Almost 7,000 people in Fairfax County still have no electricity after a thunderstorm took out trees and wires late last night (Wednesday).

According to PowerOutage.US, 6,920 Dominion Energy customers in the county are experiencing a power outage as of 9:10 a.m. Dominion’s outage map shows that, while there are scattered outages farther south, the vast majority of those without power are in McLean and Falls Church.

Crews are working on and investigating many of the reported outages. The estimated time of restoration is noon to 5 p.m. for those in the Langley and Scott’s Run area and 6-11 p.m. for the many outages in McLean southeast of Route 123 and West Falls Church.

“Our plan includes all resources engaged w/ over 50 bucket trucks,” Dominion spokesperson Peggy Fox said on Twitter. “Stay away from downed lines — assume energized.”

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department warns that people should stay away from any downed wires. Fallen trees can be reported to 9-1-1 if it is a life-threatening situation or the Virginia Department of Transportation if they are impeding roads, though removal of trees on private property is the owner’s responsibility.

According to the National Weather Service, more storms are expected to hit the D.C. area this afternoon and evening, with the possibility of flash flooding and even a tornado.

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Falls Church City Hall Harry E. Wells Building sign (via City of Falls Church Government/Facebook)

When it comes to municipal spending, $18 million in two years seems like pocket change, but for a smaller locality like the City of Falls Church, it represents a rare opportunity to address critical needs outside the constraints of a limited budget.

That’s how much money Falls Church has been allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the COVID-19 relief package signed into law on March 11. The city received a first installment of $9 million in June and anticipates getting the other $9 million around this time next year.

Now, the Falls Church City Council must decide how to use the federal funding, which must be allotted by December 2024 and spent by December 2026, city staff told the council during a work session last Monday (July 19).

“Just in terms of engaging the public, this is a really important process for the city,” Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields said. “One of our goals is to act quickly on some immediate things that we need to put funding for, but also take a reasonable amount of time to think about the big picture and make sure we’ve considered all options before we start allocating big chunks of the dollars.”

The U.S. Treasury allows Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund dollars from ARPA to be spent in four ways:

  • To address the COVID-19 public health emergency and related economic fallout
  • To give eligible public workers additional pay
  • To replace lost revenue needed to provide government services
  • To support water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure

In preliminary discussions before the work session, Falls Church City staff identified sewer infrastructure projects and public space improvements as top priorities based on their anticipated long-term impact and social equity considerations, according to a memo to the council.

Financing existing stormwater and sanitary sewer projects was easily the highest-scored option on staff’s list of funding priorities, followed by increasing broadband access for underserved populations and rebuilding the city’s property yard to accommodate an emergency operations center.

The proposed improvements to public spaces include upgrades at Berman Park, which is on the Fiscal Year 2022-2027 Capital Improvements Program for new play equipment, and a permanent stage for the barn in Cherry Hill Park. The list also suggests creating large outdoor classrooms with roofs and supporting dog parks, citing their mental health benefits.

Councilmember Letty Hardi suggested that the city consider how to add more public space in addition to improving existing spaces.

“If nothing else, we’ve learned from the public health crisis that being outdoors is good for everybody’s health, so it’s not just improving it, but how do we add spaces?” she said. “How do we add more green space to the city, and how do we use ARPA dollars to do that?”

She also expressed support for using federal relief money to help schools open full-time this fall, provide more one-on-one COVID-19 vaccination outreach, enhance childcare services, and enable businesses to operate permanent outdoor spaces. Read More

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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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Preservation Hall Jazz Band (via Preservation Hall Jazz Band/Facebook)

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 (July 13)

  • Kids on the Green — 10 a.m. at the Vienna Town Green (144 Maple Ave. E) — Vienna’s annual kids’ summer program presents a demonstration of Japanese Taiko drumming featuring performer Mark Rooney. The event is part of the final Liberty Amendments Month week celebrating the 19th Amendment, which extended voting rights to women.

Wednesday (July 14)

  • Stargazing 101 — 6 p.m. — Office tenants at The Boro can join University of Maine professor Shawn Laatsch for an evening of stargazing. The family event is perfect to learn about star gazing before any summer camping trips. Register online ahead of time.

Thursday (July 15)

  • Summer Live Music Series: Deanna Dove — 5:30-8 p.m. on the Upper Promenade near Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — This week’s live music performance at The Boro features multi-genre artist Deanna DoveRSVP for more information.
  • Films in the Park: Grease — 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Strawberry Park (2910 District Ave.) — The Mosaic District’s Films in the Park series continues with Grease starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The film is rated PG and will run for one hour and fifty minutes. Grab your picnic blanket and join your neighbors at Strawberry Park for a movie night!
  • Concerts in the Park: Andrew Acosta7-9 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) — This week’s Concert in the Park in Falls Church features Andrew Acosta, a Falls Church native who is bringing his guitar to serenade his home town. Email [email protected] with questions or concerns.

Friday (July 16)

  • Cinderella/Sāvitri in Concert8 p.m. at Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) — Wolf Trap pairs Pauline Viardot’s one-act take on “Cinderella” with Gustav Holst’s chamber opera “Savitri” for a concert featuring a chamber orchestra led by Kelly Kuo. Tickets will be sold in socially distanced pods for two to eight people with no single tickets available. Questions can be directed to Wolf Trap’s patron services at 703-255-1868 or email [email protected]

Saturday (July 17)

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Wolf Trap — 8 p.m. at Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) — Wolf Trap will host the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which has been a staple of New Orleans music for over 50 years. Tickets will be sold in socially distanced pods for two to eight people.
  • Vienna Multicultural Festival — 2-7 p.m. on Church Street — Vienna’s 2021 Multicultural Festival closes out the inaugural Liberty Amendment Month with a day-long festival celebrating the diverse cultures and communities across Northern Virginia. The event will offer food vendors, crafts, interactive activities, and a variety of musical performances.

Sunday (July 18)

  • Summer Sunday Concert — 5 p.m. at McLean Central Park Gazebo (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd.) — Next up in McLean’s Summer Concert Series is The Sensational Soul Cruisers: A Tribute to Motown. The 11 horn players and four vocalists pay homage to the best of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
  • Big Tony and Trouble Funk — 8 p.m. at Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) — Wolf Trap presents Big Tony and Trouble Funk and their worldwide famous go-go music. Tickets will be sold in socially distanced pods for two to eight people.
  • Grind Day — 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Colvin Run Mill (10017 Colvin Run Road) — The Colvin Run Mill will be up and running as it did in 1811 for guests to come see it operate and learn about its history. The program runs on the hour, and the cost is $60 per family. Guests should register in advance. For more information on this event, call 703-759-2771.

Photo via Preservation Hall Jazz Band/Facebook

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After years of working as a chef in restaurants throughout the region, Thomas Harvey will launch his own restaurant in downtown Falls Church later this year.

The eponymous Harvey’s is slated to open in early September at 513 W Broad Street. Harvey is an Alexandrian, but he says in a press release that Falls Church was the ideal spot for his latest venture.

Harvey was most recently executive chef of Tuskie’s Restaurant Group of Virginia and oversaw operations at local restaurants like Fireworks American Pizzeria and Bar in Arlington.

“Chef Harvey’s goal for his new 2,600-square-foot counter service restaurant is that it will become the neighborhood’s local spot,” the press release said. “…Harvey’s will serve true American cuisine in the sense that it will encompass multiple different cultural dishes, from sandwiches to house-made pasta dishes, and banana splits to Russian pastries. Locally sourced seasonal ingredients will drive the menu.”

The restaurant will serve daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch in a 48-seat main dining room, a 12-seat beer and wine bar, and an outdoor patio with 70 seats, according to the announcement.

