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Vienna Inn has been peddling its chili dogs to the town for 62 years now (courtesy Vienna Inn)

For the rest of February, Vienna Inn customers can thank local first responders by adding a gift card to their next hot dog order.

The restaurant announced on Monday (Feb. 7) that it hopes to give away 62 gift cards worth $10 each to first responders as part of a month-long celebration of its 62-year anniversary.

Aside from the introduction of an outdoor tent in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vienna Inn remains much the same as when it opened its doors at 120 Maple Avenue East in February 1960.

The establishment is known for its chili dogs, rustic sports-bar atmosphere, and “honor system” approach to payment, where patrons get their own drinks and tell cashiers what they ordered instead of getting a bill from a server.

“After spending the past 2 years operating and making it through a pandemic, we are looking forward to celebrating,” Vienna Inn owner Marty Volk said in a press release. “It’s great to see the families and teams back in again.”

In addition to the gift cards for first responders, the 62nd anniversary celebration will include meal deals with special gifts for children 12 and under, weekly social media contests, National Chili Day giveaways, and a food drive to support the nonprofit Food for Others, where all participants will be able to get $2 hot dogs.

Additional information and updates on the festivities will be posted to the restaurant’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Morning Notes

McLean Woman Accused of Stalking Apple CEO — “Apple has filed for a restraining order against a woman who allegedly stalked the tech giant’s CEO Tim Cook, showed up at his house at least twice and sent him threatening photos of guns and bullets, according court filings in Santa Clara… Choi allegedly drove cross-country from McLean, Virginia, to Cook’s house in Palo Alto – which she visited at least twice on Oct. 22, 2021, according to the documents.” [Fox Business, Daily Mail]

Capital One Center Part of Corporate Urbanization Trend — Major companies across the U.S. are turning their suburban headquarters into mini cities, with Capital One’s growing 24-acre campus in Tysons as one example. Executives say the trend reflects competition for workers as well as public and private investment aimed at making suburbs denser and less car-dependent. [The New York Times]

Former McLean High Students Climb Africa’s Tallest Mountain — “After a grueling six-hour hike from their camp in the middle of the night in early January, McLean High School graduates Rebecca Berkson and Katie Herold were treated to a magnificent vista: the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at sunrise.” [Sun Gazette]

County Completes “Winter Warming” Project — Fairfax County’s senior center staff finished a project this month to collect hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, and socks for adults and children in need. The donation drive kicked off in October and ultimately distributed 1,404 items to local nonprofits Cornerstones, Homestretch, and Shelter House. [Neighborhood and Community Services]

Funds Sought for Great Falls Traffic Control — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution yesterday (Tuesday) asking that the U.S. Park Police include $100,000 in its next budget request to address traffic from Great Falls National Park. The funds would cover overtime costs for officers working the Georgetown Pike and Old Dominion Drive intersection. [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Joint Statement Released on Settlement of FCPS Disability Lawsuit — As first reported by The Washington Post in late November, Fairfax County Public Schools has settled a lawsuit over its use of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities. The students and disability advocacy organizations that filed the case say they hope “this resolution will ensure that no other student will ever have to experience such trauma.” [FCPS]

Thousands Donate Child Face Masks to County — “Thank you to the community for coming together to donate child face masks! We have collected 12,065 masks! Thank you to @FairfaxCountyPD for hosting the donations bin and @VolunteerFFX for all your help putting together donations!” [Ready Fairfax/Twitter]

Metro to Testify on Safety Issues in Congress — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th) says he will call on Metro’s top leaders to testify at a congressional hearing about the safety issues spotlighted by October’s train derailment, which have kept more than half the transit agency’s fleet out of commission for almost two months now. Connolly, who represents Fairfax County, calls Metro’s failure to report the issues when they were discovered years ago “a mortal sin.” [NBC4]

Fairfax Stands Alone With Court Records Paywall — “While all other Northern Virginia jurisdictions provide free, remote public access to basic docket information for individual criminal and civil cases in circuit court, Fairfax County’s CPAN system costs $150 per quarter, or $600 per year.” [WTOP]

I-495 Lane Closures in Tysons Continue — “Lane closures and ramp closures on I-495 North and I-66 East will be implemented during the overnight hours again this week, December 13-17, as bridge beam installation for a new flyover ramp from I-495 North to I-66 West continues at the I-66/I-495 Interchange as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.” [VDOT]

