Tysons, VA

More Falls Church Businesses Get Micro-Grants — “This round was open to a wider range of small businesses and non-profit applicants than those awarded to 84 businesses in a first round in May… All 42 eligible applicants will receive funding thanks to the [Falls Church] EDA.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Ransomware Attack — “A DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) subsidiary has experienced a ransomware attack on some of its systems, the Tysons tech firm disclosed Monday. Xchanging is a global standalone insurance managed services business, according to a release from DXC. The company does not believe that the attack compromised any customer data, however, some customers currently do not have access to the platform.” [Washington Business Journal]

“Vienna is for Lovers” — “To aid small businesses during the pandemic, the Vienna-based owner of custom apparel maker French Press Printing has held T-shirt fundraisers in Vienna and Oakton. Now French Press Printing’s Sarah Bohn is featuring a local artist’s original work and donating a portion of proceeds.” [Vienna Patch]

Citizens Group Backs Subdivision — “The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board of directors passed a resolution July 1 in favor of a rezoning that would allow a three-house subdivision to be built at 8801 Jarrett Valley Drive.” [Inside NoVa]

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Citizens Group Raises Concerns About Tysons Project — “A proposed Tysons development might be the right thing for a spot now occupied by low-rise commercial buildings, but the applicant should resubmit the proposal after making several improvements, McLean Citizens Association board members said July 1.” [Inside NoVa]

FCPS Town Hall Tonight — “Join FCPS Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Sloan Presidio, and director of the office of special education procedural support Jane Strong for an FCPS virtual Town Hall on Monday, July 6, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Tysons Company Donates Thousands of Masks — “Fairfax County received a donation of 15,000 FDA-approved KN95 masks from Portals Global, a Tysons-based consulting firm. Portals Global’s CEO Omo Igiehon said he chose Fairfax County as the donation recipient in order to give back to the community that he has lived in for 21 years.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

New Mayor, Town Council Members — “New Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert and the new Town Council will be sworn into office at a public ceremony on July 6. The ceremony will be held outside the Vienna Community Center at 6 p.m.” [Patch]

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MCA Backs Building Changes for CityLine — “McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board members on June 3 unanimously backed a resolution supporting CityLine Partners LLC’s proposed development amendments to build one building instead of two at a site in [Tysons].” [Inside NoVa]

Fairfax Officer Arrested After Tasing Black Man — “The actions of a Fairfax County police officer who used a Taser to subdue an African American man on Friday were “horrible” and “disgusting,” Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. says… The officer, Tyler Timberlake, has been charged with three counts of assault and battery and faces up to 36 months in prison if convicted.” [Inside NoVa]

ICYMI: Hundreds Gathered at Falls Church Protest — “Hundreds of people filled Cherry Hill Park on Sunday afternoon for the ‘Falls Church Justice for Black Lives Rally.'” [Tysons Reporter]

High Demand for Libraries’ Curbside Pick-Up — “Across the entire Fairfax County library system, customers demonstrated their hunger for the library’s services by checking out 11,000 items from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, the first day of curbside service. For comparison, on the last Monday prior to branch closures in March, when libraries were operating at full capacity, there were about 12,500 checkouts between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.” [Vienna Patch]

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A list started by a woman to “help local businesses in McLean get the word out” quickly became a resource naming roughly 300 businesses and charities in the D.C. area.

The project, created by Lori Boerner, consists of a Google Doc and map, so people either seeking assistance or wanting to help during the pandemic can efficiently find an organization that suits their needs.

Perusing the information provided, people will see a places collecting donations, restaurants offering takeout and delivery, fitness centers offing online classes, retail stores with curbside drop off and even corporate companies that are offering free services.

Part of Boerner’s inspiration for the project came from chatter from local forums and social media. She noticed that people wanted to help those in need but lacked a direct, coordinated list of resources.

“It was initially time-consuming,” she said, adding formatting the information and researching places took a substantial amount of time.

Now that the list is somewhat complete, she told Tysons Reporter that she still spends a few early mornings a week before work to update it with tips sent to her.

For example, the mother of a McLean teenager that works at Sweet Bites Café & Bakery told Boerner to help get the word out that the bakery is still open since its business has slowed substantially.

“A lot of it feeds upon itself — once people see it, they send things in,” Boerner said, especially since the list’s popularity continues to grow.

Since its creation, the list has been promoted by regional organizations such as the McLean Citizens Association, which Boerner is a member of.

Boerner had practice coordinating a similar list after she made one to assist people during the government shutdown in 2019.

“Things are different now and people are helping in any way they can,” Boerner said, adding that not everyone may be able to donate financially, but they can promote resources through social media channels and networks.

Image via Google Maps

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In the coming weeks, a local nonprofit assisting community members facing food insecurity or homelessness will receive assistance from the McLean Citizens Association.

SHARE of McLean was chosen by the MCA at last night’s meeting (May 6) to be the recipient of incoming monetary donations to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is one of the most efficient charities we could possibly find,” MCA President Dale Stein said, adding that requests for food from SHARE have doubled since the COVID-19 outbreak began. 

MCA members voted to donate a minimum of $1,000, which has already been crowdsourced, to the nonprofit.

“I really do think this is good for our community and MCA,” Stein said.

Several members at the meeting asked that MCA raise the match amount.

“Let’s get the $1,000 to SHARE and then set up a working committee to get more funds donated and send in a second donation later,” Sowjanya O’Neill, an MCA at-large member, said. “I know there are a lot of people out there who are in need right now.”

Ultimately, they came to a compromise to re-examine donation amounts in the future.

“We can always decide to increase that at future meetings,” Stein said, adding that the board will review the project and possibly add onto it.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck/Unsplash

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Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

The Books Are Back — “The Mary Riley Styles Public Library’s temporary location in Falls Church [opened] this Monday, March 9 at 9:30 a.m. The trailers outside of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, 160 S. Oak St. will be home to the library while its permanent location on N. Virginia Ave. undergoes an expansion and renovation.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Firefighters Honor Owner of Little City’s Oldest Business — “On Friday, we presented Brown’s Hardware in Falls Church with a fire helmet honoring Mr. Hugh Brown… Mr. Brown’s father, Horace E. Brown, was one of the original trustees of the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department in 1925, and we can think of no better place to say ‘thank you’ than at Brown’s Hardware Store, our city’s oldest business at 127 years old, founded by Hugh’s grandfather in 1883.” [Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook]

McLean Group Reviews Tysons Redevelopment Plan — “The McLean Citizens Association board of directors got down to business quickly March 4, approving resolutions that touched on a redevelopment proposal and a proposed county-government plan amendment… The MCA board approved a resolution supporting plans by the Tamares Group to convert the former Gannett/USA Today headquarters building at 7950 Jones Branch Drive in Tysons into a commercial building with restaurants, retail, conference spaces and a fitness center.” [Inside NoVa]

New Coronavirus Cases in NoVa — “The Virginia Department of Health announced Monday night that two Virginia residents, the wife of the patient in Fairfax City and an unrelated patient in Spotsylvania County, have tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus COVID-19.” [Inside NoVa]

Small Fire at Tysons High-Rise — Sprinklers extinguished a “small fire” on the 11th floor of a high-rise in Tysons in the 1500 block of Anderson Road on Friday, March 6. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter]

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The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) is supporting a recent request for federal funding for work on the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

MCA sent a letter on Feb. 17 to the Department of Transportation, urging support for the National Park Service’s grant applications.

The funding from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program would help rehabilitate 8 miles of the parkway from Spout Run Parkway to I-495.

NPS is looking to:

  • repave the road
  • repair stormwater management systems and walls
  • rehabilitate two historic, scenic overlooks
  • replace guardrails
  • construct new curbs
  • build emergency turnarounds along the north end

“The condition of this stretch of the GW Parkway has been deteriorating, and urgent action is needed to perform reconstruction of this portion of the road system,” the letter notes.

More than 33 million vehicles per year travel on the GW Parkway, according to Fairfax County. Last year, emergency work had to fix the cause of a sizable sinkhole on the GW Parkway, disrupting traffic for months in the area.

Noting that the grant program is “highly competitive,” the letter goes on to say that the work will also improve the “historical and cultural characteristics that make the Parkway one of the most scenic roadways in the country.”

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors is also backing the federal funding ask.

Image via Google Maps

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A Tysons citizen group recently sent a list of concerns to Fairfax County officials.

The Greater Tysons Citizens Association was founded in 2008 and is made up of residents and organizations in the Tysons area, including the Vienna Town Council and McLean Citizens Association.

