Newsletter

Morning Notes

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Scheduling Changes Announced — Most Falls Church city buildings will be closed on Monday (Oct. 11) in recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, with the exception of the community center, which will remain open for scheduled classes and camps. In addition, Fairfax Connector will operate on a holiday weekday service schedule.

Vienna Awarded for Liberty Amendments Month — The Virginia Municipal League named Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton its Local Champion Award winner this week for spearheading the first-ever Liberty Amendments Month. The town also won the 2021 President’s Award, which is the league’s “highest honor for innovative solutions by local government.” [Patch]

Eastern District of Virginia Gets New U.S. Attorney — The Senate voted yesterday (Wednesday) to confirm Jessica Aber as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, which includes Fairfax County and operates out the federal courthouse in Alexandria. Her experience includes fraud and child exploitation cases as well as the prosecution of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, who was convicted of taking bribes but got the verdict overturned by the Supreme Court. [The Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

Early Voting Starts Today — Voters can now cast their ballots for the Nov. 2 general election by mail or by visiting the Fairfax County, North County, and Mount Vernon government centers. Virginia has three statewide offices and all 100 House of Delegates seats up for election, and Fairfax County voters also face a school bond question. [Fairfax County Government]

Parents of Sexual Abuse Victim Object to Plea Deal — The family of a girl who was sexually abused by a relative wants a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge to reject a plea deal today (Friday), arguing that the 17-year maximum prison sentence is insufficient. They feel Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano has prioritized defendants over victims, a criticism increasingly leveled against progressive prosecutors across the U.S. elected on promises of reducing mass incarceration and addressing historical inequities in the justice system. [The Washington Post]

Virginia Adds QR Codes to COVID-19 Vaccine Records — “As requests for proof of COVID-19 vaccination by businesses and employers increases, the Virginia Department of Health has announced that QR (quick response) codes are now available. Virginia is now the fifth U.S. state to adopt the SMART Health format for QR codes.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Vienna Unveils Annual Holiday Ornament — “The town of Vienna later this year will begin selling a 2021 holiday ornament, which depicts the ‘Taking Flight’ bronze statue situated in front of the Vienna Community Center. Vienna Town Council members on Sept. 13 unanimously approved the sale of the ornaments, which will be available at the community center, Town Hall and at the upcoming Oktoberfest celebration.” [Sun Gazette]

Tysons 5K Run Raises Money to Feed Community — “Tysons Partnership is proud to have sponsored the @foodforothers Tysons 5K and Fun Run. Sunday’s Fun Run raised over $91,000 for community members facing food insecurity. Thank you to everyone for your support and participation in this year’s race!” [Tysons Partnership/Twitter]

Merrifield Church to Celebrate 151st Anniversary — “The First Baptist Church of Merrifield will kick off their 151st Homecoming Anniversary Weekend on Saturday, September 18 and Homecoming Sunday Service on Sunday, September 19. Immediately following the worship service we will have a soft opening Ribbon Cutting ceremony followed by Lunch on the Grounds.” [Greater Merrifield Business Association]

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Labor Day weekend has almost arrived, unofficially bringing summer to an end with an occasion to recognize the achievement of workers and the labor movement.

For students, the weekend has already begun, since Fairfax County Public Schools has designated both today (Friday) and Monday (Sept. 6) as holidays.

With Labor Day falling on Monday, many public facilities and services in Fairfax County will be closed or have altered schedules to accommodate the federal holiday. Here are some of the changes that residents in the Tysons area should keep in mind:

Fairfax County Government

Fairfax County Courts

Town of Vienna

City of Falls Church

County Libraries and Recreational Facilities

Public Transit

  • Fairfax Connector buses will operate on a Sunday schedule for Labor Day. Check the transit system’s website for the specific routes that will be in service.
  • Metro will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight throughout Labor Day weekend, with trains serving 87 of 91 stations normally on the Red, Blue, and Silver lines and scheduled maintenance on the Orange, Yellow, and Green lines.
  • On Labor Day, Metrorail, buses, and MetroAccess will follow a Sunday service schedule with off-peak fares and free parking in effect all day.

County Trash and Recycling

  • Labor Day will not affect trash and recycling collections for county customers. However, the customer service center will be closed in observance of the holiday.
  • The I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex will both be open.
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Morning Notes

Woman Hospitalized After Stabbing at Ritz Carlton — “Officers are on scene of a stabbing at the Ritz Carlton, 1700 Tysons Blvd, in McLean. A woman was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. A person of interest, a man, is detained and receiving treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.” [Fairfax County Police Department/Twitter]

Virginia Sales Tax Holiday Starts Tomorrow — “Virginia’s annual sales tax holiday is this weekend. Stock up on qualifying school supplies, clothing, hurricane and emergency preparedness supplies, and certain ENERGY STAR™ and WaterSense™ products without paying state sales tax starting Friday, Aug. 6, at 12:01 a.m. and ending Sunday, Aug. 8, at 11:59 p.m.” [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Redistricting Commission Holds Public Hearing — “Northern Virginia residents on July 27 told the Virginia Redistricting Commission to redraw congressional and state legislative boundaries in ways that are logical, protect minority voting rights and do not split communities…The 11th U.S. House of Representatives District, occupied since 2009 by Gerald Connolly (D), was a frequently cited example at the meeting of a poorly district. Speakers said voters living in Reston, Vienna and Tysons had nothing in common with those in Triangle on the district’s southern edge.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Vienna Opens Parks and Rec Fall Program Registration — “Fall Class and Camp registration is now open for Town residents! Check out the program guide and reserve your spot today! Registration for non-Town residents opens on Monday, Aug. 9.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

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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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Stanley Stewart wasn’t the only one wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt among the crowd of people at the Juneteenth event outside the First Baptist Church of Vienna on Saturday (June 19).

But this gathering was more celebration than protest, serving as a kick-off for the Town of Vienna’s inaugural Liberty Amendments Month.

Officially recognized by Congress as a federal holiday for the first time this year,  Juneteenth — a portmanteau of June 19 — serves as a symbolic commemoration of the U.S.’s abolition of slavery. It comes on the anniversary of the day in 1865 when a major general for the Union informed Texas that all enslaved people were now free.

“This wasn’t in no history book I read,” Stewart said.

The Juneteenth recognition represents the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983 to celebrate the civil rights leader’s birthday, following his assassination in 1968.

The Lone Star State became the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, starting in 1980, and other states followed. More informal commemorations, though, began as early as 1866.

Wrapping around the church parking lot, Vienna’s Juneteenth Celebration featured informational booths, vendors, music, and more in addition to providing a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the church.

Signs at the event looked at past historical figures and events, with one noting that slave labor helped build the White House and U.S. Capitol. Others highlighted U.S. senators who stood up for abolition.

An outdoor stage set up by the church hosted a variety of musical performances, including a gospel singer who sprinkled in references to Juneteenth and invited listeners to clap their hands if they’re free.

“It’s a start,” said Wes Cherry, a field underwriter with Foresters Financial operating with the group Focus on Community. The company is a fraternal benefit society that gives money back to communities.

For Cherry, the federal holiday recognition is much appreciated, but he also noted the move came at the same time that many state legislatures, including in Texas, are working to limit teachers’ ability to discuss racism in their classrooms.

The additional federal holiday also comes a year after last summer’s widespread protests for racial justice in the wake of several killings, including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville at the hands of police as well as jogger Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed by three white men in Georgia.

“America, while we love it, [has] to acknowledge our past and history,” said Vernon Walton, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Vienna.

Last year, the church held a rally for Juneteenth following the “lynching of George Floyd,” Walton said.  This year, he said he’s overjoyed that people can celebrate the federal government recognizing the holiday.

Despite the somber and painful legacy of the past that continues to shape the present, Walton and other attendees this year noted how the event drew diverse members of the community.

“People are here from all walks of life,” he said. “We really are blessed.”

The event’s kickoff ceremony remains to watch on social media. It launched the Town of Vienna’s weeklong celebration of the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, which will be followed by events commemorating the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments.

