News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, April 18, 2014

Jelly Jars and Puzzles: The Tributes to Reston's Favorite Centenarian Keep Coming

Smuckers BobThe hits from the Multiples of 50  celebrations just keep coming! First up, we have this exciting jelly jar-themed teevee birthday shout out to Bob Simon on the (alleged) news program, the Today Show.

The best thing? Simon was credited by Cyborg Willard Scott for founding a town, not "loving to bowl" or collecting pig figurines, or something along those lines. Good on him.

But television is ephemeral, fleeting. If you want a more lasting tribute, you can always pick up one of the snazzy new Reston: The Jigsaw Puzzles, on offer through April 25 by your favorite homeowners association. Who wouldn't want to gather in front of a roaring fire and piece together this image?

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At $45 per 500-piece puzzle, that works out to a mere nine cents per piece of jigsaw fun!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Shocker: Yet Another Reston Found, This One On The Illinois Prairie

Reston Ponds mapAs regular readers of this "web log" know, our extensive team of cartographers are constantly scouring the globe for evidence that the Reston Way of Life has spread. So far, their tireless efforts have uncovered Reston doppelgängers in England, Scotland, Ireland, Maryland, and Canada. Their most recent discovery was in Florida, but now we've found yet another Reston, this one in Illinois.

Welcome to Reston Ponds, a housing development in Sycamore, Illinois, which the developer's website calls "a place where smiles are a way of life." Wow, the parallels are uncanny. With ranch and two-story homes from $199,900, Reston Ponds has... ponds. And some lovely, not-so-Restony tract housing:

Ashburn prairie
Welcome to Ashburn on the Prairie.

There are other dissimilarities. There's no ersatz Fake Downtown gritty urban core, but rather a historic downtown dating to the 1850s. Yawn, someone wake us up when they start attracting gritty flash mobs.

But Reston Ponds does have one thing its namesake doesn't. According to the developer's website, the town's Barnes & Noble appears to still be in business.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy 100th, Mr. Simon!

Today is Bob Simon's 100th birthday. From Carnegie Hall to a high-rise he built at around the time of his 50th birthday on the shores of a lake that he also built, it's been quite a century for Reston's founder. Let's celebrate by taking a walk around Lake Anne and raising a martini, as Simon still does every day -- at least when he's not busy playing the congas, dog sledding in Canada or visiting India, to name a few of the things things he's done in just the last few years.

As impressive as his accomplishments have been in urban planning and remaining a civic leader for nearly an unbroken half-century, he's also become a legitimate role model for aging in place -- and aging well. We can only hope we're in as good shape when we're half his age, even if we can't quite celebrate our 50th trip around the sun by building a planned community of our own.

So raise a glass to Mr. Simon. And let's also thank him again for not building his New Town on Staten Island or calling it Simon City.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Democracy in Action: Whopping 14 Percent of Reston Households Elect Three New RA Board Members

We joke about RA's elections sometimes having the whiff of the Soviet about them, given that candidates have often run unopposed in the past. This year, that wasn't the case, with eight candidates seeking three seats on the RA Board of Directors. Even the apartment owner's seat generated a bit of write-in controversy this go-around. So um, yay democracy in action!

Jeff Thomas was elected to one of the at-large seats, defeating incumbent and board vice president Andy Sigle, as well as fellow challengers Reston Citizens Association President Colin Mills, Mason Miller, and Michael Mackert. So maybe those robocalls weren't such a bad idea after all.

Rachel Muir was elected to complete a one-year term on the other open at-large seat, defeating former RA CEO Gerald Valloy. Lucinda Shannon won an unopposed race for the Hunters Woods/Dogwood seat.

Apartment owners seat candidate Ellen Graves won her election against write-in candidate Kimberly Miller, 9-4. (That's not the margin of victory, BTW, that's the actual number of landed gentry rental complex owners that cast votes.)

The overall election numbers don't sound all that much larger, with a whopping 14 percent of RA households casting ballots, beating the required -- yet not that super high of a threshold -- 10 percent quorum. But the RA has, as they say in the movies, a plan:

In an effort to both reduce the financial impact of an election, and to align with Reston’s goals to be environmentally sustainable, approximately 54 percent of voters cast their ballots online this year. Voters were also asked to signify their interest in an online-only option to vote in future elections.
If you've got an hour and three minutes of free time on your hands, you can watch the full video of last night's annual meeting:

But if you had an hour and three minutes on your hands, you probably would have voted, the end.

Update: The board has selected its officers:
Ken Knueven will continue to serve as president. Ellen Graves was selected as vice president. Michael Sanio will be secretary and member, while John Higgins will continue to serve as treasurer.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A List of Things More Likely To Happen Than The Silver Line Opening By July 4 (Updated)

Oh noes
A lot of attention has been paid to the news, from "sources familiar with the project," that Metro's fun new Silver Line just might be up and running by July 4, after all. Keep clapping, kids!

Multiple sources tell WTOP that it's more likely that the Silver Line will be completed and certified before the end of the month than it being delayed into May. Once MWAA certifies the project as complete, it would turn over the project to Metro. Project Director Pat Nowakowski has told WTOP the time between certification and turnover to Metro would be quick.

Metro has said it could be up to 90 days after that before trains open for passengers, but Metro board members have told WTOP that Metro hopes to be able to open the line more quickly.

