Tysons, VA

A 9-year-old in Vienna wants to help local businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic after they previously supported his fundraising efforts for young cancer patients.

Matteo Lambert began his philanthropic journey after working with the founder of Hopecam, which allows severely ill cancer patients to connect digitally with friends and fight social isolation.

After starting a fundraiser, Matteo and his father Brandon Lambert said eight key businesses in Vienna donated around $250 each for the cause.

Bu now that the COVID19 pandemic has taken a toll on small businesses, Matteo wants to support them during their time of need.

Matteo set up a GoFundMe on March 17 to pay back the businesses for their original donations. So far, the campaign has raised over $1,420 out of the $2,020 goal.

The businesses that will benefit from the fundraiser include:

Brandon said his son had no fundraising experience before he began helping Hopecam and has learned a lot from the experience.

Now, Matteo communicates with donors almost exclusively on his own without too much extra help from adults.

Besides the GoFundMe campaign, Matteo and his father have their own non-profit called Off the Charts Club and have been featured on several other news outlets and podcasts.

Off the Charts Club empowers youth leadership and helps kids to lead their best lives despite any diagnosis or disability, according to its website.

Because of the pandemic, which has taken an economic toll on local businesses and families, Matteo’s dad said the organization has put its fundraising on pause for the time being because they didn’t feel it was right to ask for money in such a challenging time.

Even if someone cannot help their community by donating money, Matteo suggested that people help by donating extra items to local homeless shelters or plant gardens.

“There are no age or size requirements on helping your community,” Matteo said.

Photos via GoFundMe

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To combat a nationwide shortage of medical supplies, Falls Chuch Distillers decided to switch focus and begin making their own hand sanitizer.

Branded “Aim High Hand Sanitizer,” owner Michael Paluzzi said the goal is to step up to help the community and keep his business afloat.

The distillery’s new production is drawing the attention of medical staff, who are willing to cross state lines for the product, according to Paluzzi.

For a first test batch, Paluzzi said he and his crew created 300 gallons, which was gone within the first five hours of the release, which started on Friday (March 20).

During the giveaway, he handed out tiny 5 oz. bottles for free to the public and sold half-gallon and one-gallon sized tubs at market value, according to a Facebook post.

At one point, there were more than 100 people standing in line for the supply, Paluzzi said, adding that he always walked first responders or anyone who identified as medical staff to the front of the line.

The first batch of sanitizer is supporting “at least a dozen” hospitals and doctors’ offices, several retirement homes and other government agencies, according to Paluzzi.

A few nurses from York, Pennsylvania even sent representatives to pick up hand sanitizer for them, he said. “I’m surprised they even knew about it,” Paluzzi said.

Curious about Paluzzi’s secret recipe?

Read More

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The McLean Community Center recently announced that it’s canceling McLean Day and events in April and May due to coronavirus concerns.

The annual event usually draws roughly 10,000 people to Lewinsville Park for laser tag, bubble ball and live entertainment, according to Visit Fairfax.

The event also always people to vote for candidates running for the McLean Community Center’s Governing Board.

The board decided yesterday (Wednesday) to cancel the center’s sponsored events for those two months following concerns that the events could draw large crowds, according to a press release.

Previously, the center, which is home to the Alden Theatre, galleries for the McLean Project for the Arts, the Susan B. DuVal Art Studio and meeting rooms, announced it would be closed through April 12.

Now, the center is closed “until further notice.”

As for the election, absentee voting is currently underway through 5 p.m. on May 13.

“The McLean Day in-person voting, stipulated in the Center’s Memorandum of Understanding, will be held at MCC, 1234 Ingleside Ave., as scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 16,” the press release said.

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Fairfax County will provide an extra $160,000 to help the Town of Vienna kick off a stream restoration project.

The county’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the additional funding at their meeting on Tuesday.

The extra funds will go toward the design and construction of the Northside Park Piney Branch Stream Restoration Project.

Located in the Town of Vienna and the Difficult Run Watershed, the project will restore roughly 1,400 linear feet of the stream on Piney Branch by improving the water quality and providing more nutrients, according to county documents.

“The town will administer the design and construction of the Project. Partnering with the Town on this project will save the county the time and administrative costs that would be incurred if the county were to implement the project under its stormwater program,” according to the county.

Back in 2017, the county board gave $660,000 to the town to partially fund the project. After the town received six bids in December, “the total project estimate has increased by $333,006 due to higher than originally estimated construction bids,” according to the county.

The vote on Tuesday means the county will provide an additional $168,006 to the project, which now has a total estimated cost of $1.6 million.

The project is also being supported by an $825,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, according to county documents.

“The town will reimburse the county funds that are not expended in accordance with the terms of the attached agreement,” according to the county.

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Editor’s note: Starting March 24, Tysons Reporter will have “Morning Notes” every weekday instead of twice a week to accommodate more news.

Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

Virginia ABC Reducing Store Hours Friday — “The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority announced Tuesday that all of its 388 stores will be open only from noon to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Stores in the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg, and the counties of James City and York had already been operating on the reduced schedule.” [Inside NoVa]

Fundraiser for Supplies to Sew Masks — A group of local sewing volunteers is looking for monetary donations. “We are guided by hospital directions, and friends and family in the healthcare industry, and we have organized sewing volunteers in the Falls Church, Virginia area.” [GoFundMe]

Fairfax County Gets an “A” For Social Distancing — “On Tuesday, a company called Unacast that collects and analyzes phone GPS location data launched a “Social Distancing Scoreboard” that grades, county by county, which residents are changing behavior at the urging of health officials.” Fairfax County gets an “A,” according to the data. [Washington Post]

Lights Out? — “On the electricity generation side, power plants are still humming and Dominion says procedures are in place to ensure employee safety and continuity.” [ARLnow]

Falls Church Burglary Under Investigation — “Fairfax police are investigating a burglary reported early Monday at the Millennium Care Pharmacy in Falls Church. The incident follows 10 reported break-ins at pharmacies and medical offices between Fairfax and Prince William counties this month.” [Inside NoVa]

Polling Station Moves in Vienna — “The Board also approved a permanent relocation of the polling place for the Nottoway Precinct. This polling place will move from the Hunter House at Nottoway Park, 9601 Courthouse Road, Vienna, to the Marshall Road Elementary School, 730 Marshall Road Southwest, Vienna. The school provides a more accessible and convenient facility for the more than 3,800 registered voters in this precinct.” [Fairfax County]

Metro Closure Prompts Fairfax Connector Changes — “Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) announces that due to the temporary closure of the Mclean and Van Dorn Metrorail Stations beginning Thursday, March 26, 2020, Fairfax Connector bus routes that serve those stations will be re-routed to serve open Metrorail stations.” [Fairfax County]

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The annual Taste of Vienna has been canceled to curb the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

In past years, the festival has brought community members together to try bites of food from various local restaurants, chains and food trucks. The event helps raise money for the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, which hosts the event.

Taste of Vienna announced the cancellation on Facebook on Monday (March 23).

“Our top priority is the safety of all of our participants and attendees, so based on the recommendations of health authorities, it is with a heavy heart that the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department has canceled the Taste of Vienna,” the Facebook post said.

Depending on how long the coronavirus pandemic lasts, the festival might get rescheduled to the fall, the Facebook post added.

Now, the Facebook page is showcasing every day different vendors who had signed up for the festival.

Photo via Taste of Vienna/Facebook

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A local author says her upcoming mystery novel is her “love letter” to Vienna.

“To Kill a Mocking Girl” is about a woman who investigates the death of someone named Tricia after being framed for her murder, according to the author’s website.

Harper Kincaid said that though the book is fiction, it is set in Vienna and includes local spots such as Bards Alley bookstore and the Freeman Store.

“I got a kick out of sharing with readers some of my favorite places in town,” she said.

There are many real-life residents written into the book too, she said, adding that she wonders if local readers can guess who they are.

Kincaid wasn’t born in the town but moved there around 2006 and said the townspeople help her to feel at home.

Though a hard copy of the book was set to launch in May, the publicist told Tysons Reporter that the physical book launch has been pushed to June 9 after a prerelease of the e-book on May 12.

Currently, the book is available for preorder but it is unclear when it will actually ship.

Depending on how things progress, Kincaid said she is considering having a book launch on June 9 at 7 p.m. in Bards Alley bookstore where she wants to give away a gift-basket valued at around $250.

Image courtesy Harper Kincaid

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(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Inova has opened three coronavirus testing sites today (Wednesday) in Northern Virginia — including one in Tysons.

Fairfax County shared that Inova’s new Respiratory Illness Clinics will evaluate patients with respiratory illness symptoms and offer tests for COVID-19 for people who have test orders from physicians.

“The Fairfax County Health Department is not involved in setting them up or running them, though we are now publicizing them,” a county spokesperson told Tysons Reporter.

More from the announcement:

Upon arrival at the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic, a clinician will greet the patient at their vehicle to escort the patient into the respiratory clinic for evaluation or to collect samples for a physician-ordered test.

For patients who undergo COVID-19 testing, a UCC nurse will contact those whose results are negative. For patients with positive results, a UCC nurse will coordinate with the patient’s regular physician for notification and further instructions. Patients who are tested can expect results in roughly 4-7 days.

Before visiting any Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic, contact your regular physician for evaluation. For assistance with recommendations, to arrange for a physician appointment, or if you do not have a primary care physician, call 1-855-IMG-DOCS.

Your regular physician can evaluate your symptoms to determine if testing is indicated based on COVID-19 testing criteria and provide a testing order, or refer you to the Inova Respiratory Illness Clinic for evaluation.

The three testing sites are at local Inova Urgent Care Centers in Tysons, North Arlington and Chantilly. The Tysons location is 8357 Leesburg Pike.

The clinics will be open from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.

The Inova Urgent Care Centers at North Arlington and Tysons will only operate as respiratory illness clinics, while the Chantilly one will remain open to other patients, according to the county.

As of today, Fairfax County now has 77 presumptive positive coronavirus cases — up from 46 yesterday (Tuesday).

The state’s expanding testing capacity, which now includes commercial labs, might be behind the increase of confirmed cases.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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Are You Ready To Be Counted?

The U.S. Census count is underway, the enormous effort happens once every 10 years to count every person living in the United States regardless of age or immigration status.

The census helps determine how much funding Fairfax County receives from money allocated by the federal government to improve transportation, provide education, healthcare, affordable housing and prepare for emergencies. It also determines how many representatives are sent to Richmond and Washington D.C to advocate for the county.

According to the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade for each person who does not respond to the census.

In March, the U.S. Census Bureau began mailing every household an invitation to complete a simple questionnaire about who lives at their address on April 1. People can respond to the census online, by phone, or by mail.

The census will ask for names, age, sex, race and the relation of everyone living in each household. Federal law keeps those responses safe, secure and confidential.

Everyone should be counted to ensure Fairfax County receives its fair share of federal funds and representation.

Learn more at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/topics/census.

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