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Art Project by South Lakes High School Students Installed on Lake Thoreau

“Connie’s Quilt,” an art project by students at South Lakes High School, now blankets a portion of Lake Thoreau.

The structure was created by the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) club. It is made of galvanized metal, airplane cables, tubing, connectors and cable ties.

The project aims to represent community connections and the notion that the self-made man does not exist, according to Public Art Reston. Reston Association, Public Art Reston and SLHS partnered to make the project possible.

A series of videos about the project are available online:

Photos via Public Art Reston

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PRC Amendment Workgroup Sessions Begin This Week

Fairfax County officials begin small workgroup sessions with representatives this week to discuss a controversial plan to increase Reston’s population density in areas targeted for growth.

The sessions are hosted by the Coalition for a Planned Reston, a grassroots organization and Reston Association. Staff from the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning and Fairfax County Public Schools will be on hand to discuss questions.

The plan would increase density in Reston’s Planned Residential Community areas from 13 to 16 persons per acre. CPR and RA have opposed the plan, as proposed, amid concerns about the overall impact on infrastructure.

The schedule for the meetings is below. All workgroup meetings start at 6 p.m.

  • July 17 – Transportation – 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston – Terrace Level (Live stream is not available. Recording will be uploaded).
  • July 18 – Parks and Open Space – 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston – Terrace Level

  • July 24, 2018 – Schools/Public Facilities – 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston – Conference Center

  • July 30 – Planning and Zoning -12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston – Conference Center

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Friday Morning Notes

Discovering hidden gems — There’s a lot to discover at Reston Association’s trails, each of which is color-coded. [Reston Association]

Oasis Island Sounds concert tonight — In this week’s “Summerbration” concert, enjoy Reggae on the open-air plaza atop Wiehle-Reston East Metro. Parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for these concerts. [Reston Community Center]

Parked — July is National Parks and Recreation month, but Restonians actually live in a park 12 months of the year. [The Connection]

Nearby: New fire chief — John Butler, former chief of the Department of Fire and Rescue Services in Howard County will take on his new role. he hopes to address complaints that management isn’t doing enough to address sexual harassment and discrimination in county firehouses. [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo via vantagehill

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Company behind Silver Line concrete sued — “Virginia and the federal government sued a concrete manufacturer Monday, alleging that it lied and falsified documents in connection with panels it manufactured for the second phase of Metro’s Silver Line that were later found to be defective.” [The Washington Post]

A new community in Herndon — These single families houses planned for Summerhouse Landing in Herndon look traditional from the outside, but inside, a more modern layout is constructed. [The Washington Post]

Hot tub movie night tonight — Enjoy late night swim hours and join Reston Association for a free movie by the hot tub. Classic films from the 70s and 80s as well as modern titles will be featured. The event is open to people age 17 and up. [Reston Association]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Tuesday Morning Notes

For Dulles Toll Road users — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is seeking public comments about proposed rate increases on the road. The online commenting period is now open and ends on August 3. [MWAA]

Local teen wraps up Nickelodeon show — Sissy Sheridan, a 14-year-old Restonian, wrapped up the first season of the “DIY With Me” web series for Nickelodeon. In the show, Sheridan teaches viewers how to make crafts. Next year, she’ll be attending a performing arts school in Virginia to work on her acting career. [The Washington Post]

Plotting a garden — Want to grow your own veggies, flowers and fruit? Reston Association’s community garden plots have spaces available in two of their five locations. [RA]

A quiet ascent — LeaseAccelerator, a Reston-based accounting software firm, is deepening its own pocketbook. The company expects to quadruple its revenue this year. [DC Inno]

Photo via Twitter user @MrErrett

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Monday Morning Notes

Water, water everywhere — During a concert on Saturday in Reston Town Center, the fountains turned on and soaked the performing band, Rocknoceros. Thankfully, the equipment survived. [Rocknoceros]

Updating design guidelines — In this Reston Today video, get a glimpse of proposed changes to Reston’s design and maintenance guidelines for that next fixer-upper project. [Reston Association]

Nearby: Selling out — A 280-acre piece of land near the future Loudoun Gateway Silver Station was sold to a data center developer. The site was previously planned to be a 14 million square foot development. [Bisnow]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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After Wind Damage, Glade Tennis Courts Reopen

Reston Association’s Glade tennis courts (11550 Glade Drive) have reopened.