A source tells WTOP that Metro hopes to take only 60 days after getting control of the line, since they have been able to run extra tests during the project's long delay.
Hey, it could happen! However, at great personal expense, we hired a professional statistician, who "crunched the numbers," as professional statisticians never say, and identified a number of other events that are more likely to happen by July 4:
  • Tall Oaks Shopping Center attracts the nation's first "Mini-Wegmans," has to build additional surface parking to accommodate crazed shoppers, razes Bentana Woods to do so.

  • The new Reston documentary edges out the latest Jim Carrey/Adam Sandler biopic When Jean-Paul Sartre Met Jacques Derrida at the box office.

  • Dulles Toll Road booths begin accepting Chuck-E-Cheese tokens, dispensing tickets good for plush stuffed animals when they're thrown into the center of the basket.

  • The dog run in Baron Cameron Park is supplemented by an adjoining ferret run and sugar glider run. Adorable animals gamboling in harmony warm neighbors' hearts, prompting them to drop lawsuit.

  • The Soapstone bridge across the Toll Road is fully funded, redesigned as a sweeping suspension bridge, and renamed "The Mauve Gate."

  • Lake Anne Plaza welcomes two new tenants: Hooters and a hipster-friendly bowling alley. The two crowds don't exactly mix.

  • The first few weeks of the summer season goes by without a pool having to close because its landline can't get a dial tone.

  • The anticipated July 4 opening of Metro causes Reston housing values to spike by 400 percent, officially making our earth-toned community a "Super Zip" and prompting everyone to cash out and move to Ashburn.


Update: Now there's this:

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Was it something we said?

And also this. Click early and often, kids!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Multiples of 50 Founders Day: Continuing Team Coverage

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Confidential Restonian Operative "Joel" shared this exciting photo of Bob Simon arriving at Saturday's Multiples of 50 Founders Day festivities by pedicab. By all accounts, it was a star-studded event:

Master of Ceremonies Chuck Veatch — one of the original salesmen for the “New Town” back in the 1960s — read Simon’s words from Reston’s dedication at the Founder’s Day celebration at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday.

“The deed of Reston celebrates not the completion of this new town, but symbolizes its beginning,” Simon said in 1964. “It is a place where people will come to live, work, play and call their own. We have just begun to build — there is very much more to come. But from this day forward, Reston is its people.”

Several hundred people — some of them original Restonians or children of original Restonians — were in attendance Saturday for the celebration of Reston’s 50th birthday and Simon’s 100th birthday. Also paying tribute — Gov. Terry McAuliffe; Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam; Sen. Tim Kaine; Rep. Gerry Connolly; County Supervisors Sharon Bulova and Cathy Hudgins; and Virginia General Assembly members Del. Ken Plum and Sen. Janet Howell.
President Obama sent a congratulatory letter!

Hopey letter
Other politicians also praised Simon and Reston's place in history. Give us some good blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:
Reston’s place in history was was a top topic during the tributes. In Virginia in 1964, segregation was alive and well. Simon envisioned an open, inclusive community where people of all races, ages and incomes could live.

“We moved here in 1969,” said Hudgins, who is black. “Things were different in this country and in the world. We are lucky we found a place here. Reston has been able to give us and so many other people the feeling that they belong. … Reston is and has been a model.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, who also served as governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010, put Simon’s vision in perspective.

“In 1964, when Reston opened, discrimination was rampant and legal,” he said. “It wasn’t until 1968 that the federal Fair Housing Act was passed. It wasn’t until 1971 that the Virginia General Assembly passed the South’s first fair housing law.
“Bob [Simon] was a real visionary,” Kaine said. “All human beings ought to be able to live together and be neighbors. When we look at Virginia history since World War II, Bob should be one of the 5 or 6 individuals. Bob took a state that was facing backward and turned it facing forward.”
The Action McNews folks were there in droves!

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Or if you don't like the "filter" the liberal media places on everything, here's the raw footage:

As for Simon, along with touting his long-standing habit of having one martini each night, he offered some advice for the whippersnappers youth:
"Get out of your rooms where you keep your high-techery. Get outside. Get on a bicycle. Get on the tennis court. Row a boat, paddle a boat, sail a boat. All the things that make life for a fuller life than just exercising your thumbs," says Simon.
Love the term "high-techery." Does that mean we can't use our iPhone at the cupcakery?

All in all, a worthy event for two most worthy milestones. That'll do, Reston, that'll do.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Look Who's Talking: Verbose Canine Wins Reston Video Contest, Does Not Chase Chuck Wagon Across Kitchen Floor

As we gird ourselves for the Multiples of 50 Founders Day festivities beginning this weekend, we can reveal the winner of the Reston: The Video: The Video Contest. There were six finalists, which you can watch here, featuring cute kids, history, artwork -- all awesome, and all very Reston-y. But apparently when a talkin' dog is involved, there is None More Reston. Check it, as the kids haven't said in at least two decades:

Congratulations to Trisha Holman-Pierce and "Banks," the star of Life as a Reston Canine. We all love animals who think they're people (and have the wardrobe to boot), so it's a well-deserved win. We can only hope this brilliant bit of viral marketing will entice other, equally gifted animals, to call Reston home: