Newsletter

Morning Notes

Tysons Mass Vaccine Site Reopens — After two days of canceled appointments due to snow, the Tysons Community Vaccination Center at Tysons Corner Center will resume regular operating hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are strongly encouraged. [VDH]

County Waste Collection Resumes Today — “Due to Solid Waste staff being re-assigned to snow clearing duty, we will collect Monday’s trash and recycling routes on Wednesday and will continue on a sliding schedule throughout Saturday.” [Fairfax County Public Works/Twitter]

Founders Row Lands Family-Friendly Restaurant — The team behind Rooster & Owl, an upscale American restaurant in D.C., will open a new, more casual spot called Ellie Bird in Falls Church City’s Founders Row development in late 2022. Planned dishes like seafood paella and grilled corn ravioli were inspired by the takeout offerings that Rooster & Owl created during the pandemic. [Washingtonian]

Palchik Makes History with NVTC — Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik will be the first Latina person to serve as vice chair for the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, which advocates and coordinates funding for public transit across the region. Palchik and the rest of the commission’s appointed 2022 slate will be approved at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday). [NVTC]

Tysons IT Contractor Acquired — “Fairfax-based management consulting firm ICF International Inc. announced Monday that it had completed its acquisition of McLean-based IT federal contractor Creative Systems and Consulting. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.” [Virginia Business]

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Musician Rodney Crowell (via Wolf Trap)

Monday (Oct. 11)

  • National Coming Out Day Film Festival — 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. at The Alden (1234 Ingleside Ave.) in McLean — A marathon of films supporting LGBTQ+ individuals will take place to celebrate National Coming Out Day.

Tuesday (Oct. 12)

  • Fiber Art Exhibit: Joyce Carrier — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the McLean Textile Gallery (6819 Elm St.) — A quilt artist who draws inspiration from birds and other animals shows her work at a gallery that launched last year. Runs through Nov. 5.
  • On Deck with Mercury — 6-7 p.m. at Maggio’s and Scorpio’s Grill (421 Maple Ave. E) — For his monthly community forum, Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton will be joined by public works staff for a look at what goes into the town’s fall leaf collection and snow removal efforts, per Vienna Happenings.

Wednesday (Oct. 13)

  • Pete Davis Author Talk — 7-8 p.m. at Mary Riley Styles Public Library (120 N. Virginia Ave.) in Falls Church — Falls Church writer Pete Davis, who has addressed Harvard grads and authored books, is discussing his newest work.

Thursday (Oct. 14)

  • “The Book of Mamaw” — 7:30 p.m. at The Boro (8350 Broad St.) in Tysons — 1st Stage continues performances of a one-man show about an individual’s experiences growing up with his devout Church of Christ grandmother. Performances occur through Sunday.

Friday (Oct. 15)

  • After 7 Dance Party — 7-10 p.m. at the Old Firehouse (1440 Chain Bridge Road) in McLean — A themed event brings together catered food, drinks, a DJ playing a range of music from hip-hop to Top 40, and more. Cost is $5.

Saturday (Oct. 16)

  • Rodney Crowell at Wolf Trap — 8 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Road) — The two-time Grammy Award winner returns to Wolf Trap. A rescheduled performance for Friday is back to its original date. Tickets start at $42 plus fees. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Sunday (Oct. 17)

  • “An Afternoon with violinist Gil Shaham” — 3 p.m. at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Road) in Tysons — An encore performance from the National Philharmonic brings the sounds of Beethoven’s “Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61,” a new piece from composer Henry Dehlinger premiering this year, and more to Capital One’s new venue along with two guest artists. Tickets start at $45 plus fees.
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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has endorsed county efforts to expand food scrap drop-offs to more farmers markets and evaluate a possible curbside collection pilot program.

Such collection opportunities would mark a step toward the county’s ambitious goal of making schools and government operations zero waste by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2040.

The board asked the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services last summer to research and report options for bringing an internal compost pilot — an employee-led food scrap recycling program called the Fairfax Employees for Environmental Excellence — to the public.

Fairfax County Director of Engineering and Environment Compliance Eric Forbes told the board during its environmental committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday) that DPWES has “a number of pilot programs” and the county “has been discussing working toward organics diversion for quite a while.”

Food scraps, which can be composted and converted into nutrient-dense soil, make up 30% of what gets thrown away in the county. Diverting this potential resource represents “the next rung on the ladder for our community,” Forbes said.

The county unveiled composting drop-off sites at the I-95 Landfill Complex & I-66 Transfer Station in November. He said these sites have rescued about 4,500 pounds of food scraps so far. People can also bring food scraps to farmers’ markets or hire one of four vendors in the county that offer curbside organics collection services.

In the near future, the county is looking to expand collection opportunities at farmers’ markets run by the Fairfax County Park Authority, FRESHFARM, and Central Farm Markets. These three organizations have expressed interested in working with the county, according to Forbes.

The county is also mulling over a curbside collection program, which would let residents mingle food scraps and yard waste in their green bins. Through an inter-county agreement, the food scraps could be taken to a facility in Prince William County.