In the letter dated Jan. 29, the association noted that with the upcoming 10-year-anniversary of the Tysons Comprehensive Plan, the group is worried about the impact of Tysons’ transformation on surrounding communities.

The letter was sent to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission and School Board.

The letter goes on to outline four main concerns:

  • traffic congestion
  • reaching the goal of 20 urban athletic fields in Tysons
  • infrastructure funding and Tysons school planning
  • recent interpretations of the Tysons Comprehensive Plan

The association then provided requests for each item.

For traffic congestion, the association would like the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors to look into short- and long-term solutions with community members.

As the athletic fields, the group would like the Board of Supervisors to revisit a follow-on motion decision that allowed a developer of The View to make a monetary contribution to be allocated to a community center.

“We urge investigating and pursuing other funding sources for construction of the Tysons community center,” the letter says. “We urge the PC and BOS to return to the long-accepted practice of requiring in-kind contributions rather than monetary contributions when the calculated field contribution exceeds 1/3 field.”

The association had several suggestions for the school issue:

  • complete the revamp of the methodologies used in the capital improvement and proffer formula for better school population projections
  • increase staffing in the facilities branch of FCPS
  • identify and implement new options to acquire land and fund construction of new schools

Finally, the group requested that the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission have an in-depth review regarding interpretations of the comprehensive plan and any “potential ramifications.”

Tysons Reporter received a copy of the letter from the McLean Citizens Association (MCA).

Sally Horn, the chair of the Greater Tysons Citizens Association, is set to discuss the letter with the MCA tonight.

The MCA meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue).

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It’s been two years since the fatal shooting of a Tysons man by U.S. Park Police, and McLean residents want answers.

The FBI has been investigating the Nov. 17, 2017 shooting where two U.S. Park Police fired into a Jeep Grand Cherokee and hit Bijan Ghaisar, a 25-year-old.

In June, U.S. Senators joined the call for answers in the shooting.

Tonight (Wednesday), the McLean Citizens Association is set to discuss a draft of a resolution that would urge the Park Police and FBI “to disclose urgently the findings from their investigation, in the interest of transparency and accountability to our community.”

MCA made a similar effort last year to obtain new information, according to the draft resolution.

“The Park Service and FBI have disclosed little information about the shooting despite numerous requests from Mr. Ghaisar’s family, elected representatives in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, state and local government representatives, the Washington Post, and our community,” the resolution says.

The MCA meeting is set to take place at 7:30 p.m. at the McLean Community Center.

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As conditions worsen on GW Parkway, some McLean residents question when they will see repairs.

Charles Cuvelier, the new GW Parkway superintendent, told attendees at the McLean Citizens Association (MCA) meeting on Tuesday (Sept. 10) that the parkway will need work to maintain structural integrity.

“After 60 years, the brick and mortar has become porous,” he said.

A community member at the meeting said that she finds the road frightening to drive on. In terms of repairs to potentially dangerous areas, the superintendent said that data about traffic and other roadway incidents are used to identify which areas of the roadway need immediate attention.

He noted that one of the worst areas in terms of damage is Route 123 near Chain Bridge.

In March, a giant sinkhole opened in the region, causing havoc and closures for those who frequent the roadway. To repair much of the road, crews will need to solidify the ground up to 50 feet under, Cuvelier said.

The next steps are unclear since community leaders rely on grants from the federal government for repairs, Cuvelier said. They will submit the next round of grants in 2020, and if approved, construction will likely begin in 2022 to be completed in 2023, he added.

Until now, the National Park Service and Virginia Department of Transportation have been relying on grants of $30 million or less for small maintenance projects, Cuvelier said. He referred to the funding allowance between federal and state funds as a “regional formula.”

Cuvelier said the National Park Service is working with VDOT and the Federal Highway Administration to find solutions for repairs. When a community member asked if they could see the correspondence, he replied that they have nothing to hide and community members are free to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

Louise Epstein sits on the MCA board as the chair for the budget and taxation committee. She is also the president of her neighborhood homeowners association, which backs up to GW Parkway. 

“The problem is that we are relying, unfortunately, on hope. I’m sort of a cynic and I don’t like to rely on hope,” Epstein said, “Things are falling apart, and we need to figure out what’s going on.”

She added that she doesn’t think federal grant money will be enough to fix the problem, saying that the community needs to begin brainstorming new ways to come up with funding to fix the highway.

“We have to look for other ways to get that money sooner,” Epstein said.  

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