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Wednesday Morning Notes

Reston-based Federal Contractor Sold to Private Equity Firm — Whitney, Bradley & Brown, Inc., a contractor with ties to defense agencies, was sold to an affiliate of global private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but H.I.G. manages $24 billion in equity capital worldwide. [Washington Business Journal]

Parenting Talk Tonight to Focus on Sexuality Education for Children —  Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston and Cornerstones are hosting Dr. Debra Haffner for a talk about sexuality education. Haffner will discuss her award-winning book, “From Diapers to Dating: A Parenting Guide to Sexually Healthy Children.” The book is a step-by-step guide on how to provide accurate information to children and convey values about sexuality to children. [UUCR]

Registration for Reston-Herndon Little League Now Open — Interested applicants can submit registration online. Applications are due by January 1. The league is open to children between 4 and 12. [Reston Herndon Little League]

Discussion on Sue Wrbican’s ‘Well Past the Echo’ Exhibition Tomorrow Night — Molly Donovan, curator of contemporary for the National Gallery of Art, will give a talk on the exhibition and the overlap between surrealism and contemporary art. The event will take place from 6 – 7 p.m. at the Greater Reston Arts Center. [Greater Reston Arts Center via Facebook]

File photo.

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Info Shared, Tempers Flared at Community Meeting for Hook Road Capital Project

The first community meeting to discuss a future project at Hook Road Recreation Area provided members a chance to learn about the process and share information about how their voices will be heard.

It was far from run of the mill, though, as the Tuesday evening event was dotted with angry voices and flaring tempers — and even an appearance from the Fairfax County Police Department.

The meeting was the kickoff of what will be a several-month project to determine what, if anything, should be done to enhance the facilities at the park in North Reston. Design consultant Dewberry was introduced to members, and its representatives shared information about the studies that have been done so far and how community input will be used as the project continues to be studied and eventually decided upon.

Many of the more than 100 members in attendance, however, expressed their dismay with Ray Wedell — the At-Large member of the Reston Association Board of Directors who recently shared his personal thoughts on the project in a five-page statement. In the statement, Wedell said amenities such as the baseball field at the park do not need upgrades, and that consideration should be given to removing the tennis and basketball facilities altogether.

Sherri Hebert, president of the RA Board, made a point at the start of the meeting to mention that Wedell’s opinions in no way represent anything that is being considered by the Board as a whole.

“I did receive several emails, and I know the RA Board did as well … regarding a letter [from Wedell],” Hebert said. “I just want to say that was Ray’s comments and Ray’s perspective; that did not represent the Reston Board or RA.”

Presentations were provided by Elaine Killoran of RA’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and by Garrett Skinner, RA’s director of capital projects, on how the process of determining what will be done at the park will proceed. Members are being encouraged to apply to be part of the Hook Road Working Group, which will be appointed in October and will be asked to give a report to the Board in February.

In December, the Board authorized the allocation of $50,000 from the Repair & Replacement Reserve Fund for the purpose of developing design concept plans related to the Hook Road project. The Board voted at its July meeting to form the working group.

Future community work sessions and roundtable events on the project have been tentatively scheduled for Oct. 4, 10 and 24.

More than once during the meeting, Wedell circumvented the line of speakers waiting to give their public comment on the project. The crowd met him with point-of-order calls and shouted him down as he attempted to shout over them. At one point, some turned their backs on him and refused to listen to his statement.

Wedell said he was within his right to take the stand and respond to comments. Hebert and Sridhar Ganesan, the Board’s treasurer, at one point told him to step away from the microphone, which he had taken from the stand and was holding in his hand.

“I apologize for that,” Hebert told members. “This is actually your meeting, so I would like to hear what you have to say.”

Wedell’s comments about the baseball fields — which include that there is “no need for fancy field backstops and constantly pure lining of sidelines” and that the proposals include “expensive and unnecessary changes to the baseball backstops” — drew the attention of Reston-Herndon Little League president Jason Walker, who said Wedell’s generalizations about field usage at the park are wildly inaccurate.

“Almost everything [Wedell] wrote about Reston-Herndon Little League with regard to equipment needs, our scheduling, the way we use the field, who uses the field — all of it is factually incorrect,” Walker said after the meeting. “I am for the upgrades, obviously, but I think [members] need a fair and accurate representation of facts from someone who has been involved with this, and I have been involved with this since 2010.”

After Walker made his public comment, he and Wedell had a verbal confrontation at the back of the room. An argument ensued in which Wedell told Walker to “shut up,” and Walker was heard calling Wedell “a disgrace.” The men give differing stories on who instigated the argument. After the brief disruption in the meeting, Walker left the room.

The Fairfax County Police Department was summoned at some point, and a pair of officers responded after the meeting had concluded. They conducted interviews at the scene, including with Wedell, but no report was filed.