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Morning Notes

Tysons Leads D.C. Suburbs’ Growth — “Tysons…is growing in almost every area, from population to office space to hotel rooms. While the area’s development boom started before the pandemic, the ability to work from home and the desire for more space have only helped areas such as Tysons.” [Axios]

Vienna Church Sponsors Charity Effort for Afghan Refugees — “Vienna Presbyterian is seeking volunteers to sign up and donate items for Welcome Backpacks for Afghan refugees as well as unaccompanied minors at the border. The church is working with Church World Service, one of the largest faith-based organizations assisting with refugee resettlement.” [Patch]

Tysons Defies Office Space Trends — “In the late innings of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for office space in Tysons appears to be bucking some trends, according to local developers and brokers. In a market environment characterized by lease renewals, Tysons saw the only new lease in Northern Virginia over 50,000 square feet during the second quarter of 2021, according to CBRE’s second quarter research.” [Commercial Observer]

School Board Renames McLean HS Dressing Rooms — “The theater dressing rooms at McLean High School were renamed after Janie Strauss, a School Board member for the Dranesville District from 1993 to 2019, an avid former educator, and director of the nationally acclaimed Critics Awards Program for High School Theater, known as the Cappies. Her three children graduated from McLean where they were active in the arts and athletics.” [FCPS]

Local Arts Groups Receive Funding — “Twelve Fairfax County arts organizations will share just over $100,000 in funding through ArtFairfax’s ‘Arts Ignite Recovery’ (AIR) initiative. The organization established the AIR grant program to support arts groups as they emerge from the pandemic and restart their programming.” [Sun Gazette]

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A service dog wearing a U.S. flag vest (via Jeremy Bezanger/Unsplash)

Dogtopia will salute its first year in Falls Church by helping bring comfort to a veteran in need.

After opening its doors on Oct. 14, 2020 despite the challenges of starting a business during the COVID-19 pandemic, the dog daycare has now achieved its goal of raising $6,000 — enough money to help cover the cost of training a service dog for a military veteran.

Dogtopia of Falls Church (108 W Jefferson Street) will officially announce the news tomorrow (Thursday) to coincide with Veterans Day.

“We’re hoping that this announcement will be powerful enough to help us accelerate our intended support of a second dog funded in much less time,” said Jim Hannesschlager, who owns the franchise with his wife Allie.

The fundraising effort was part of the franchise’s work with the nonprofit Dogtopia Foundation, which helps close funding gaps for community partners that focus on three main causes: service dogs for veterans, youth literacy programs, and employment for adults with autism.

To support the first cause, the Dogtopia Foundation is currently partnered with K9s for Warriors, a Florida-based organization that trains and provides service dogs to veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, sexual assault, and other challenges.

K9s for Warriors covers the costs of its training programs, which can run up to $30,000 to $40,000, but as a nonprofit, it relies on donations for at least some of that funding, according to Hannesschlager. The Dogtopia Foundation assists in filling that gap.

Hannesschlager and his wife, who both have family members that have served in the military, started working to raise money for a service dog even before their Dogtopia franchise opened, as he told Tysons Reporter in August 2020.

They found an eager supporter in Idylwood-based Settle Down Easy Brewing, which offered to contribute a portion of its sales from the September leading up to Dogtopia of Falls Church’s debut.

For Settle Down Easy owner Frank Kuhns, helping veterans is a personal mission. His father served during the Vietnam War, and his brother Bryan worked as a bartender at the Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost in Brockway, Pennsylvania.

The brewery’s name is a tribute to Bryan, who died in 2015, just two days shy of his 36th birthday. It comes from a lyric in the Grateful Dead song “Ramble on Rose,” which Bryan played at the bar at the end of every night.

“When Jim approached me asking for support to help raise funds for a service dog, we were honored and so proud of our customers who purchased beer with $1 going to Dogtopia’s Fundraiser,” Kuhns said by email.

Settle Down Easy, which announced expansion plans over the weekend, donated a total of $1,000 at the grand opening of the Falls Church Dogtopia, which matched those funds.

Dogtopia contributed another $1,000 to match the money raised by its customers over the past year, and the Hannesschlagers decided to personally give the remaining $2,000.

The money will go to the Dogtopia Foundation, which will then pass it onto K9s for Warriors.

