Tysons, VA

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Sept. 22)

Wednesday (Sept. 23)

Thursday (Sept. 24)

Friday (Sept. 25)

  • Virtual Story Time — 11 a.m. — FIT4MOM reads children’s books that celebrate diversity every Friday morning at 11 on its Facebook page.
  • Sunset Cinema: Onward (Reservation Required) — 7:45 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) — Sunset Cinema returns with the showing of “Onward.” This event is limited to 20 families in a reservation system, the website said. To register, use this website.

Saturday (Sept. 26)

  • Falls Church Farmers Market — 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at City Hall Parking Lot (300 Park Ave.) — Enjoy fresh, local produce, meat, dairy, flowers & plants, honey, music, and so much more at the Falls Church Farmers Market, the website said.
  • Vienna Farmers Market -8 a.m.-12 p.m. at Vienna Community Center Parking Lot (120 Cherry Street SE ) — Sponsored by the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna, the Vienna Farmers Market features approximately 30 vendors from across the region offering locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and homemade eats, the website said.

Photo via Mary Riley Styles Public Library 

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A Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees member has resigned amid a brewing controversy over comments made by another trustee over the inclusion of diverse titles in the library’s catalog.

Darren Ewing, who represents the Dranesville District, resigned from his position after he stated the library’s catalog homepage was “completely one-sided” at a recent discussion among trustees.

In an email obtained by Patch, Ewing clarified that he did not intend to support the comments of Phillip Rosenthal, the Springfield District representative who is under fire for questioning why Muslim, Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ titles are featured in the catalog.

Here’s more from Patch on Rosenthal’s comments at the July 29 board meeting:

For example, he questioned why Muslim writers were featured but not Catholic, Mormon, Jewish or Baptist writers.

He also took aim at writers involved with the Black Lives Matter movement. On a similar category titled Race in America, Rosenthal said, “Black lives documentaries. Why don’t we have some white lives documentaries?”

And for the category labeled rainbow reads for teens, he said, “Why don’t we have the flipped side of rainbow books for teens?”

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay is joining the NOVA Equity Agenda Coalition’s calls for Rosenthal’s resignation.

“Ultimately, while under the guide of inclusivity, the demand from Mr. Rosenthal serves as a form of division, perpetuating an “us versus them” mentality. It is important now more than ever that we uplift the voices of underprivileged and underrepresented persons in our society,” McKay wrote in an Aug. 26 letter.

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity recommended Rosenthal as a trustee in 2018. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved his post.

Fran Millhouser, the chair of the Board of Trustees, has also publicly stated that comments made by Rosenthal and Ewing “do not reflect the collective policies or positions of the full board or of Fairfax County.”

We will not remove materials because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval,” she added.

The Board of Trustees is expected to discuss the issue at a Sept. 9 meeting at 7 p.m.

Photo via Jessica Ruscello/Unsplash

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In the opening scenes of “Peter Polo and the Snow Beast of Hunza,” young readers are instantly transported to the 13th century and an unfamiliar world to the fields of the gritty “sport of kings” — polo. Here, players mounted on horseback display their physical prowess while caked in a veil of mud and readers take in a sliver of the adventure that is about to unfold.   

Vienna local and novelist Craig Bradley is the author of the book, which debuted earlier this year and has been showcased at several area independent books stores. 

The new adventure novel, illustrated by Laurie Conley, takes middle-grade children on a historical journey with Marco Polo’s fictional younger brother, Peter Polo. 

The game of polo dates back to 600 B.C. and has been described as the “oldest of all sports” that several countries throughout East Asia claim they gave birth to. It also nostalgically connects to Bradley’s travels in Asia.

Bradley, a father of two boys, said he wrote the book for his sons, but also to pique younger readers’ interests in history and cultures that may be less familiar to them. Bradley, who spent a lot of time traveling abroad, decided to write about the history that originally drew him in as a child. 

“I hope younger readers can walk away with an interest in Mongolian culture and a ‘snow beast,'” said Bradley. “Children’s books often have a lot of magic, but this book explores different cultural perspectives that kids may not be as familiar with.” 