Breakfasts, like croissants, buscuits, or scrambled eggs and sausage are expected to be between $7 to $12. Sandwiches at $12 to $18, entrees at $13 to $28 and desserts from $8 to $12. Among the deserts spotlit in the press release are Russian Honey Cake, along with the classic eclairs and tiramisu.

The restaurant will also have vegetarian options, like the Beyond Burger substitute.

The press release noted that Harvey’s will have beer and wine options as well, with beer selected primarily from local breweries.

According to the press release, the restaurant will also be supplemented by a retail market showcasing signature items from its pantry, along with prepared foods packaged for grab-and-go customers. The market will be open seven days a week with the same hours as the restaurant.

Courtesy Heather Freeman PR

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A virtual sneak peek of the newly renovated Mary Riley Styles Public Library (via City of Falls Church/YouTube)

The Mary Riley Styles Public Library will be closed for about a month starting this Sunday (July 11), as staff begin the process of moving into their newly renovated facility at 120 N. Virginia Avenue.

The City of Falls Church announced the impending closure in late June, stating that the new, expanded library building is expected to open to the public in early to mid-August.

“The library renovation and expansion project is coming to an end and the outside of the new library building is looking great!” the news alert said. “There’s still work that needs to be done on the inside including moving our entire collection into its new home and setting up public and staff spaces.”

The library has operated out of temporary trailers near Oak Street Elementary School (previously called Thomas Jefferson Elementary) since construction on the renovation began in February 2020.

In the works since 2017, the renovation will add about 6,000 square feet of space to the library, which was originally constructed in 1957 and had not been expanded since 1992, according to the project website. Other changes include a relocation of the Local History Room, larger conference rooms, and clearer distinctions between spaces for different age groups.

Once the temporary trailer closes, several library services will be suspended, including curbside pickups, pickups for reserved materials, and interlibrary loans.

Due dates will automatically be pushed back during the closure, but items can be returned through outdoor dropboxes that will initially be outside the trailer before moving to the front of the new building. A second drive-up drop will also be available at the new library.

Mary Riley Styles Public Library says response times to emails, text messages, and voicemails may be slower than usual because of the move, but staff will continue to communicate during the closure. They will also still make and mail out new library cards.

Once the new building opens, the library plans to continue providing up to two automatic renewals, as long as no other patrons have a hold on the material, and fines for overdue materials will not be imposed until 28 days after the due date.

Photo via City of Falls Church/YouTube

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Fireworks (via Timothy Wolff/Unsplash)

The Fourth of July is coming up this weekend, and with Monday (July 5) as a designated federal holiday, many public facilities and services will be shaking up their schedules.

The Fairfax County Health Department announced today (Friday) that all of its COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be closed on Independence Day, but walk-in services will be available at the Fairfax County Government Center and the former Safeway at Mount Vernon Square in Alexandria on Saturday.

A vaccine site at Springfield Town Center will also be open for walk-ins on Monday.

Here are some other closures that county residents should keep in mind this holiday weekend:

Fairfax County Government

Fairfax County Courts

Town of Vienna

  • Town offices will be closed all day.
  • The Vienna Community Center will be closed.
  • The holiday will not affect waste collection. Residents scheduled for pick-up on Mondays can place their waste by the curb as normal, but no brush, bulk, or yard waste will be collected.

City of Falls Church

  • All city offices and services, including City Hall, the Mary Riley Styles Public Library, and the Falls Church Community Center, will be closed.

Public Schools

County Libraries, Recreation Centers, Parks

Public Transit

  • Fairfax Connector buses will operate on a Saturday service schedule on Monday. Check the Connector website for details on specific routes.
  • WMATA Metrorail service will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Details on routes and closed stations can be found on the Metro website.
  • WMATA Metrobus will operate on a Saturday service schedule on Monday.