When asked about the events of the evening afterward, Wedell said the portion of his letter that suggested replacing tennis and basketball facilities at Hook Road with parking — the genesis of a great amount the anger shown by members — was meant to be provocative and to increase community conversation about the plan. The ultimate goal, he said, was to increase the voice of the people who feel no upgrades should be made to the park at all.

“I’ve been pushing for community engagement like this for a very long time, and if it took what they think is a provocative piece to do so, I’m happy it happened,” he said. “When this first came up in March, I was clear — do nothing. Just standard maintenance. We don’t need any of this to happen.”

Tuesday evening’s meeting was recorded by RA staff and will be made available on the Association’s YouTube channel. Members who would like to receive email updates about the project can join the mailing list by emailing [email protected].

All documents from this meeting and all future meetings on the project will be made available on the Hook Road page on Reston Association’s website.

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What’s Going On Around Reston This Weekend?

It looks like it might be a rainy weekend, but the good news is there are plenty of indoor activities scheduled in Reston. And forecasters say the rain isn’t going to hit until later Saturday, so there still should be a good opportunity to enjoy the outdoors too.

Here is just a sampling of what there is to do in Reston and the surrounding area this weekend:

  • The Reduced Shakespeare Company will perform “Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play” tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $25 for Reston residents and $50 for non-residents.
  • Reston Association’s Habitat Heroes program will participate in an Earth Day activity Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. They will be removing invasive species and planting native species to help the long-term restoration project at the Wainwright Recreation Area.
  • Herndon High School (700 Bennett St.) will present “Guys and Dolls” for three performances this weekend: tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets are $15.
  • The opening reception for “Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) is 5-7 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit will be on display through August.
  • Saturday is Record Store Day, and there will be plenty of offers to mark the day at Right On Records (731 Elden St., Herndon).
  • The Reston-Herndon Little League Opening Day parade and celebration is Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Reston Town Center. The Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents will participate as part of the league’s new partnership with the Nats.
  • Mayflowers Floral Studio (11959 Market St.) will host classes in tulip selection, arranging and care this Saturday and next, from 2-3:30 p.m. each day.
  • Other events at Reston Town Center this weekend will include live music at World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.) tonight and Saturday, Earth Day celebrations Saturday from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. at Greater Reston Arts Center and in Town Square Park, and exercise in the pavilion Sunday from 11 a.m. to noon.
  • First Blooms” by artist Dorothy Donahey remains on exhibit at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), which is open from noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
  • The art exhibit “A Respite from Chaos” will remain on display at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.) through the month of April.
  • The Reston Tour d’Art, a guided bicycle tour of the community’s outdoor art, is slated for Saturday from 9:30-11:30 a.m., beginning at the Lake Newport tennis courts (11452 Baron Cameron Ave.). The event is free, but registration is required.
  • NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is performing “Boeing, Boeing,” and the show has been extended through May 7. Performances this weekend are tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., along with 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $35-$55.
  • The Blue Street Blues Band will perform tonight from 7-10 p.m. at Café Montemarte (1625 Washington Plaza N.).
  • Award-winning author Hena Khan will be reading from her new book, “Amina’s Voice,” from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday at Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.)
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Sista Pat & One Vibe. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night in April. In addition, legendary local DJ Cerphe Colwell will be signing copies of his new book from 3-5 p.m. Saturday.
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Washington Nationals Uniform Program Expands to Reston-Herndon Little League

Youth baseball players in Northern Virginia, including Reston-Herndon Little Leaguers, are getting new digs this season thanks to the Washington Nationals.

The Major League team’s Nationals Youth Baseball Uniform Program has been providing, at no cost, team shirts, jerseys and caps to youth baseball and softball players in DC since 2015. This season, they have expanded the program to two Northern Virginia leagues, including Virginia District 4 Little League, of which Reston-Herndon is a part. The Northern Fairfax County Babe Ruth league is also now part of the program.

More than 4,500 players in Northern Virginia will join the program through the expansion, the team says, bringing the number of overall participants to over 8,300. All teams in each league wear Nationals jerseys, differentiated through the use of various team styles and colors.

To celebrate the program’s expansion, the team’s Racing Presidents and representatives from their front office will participate in the 2017 Reston-Herndon Little League Opening Day parade and celebration, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at Reston Town Center. Players will be sporting their new Nationals uniforms at the event.

The Uniform Program is a partnership between the Nationals and Inova Sports Medicine, who will also have staff participating in Saturday’s event.

In addition to the apparel, players are also given the opportunity to attend a Nats game through a complimentary ticket offer. Nationals players also visit leagues throughout the season, according to the team.

Image via Nationals Youth Baseball Uniform Program

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