Metro Extends Service Hours This Weekend — Starting Sunday (July 18), Metro will provide rail service until midnight for the first time since operating hours were reduced at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The transit agency approved a package of fare reductions and service improvements in June aimed at attracting riders as more offices are set to reopen in the fall. [The Washington Post]
Freedom Hill Park to Recognize Historic Carter Family — As part of an interpretive history project, the Fairfax County Park Authority is inviting the public to a traditional land ceremony and sign dedication at Freedom Hill Park in Vienna on July 31. The new signs will tell the story of the multiracial Carter family, whose accomplishments include establishing the First Baptist Church of Vienna and possibly spying for the Union during the Civil War. [FCPA]
Fairfax County School Board Elects New Chair — The school board unanimously approved Sully District representative Stella Pekarsky as its new chair for the 2021-2022 school year. Board members thanked Mason District representative Ricardy Anderson for her time as chair amid the pandemic and noted she will get some much-deserved time with her family. [FCPS]
Food Trucks Stop by Providence Community Center — “Come by the Providence Community Center tomorrow [July 16] from 11am to 1:30pm for some freshly made empanadas by @empanadasdemza! This will make for a great snack over the weekend so make sure you grab some extra to share with your friends and families!” [Supervisor Dalia Palchik/Twitter]
MCA Supports Proposal to Replace Office Building — “The McLean Citizens Association’s board of directors on July 7 passed a resolution generally supportive of a proposed townhouse development at 7700 Leesburg Pike, but sought changes to bolster pedestrian safety and discourage cut-through traffic.” [Sun Gazette]
Lack of Transparency Frustrates Justice Park Advocates — Documents obtained by the community group Justice for Justice Park, which opposes a proposal to convert part of the Falls Church park into a parking lot, show that county park and school officials had been negotiating a land transfer for two years without telling the public. The group argues a master plan amendment should be required before any moves are made. [The Annandale Blog]
New Jersey Driver Wanted for Assault on Police Officer — According to the Fairfax County Police Department’s weekly report, a police officer was treated at a hospital for minor injuries after attempting to arrest a man who was driving a vehicle without the owner’s permission. The incident occurred in the 2000 block of Peach Orchard Drive in Tysons on July 3, and the man has not been located yet. [FCPD]
Vienna Named Bicycle-Friendly Community — The Town of Vienna has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a bronze-level Bicycle-Friendly Community, an award given to “communities that demonstrate a strong commitment to bicycling by creating transportation and recreational resources that benefit residents and improve the quality of life.” [Town of Vienna]
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]
(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) 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 (June 22)
- 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.
Thursday (June 24)
- Summer Live Music: Zach Cutler — 5-8 p.m. at the Upper Promenade near Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — This week’s live music series at The Boro features local guitarist Zach Cutler. RSVP to receive more information.
- Films in the Park: The Birdcage — 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Strawberry Park (2910 District Ave.) — The Mosaic District’s Films in the Park series continues this Thursday with The Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Gene Hackman. The film is rated R and will run for one hour and fifty-seven minutes. Grab your picnic blanket and join your neighbors at Strawberry Park for a movie night!
- Concerts in the Park — 7-9 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) — This week’s Concert in the Park in Falls Church features local cover band Nomad. They’ll be playing classic rock songs from artists like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and more. Email [email protected] with questions or concerns.
Friday (June 25)
- 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.”
Saturday (June 26)
- Drag Storybook Hour — 10:30 & 11:30 a.m. at Dolley Madison Library (1244 Oak Ridge Ave.) — Come join one of two drag storybook hours to celebrate Pride Month. This event is free and appropriate for all ages. It’s co-sponsored by Fairfax County Public Library and the McLean Community Center.
- Mural Unveiling at The Boro — 12-4 p.m. at The Boro (8350 Broad St.) — Muralists Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn have finished their mural at The Boro, and there is a party to celebrate its completion. RSVP to see the unveiling, eat snacks, games, arts and crafts, live music and more fun!
- ShowPlace ICON F9 Car Meet — 4-8 p.m. at the ShowPlace ICON Theatre parking lot (1667 Silver Hill Dr.) — Join other car enthusiests to celebrate the release of “F9: The Fast Saga.” The car meet-up is free and will happen rain or shine.
