October 4, 2023

7th District

At the Plum Family Picnic: (L to R) Supervisor Walter Alcorn, District 7 House of Delegates Candidate Karen Keys-Gamarra, Delegate Ken Plum, Former House of Delegates Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn and Delegate Irene Shin


  • Commentary: No Gambling Casino for Reston
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No Gambling Casino for Reston

Some news that is now nearly a year old got renewed attention recently causing many people in our community to become very concerned. Near the end of the 2023 General Assembly session the developer of Reston Station announced that he was interested in building a gambling casino at Reston Station or nearby. The General Assembly was considering at the time requests from several other communities to have a referendum on locating a gambling casino in their communities. The developer came to see me within days of adjournment and told me of his interest and asked for my support. I could not have been more emphatic in saying “no way” would I support such an idea. He was more successful with two Democratic State Senators who agreed to submit an amendment that would add Reston and Tysons Corner to the communities where referenda would be held to approve opening a casino. Fortunately, with the forceful work of Senators Janet Howell and Jennifer Boysko the amendment was rejected without a hearing.

In recent weeks came news that legislation will be introduced in the coming legislative session to approve a referendum establishing a gambling casino in Reston or Tysons Corner. As near as I can determine, the response in those communities has been universally in opposition to such a proposal. Last week I talked with both Senators Scott Surovell and Dave Marsden about their intentions. They were less than clear as to what they intend to do, but you can be sure that I delivered a message to them about the community’s strong opposition. I also told them that if they were supportive of a gambling casino they should propose it for the districts they represent. I am pleased that Karen Keys-Gamarra who is running for the House of Delegates to succeed me and Senator Jennifer Boysko who will represent Reston under the most recent legislative redistricting have expressed their opposition to a gambling casino locating in Reston.

Of course legislators can introduce bills that affect districts other than their own. The legislature has been consistent in requiring that a referendum be held in communities in which a casino is proposed that must be approved by local voters before a casino license is issued. You can expect that big-money developers who want to build and operate a casino will spend huge amounts of money to get their proposals approved by local voters. There will be promises of return to the community of tax dollars that will support public infrastructure and programs. The five casinos that are already operational in Virginia are located in low income areas. You can be sure that the greatest chunk of money from the operation of a casino will go to the owners and developers and not the persons who are lured into them to gamble or who live in the locality.

Expansion of gambling casinos will likely increase in the state in future years. The horse is already out of the barn. The Republican floor leader in the House of Delegates represents the developer of a proposed Reston casino. Rest assured that I will continue in my future role of private citizen to make it clear that Reston does not want or need a gambling casino!


Reston Chorale Season Opens October 22 

Celebrating the music of siblings, parents, offspring

and spouse of celebrated composers!

Learn more and purchase tickets at Reston Chorale.

Nationwide Emergency Alert Test Wednesday, October 4, 2:30 p.m.

Test messages wll be sent to all tvs, radios and cell phones. Learn more.

2023 Herndon Homecoming Parade will be held on Saturday, October 14

Details, including a parade registration packet, are at Homecoming Parade.


Hear From the 2023 Candidates for

Fairfax County School Board At-Large

Thursday, October 5 at 7:00 p.m., via Zoom. Download a flyer. Free event but registration is required. Register here.


Wednesday, October 4, 7:00 p.m., Virtual Meeting on Dranesville/Hunter Mill Capital Bikeshare Expansion. The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) will host a virtual meeting on expanding the Capital Bikeshare network around the Innovation Center Metro Station with five new stations in the Dranesville District and one station in the Hunter Mill District. FCDOT staff will provide information on the bikeshare system, funding, proposed station locations and an update regarding electric bikes (e-bikes). For more information including log-in details for the meeting, visit the Fairfax County Capital Bikeshare page.

Saturday, October 7, 8:00 a.m. to noon, Reston Farmers Market, at Lake Anne. Rain or shine every Saturday from now through December 2. More information is at Reston Farmers Market.

Saturday, October 7, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Town of Vienna Oktoberfest, on Historic Church Street, Vienna. Live entertainment on Three Stages, Multi-National Food, Free Kids Activities, Business Expo Showcase, Vendor & Artisan Marketplace. Learn more at Oktoberfest.

Friday, October 13, 7:00 p.m., Meet the Vienna Town Council Candidates. The North East Vienna Citizens Association (NEVCA) is hosting a candidate forum at the Vienna Community Center where each candidate running for the Vienna Town Council will be invited to make brief opening remarks, followed by a question-and-answer period. Attendees are invited to submit their questions to a panel of forum moderators. For more information on this year's election, check out page five of the Vienna Voice.

Saturday, October 14, 10:00 a.m., Gun Violence Awareness Vigil at National Rifle Association headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax. The vigil commemorates the anniversary of the day 26 children and educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please DO NOT park in the NRA's parking lot. There is plenty of free parking in the office building lot on Fairfax Ridge Drive across Waples Mill Road. Signs and flags will be provided. Some protesters will drive past the NRA with signs taped to their car windows or doors; others will stand on the sidewalk.

Sunday, October 15, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., South Lakes High School PTSA Food Pantry 6th Annual “Do It Your Way 0.5K” FUNdraiser, at Lake Anne Plaza. All proceeds go toward food and other necessities for SLHS pyramid families in need. The Food Pantry serves more than 300 students and families every single week. Register today and learn more.

Saturday, October 21, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Reston Home Tour. Tour is self-guided. A detailed map with specific addresses will be emailed closer to the event date. There is no rain date and tickets are not refundable. All proceeds will benefit the Reston Museum, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the past, informing the present, and influencing the future of Reston. Tickets are attached to the confirmation email. Purchase tickets.

Thursday, October 26, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Cornerstones of our Community, at the Hyatt Regency Reston, 1800 Presidents Street, Reston. Please join Cornerstones to celebrate our work and impact together and to honor special guests for their extraordinary service in our community--Senator Janet Howell, Delegate Ken Plum, and Supervisor John Foust. Purchase sponsorships and individual tickets at Cornerstones of our Community.

Saturday October 28, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Seventh Annual Art & Craft Fair, at the United Christian Parish at 11508 North Shore Drive, Reston. This juried craft fair features crafters selling their own handmade products. We will be selling baked goods from the kitchens of our parishioners and have lunch available for purchase. The show is free to the public. More is at Art & Craft Fair.

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