Bao Bao Passed Through Reston on Journey Home — The famed panda born at the National Zoo left D.C. for good Tuesday, heading off to live her life in China. She was transported by truck from Washington up the Dulles Toll Road to the airport, where she left on a FedEx 777. [Reston Patch]
SLHS Girls’ Basketball Team Falls in Playoffs — The South Lakes Seahawks girls’ hoops team was defeated Tuesday night in the first round of the 6A North Region championship, falling to T.C. Williams by a score of 51-43. [Alexandria News]
Qur’an Spiritual Retreat Slated for March — The Al-Madina Institute is readying to hold its annual conference, bringing leading scholars to examine both the external and internal dimensions of the Qur’an. The event will be held March 3-5 at the Hyatt Regency (1800 Presidents St.) in Reston. [Al-Madina Institute]
Bills Targeting Student Debt Fail in Richmond — A number of bills designed to help students refinance student loans or increase oversight of lenders have died in the General Assembly. One such bill, which would have created a “Borrower’s Bill of Rights,” was sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) of Reston. It failed to advance out of a legislative committee. [Virginia Gazette]
Virginia Marks Washington’s Day — The holiday known as Presidents’ Day in many places around the United States is called George Washington’s Day here in Virginia. Fairfax County is home to Washington’s Mount Vernon, and it offers an explainer for why the name of today’s holiday is different here. [Fairfax County]
League of Women Voters to Host Documentary Screening — “GerryRIGGED: Turning Democracy on Its Head” will be shown at an event jointly hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area and OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting. Two showings Thursday, at 4:30 and 7 p.m., will each be followed by a question-and-answer session. The event will be at the Fair City Mall in Fairfax. [League of Women Voters]
Local Fan’s Baseball “Free Agency” Subject of New Video — Andrew Volpe, of Reston, has made a short documentary film chronicling his father’s quest to find a new Major League Baseball team to follow. Michael Volpe’s journey in the 1990s was the subject of national news. [Fairfax County Times]
General Assembly Looks to Curtail Opioid Abuse — A number of bills that aim to fight opioid addiction have advanced to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s desk. Among them is a bill that would reduce the amount of pain pills health care professionals can prescribe, and one that would require all opioid prescriptions be handled electronically for monitoring purposes. [Roanoke Times]
Member Assessment is Due March 1 — In case you’ve forgotten, there is only a week and a half left to pay member assessments. Reston Association’s Member Services office will be open additional hours (Saturday, Feb. 25, from 9 a.m.-noon; and Wednesday, March 1, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.) if you need to take advantage of them. Fees can also be paid online. [Reston Association]
South Lakes High Track & Field Stars Advance to States — Olivia Beckner, Sean Casey, Ronak Cuthill, Mary Gregory, Sophie Halkett, Devyn Jones, Alex Loukili, Timiebi Ogobri, Aly Rayle, Peter Sepulveda, Jack Watkins and Dont’a Whitley will all represent the Seahawks at the state Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend in Hampton. [Reston Patch]
Metro Call Center Hours Reduced Starting Next Month — Citing a five-year decline in call volume, Metro’s Customer Information Call Center will cut its hours of availability beginning March 1. Metro says fewer customers are using the call center as they rely more on sources of information including mobile apps and social media. [WMATA]
Princess Aghayere is making a name for herself during her sophomore season on the University of Pennsylvania women’s basketball team.
The 2015 South Lakes High School graduate was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for her performances last week on the hardcourt. She posted a career-best 21 points during a Friday victory over Columbia, and followed it up the next day with a 12-point performance in a win over Cornell.
Some of her highlights from the weekend’s action can be seen on the Ivy League Sports YouTube channel.
On the season, Aghayere is averaging 5.6 points per game, tops among the team’s non-starters.
During her career at South Lakes High School, Aghayere earned first-team All-Conference recognition three times, and was second-team All-State twice. She also lettered in cross country and volleyball.
Aghayere is enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn, on a pre-med track. In a video released by the school earlier this year, she discussed her background and her goals for the future.
The defending Ivy League champions, the Quakers are undefeated (7-0) in conference play so far this season.
Photo via Don E. Felice/PennAthletics.com
After a community input meeting Wednesday night on improvements to Lake Newport soccer fields, the Reston Soccer Association has requested the postponement of a Design Review Board session slated for later this month.
The proposal from Reston Soccer would include the installation of artificial turf fields, LED lighting and a clubhouse building at the fields. All would be paid for by Reston Soccer, but the project would need to be approved by member referendum.
Robert Anguizola, Reston Soccer president, said in an email to Reston Association CEO Cate Fulkerson that concerns of residents in the area deserve more time for consideration:
“During the community input meeting [Wednesday] night, we heard that many residents in the clusters surrounding the fields felt that they did not have adequate notice of the community meeting and the upcoming DRB Information Session. We also heard pleas from many for more time to absorb our proposal and to further engage with their neighbors, RA and Reston Soccer. That seems like a reasonable request and for that reason we respectfully request postponement of the February 21 DRB Information Session on the Lake Newport Soccer proposal.”
Video of the meeting is available on the Reston Association YouTube channel.
According to Mike Leone, RA’s communications director, Reston Association will inform residents of the communities that the presentation has been postponed.
Anguizola said Reston Soccer “looks forward to further engagement with the community on this important project” and would renew its request for a DRB information session later this year.
