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Andrea Worker

Stories by Andrea

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PetMAC Opens at Lake Anne with a Splash

Pet marketplace and adoption center comes to the Reston area.

Although Cindy Williams actually opened the doors to PetMAC, her pet supply and adoption center located in Reston’s Lake Anne, in January of this year, the official grand opening was only recently celebrated - and done so in style.

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Nysmith ‘Know Brainers’ Keep on Competing

Eighth graders take “You Be the Chemist” and Odyssey of the Mind challenges.

The school year is coming to a close – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for the students at the Nysmith School in Herndon to squeeze in a few more competitions and maybe a trophy or two before that last bell rings.

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Transportation Forum Discusses Options and Obstacles

High Level forum discusses regional transit options and obstacles.

Local, state and federal elected and appointed officials, business leaders, researchers and directors and staff from transportation and economic development agencies gathered on Friday morning, May 8, at the Greensboro Conference Center in he heart of Tysons.

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Reston’s ‘Tropical Resort’

Young swimmers enjoy a tropical environment at Goldfish Swim School.

The story behind the Goldfish Swim School in Reston might sound like a bit of a fish tale, but there’s plenty of evidence to prove otherwise.

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Wheeling Their Way to School

Lake Anne Elementary students join International Bike to School Day.

Melissa Romano, mother of two students at Lake Anne Elementary School in Reston and one at Forest Edge, has been coordinating a monthly “bike to school” for about two years, but even she admitted that she had to up her game to organize Lake Anne’s participation in this year’s International Bike To School Day.

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‘Hamlet’ Comes to Lake Anne Park

Local theater company presents its debut production on May 16-17.

“To be or not to be. That is the question.” Thanks for that, Shakespeare, but in this case the question has already been answered. The young co-founders of Any Stage Theater Company declared that “Hamlet,” the debut production from their new theatrical outfit, will take place at Lake Anne Park, 11301 North Shore Drive, in Reston, rain or shine.

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Rachel Carson Middle School Wins ‘We The People’ Nationals

Herndon middle schoolers crowned national champions.

They did it! In February, The Connection reported that the students of Cynthia Burgett’s special Civics class at Rachel Carson Middle School in Herndon had won the State Championship of the “We The People Competition” and were determined to bring home the gold at the National Invitationals.

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Local Nonprofit Group Presents 'Perils of the College Drinking Culture' Program

The final quarter of the 2014-2015 school year has arrived. For thousands of area high school seniors that means time to say farewells to friends, teachers, and the familiarity of the routines and activities of the past four years. For many of them, it also means time to prepare for that first year of college, and possibly their first time away from home and daily parental guidance.

Outlook Optimistic for Local 2015 Real Estate Market

After what seemed to be an endless winter, spring has finally come calling, signaling the start of the year’s first real estate high season. Homes trade hands all year long, but spring is often for buyers, seller, agents, brokers and lenders like those weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas; buyers at full speed searching out the best bargains and sellers looking to move their wares without having to resort to price-slashing sales tactics.

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‘Your Life Is Today and Tomorrow’

Residents of local senior living communities share their experiences.

“I didn’t want to come here,” said Bill Woessner, referring to Brightview Assisted Living Community in Great Falls. “That’s right,” agreed Sheila, his wife of more than 50 years, with plenty of her native Scottish brogue to be heard in her voice. “He really didn’t. We have a lovely house here in Great Falls and I don’t think he was ready to budge. But how long after we got here did that change?” she turned to her husband and asked. “At least a day,” he laughingly replied. “Seriously,” said Bill Woessner, “it probably wasn’t more than the first 48 hours.”

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Centreville/Chantilly: Housing Expo Draws Crowds

Home-ownership, rental opportunities and related services dominate event.

“Those most in need of these services and resources benefit the most when we can bring so many providers and organizations together in this one-stop shop format.” In that one sentence, Laura Nickle, owner of Communi-k, Inc. and the organizer – for the fourth time – of the Northern Virginia Housing Expo, summed up the event being held at Herndon High School on Saturday, March 21. “There is still a great need for affordable housing throughout our entire region,” she added, “and this is a great partnership of related services that can bring the information and assistance to the largest audience.”

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Virginia Housing Expo Draws Crowds

Home-ownership, rental opportunities and related services dominate the event at Herndon High.

“Those most in need of these services and resources benefit the most when we can bring so many providers and organizations together in this one-stop shop format.”

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I-66 Inside the Beltway Plans

Officials present transformation plans for the eastbound section from I-495 to Route 29 in Rosslyn.

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne headlined the “I-66 Inside the Beltway Transformation Project Kick-Off” briefing on Thursday, March 12 at the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Northern Virginia District office.

