Morning Notes

Wind Advisory Takes Effect Tonight — Winds could reach 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, potentially blowing down tree limbs and creating power outages, the National Weather Service warns. Its Wind Advisory for Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, will be in effect from 10 p.m. today (Thursday) to 10 a.m. tomorrow. [NWS]

Herndon Police Welcomes New Officer — Officer Stephen Ferrigno joins the Herndon Police Department with three years of previous law enforcement experience. [HPD]

Appraisal Roadshow Returns — The annual event, which is organized by Reston Association, returns on March 5 at 11 a.m.. at the association’s headquarters. Registration is now open. [RA]

Local Zoo Celebrates National Bird Feeding Month — Roer’s Zoofari in Reston is celebrating National Bird Feeding Month. The zoo has several bird-related events planned and is currently home to 12 different bird species. [Roer’s Zoofari]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Art Spiegelman, the author and cartoonist of the critically acclaimed “Maus,” is speaking at the Reston Community Center later this month.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novelist will appear at the Reston Community Center’s Center Stage to present “What the %@&*! Happened to Comics,” an examination by Spiegelman himself of the value of comic books and graphic novels and why they should be celebrated, not ignored.

RCC’s Executive Director Leila Gordon offered the following statement about the issue:

The effort to ban books is in reality an effort to suppress knowledge. It always backfires; people who try to prevent learning are people who are afraid of freedom and complexity. RCC is delighted to present Mr. Spiegelman and to offer our community his insights and inspiration. Tennessee officials did Mr. Spiegelman an enormous favor and his books great credit despite trying to withhold his work from young minds — they managed to both entice those same impressionable readers and enrich Art Spiegelman — which is a great two-fer!”

Spiegelman has been a veteran of the comics world since the mid-1960s, some of his more notable work includes his run as co-editor alongside his wife Francoise Mouly of the comics magazine Raw from 1980 to 1991 where “Maus” was originally released in a serialized format. Maus would later be collected in the graphic novel format in two parts.

In “Maus,” Spiegelman relates the story of his parents while living in 1940s Poland and surviving the Holocaust as accounted by Spiegelman’s father. The book uses anthropomorphized animals for the groups involved in the story such as mice in place of Jewish people and cats as Nazis. The book would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

The controversy around the book was recently stoked due to a decision made by the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee to ban the book for “inappropriate language” and a depiction of nudity, according to the Associated Press.

The resulting ban has increased sales of the book recently taking spots in the top five sales rankings on Amazon’s Best Sellers list in the Graphic Novel category. The ban and the result of renewed interest in “Maus” has been attributed to the so-called Streisand Effect by media outlets such as CNBC.

The Streisand Effect posits that when an attempt to ban, hide, or censor information is made it has an unintended consequence of bringing attention and interest to the public. The Streisand Effect is named after noted singer/actress Barbara Streisand. 

Fairfax County has its own recent history involving attempts at banning books. In September, parents called for the banning of two books with LGBTQ content from high school libraries. The books, “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe and “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison, were singled out alleging depictions of pedophilia. A review made by a school panel determined that the allegations were unwarranted and the books were allowed to return to the shelves of high school libraries.

Spiegelman’s “What the %@&*! Happened to Comics” will be held on Feb. 27 at Center Stage at the Reston Community Center at 2310 Colts Neck Road. Tickets for the event are officially sold out. 

Photo via Pengiun Random House

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Travis Childers, Untitled 2019 (courtesy of Travis Childers)

Virginia-based artist Travis Childers’ work is on display at the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art in Reston as “Borrowed and Not Returned,” an exhibition of three recent and ongoing series.

The art is on display at the Signature gallery through June 28. The gallery — located at the Signature apartment building, 11850 Freedom Drive — is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Face masks are required to enter.

A reception and artist talk will be held Thursday, April 7, at 6 p.m. at the outdoor courtyard at the Signature Apartments.

Travis Childers’ work is concerned with our society’s extractive relationship to nature, though he often approaches the topic with humor and a healthy dose of culpability as he acknowledges his own participation. In his new Story Tellers series, Childers employs miniature, model railroad materials to create landscapes that, despite their small size, imply the depth of the earth and boundlessness of the sky. In contrast, Childers’ collage work in the Vegetation series presents opaque facades and coverings that create expansive fields of borrowed images.

Altered and constructed landscapes serve as anchors across Childers’ work, creating a common thread between a wide variety of human experiences. Underlying his practice, is the sensibility that in our human relationship to landscape, there is something borrowed and not returned.

Tephra ICA at Signature is a year-round satellite gallery. Curatorial staff select local and regional artists to feature. ​The gallery is in partnership with Boston Properties and Bozzuto, and supported by Reston Community Center.

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An event that is a staple for Restonians — the Reston Triathlon — is officially coming to an end.