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Morning Notes

Police Investigate Offensive KKK Flyers — Bigotry-filled flyers aimed at the Fairfax County School Board were found earlier this week in the Springfield and Sully Districts, apparently distributed by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. School board members and local leaders, including Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and the president of the county’s NAACP chapter, denounced the flyers, which are under investigation by county police and the FBI. [Patch]

County Government Observes Juneteenth — Fairfax County government offices are closed today in recognition of Juneteenth, which falls on Saturday (June 19). Fairfax County Public Library branches are closed, as is the McLean Community Center, but many park facilities are open, and the county’s trash collection services will proceed as normal. [Fairfax County Government]

Athletic Training Facility Opens in Falls ChurchCapital City Sports Academy will hold a grand opening ceremony from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) for its new, 4,500 square-foot sports training facility at 3431 Carlin Springs Road. Attendees can meet the owners and coaching staff, take a tour of the facility, and win two months of free classes. [Capital City Sports Academy/Instagram]

Volunteers Clean Up Vienna Park — “As Vienna Little League prepares to host Virginia’s Little League Major Baseball State Tournament in July, George C. Yeonas Park is getting a facelift with the help of two dozen sweaty and hard-working volunteers. On Thursday, around 25 volunteers who work for Dominion Energy showed up at Yeonas Park to tackle projects to improve the fields and other facilities.” [Patch]

Great Falls and North West Street Sidewalks Extended — “After much effort by @fairfaxcounty and @FallsChurchGov staff, and local residents, today we celebrated completion of the NW Street and GF Street sidewalk extensions. It was a beautiful day and I am so glad we were able to gather together in person!” [Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust/Twitter]

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The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park is set to welcome back guests this week (Courtesy of Emerging Arts Leaders DC)

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 (June 14)

Tuesday (June 15)

  • Duck Harbor (Online) — 8 p.m. — A heartwarming web series about a bi-coastal love story written by E.M. Lewis and Bob Bartlett, this online, live theatrical performance from 1st Stage airs for free every Tuesday at 8 p.m. All aired episodes and bonus content will also be available through Duck Harbor ALL ACCESS for $15.
  • Walking Meditation (Online) — 3 p.m. — Join health & wellness coach Gretchen Robbins on an afternoon walking meditation session. All you need is your phone, a pair of headphones and an hour to rest and refresh. Register now for more information.
  • Herndon Teen Book Club — 6:30-7:30 p.m. — This week, the Herndon Teen Book Club will be discussing “Wilder Girls” by Rory Power. There are books set aside for book club members at the Herndon Fortnightly Library (768 Center St.). For this week’s meeting, participants can join either in the library conference room or on Zoom. Registration is required one day in advance.

Thursday (June 17)

  • Wolf Trap Salon Series (Online) — 7 p.m. — A series of online opera recitals curated by the artists in the show. The virtual performance gives “an intimate look into artistry…providing a unique glimpse into how they interpret art, songs and the world around them.”
  • Summer Live Music: Jeff Herbert — 5-7:30 p.m. at the Upper Promenade near Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — This week’s live music series at The Boro features local artist Jeff Herbert. His music ranges from pop and rock to celtic and folk. He’s been performing for over 30 years. RSVP to receive more information.
  • Concerts in the Park — 7-9 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) — The Little City’s Concerts in the Park return for an 28th year after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, the Falls Church Concert Band will perform. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets, and a picnic dinner to enjoy with the music. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held inside the Falls Church Community Center at 223 Little Falls Street.

Friday (June 18)

  • The Anonymous Lover in Concert — 8 p.m. at the Filene Center (1551 Trap Rd.) — Live music returns to Wolf Trap National Park with a 90-minute rendition of “The Anonymous Lover” from Wolf Trap Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra. There is a pre-show lecture for those interested in learning more about the show. Tickets start at $32, and gates will open at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday (June 19)

  • Juneteenth Celebration — 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard St. NW) — The Town of Vienna will kick off its Liberty Amendments Month festivities with an opening ceremony that will feature live music, a book giveaway, vendors, and a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The ceremony will be live-streamed on the town’s Facebook and YouTube pages, and it is part of a series of activities planned throughout the week to commemorate the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery.

