Tuesday Morning Notes

‘Share a Haircut’ at Local Hair Cuttery Locations —If you bring a child up to 18 years of age to any local Hair Cuttery through August 15, the business will donate a free haircut certificate to children in the community. [Reston Patch]

North Hills Clay Tennis Courts Renovations In Progress — The clay courts are scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2020. [Reston Association]

Farmers & Makers Market is Today — Local artisans and farmers will offer a variety of items at the weekly market, which runs through November. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Reston Town Center. [Reston Town Center]

Photo by vantagehill/Flickr

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New Reston Sports Council Seeks to Become ‘Unified Voice’ for Local Sports

A new Reston Sports Council, which includes 13 representative organizations, is seeking to becoming a unified voice for the interests of the local sports community.

The council, which grew out of focus group discussions and meetings by Reston Association’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee in 2016 and 2017,  held its first meeting in February. Members involved the initiative presented updates to RA’s Board of Directors last week.

At the meeting, Jeremy Lee, the newly appointed chairman of the council and a Reston resident of more than 20 years, said the council is an independent entity and intends to speak as a single voice to RA the Fairfax County Park Authority and the county.

Organizers hope the council will also help sports organization — including those that are not formally organized — coordinate the use of RA facilities, consider bulk purchasing, review industry standards, and collaborate to solve shared challenges, according to Laura Kowalski, RA’s director of recreation and environmental education.

Former RA Board Director Jeff Thomas and current RA Board Director Julie Bitzer, who is also the board’s PRAC liaison, pushed for the formation of the council.

Bitzer, who lauded the initiative, said the council will be a productive way to ensure “all sports have a voice” and prevent one sport from dominating conversations.

Larry Butler, RA’s director of land use and planning, cautioned that only Reston-based organizations are allowed to use RA facilities based on RA’s resolutions and by-laws.

The council is in the process of developing its bylaws, operational procedures and website. It plans to hold monthly meetings that are open to all.

So far, the council serves 6,000 constituents involving in local sports, including Reston, Herndon and Great Falls.

Photo via Reston Association/YouTube

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Town of Herndon Considering Hiking Fees for Facility Use

The Town of Herndon may slightly increase the fees for facility uses and rentals while eliminating its use of the Fairfax County Park Authority’s fee structure.

Herndon’s Parks and Recreation Department provides for community-use facilities at the Herndon Community Center, which includes a pool, gym, tennis courts, fitness rooms and drop-in child care.

For about 12 years, the Parks and Recreation facilities fee schedule has included a pricing structure for community center admission fees and passes tied to the Fairfax County Park Authority rates.

A department review of current services and operational costs prompted the Town Council to rethink its use of FCPA rates.

“Staff is proposing that structure be revised to eliminate the connection to FCPA due to the significant increase in their proposed non-resident rates, which would be detrimental to a large percentage of Herndon Community Center users,” the Parks and Recreation staff report says.

The Town Council now has a proposed resolution that would base the fees on a daily resident/non-resident fee. The change is expected to recover 75 percent of the department’s operating costs through fees and charges for services, according to the Town of Herndon.

The new fee would add $0.50 more to the daily rate for both residents and non-residents.

If approved, the amended fee schedule would go into effect on Sept. 1.

Images via Google Maps and Town of Herndon

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Reminder: Restonians Can Buy Their Pool and Tennis Passes

Spring is still about two weeks away, but the Reston Association wants locals to start thinking about warmer weather activities.

The Restonian Association recently took to YouTube to remind Restonians — members and nonmembers of the association — that they can purchase pool and tennis court passes.

The passes give access to the Reston Association’s 52 outdoor tennis courts and 15 pools. They can be purchased online or at the Reston Association’s Member Services Office (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

The two heated pools open early May before the other pools, according to the RA. The tennis courts stay open year-round — weather permitting.

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North Hills Tennis Courts Among Uncompleted 2018 Capital Projects

A little more than half of Reston’s capital projects were finished this year, with the renovations of the North Hills tennis courts among the uncompleted projects.

Senior Capital Projects Operations Manager Chris Schumaker presented the Capital Projects 2018 Report to the Reston Association’s Board of Directors at the meeting last night (Dec. 13).

Forty-six of the 84 projects slated for 2018 were finished, including the Hook Road community engagement project, Lake Audubon dredging and the 2019 Reserve Study.

Schumaker said that rain and “difficult weather” delayed several projects. The tennis courts faced a “stumbling point” when a tree fell on the courts, he said.

By a 3-2 vote in late October of 2017, the board approved up to $295,000 in improvements for North Hills tennis courts in response to concerns about limited lightning in the evenings and major cracks that run along the court. 

Staff, users and industry professionals determined that the current funds wouldn’t cover the renovation’s cost, Schumaker said.

The irrigation system and court grades require a “significant modification” to ensure proper operation and quality of play for the next 30 years, along with lighting design changes.

The project jumped from an originally estimated cost shy of $300,000 to a new estimate just under $400,000. Schumaker said that the current cost estimated happened in the latter half of the third quarter.

The board debated on moving $95,500 of unused money from the Repair & Replacement Reserve Fund in the 2018 capital budget for the tennis courts.

RA At-Large Director Ven Iyer said that not sticking to the budget sends the wrong message and makes the RA look fiscally irresponsible.

Caren Anton, who represents Hunters Woods and Dogwood, said that using the money “is a no-brainer.”

“It’s unfortunate that the extent of the renovation was not identified accurately at the beginning,” Anton said. “The funds are there. I think it’s imperative that we take care of this to make the courts safe and more attractive to the senior tennis players.”

The board authorized the $95,500 and also authorized $52,300 from CAARF capital funds to pay for a small equipment lift, deep tine aerator and “winterization” pool covers for Ridge Heights and Shadowood facilities.

The 2018 projects cost an estimated $3.1 million and the projected carry-forward totals $2.25 million.

Photos via Reston Association/YouTube

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Shadowood Tennis Courts Closed Through September

The Shadowood tennis courts, which are located on Springwood Drive, will be closed for repairs beginning Monday (September 10).

Reston Association expects the courts to reopen on or around October 1. Routine maintenance, which includes court cleaning and cracks repair, will be completed during the closure. A fresh coat of paint will also be applied to all four courts.

Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications and community engagement, said the courts “will look like new” once the work is completed.

Other tennis facilities in Reston are open and a complete list is available online.

File photo

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Thursday Morning Notes

Local police now armed with Narcan — In order to tackle the growing opioid epidemic, local police are now equipped with protective equipment that could reverse overdoses, including the popular use of Narcan. [Fairfax County Police Department]

If you’re a tennis fan — Reston Association is organizing a trip to the U.S. Open tennis championships on August 30. The trip is $190 for RA members and $200 for all others. [Reston Association]

Confession letter surfaces in the murder of Reston couple — “The alleged neo-Nazi teen accused of killing a Reston couple inside their home wrote a confession letter, ABC7 has learned. In new documents obtained in the case, the search warrant says the teenager “devolved in detail his actions on the night of this murder. Detectives believe the letter was mailed during the spring to a classmate at the Dominion School, which is now called the Kellar School.” [WJLA]

Photo submitted by Mike James

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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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Reston Association to Continue Discussions on Recreational Facilities’ Cost and Usage

As the mid-year point before next year’s budget cycle approaches, Reston Association’s Board of Directors and staff will discuss how to approach a comprehensive analysis of RA’s recreational facilities.

The analysis, requested by Director Julie Bitzer in March, would be the first comprehensive examination of RA’s recreational facilities in 13 years.

Larry Butler, acting CEO and senior director of land use and planning, said the last study was done in 2005 and examined issues like cost utilization trends, usage, maintenance, repairs and suggested upgrades.

Staff recommended hiring a consultant to complete the study due to limited staff resources over the next two-to-three months and ongoing summer projects like the Hook Road working group and the lakes, docks and boats working group.

The board will hold a work session on June 5 to discuss the scope of the analysis, whether a consultant is needed to complete it and better define the goals and scope of the work.

Other recreation-related decisions may be more pressing.

Board members suggested a timely decision on the future of Lake Thoreau pool, which Director Sherri Hebert said was “falling into the lake,” was necessary. Hebert said an expenditure of $1 million is estimated to bring the aging pool up to go code. No decision on the future of that pool has been reached.

The longterm examination will guide the board’s budget decisions on replacement, repairs and upgrades to facilities.

Photo by Mike Collins

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Jump Start Reston Tennis Season at Racquet Demo Day

Warm weather is here, and that means tennis season is here in Reston.

To swing into the new season, the Reston Association will be hosting a Tennis Racquet Demo Day at the Lake Newport tennis courts on Saturday, May 12, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Reston Association tennis program manager Rob Tucker will have several racquets on hand for people to try out, including some of the newest models from brands like Babolat, Wilson, Dunlop and Head.

Tennis instructors will also be there to show people how the racquets are used, and to help players figure out which racquet is right for their game.

To RSVP for this free event, at 11452 Baron Cameron Avenue, contact Tucker at [email protected]

Photo via Reston Association

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Reston Association Tackles Wind Storm Damage at Glade Tennis Courts

Reston Association’s Central Services Facility staff have removed trees at Glade Tennis Courts (11550 Glade Drive) in order to prevent future damage.

During a March windstorm, two large pine trees fell onto the tennis court, damaging the clay court, court lights and perimeter fencing, according to Ali Khatibi, the manager of the Central Services Facility.

After inspections, arborists determined standing and pine trees posed a threat to public safety. Trees were removed from the court.

On March 2, RA estimated windstorm cleanup could take at least one month. Arborists continue to remove trees from pathways.

“We appreciate your patience during this process,” Khatibi said in a Reston Today video. 

 

Photo via Reston Association/YouTube

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Proposal to Shift $552,000 To Tennis Projects Draws Concern

As Reston Association’s board of directors finalize the budget for next year, a proposal by a board member to shift nearly $550,000 from the upkeep of baseball, softball and soccer fields to tennis projects is drawing ire from some Restonians.

