by RCA Board Member Connie Hartke
This is the week Americans are expected to especially count
our blessings.
It is a time for family. For some, their community is their
family. Several of us at RCA have gotten to know residents at Lake
Anne Fellowship House
(LAFH), the senior, low income apartments that went
through turmoil recently due to proposed redevelopment. This has taken a recent
good turn of events — more news to come on that soon, we expect. The cultural
sub-groups who live there have united into a vibrant community with the goal of
ensuring that no one will lose their home. Those who were “safe” united with
those who were threatened, creating community. Empathy was the catalyst.
Merriam-Webster defines this as “the feeling that you understand and
share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone
else’s feelings.”
While counting your blessings this Thanksgiving, please take
a few moments to imagine you are a senior who has lived at LAFH for 10+ years
after living as a contributing Restonian for 30+ years. You are told that your
home may not be the permanent place that you had expected. Putting aside other
thoughts, can you fathom how you would feel if you were faced with this
situation? Empathize.
Now imagine for a moment that you purchased a home on Reston
National Golf Course.  Picture your view
changing from rolling greens surrounded by edge habitat to anything else.  I say “anything” because many like to
speculate how the land could change to this or that …  I ask you to EMPATHIZE.  Take 5 minutes to imagine this is YOU.
along with Reston
and Supervisor
Cathy Hudgins
, supports our Fairfax County Zoning Administrator’s
determination that the privately owned 166 acres of Reston National Golf Course
is zoned as permanent open recreational space. 
Developers coming in to Reston need to hear one message loud and clear –
respect our Reston Master Plan.
On Thanksgiving I will take a few moments to think about the
folks at LAFH and hope for continued blessings for them. I will be thankful for
our County Planning staff who added wording to the Master Plan to strengthen the
place of both of our Reston golf courses. I will be grateful for the army of
volunteers who live in this special place called Reston.
Please read Rescue Reston
volunteer Ray Wedell’s stirring call to action regarding Reston’s latest
recreational open space crisis: