by Potomac River Running:

6:30 p.m: Take your seats in the RTC Pavilion

7 p.m.: The Centrowitz Duo present a comedic, yet informative clinic and share adventures from their Olympic experiences

8 p.m.: See the Gold Medal in person and get your booked signed or photos taken with the legendary father and son team

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Herndon High School Teacher Releases Memoir About 32 Years in the Classroom

Doug Graney’s 32-year teaching career is the topic of his new memoir, “American Teacher,” now available.

After starting his career teaching in Connecticut and upstate New York, Graney came to Herndon High School as a social studies teacher in 1992.

Graney has been honored with awards including Herndon Optimist Club Teacher of the Year (1997), Virginia Education Association Excellence in Teaching Award (2007), Horace Mann Teacher of the Year/Finalist for National Education Association Excellence in Teaching Award (2008), Dulles Area Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year (2011) and Virginia Veterans of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year (2014). He became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2003, and his certification was renewed in 2013.

According to publisher Mascot Books:

“American Teacher” details Doug Graney’s journey to becoming a celebrated teacher at Herndon High School. Following a career packed with political and historical field trips, holding government officials accountable including Colin Powell, Sandra Day O’Connor and many members of congress, generating spirited debate, and creating the largest congressional intern placement program in the country, “American Teacher” is the story of a man dedicated to his students and their education, no matter what.

Graney’s book can be purchased through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the 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.)

  • This weekend, the “Summerbration” series rolls on at Reston Station. Tonight from 7-9 p.m., Scott Kurt & Memphis 59 will perform. Saturday night from 8:30-10:30 p.m., there will be a free screening of the 2017 live-action film “Beauty and the Beast.” The Summerbration events outside the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will continue through the end of the month. (Note: To receive free parking for these events, parking tickets need to be validated by personnel on the plaza. Find the sign that reads “Parking Validation Here.”)
  • Saturday night, Reston Town Center will continue its summer concert series with a show from Grammy Award-winning Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience from 7:30-10 p.m. at the pavilion (11900 Market St.). Parking at RTC is free on the weekends.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Lake Anne is also hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • This is the last weekend for Reston Community Center’s August exhibit, “The Heart of Art.” It is on display at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.).
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” closes tonight at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.).
  • Interested in stand-up paddleboarding? Surf Reston is offering sessions this weekend on Lake Anne. Advance registration is required.
  • The Friends of Reston Regional Library back-to-school book sale is taking place at the library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) through the weekend. Hours are until 5 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1-3:30 p.m. Sunday. All proceeds benefit the library and its programming.
  • 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.
  • Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from The Vandelays tonight from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Saturday night, DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits.
  • A Grand Night for Singing” closes this weekend at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon). Shows are tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m.; with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Tickets range from $17.50 to $55.
  • Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) will be having a photo scavenger hunt event from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday. Cost for the all-ages event is $6 for Reston Association members and $8 for non-members.

Photo via Reston Station on Facebook

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Friday Morning Notes

Library Book Sale This Weekend — The Friends of the Reston Regional Library back-to-school book sale began Thursday and will last through Sunday. All books were donated, and all proceeds benefit the library and library programs. [Friends of the Reston Regional Library]

Registration Underway for Herndon Parks Programs — Town of Herndon residents can now sign up for fall classes from the town’s Parks and Recreation Department. Others can start signing up Aug. 22. [Herndon Parks & Rec]

Reston Brothers Develop Anti-Stress Powder — Christian, Mark and Paul D’Andrea have developed StressKiller, a powdered drink mix featuring stress-relief supplements. GNC has signed on to sell the product, as has a major drugstore chain. [Washington Business Journal]

Solar Eclipse is Monday — The Fairfax County Park Authority says if you want to enjoy the eclipse as much as possible, you should arrive at viewing locations early and be ready with your eyewear. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

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