Reston Soccer Association and Reston Association are holding a community input meeting tonight from 7-9 p.m. “with residents from clusters adjacent to the Lake Newport Soccer Fields to discuss their potential concerns regarding RSA’s proposed enhancements to the field.” The meeting will be at RA’s headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).
Earlier Wednesday, women’s professional soccer team the Washington Spirit announced they would be partnering with Reston Soccer to bring a U.S. Girls’ Development Academy to Reston later this year. Robert Anguizola, Reston Soccer president, said the project and the academy are not directly related, as Reston Soccer also plays at a number of other facilities in Reston. However, he said, improvements to Lake Newport’s fields would be beneficial from multiple standpoints.
“[The partnership] highlights the need for better fields so that we can continue to attract good players, coaches and soccer programs here,” he said. “The partnership with Washington Spirit, that we hope will be a long-term partnership, gives us a good fundraising platform.”
Not everyone is happy about the development, though.
Eric McErlain, president of Bayfield Station, one of the clusters in question, says he is a soccer fan. However, he adds, he was irked by the fact that very few people in his community were even aware of the meeting or the proposal as a whole.
“Only a portion of the community received letters by mail from the RA,” he said. “The letter was dated Jan. 27, but the envelope wasn’t postmarked until Jan. 30, and the envelope itself didn’t get to me until Friday. I didn’t open my mail until Saturday, and there it was.”
McErlain said he and other residents of the area — which also includes Arbor Glen and Concord Green clusters — have been trying to spread the word about tonight’s meeting.
Anguizola has previously estimated the improvements will add 191 extra field hours during the season and 550 during what is now the offseason. McErlain said he is worried about what that will mean for the neighborhood.
“I’m incredibly concerned, now that I see more and more the scale and the scope of it,” he said. “I can’t help but be alarmed, and I can’t help but feel the RA is rushing us and not giving us enough time to study this project and be able to comment on it intelligently.”
Reston Association and Reston Soccer are separate and independent entities.
The Reston Association board set a timeline in October on discussion about the project, including public hearings in the early part of this year. Tonight’s meeting is the “first in a series” on the matter, said Mike Leone, RA’s communications director. Should the board allow the project to move forward, a member referendum would take place.
Anguizola said continued discussions with the community, starting with tonight’s meeting, will help determine the future of the project.
“It should be a happy development for the community, because I think it’s part of the civic fabric,” he said. “[But] we’re happy to have a conversation.”
Dinner Held to Support Police Families — A group in Great Falls raised over $5,000 for Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), an organization that supports families of officers killed on the job. 2nd Lt. Anthony Lampe of the Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station addressed a dinner audience, talking about his department’s recent brush with violence against police. [Reston Connection]
South Lakes Girls Win at the Buzzer — The Seahawks’ varsity girls basketball team won with a last-second layup last week. Alivia Damper passed to Kendra Williams, who scored the winning basket just before time expired as South Lakes beat McLean, 51-49. [DMVStream.com]
Seahawks Player Headed to Delaware — Sticking with SLHS sports, football player David Kroll is a top college recruit on the offensive line. He was planning to play for the University of Richmond, but he has now changed his plans and is committed to the University of Delaware. [Washington Post]
Most Reston youth spring sports leagues are holding registration now, so act soon if you want your children to play. Some are even offering early signup discounts.
Here is what you need to know:
Reston Soccer registration closes Feb. 6. Reston Soccer has house and travel teams for boys and girls ages U5 to 18.
Reston Youth Football has co-ed spring flag football. Registration is open.
Herndon Reston Youth Lacrosse has boys and girls teams. Registration is now open and early bird discounts ($30) available through Jan. 15.
http://herndonlacrosse.org/#340618Herndon-Reston Youth Softball has fastpitch softball for girls 5 to 18. Registration is open. Players 10 and older have to have a skills assessment and need to register by February 15.
Herndon Reston Little League – Baseball for kids 4 to 12. Reston Little League now can include players from Herndon, hence the name change and new website. Regstration is open. Skills assessments begin on Jan 31.
Reston Little League players/file photo
South Lakes High School’s swim team had several event winners, but it was not enough to overcome McLean on Friday at Spring Hill RECenter. The Highlander girls edged the Seahawks 160-155; the boys topped SLHS 165-140.
South Lakes started the meet with both the girls and boys winning the first two events. In the 200 yard Medley Relay, Johnny Micka, Benjamin Gryski, Mac Sogandares, and Tyler Hutson won for the boys. Natalie Obando, Megan Carney, Sabrina Groves, and Sasha Avilov won for the girls. In the 200 yard Freestyle, freshmen Tyler Ellis for the boys and Emily Landeryou for the girls both won, with a Regionals-qualifying time for Landeryou.
Additional highlights for South Lakes included:
• A sweep of the 50 yard Freestyle event for the girls with first- through fourth-place finishes for Malina Stassinos (first), Avilov (second), Madeleine Daum (third), and Kaylyn Macaluso (fourth).
• A sweep of the 100 yard Butterfly for the boys with first- through third-place finishes for Sogandares (first, with a Regionals-qualifying time), Ellis (second), and Micka (third).
• A one-two finish in the 500 yard Freestyle for Joseph Hosi (first) and Bradley Torrington (second).
• A first-place finish for the girls 200 yard Freestyle Relay team of Landeryou, Macaluso, Daum, and Avilov.
• A one-two finish in the 100 yard Backstroke for Natalie Obando (first, with a Regionals-qualifying time), and Landeryou (second). (more…)