The Reston Triathlon Association formed in 1983 and organized the event on the second Sunday of each September.

In an online post, the organization’s Board of Directors said that it was not able to find another organization to take over and continue the race.

“Unfortunately, we were just not able to overcome the mounting financial and logistical challenges we experienced these past few years to host a race that the community has come to know and love,” the statement read.

The nonprofit organization, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, canceled last year’s event due to the pandemic.

For years, participants have taken part in a race of Olympic proportions. The event was organized into into a 1500-meter swim, a 25-mile bike ride, and a 6.2-mile run.

Here’s more from the board on the change:

We have had an incredible journey with all of you, our racers, your supporters, our volunteers and all of the leaders in the community. We are very thankful for the memories and many years of racing. We will miss all of you. 

The Reston Triathlon is a non-profit organization.  Once we close out our expenses,  any remaining funds will be donated to local charities.

Thank you for the many years of support.  Stay healthy, volunteer and support your community events!

Photo via Reston Triathlon/Facebook

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Reston Community Center will move forward with a planned 37th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day with its 37th annual birthday celebration on Jan. 16 and 17.

After taking a hybrid approach last year, this year’s festivities will take place entirely in person at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road), but there will be some public health measures in place, as COVID-19 cases keep climbing in Fairfax County.

Like other Fairfax County public facilities, RCC continues to require that everyone wear a face mask when indoors, except when actively eating or drinking. Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination won’t be mandatory, but the organization “strongly urges” all attendees to be vaccinated and boosted, according to a news release.

In addition, the community lunch scheduled to follow a keynote speech by author and political commentator Heather McGhee on Jan. 17 will feature individual, contained meals, rather than a buffet as in past years.

The event also won’t include a planned live performance by the Reston Community Orchestra, which will instead make other to-be-announced arrangements for presenting its music, RCC says.

“We are carefully returning to a Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration where we can come together as a community to honor Dr. King’s legacy,” RCC Board of Governors Chair Beverly Cosham said. “Now more than ever, it is important to ask ourselves ‘are we keeping the promise?’ We will remember the human rights for which Dr. King laid down his life and replenish our spirits with those who share the passion for justice that fuels the movement toward a truly free society.”

Tickets are required for the community lunch and keynote address. They cost $5 for Reston residents and employees, and $10 for other community members. They are available at the CenterStage Box Office or by calling 703-476-4500.

The full calendar of events is below: Read More

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The Winter Walk of Lights in the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (courtesy NOVA Parks)

The weekly planner is a roundup of interesting events over the next week in the Herndon and Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note. Want to submit a listing? Submit your pitch here!

Monday, Dec. 20

  • Winter Break Camp — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brown’s Chapel Recreation Area — A day camp for kids ages 5 to 12 starts. Daily activities include outdoor nature activities, arts and crafts, sports, no bake cooking and science experiments. Cost begins at $60.

Tuesday, Dec 21

  • Herndon Teen Book Club — 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Herndon Fortnightly Library and online — Talk about the book “Geekerella” with other teens.

Wednesday, Dec. 22

  • Potions Class: From Alchemy to Chemistry — 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (virtual) — Create different colors, bubbling chemical reactions and more. This virtual camp for 2nd to 6th graders starts at $60.

Thursday, Dec. 23

Friday, Dec. 24

  • Homeschoolers Meetup — 2-4 p.m. at Reston North Park — Join homeschool students at a playground during this weekly event.

Saturday, Dec. 25

  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights — 5-10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens — Enjoy lights and holiday scenes in this annual transformation, which goes through Jan. 2. The tickets for those ages 2 and over are $18 each.

Sunday, Dec. 26

  • Tinsel! — activities throughout the day at 45425 Holiday Drive in Sterling — From a storytime with Mrs. Claus to creating holiday crafts, check out this holiday lights festival.
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Morning Notes

A fall day at Lake Audubon (Photo by Marjorie Copson)

Confederate Names Task Force to Meet — The task force, which was established by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, will meet today to recommend whether or not to rename Lee and Lee-Jackson highways. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Association’s Holiday Fest Returns — Holiday Fest will return to Walker Nature Center on Sunday. Guests can enjoy live music, hot cocoa, and a gingerbread contest. [Reston Association]

Libraries to Offer COVID-19 Test Kits — Fairfax County Public Library branches will begin distributing free COVID-19 rapid antigen at-home test kits as part of pilot program that begins Dec. 3. Quantities are limited. Tests should be taken at home, not in a library branch. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Reston Town Center is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its annual holiday parade.

The half-mile, one-hour parade along Market Street is set to take place on Nov. 26 at 11 a.m. Santa and Mrs. Clause will lead the parade in a carriage. They’re expected to return to light the tree at Fountain Square at 6 p.m. that day.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will continue from 6-10 p.m, the proceeds of which will benefit local charities.

