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. 14
- One Fairfax (Online) — 3:15-4 p.m. — The Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce talks to Fairfax County Chief Equity Officer Karla Bruce about the One Fairfax policy, which requires local leaders to consider social and racial equity issues when making decisions. The event is free for members.
Tuesday, Feb. 15
- The Fire of Frederick Douglass (Online) — 6:30-7:30 p.m. — University of Maryland professor Dr. Richard Bell discusses Douglass’s life, career, and legacy, covering his escape from slavery to his work as an abolitionist. Register a day in advance to receive a link to the virtual event.
Wednesday, Feb. 16
- Code Create Vienna — 6-8 p.m. at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center St. S) — Vienna’s planning staff hosts a community conversation on the town’s draft zoning code update. The discussion will focus on proposed changes to uses and standards in residential areas.
Thursday, Feb. 17
- The Phlebotomist — 7:30-10 p.m. at 1st Stage Theater (1524 Spring Hill Rd.) — 1st Stage returns with the regional premiere of this dystopian sci-fi romance, written by Ella Road. The play will be performed on Thursdays through Sundays until March 6. Masks and proof of COVID-19 vaccination are required.
Friday, Feb. 18
- Kindness Cards — 4-5 p.m. at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library (7584 Leesburg Pike) — Extend the Valentine’s Day mood of cherishing loved ones by making a kindness card for someone special. Registration is required.
- Snack & Paint Night — 7-9 p.m. at the Old Firehouse Center (1440 Chain Bridge Rd.) — Beginners and experts alike can grab some snacks and express themselves through painting with a professional art teacher. The $5 fee covers food and supplies, and registration is recommended but not required.
- Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo — 7 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — Also known as The Trocks, a diverse all-male ballet company based in New York performs. Tickets start at $30 for MCC district residents and $40 for non-residents.
Saturday, Feb. 19
- Skills for Scouts: Knot Tying — 10 a.m. at Lewinsville Historic House (1659 Chain Bridge Rd.) — This program for people 10 and older will teach everything Boy Scouts need to know about making ropes and tying knots, including squares, half hitches, and a bowline. Enrollment costs $11.
- Mardi Gras Masks! — 2-4 p.m. at Dolley Madison Library (1244 Oak Ridge Ave.) — Decorate your own mask to prepare for the annual celebration that, for Christians, precedes Lent fasting and, for everyone else, is just an excuse to party. All supplies will be provided, but advance registration is required.
- Sal Vulcano — 7 p.m. at Capital One Hall (7750 Capital One Tower Rd.) — Get some laughs in from Staten Island native Sal Vulcano, the comedian known for the reality TV show “Impractical Jokers” and game show “The Misery Index.” Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test are required.
Sunday, Feb. 20
- The Miró Quartet — 3 p.m. at The Barns (1635 Trap Rd.) — The classical string quartet returns to Wolf Trap National Park to perform work by Franz Joseph Haydn, Maurice Ravel, and contemporary composer Kevin Puts. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative test are required.
- The Marshall Tucker Band — 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Hall — The southern rock band from South Carolina brings its 50th anniversary tour to Tysons with Traffic guitarist Dave Mason as a special guest. Masks and proof of vaccination or a negative test are required.
Photo via Thomas Park/Unsplash
Vienna will help pay for the project to build a modernized Patrick Henry Library and accompanying parking garage.
The Vienna Town Council passed a motion yesterday (Monday) to pay $663,000 to Fairfax County for RRMM Architects to design a new library and parking structure.
The town and county agreed in 2020 to partner on the demolition and construction project, divvying up costs. A development agreement caps the town’s design costs at $850,000 (or 30% of the design costs) and 19% of construction costs, not to exceed $4,200,000.
“In the end, we get a new library, which Fairfax County pays for, and we get parking, which we pay for,” Councilmember Chuck Anderson said at the town meeting yesterday (Monday). “That’s actually not a bad deal.”
While parking will be reserved for library purposes during the day, the garage will have 209 total spots available to the general public for non-library uses when the library is closed, according to Anderson.
The project calls for replacing the 13,800 square-foot building, which was last renovated in 1995, with a 21,000 square-foot library, creating a modern branch with a larger children’s section that could be ready by 2024.
Andrew Jinks, a transportation engineer with the town, helped the town partner with the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority to provide $2.3 million.
Town spokesperson Karen Thayer says that amount is considered part of the town’s share in the project, and it’s still working with NVTA to develop a commuting option from the library to D.C.
The project’s fixed construction cost is $17.2 million. Voters approved a $90 million bond referendum in 2020 for four library projects, including $23 million for Patrick Henry.
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, Jan. 10
- Amateur Art! — 6-8 p.m. at Dolley Madison Library (1244 Oak Ridge Ave.) — Explore your creativity. Supplies provided. Registration required.
Tuesday, Jan. 11
- The Overtones — 7:30 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 Maple Ave East) — An a cappella group tied to James Madison University performs music worthy of Hollywood and Nashville. Cost is $15. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 12
- Chair & Mat Yoga Class — 10-11 a.m. virtually — Traditional yoga incorporates a chair as part of a relaxing meditation.
Thursday, Jan. 13
- Virtual Storytime Fun (Online) — 10:30-11 a.m. — The Dolley Madison Library children’s librarians bring songs, activities, and stories to your home.
Friday, Jan. 14
- The Daryl Davis Band — 7 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — Pianist Daryl Davis kick off a weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. events, which includes Davis speaking at 2 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 16). Cost starts at $20.
- Make Me Happy — 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Falls Church Arts Gallery (700-B W. Broad St.) — Check out the works of three dozen artists, centered on works that make people smile. Free. Continues through Jan. 30.
Saturday, Jan. 15
- Mosaic Polar Plunge 2022 — 1:15 p.m. at Strawberry Park — Help fundraise for Special Olympics Virginia with this frigid and fun water plunging event at the Mosaic District.
Sunday, Jan. 16
Winter Storm Warning in Effect — Fairfax County has its first snow of the year. The D.C. area will remain under a Winter Storm Warning until 4 p.m. today (Monday), with the National Weather Service forecasting 3-7 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour, making travel difficult. [NWS]
FCPS Closed for Day Due to Snow — Instead of returning to classrooms as anticipated, Fairfax County Public School students will have an extra day of winter break. In expectation of snow, schools have been closed today with no virtual learning, and all activities on school grounds have been canceled, including extracurricular programs and adult classes. [FCPS]
Snow Closes Tysons Mass Vaccine Site — The Virginia Department of Health is closing all of its mass COVID-19 vaccination sites, including the one at Tysons Corner Center, today “out of an abundance of caution for patients and staff.” Those with appointments will be notified and can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov to reschedule. [VDH]
Vienna Authorizes COVID-19 Testing Site Extension — The Personic Health Care drive-through COVID-19 testing site on Maple Avenue will be allowed to continue operating through the end of January. The facility was supposed to vacate the Emmaus United Church of Christ parking lot on Dec. 31, but with cases still high, Town Manager Mercury Payton granted it a “wind-down period” in response to a request from the church. [Town of Vienna]
Dangerous Driving Filmed on Beltway — A Reddit user posted a dashcam video last week that showed a near-collision where a pickup truck tries to drive a sedan out of its lane on the Capitol Beltway inner loop near Tysons. While there was no crash, the Virginia Department of Transportation shared the video as an example of the dangers of road rage. [NBC4]
Woman Arrested After Police Pursuit Near Scotts Run — Around 4:53 p.m. on Dec. 26, Fairfax County police officers recognized a vehicle that was reported stolen in a neighboring jurisdiction and attempted to stop the driver at Chain Bridge Road at Colshire Drive. The driver, an 18-year-old woman from D.C., hit two occupied police vehicles and fled, striking four other vehicles before she was stopped and arrested. [FCPD]
County Library Launches Book Selection Service — “Beginning today, all of our branches are offering a new service called Library to Go. Not sure what to read? Simply fill out an online form and our librarians will fill a bag for you to pick up! It’s a great way to discover new-to-you titles.” [Fairfax County Public Library/Facebook]
Vienna to Honor Local Volunteers Today — “Volunteers who have made a difference in Vienna over the last two years will be recognized at the Mayor’s Volunteer Reception on Tuesday. The public is invited to attend the event hosted by Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert and former Mayor Laurie DiRocco at 6:30 p.m. on the Town Green. The location was moved from the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department to the Town Green due to a recent increase in delta variant COVID-19 cases in Fairfax County.” [Patch]
Afghan Resettlement Efforts Face Challenges — “Finding housing and hiring teachers are among the challenges facing resettlement agencies and school administrators in Northern Virginia who are preparing to accommodate many of the over 1,100 Afghan refugees expected to be resettled in the state.” [Inside NoVA]
Fairfax County will kick off another design phase for its redevelopment of the Patrick Henry Library (101 Maple Avenue East) in Vienna this fall, about one year after voters approved bond funding for the project.