County Trash and Recycling

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Morning Notes

Fountains outside The Verse condos in The Boro (photo by John G. Colby)

Capital One Adopts Hybrid Work Model — The founder and CEO of Capital One, which employs almost 10,000 people in the D.C. area, told workers yesterday (Tuesday) that its U.S. offices, including its headquarters in Tysons, will reopen on Sept. 7. The company will shift to a hybrid model where employees can work virtually on Mondays and Fridays with no requirements for how many days they need to be in the office. [WTOP]

Traffic Calming Measures Coming to Vienna and McLean — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted last Tuesday (June 22) to approve the installation of “$200 Additional Fine for Speeding” signs along Vaden Drive between I-66 and Lee Highway near the Vienna Metro station. The county will also spend $40,000 to install four speed humps on Churchill Road in McLean. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Founders Row Apartments Start Preleasing — The 322-unit Modera apartment building and 72-unit Verso senior living complex in Falls Church City’s Founders Row development are now preleasing in anticipation of opening later this year. The site will also host a six-story, mixed-use building with ground-floor retail and a movie theater, and a second phase is currently in the works. [Mill Creek Residential/PR Newswire]

Falls Church Among Healthiest U.S. Communities — The City of Falls Church came in third in U.S. News & World Report’s fourth annual Healthiest Communities rankings, the same spot that it has occupied for the last two years. Fairfax County made the top 15 at No. 14. [Patch]

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Graham Park shopping center (courtesy Federal Realty Investment Trust)

The sweeping overhaul of Falls Church shopping center Graham Park Plaza (7263 Arlington Blvd.) should be starting next month, with the aging strip-mall undergoing a substantial facelift to keep up with nearby development plans.

According to a spokesperson for the project, the renovation will include updates to the shopping center’s facade, new signage, better landscaping, decorative lighting, and new outdoor amenities. The renovation was spurred on by a new townhouse development that is currently under construction next door.

The renovation will tie the 132,000-square-foot shopping center more closely with the 177 townhomes that are being built on the western part of the property, which will also get a public park and infrastructure improvements, like new sidewalks and paths connecting the residential and commercial components of the site.

Graham Park Plaza is anchored by a Giant Food and features a handful of other stores, like a deli and a Verizon store.

The renovation is scheduled to be completed by the “holiday season” later this year.

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Fourth of July celebrations (via Sheri Hooley on Unsplash)

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 (June 29)

Thursday (July 1)

Friday (July 2)

  • Sweeney Todd at Wolf Trap — 8 p.m. at the Filene Center (1551 Trap Rd.) — Wolf Trap Opera’s second in-person show of the season is Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” which also has a Saturday performance. Tickets will be sold in socially distanced pods of 2 to 8 tickets. No single tickets are available. Listen to the pre-show lecture or read the insider guide for more information.

Saturday (July 3)

  • 15th Amendment Concert & Festival — 6-8 p.m. at Vienna Town Green (144 Maple Ave.) — The Town of Vienna and the Vienna Presbyterian Church host a showcase of community musicians performing justice-themed songs. There will also be food, booths, voter registration and more for guests to enjoy!

Sunday (July 4)

  • July 4th Drive-Thru Ice Cream Celebration — 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — Celebrate Independence Day with the McLean Community Center! In-district residents are invited to enjoy music, free ice cream, and patriotic giveaways with their neighbors. Residents are asked to sign up for a morning, midday or afternoon timeslot before they arrive.
  • Declaration Celebration Scavenger Hunt — 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. — The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department is hosting a city-wide scavenger hunt to celebrate Independence Day. Find 13 historical markers throughout the city and win a free “Declaration Celebration” t-shirt by turning in your Scavenger Hunt Form at Cherry Hill Park or the community center, or emailing [email protected] There will also be live music from Sudden M Pac Band from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park. Due to construction at Meridian High School, there are no fireworks this year.
  • Vienna July 4th Celebration — 7-9 p.m. at Yeonas Park (1319 Ross Dr. SW) — The Town of Vienna invites all residents to come out to celebrate July 4th! Music, food and drinks will be available, but guests are asked to leave their pets at home.

Photo via Sheri Hooley on Unsplash

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