Morning Notes

Person Stabbed at Tysons Metro Station — An individual was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after a man reportedly stabbed them around 5:30 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 7) at the Tysons Metro station. Metro Transit Police officers responded to the incident, and Fairfax County police later arrested a man believed to be the suspect. [WTOP]

No Injuries in McLean House Fire — “At 10:43 pm last night, crews from #FCFRD and Arlington County Fire Department dispatched to house fire in 1500 block of Dominion Hill Ct, McLean. Units arrived to find home fully involved in fire. 2nd alarm requested. Fire out. All occupants safe. No reported injuries.” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Police Identify Serial Killer Victims — “The Fairfax County Police Department identified two badly decomposed bodies found in a large plastic container near a shopping cart on Dec. 15 in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County as a woman from Washington, D.C., and a woman from California, police officials said at a news conference Friday night.” [Patch]

FCPD Recovers Stolen Vehicles — Fairfax County police recovered two vehicles during traffic stops in late December that had been reported as stolen. One was found on I-495 at Arlington Boulevard on Dec. 30, and the other was obtained on Dec. 31 after the driver attempted to get out of a traffic stop on I-495 at Leesburg Pike by striking a police cruiser with his vehicle. [FCPD]

FCPS Survey on Next Superintendent Now Open — “Please weigh in by participating in the Superintendent Search Survey today. The survey allows FCPS parents/guardians, staff, high school students, and community members to share their thoughts on the leadership characteristics and qualities of the next superintendent.” [FCPS]

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Morning Notes

Reduced Metro Service Continues — “Although the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) said Wednesday it had improved service on a number of its Metrorail lines, customers should expect reduced service to continue at least until Nov. 30.” [Patch]

MCC Offers Vouchers for Feedback — The McLean Community Center has hired the consulting firm AMS Planning & Research to conduct a community survey regarding its future operations and programming. Five randomly chosen respondents will receive $60 vouchers that can be used for MCC-sponsored classes, camps, and other activities or an Alden Theatre performance. [MCC]

Zero Waste Store Now Open in Vienna — “Trace the Zero Waste Store opened on Sept. 23 at 140 Church Street NW. This is only one of two zero waste stores to open in Northern Virginia…Vienna’s new store seeks to be a one-stop location for essentials such as dry goods and personal care items to help reduce the amount of waste humans produce and its impact on the planet.” [Patch]

Leila Co-Owner Rules Local Nightlife and Lobbying Scenes — “Washington isn’t exactly known for its nightlife, but when the scene does hit, say, Page Six, Basnayake’s spots tend to be the backdrop. But get this — all while trying to build up the city as a Saturday-night playground for the young, trendy, and ready to party, Basnayake has also held down the most Washington job in Washington. He’s a lobbyist.” [Washingtonian]

Luther Jackson Teacher Engages Students with Escape Room — “The pair worked to craft the county school system’s first escape room, an academic puzzle for the school’s eighth graders to review material taught in seventh grade. Since the concept debuted earlier this month, it has some students so invested that they asked Hoffert if they can return after school to complete the maze.” [WTOP]

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A car parked in front of a “No Parking” sign (via Google Maps)

Updated at 3:55 p.m. Fairfax County is seeking public feedback about people’s parking habits and priorities in Tysons and Reston with a survey available now in English and Spanish until the end of July.

County staff are using the online survey to help establish a managed parking program in the Tysons Urban Center and Reston Transit Station Areas, which they hope will address issues ranging from limited parking options to avoiding vehicles reportedly remaining in spaces for weeks at a time.

Fairfax County currently has no paid on-street parking meters and collects no money in on-street parking revenue. Parking meters are on private streets, the county notes.

In addition to asking about people’s current parking habits, the survey tells respondents to prioritize five factors that affect when and where they decide to park:

  • Lowest price or free
  • Proximity of parking to desired location
  • Flexible payment options (credit cards, smartphone apps)
  • Ability to pay with cash
  • Overnight parking is allowed for free

The county is looking to get input from both commuters and residents. In addition to filling out the survey, community members can submit comments through an online feedback form, by mail to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, and by calling 703-877-5600.

The survey will build on the results of a two-year study that FCDOT conducted to look at the availability of on-street parking on state-owned roads in Tysons and Reston.

In Tysons, the study found 1,272 on-street parking spaces along 22 miles of curb, amounting to 29% of the available space. Recommendations included implementing timed or paid parking near Metro stations to encourage turnover and addressing issues with commercial vehicles parking in front of businesses.

The county is looking to support businesses with “shorter duration parking and parking space turnover,” according to a page about the survey.

“Ultimately, the goal is to provide parking that supports the mixed-use development in these increasingly-urban areas of the County,” FCDOT said in a news release.

County staff is slated to use the information from the survey to propose policy and ordinance changes to the Board of Supervisors next year. FCDOT says the managed parking plans will mostly not take effect until new grids of streets are built in Tysons and Reston and accepted by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Correction: This article has been updated to show when county staff expect to recommend ordinance changes.

via Google Maps

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The consulting firm LMI has its headquarters at the Tysons Overlook office building in Tysons (via Google Maps)

The Tysons-based consulting firm LMI has been named one of the best places to work in the D.C. area by The Washington Post, which announced the results of its eighth annual Top Workplaces survey on Friday (June 18).

Recognized in a virtual awards ceremony held on June 17, LMI landed at the top of the list for “Largest Companies,” the category for organizations with 1,000 or more employees in the D.C. area.

Employing 1,800 local workers, LMI primarily serves the federal government, but it recently announced a partnership with Howard University that will support academic research and student mentoring for the university, according to The Washington Post.

“Having recently joined LMI myself, very quickly I realized there were distinct aspects that set us apart as an organization — the resiliency and commitment of our employees,” LMI President and CEO Doug Wagoner said in a press release. “Over the past year, LMIers have not missed a beat. We continue to excel in terms of contract wins, revenue, and profitability, as well as expand our capabilities by hiring great talent and remaining focused on our customers’ missions.”

According to the Post, more than 3,500 area companies were invited to participate in the survey, which was conducted through the third-party platform Energage LLC. More than 65,500 employees completed the questionnaires, addressing topics from pay and benefits to the company’s direction and leadership.

While LMI was ranked the highest, the Tysons area was well-represented among the 200 companies on the list. Here are the other local businesses that made the cut:

Largest (1,000+ employees)

  • Capital One Financial Corporation (#3)
  • Jim Koons Automotive (#8)
  • Dovel Technologies (#10)

Large (500-1,000 employees)

  • Appian (#8)
  • HITT Contracting (#21)
  • ActionNet (#23): This Vienna-based cybersecurity firm has been recognized every year of the survey
  • Applied Insight (#29)

Mid-Size (150-500 employees)

  • ValidaTek (#8)
  • SMS Data Products Group (#9)
  • Thomson Reuters Special Services (#10): This is the McLean-based data and research analysis firm’s third consecutive appearance on the list
  • Markon Solutions (#18)
  • MicroHealth (#21)
  • Credence Management Solutions (#26)
  • Tax Analysts (#29)
  • Steampunk (#36)
  • EGlobalTech (#44)
  • IntelliBridge (#48)
  • Slalom Consulting (#53)
  • Metropolitan Hospitality Group (#54)
  • CollabraLink (#58)
  • Alpha Omega Integration (#62)

Small (50-150 employees)

  • New Editions Consulting (#5)
  • Octagon (#12)
  • Cassaday & Company (#22)
  • SpinSys (#38)
  • Favor TechConsulting (#51)
  • Quadrint (#62)
  • Infina (#67)
  • B&A (#73)
  • Counterpoint Consulting (#79)

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

New Fairfax County Police Chief Sworn In — Kevin Davis was formally sworn in as Fairfax County’s new police chief yesterday morning (Monday). The former Baltimore police commissioner begins his tenure amid intense scrutiny of his past conduct and the county’s hiring process. [FCPD]