The 2020 library bond included $23 million to replace the existing 13,800 square-foot facility with a 21,000 square-foot library as well as a parking garage that will be jointly funded by the county and the Town of Vienna.
“The County is currently finalizing the design contract with the selected design team, RRMM Architects,” Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services spokesperson Sharon North said. “Design will initiate this Fall 2021.”
Originally opened in 1971, the Patrick Henry Library was last renovated in 1995 and is now one of the busiest community locations in the county’s public library system, according to North.
According to the FY 2021-2025 capital improvements program (CIP), the current building has an antiquated layout that does not reflect modern library design or use. The planned expansion will add 7,000 square feet with more public seating and a larger children’s section.
North says the new facility will also have “upgraded building systems for operations and energy efficiency” with the goal of achieving LEED Gold certification.
“Statistics for this location indicate the door count is 4.6% of the system’s FY 2016 total and its circulation is higher than all but one other community [library] and greater than Sherwood Regional,” the CIP said. “Program attendance is consistently among the highest for a community location and customers at this location are diverse and represent a cross-section of County population. Usage patterns indicate that of the locations in this cluster, this branch is a preferred destination of many patrons.”
Initial designs for the redeveloped library were presented to the Town of Vienna in 2019.
After some uncertainty, Vienna also came to an agreement with Fairfax County last year on the construction of a 213-space parking garage that will serve the new library and the general town. North said the parking garage is included in the design of the project.
Given the current timetable, it could be late 2024 or early 2025 before the new Patrick Henry library is finished.
“Once the design contract is awarded, its typically a 1-2 year design & permitting process, and 2 year construction process,” North said. “Final design would be late Fall 2022/Early Spring 2023, based on current project schedule and then construction would commence after that.”
(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) Over 8,000 people in Fairfax County still don’t have electricity this evening (Wednesday) as crews work to restore power and clear downed trees, the aftermath of last night’s thunderstorm.
Commuters were experiencing delays as part of Leesburg Pike that’s requiring detours. Emergency responders shut down the roadway between George C. Marshall and Dominion drives in Falls Church due to downed trees and power lines there.
Police told Tysons Reporter around 4:30 p.m. that the road remains closed in both directions and that power crews are attempting to clear the roadway and restore power, which could be completed in 10-12 hours.
“Follow detour signs in the area and please drive with caution,” Fairfax County Police Department said on Twitter.
Leesburg Pike remains shut down between George C Marshall Dr and Dominion Dr in Falls Church due to downed trees and power lines in the roadway. Follow detour signs in the area and please drive with caution #FCPD pic.twitter.com/FAFAYoEDRh
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) August 11, 2021
The Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library was closed due to the ongoing power outage resulting from fallen trees and downed power lines on Route 7, which remains closed for about a quarter-mile from the I-495 interchange.
A Fairfax County Public Library spokesperson confirmed the Tysons-Pimmit closure to Tysons Reporter and added that the Kingstowne and Sherwood Regional branches were also shut down at 11 a.m. due to a lack of power.
Leesburg Pike inside just I-495 is closed for about a 1/4 mile. Huge tree took down 4 poles & 2 spans of wires lay across Route 7.