Bradley initially wrote the book about 15 years ago. However, it wasn’t until now that the book was released in April. 

This may be Bradley’s first published book, but he has written short stories for a long time: “It’s easier than ever to submit short stories nowadays online.” His biggest piece of advice is for those who are interested in writing to simply start writing. 

Bradley is currently working on a sequel to the book, called “Peter Polo and the White Elephant of Lan Xang.” The book will follow Peter and his friends as they try to stop a war between two kingdoms in South Asia. Bradley is optimistic that the book will be out by early 2021. 

For people looking to get a signed copy of Bradley’s book, Bards Alley in Vienna will host a book signing as well as other events for Indie Bookstore Day on Saturday, Aug. 29. 

Cover illustration by Laurie Conley, photo courtesy of Craig Bradley

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People looking to read a few more books before summer ends in a few weeks might want to check out work by local authors.

Tysons Reporter recently revisited its profiles of local authors from the last few months. From murder mysteries to kids’ books, the books run the gamut of genres.

While nowhere near an exhaustive list, the titles below are a few of the recent books by Tysons-area residents:

Little Yura Loves to Dance

At the start of this year, Garry Gekhman, the owner of Tysons Ballroom, published the kids’ book. Gekhman, who is a former “Dancing With The Stars” contestant and started dancing at age 6, hopes the book sparks kids’ passion for dancing.

To Kill a Mocking Girl

Harper Kincaid’s murder mystery is set in Vienna and features local spots like Bards Alley bookstore and the Freeman Store. The book follows a woman’s investigation after she is framed for murder. The book debuted in May.

Bob In A Box

After the success of “Bob Winging It,” local author Joe Jamaldinian decided to write a second book about a penguin named Bob. “Bob In a Box” was published last January.

Jamaldinian told Tysons Reporter that he aims to inspire the younger generations to follow their dreams through his writing.

Get Back in the Book!

Larry Issa won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in 2019 for his picture book about a young boy who keeps catching the characters trying to escape from his book. The book, which features art by British artist Emma Chadwick, was released last January.

The Emancipation of Evan Walls

Jeffrey Blount published his novel tackling classism and racism last June. The main character, Evan Wells, reflects on the oppression he faced during his childhood in a small Virginian town.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the book, Blount and his wife Jeanne Meserve, a former anchor and correspondent for CNN and ABC News, are set to talk about the book during a Zoom event on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Gay Men in the Feminist Revolution

Nick Benton, the founder and owner of the Falls Church News-Press, released the volume for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1969. The book explores the power of feminism in politics and discusses various perspectives in the LGBTQ+ community.

Benton, who wrote for gay media outlets and worked as an LGBTQ in the San Francisco Bay Area, told Tysons Reporter that the book “is my two cents in terms of what happened 50 years ago.”

BunnyElla

Cooper Middle School student Chloe Middleton became a published author with her book about a bunny who has to be brave and overcome peer pressure. An artist digitized the artwork by Chloe and her younger sister, Adeline, for the book.

The book was published in March. Chloe told Tysons Reporter that she is working on a sequel.

Vienna Stories 1950-2000

Marie Kisner, a former public information officer for the Town of Vienna, collected and compiled newspaper stories to share vignettes about what the town was like from the 1950s to early 2000s.

Kisner got the idea for the book after the town’s clerk office gave her dozens of boxes with news article clippings. The book was published in 2019.

Do you know of a local author with a book published within the last year that isn’t on the list? Email us at [email protected]

Photo via Kimberly Farmer/Unsplash

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New Firm Helping Businesses With COVID-19 Rules — “The Tysons firm [Covidless Workplace Services], founded in June, aims to provide businesses with a set of recommendations and guidelines that not only help them comply with regulations but also implement best practices, said co-founder Dirar Hakeem.” [Washington Business Journal]

Koenigsegg Hypercar Will Be Sold in Tysons — “The manufacturer of one of the world’s most exclusive ‘hypercars’ has made it official and announced Tysons-based Exclusive Automotive Group as its only local dealer… The models will only be on site for special events, and even if you choose to acquire one, it’ll take one to two years to get it.” [Washington Business Journal]

Book Demand High — “Local libraries’ physical doors may be shut since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, but their virtual doors are seeing plenty of ‘foot traffic’ at all hours of the day in the City of Falls Church and surrounding areas.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Mask Campaign — “Four of Northern Virginia’s top health care organizations started a campaign Wednesday with a simple message about fighting the coronavirus pandemic: Wear a mask.” [Patch]

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A local husband-wife duo will talk about racial bullying and the husband’s novel on classism and racism during a virtual event later this month.

Jeffrey Blount’s novel “The Emancipation of Evan Walls” shares the oppression Evan Walls faced as a Black child in the 1960s in a small town in Virginia. Blount, an Emmy award-winning TV director, published the book in June 2019.

Jeanne Meserve, a former anchor and correspondent for CNN and ABC News, will discuss racial bullying and the novel with her husband before taking questions from the online audience.

The Mary Riley Styles Public Library is hosting the online event as part of its “Community Conversations” about race and social justice.

The library shared the following description of the book:

It is June 1968. The Civil Rights movement is winding down after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Negroes in the town of Canaan, Virginia have been used to acting the same, thinking the same and sharing in the unadulterated hatred of a common enemy. Evan is ten years old and, in the jargon of the times, young, gifted and black. In the presence of his parents and a summer porch gathering of their friends, he makes a startling declaration. From that moment on, the central question of his life is born. Is he black enough?

The Zoom event is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Prospective participants will need to email [email protected] for the Zoom link.

Photo via Jeffrey Blount, Author/Facebook 

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McLean local Dr. John Kim dedicated his life to his work as an electrical engineer. Now, he hopes to connect aspiring engineers to the field through a newly published memoir.

In Pursuit of Science and Technology” explores topics ranging from Kim’s work in physics and engineering to his journey of faith and illness to his life traveling through four different global capitals — Tokyo, Pyongyang, Seoul and D.C.

Kim said there were two main inspirations behind the book — the first being his six grandchildren. He wanted them to tangibly have his stories and studies. The other was sharing his studies.

“I want to leave something behind me of all the things that I have done in science and technology,” said Kim. 

He noted his target audience is young people going into the science and technology field, saying his message is to show them what it’s like to pursue this field. He elaborated on the differences between education and real-world experience and how important it is for young people to get both.

“If you go to engineering school today… that’s something where they teach you how to do it. But that’s not everything in a private corporation,” Kim said. 

Kim focuses much of the memoir on his work as an electrical engineer towards furthering science and technology while discussing different topics as well. For example, he shares the time he spent working on military advancement and how he advised people to cultivate business opportunities on the engineer career ladder, according to his synopsis. 

He also includes stories about the time he spent working with Howard Aiken, the “father of the digital electromagnetic computer,” according to his synopsis. 

Kim also addresses personal adversity. He lived in Tokyo during World War II, Pyongyang while trapped by the Iron Curtain and South Korea during the Korean War. Additionally, he surmounted a battle with cancer about 15 years ago. 

The process of creating his memoir was long. He didn’t plan it, but after he made the decision after he retired in 2013, he collected letters, reports, technical and scientific writings from journals and 144 pictures of his family and colleagues. The editing process took four years, said Kim.

This book is available for purchase online and in-stores.

Photo courtesy John Kim

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As the state relaxes public health guidelines, Fairfax County public libraries will soon be open to the public.

Beginning Monday, July 13, patrons can take advantage of express services that focus on “grab-and-go style” activities. Patrons can browse shelves, use computers and pick up holds.

But even though the state entered phase three of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan, restrictions will be in place. All daily visits will be limited to 30 minutes.

During the first week of express services, library staff will explain the new model and make sure capacity limits are maintained. Disposable masks will also be offered to library patrons.