- Mosaic Skateland Grand Opening — 5:30-10 p.m. at Mosaic Skateland (2910 District Ave.) — The Mosaic District invites the community to a “disco-inspired celebration” at its new roller rink, featuring live music from the band Groovalicious. In honor of Pride month, 50% of roller rink tickets sales will be donated to Fairfax County Public Schools Pride, which works to make an inclusive and respectful enviornment for all students. Purchase tickets in advance or on site.
Sunday (June 27)
- Summer Sunday Concert: JoJo & The Pinecones — 5 p.m. at the McLean Central Park gazebo (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd.) — McLean’s Summer Concert series continues this Sunday with a free, family-friendly show by the New York City based group, JoJo & The Pinecones.
- 1st Stage Celebration at The Boro Benefit — 5-8 p.m. at Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — A live concert reading of “A New Brain” by William Finn and James Lapine will be preformed as the 2021 benefit for 1st Stage. In-person tickets are sold out, but the event will also be available for free online. Register online for a link to the live-stream. There is also an option to donate to the theater.
- Aspirations to Reality — 7 p.m. at Church of the Holy Comforter (543 Beulah Rd.) — Artists from HALO Inc. will sing in a variety of styles and deliver a spoken narrative at this free outdoor concert on the church’s front lawn. The concert is part of the Town of Vienna’s Liberty Amendments Month festivities.
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 Church — Capital 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]
MCA Shares Concerns About McLean Central Park Proposal — The McLean Citizens Association unanimously approved a letter last week highlighting its reservations about the Fairfax County Park Authority’s McLean Central Park redesign. Top concerns include noise and traffic impacts from the proposed amphitheater and a need to coordinate with other county projects, such as the McLean downtown revitalization plan. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
Federal Relief Will Be Windfall for Falls Church City — The Falls Church City Council learned Monday (June 7) that the city will receive an estimated $18 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds over two years, including $15 million from the American Rescue Plan and about $2.9 million from the CARES Act. Councilmembers say it’s “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for a city with an annual operating budget of just over $100 million. [Falls Church News-Press]
McLean Student Will Compete on Reality TV Show — Max Feinberg, a rising senior at McLean High School, will appear on Season 13 of American Ninja Warrior, a reality TV series where athletes compete to navigate obstacle courses. This is the show’s first season with a lowered age limit of 15. Feinberg’s episode will air on NBC on June 23. [Dranesville District School Board Member Elaine Tholen]
Falls Church Arts Grant Program Opens for Applications — “The City of Falls Church welcomes applications for eligible non-profit organizations that support the arts, culture, theater, and history based within the City of Falls Church. The application deadline is July 21, 2021 and funds must be utilized before May 16, 2022.” [City of Falls Church]
Woman Pulled Over by State Trooper Calls for Accountability — “Charges against a Black woman pulled over and arrested in Fairfax County, Virginia, have been dropped by the county’s commonwealth attorney and expunged by the courts. But Juanisha Brooks is demanding further action as a result of the March traffic stop…Brooks maintains she was profiled before the stop and treated poorly after it because of her race.” [WTOP]
Fairfax County Parks Inch Back to Normal — “Facilities throughout the Fairfax County park system are returning to nearly normal operations after a series of closures and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we ramp up and reopen, some sites may operate on limited schedules or require preregistration for activities, so we strongly urge park visitors to call sites in advance or check our website to ensure access and availability.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Governor Delivers Speech at Final George Mason HS Graduation — Gov. Ralph Northam served as the commencement speaker at George Mason High School’s Class of 2021 graduation ceremony on Wednesday (June 2). It was the first ceremony at the City of Falls Church’s newly built school and the last one before it transitions to the new moniker of Meridian High School. [Falls Church News-Press]
Grant Approved to Replace McLean Field — “The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has approved a $20,000 Mastenbrook Volunteer Matching Fund Grant request from the McLean Youth Soccer (MYS) Association for improvements to Holladay Field in the Dranesville District. Board members voted in favor of the request at their meeting on May 26, 2021.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Better traffic circulation, accessibility, and amenities are some potential changes that could come to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and National Park Service unveiled a proposed amendment to the park’s general management plan during a virtual public meeting on May 25.
“In general, the goal, in very broad strokes, is to improve the visitor experience,” Wolf Trap National Park Acting Superintendent Ken Bigley said. “In keeping with the preservation mandate of the National Park Service, we want to preserve the natural beauty and the character of this very special space…This is exactly where you come in as members of the public.”
The upgrades will focus on improving amenities, accessibility, safety, and security features; addressing long-documented site challenges, such as transportation access, pedestrian circulation, and stormwater management; addressing deferred maintenance areas; improving the visitor experience, and expanding opportunities for year-round park use.