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyDomEnergy) August 11, 2021
Metrobus warned of possible delays as it rerouted buses going in both directions on Route 28A due to the scene.
Metro’s Orange Line has also been experiencing numerous delays late last night and into this morning.
While power was restored to the West Falls Church station around 9:45 p.m. yesterday after a storm-related outage, service was suspended again an hour later between Vienna and East Falls Church in response to “an unauthorized person” on the train tracks at West Falls Church.
Lingering power issues outside Dunn Loring then contributed to delays as far as New Carrollton in Maryland; starting around 5 a.m., Metrorail reported that normal service on the Orange Line had resumed about an hour later, but by 7 a.m., a disabled train at Dunn Loring triggered more delays, this time in Vienna.
Metrorail said at 7:45 a.m. to expect delays in both directions on the Orange Line due to the “train malfunction” at Dunn Loring.
While electricity has been restored for many of the 50,000-plus Fairfax County residents who lost power last night, thousands of Dominion Energy customers are still without power, primarily in the Merrifield and Falls Church area.
Many businesses in the Pimmit and Falls Church areas put up signs indicating that they are closed due to the power outages, including the Whole Foods, Capital One Bank, Orangetheory Fitness, and My Eye Doctor in Idylwood Plaza.
At Tysons Station plaza, store after store posted closed signs. The sign for Java Loco Coffee said it expected to be closed for the day. Trader Joe’s used two freezer trucks in the rear of the plaza to store meats and food beginning last night when the store’s power went out, an employee said. Also in the rear of the plaza, Tyson’s Barber regained power around 11 a.m., a worker said Wednesday with a sigh of relief.
Behind Tysons Station plaza, a detached Seven-11 was closed, but a Sunoco gas station had its pumps working as well as electricity. Across from Tysons Station, an Exxon had no pumps working, and an employee operated the store in the dark for cash-paying customers and regulars.
According to the utility company’s outage map, Dominion expects power to be restored between 7 p.m. today and midnight, mirroring similar restoration estimates for nearby areas.
— Peter Kiley (@PDad) August 11, 2021
Meanwhile, a heat advisory will be in effect today from noon until 8 p.m., and an excessive heat watch, where dangerously hot conditions are possible, will be in effect for tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon and evening.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is reminding people to use air conditioning, avoid direct sunlight, choose appropriate clothing, hydrate, and follow other safety tips.
The Falls Church Community Center has been turned into a cooling center until 8 p.m., the City of Falls Church announced this morning. Face coverings and social distancing are required for all, and visitors must sign a COVID-19 waiver.
The city also shared information about how to handle fallen trees and suggested reporting downed power lines to the police department at 703-241-5053.
“Community members should play it safe in the aftermath of last night’s storm that left many without power today as well as downed trees and branches,” the city said in its news release.
Falls Church City residents may see a delay in trash and recycling collections today. Bins that are not collected by 4 p.m. can be reported to the city’s Solid Waste Hotline 703-248-5160, option 1.
Severe thunderstorms and flash floods are possible during afternoon and evening hours from today through Saturday.
Construction Begins on New Tysons ER — “HCA Virginia, the health system behind Reston Hospital Center, has started construction on a Tysons emergency room and aims to open it in early 2022…Located at 8240 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Emergency will be an ER open 24 hours daily with full-service emergency care.” [Patch]
Just 40% of Metro Workers Vaccinated Against COVID-19 — “Metro’s top executive warned employees Monday that the transit system might start mandatory coronavirus tests if the agency’s vaccination rate doesn’t climb to at least 70 percent. Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a memo to employees that about 40 percent of Metro’s workforce has indicated being vaccinated in an employee database.” [The Washington Post]
I-66 Widening Work Still on Schedule — Work on the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project remains on schedule for the extended toll lanes to open in December 2022, the Virginia Department of Transportation says. Nearly 2,000 workers are currently involved in the project with bridges and ramps at the I-66/I-495 interchange among the most noticeable construction. [Inside NoVA]
Tysons Library Book Sales Return — For the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library friends’ group will host a book sale. To avoid overcrowding, attendees on the first day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 18 will be required to register for a two-hour time slot in advance, but entry will not be restricted for the rest of the sale from Aug. 19-22. [Fairfax County Public Library]
With federal money that gives low-income households a discount on internet service set to run out this year, Fairfax County leaders and staff are looking at ways to ensure people get access to broadband internet, which they’ve likened to a utility like electricity or water.
A staff report presented to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ information technology committee on Tuesday (June 15) found that there are significant disparities in internet access among homes in the county due to infrastructure and affordability.
While different county representatives — from the school system to the Department of Family Services — were collaborating prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they started looking more intently at equity issues during the pandemic, as technology needs hit a crescendo between students attending school from home and job seekers looking for work.
“Many of us saw at the outset how difficult it was for community members to work from home or for their children to be educated from home — whether or not they had the technology available, if they had strong enough internet connectivity, if they had space in their own homes to do this, or if they were trying to locate wireless within the community and do all of this from their own cars,” Fairfax County Public Library Director Jessica Hudson said.
Some zip codes are more affected by this lack of connectivity than others.
According to an analysis presented by the county, an estimated 4.2% of households in the county have no broadband internet access, but that number jumps up to 20.8% in the zip code 22044 and 18.8% in zip code 22041, both neighborhoods in the Seven Corners area of Falls Church.
The gaps in connectivity are concentrated in areas with many people of color and lower-income households, Fairfax County Chief Equity Officer Karla Bruce said on Tuesday.
The Federal Communications Commission internet discount, known as the Emergency Broadband Benefit or EBB, helps lower-income households get a $50 discount each month for broadband service, among other benefits.
Officials are continuing to share information about the program, providing outreach in multiple languages and partnering with nonprofits and other community organizations.
You can still get the discount even if you have another benefit called Lifeline, which provides a $9.25 monthly discount indefinitely, Hudson said.
But the $3.2 billion fund set up to provide the EBB benefits nationwide is expected to run out this year, possibly around Thanksgiving, according to Hudson.
Among the county’s efforts to improve access, the library system offers Chromebooks that people can check out for two weeks at a time, along with extended exterior WiFi access outside buildings (except in parking garages) from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
In addition, Neighborhood and Community Services is conducting a countywide analysis of Wi-Fi access, and the Department of Housing and Community Development and Redevelopment and Housing Authority are conducting a site analysis to address connectivity barriers, according to the county presentation.
“All of these community agencies are trying their hardest to find ways to connect with residents and make sure that they have appropriate technology, digital literacy skills, and access points,” Hudson said.
County supervisors asked for more information to target areas in need as part of the county’s efforts to help overcome access issues.
Photo via Josefa nDiaz/Unsplash
Westbound I-66 to Close Overnight Starting Tomorrow — “Work at the Interstate 66 and Capital Beltway interchange will require a full I-66 closure in the westbound direction over several upcoming days. The Virginia Department of Transportation said westbound I-66 will be closed at I-495 nightly from Tuesday, June 15 to Saturday, June 19. Closure hours are 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly and until 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.” [Patch]
Vienna Reaffirms Commitment to Library Parking Project — “Vienna officials still can back out of an agreement with Fairfax County to build a new Patrick Henry Library with a parking structure, but now the town financially has something to lose. Vienna Town Council members on June 7 reconfirmed the town’s participation in the agreement and agreed to support the project’s design phase.” [Sun Gazette]
Falls Church Chamber of Commerce Supports Amendment — “The board of directors of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce formally signed off on a letter to the Fairfax County Planning Commission in advance of its meeting next Tuesday. The letter, sent over the signature of Falls Church Executive Director Sally Cole, expressed the Chamber’s strong support for an amendment to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan to permit mixed use development at WMATA’s West Falls Church Metro station site.” [Falls Church News-Press]
McLean Home of Retired Football Quarterback for Sale — “In April, the veteran quarterback Alex Smith announced his retirement from the NFL. Now Smith is leaving the Washington, DC, metro behind. He’s listed his gorgeous mansion in McLean, VA, for $6.7 million.” [Sun Sentinel]