COVID-19 Infections Contribute to Metrobus Driver Shortage — “More than 50 Metro bus routes are experiencing delays and increased wait times due to a driver shortage across the city. WMATA cites the spread of new COVID variants, such as delta and omicron, as one of the causes of the shortage, as employees take sick leave to recover.” [WUSA9]
County Urges Awareness of Unhoused People — As the winter solstice, last night (Tuesday) was the longest one of the year, prompting Fairfax County to acknowledge its 1,000-plus residents who experience homelessness every winter. The county advises community members to call its Department of Public Safety Communications at 703-691-2131 if they see someone in need of shelter, and the annual Hypothermia Prevention Program is now underway. [Fairfax County Government]
Nearby: Mary Riley Styles Library Goes Virtual — “Due to concerns about the recent increase in COVID-19 transmissions in the area, all in-person library programs and use of library conference rooms are suspended until mid-January 2022. Group study rooms may still be reserved, but are limited to groups of three or less.” [City of Falls Church]
Transit and Amenities Drive Fairfax County Office Demand — “New office buildings in transit-oriented mixed-use developments in Tysons and Reston have generated leasing and investor interest as office tenants court young workers. But as these projects soak up the pandemic-weakened demand for new leases, the older suburban-style office buildings have suffered.” [Bisnow]
Student Mental Health Support Staffing a Concern in FCPS — “Many Fairfax County Public Schools students were experiencing high levels of anxiety and depression even before the pandemic struck nearly two years ago and county officials are struggling to maintain adequate mental-health staffing to address those concerns.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
(Updated at 9:35 a.m.) More than 200 people in the Falls Church area are currently without power.
According to Dominion Energy’s outage map, the power loss has affected 224 customers on the east side of Route 7. The utility company attributes the outage to a vehicle accident.
A crew has been dispatched, but the estimated time of restoration is not until 1-6 p.m.
The City of Falls Church says the power outage has affected some of its facilities. The Mary Riley Styles Public Library has been closed for the day, and City Hall is offering only limited services since it’s on partial power.
The Falls Church Community Center, however, has full power and remains open.
According to the City of Falls Church, Dominion Energy arrived on the scene around 3:30 a.m. after a vehicle hit a utility pole near 300 North Washington Street.
“The vehicle was towed and there were no reports of injuries,” Falls Church spokesperson Susan Finarelli said.
FRIDAY, DEC 3, 2021 :: Due to a power outage, City Hall is on partial power and will have limited services available today. The Mary Riley Styles Public Library will be closed today.
The Community Center will be open as usual; the building has full power. pic.twitter.com/lIfLCPJdva
— City of Falls Church (@FallsChurchGov) December 3, 2021
FCPS Looks to Tighten COVID-19 Protocols — Missed emails have led some Fairfax County Public School students to show up for class when they’re supposed to stay home after coming into close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The school system is working with county health officials to speed up the complicated contact-tracing process. [Reston Now]
Abortion and Taxes Take Center Stage at Tysons Forum — Nearly 300 people gathered at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons to hear all six major-party candidates for statewide offices. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe warned that the abortion restrictions approved in Texas on Wednesday (Sept. 1) could come to Virginia if his opponent is elected, while Republican Glenn Youngkin detailed his recently announced tax cuts plan. [Associated Press]
Falls Church Sets Opening Date for Renovated Library — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library will reopen next Friday (Sept. 10) after a year-long renovation that expanded the facility by 6,000 square feet, reconfigured the layout, and updated its amenities and infrastructure. City officials and library staff will mark the opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, with a public grand opening celebration to come later in the fall. [City of Falls Church]
Caliburger Food Truck Coming to The Boro — “Southern California burger joint @caliburgerdc is coming to #TheBoroTysons next year! In the meantime, get a preview of their sunny SoCal style from the CaliBurger Food Truck on Sat evenings from 6:30-8:30pm (beginning 9/4), & lunch on Wednesdays from 11:30am-2pm (starting 9/8).” [The Boro/Twitter]
Photo by ERTRIPP9/Twitter
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.”
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
Summer School Delayed for Special Education Students — The families of roughly 1,200 students with special needs were informed last Wednesday (June 23) that their summer school that was supposed to start Monday (June 28) has instead been delayed to the end of July. Fairfax County Public Schools has only been able to hire 75% of the teachers needed to run the special education program. [The Washington Post]
Vienna Hires New Spokesperson — The Town of Vienna has hired Karen Acar Thayer as its new public information officer, effective yesterday (Monday). Responsible for the town’s communications, marketing, and outreach efforts, Thayer’s past experience includes work as a promotional services manager for the Fairfax County Park Authority and as communications director for Falls Church City Public Schools. [Town of Vienna]
Mary Riley Styles Public Library Anticipates August Reopening — The Mary Riley Styles Public Library expects to have an official ribbon cutting for its newly renovated building in early to mid-August with a grand opening celebration to follow in September or October. Construction has been ongoing since early 2020 and includes the addition of more than 6,000 square feet of space. [Falls Church News-Press]
Supreme Court Declines to Hear Transgender Bathroom Case — “The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Virginia school board’s appeal to reinstate its transgender bathroom ban, handing a victory to transgender rights groups and a former high school student who fought in court for six years to overturn the ban.” [Associated Press/WTOP]
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 (Nov. 10)
- On Deck with Mercury — 5-7 p.m. at Vienna Community Center’s Southside Room (120 Cherry St. E) — This month’s community forum with Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton will focus on sidewalk projects, the Town says.
- Mayor @ Your Service — 7:30 p.m. at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center St. S) — Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert will talk about volunteerism during the COVID-19 pandemic in a presentation and conversation about Town programs and initiatives, Vienna history, or other topics of interest.
Wednesday (Nov. 11)
- Meadowlark’s Winter Walks of Lights — 5:30-10 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court) — Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights is open nightly starting Wednesday (Nov. 11) through Sunday (Jan. 3), the website says. The price ranges from $9 to $15.
Thursday (Nov. 12)
- Cross Stitch Crafternoon (Online) — 3-3:30 p.m. — Join the Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s Facebook page to get started on a cross stitch project, the City of Falls Church website says. Craft kits are available for pick up at MRSPL (120 N. Virginia Ave.) through Thursday (Nov. 19). The craft video will remain on the MRSPL Facebook page in the Crafternoon playlist.
Saturday (Nov. 14)
- Yoga and Beer — 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Solace Outpost (444 West Broad St.) — Roll out your mat on the spacious patio of Solace Outpost, in the heart of Falls Church, for an hour-long mindful movement experience, the website said. The cost is $25, which includes the yoga class and one beer. Participants should bring their own mat and wear a mask.
- Sing Books with Emily (Online) — 11-11:45 a.m. — Join the Mary Riley Styles Public Library through its Facebook page for a morning of stories and songs with Ms. Emily, the website said.
- Snack and Paint — 1-3 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — Snack and Paint is an instructor-led painting class for teens that have painted before or not at all, the website said. The cost is $35. Participants will paint a fall-themed picture. To register, use this link.
Photo via Meadowlark Botanical Gardens/Facebook