While the dog and the veteran with whom it will be placed haven’t been identified yet, Hannesschalger says he is excited to receive updates over the next few months. He hopes raising awareness of Dogtopia’s effort will boost its next fundraising campaign for a second service dog.

“[Dogs] can — and many times do — perform an incredible service to people, whether it’s just companionship in the house or it’s all the way up on the other end of the scale being a service dog,” Hannesschalger said. “So, the fact that we can marry that with those who have served and protected our country is extremely important to my wife and I.”

Photo via Jeremy Bezanger/Unsplash

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Morning Notes

Family of Man Killed in I-495 Crash Starts GoFundMe — “The family of a 24-year-old Washington, D.C., man who died last week in a crash on the Capital Beltway in Fairfax County is holding an online fundraiser to help pay for his funeral expenses. The man, Elson Turcios, died in an early morning crash last Thursday on I-495, according to the Virginia State Police.” [Patch]

Metro Works to Bring More Railcars into Service — Metro is still working to bring back some older trains as crowding and long wait times continue to plague the transit system two weeks after a railcar derailed in Arlington. Officials said they ran 31 trains yesterday (Monday) and hope to improve service next week, though a timeline for the return of the 7000-series cars removed for inspections is still unclear. [DCist]

County Reports Strong Turnout for Sunday Voting — “We had a huge turnout for #earlyvoting this weekend. More than 9,000 people voted on Sat (10/23). On the first ever Sunday (10/24) for early voting, 4,656 people cast ballots! This is the last week to #voteearly” [Fairfax County Office of Elections/Twitter]

Annual Coat Drive Helps Fairfax County Residents and Beyond — “Firefighters, police officers and others in Fairfax County, Virginia, teamed up Monday to bag up 3,000 new winter jackets so they can get them onto the backs and shoulders of kids who need them…Most of the coats went to Fairfax County residents, and in many cases, along the Route 1 corridor. But some were going to places like Prince William County, the city of Alexandria and even into Prince George’s County, Maryland.” [WTOP]

Police Collect Unused Prescription Drugs — Fairfax County police collected 1,406 pounds of unused and expired over-the-counter and prescription medication on Saturday (Oct. 23) as part of the 21st Annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The McLean District Station received 220 pounds, behind West Springfield and Reston Hospital Center. [FCPD]

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Morning Notes

Man Arrested in Vienna Shooting — A 25-year-old Manassas man has been charged with malicious wounding and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after a shooting in the Navy Federal Credit Union parking lot at 801 Follin Lane SE. Police found a male victim who had been shot in the upper torso around 12:36 a.m. yesterday (Thursday) in what investigators believe was a personal dispute with no greater threat to the community. [Vienna Police Department]

Fairfax County Pushes to Vaccinate Unhoused Residents — “Hutson is one of roughly 1,200 unhoused residents in Fairfax County, according to the county’s January 2021 point-in-time count…Getting COVID-19 vaccines to this transient — and highly vulnerable — population is a major challenge for public health staff like Vukadinovich.” [DCist]

County Seeks Kid-Sized Mask Donations — The Fairfax County Health Department hopes to collect 10,000 new, unused face masks that can fit children who are too young to get vaccinated, particularly toddlers and school-aged kids. Masks can be dropped off at all local police stations and will help the county fill requests from nonprofit partners. [FCHD]

Falls Church Cuts Ribbon on New High School Campus — “It was the major ceremony that officials here have been working toward for more than a decade. At Homecoming Week at Meridian High School, the brand-spanking new $120 million high school facility was formally dedicated with a ribbon cutting last Saturday morning.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Latter-Day Saints Opens New Wolf Trap Church — “A new meetinghouse for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been completed in the Wolf Trap area and will offer public tours during an open house. The new meetinghouse at 1632 Crowell Road, Vienna will serve residents of Vienna, McLean, Reston, and other nearby communities. The estimated membership is 600 Latter-day Saints.” [Patch]

Capital One Delays Office Reopening Again — “The McLean-based financial giant has opted not to reopen its offices in a hybrid format Nov. 2. It first announced in June it would reopen in September, then in August delayed that until November. Hybrid remains the plan, but the company will no longer attempt to forecast a date as to when that might be implemented.” [Washington Business Journal]