The clay courts were damaged during a wind storm in March that caused two large pine trees to damage the clay court, court lights, and perimeter fencing.

In April, staff from RA’s Central Service Facility removed trees from courts in order to prevent future damage. After inspections, arborists had determined standing trees and pine trees posed a threat to public safety.

Passes are required to play on the courts.

Photo via Reston Association

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Scholarship Campaign for Reston Association Camps Kicks Off

Friends of Reston has launched an annual fundraising campaign for camp scholarships. The nonprofit organization that supports Reston Association is seeking to raise $12,000 to send at least 22 students with a demonstrated financial need to RA camps this summer.

On July 18 (Wednesday), 20 percent of all frozen yogurt purchases at SweetFrog in North Point Village Center will go toward the camp scholarship fund.

Over the past 17 years, the organization has launched similar campaigns to raise funds for children seeking to attend summer camps.

“Summer is such an important time for children to stay engaged, make new friends, explore their community, learn new skills – camp is the perfect place to do all of that,” said FOR Executive Director, Katie Shaw. “We are thankful for all of the donors who make this possible for children whose families could not afford this experience.”

Thus far, the scholarship fund has received $5,731 from the Realtors of Long and Foster, $750 from Reston Historic Trust’s board of directors and $2,270 from residents of the Paramount Condominiums.

Photo via RA

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Sediment Removal Almost Complete at Lake Thoreau

Maintenance work to clear sediment and debris caught in the channels of Lake Thoreau could be complete this month.

Lake dredging began in early April and was delayed after a recent failure of dredging equipment. Reston Association anticipates the part that malfunctioned will be delivered and installed soon. Once the cove is dredged, RA’s contractor, Lake Services, Inc., will clean up the staging area next to the Lake Thoreau dam.

Dredging helps maintain the depth of channels and reduces the exposure of fish, wildlife and people to contaminants, according to the National Ocean Service.

RA expects to remove about 848,290 liquid gallons or 4,200 cubic yards worth of material. The project was initially expected to be complete by the end of June. 

Photo by vantagehill

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Behind the video — In this follow-up story, the man who recorded a video of a former Reston Association employee yelling racial slurs tells his side of the story. [WJLA]

Heat advisory continues today — The National Weather Service has issued an advisory from noon to 8 p.m. today. Residents are encouraged to limit outdoor activity, wear loose-fitting clothing and hydrate as much as possible. [National Weather Service]

It’s not too late — Slots in select Frying Pan Farm Park camps are still open. The park offers camps for children between the ages of 3 and 14. [Frying Pan Farm Park]

Nearby: funding for transportation — Fairfax County projects will get more than 40 percent of the more than $1 billion allocated for regional transportation projects. Several proposals for Reston projects didn’t make the cut. [Fairfax County Times]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Updated: Former Reston Association Employee Yells Profanities at Driver

A 37-second video of a former Reston Association employee yelling “Why are you such a b**** Afghanistan?” and other profanities at a driver is gaining traction online. The man was described as a seasonal employee who worked with RA from March through August 2015.

 

During the exchange, the man repeated yells profanities and tells the driver “you’re a b**** Afghanistan.” The driver responds by asking “What’s your problem?” and clarifies he was born in this country. The driver also responded with expletives. 

The man with the RA T-shirt also says, “It’s a good thing you got that to protect you.” The circumstances of the incident are unclear. Towards the end of the video, the man appears to return to his car. 

The individual who posted the original video on Facebook and the individual who tweeted the video did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reston Now. 

RA’s Acting CEO Larry Butler issued the following statement today:

Reston Association became aware of a video posted on social media today that shows a former RA seasonal employee making inappropriate comments to a man seated in a vehicle. The association strongly condemns the remarks made by the former employee, who briefly worked at RA from March-August 2015.

