Morning Notes

Fairfax County Flies Flags at Half Mast for Pentagon Officer — Fairfax County flags will fly at half-mast today (Wednesday) after a Pentagon police officer was killed in a shooting incident that prompted a lockdown around the Department of Defense’s headquarters. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a statement that there was no threat to the county and no county resources were deployed. [Jeff McKay/Twitter]

Walking Fundraiser Supports Local Black-Owned Businesses — The Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce is holding a virtual walk-or-run fundraiser called One Step Forward this August, which is National Black Business Month. Participants can pick their own distance to travel and will receive a T-shirt, finishing medal, and more along with possible prizes. [NVBCC]

Tysons Finds Silver Lining in Pandemic Disruption — Social distancing and the increase in remote work prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has given Tysons an opportunity to rethink the use of public spaces and how to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, local economic development leaders say. The real estate market, ongoing development, and the return of the area’s retail industry could position it to lead Fairfax County’s recovery. [Virginia Business]

Vienna Little League Teams Shine at State Tournament — “With two teams winning championships and another reaching the semifinals, Vienna Little League all-star baseball squads enjoyed a successful summer in state-tournament action. The two state-title teams were the Vienna American 8-10 age all-stars and the new Vienna Intermediate all-stars, a first-season team of 13-year-olds playing on a bigger diamond.” [Sun Gazette]

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Morning Notes

PIVOT Grant Application Deadline Today — This is the last day for hotels, restaurants, and other local businesses affected by the pandemic to apply for COVID-19 relief funding from Fairfax County’s PIVOT grant program. The application portal will close at 11:59 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

COVID-19 Mostly Spreading Among Unvaccinated People Now — “From December 29 to June 25, 99.7 percent of new COVID-19 cases have occurred among unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Virginians, according to VDH. Those residents made up 99.3 percent of hospitalizations and 99.6 percent of deaths over the same time period.” [Virginia Mercury]

McLean Nonprofit to Raffle Off Nats Memorabilia — “The McLean area branch of the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) used-book sale, its annual charitable fund-raiser, has been postponed again due to lingering effects of COVID-19. Instead, the group will hold a substitute fund-raiser featuring [Washington Nationals pitcher Max] Scherzer memorabilia, along with a request for contributions to support education and local scholarships for women.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Help Clean Up Nottoway Park This Weekend — “Join us at Nottoway Park on Saturday, July 10th, to celebrate Latinx Conservation Month, and help manage invasive plants, visit some sheep, and learn how to care for plants. Nottoway Park is located at 9537 Courthouse Road in Vienna, VA.” [Palchik Post]

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Morning Notes

Water Caffi Fields baseball diamond in Vienna (photo by Amy Woolsey)

New Laws Take Effect in Virginia — A host of new laws passed by the General Assembly take effect today, including the legalization of simple marijuana possession, the abolition of the death penalty, and a requirement that drivers change lanes when passing bicyclists. The fine for littering is now $500, up from $250, and it is now illegal to intentionally release a balloon outside. [Patch]

MPAartfest Returns In Person This Fall — The McLean Project of the Arts announced yesterday (Wednesday) that its annual, free art festival will officially be back in person at McLean Central Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 3. The event will feature a one-day juried fine art and craft show/sale, food vendors, and more. It will also stream online. [McLean Project for the Arts]

Jones Branch Connector Awarded — “The Jones Branch Connector, a joint effort by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Fairfax County to build a new crossing over the Capital Beltway in Tysons, has been named the 2021 National Project of the Year by the American Society of Highway Engineers.” [VDOT]

1st Stage Finds Success with Return to Live Theater — Almost 1,000 people attended 1st Stage’s Celebration at The Boro on Sunday (June 27), according to an email sent to supporters yesterday. The event, which centered on a concert reading of the musical “A New Brain,” was the Tysons theater’s first in-person production since February 2020 and raised $87,000 for the venue. [1st Stage]

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Morning Notes

Fairfax County to Host COVID-19 Remembrance Ceremony — The Northern Virginia Regional Commission will hold a virtual ceremony next Wednesday (June 9) at the Fairfax County Government Center to honor the more than 2,350 people in the region who have died from COVID-19. Local officials will discuss the pandemic’s impact, and the event will conclude with a “last alarm” bell service courtesy of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. [Fairfax County Government]

