Tysons, VA

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Editor’s note: Are you a restaurant in the Vienna, Falls Church, Tysons, Merrifield and McLean areas that has a fundraiser? Email us at [email protected]

As local eateries adjust to declining sales and people staying indoors, several have turned to fundraisers to help keep their doors open and employees paid.

Like last week, Tysons Reporter has rounded up GoFundMe pages for local restaurants. Here are the latest fundraisers:

Pulcinella, a McLean restaurant that serves up southern Italian cuisine, has started an employee relief fund. The restaurant is looking to raise $25,000.

“During these past few days, Pulcinella has had to face unthinkable challenges due to the global health crisis,” the GoFundMe page said. ‘Unfortunately, this has impacted our industry along with many others, very negatively.”

The manager at the Lost Dog Cafe in Tysons is looking to raise $2,500 to support the restaurant, which is known for its sandwiches, local history-themed murals and animal rescue.

“Our sister cause, Lost Dog and Cat rescue, gets a piece of the pie each time you stop by, which is why we’ve managed to find more than 30,000 animals a loving home,” the GoFundMe said.

Chris Lefbom and Adam Lubar of Vintage Restaurant Group are looking to raise $5,000 to assist employees at Dogwood Tavern in Falls Church.

The restaurant temporarily closed due to coronavirus concerns, along with Vienna-based Bear Branch Tavern, which is also a part of the Vintage Restaurant Group.

“All funds raised here will be distributed directly to our hourly employees — fairly and equally — based on full- and part-time employee status,” the GoFundMe said.

The manager of Ireland’s Four Provinces in Falls Church wants to raise $30,000 for the restaurant’s staff.

“Many of our employees depend entirely on tips earned from service; with that income gone, even the current gov’t relief measures won’t address some of their most immediate needs,” according to the GoFundMe page.

The restaurant’s owners have pledged to match donations up to $10,000, according to the GoFundMe.

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The Vienna Town Council will meet tonight (Tuesday) to consider virtual meetings for the town’s lawmakers, board members and commissioners.

According to the meeting’s agenda, the town will consider adopting a “Continuity of Government Ordinance” that would last for 60 days.

According to a draft of the ordinance, public entities would be allowed to meet electronically after providing a public notice three days in advance.

People would have the chance to access and comment on the meeting electronically.

Noting that “the COVID-19 pandemic makes it unsafe to assemble in one location a quorum for public bodies,” the ordinance says that non-emergency public hearings may get postponed.

The town’s proposal comes on the heels of Gov. Ralph Northam issuing a stay-at-home order to Virginians yesterday.

The state has recently seen an increasing number of COVID-19 cases — especially in Fairfax County.

The emergency meeting is set to start at 7 p.m.

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Fairfax County police arrested a 50-year-old man who allegedly inappropriately touched a child at an in-home daycare in the Falls Church area.

Police arrested Falls Church resident Santiago Alvarado Garcia on Friday (March 27).

“Detectives were contacted on Thursday, March 26, after a child from Digna Alvarado Garcia Daycare disclosed that they had been inappropriately touched by Garcia,” police said.

The Falls Church-area daycare has been at 2988 Monticello Drive since 2017 and was previously located at 7503 Parkwood Court in 2016, police said.

“Garcia is employed by a general contractor and has lived in the homes as his primary residence while the daycare has been in operation.”

Garcia has been charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery.

“Victim specialists from our Victim Services Division have been assigned to ensure that the identified victim is receiving appropriate resources and assistance,” police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Crimes Bureau detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. Detectives are looking to talk to people who are concerned that their child might have had inappropriate contact with Garcia.

Photo of Garcia via FCPD

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Editor’s note: Tysons Reporter will temporarily have “Morning Notes” every weekday instead of twice a week to accommodate more news.

Tysons-Based Gannett Furloughs Employees, Cuts Pay — “Gannett CEO Paul Bascobert said that the company will ask staff to make a ‘collective sacrifice’ to keep the mass-media holding company intact amid the crisis by cutting pay ‘as soon as this week.’… Many staffers will be furloughed for five days a month through June.” [The Daily Beast]

Communications Firm in Tysons Files for Bankruptcy — “According OneWeb, the company had a difficult time securing funding in part because of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The firm expanded its presence in Tysons back in 2018. [Axios, Washington Business Journal]

Fairfax County Inmate Tests Positive for COVID-19 — “On March 30, 2020, an inmate in his 20’s at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center (ADC) tested positive for COVID-19. He has been incarcerated since January 29, 2020 and is now in isolation at the ADC.” [Fairfax County]

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The McLean Project for the Arts is looking for artist submissions for its upcoming festival in October.