As an organization founded on Robert E. Simon Jr.’s vision of a community that embraces diversity, RA rejects comments or actions that display intolerance. RA members and staff support the core values upon which our community was founded. As an organization, we strive to meet the unwavering standards of our members and remain the respectful and welcoming community that was founded over 50 years ago.

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Save the Date: Work Sessions Scheduled for PRC Proposal in July

Amid concerns about a proposal to increase Reston’s population density in the Planned Residential Community district, the county is kicking off a series of work sessions with stakeholders this month.

The meetings will address four areas of concern highlighted by Reston Association and the Coalition for a Planned Reston, a grassroots umbrella organization. The concerns were voiced and rebuffed in letters to the Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Zoning earlier this year.

The schedule for the work sessions, which each focus on one subject area, is below. Each session will be held at 6 p.m.:

  • July 17 (Transportation): 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive
  • July 18 (Parks and Recreation): 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive
  • July 24 (Schools, Infrastructure, Fire and Rescue):  12001 Sunrise Valley Drive
  • July 30 (Planning):  12001 Sunrise Valley Drive
File photo
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Reston Association Board of Directors Elects New President

Reston Association’s Board of Directors elected Andy Sigle to the position of board president Thursday night.

Over the next year, Sigle said he hopes to ensure a new CEO and CFO are hired promptly, fine-tune RA’s biannual budget, facilitate the passage of policies regarding ethics and conflicts of interest, and work with the community to ensure land use changes, particularly in the Planned Residential Community district, are implemented in a thoughtful and strategic manner.

Sigle was elected to the board earlier this year and previously served on the board between 2011 and 2014. David Bobzien, the former board president, resigned last month due to a leukemia diagnosis.

In opening remarks, Sigle also said he is committed to enhancing communication between RA staff and the board. He also hopes to ensure information is readily available so the board can make informed decisions.

Sridhar Ganesan, the board’s interim president, failed to gain enough votes to maintain the position. Board members cast private ballots and the number of votes garnered by each candidate was not made public at the meeting.

The vote follows a spirited debate during last month’s board meeting when board members failed to make a decision on the next board president. In his opening remarks, Ganesan also noted that transformational change was required to bring about a more “harmonious” tone to board meetings whilst preserving opportunities for vigorous debate.

Photo by Reston Association

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Reston Association Board to Consider Improving Design Review Process

Reston Association’s Board of Directors will consider recommendations to make the process of the Design Review Board more efficient at a meeting tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in RA headquarters.

The board will also elect a board president and welcome Catherine Baum, the new apartment owners’ board representative, to the governing body.

According to RA, the volume of applications received by the DRB and staff cannot be processed with current staff resources unless the process is streamlined. The DRB is an independent unit responsible for reviewing exterior improvements of properties within RA.

Under the recommendations, approvals for more “ordinary” applications, which could include signs, storm windows, utility boxes and roofing, would be reviewed by staff.

Some cluster standards applications would be reviewed by a panel of consultations instead of selected members of the DRB. This change would open up the panel’s agenda by 30 percent, according to RA. The DRB would meet monthly to review standard cluster applications with two members of the DRB.

The changes would also increase the DRB application fee for development and redevelopment of sites from $1,350 to $2,250.

The meeting will be live streamed tomorrow. The complete agenda is available online.

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Vacant Apartment Owners’ Seat on Reston Association Board Filled

Apartment owners have selected Catherine Baum to fill the vacant Apartment Owners’ Representative seat on Reston Association’s Board of Directors.

The position was vacated in April when David Bobzien, also board president, resigned after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Baum, who has lived in Reston since 1975, will serve as a director until April 2019. The following description of Baum was issued in an RA press release today:

She has held several senior level positions with the country’s top homebuilders throughout her professional career. She is also a graduate of Leadership Fairfax, Inc., and is a past president of the Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Baum will officially join the board at its meeting on June 28.

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