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Special Guests Highlight Great Falls Citizens Meeting

Local Boy Scouts meet State Sen. Favola, Del. Murphy.

The monthly Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) meeting offered several special guests on the agenda for the March program, both as speakers and as attendees. Nearly one side of the meeting hall was taken up by Great Falls Boy Scout Troop 673. Scout Master Glenn Prickett explained the scouts’ presence at the school night event.

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Leadership Fairfax Hosts Supervisors Breakfast

State of the County Address, supervisors’ questions and an award ceremony top the agenda.

The agenda and the speakers have to be of significant interest to get some 300 people to brave local traffic and attend a meeting that started at 7:30 a.m. Leadership Fairfax (LFI) apparently succeeded in offering both in the ballroom of the Fairview Park Marriott on Friday morning, March 13, hosting its 24th Annual Board of Supervisors Breakfast.

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Promoting STEM, Hands-on

Sen. Tim Kaine and Virginia Secretary of Education Holton headline K-12 STEM Symposium at the Nysmith School in Herndon.

With Fairfax County police officers directing the line of cars and the pedestrians crossing EDS Drive from the overflow parking lot, you would be forgiven if you thought all this activity was because of a sold out rock concert or championship sporting event. What was taking place, however, was much more important than any type of entertainment.

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People and Pets Love Stories

t’s that time of year again! Nope, not a holiday - although perhaps it should be! It’s that anticipated edition when the Connection Newspapers celebrate the furry, or finned or feathered or scaled or clawed creatures that make themselves a cherished part of the family. Although Reston and Herndon probably number as many pets as people in their populations, sadly we’ve only got room to introduce you to a few – so here we go!

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Competing for ‘We the People’ Title in Herndon

Rachel Carson Middle School takes aim at national title.

Rachel Carson Middle School in Herndon has every reason to be proud. For the second year in a row, History and Social Studies teacher Cynthia Burgett’s special Civics class took home first place in the “We The People Competition” (WTP) at the state level and have their eyes on the big prize at the WTP National Invitationals Title round to be held on the campus of George Mason University between April 17-20.

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Super-Insulation Talk Attracts Homeowners in Reston

How to lower electric, gas and water bills?

The Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne in Reston was the venue for a well-attended presentation by Rich and Marian Taschler on proper home insulation and its mostly unknown benefits. The program was offered under the auspices of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at George Mason University.

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Woodson High School Inducts 2014-2015 Hall of Fame Athletes

W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax welcomed eight new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Grand Atrium Banquet Venue in Tysons Corner. This is the third Hall of Fame “class” for Woodson. The honors program was established in conjunction with the school’s 50th anniversary in 2012.

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I-66 Improvements Draw Crowd in Oakton

Public Information Meeting held at Oakton High.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in partnership with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) recently held several informational meetings on the “I-66 Outside the Beltway Improvements Project” to give the public the opportunity to better visualize its scope and ask questions of the people really in the know. One of these meetings was held at Oakton High School on Feb. 3 and drew a crowd of several hundred to the school cafeteria to learn more about the project that covers a 25 mile path from the 495 Beltway to Route 15 in Haymarket.

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Nysmith School Students Tackle Cybersecurity in Nationwide Competition

The security of the internet is a hot topic in the news these days – think hacks into retail credit card data, student identification and information, personal correspondence a la Sony, and even more worrisome, infiltrations like the recent “CyberCaliphate” hacking into the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. Central Command. With

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Herndon Author Writes New Book on Sports Training for Young Athletes

According to Wendy LeBolt, Ph.D., in her new book “Fit 2 Finish – Keeping Your Soccer Players in the Game” the cycle of success boils down to “Develop – Balance – Observe – and repeat” to keep our young athletes fit and on the field, and taking their sport as far as their interest and skill can take them. Herndon resident LeBolt has some real skin in the game of soccer – literally.

PenFed Realty Joins Forces With Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Both companies have demonstrated the ability to achieve impressive growth goals.

It wouldn’t be stretching the truth to describe this partnership as a potential match made in heaven. On Dec. 4 the press releases went out, announcing that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, was officially welcoming regional powerhouse Prudential PenFed Realty into the fold, where it will now operate as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty.

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Pakistani Ambassador Keynotes Interfaith Event

Local organization seeks to promote religious harmony and cooperation throughout the world.

A Hindu, a Presbyterian, and a non-denominational Christian were sitting at a table listening to a speech by Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States... The occasion was a fundraiser for Reach Out International (ROI), a nonprofit interfaith organization founded by Restonian Sam Mall.

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Season of Giving to Help Neighbors in Need

Communities come together to support neighbors in need in Reston, Herndon area.

2014 hasn’t been a good year for “Arleta” (name has been changed for anonymity) of Herndon. It started off with the loss of her husband to cancer, leaving her the single parent of twin 8-year-old boys.

Vienna Travel Club Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Shillelaghs Travel Club of Vienna celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a gala luncheon at The Westwood Country Club that was attended by more than 175 members, vendors and guests. The atmosphere was “family reunion.”

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Ready for Winter Skating Fun at Reston Town Center

Meteorologists around our region have been gleefully talking about the earlier-than-normal return of Polar Vortex-like weather for weeks, but the forecast for the Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion this past weekend was appropriately chilly, with brilliant blue skies overhead, holiday decorations all round, and buckets of fun on the ice.

Writing a Novel in 30 Days

Hunters Woods fifth graders gear up for 2014 Young Writers Project.

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and for years the NaNoWriMo organization has put forth the challenge to write a novel in 30 days.

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Focus on Transportation

Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance presents regional priorities at 10th annual event.

“What You Need to Know about Transportation in Five Minutes or Less” was the working title of this year’s Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance (NVTA) seminar and reception held on Sept. 30 at Capital One’s auditorium in McLean.

Herndon Mom Chronicles Her Preemie Blessing

Michelle Stevens shares her family’s experiences in blog, book.

“We went to the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] early that morning to learn how to mix Emily's high-calorie formula and administer her vitamins.

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Kids Sending Smiles Raise Funds for Local Charity

They’re at it again. Who’s at what? Those girls from Kids Sending Smiles (KSS) – that’s “who.” The “what” is yet another charitable mission completed by this band of energetic and socially conscious Springfield/Lorton area elementary students, who several years ago formed their own 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the goal of “bringing happiness to ourselves and others by helping those in need in the United States and around the world.”

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Sharing with Neighbors During Ramadan

Project Food Boost helps families in need in Herndon area.

For the tenth year in a row, the Foundation for Appropriate and Immediate Temporary Help (FAITH) in Herndon is organizing a food distribution event to correspond with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Silver Line: A Welcome Newcomer to Neighborhood

Reston, Herndon residents, community leaders reflect on upcoming opening of Silver Line.

Just how long have the residents of Reston and Herndon been waiting for their own rail connection to the Greater Washington Metro system?

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Reston Ready For Summer Fun

The endless possibilities for summertime entertainment in Reston.

After a long, cold and snow shoveling-filled winter and a wet and windy spring, Restonians and their neighbors are ready for some summer fun! The endless possibilities for summertime entertainment in Reston are even on the international radar. Sven Malikson comes every year from Norway to visit his brother who works for a local IT company. “Of course I come in the summer,” said Malikson.

Some Good News and a Lot of Uncertainty

Realtors discuss the mortgage market at finance summit.

The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) hosted Finance Summit 2014 at their Fairfax Headquarters on Wednesday, May 21. The event brought together a panel of speakers with an impressive collection of credentials and expertise. Moderator Ken Harney’s “Nation’s Housing” column is nationally syndicated. Harney is also a member of the Federal Reserve Board Consumer Advisory Council, an author and commentator on real estate and mortgage issues, and the host of CNBC’s “Real Estate Magazine” weekly television program.

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Giving Circle of Hope Honors 2013 Nonprofit Partners

Connections for Hope Partnership of Herndon receives first ever Impact Grant Award of $25,000.

Hidden Creek Country Club in Reston was the venue on May 14 for the Giving Circle of Hope’s annual gathering to showcase the nonprofit partners to whom the organization’s members have chosen to award grants for the coming year. Each fall, eligible members of the Circle – persons who have contributed at least $1 per day for the year to the Grant Fund – review applications and vote to award grants for specific projects that help people in need in Northern Virginia.

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A Reston Retrospective

Stories and thoughts by Reston residents as the community turns 50.

Usually, when you ask a number of people to share their thoughts and opinions on any subject, you get as many different answers as the numbers polled. In asking a rather random selection of residents for their thoughts as Reston celebrates its 50th anniversary, coincidentally with the 100th birthday of founder Robert E. Simon, you do get some interestingly different perspectives, but you get an uncanny commonality in their musings, as well. Regardless of where in Reston our commentators reside, the descriptors of "community," "beauty," "amenities," "something for everyone," "a town for all ages," and "protect our core values" were mentioned by all – and more than once during each Reston retrospective conversation.

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Oak Hill Elementary Gets Energized By Einstein

Mark Spiegel presents Einstein Alive!

How do you get a cafeteria full of kids wildly engrossed in and energized about some pretty complex scientific subject matters? You call in Albert Einstein to explain and demonstrate - that’s how. OK. Not the Albert Einstein, of course. But Marc Spiegel’s performance of Einstein Alive! did the trick.

