Tysons, VA

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Since quarantine hit, Facebook stalking has been my new (okay, fine, continued) source of entertainment research.

Anything “new” to make the day more exciting and something to look forward to. Recently I stumbled upon a feature where you can request these 2 dessert trucks to come to your neighborhood and deliver treats to you and your neighbors.

Scoops2U: Ice Cream

Follow their Facebook page for details on where the truck will be. You can visit their website for updates as well and see the flavors. There you can request a visit to your part of town.

Kona Ice: Shaved Ice

Follow this Facebook page (there are many as there are trucks all over NoVA). You can see where they’ll be and at what time. We placed an order online, paid online, and then my kids got to pick their flavor when the truck rolled up in front of my house. A great way to chat on our lawn with our neighbors.

It was a small treat that was affordable as well as exciting!

If you want other options, don’t forget that these places are all doing contact-less pick up:

Ben & Jerry’s Vienna

Kiln & Co Custard

Rita’s Window

Lazy Mike’s

Bruster’s in Dunn Loring

Lil City Creamery

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Four people are displaced following a fire at their home in the Idylwood area last week.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said that the fire started around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday (May 27) in the 7100 block of Shreve Road.

“Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single-family home with smoke showing from the roof,” the fire department said. “Crews located a fire on the first floor and quickly extinguished.”

The four people at the house reported the fire after smelling smoke and seeing flames in the laundry room, the fire department said.

The people accepted Red Cross assistance after being displaced because of the fire, which caused roughly $37,500 worth of damages, the fire department said.

The fire department is still investigating what started the fire in the first-floor laundry room, adding that no injuries to civilians nor firefighters have been reported.

Photo courtesy of M. Clarke

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As the sixth day of protests following George Floyd’s death at hands of a Minneapolis police officer continue, local law enforcement officials say they have faith the justice system will produce a just outcome for Floyd and his family.

Peaceful protests were marred by violence over the weekend — including looting and fires in D.C. last night.

Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and fired after a viral video shows the officer holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes on Memorial Day. Three other officers involved in the incident were also fired.

The incident prompted Fairfax County Police Department Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. to reflect on ongoing challenges that erode the public’s trust in law enforcement.

We shall have faith the local and federal justice systems will navigate toward justice for the Floyd family, the communities impacted, and our entire nation. However, we must be mindful there is a healing process where righteous anger needs to be constructively exercised through the right to free speech,” Roessler wrote.

Roessler noted that FCPD’s community policing efforts and collaborations with locals have helped the department operate in a transparent and accountable manner.

“Fairfax County is blessed to have a highly engaged community which helps our Police Department transparently use a co-production of policing philosophy to ensure our hiring processes, training, policies, and internal and external accountability systems are meeting the expectations of the highest levels of standards by our community served and the law enforcement profession,” he said.

Here’s more from the chief on FCPD’s community engagement efforts:

During the last few trying days and today, I’ve personally networked with our community advocates to ensure they have access to their Chief and the senior law enforcement leaders of the Department to create robust dialogue to understand the awful events that have unfolded recently throughout our country as we need to increase our conversations about the erosion of the public’s trust for law enforcement as we continue to observe the disproportionately of the deaths of our African American community members. 

As a reminder, we have updated our use of force policies over the years using the co-production of policing model, vetted our policies and training through the Public Safety Committee, and we continue to leverage the partnerships created with community members who were part of the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission.

Additionally, we are grateful for the external accountability measures from the Police Civilian Review Panel, the Independent Police Auditor, the voluntary submission to both state and national accreditation agencies, and the periodic independent reviews of our lines of business by academic institutions.

We continue to pray for Mr. Floyd’s family as individuals, a Police Department, and as a community who all collectively value the sanctity of all human life,” he added.

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

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Parking lots and restrooms are reopening along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

The National Park Service recently announced that the parking areas and restrooms will be available by Wednesday (June 3). People were able to access some of them starting Friday (May 29).

“The National Park Service (NPS) is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis,” according to NPS.

The parking areas include Fort Marcy in McLean, along with several parks in Alexandria and Arlington. “Parking areas at Great Falls Park have already reopened and will be open at 50 percent capacity,” NPS said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines for how people can enjoy parks and recreational facilities with reduced risk of spreading COVID-19.