Mike Sanio, board secretary and at-large board member is seeking to move $551,780 in funds to help fund eight tennis capital projects, including $514,700 in currently proposed funding for baseball, softball and soccer fields. The remaining $37,080 would come from last year’s deferred dollars.

Sanio urged RA to reprogram funds to fully address “the historic shortage of money” to maintain RA’s tennis courts, noting that the program provided a nearly 74 percent recovery rate for operating costs this year. In an Oct. 30 email, he questioned why RA subsidizes programs that it does not operate, including $155,000 for backstops and fencing at Browns Chapel. The current $127,000 two-year capital budget for tennis largely covers color coating.

“Our core recreational responsibilities are to sufficiently fund swimming, tennis, pathways, playgrounds, multipurpose courts, and lakes. It is not to fund sports run by independent organizations that have their own sources of revenue,” he wrote. 

Local community groups, including the Reston-Herndon Little League, plan to oppose the recommendation. 

“We are very concerned over the potential motion to reprogram funds from baseball, softball and soccer entirely over to tennis. We strongly believe there is enough funds to make sure members of our community can play on safe playing surfaces no matter which activity they choose to partake in. While we have always advocated for baseball fields to be improved, we would never do so at the complete expense of another activity that so many children and members of our community enjoy. We are hopeful that the RA board feels the same way,” said Tim Jones, the league’s president.

The board will meet on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the proposal, which is a fraction of RA’s overall capital and operating budgets. The board is also set to pass those budgets this Thursday.

The board will formally decide on a motion to review each of Sanio’s requests and provide a report to the board about the feasibility of funding prioritized projects to the board by February. Staff noted RA’s capital projects team has not yet reviewed projects suggested by Sanio.

Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications and community engagement, said the board aware of the community’s concerns and noted that final versions of the motions, the draft versions of which are available online, have not been finalized.

By a 3-2 vote in late October, the board approved up to $295,000 in improvements for North Hills tennis courts in response to concerns like limited lightning in the evenings and major cracks that run along the court. White and Bowman voted against the line item.

The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The meeting will also be streamed on Reston Association’s YouTube channel.

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Friday Morning Notes

Toll Road Ramp Detour Starts This Weekend — The ramp from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road to the Fairfax County Parkway will be diverted through the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride parking lot. The detour is expected to remain in place through 2017 to allow Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project crews to perform utility and road work on the ramp. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Wombat Hoax Spreads on Twitter — A Twitter account posing as Roer’s Zoofari has been claiming this week that a wombat escaped from the zoo. A lot of people fell for the gag. [Reston Patch]

Trip to Pro Tennis Match Slated — Reston Association will have a group outing Tuesday night to see Martina Hingis and the Washington Kastles face the New York Empire. [Reston Association]

Sobriety Checkpoint Saturday Night — Police departments from Fairfax and Loudoun counties will be working together at a sobriety checkpoint Saturday night from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the Centreville/Chantilly area. [Fairfax County Police Department]

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Friday Morning Notes

Colts Neck Tennis Courts Closed — Drainage work and resurfacing at the courts will have them closed for about a month. [Reston Association/Twitter]

More Work on Toll Road This Weekend — Overnight work is planned tonight through Monday between Fairfax County Parkway and Reston Parkway, as crews continue construction of the Reston Town Center Metrorail station in the median of the Dulles Access Highway. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Free Smoothie for National Flip Flop Day — Tropical Smoothie Café (11684 Plaza America Drive) is giving a free Sunshine Smoothie to anyone who comes in wearing flip flops between 2 and 7 p.m. today. Blaire from “The Jack Diamond Morning Show” will be there as well. [Mix 107.3/Twitter]

Teen Star Talks About Growing Up in RestonJacob Sartorius says he faced a lot of bullying in school. The 14-year-old is becoming a sensation, though, with 14 million followers on the app Musical.ly, 7 million followers on Instagram and more than 2 million subscribers to his YouTube channel. [Asbury Park Press]

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Barton Hill Tennis Facility Damaged by Weekend Vehicle Crash

A Reston Association recreation area is in need of repair after a vehicle crash over the weekend.

Don Gotthardt of the Fairfax County Police Department says the incident that damaged the Barton Hill Recreation Area took place just after 6:15 p.m. Saturday.

“It appears that a black Ford Explorer hit the fence near the tennis courts,” Gotthardt said. “When officers arrived, the vehicle was unoccupied. They towed it and are most likely following up.”

The Barton Hill tennis courts have been closed for resurfacing since last week, and they were unoccupied at the time of the crash. There is a good deal of property damage that will need to be fixed, however.

“We had damage to the Barton Hill Recreation sign, a trash can was demolished and the entry gate was badly damaged,” said Mike Leone, RA’s communications director. “Our original plan was to reopen the courts June 15, but that date may change because we now have to wait for the fence contractors to provide us with a repair timeline.”

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