MPAartfest is a free one-day festival in McLean that features a juried fine art show and sale. Attendees can enjoy the work of visual artists, along with mini art galleries, live music, food from local restaurants and activities.

The McLean Project for the Arts wants interested artists throughout the mid-Atlantic region to apply by June 15. Artists will keep 100% of the sales, according to a press release.

To apply, artists will need to submit an application with a $35 fee. If selected, the artists will pay a $350 participation fee.

While the festival is free, donations and funds raised during the event support MPA exhibitions and programs.

The festival returns to McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd) on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Photo via McLean Project for the Arts/Facebook

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Along with urging people to stay at home as much as possible, Fairfax County officials also want residents to take the opportunity to respond to the 2020 census.

As of Saturday (March 28), the national response rate is 33%, while Virginia is at a 37% response rate, according to the U.S. Census.

Meanwhile, Fairfax County is one of top 10 highest reporting counties in the state with a 42.6% response rate.

Previously, Fairfax County boasted a high response rate of 80% in the 2000 count — up from 76% in 1990, according to census data.

County officials want to see as many people as possible complete the questionnaire. “For each resident who does not respond to the census, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade,” according to the county’s website.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline for submitting the census has been extended to Aug. 14 for households.

Households should have received mailers with information on how to complete the census, which can be done online, by phone or by mail.

Map via U.S. Census

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Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order for Virginia today (Monday) as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state continues to climb.

“Our message today is very clear — to stay home,” Northam said.

The order, which goes into effect immediately and will last until June 10, lets people leave their homes for essential services — including medical care, food, supplies, work and more — and social-distanced outdoor activities that do not involve gatherings larger than 10 people.

“Do not go out unless you need to go out,” he said. “This is very different from wanting to go out. Do not go out to the store just for one thing. Wait until you have a list of needs.”

Northam said that the order will limit access to the state’s beaches except for fishing and exercise, close private campgrounds and ban parties and gatherings with 10 people or more.

“If you can work remotely, you need to do so and companies need to allow that,” he said.

When announcing the new order, Northam said that recreational areas were “literally packed” this weekend. “Everyone who is gathering in a crowd around the state is putting themselves at risk,” he said.

Northam recently received pushback from some residents and local officials for not issuing a stay-at-home order on Friday.

Earlier today, Maryland’s governor put the state, which has surpasses 1,400 COVID-19 cases, under a stay-at-home order that goes into effect tonight at 8 p.m., NBC 4 reported.

Statewide, 1,020 cases of the virus have been identified, according to the Virginia Department of Health — up from 890 cases on Sunday.

As of today, there are 225 coronavirus cases in Fairfax Health District, which includes Fairfax County, the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church and towns in the county — almost double the number of cases on Friday (March 27).

Expanding testing capacity in the state could explain the increase in confirmed cases.

Statewide, 25 people have died from complications of the virus, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Two people in Fairfax County have died from the respiratory illness.

Northam also noted that almost half of the COVID-19 cases in the state are affecting people who are under the age of 50.

“Every age group needs to act responsibly,” he said.

Image via Governor of Virginia/Facebook

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

As we begin week 3 of this fight against the Coronavirus, I wanted to take a moment and express my sympathy for everyone impacted by this horrendous circumstance.

I know this hasn’t been easy in so many different ways, for so many different people, but hopefully we’ll all be able to go back to normal life soon(ish) and get everyone back on their feet. In the meantime, if you are able to, there are many ways you can support our local community. If I don’t mention your organization, PLEASE add it to the comment section below to get the word out.

Meals for Those on the Front Line (Nurses, Firefighters, EMT, Doctors): This helps support the local restaurants all while donating meals to those who deserve extra thanks right.

  • Social Burger + Sandwich Shop: A partnership to drop off 900 meals to INOVA Fairfax over the next 3 weeks. Meals are $12 + tax, and will be donated to ER, respiratory, laboratory, surgical and several other departments. Order on the Social Burger site, look for “Frontline and First Responder Meals“.
  • CrossFit Mill Street is joining this partnership and hosting ZOOM Fitness Sessions (check out the times on their Facebook page). For everyone who attends, they’ll donate $2 per person towards a meal through Social Burger + Sandwich Shop.
  • INCA Social: Delivering 50 meals 2 days a week to the INOVA Critical Care Unit at $8 a meal. You can order on their app or website: Order Now -> Delivery -> Choose Items -> Buy a Nurse a Meal (at the bottom).
  • Vienna Inn + Church Street Pizza: Providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for the Vienna Fire Department and Vienna Police Department. You can sign up for a slot here.
  • A Shout out to Clarity in Vienna for delivering their Focaccia Pizza to some medical workers and emergency personnel last week on their own.