Image via Google Maps

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Tysons DMV Has Reopened — Starting today, the location at 1968 Gallows Road will be open by appointment only from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. [Patch]

More Outdoor Areas Open at Public Schools — “In accordance with Fairfax County’s Phase 1 reopening guidelines, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is reopening additional outdoor areas on school grounds to the community, effective Friday, May 29. Reopening on May 29 will be athletic fields (for walking and recreational use from 8 a.m. to sundown) and gardens.” [FCPS]

Art Aid — “ARTSFAIRFAX [Thursday] announced $100,000 in available funding through the newly created Emergency Relief and Recovery Grant Program. Funding will provide critical support to Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church arts organizations and Fairfax County individual artists most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The online grant application… closes on June 29, 2020.” [Patch]

Public Hearing on Controversial Zoning Code Tonight — “The Vienna Town Council plans to hold a public hearing on Monday about what to do about the contentious Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) zone.” [Tysons Reporter]

Phase 2 May Start Soon — “Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday that more of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted as soon as June 5… Northern Virginia leaders said earlier this week they’d be interested in moving to Phase Two at the same time as the rest of the state.” [Inside NoVa]

Booze Delivery? — “At some point in the near future, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority is hoping to execute the first home liquor delivery in its 86-year history.” [Inside NoVa]

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Nightlife is zilch in Tysons at the moment due to the pandemic. After a brief hiatus, the “Tysons After Dark” series is back to highlight different online and at-home activities from local organizations and offerings from eateries that keep people busy once the sun goes down. 

A Falls Church comic book and game store is keeping people at home entertained with supplies for creating and customizing miniature figures.

Shoppers at Victory Comics can find paints, primers, brushes and a “wide variety” of miniatures, Gareth Hoskins, the store manager, said. Some of the store’s miniatures require assembly, while others need to get primed before they are painted. Others come pre-primed.

Before the pandemic, the store had “Paint and Take” events — painting classes capped at 12 people where participants would learn from Hoskins how to paint different miniatures.

When COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and the stay-at-home order happened in Virginia, Hoskins said that the store saw an upsurge in the number of people who hadn’t painted miniatures before.

So Hoskins created a Google Doc guide, which he said is constantly getting updated, as a “one-stop for any kind of miniature work.” The guide covers tools, brushes, glue, color theory, assembly, painting and techniques to create effects.

“We get a lot of people asking us, ‘Where do we even begin?’ and having something to point them towards seemed like a good idea,” he said. “We found ourselves answering the same questions over and over.”

For novices, basic supplies usually cost around $20-$25, Hoskins said.

“It’s a lot easier than most people think. A lot of people get worried about how a complex model will work,” Hoskins said. “There are easier techniques that will make details pop without doing a lot of work.”

For people starting off, Hoskins recommends that they get a handful of paint pods, one or two brushes and a miniature — some at the store are already pre-primed.

Hoskins said that he’s been painting miniatures — mostly Warhammer and D&D minis — for more than 10 years, noting that his Death army has lots of vampires and skeletons.

“I tend to like minis that have a lot of detail to them,” he said, adding that most of the miniatures on the market are large enough so that people won’t need a magnifying glass or specific brushes to paint tiny details.

While Hoskins said that people have been playing D&D virtually over Zoom and using websites like Roll20, “those only go so far for customization,” he said.

The great part about miniatures is that people can paint them exactly how they envision them, he said, adding that monster ones tend to be a popular choice.

The store’s offerings help entertain people who aren’t playing D&D in person at the moment and have extra time on their hands to customize miniatures for their game setups.

The store (586 S. Washington Street) is open until 6 p.m. every day and opens at 11 a.m. except for Saturdays, when it opens at 10 a.m., Hoskins said. Shoppers are required to wear masks inside the store.

The store also delivers within a 10-mile radius and offers curbside delivery and people can place orders by contacting the store via Facebook, email or phone.

Image via Victory Comics/Facebook

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Book lovers can check out books and pick up holds at Fairfax County Public Libraries beginning next week — albeit under different circumstances.

On Monday, June 1, FCPL will kick off a curbside pickup and grab bag program. Although libraries remained closed, patrons can park in designated areas, call the bank number and pick up any items on holds. Patrons must provide their library card over the phone. Once the items have been deposited on a designated pickup table and library staff has returned to the building, items may be picked up.

Over the phone, residents can also request a specific book or a grab-and-go bag prepared by staff based on reading levels and preferences.

All returned library materials, however, should be deposited in the library’s book drop. Returns will be accepted based on a staggered system since more than 500,000 items are currently are in the queue to be returned:

On Mondays we will accept returns from borrowers with last names beginning with letters A-H (Anderson, Daqqa, Howard, etc.). On Wednesdays we will accept returns from borrowers with last names beginning with letters I-Q (Jefferson, Nguyen, Park, etc.), and on Fridays we will accept returns from borrowers with last names beginning with letters R-Z (Rodriquez, Shen, Williams, etc.).

Staff will wear cloth face masks and all books will be packaged in a plastic bag in order to “streamline handling.”

More information about changes to services is available online.

Image via Fairfax County

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After upcoming restoration projects sparked concerns from residents in a Tysons neighborhood, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn is trying to minimize potential damage to local flora and fauna.

