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Morning Notes

Jean R. Packard Center at Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

FCPS Condemns Recent Mass Shootings — “Fairfax County Public Schools remains steadfast in our commitment to speak up and speak out against such acts of hatred and domestic terrorism. This past weekend, the Buffalo, New York, and Laguna Woods, California communities experienced unthinkable acts of violence. We grieve with the families who lost loved ones and are suffering.” [FCPS]

Metro Veers Into Another Safety Issue — “Metrorail repeatedly powered the electric third rail while workers were still on the roadway in recent weeks, bypassing safety procedures and putting people at risk of injury and death, according to a new report issued by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.” [DCist]

County Bus Workers Win Statewide Competition — “Fairfax Connector Operators and Maintenance Professionals excelled at the Virginia State Bus Roadeo last month…The Fairfax Connector/ Transdev Maintenance Team placed first in the maintenance team category and will represent the Commonwealth of Virginia in the International Bus Roadeo next year.” [Fairfax Connector]

Local Vietnamese Community Recognized — A Virginia Historical Marker recognizing the significance of Vietnamese immigrants in Northern Virginia will be dedicated at Eden Center in Falls Church on next Tuesday (May 24). The community was nominated by Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School students last year as part of a statewide Asian American and Pacific Islander History Month contest. [City of Falls Church]

Descano Left Out of Virginia Violent Crime Task Force — “Commonwealth’s attorneys Buta Biberaj, of Loudoun County; Amy Ashworth, of Prince William County; and Steve Descano, of Fairfax County, told WTOP they were unaware a task force was being assembled until Youngkin’s news release Monday. All three prosecutors are progressive Democrats.” [WTOP]

Food Trucks Pop Up at Courthouse — “NEW! Starting TOMORROW, 5/18 food trucks will be visiting the Courthouse Grounds THIS week, from 11:30am-2:30pm to offer lunch options.” [Fairfax County Circuit Court/Twitter]

Lake Anne Parking Lot to Close Next Week — “The Lake Anne Park parking lot will be closed off next week due to required warranty work, starting on May 23 through the 25th (weather dependent). A contractor will be seal coating and restriping the entire lot. Any vehicles left overnight will be towed.” [Reston Association/Twitter]

Sale of Tysons Broadcasting Company Approved — Tegna stockholders voted yesterday to approve a sale of the Tysons-headquartered company to investment firm Standard General. Expected to close in the second half of this year, the $5.4 billion deal will turn the broadcaster, which owns 64 TV stations in 51 markets across the country, into a private company. [Deadline]

“Wheel of Fortune” Coming to Tysons — “‘Wheel of Fortune Live!,’ a new live stage show, is kicking off a tour in September that includes a stop at Capital One Hall…Guests can audition to go on stage and will have the chance to spin a replica of the iconic wheel and solve puzzles to win prizes, including $10,000 and trips to Paris and Hawaii. Audience members will also have the chance to be randomly selected to win cash and prizes.” [Inside NoVA]

It’s Wednesday — Rain overnight. High of 72 and low of 52. Sunrise at 5:55 am and sunset at 8:19 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Reston Station seen from Google offices (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A popular concert series is shifting to a new location in Reston.

Reston Community Center’s “Take a Break” concert series will relocate from Lake Anne Plaza to Reston Station on Thursday evenings beginning this summer.

The series takes place from 7-8:30 p.m. and gives attendees a chance to learn dance moves. The venue change was made because the use of the plaza “is being revisited by the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association,” according to a statement.

“Final policy and application materials for it were not available in time to proceed with planning adequately for summer 2022,” according to the statement.

Concert-goers will still be able to take advantage of free parking. ParkX will offer parking validation for concert-goers from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

“The Reston community looks forward to RCC’s summer concert series all over Reston,” said RCC Board Chair Bev Cosham. “We hope the short distance down the road to Reston Station won’t be inconvenient and that we will see all of our Lake Anne neighbors and friends there.”

Comstock’s senior vice president of marketing Tracey Schar welcomed the series to the plaza.

“We are proud to partner with Reston Community Center to enhance our 2022 Summerbration entertainment event schedule and look forward to welcoming everyone to Reston Station,” Schar said.

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Lake Anne Plaza during the 2021 Reston Multicultural Festival (Staff photo by David Taube)

Reston Museum is putting a spotlight on the community’s oldest village center with the release of its latest book.

Authors Cheryl Terio-Simon with Eric MacDicken introduced the book, “Community is what it is all about: an ode to lake anne,” at Reston Community Center’s Jo Anne Rose Gallery during Founder’s Day on Saturday (April 9).

The book charts the development of the Lake Anne Village Center since it was built in the early 1960s. It contains over 100 photos of modern and historic sites in the village as well as artwork by local painter Pat MacIntyre.

Proceeds from the sale of the books will go toward the repair and maintenance of Uruguayan artist Gonzalo Fonseca’s sculptures at Lake Anne Plaza and the Fonseca Underpass sculptures.

Terio-Smith is the widow of Reston founder Robert T. Simon Jr., who started the community on nearly 7,000 acres of land he purchased in 1961 after selling the performing arts venue Carnegie Hall to the New York City government for $5 million.

“People have been drawn to Lake Anne for various reasons…its strong modernist style paired with its romantic feeling, the beauty of the lake,” Terio-Simon said in a news release. “A community was created with this shared appreciation, a common bond enriching all.”

The book is currently on sale exclusively at Reston Museum, including online, for $40.

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This year’s Founders Day celebration will give a nod to an artist whose sculptures still stand in Reston (courtesy David Emke)

Reston’s annual Founders Day will return on Saturday (April 9) to Lake Anne Plaza.

While the event celebrates Reston’s diversity and rich history, this year’s festivities give a special nod to Uruguayan artist Gonzalo Fonseca, who designed many of the sculptures at Lake Anne.

Fonseca was an internationally recognized artist, world traveler and polylingual, according to Reston Museum, which will house an exhibit paying tribute to the artist.

Fonseca, who died in 1997 and would have been 100 years old this year, viewed sculpture as a “microcosmic way to engage civilization and weave together past and future,” according to his website. With stone as his medium of choice, he designed a playground, underpass and monument in Reston.

Other activities include a sun boat design contest and art projects at Reston Art Gallery & Studios, Public Art Reston, the Japanese Culture Club, and Robert Bernhards at the studios.

The day kicks off at noon with a performance by award-winning duo 123 Andres.

The complete schedule is below:

Musical Performances & Remarks

  • 12 p.m. — 123 Andrés
  • 12:30 p.m. — Opening Remarks & Brick Dedication by Reston Museum Board Representative Chuck Veatch
  • 12:33 p.m. — Remarks by community representatives
  • 1:10 p.m. — Foley Irish Academy of Dance
  • 1:50 p.m. — Reston Chorale
  • 2:10 p.m. — Reston Community Orchestra Brass Ensemble
  • 2:50 p.m. — Lopez Studios
  • 3:30 p.m. — Reston Community Players

Schedule of events at Reston Community Center

  • 1-1:50 p.m. — Multilingual Birthday Party: enjoy cake and learn birthday phrases in other languages.
  • 2-3 p.m. — Community is what it is all about: an ode to Lake Anne book launch with the book creators Cheryl Terio-Simon and Eric MacDicken
  • 3-4 p.m. — Film Series about Reston and Reston’s Public Art:
  • “Fun, Beauty, Fantasy: Reston’s Public Art” by Rebekah Wingert-Jabi
  • Fonseca Film Project by Ryan Burke
  • “Moon Viewing Platform” by by Raphael Chambers (2nd Place winner of the “My Community” video contest celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Reston)
  • “If You Lived Here: Reston” by PBS

The annual Founder’s Day celebration is presented by the Reston Historic Trust with support from Reston Community Center. It is co-sponsored by Reston Association and Public Art Reston.