While most of the parade returns to pre-pandemic norms, RTC will not distribute parade bell “out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our parade visitors, participants and volunteers,” according to a statement.

“We hope to continue this popular tradition in the coming years when social distancing is not an issue,” the statement read.

Parking is free that Friday.

Once again, the parade has been nominated for USA Today’s annual national ranking of holiday parades. Voting for the ongoing ranging is open online.

So far, Reston’s parade is fifth on the leaderboard. The tradition began in 1991 and features antique cars, musicians, dancers, floats and other special guests.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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Morning Notes

LuminoCity Festival Comes to Roer’s Zoofari — The annual LuminoCity Festival has selected the local zoo for this year’s annual exhibit. The light exhibit is inspired by different cultures. This is the first year the festival is being held outside of Manhattan. [Local DVM]

Metro Service Reduced through October — Metro is reducing its service through at least Oct. 31 as it examines the safety of its 7000-series railcars. Trains will operate basic service every 15-20 minutes on the Red Line and every 30-40 minutes on all other lines. Silver Line service will run between Wiehe-Reston East and Federal Center SW only. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Search for New Schools Superintendent Underway — The Fairfax County School Board has hired GR Recruiting to conduct a nationwide search for the next schools’ superintendent. In July, Scott Brabrand, the current superintendent, announced that he will not be seeking an extension of his contract beyond the 2021-2022 academic year. [FCPS]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Morning Notes

Outside Faraday Park West (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Top Schools Ranking Released — Some elementary and middle schools from Northern Virginia have made it to U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best schools in the country. Arlington Traditional School has the highest ranking in Virginia among elementary schools while Prince William County’s Mary G. Porter Traditional was ranked the best middle school in the state. [Reston Patch]

County Faces Invasion from Plant — You read that right. The county is facing an invasion from an aggressive plant with an otherwise unthreatening name. The plant wavyleaf basketgrass is spreading through natural areas across the county. The plant even sprouts a sticky substance that can bind itself to cloths, boots and animals, allowing the plant to continue to grow by spreading its seeds. [Fairfax County Government]

First Friends of Reston Fall 5K Set for This Weekend — The inaugural event takes place  on Sunday at 8 a.m. at Brown’s Chapel Park. Online registration is open until tomorrow. [Reston Patch]

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Morning Notes

Storm in Reston (Photo via vantagehill/Flickr)

Volunteers Needed for New Fall 5K — Reston Association is looking for volunteers to help with the inaugural Friends of Reston Fall 5K fundraiser on Oct. 17 from 7-10 a.m. [RA]

Police to Host Community Information Session — The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston district station will host a community information forum tonight at 7 p.m. The session is online. [FCPD]

Blackstone Lends $350 Million for Refinancing — Comstock, a Reston-based developer, has landed a refinancing deal for three Reston Station office towers, which are 84 percent leased. [Bisnow]

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Monday, October 4

  • “Judy” (10 a.m.) — Reston Community Center Hunters Woods’ CenterStage gives a free showing of the 2019 biographical drama about “The Wizard of Oz” star Judy Garland.

Tuesday, October 5

  • Aspen Trees at Sunrise (6:30-8:30 p.m.) — Check out a Pinot’s Palette wine-and-painting class. Cost is $39.

Wednesday, October 6

  • Reston Farmers Market (3-7 p.m.) — Stop by for some fresh produce at the parking lot of St. John Neumann Catholic Church.

Thursday, October 7

Friday, October 8

  • “A Familiar Melody” (8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday as well as 2 p.m. on Sunday) — A NextStop Theatre Company show brings together a selection of Broadway hits. Tickets are $30.

Saturday, October 9

  • Community Yard Sale (8:30 a.m. to noon) — Eighty families are again filling the Reston Association headquarters’ parking lot.
  • Reston Baby Expo (9 a.m. to noon) — Find out about local organizations and resources focused on babies at this Reston Community Center Hunters Woods event that features workshops, educational sessions and more.
  • Miles for Migraine (9 a.m.) — Help support this nonprofit working to address this neurological condition, advance research and end stigma. Virtual venue as well as an in-person event at Lake Fairfax Park.

Sunday, October 10

  • Bird Walks (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Beginner birders will gather to spot winged friends at Bright Pond.
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Man walking on North Shore Drive (Photo via vantagehill/Flickr)

A new 5k is coming to Reston on Oct. 17 in an effort to raise funds for Friends of Reston, a nonprofit organization that supports Reston Association.

The Friends of Reston Fall 5K will take place at Brown’s Chapel Park, which is located at 1686 Browns Chapel Road. Beginning at 8 a.m., attendees can will travel across paved trails in north Reston. Spectators are welcome to cheer on participants.