The approximately 130-acre park located on former farmland has three outdoor venues: the Filene Center, the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, and the Meadow Pavilion, each served by a collection of structures that could be removed, rehabilitated, or upgraded. Other structures could also be added.
Concession buildings in the Filene Center area are outdated and could get upgrades, according to the presentation.
A food services building will be rebuilt to provide concession services, restrooms, and a deck area, while a service building will be replaced with two new buildings that will provide concession service, a security screening area and restrooms, and a rooftop-accessible picnic area.
The plan recommends rehabilitating a building to provide offices, a catering kitchen, restrooms, and a cabin to house U.S. Park Police and work as a space for park ushers.
Existing trailer offices would be removed.
Other additions include a security perimeter and a new pedestrian tunnel.
Architects are also looking at parking, traffic, and circulation. The three options being considered all widen the Main Circle Road to add a bypass lane for vehicles that need to access certain lots or parts of the park, while removing existing parking around Main Circle Road.
Option A would retain more trees than Option C, while Option B could incorporate a parking garage, the location of which has not been vetted, according to the presentation. Read More
By 2023, McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Boulevard) could be completely overhauled with a suite of new recreational amenities, though there’s some back and forth in the community over what exactly those should be.
The Fairfax County Park Authority is currently gathering public input on what the community hopes to see from a revitalized McLean Central Park, and at a meeting on Monday (May 24), local residents shared their hopes for what could be included, as well as concerns for what the overhaul would mean for nearby residents.
The plan is to reconfigure much of the 28-acre park to include new recreational facilities, an amphitheater at the southern end of the park, and a dog park where the tennis courts are today.
Bocce ball courts are included in the plan, but some residents expressed a hope that frisbee golf might make a return, and one resident was particularly pining for some ping-pong presence in the park.
Other callers who participated in the meeting said they were concerned the overhaul of the park would attract more cars to central McLean, potentially making local streets more hazardous.
The discussion also delved into the minutiae of the park plan, such as a comment that a proposed fiberglass bridge looked out of keeping with the wooden bridges around McLean. Paul Shirey, a manager at the Fairfax County Park Authority, said the decision to go with fiberglass was an economic one.
According to Shirey, wooden bridges might last 20 or 25 years, but a fiberglass bridge could have double that lifespan and greater durability.
County staff said the project will likely start construction in fall 2022, with 10 months of construction leading to a summer 2023 opening.
Photo via Fairfax County
(Updated at 8:45 a.m.) School Board Member’s Israel Comments Sparks Debate — Fairfax County School Board Member-at-Large Abrar Omeish’s tweet criticizing the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians during recent air strikes has drawn strong reactions. More than 100 people showed up to the board’s meeting on Thursday (May 20) to support her, arguing that criticism of Israel’s policies isn’t inherently anti-Semitic, while others have called for her resignation. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington rescinded an honor it intended to bestow for her religious equity advocacy. [Patch]
Arrest Made in Recent Tysons Commercial Burglary — Fairfax County police reported five different burglaries at businesses in Tysons on May 15 and 16, including incidents at ServiceNow and Koons Chrysler. A man from D.C. was arrested and charged in a string of three burglaries that occured on May 16 at Best Buy, Safford of Tysons Corner, and a T-Mobile store. [Sun Gazette]
Lawsuit over TJ Admissions Moves Forward — “A federal judge ruled Friday that a parents’ group can move forward with a lawsuit alleging that new admissions policies at an elite public high school in northern Virginia discriminate against Asian Americans…Asian Americans constitute more than 70 percent of the [Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology] student body, and for decades Black and Hispanic students have been woefully underrepresented there.” [WTOP]
Gallows Road Reduced to One Lane Tonight — “Gallows Road over I-66 will be reduced to one travel lane in each direction during overnight hours Monday, May 24, through Saturday, May 27, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night. The southbound side of Gallows Road will be closed with two-way traffic running on the northbound side. The closures are necessary for utility work on the bridge as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.” [VDOT]
Reminder: McLean Central Park Meeting Tonight — Fairfax County will hold a virtual public information meeting at 7 p.m. today to share a development concept for McLean Central Park. Based on a master plan that was last revised in 2013, potential new facilities for the 28-acre public park on Dolley Madison Boulevard include a dog park, an ampitheater, and trail improvements. [FCPA]