“I like the idea of regional players taking the responsibility,” Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck said. “I appreciate Prince William stepping up to build their own food scrap recycling.”

Still, Braddock District Supervisor James R. Walkinshaw told Forbes the county should “aggressively” promote backyard composting. He said doing so is especially important if the county finds that a curbside collection program would increase emissions.

“I want to make sure we do that analysis before moving forward with expansion of curbside,” he said.

Likewise, Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey McKay said he appreciates the pilot programs and partnerships, but there needs to be more communication with the “average Joe homeowner.”

Forbes said his staff is looking to purchase electric vehicles for trash collection. As for educational opportunities, he said the county publishes lots of educational material and presents ways to eliminate food waste at homeowners’ association meetings.

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik encouraged the county to look for year-round and seasonal farmers’ markets near apartment buildings.

“I want to make sure we are looking at equity through this issue,” she said. “Families will be happy to participate as long as we look at some of the barriers that exist.”

Photo via Seth Cottle on Unsplash

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Zak Bradley is the new permanent director of public works for the City of Falls Church, the city announced today (Monday).

Bradley had been serving in the position on an interim basis since June, when former Director Mike Whitfield stepped down to accept a private-sector job on the West Coast, according to the Falls Church News-Press.

“Zak has proven himself as a knowledgeable and creative leader as interim director,” Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields said. “His forward-thinking leadership and high level of customer service are the perfect fit for the City’s complex needs.”

According to a news release, Bradley joined Falls Church City’s public works department as a transportation engineer in February 2019 after previously working as an engineer for the land-use consulting firm Carson Land Consultants. His past experience also includes engineering work for the City of Blue Ash in Ohio.

A licensed Professional Engineer and Certified Floodplain Manager, Bradley earned a bachelor’s of science in civil engineering from Trine University in Indiana and a master’s in engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

As the director of public works, Bradley oversees the department responsible for the City of Falls Church’s infrastructure, including streets and sidewalks, the stormwater and sewer systems, and the solid waste and recycling program.

The department also manages the design and construction of projects in the city’s capital improvement program.

“This is a dream opportunity for me to not only further my career, but make a larger, lasting impact on the community and City as a whole,” Bradley said. “The department has a great team and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to advance the success of the City.”

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The Vienna Town Council unanimously approved $400,000 in funding for emergency sewer repairs yesterday (Monday).

The funds will go to contractor Tri-State Utilities for the inspection and potential repair of the Piney Branch-Difficult Run trunk sewer, a 21-inch line located inside Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

The sewer line serves the Town of Vienna as well as surrounding portions of Fairfax County, including the Tysons business district.

The Town of Vienna learned that the sewer would need to repair the sewer in late March after Fairfax County inspectors alerted the town’s Department of Public Works that portions of the line were in danger of collapsing.

“It has holes in it. There’s rocks protruding in it, and roots,” Vienna Public Works director Michael Gallagher said. “It’s about 750 linear feet of pipe that needs to be rehabilitated.”

The repairs are expected to involve lining three sections of the sewer where the pipe wall has been corroded by hydrogen sulfide and broken up by roots and a large rock protruding through the top of the pipe, according to the Department of Public Works.

Vienna used an emergency waiver to hire Tri-State Utilities for the emergency repair work on Sept. 21 after facing challenges finding a contractor and obtaining permission to proceed from the U.S. National Park Service, which owns Wolf Trap National Park.

Gallagher says costs for the repairs are not expected to exceed $400,000, though the contractor has not yet determined the final scope of the work.

Because of a 1963 agreement that allows the town to share operations and maintenance costs for its sewers with Fairfax County, Vienna will be reimbursed by the county for 63 percent of the project’s expenses. The town is responsible for 37 percent of the costs.

As the owner of the sewer line, the Town of Vienna is obligated to contract for the full cost of the repairs. Any money left over from the approved $400,000 will be funneled back into the town’s capital improvements program, according to Gallagher.

Gallagher could not confirm a date for when the repairs will be completed, but he says they will allow the sewer line to last at least 50 more years.

Photo via Emerging Arts Leaders DC

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Morning Notes

Inova Shrinks Merrifield Plan — “Inova Health System has scrapped long-term plans for a 15 million-square-foot redevelopment of its Merrifield research and development campus for now, only moving forward on what was originally the first phase. The Falls Church health system decided to only advance the first, 5 million-square-foot phase of expansion for its Inova Center for Personalized Health” at the 117-acre former Exxon Mobil campus. [Washington Business Journal]

Honorable Disposal of Old Flags — “Covanta Fairfax and the Fairfax County Department of Public Works, in partnership with American Legion Post 177, have launched a U.S. flag retirement program to reverently dispose of old, worn American flags… [with] collection boxes at the I-66 Transfer Station, I-95 Landfill, Fairfax County Government Center and local police stations.” [Connection Newspapers]

WUSA 9 Goes Dark on Fios — Because of an ongoing carriage dispute between Verizon and Tysons-based Tegna, local CBS affiliate WUSA 9 has gone dark for Verizon Fios subscribers, potentially putting Super Bowl viewing at risk should it drag out for an extended period of time. [Washington Business Journal]

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