News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, February 18, 2011

School Spat, Billion Dollar Deals, and an Easier Way to Find the Shadowood Pool: A Ridiculously Belated Walk Through Reston News

  • While we were busy trying to figure out how to log into our own comments section, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins has apparently gotten into a protracted battle with Fairfax County school officials over its so-called "zero-tolerance" discipline policy. First, Hudgins and one other supervisor moved that county staff "engage Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and community organizations in a discussion about how to help students and parents turn a FCPS disciplinary action into a learning experience." Fairfax County School Superintendent Jack Dale responded publicly, charging that the motion "demonstrated a serious misunderstanding of FCPS policies" and asking that "all members of the Board of Supervisors learn more about FCPS’ practices and policies before making public statements that are misinformed and damanging to our students, families, and community." Then Hunter Mill School Board member Stuart Gibson weighed in, pointing out that "in more than 15 years on the School Board, I have never seen any student expelled for writing on a desk" -- good to know! -- and that "every decision I have made reflects a judgment about the student’s conduct, and not a judgment about whether or not they are a “good kid.”

    All of this finger-pointing has been amusing to some, but let's not forget that it was sparked by the suicides of two county students -- including one from South Lakes High School -- who had gone through the FCPS discipline process. Someone should be taking a good look at what's going on, and that look should probably transcend just the discipline process.

  • Speaking of big messes, Hudgins was also recently elected chair of the Metro Transit Authority. She even got a fancy cake!

  • Sad news: Dave Edwards, who was just awarded the Reston Citizens Association citizen of the year award, has died at 73. An urban planner, Edwards had been involved in planning for South Lakes High School and the Reston Community Center, and had stayed involved in various Reston and RCA committees, most recently playing roles in the Master Plan task force and Reston 2020. He'll be missed.

  • The Dish Network bought DBSD North America, a bankrupt Reston company we never heard of for $1 billion -- with a "b." They're welcome to make us an offer! Also, Serco won a $1.4 billion contract from the U.S. Navy to, we don't know, strap bombs to dolphins, or maybe strap dolphins with bombs strapped to them to whales.

  • The Shadowood pool won't be renamed anytime soon, despite petitions from nearby residents asking for it to be changed to "South Lakes Area Pool." Which makes sense, because if people were to ask us where the South Lakes Area Pool is, we'd probably tell them, "next to Shadowood." Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a "concurrent processing request" for the Dogwood pool, meaning it will be renovated by next May. The plans include a "total rebuild of the pool and bath house, a zero-depth entry splash element, a three-lane lap pool and a diving well." If people ask us where that pool is, we'd probably tell them "sort of near that pool that almost got its name changed."

  • Yay, old skool astronaut and rapper Buzz Aldrin celebrated his 81st birthday at his namesake school.

  • Is Reston firm LightSquared going to make our fancy GPS machines stop working? The Washington Times thinks so, though there's a soupcon of a chance that the Times just might be trying to make the president look bad. Those wacky journalists! While they may or may not be ruining our GPS navigation, Reston-based MERS has allegedly done such a good job of screwing up the mortgage processing system that they've apparently asked people to stop foreclosing on crappy vinyl-sided exurban McMansions in their name.

  • Hey, some lucky couple won a wedding at Reston Town Center! Now word on whether the second prize was a funeral at Tall Oaks.

  • Alvarez LeCesne of Reston won $200,000 in a Powerball drawing. We think he needs to invest some of that cash in the highly lucrative "web logging" industry. Also, Earl Stafford, chief executive of Reston-based financial services firm The Wentworth Group LLC, has donated $100,000 to Virginia State University. Assisting low-income students is a worthy cause, to be sure, but so is supporting independent community "web logging" (cough cough).

  • A dentist, an investor, and a floral designer walk into a outdoor mall gritty urban core. Not a setup for a joke, but Reston Town Center's newest tenants: the Dentistry practice Smiles, investment firm Charles Schwab and Mayflowers Floral Design Studio.

  • Finally, this may quite possibly be the only game using Google Maps that's actually worse than ours. You've been warned.


  1. Funny how so many people arrive at so many different conclusions. When people ask me where Shadowood Pool is, I tell them to look for the greasy, leaf covered cesspool by the slums near the Soapstone parking lot.

  2. I never thought I's say this, but "Good for Hudgins!"

    I hail from a Philly slum in which one was naked without his switchblade. Teachers and administrators applied both patience and common sense in turning me around. Had I has the same start now, the forces of "Zero Tolerance" would have consigned me to the ash-bin that was my socio-economic heritage.

    Now, instead of costing society $10K/year to keep me in the prison to which I was destined, I pay society many tens of thousands in taxes and charitable contributions.

    Is it my imagination or are Zero Tolerance officials the same ones picked on when they were in school? Now they use their no-common-sense-allowed policy to become the schoolyard bullies by whom they were once targeted.

    So, "Hit 'em Hudgins!" "Give 'em a wedgie and lock 'em in their lockers!" I forgive you for the fact we disagree on almost everything else.

  3. Gulag - please go back to the Gulag

  4. Test!...test 123... Are, we in? Yay, looks like we successfully cleared some annoying hurdles.

    Awaiting update for; "the second prize was a funeral at Tall Oaks."

    Celebrating entry with some cold bottles of Moxie when we locate a bottle-opener in the plastic flatware tray.

    Will be excellent to all.

  5. The name Hudgins has been invoked... I SUMMON THE TROLL!

  6. Suck it:

    Wow! Only 1 miles away from Reston! How did you do this? Reston was played 30 times now with an average distance of 147 miles. The best guess was 1 miles. That's yours!

  7. While visiting Reston , be sure to check out Reston ebolavirus , heh heh , that's great. Zero tolerance forced me to spend an hour getting within 0 miles of Reston , woo hoo!!!

  8. It isn't as if changing the name of Shadowood pool will increase usage. When we went there a couple of times two summers back, it was just plain ... boring. Even the kids I know who live right there go to Glade pool, because of the waterslide. However, if you're an adult and you don't want a lot of annoying kids around, Shadowood might be right up your alley.

  9. And by the way, jumping through the openid hoops is a pain. I hope that it proves to be worthwhile and that Restonian's freewheeling spirit doesn't suffer because of it.

  10. So is the Silver Line going to be changed to the Section 8 line?

  11. Is it just me or is this thread totally random?

  12. And in other news, my Girl Scout cookies were delivered today. Yay.

  13. Just out of curiosity, WTCF, how many Girl Scouts are in a box of cookies?

  14. This all seems very random


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