Tysons, VA

Morning Notes

(Updated at 5:05 p.m. on 4/2/2021) Vienna Urges Locals to ‘Bee’ Aware of Honeybee Swarms — “A swarm of honeybees is a sight to see this spring, but don’t panic. A swarm isn’t dangerous unless provoked. But if you feel a colony or swarm is in a place it shouldn’t be, contact the Northern Virginia Beekeepers Association at novabees.org.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

Virginia Bans Police from Using Facial Recognition Software — “The legislation, which won unusually broad bipartisan support, prohibits all local law enforcement agencies and campus police departments from purchasing or using facial recognition technology unless it is expressly authorized by the state legislature.” [AP]

McLean High School PTSA Hosting Silver Diner Fundraiser — “Enjoy Spring break with our “first Thursday of each month” fundraiser at Tysons @Silver_Diner, Thursday, April 1st from 5-8 pm. Enjoy new menu items while supporting our school!” [McLean PTSA/Twitter]

Board of Supervisors Looking for Input for Police Chief Search — “Next Tuesday, April 6, @SupervisorLusk and I are holding a public input session on the selection of our new Police Chief. Provide your comments on what you hope to see in our next police chief ahead of time or live.” [Jeff McKay/Twitter]

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

Monday (Feb. 22)

  • Doktor Kaboom! “Look Out! Science is Coming!” (Online) — 4 p.m. — Doktor Kaboom is a comedian with a passion for science. DC Theatre Scene says he’s “better than Bill Nye.” He will be performing a family-friendly show today, including three demonstrations of experiments that viewers can do with him. Go to the McLean Community Center website to register and find the supplies list for the experiments.

Tuesday (Feb. 23)

  • Waterfowl at Burke Lake Park — 10-11 a.m. at Burke Lake Park (7315 Ox Rd.) — Burke Lake Park is hosting a search for winter waterfowl. Park staff will run a program taking participants around the lake in search of creatures such as loons, lesser scaups and ring-necked ducks. The registration fee for this event is $8 per person.
  • Climate Planning Meeting on Energy (Online) — 7 p.m. — Fairfax County will hold a public meeting of presentations and discussion on energy issues related to the Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan, or CECAP. Experts from the consulting firm ICF will be facilitating and presenting at this meeting.

Thursday (Feb. 25)

  • Online Book Discussion (Online) — 1-2 p.m. — The staff of Patrick Henry Public Library in Vienna will lead an online discussion about the novel “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones. Register in advance through the link above to reserve a spot for the event.
  • Drawing Animal Eyes — 7-9 p.m. at Annandale District Park (7701 Royce St.) — The Hidden Oaks Nature Center is hosting an event for participants ages 16 and up to learn how to draw animal eyes. Participants will have the option of using pencils, colored pencils and watercolors to create their masterpiece. The cost is $15 per person and masks and social distancing will be required.

Friday (Feb. 26)

  • BRAWS Presents: Mardi Bras (Online) — 8-9 p.m. — BRAWS (Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters) is hosting a fundraiser to support women and girls gain access to items such as pads, tampons, and underwear. The Vienna-based nonprofit says the need for these products has tripled over the last year, making funding more critical than ever. The event is free, but advance registration is required too receive a link, and people can support the cause by becoming a sponsor, participating in the silent auction, or purchasing a raffle ticket.
  • A Taste of California (Online) — 6:30-7:45 p.m. — A virtual wine tasting hosted by Vienna Vinter’s owner, Victor Mendez, will feature three wines from Mendez’s winery in California. Register by contacting Vienna Vinter at 703- 242-9463 or [email protected] The $75 or $120 fee includes access to the zoom link for the tasting and two or three bottles of wine, and 20% of the proceeds will be donated when customers mention the Shepherd’s Center
  • Family Fun Trivia Night (Online) — 7-9 p.m. — The McLean Community Center is hosting a family-friendly, virtual trivia night. Registration is required and the price is $5 per team. There will be prizes for the winning teams.

Saturday (Feb. 27)

  • Book Club (Online) — 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. — The McLean Community Center is hosting the first in a series of book club meetings. They will meet monthly and move through multiple genres. The group is free, but interested participants should register on the McLean Community Center website.

Sunday (Feb. 28)

  • 1st Look Series (Online) — 2 p.m. — 1st Stage in Tysons will live-stream excerpts of shows that it has commissioned from solo artists in its new “1st Look” series. The first installment will feature work by Jasmin Cardenas and James J. Johnson that explores, respectively, the experiences of low-wage and undocumented factory workers and Black fatherhood. The previews will be followed by discussions with the playwrights. Attendees should register in advance for the free Zoom event.

Photo via Danielle Brigida/Flickr

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A quartet of students from James Madison High School in Vienna have enlisted in the fight to find a cure for blood cancers.

Fairfax County Public Schools reported today (Wednesday) that Emery Stratman, Ella Stratman, Ainona Black-Planas, and Matthew Wilken have been accepted as candidates for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2021 Students of the Year campaign.

The LLS Students of the Year campaign is a leadership development program intended to support high school students as they prepare for college or a profession by teaching them skills in entrepreneurship, marketing, and project management.

Participants spend seven weeks working to raise funds for LLS and to increase awareness about blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma.

The students who raise the most funds as either an individual or a team by the end of the seven-week competition will be named Student(s) of the Year.

“Students participating in the Mid-Atlantic Region’s annual scholarship and fundraising challenge have been nominated for their leadership, passion to find a cure for blood cancers, and involvement in the community,” FCPS said.

The 2020 Students of the Year campaign raised over $2.7 million with more than 240 students and 35 teams participating, according to the campaign’s website.

The 2021 campaign will launch on Jan. 23, 2021 with a grand finale on Mar. 13.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has invested nearly $1.3 billion in blood cancer research. The nonprofit also provides free information and support services to patients and advocates for policies that would remove barriers to healthcare, according to the organization’s website.

According to Yale Medicine, blood cancers are caused by the excessive production of white blood cells in bone marrow. They account for about 10% of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. annually, and childhood leukemia makes up about 25% of all cancers in children.

Photo via Google Maps

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The novel coronavirus pandemic did not dampen Noel and Jasmine Bourroughs’ first summer running a mobile Kona Ice truck in Fairfax and the City of Falls Church.

In fact, their first season of operating the franchise was so successful they decided to expand. By next March, the couple anticipates opening two more trucks that serve Arlington and McLean.

“It is exciting,” Noel said. “I believe wholeheartedly in the company, and the company and I think it’s going to be a winner. “

For the Bourroughs, who live outside the City of Fairfax, the opportunities to support the community through shaved ice distinguished Kona from the other franchise options they mulled over this spring.

“The more I looked at it, the more I liked it,” Noel said. “The philosophy of the company is fantastic, and owning a business that has the flexibility to give back is satisfying.”

Some jobs limit opportunities for charitable work to allowing employees to participate in a company’s plans, he said. Kona, which has more than 1,600 trucks in 49 states, encourages franchise owners to donate to organizations close to home.

Since the company’s launch in June 2007, it has contributed more than $82 million to community organizations.

“I have the freedom to do as much charity as I can fit into my schedule,” he said.

The Bourroughs pledge to continue the mobile franchise’s tradition of donating thousands of dollars each year to local school groups, teams, and community organizations.

This season, which lasted from July 3 to mid-November, the Bourroughs parked outside an apartment complex at the request of the management and raised money to sponsor a cyclist in a Bike for Multiple Sclerosis event. Another Saturday morning, the couple raised several hundred dollars for two brothers in need of a bone marrow transplant.

“Noel and Jasmine share our commitment to giving back,” Kona Ice founder and president Tony Lamb said in a statement. “They want to have a positive influence on the people in their community, whether it’s new textbooks, sports uniforms or, simply, a smile. We are proud to have them on-board. Together, we are excited to make a difference in the lives of those around us.”

After the season ended two weekends ago, the Bourroughs are in planning mode for next year, although several franchise trucks have switched to cozy winter drinks. He has a good feeling about next season because of the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“If we can get that distributed early in the year, then we should be back on track for a lot of events that were cancelled from this year,” he said. “I’m very enthusiastic about that.”

This season, the truck put up signs reminding people to stay distanced, but the coolest safety-related change was the addition of a self-serve machine that dispenses 10 flavors that customers can mix. Customers insert their spoons into a handle that releases the syrup for a completely touch-free experience.

Those who want to learn more about the Kona Ice of Fairfax or book an event are encouraged to contact the Bourroughs by email at [email protected] or by phone at (703) 953-0114.

Image courtesy Jessica Tcholakov/All Points PR

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Monday Morning Notes

Attorney General William Barr’s McLean House Swarmed by Pro-Trump Protestors — “Protesters carrying Trump flags picketed Attorney General William Barr’s home on Saturday because they believe he isn’t doing enough to bring former Vice President Joe Biden to justice.” [Newsweek]

Junior League of Northern Virginia Announces Virtual Enchanted Forest — “The Junior League of Northern Virginia invites you to join us at the 20th annual The Enchanted Forest! Our holiday-themed signature fundraiser will take place virtually Nov. 21, 2020…” [JLNV]

Tysons-based MicroStrategy Bets Big on Bitcoin — “In volatile markets, you can use cash as offense or defense. MicroStrategy Inc., which recently had half-a-billion dollars in cash sitting around, thinks it can do both.” [Wall Street Journal]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Friday Morning Notes

Maryland Rejects Beltway Widening — The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission unanimously voted against widening the Capital Beltway, which Northern Virginia leaders have been hoping will help ease congestion around McLean [Maryland Matters]

Vienna-based Parcel Carrier LaserShip Launches Hunger Relief Program — “LaserShip launched the [Time of Need] program with a $10,000 charitable donation to Food for Others, a hunger relief organization in northern Virginia. As part of the commitment, LaserShip is providing delivery services to help Food for Others transport food from its warehouse to a distribution center in Annandale, Virginia. Food for Others feeds over 2,600 local families each week.” [LaserShip]

Vienna Students Participate in Virtual Army 10-Miler — “Teachers, staff members, parents and a student from the Madison High Pyramid completed the virtual Army 10 Miler this weekend, and put an FCPS twist on their walk.” [Patch]

Photo courtesy Craig Fingar

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For the first time in its 48-year history, Second Story is going online for its most important fundraiser.

