News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fake News Misreports, Does Not Mar, South Lakes Student Walkout

As the second student walkout in the wake of the Parkland tragedy unfolded today, Reston was on the national teevee news! Well, sort of:

Only that's not the South Lakes protest. Even an unskilled Krelminologist would notice the conspicuous lack of trees and the normally shaped red-brick houses in the surrounding neighborhood, etc. We even thought we spotted a bit of red mulch in a yard! Totally FAKE NEWS. This was the South Lakes protest:

Lest we forget, South Lakes students have a very real reason to march today -- the school was locked down last week for what was believed to be a very real threat.

The kids are alright, in more ways than one.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

We're #20! Reston Ranks Below Soul-Sucking Exurban Va. Wastelands, Even With Our "Not Overweight" Populace

In our favorite plastic fantastic planned community, the hits don't stop until we get to... somewhere in the middle of the list of Virginia communities.

That's right... Reston was ranked #20 among the best Virginia places to live, according to apparently automated listicle generator Ranked first was Arlington, the place we're all terrified we're about to become, what with its appropriate and carefully planned development around Metro stations (spoiler alert: not likely). That we can live with. But other communities that ranked higher than Reston? Former drive-in Merrifield (#3), exurban particleboard Loudoun wastelands Stone Ridge (#4), Broadlands (#6), South Riding (#7), Ashburn (#13), Cascades (#14) and Landsdowne (#16), I Can't Believe It's Not Herndon! subdivision Franklin Farms (#8) and the I Can't Believe It's Not Franklin Farms! McNair neighborhood (#19), X-rated Brambleton (#10), and the X-rated sounding "Short Pump" (#11), which, just... ick.

Of course, we can blame the eggheads who "crunched the numbers" on such things as "public data sets." We all know life in Reston isn't about the numbers, man! (Except maybe for Pantone codes, but we digress). Fortunately, the folks at Niche also allowed people to write reviews of Reston, and the entries, which generally read like Yelp reviews of a mediocre local drycleaner written by Russian bots and hastily run through Google Translate, really capture the essence of Reston! Just look:

The locals are friendly and non disturbing. Most are not overweight.
Non-disturbing and skinny? Someone pinch us.
Reston va is surrounded by section 8. Crime is everywhere and people are very poor. Almost no one in here owns a car.
Don't tell the folks surrounding us in Oakton and "Great" Falls! We wish no one in Reston owned a car; it would make our dinnertime runs to McTacoHut a lot less stressful.
I no longer wish to raise my daughter here.
Transit-oriented developments: NO GIRLZ ALLOWED.
Gardeners do very well at maintenance with trees and plants. It would be nice if the Reston Association could do something about the colors of the bricks.
They're so... brick colored!
For me the buggiest concern would be little vandalism crimes done by teenagers.
The "buggiest concern" is probably this person's spellcheck.
I also notice the workers in the different restaurants and stores vary not only in age but in race and sex.
"Varying in sex" sounds like something you'd find in 11th rated "Short Pump," ick again, the end.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Past Is Prologue 2018: The RA Election Blog Post We Kept Trying To Put Off Writing

So, (almost) every year when RA elections roll around, we post the usual hilarious Soviet-era posters and complain about how so few of the races are contested, LOL, good Internet jokez gang, how about that boring HOA and its unhealthy fixation on red mulch?

But this year, after various bouts of unpleasantness, all of the open spots on the Reston Association Board of Directors are contested. In fact, a whopping thirteen candidates are running for the four open board seats. And, as has happened in the past when there's been a lot of interest in the RA Board, folks are joining forces to run on reality tevee-like alliances slates. Give us some good blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

This year, four candidates — Travis Johnson, Sridhar Ganesan, Tammi Petrine and John Bowman — are running on a slate, a choice they said was driven by shared positions on the Tetra purchase and a plan to increase Reston’s population density.

In mailing distributions, four other candidates — Colin Meade, Aaron Webb, Andy Sigle and current South Lakes District Director Julie Bitzer — are running as the “Alliance for a Better Reston.” In mailing distributions, they say they are committed to “implement[ing] Bob Simon’s original vision” for the community.” The alliance’s endorsements include Eve and Rick Thompson, Cheryl Terio-Simon, Bill and Betsy Keefe and others.

Because this filthy "web log" has been around so long that we remember a magical, long-ago time when you had to get to some place called "Falls Church" if you wanted to take the Metro and parking to eat at this other place called "Uno's" was free, we know all this has happened before. Apparently since then, someone decided that it was okay for sitting RA board members to endorse other candidates, which is... fine, really. Frankly, we're mostly just happy that all the tumult of late has turned out multiple people who are actually willing to do this thankless job.

One contentious issue -- the departure of RA CEO Cate Fulkerson -- has already been taken care of by the current board. Yet with that pound of flesh presumably exacted for the Original Sin of purchasing the Leaky Lake House, you'd think the discourse would shift ahead to the many real threats facing Reston, not the least of which is county officials looking at their zoning maps with cartoon-like dollar signs popping out of the empty sockets where their eyes should be while claiming it takes more than a decade to build a humble footbridge even though developers can somehow manage to slap up massive quadrilaterals in a fraction of that time. You would think.

Too much of the RA Board conversation in the past few months has been about relitigating the Tetra purchase (which, full disclosure, we supported assuming somewhere there was a competent adult who might actually understand complex terms like "rotting truss" and "fiduciary responsibility") and not enough about taking an active role in our current problems.

Of course, if you went by the tone and intensity of online comments, you'd think that turnout for this election would be staggering. In reality, it's likely to be... less impressive:

The beleaguered issue of lower voter turnout, which has hovered between 11 and 19 percent over the last four years, belies the importance of the election. RA commands an $18 million budget, funded in part through assessments from property owners.