A spokesperson for Friends of Reston told Reston Now that the organization wanted to debut a new all-outdoor event that would be fun for the community while raising awareness about the organization and scholarship funds.

Friends of Reston holds a few fundraisers each year for various projects. We’ve presented the Nature Center 5K every April for many years – pandemic precautions did have bearing on putting that on hold in 2021,” the spokesperson said.

Registration is open online through Oct. 15. Participants will receive a T-shirt and a goodie bag. The fee is $40 if registered by Friday and rises by $5 after that or during in-person registration at the event.

Proceeds from the event will go toward funding youth scholarships  and the enrichment of RA’s programs.

Friends of Reston was established in 1999. In the past, it has used funds for camp scholarships, swimming, and tennis. It’s most notable project was courting $1.5 million for the design and construction of the Nature House.

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Tuesday, September 28

  • Health and Wellness Fair (5:30-7:30 p.m.) — The YMCA Fairfax County Reston is hosting this Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce Network Night that features healthy snacks, alcohol and wellness resources.

Wednesday, September 29

  • BEER RUN pre-Ragnar Q&A (6:30-8:30 p.m.) — While registration has closed for Ragnar Sunset NoVA‘s Saturday race, you can still learn more about it, run some laps and have some beers while asking questions with the race director at Lake Anne Brew Plaza.

Thursday, September 30

  • Herndon Farmers Market (8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — Stop by for some fresh produce from local vendors. Recurs weekly.

Friday, October 1

  • “A Familiar Melody” (8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday as well as 2 p.m. on Sunday) — A NextStop Theatre Company show brings together a selection of Broadway hits. Tickets are $30.

Saturday, October 2

  • Reston Farm Garden Market Fall Fest (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.) — Enjoy bounce houses, games, a maze and petting zoo, train rides and more. This recurring weekend event takes place on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31. Cost is $28 per child, $6 for adults and free for children age 2 and under.
  • Reston Farmers Market (8 a.m. to noon) — After taking a break last week due to the Reston Multicultural Festival, this staple returns with local vendors.
  • The Seldom Scene (8 p.m.) — American bluegrass band The Seldom Scene performs at the CenterStage at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Cost is $25 for Reston residents.
  • Movies in the Park (7 p.m.) — Enjoy a showing of “Tom and Jerry” at Lake Newport Soccer Field and bring a picnic dinner or buy popcorn, candy and drinks there. Free for kids 3 and under.

Sunday, October 3

  • GWTCS 5K Run — (8:30 a.m. to noon) — The Greater Washington Telugu Cultural Sangam is bringing people to Lake Fairfax Park and recognizing participants with medals. Event includes breakfast. Tickets for kids are $10 and adults are $15. Registration deadline is Saturday, Oct. 2.
  • Putting the Animals to Bed (6:30 p.m.) — Learn how Frying Pan Farm Park staff put the animals to bed. Bring a flashlight or lantern for this twilight tour. The cost is $10 per person.
  • Mushrooms of Reston (2-3:30 p.m.) — Learn about the area’s natural resources in this adult nature program. Tickets start at $5.
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2018 Reston Multicultural Festival (Photos courtesy Reston Community Center)

Monday, September 20

  • Technology Help (4-6 p.m.) — Volunteers at Reston Regional Library are available to answer questions about technology. Half-hour slots are open for reservations.

Tuesday, September 21

  • (un)disclosed — It’s the last day to enjoy this exhibit, which features the work of Judith Pratt. Visitors can drop by until 5 p.m. at the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art.

Thursday, September 23

  • Putting the Animals to Bed (6:30 p.m.) — Learn how Frying Pan Farm Park staff put the animals to bed. Bring a flashlight or lantern for this twilight tour. The cost is $10 per person.
  • Girl Power Book Club (7-8 p.m.) — The book club is celebrating its third anniversary this month by returning to in-person meetings. Middle-grade and young adult readers are invited. This month’s book is The Dire Days of Willoweep Manor.

Friday, September 24

  • Friday Night Live! (6:30 p.m.) — This free outdoor concert series returns this Friday. This week’s show features Screaming Monkeys.

Saturday, September 25

  • Reston Multicultural Festival — The annual festival is back at Lake Anne Plaza after a hiatus last year. The festival will include entertainment, shopping, and food.
  • Storytime (11 a.m.) –Laura Renauld reads from her Woodland Friends series at Scrawl Books in Reston Town Center.

Sunday, September 26

  • NatureFest (1-5 p.m.) — This family friend event features animals, plans and insects that live in Runnymede Park. Attendees can move between different natural stations. Free parking is available at the Herndon Police Department.
  • Talladega Nights (7 p.m.) — Enjoy a free screening and popcorn at Reston Metro Plaza. The movie starts at sundown.
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