Falls Church Man Drowns in North Carolina — 46-year-old Falls Church resident and U.S. Air Force veteran Sean Chung died on May 28 when he reportedly drowned while surf fishing in the Outer Banks. Friends launched a GoFundMe fundraiser on Tuesday (June 1) to help his family pay for funeral costs and other immediate expenses. [Patch]

County to Discuss Climate Resilience Initiative — The Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination will hold a virtual public meeting on June 15 to get input on its Resilient Fairfax initiative, which aims to reduce the impact of flooding, severe storms, and other climate change-related dangers on the county. The public will also be able to comment through an online survey that will launch on June 8. [Fairfax County OEEC]

Hilton Misses Fortune 500 List — The hotel company, which is headquartered in McLean, ranked 596th on Fortune’s annual list of the biggest companies in the U.S., more than 250 spots below where it was in 2020. The plunge came as Hilton reported a 54.4% decline in revenue, an indication of how hard the COVID-19 pandemic hit the hospitality industry. [Washington Business Journal]

McLean Community Center to Host Blood Drive — The blood drive on June 11 will support the American Red Cross and Sickle Cell Foundation of Northern Virginia, which are especially looking to recruit people of color as donors. “Blood given to patients with rare blood types or conditions such as sickle cell disease must be matched closely with someone from the same race to avoid complications,” the community center says. [MCC]

Photo by Joanne Liebig

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The first in-person show for 1st Stage since the COVID-19 pandemic began is coming to The Boro in Tysons.

The theater is holding an outdoor performance of the off-Broadway musical and book, “A New Brain,” in the form of a concert reading at 5 p.m. on June 27 at Boro Park, an outdoor space of the development located at 8350 Broad St.

“For over a year now, we’ve been looking forward to bring live theater back to our beloved audiences,” the nonprofit said in a news release. “We’re so excited to see you again and to offer this wonderful musical experience of hope, recovery and rediscovery.”

With a book by William Finn and James Lapine, “A New Brain” follows a composer who undergoes a surgery while trying to create a song for a children’s TV show. The concert reading will be directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer with music direction by Walter “Bobby” McCoy.

The event will also be livestreamed. In the case of rain, it will only run online.

Organizers hope to bring the community together and raise money to support 1st Stage’s safe return to in-person theater. Donations will be matched up to $20,000, thanks to a reciprocal gift.

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater company announced in March that it was canceling in-person shows for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season, though it has provided some online performances and classes. The organization hopes to return to its space this winter.

“‘The 1st Stage Celebration at The Boro’ will be one of the first live cultural experiences in the Tysons region following more than a year of cultural drought,” organizers said. “With an outdoor in-person audience, and a free companion livestream, this will be the first opportunity for our full community to gather together since our last production in February 2020.”

The event is currently selling $500 sponsorships, which includes seating for two as well as with food and drinks.

Tickets will be available June 1 for $20 each, with attendees allowed to bring a chair or rent one for $10. Food can be brought or possibly bought — the group is working on food possibilities with restaurants. A cash bar will also be available.

“Four of our incredible donors got together to provide this [$20,000] to aid the theatre and inspire others to give,” Heidi Fortune Picker, director of engagement for 1st Stage, said. “Honestly, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our 1st Stage family during this time.”

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Updated at 3:00 p.m. — The Town of Vienna has postponed its Arbor Day celebration again, citing inclement weather that is supposed to hit Fairfax County this afternoon.

The tree planting will now take place at 4:30 pm on Thursday (May 6).

Earlier: 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 (May 3)

  • Arbor Day Tree Planting — 4:30 p.m. at Southside Park (1317 Ross Dr. SW) — The Town of Vienna will celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree at Southside Park. This ceremony was originally scheduled to take place last Friday (April 30), but it got postponed due to the windy weather. (Update: This event has been postponed to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.)

Tuesday (May 4)

  • Family PASS 5th Annual Golf Benefit — 12 p.m. at Westfields Golf Club (13940 Balmoral Greens Ave.) — The fifth annual Family PASS Golf Tournament will be held at the Westfields Golf Club in Clifton to support working families facing homelessness in Fairfax County. There will be prizes for the top three teams, along with various other contests. Register and donate online to support this cause.
  • Fit4Mom Stroller Strides — 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Mosaic District (2910 District Ave.) — Fit4Mom Stroller Strides is a total-body workout for moms with their kids in tow. The 60-minute workout includes strength training, cardio, and core restoration, along with entertainment for the little ones in your stroller. The class will meet in Strawberry Park in front of Mom & Pop. Register online for the class. Your first session is free.
  • Town Election Day — 6 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry St. SE) — Three seats on the Vienna Town Council are up for election. Residents of the Town of Vienna who are registered to vote can cast a ballot in person at the Vienna Community Center. Voters must show a valid form of ID to cast a ballot. Call 703-255-6303 for more information.

Wednesday (May 5)

  • Cinco de Mayo at Urbano Mosaic — 12-9 p.m. at Urbano (2985 District Ave.) — Eat, drink, and dance to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at the Mosaic District. There will be outdoor events with some tent coverage. A live DJ will be playing from 4 to 6 p.m., and a live band will perform from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are on sale for food and drinks, and guests must be over 21 years old to enter the party.

Thursday (May 6)

  • Intentional Gardening: Make Way for the Pollinators (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — Master gardeners and Habitat Restoration Team members Sandy Tarpinian and Amy Crumpton lead the second session of Falls Church City’s three-part series about how gardeners can help create a healthy habitat for humans and wildlife. Email Marshall Webster at [email protected] to get the Zoom link.

Friday (May 7)

  • URBNmarket Spring Pop Up Market — 3-8 p.m. at the Mosaic District (2905 District Ave.) — The URBNmarket is back at the Mosaic District. Started in 2014, the pop-up crafts market features home decor, jewelry, toys, clothes, and more from artisans, collectors, and creators in the D.C. area. The market will also appear on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday (May 8)

  • Pups & Pints — 12-7 p.m. at the McLean Metro station (1820 Dolley Madison Blvd.) — For a second weekend, Capital One Center will convert the McLean Metro station parking lot into a pop-up dog park and beer garden. The event features live music, food trucks, a puppy parade, a Mutt Strutt contest, and vendors with dog-centric products and services. Advance registration for a time slot is required to ensure adequate social distancing on the site.

Sunday (May 9)

  • Virtual Mother’s Day Tea: Bringing Up Baby (Online) — 3 p.m. — Hosted by Green Spring Gardens, this virtual tea will focus on parenting through history. Learn about the child-rearing advice from the past that would shock and amuse us today. Register online for the Zoom link. Call 703-941-7987 for more information.

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

Monday (April 26)

  • Vienna Police Station Construction Update — 7 p.m. at former Faith Baptist Church (301 Center Street S) — This monthly status update on the construction of the Vienna police station is open to the public to hear the recent construction news and ask questions. The event will be held in person at the temporary police station.
  • Overcome Your Fear of Cicadapocalypse — 1-2 p.m. & 2:45-3:45 p.m. at Hidden Oaks Nature Center (7701 Royce Street) — Considering locking yourself in your house while the cicadas are out? Naturalists at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center are hoping to calm your fears with an outdoor fact versus fiction information session. Register online for $7 per person.

Tuesday (April 27)

Wednesday (April 28)

  • (the) Unruly Theatre Project’s Virtual Improv Show (Online) — 7 p.m. — The McLean Community Center’s teen improv group is putting on its latest virtual performance. Registration is open up to two hours before the show. The Zoom link and password will be emailed to those who register. For more information, contact [email protected].
  • Jane Austen Discussion Group (Online) — 7-8 p.m. — The Jane Austen Discussion Group will be discussing “Evelina” by Fanny Burney, who was one of Austen’s greatest influences. For more information or to request the Zoom link, email Marshall Webster at [email protected].
  • Spring2ACTion Fundraiser (Online) — The Virginia Wildlife Rescue League has its 11th annual Spring2ACTion fundraiser to support Northern Virginia wildlife. Last year’s event raised $8,831, the nonprofit’s best year yet, so this year’s goal is $9,850. Early giving started April 14, but the last 24-hour push ends at 11:59 p.m. on April 28. Donations will go to help take care of rescued animals until they can be released back into the wild.

Friday (April 30)

  • Father-Daughter Silent Disco Dance — 7-8:30 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — Join the McLean Community Center for the Father-Daughter Dance! This year’s event will be a little different due to COVID-19. The dance will be in the MCC parking lot, and it will be a silent disco with DJ BigCourt. The $25-per-person tickets include headphones with one of three family-friendly music genres, snack bags, and glow products.

Saturday (May 1)

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority

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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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