Scheduled for Oct. 27, the 2020 Beacon of Hope Fundraiser will give supporters a look at how the Tysons-based nonprofit has adapted to the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, whose impact has been felt most acutely by poor and marginalized communities like the youths and families that Second Story serves.

Taking the form of a video streamed live on YouTube from 12:30-1:00 p.m., the fundraiser will feature updates from Second Story CEO Judith Dittman on the organization’s current status and its plans for the future. Three youths will also talk about their involvement in the nonprofit’s programs, which provide housing, counseling, and other kinds of assistance to young people and families in need.

The planned virtual fundraiser will be a major change from Second Story’s traditional Beacon of Hope benefit, which is held in October every year and typically serves as the nonprofit’s largest fundraising event.

“This is such a new territory for us, but everyone’s been really working hard in making sure that people will understand what the needs are of the under-served population that we work with,” Second Story vice president of development Jade Leedham said.

The annual Beacon of Hope fundraiser is especially critical for Second Story this year, as the nonprofit attempts to fill more gaps in essential needs for its clients during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

While Second Story also serves Washington, D.C., and Maryland, it is primarily based in Northern Virginia with programs to support teenagers in crisis, and young adults and mothers experiencing homelessness. The nonprofit also has drop-in centers in the Culmore area of Falls Church, Annandale, and Springfield that provide after-school support to students.

Leedham says Second Story has seen a “huge” increase in the need for food. Distribution events held twice a week in Culmore have consistently drawn about 300 people per day, while a site in Springfield regularly gets 100 people coming each day.

Second Story has also been dropping off food for clients who are unable to attend the distribution events.

Other pressing issues include access to technology, as students risked being left out of schools’ shift to virtual learning, and rent support after about 70 percent of the youths in Second Story’s rapid re-housing program lost hours at their jobs or got laid off in the past year.

At the same time, Second Story has seen the number of people using its residential programs dip.

“[It’s] the nature of COVID,” Leedham said. “People are reluctant to leave or to go anywhere that’s not familiar to them or that they don’t know is safe or not.” Read More

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Friday Morning Notes

Halmar International Moving from Tysons to Baltimore — “Several of the current employees from Tysons Corner are expected to move into the positions in Baltimore.” [Baltimore Business Journal]

Fairfax Firefighters Host Virtual “Fill the Boot” — “Join #Providence @SupvPalchik in supporting the virtual #FairfaxCounty #FillTheBoot benefiting @MDAorg by donating here” [Twitter]

W&OD Trail Section in Falls Church Closed — “As of today, the section of trail from Little Falls St to Great Falls St is closed for work related to the dual trails project.” [Twitter]

Local Suicide Prevention Program Launched Fall Fundraiser Tonight — “Spring into fall with PRS by virtually joining us for our rescheduled annual signature benefit, Springtopia – A Season of Hope” [PRSinc.org]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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This October, beer fans and animal lovers can head over to Lost Dog Cafe to sip Solace Brewing Company’s Rescue Ale and support rescue efforts for dogs and cats.

The charity brew, which benefits the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, will hit shelves at Solace Brewery on Oct. 8 and will start being poured at all Lost Dog Cafe locations on Oct. 9. A portion of all sales of Rescue Ale will be donated to LDCRF.

There are five Lost Dog Cafe locations, with one in Dunn Loring (2729A Merrilee Drive) and one in McLean (1690A Anderson Road).

The brewery will host a distanced adoption event, and an online auction will offer winners a tour of the brewery as well as  pooch and beer-themed merchandise.

Lost Dog Cafe is a long-time supporter of the rescue and donates a portion of its revenue to support the care of animals rescued by LDCRF. Local breweries have brewed a Rescue Ale in support of LDCRF for the last four years, and this is Solace’s second year making the charity beer. Read More

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Monday Morning Notes

Tysons-based Credit Union Raises $585,000 for Military Veterans — “The PenFed Foundation joined over 75 community and business leaders to raise over $585,000 to support veterans and the military community at the 17th annual Military Heroes Golf Classic on Monday, September 21st.” [PenFed]

How Substantial Park Requirements May Challenge Walkability Goals in Tysons — “Parks can create what urban theorist Jane Jacobs called “border vacuums.” Border vacuums are long stretches of monotonous space separating potential destinations.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Behind the Scenes of Library Book Selection — “Have you ever imagined what goes into the library’s decision to buy a book? Collection Services is the department at Fairfax County Public Library that selects and orders library materials.” [Fairfax County]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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