Newcomers & Community Guide 2013-2014

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State Senator Marsden Shares ‘Insider Tips’ With Newcomers

Where to find Del. David Bulova bartending (maybe), and feel free to call Senator Marsden.

The possibilities for getting involved in a new community are endless. Throw yourself a “welcome to the neighborhood party” by having your new neighbors over. Join a civic club, Lions, rotary, etc. Join a church, the PTA, or the political party committee of your choice. Just don’t sit there … get started today!

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Be a Braddock Insider

What every newcomer should know about living, working and playing in the Braddock District.

Braddock is very much a district of neighborhoods, a rarity in busy and booming Fairfax. Stretching from Annandale to the far edge of Fairfax by the Fairfax County Government Center, we are located in the center of Fairfax County. Braddock District contains key roads for the county such as Route 50, Route 29, Little River Turnpike, Braddock Road, the Fairfax County Parkway, Old Keene Mill, Rolling Road and 495. We are proud to have two institutes of higher learning, George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College, which attract students from all over the world. Here’s a short list of some must-do, must-see places, events and opportunities for newcomers (and old-timers) alike.

Top Neighborhood Issues in the Braddock District

“As new residents to our district, I hope you will join your neighbors in pledging to drive slowly and safely, especially in residential areas.” —Supervisor John Cook (R- Braddock)

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Sightseeing in the Area

See the sights in south Fairfax County.

Reston Founder Welcomes Newcomers

“I believe you will find you have moved to a friendly place. Your neighbors will want to get to know you no matter how old or young you are and regardless of the color of your skin or the size of your bank balance. The 50 miles of paved pathways within Reston make it possible for you to get around on foot or on a bicycle. You can meet people and make friends on the pathways and you can enjoy the natural open spaces that wind through as they connect to the five Village Centers.

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Rescue Reston Protects Golf Course

Rescue Reston is a grass-roots organization comprising community volunteers who oppose redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course into residential housing or any site development other than a golf course or comparable open space.

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Check Your Local Community Center

Reston Community Center enhances quality of life of those living in Reston.

New to the area? Whether you recently moved to the Reston area or are one of the thousands of employees that commute here every day for work, there’s a hidden gem in the neighborhood that you cannot afford to miss—Reston Community Center.

Get to Know Reston Non-profits

Sweet Virginia Foundation is Northern Virginia's charitable beekeeping cooperative whose mission is to promote urban/suburban beekeeping and provide educational and volunteer opportunities for adults and children. Sweet Virginia uses the fine honey it produces from local honeybee colonies to raise funds for local charities dedicated to serving the needs of those most vulnerable in our local community. Supported organizations include Homestretch, Fairfax CASA, The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, Fairfax Families4Kids and several more small scale, DC area non-profits focused on serving the most vulnerable among us.

Residents Agree: Reston Rocks

Restonians on what is so great about living in Reston.

“My family loves living in Reston. The first thing that motivated us to look for a house here were the summer concerts at the Reston Town Center. During our house-hunting trip my husband and I had dinner there, and the music and the people really appealed to us.

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Every Year Is Election Year in Virginia

Northern Virginia has most two-party races on ballot.

While the Virginia governor’s race is the one getting the most attention, both nationally and in the state, Virginia’s House of Delegates race is shaping up to be the most competitive in a decade. According to an official candidate list released last month by the Virginia State Board of Elections, 57 House seats will be contested this November — marking only the second time in the last decade where at least half of the 100 House seats will have more than one name on the ballot.

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What in the World Does a Supervisor Do, and Why Should We Care?

Local Government 101: Where the rubber meets the road.

We see them at just about every community event. They manage a budget larger than the budgets of four states, and rule over a county with a diverse, well-educated population of more than a million people. The 10 members of the Fairfax County Supervisors have an intense, time-consuming, insanely detailed job, one that comes with enormous power and even more responsibilities. They impact our lives in large and small ways, allocating money and resources in ways that can propel our community forward—or cost us our first-rate status in education, livability and culture. Yet most of us, media included, are so focused on politics at the state and national level that we overlook the decision-makers in our own backyard.

Obsessed With Politics? Fairfax County Welcomes You!

What newcomers need to know to be politically-savvy insiders.

Fairfax County may be physically separated from Washington, D.C.—the ground-zero of All Things Political—but residents here are a politically-savvy bunch. We know who Larry Sabato is—a prominent University of Virginia political analyst—and we pay attention to Not Larry Sabato—a Virginia politics blog by Ben Tribbett, a Fairfax County resident and self-described “vicious campaign insultant.” We follow our politicians on Twitter and Facebook.

Supervisors Give Us Their Best “Insider” Tips

Fairfax County has a fantastic park and library system, with tons of activities to enjoy. One of my personal favorites is the Cardboard Boat Regatta at Lake Accotink Park every summer.

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An Insider's Guide to the Arts in Northern Virginia

A selection of upcoming arts productions, happening right where you live.

There are more artists of every stripe making art in Northern Virginia than you may realize. Populating the bedroom communities, small towns, growing cities and metropolitan areas of Fairfax County, Arlington and Alexandria are your pick of dance, theatre, choral, symphonic, visual and performance, music and fill-in-the-blank groups. Look beyond Wolf Trap and Jammin' Java to the Torpedo Art Factory, the Workhouse Arts Center, and smaller, quality groups like ArtSpace Herndon and McLean Project for the Arts to cast their creative spell (that's only to name a few). Delve in and, we dare you, let your stereotypes of an artless string of suburbs dissolve. In place you'll get something much better than stereotypes: some culture.

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Magic of Lake Anne Mornings

Every day I marvel at the magic, waking up to a different lake each morning with the changes of the seasons and years.

Lake Anne has always been the heart of Reston for me. We moved to our townhouse on the lake in the winter of 2002 and as we hauled the last box in, it started to snow. Tired and hungry, we wandered down to the plaza and settled ourselves into a corner seat by the window at one of Lake Anne’s special restaurants. As the sun set we ordered the seafood soup and looked out onto the plaza and the lake and watched the snow fall gently—magical...