Sunday (June 20)

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Vienna’s inaugural, month-long celebration of constitutional changes known as Liberty Amendments Month will take place from June 19 to July 19, featuring live entertainment, history-based talks, and much, much more.

The Town of Vienna announced the events schedule for its inaugural Liberty Amendments Month last Thursday (June 3). The municipality officially adopted the new celebration in December.

Also supported by the Virginia General Assembly, Liberty Amendments Month celebrates the 13th14th15th, and 19th amendments, which collectively abolished slavery, granted citizenship to anyone born or naturalized in the U.S., and extended voting rights to all citizens regardless of race or gender.

With each week bringing activities centered on a particular amendment, programming ranges from themed restaurant specials to art exhibits, films, shows, classes, walks, and other activities.

A full schedule can be found on the Town of Vienna’s website, but here is an overview of the month’s signature events:

13th Amendment (June 19-25)

Marking the anniversary of when the last enslaved people in the U.S. learned about the Emancipation Proclamation, a Juneteenth Celebration will be held at the First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard St. NW) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.

Following a ceremony at 11 a.m., the kickoff will feature live music, kids’ performers, a book giveaway for kids, and vendors with an emphasis on Black-owned businesses, including crafts, civic organizations, and food trucks. The event will stream live on the town and church’s social media.

The First Baptist Church will also hold a COVID-19 vaccination clinic during the event.

14th Amendment (June 26-July 2)

Vienna’s celebration of the 14th Amendment, which granted U.S. citizenship to anyone born or naturalized in the country, will kick off on June 26 with a discussion of the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry St. NE).

Scheduled to go from 1-3 p.m., the event will stream live online via Facebook and YouTube. Philip Hirschkop — one of the attorneys who represented Mildred and Richard Loving in the monumental 1967 decision that invalidated Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages — will be part of a Q&A, and community members directly affected by the case will give first-person testimonials.

15th Amendment (July 3-9)

The 15th Amendment kickoff celebration will take the form of a Justice for All Concert and Festival at the Vienna Town Green (144 Maple Ave. E) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 3.

Highlighting the amendment that prohibited the denial of voting rights based on race, community musicians will perform songs with a theme of justice. The event will also feature food vendors, civic organizations, voter registration, and more.

19th Amendment (July 10-16)

The celebration of the 19th Amendment, which extended voting rights to women, will begin at 2 p.m. on July 10 at the Vienna Community Center.

Cheryl Johnson, clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, will deliver a speech live online via Facebook and YouTube titled “But for the 19th Amendment.” Her speech will be followed by a question-and-answer session, and a performance of the reader’s theater play “Failure Is Impossible” by the American Association of University Women.

Liberty Amendments Month will close on July 17 with a Multicultural Festival that will take place from 2-7 p.m. at Church Street and the Vienna Town Green, featuring performers, interactive activities, crafts, and food as well as vendors celebrating diverse cultures and communities across the region.

Town offices will be closed on July 19 for Liberty Amendments Day.

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Memorial Day is just around the corner on Monday (May 31), and the federal holiday will bring a few closures of public buildings in the Tysons area.

Fairfax County Government:

Fairfax County Courts:

Town of Vienna

City of Falls Church:

Public Schools:

County Libraries, Recreation Centers, Parks:

  • All Fairfax County library branches will be closed.
  • All Fairfax County RECenters will operate at their regular hours.
  • Colvin Run Mill and Sully Historic Site grounds will be open from noon to 4 p.m. for strolling, but all the buildings will be closed.
  • The E.C. Lawrence, Hidden Oaks, Hidden Pond, and Huntley Meadows nature centers  will be open from noon until 5 p.m. on May 31.
  • The Riverbend Park visitor center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The McLean Community Center will be closed for Memorial Day.

Public Transit:

County Trash and Recycling:

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