Also don’t forget about the BRAWS Organization in Vienna. Not only do they support women directly, they support other organizations like Women Giving BackDonate money, new undergarments or menstrual supplies here.

There are also multiple signs up for helping people directly impacted:

Last but not least — I know for my family, talking about where we’re going to get take out or delivery can infuse some small bit of normalcy into our day, all while supporting our local businesses to help them weather this storm. The Vienna Foodies group has put together a spreadsheet to help identify places that are open, their operating schedules, and how you can get the food.

Some things we’ve done are take my kids for a walk to get ice cream at Rita’s or Kiln & Co, grab sandwiches at Sandwich Shop, or go try a new restaurant we normally wouldn’t get a chance to. A positive note is that there’s no traffic — so it’s a quick drive to anywhere to get take out from a new place.

Last night we actually got Peter Chang’s in Arlington, we got Liberty BBQ one night in Falls Church… you can see where my savings in gas money has gone these past 2 weeks. If you’re worried about how they’re handling the food — call and ask. For example, Kiln and Co has free toppings, but nobody should be sharing a spoon… so the smart people there are packaging the toppings to go so there’s no contact.

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This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By Kimberly Berry

Our law firm handles many different types of federal retirement issues in our representation of federal employees.

One of the more common types of retirement cases that we often handle involves the representation of federal employees in the disability retirement process before various federal agencies and the Office of Personnel Management.

Federal employees filing for disability retirement are typically covered under the Federal Employees Retirement System or the Civil Service Retirement System.

Federal employees should consider the following questions before they pursue OPM disability retirement:

How serious are the federal employee’s medical issues and are they linked to the federal employee’s position description duties?

When making a disability retirement decision, keep in mind that OPM evaluates your continued ability to work with your medical condition in the context of the duties described in your position description. If the medical disability is not deemed serious enough, or not fully supported by medical documentation and evidence, and is not sufficiently linked to your inability to “usefully and efficiently” carry out your job duties, then OPM may deny the disability retirement application.

How long is the medical disability realistically expected to last?

OPM requires that a medical disability be expected to last at least one year in duration. When considering whether to file for disability retirement, it is important for you to consider the expected duration of your medical disability. Disabilities with known shorter duration could be problematic for you in the application process.

Can a federal employee survive on a reduced annuity?

If you are considering filing for OPM disability retirement, understand that this type of retirement usually provides you with a lower monthly retirement annuity in comparison to full retirement. As a result, we recommend that you obtain benefit estimates from your human resources representative and consult with a financial advisor about the impact of a potential reduced annuity prior to filing for disability retirement.

Are there modifications to a federal employee’s current position that can be made to allow the federal employee to continue to work?

Oftentimes a federal agency will work with you to provide you with a reasonable accommodation (i.e., change in duties, hours, telework or other adjustments) that can make your current position and medical condition workable. This can often be the best solution, even if it is only a short-term solution.

As a part of the disability retirement process, the federal agency is required to certify that it is unable to accommodate your disabling medical condition in your present position. The agency must also certify that it has considered you “for any vacant position in the same agency, at the same grade or pay level, and within the same commuting area, for which [you] qualified for reassignment.”

Do your medical professionals believe that you should not continue in your current position?

This is an important consideration when filing for disability retirement. In most cases, physicians will be open with their patients about whether it is a good idea to keep working in their current federal employment position.

There are at least two reasons to discuss a possible filing for OPM disability retirement with your treating medical provider(s). First, your health should be of primary importance and a consideration when determining whether continuing in a job hinders or impedes your recovery. Second, physicians and their medical opinions are necessary and, in fact, crucial in the disability retirement application process with OPM.

OPM will require a physician’s statement about your medical issues, and the physician’s statement can either make or break the outcome of your disability retirement application.

When considering OPM disability retirement, it is important to obtain the advice and representation of legal counsel. You can contact our law firm through www.retirementlaw.com, www.berrylegal.com, or by telephone at (703) 668-0070, to schedule a consultation to discuss your individual federal employment retirement matter. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

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