Some Westwood Village community members are worried that the project is distrustful to established trees and nesting wildlife in the area some have dubbed “Tysons Last Forest,” according to Jack Russell, who has been active in speaking out against the projects.

“The citizens have done a good job getting my attention,” Alcorn told Tysons Reporter, adding that he first became aware of the issues with the restoration projects after he heard feedback similar to what Russell has heard.

Contested projects include the Old Courthouse Spring Branch at Gosnell Road stream restoration project, which runs loosely along Route 7 and is currently under construction to restore roughly half a mile of the natural stream channel. Other projects include the installation of a new bike bath to the Metro, replacement of old sewage lines and a project to decommission an old stormwater pond, according to Alcorn.

Though Russell said he understands the need for watershed restoration projects since erosion is threatening certain area homes, he thinks the ecosystem should be at the forefront of peoples’ minds.

Russell and his wife Susan submitted a letter to Alcorn and Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik in late April, hoping to get their attention.

“I am greatly dismayed by what I see in the forest today. Various Fairfax County projects are leading to massive tree loss and deforestation,” Russell wrote. “The forest is under siege. Wildlife habitat is being decimated.”

Supervisor Palchik never replied or even acknowledged the letter, according to Russell. But, Alcorn spent several hours with Russell visiting the forest to get a better understanding of the area.

“The fact he came out on short notice and spent two and a half hours shows sensitivity to the environment and great leadership,” Russell said, adding that the two trekked through “pure mud and muck” built up from several rainy days leading up to the meeting.  

“It was very helpful to see the sites and the trees and understand their concerns,” according to Alcorn. 

Though Alcorn sees the community concern, he said that these projects are essential to the overall health of the area’s watersheds and have already gone through the necessary procedures clearing them for construction.

Despite the community petitions, “none of this is coming to the Board of Supervisors,” Alcorn said. 

Instead, Alcorn said he will help facilitate communication and find a way for the projects to move forward with more attention to environmental welfare for the local plants and animals. 

“I’m trying to use my influence to suspend the project to identify where there can be better coordination with these projects as they go forward,” Alcorn said.  

Already, Russell said his own coordination efforts have saved a “significant” number of trees. He is currently coordinating walkthroughs and teleconference with planners for phase two of the project — to minimize unnecessary destruction.

Photo courtesy Jack Russell

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The Vienna Town Council plans to hold a public hearing on Monday about what to do about the contentious Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) zone.

The hearing will solicit feedback from community members on whether to extend a moratorium on the zoning guidelines until June 30, 2022 or rescind it altogether.

The MAC zoning code was adopted in October 2014 and then suspended four years. The moratorium on the zoning code has been in place since September 2018.

While several members of the town’s Planning Commission called the zone “dead” during their meeting earlier this month, the commissioners disagreed on what should happen.

The Vienna Town Council meeting is set to start at 8 p.m. People will be able to watch a live stream of the meeting.

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COVID-19 restrictions have started to ease up around Fairfax County today (Friday).

Now that the county is joining the first phase of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan, here’s what people who live and work around the Tysons area need to know about county-operated facilities.

Parks and Recreation 

Parks and parking lots controlled by the Fairfax County Park Authority are open with the exception of dog parks, visitor centers, playgrounds and public restrooms, according to the website.

Athletic fields will officially open for unpermitted groups of 10 or less on Friday (May 29) under phase one of plans to reopen the county.

Both publicly and privately run pools are currently not allowed to open yet, the website said, adding that certain pools might open for lap swimming during phase one. Pools run by the Park Authority will not open at all this summer.

At schools in Fairfax County, both the tracks and tennis courts have been reopened but playgrounds, basketball courts and athletic fields will remain closed for the time being, according to the website.

Fairfax County summer camps have already been canceled, according to a press release.

For people indoor entering public spaces, the Virginia Department of Public Health announced that they are required to wear a mask or protective face covering. This order will go into effect on Friday (May 29) but the Centers for Diseases Control have suggested for weeks that people cover their mouths and noses to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Anyone with additional questions can check out the website or email staff members from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets will look different this year with the implementation of preorder options and social distancing guidelines.

In the City of Falls Church, people can visit the market only to pick up preordered goods. Shopping and browsing will not be allowed, according to the website. A list of vendors at the Falls Church Farmers Market can be found online.

The future of the McLean Farmers Market, which is run by the county, is still unclear. Opening dates have not been announced yet, according to the Fairfax County website.

Libraries

All Fairfax County Public Library branches will be closed until further notice, according to the website — but this doesn’t mean that libraries aren’t offering online resources for patrons.

Anyone with a library card can check out digital resources such as e-books, audio files, online magazines and videos.

People can also pick up a new hobby like learning a new language, redesign their home using tips from the library and even learn about family heritage, according to the website.

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