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Sterling, Cascades & CountrySide
COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Bike Lanes for a Safer Ride to Reston
Cascades residents, with the backing of the Cascades Community Association Board of Directors, are spreading the word about the importance of an unbroken bike lane along Algonkian Parkway, connecting Loudoun and Fairfax counties. The information campaign is aimed at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors as it develops a priority list for upcoming transportation projects.

“Some residents brought it to the [Cascades] board’s attention and the board wanted to help them get the word out,” Cascades General Manager Josh Harber said.

The bike lanes that run along Algonkian are interrupted in two small sections just outside of Cascades, as the road nears route 7, in an area that is part of Fairfax County.

A petition has been created at Change.org to let the Fairfax County supervisors know that the completion of bike-lane access between the two counties is a “priority transportation project” for residents of eastern Loudoun and western Fairfax counties. The petition, directed to Fairfax Supervisor Jon Foust of the county’s Dranesville District, focuses on the recommendation of the Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan that bike lanes should connect Loudoun County to Fairfax County, and to the Fairfax County Parkway bike trail.

According to the petition, the completed bikeway would “allow both Fairfax and Loudoun residents safer access to the Fairfax County Parkway trail, the Reston Town Center (shopping, metro and bus service) and the W &OD bike trail. It would also provide greater bike access for Fairfax residents to the Algonkian Regional Park and Seneca Regional Park (Northern VA Regional Park Authority parks).”

The petition is online at tinyurl.com/bikealgonkian.

Killer Harmony: CountrySide-based playwright Terry Smith has another show on the road these days. “Killer Harmony,” first produced in 2012, is returning in a series of StageCoach Theatre Company productions.

According to Smith, this murder mystery offers the audience the opportunity to prevent the murder. “If they listen closely to the clues and decide correctly, no one dies,” Smith said. “No show will be the same twice.”

Performances are Aug. 29 at The Wiener’s Circle in Herndon, Aug. 30 at Sibby’s BBQ in Warrenton and Sept. 18 at the Inn at Vint Hill. Information is online at stagecoachtc.com.

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By Jen Lofquist

Every few years, we hear of an NFL team getting a new stadium. The press covers everything from where it’ll be placed to what the name will be – usually whoever gives the most money. Then it becomes will the new stadium be ready in time for the season kick-off?

This Friday, the Park View Patriots Nation has no such worries, as their new field gets rededicated just in time for the battle of the Parks – Manassas Park versus our own Park View Patriots. With the help and support of our own Washington Redskins, the field at Park View High School, 400 W. Laurel Ave., will be the envy of every high school around.

In April 2014, the Redskins announced it would be donating $100,000 to convert the current grass football field to a multi-sport, synthetic grass field that would be impervious to the weather. The Redskins’ donation was matched by the NFL Grassroots Field Grant Program. The majority of the funds (because really nice fields aren’t cheap) were committed from our county. So instead of watching every rainy day from inside the gym and hoping the field will be dry enough by the time the game starts, our student athletes will have a nicer – and safer – field on which to celebrate their victories. Hopefully, those victories will begin this Friday.

But the celebration isn’t just game time. Prior to the game, at 4:30 p.m., the Washington Redskins will host an NFL Play60 event free to the public. There will be subs, pizza and drinks, and a lot of running around. Play60 is the NFL program to encourage every child to play at least 60 minutes each day. It’s been shown that getting outside and being active combats the dangerous trend of childhood obesity.

At 6:40 p.m., Redskins' owner Dan Snyder will rededicate the field just in time for the 7 p.m. kickoff against the Manassas Park Cougars. Admission to the game is just $6, but if you’re a student and you came to the Play60 event, you get to watch our Patriots take on the Cougars for free. There’s no need to register for the event, but be sure to come out a little early just in case. And GO PATRIOTS!

So now you have plans for Friday, but you need something to do on Saturday. Don’t forget about “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” auditions at the Sterling Community Center, 1:30-4:30 p.m., presented by our own Sterling Playmakers. There’s also auditions 7-9 p.m. on Friday, but you’ve got the game. More information is available at http://www.sterlingplaymakers.com.
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COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: CountrySide considers tot lot surfaces
In response to resident inquiries, the CountrySide Facilities Committee is examining the effects of using shredded rubber as surface fill in the community’s 10 tot lots―and asking for community input on the issue.

The shredded rubber currently in use replaced wood chips in the tot lots more than 10 years ago, following concerns about costs and safety. Recently, residents asked the community to consider replacing the shredded rubber with wood chips, due to concerns about health and the environment.

A poll on the subject is underway on the CountrySide Community Association website at countryside-va.com. According to the CountrySide Proprietary, the online survey is scheduled to take place through the end of August.

Nearly two weeks into the voting, with close to 300 votes cast, residents supporting wood chips were in the lead, with 52.2 percent of the vote, compared to 47.8 percent in favor of shredded rubber in the playgrounds.

Community members are asked to review a five-page information sheet on the subject posted on the CountrySide website before placing their vote. The backgrounder provides information on life-cycle costs; an explanation of the difference between shredded rubber, or rubber mulch made from shredded tires, such as that used in CountrySide, and crumb rubber, which is used in artificial turf systems; the cost of replacing the fill in the tot lots; and more.

According to the research paper, the estimated cost to remove the shredded rubber from the 10 tot lots and replace it with wood mulch would be approximately $200,000. The funds for the project would come from an increase in the homeowners’ association assessment that could range anywhere from $1 per month for 10 years to $5 per month for two years.

Residents who would like to provide the Facilities Committee with comments or suggestions on the subject should contact Mike Stracka, the community’s facilities manager at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). He will be presenting the comments at the monthly committee meeting.

The committee meets the second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Parkway pool meeting room. The next meeting takes place Sept. 10. Residents are welcome to attend and will be given priority at the start of the session.

Tech experts

The Loudoun County Public Library at Cascades offers technology assistance for members of the community provided by teens who know all about setting up email, downloading e-books and how to use apps, search airfares and more. The next session takes place at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 24. Bring your device or use one at the library. For information, call 703-444-3228.

Contact Kathie Felix at KFinLoudoun[at]aol.com.

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COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Our award-winning educators
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STERLING BOULEVARD: Play it again, Jen
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COUNTRYSIDE/CASCADES/STERLING: Lowes Island mom helps Little Lights shine
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