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Morning Notes

Vienna Church Assists with Afghan Resettlement Efforts — The Vienna Presbyterian Church is working with OneHeartDC and Lutheran Social Services to support the ongoing effort to help Afghan refugees who have come to Northern Virginia after fleeing their now-Taliban-controlled homeland. The church is specifically asking for donations of “welcome home kits” that can be dropped off at 123 Park Street NE on Wednesday or Thursday (Sept. 1 and 2). [Patch]

McLean-Based Firefighter Dies — “The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is deeply saddened to announce the death of Firefighter Kevin Weaver, who passed away Saturday, August 28, 2021. Firefighter Weaver has been a valued member of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department since joining in September 2018 as a member of Recruit Class 144. He was assigned to Fire Station 1, McLean, at the time of his passing.” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Vienna Planning Commission Approves Cottage Development — “A proposal to build 12 “cottage-style” housing units at 117-121 Courthouse Road, S.W., received the Vienna Planning Commission’s unanimous approval Aug. 25 and now heads to the Town Council. Developer Dennis Rice of JDA Custom Homes is proposing to build six two-family dwellings clustered along a common green.” [Sun Gazette]

Tysons Corner Disney Store To Survive Closures — The Disney store at Tysons Corner Center will be the last one standing in Northern Virginia with its lone remaining companion at Potomac Mills set to shutter by Sept. 15. The company is closing all about a couple dozen of its physical stores this year to focus on online retail, though Target is planning to open more than 100 Disney shops inside its stores by the end of 2021. [Patch]

Tysons Interfaith Hosts Essay Contest on Post-COVID Future — “Tysons Interfaith, a coalition of 19 faith communities in the Tysons area, is sponsoring an art and essay contest focusing on positive lessons from the COVID pandemic. ‘A Whole New World Starts Now’ will offer cash prizes for those in three age groups: youth (12 and under), teen (13-18) and adult…Entries will be accepted through Oct. 15, with award winners announced Nov. 1.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County Police Officer Shoots Woman — A woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition yesterday (Monday) after a Fairfax County police officer fired their weapon and shot her during a confrontation at a group home in Springfield. Police say they responded to the 8000 block of Gosport Lane by a disturbance call about a woman reportedly assaulting people. [The Washington Post]

Bijan Ghaisar’s Family Protests Park Police Task Force Appointment — “The parents of Bijan Ghaisar, a 25-year-old resident of McLean who was shot and killed by U.S. Park Police in November 2017, are protesting Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s decision to appoint former U.S. Park Police Chief Robert MacLean to head a new task force reviewing law enforcement policies…in the wake of the police’s violent crackdown in Lafayette Park in 2020 during the presidency of Donald Trump.” [Patch]

Falls Church City Seeks School Supplies — “The City of Falls Church Housing and Human Services (HHS) team will help local families with free school supplies. Donations for all ages — and especially middle and high school students — can be delivered to City Hall (300 Park Ave.) through Friday, August 13.” [City of Falls Church]

Falls Church Startup Proposes Automating Tax Appeals — A startup co-founded by Falls Church City Councilmember Ross Litkenhous is looking to raise $2 million to fund a software platform that they say will simplify the property tax appeals process. Launched in February, Calvary Real Estate Advisors would help users fill out the assessment appeal, find ways to save money, and send the form to the right place. [Washington Business Journal]

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Morning Notes

Caffe Amouri Resumes Indoor Service — Vienna’s Caffe Amouri welcomed patrons back inside yesterday (Monday) for the first time in 16 months. The coffee shop will maintain some COVID-19 health rules, including a 30-minute seating limit and continued mask-wearing for staff with a request that customers keep using them as well. [Patch]

Capital One Hall Announces Opening Weekend Performer — The country band Little Big Town will perform two shows during the opening weekend of Capital One Hall in Tysons, the venue announced yesterday. Tickets for the shows on Oct. 2 and 3 will go on sale at 10 a.m. this Friday (June 18). [Capital One Hall/Twitter]

FCPS Hires Cybersecurity Director — Fairfax County Public Schools has a director of cybersecurity for the first time, with Vijai Rao, who previously worked for Metro, joining the school district on June 1. The position was created after a ransomware attack in September compromised personal information of students and staff. [Providence District School Board newsletter]

Tysons Company Holds Sports Equipment DrivePenFed Credit Union, which is headquartered in Tysons, collected $3,000 worth of sports equipment with a drive led by employees and their families on June 9. The equipment will be distributed to at-risk youth in the D.C. region by local police, and the company also donated $15,000 to the Washington D.C. Police Foundation. [PenFed]

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