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Reston Association wants the Virginia Department of Transportation to redesign the island (staff photo by David Taube)

Reston Association is calling on state and local officials to push forward the redesign of a circuitous traffic island near Lake Anne Plaza.

At a meeting last night (Thursday), RA’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a letter asking the Virginia Department of Transportation, state officials, and county departments to consider fixing what directors dubbed “pork chop island.”

The island allows pedestrians and cyclists from Village Road to pass a right-turn lane and continue along Baron Cameron Avenue.

“The Board has received numerous and strong complaints about that facility, specifically the traffic separator (‘porkchop’) island in the south leg of that intersection, especially after Reston Now published its Jan. 27 story and photo,” the letter states. “RA’s Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee has detailed to the Board a list of the facility’s problems, and we are aware of concerns expressed by the Reston Accessibility Committee and others.”

The previous design provided a straight shot for pedestrians, but the latest redesign requires a more adventurous undertaking and may actually present more challenges for people who use wheelchairs or have other physical constraints.

“It really is hard for all pedestrians crossing at that intersection but especially with seniors and other persons with limited mobility,” said board member John Mooney.

He thanked Reston Now — a sister site of FFXnow — and RA’s Multimodal Transportation Advisory Committee for bringing up the issue.

The letter outlines a litany of issues associated with the island. For example, the crossing-signal button is too hard to push, the crossing time across Village Road is too short, and the median refuge in the middle of Baron Cameron is unsafe and hard to negotiate.

RA’s board says ensuring that area is walkable is particularly important because of its proximity to the Lake Anne House, a 240-unit facility for seniors.

“The residents of Lake Anne House themselves should be consulted appropriately about this design,” the letter says. “We believe it would also be useful to have an on-site meeting of representatives of the county, VDOT, the developer and RA to discuss the problems and redesign.”

Board Director Tim Dowling encouraged RA to ensure the letter was strongly worded and leveraged the association’s “collective voice” as an organization that represents more than 20,000 households in Reston.

VDOT is currently re-examining the design of the facility.

“Unfortunately the construction of the pedestrian improvements contains deficiencies that must be remediated. We have been working with Fairfax County and the permittee regarding said remedy,” a spokesperson told FFXnow.

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Heron House (staff file photo)

(Updated at 3:51 p.m.) A plan to install six antennas for cell phone service at a historic building in Reston’s Lake Anne has failed to pick up steam.

Site Link Wireless proposed installing six concealed antennae on the roof of the Heron House, a 15-story condominium building that is the centerpiece of Lake Anne Village and was built in 1966.

The application was withdrawn after issues were flagged by the Fairfax County’s Architectural Review Board late last year.

Elise Murray, an ARB member, said the proposal was simply too “jarring” to the eye and compromised the architectural integrity of the building.

The Lake Anne Fellowship House — which will be demolished after a new facility is completed by the summer — housed cellular equipment to maintain service by Verizon Wireless and other providers. The facility’s demolition will significantly diminish the cell phone company’s service in the area.

At a Dec. 9 meeting, ARB members raised concerns about the facility, including the lack of cohesiveness of augmented cell phone boxes with the historic building.

Site Link Wireless plans to return to the ARB with an improved plan and with more input from the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association’s board.

Rick Novak, who represents Site Link Wireless, said the structures would extend the roof by 14 feet.

LARCA’s board president George Hadjikyriakou said the board is not currently considering the proposal.

“LARCA is not in a position at this time to consider the application, and I believe the county is helping locate another location for this antenna assembly,” he said.

In a Feb. 3 letter, LARCA’s board said it did not support the proposal.

“At this time, the Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association is not willing to proceed with the possibility of installing an antenna on the Heron House. Sprint currently has an enclosed facility on the building,” LARCA wrote.

The county is working with Site Link Wireless to determine future plans for the facility.

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