In recent years, RA has pushed to boost voter turnout. Last year, nearly 19 percent of eligible voters participated in RA’s election for the Board of Directors – departing from a trend where turnout remained around 14 percent the three years prior.

This year, RA’s elections committee hopes to push turnout beyond 20 percent — a goal that Caren Anton, co-chair of RA’s elections committee acknowledges is a somewhat of a low standard.

If fewer than one in five households winds up voting in this election, we'll be curious about what it would take to get turnout above 20 percent in future elections. Maybe tearing down the Leaky Lake House and replacing it with a combination dog park/indoor bocce arena surrounded by paid parking and high-rise workforce housing?

But we digress. Because Restonian Is The Web Log That Cares(tm), we're presenting video from the candidate forums to date, along with this link to all 13 candidate statements (PDF).

Uniformed federal agents should have delivered ballots to your home by now if you're a luddite; online voting began yesterday and runs through April 2. We don't care about slates, or leaky roofs, or much of the other noise that's consuming people at the moment. We just want people to actually focus on what matters most right now, the end.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Windpocalypsmageddon 2018(R)(tm): A Children's Treasury of Cellular Telephone Photos of Stuff Blowing Around Reston (Updated)

Apparently it's a tad gusty outside:

See more by clicking this link.

Monday, February 26, 2018

I'll Take Brackish Manmade Ponds for $500, Alex

We've written regularly about the teevee show Jeopardy!, in which Restonians have historically held their own. But imagine our surprise when our plastic fantastic planned community was name-checked in an airing of everyone's favorite game show last week. Our favorite correspondent, The Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston, has the "deets," as the kids might have said semi-recently, at least on teevee shows for kids written by octogenarians whose grandchildren would prefer if they stopped offering them caramels, geez:

On tonight's show, one of the categories was "Rough Waters". One of the clues in it was, and I'm paraphrasing here, "White water rescue teams often practice at Great Falls located between Reston and Bethesda on this river." I can understand why for the Maryland side they used Bethesda and not Potomac so as to not give away the answer. But Reston? Maybe they didn't want to repeat "Great Falls" twice?

Whatever the reason, we in Reston can be proud that Manifest Destiny has worked in reverse and we have expanded eastward to annex the swells who live in Great Falls, much to their utter consternation. One can almost imagine the anguished conversations held in hushed tones throughout that once-proud cluster of McMansions. "I say, Biff old chap, do you think the great unwashed in...Reston...would have any Grey Poupon to spare?"

There's historical precedent for annexing the geographic, McMansion-strewn home of our Betters. But sadly, it appears that the promised land north of Rt. 7 will remain free of DRB control (for now), regardless of what everyone's favorite Canadian-American game show host may think.

In the meantime, we'll bask in the national attention and suggest a few additional questions for future episodes:

We'll take Annoying Rhymes for $200, Alex:

This or That for $400:

Not in the form of a question! Too bad, try again:

In the Rough for $600:

Finally, Potent Potables for $800:

You're welcome, Alex. You're welcome.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

At Reston Station, It's Now Hip to Be Square

So as it waits patiently for an anchor tenant for its awesome Helmut Jahn-designed parallelogram at Reston Station, Comstock has announced it's moving forward with plans to build the second office tower at the Metro station/perpetual waiting zone for Founding Farmers. Good on them, if somewhat brave given the current climate! Give us some PR-approved blockquote about the $95 million, 180,000 square foot project, BFFs at Reston Patch:

Washington Business Journal reports that construction on the building will begin in April and the plan is to complete the project by January 2020. It will be known as 1906 Reston Metro Plaza, and will be the second of three office towers that will be perched directly above the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station parking garage.

"The second of three iconic office towers to rise above the Reston Metro Plaza, this 150,000 square foot, LEED Silver, Trophy-Class building shapes the gateway between Reston's only Metro Station and the urban heart of the Dulles Corridor," states the Reston Station website.

Only Metro station? Either they forgot to mention "for now," or they have less confidence in the timing of phase 2 of the Silver Line than we do.
"With world-class amenities, unmatched services, unrivaled accessibility, sustainability, and convenience, 1906 Reston Metro Plaza provides a unique opportunity to secure a highly visible corporate presence in the heart of the most important corporate address in the burgeoning urban landscape of the Dulles Corridor."
All good words. But that's not what the building originally was planned to look like. When the massive Sleestak-infested parking garage was just a gleam in Comstock's eye, the original plans envisioned a field of glowing parallelograms atop it. Check it, as the kids haven't said in decades:

Not everyone loves the existing building (or its rad neon), but we applaud Comstock for hiring a real architect and building something that doesn't look like every other off-the-shelf office tower lining the Toll Road. It's a little said to see them think a little more inside the box by building... well, a box.

But all hope isn't lost! Look closely at that square at the end of the habitrail that lets all the wage slaves cross over the Toll Road on their way out of the Metro station:

Could our rad '80s art finally be making an appearance? If so, all is forgiven, the end.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

HHS, South Lakes Students Hold Walkouts To Protest Florida Shootings

Several hundred students from both area high schools staged walkouts today, part of a national protest in the wake of last week's shootings at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Fortunately for "web loggers" like us, the kids were on the Twitters, as they do.

From South Lakes High School:

From Herndon High School, whose principal sent out an email following last week's shooting about a threat of its own:

Of course, the usual suspects commentators at Reston Now are treating the walkouts as the democratic exercises of free speech that they are:

Stay classy, Reston. Stay classy.