Opinion Column: Independent Progressive: Deep into the Fall in Reston

Opinion Column: Independent Progressive: Deep into the Fall in Reston

Halloween is here, the Reston Farmers Market is still going strong and the hope-for-change midterm elections are upon us!

The Halloween Trail at the Walker Nature Education Center was a real challenge this year. The half-mile walk through the woods usually filled with ghosts, goblins and costumed wildlife for kids and families who visit the weekend around Halloween had to be moved indoors this year. Friday evening with its cold, pouring rain was not fit for children or critters. Amazingly, the Reston Association staff and scores of volunteers re-created the magic of Halloween on the trail inside the Nature Center building and nearby gazebo. Hats off to Katie Shaw and her magicians who made it a night to remember for all.

The Reston Farmers Market, celebrating its 21st year in the parking lot at the Lake Anne Village Center, has morphed into a blaze of fall colors with a wide variety of fall veggies, over 40 varieties of apples, all the usual kinds and cuts of meats plus Asian Water Buffalo (raised in Loudoun!), local seafood, honey, the biggest selection of baked goods in the area, milk and cheeses and more. Our market also features the farm with the best selection of organic produce in the region. When I began the market, sponsored by the Fairfax County Park Authority, in 1998, we had about a quarter of the products in October that we have now, and the Reston Farmers Market closed for the season on/about Halloween (Oct. 31).

This year the RFM will continue through Saturday, Dec. 1, the same day that Santa Claus sails across Lake Anne and is greeted by a throng of young children awaiting him at Washington Plaza next to Bronze Bob Simon. That means there are just five more Saturday mornings to come and see your friends and to shop fresh and shop local before the 2018 season ends on Dec. 1.

By the time you read this column the Nov. 6 mid-term elections will be just days away. As I mentioned in a recent column and as you no doubt are most aware, this election is one of the most critical in living memory. And Virginia is likely to be a pivotal battleground in a nationwide campaign to reclaim at least one house of the U.S. Congress from Trump and a Republican Party gone off the rails with him.

I still hold out hope for moderate progressive Democrats capturing up to four of the seven Virginia seats in the House of Representatives currently held by Republicans. And I now feel almost certain that three of the four women challengers will indeed win—specifically taking seats in the 2nd, 7th and 10th districts. Don Beyer, Gerry Connolly, Don McEachin and Bobby Scott will win re-election easily, giving the Democrats seven of the 11 Virginia seats in the House.

The U.S. Senate presents a tougher challenge, of course, with two-thirds of the seats up for election currently held by Democrats. In Virginia, incumbent mildly progressive Tim Kaine will be re-elected, easily thrashing Trump clone Corey Stewart. And there is still a chance the forces of moderation will recapture the Senate, or possibly achieve a tie which might at least create a situation forcing the two parties to restore the lost art of compromise on Capitol Hill. As unlikely as that might seem as long as there is a Mitch McConnell.

Vote Nov. 6, and remind all your friends and relatives to do the same!