Here’s more on other modifications:

  • Each branch will have a capacity limit to allow social distancing to take place
  • Virtual programs will continue
  • Meeting rooms will be unavailable
  • Furniture will be removed from the public floor
  • No donated materials will be accepted
  • No print daily newspapers or in-house laptops will be offered
  • No in-person programming will take place
  • Plexiglass shields will be installed at customer service desks
  • Every other PC will be disabled

Curbside services will continue for patrons who are not yet comfortable using library facilities. The service is offered daily except Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Express services will be open on Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Image via Fairfax County

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Due to the coronavirus, book lovers will have to wait a few more months for the NoVa Bookstore Crawl, which includes two book stores in the Tysons area.

The inaugural NoVa Bookstore Crawl was originally scheduled for Independent Bookstore Day on April 25, but will now take place Aug. 29.

The NoVa Bookstore Crawl was designed to include several different independent bookstores located in Northern Virginia, from Arlington to Vienna. The event includes Bards Alley and Big Planet in Vienna.

Following the design of the well-known “bar crawl”, participants travel from bookstore to bookstore, experiencing the unique celebrations of each stop.

“There are similar passport programs in other cities,” said Anna Thorne, the organizer of the NoVa Book Crawl event. “D.C. has an extremely vibrant bookstore scene.”

Each bookstore involved in the book crawl will have different events. For Bards Alley in Vienna, activities will some fun for Harry Potter fans.

“We have guest booksellers who are local authors… We also have activities for kids on our patio. They are usually Harry Potter-themed,” said Jen Morrow, the owner of Bards Alley in Vienna.

“We were going to have a golden ticket worth a $100 gift card to spend in the store, just to get people out to celebrate all independent businesses,” Morrow added.

The bookstore is known for its community ties. In the past, Bards Alley has had food and wine specials in their cafe and a massive book scavenger hunt throughout the Town of Vienna. 

The organization behind Independent Bookstore Day moved the national celebration to August, which provided the new date to reschedule the crawl, according to Thorne.

“Independent Bookstore Day has gone on for five years,” said Thorne. The idea for the crawl came from a similar event that occurred in D.C. last year, which Thorne described as a huge success. 

The festivities are only available on Independent Bookstore Day in-person — “Not before, Not after. Not online,” according to Independent Book Store Day’s official website.  The website emphasizes that bookstores are not a “dying anachronism,” but a continuously expanding industry. 

Participants in the bookstore crawl will carry a map of the participating places with them and will receive a stamp after each stop and a prize for visiting five.

The full list of participating book stores:

  • Bards Alley (Vienna)
  • Big Planet (Vienna)
  • Hooray for Books! (Alexandria)
  • Old Town Books (Alexandria)
  • One More Page (Arlington)
  • Scrawl (Reston)

Although Independent Bookstore Day is postponed for nearly three months, independent bookstores ask readers to continue supporting their businesses by purchasing books from their websites, picking up curbside or ordering delivery. People can also purchase gift cards or donate to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation

Photo via Bards Alley/Facebook

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tysons Corner Center is working with community members to help those in need by providing an &pizza meal to healthcare workers. Anyone who wants to sponsor a healthcare worker by providing a meal can text #FEEDTHEM to 200-03, the page said.

Those seeking live entertainment can choose to check out 1st Stage Theatre’s Facebook page, where the arts organization posts videos of its talented cast members posting videos of them performing various songs and acts.

Tuesday (May 19)

  • Stuff the Bus — People can drop off non-perishable goods to help community members in need at both the  James Lee Community Center (2855 Annandale Road) Falls Church and the Patrick Henry Library (101 Maple Ave E.) in Vienna from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Virtual Mystery Fiction Book Group — At 7 p.m. people can join a virtual conversation about “My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel.” People must pre-register online to receive the link. This event is hosted by One More Page Books.

Thursday (May 21)

Saturday (May 23)

  • Performers in Quarantine — Starting at 2 p.m. 1st Stage Theatre will hold one of its community conversations via Zoom with performances by actors in the upcoming show “The Nance share.” The actors will share what their creative experiences have been like during the pandemic.

Photo courtesy Caboose Commons

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