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Great Falls Citizens Association Talks Ticks and Trails

Town Hall Meeting addresses ‘Deer Management’ and the future of ‘Trails, Paths and Sidewalks’ in the village.

Braving frigid gusts of wind that left some of them without power at home, residents came out in force for the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) Town Hall Meeting on the night of Wednesday, March 12. The agenda consisted of only two topics – "Deer Management" and the future of "Trails, Paths and Sidewalks" in the village, but there was enough material and discussion to fill the three hours allotted.

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Greater Washington Dance Center Brings a Fresh Perspective to Reston

Gretchen Vogelzang, founder and owner of the Greater Washington Dance Center (GWDC) in Reston will be the first to tell you that if you are looking for a studio where your child will be prepped to participate in elaborate performances for every season, then her place is probably not the one for you and yours.

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Vienna Honors ‘Mayor Jane’

Hundreds bid farewell to Vienna Mayor M. Jane Seeman.

"A life defined by faith, family and friends," was how Senior Pastor the Rev. Dr. Peter James of the Vienna Presbyterian Church (VPC) described long-time Vienna Mayor M. Jane Seeman at the services to honor her life and memorialize her passing. With an estimated 600 in attendance, by thirty minutes prior to the start of the 2 p.m. service on Friday afternoon, Feb. 28, the lower level of the VPC Chapel at 124 Park St. NE in Vienna was already full and those still arriving began filling in the upper galleries. The state flag was ordered at half-mast in the state capital on Friday, as well as at public buildings in Vienna, Fairfax City and around the county. Vienna Town offices closed at 1 p.m. to allow staff to attend and offer their personal farewells to the much-loved mayor.

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Crowds Enjoy Reston Ice Rink

The Ice Skating Pavilion in Reston Town Center is a hot destination.

The temperature was holding pretty steady in the lower 30s, there was ice off the rink as well as on it, and the occasional snow flurry drifted about Reston Town Center on Saturday, but none of those potential obstacles kept the Ice Skating Pavilion from being plenty packed. Although there were a few skaters with obvious skills making the rounds, it seemed that the majority were more suited to the novice category, judging by the numbers of flailing arms, "derriere skaters" and the amount of time the staff spent helping would-be Apolo Ohnos and Ashley Wagners regain their skates and their balance. It was also pretty obvious that no matter what level of expertise each skater brought to the arena, everybody was having fun.

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Painters Unite to Make Friday the 13th Someone’s Lucky Day

Friday, Dec. 13 was anything but unlucky for one Reston family, tenants in one of the 53 townhouses owned by Cornerstones Housing Corporation in Reston, Herndon and Centreville, that are rented at affordable rates to persons earning half or less than the area’s median income.

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Retiring Flags – Respectfully

Eagle Scout project retires American flags in Herndon.

We’ve all seen images of the American Flag being burned in protest both here and abroad, but did you know that burning the Flag is also done when it is "retired" after being deemed unserviceable? And that it is done so in a ceremony marked with respect and honor?

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Mario Rubio Sworn In as Chairman

Realtors Association holds installation ceremony for new board.

The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NCAR) installed their 2014 Board on Dec. 5 at a ceremony held at the association’s Fairfax headquarters. Out-going Chairman Jon Wolford of McEnearney Associates hosted the proceedings, which included a number of awards and recognitions in addition to the official swearing in of the new officers.

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Community Creates Season of Giving

Organizations and individuals step to transform ‘The Holiday Season’ into ‘The Season of Giving.’

Thursday, Thanksgiving, traditionally marks the beginning of "The Holiday Season." The Christmas Shopping Derby will kick off at midnight for many of the big retailers, and the frantic rush of decorating, card sending, gift buying, wrapping, parties, baking, cooking, preparing for visitors or preparing to travel shifts into high gear.

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Holocaust Survivors Honored at Mason

Jewish Student Association hosts ‘Expressions of the Holocaust: a Dinner Honoring Survivors.’

On Nov. 13, George Mason University’s Jewish student association, Mason Hillel, organized and hosted “Expressions of the Holocaust: a Dinner Honoring Survivors.” The date for the event was chosen with care – just days after the 75th anniversary of the Nov. 9 -10 Kristallnacht – “Night of Broken Glass.”

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For Whom The [School] Bell Tolls

School district works toward later start times for high schools.

Would you send your teenagers to school or put them behind the wheel after allowing them to down two or three alcoholic beverages?

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Voters ‘Slow and Steady’ at Reston Polls

At Dogwood Elementary: baked goods, coffee, and left over Halloween candy was on offer to reward the good citizenship.

"No big rush. Just a strong, steady stream." That’s how Craig Dubois described the scene at Armstrong Elementary on Lake Newport Road in Reston as he offered sample ballots – with a Democratic twist - to arriving voters.

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