Wolf Trap Wireless Tower Plans Put on Hold — Fairfax County has paused negotiations with Milestone Communications on a special exception application for a 114-foot-tall monopole on the Wolf Trap Fire Station site. The proposal drew strong opposition from community members, who argued that the structure would be inappropriate for the surrounding residential neighborhoods. [Sun Gazette]

Tysons Pandemic Recovery Survey Deadline Extended — Tysons Partnership has extended the deadline for its survey to evaluate expectations for the area’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to May 21. Previously scheduled to close on May 14, the survey asks about people’s interest in returning to offices, transit, dining, and other activities that were disrupted by the pandemic. [Tysons Partnership]

Vienna Animal Hospital Proposes ExpansionVeterinary Surgical Centers, which is located in Suite 100 in the basement of 124 Park Street SE, wants to expand to the first floor, where it would add neurology treatment, a new imaging center with a waiting room, exam and operating rooms, and other facilities. The Vienna Planning Commission will make a recommendation on the proposal at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday (May 12). [Patch]

Clemyjontri Park Playground Named Best in Region — Virginia Living readers voted for Clemyjontri Park as the site of Northern Virginia’s best playground in the magazine’s “Best of Virginia 2021” competition. The McLean park’s unique playground was designed for children of all abilities, including kids who use wheelchairs, walkers, or braces and kids with developmental or sensory disabilities. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Photo by Hilde Khan

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Time is running out for community members to weigh in on Fairfax County’s first Countywide Strategic Plan, which will serve as a template for the county government’s vision and priorities for the next two decades.

A public survey on the strategic plan will close at the end of today (Thursday), though the county plans to conduct a fourth round of community engagement this summer before the document is revised and ultimately adopted in October.

The survey is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Urdu, and Farsi. A form for individuals to submit more general feedback can also be found at the bottom of the strategic plan website.

“We view community engagement as a process that is never complete, and strongly encourage you to see the ways the strategies within this plan will positively impact your daily lives,” County Executive Bryan Hill said in a note to the community. “We are counting on you to help us track success, as well as how we can continue to improve — this is not only a government plan, but a way to shape our collective future in a way that benefits us all.”

The effort to develop a single, cohesive plan for the county’s future launched in early 2019 with an initial round of community engagement.

Hill presented what was supposed to be a final version of the document to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Feb. 25, 2020, but the county decided to pause work on the initiative when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March 2020.

After the county spent a year revising the document to take into account the pandemic’s impact, Hill delivered a new proposed strategic plan to the board on Feb. 23, alongside his presentation of the county’s advertised Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

The Board of Supervisors was previously scheduled to adopt the plan in conjunction with its mark up of the budget on April 27, but county staff agreed to push the adoption date back to Oct. 5 after “several” supervisors suggested more time was needed for both the board and the public to review the plan and provide input.

“We absolutely think that this makes sense, because while we recognize that the plan was originally designed to be flexible, adaptable, and future-oriented, we also recognize that COVID is our first real test of that design,” Countywide Strategic Plan Coordinator Aimee Brobst said during a budget committee meeting on March 16. “We want to ensure that the board has adequate time to fully focus on the countywide initiative that we, of course, consider to be extremely important.”

The 56-page strategic plan currently being considered categorizes the county’s goals and strategies for achieving those goals into nine priority areas:

In his note, Hill says that the pandemic has exacerbated existing health and economic disparities in Fairfax County, while posing “significant current and future budget challenges that will require us to focus our limited resources on our top strategic priorities and most urgent community needs.”

“Now more than ever, we must intentionally align existing government and community plans and priorities to respond to the areas of greatest importance to our residents, and strategically focus our resources on these priorities over the next 5, 10, 20 years and beyond,” Hill said.

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What would it take for you to reduce your carbon footprint?

That’s the question Fairfax County is posing as it enters the public engagement portion of its Community Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) initiative, which will establish goals and strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impact of climate change.

Launched in early 2020, the CECAP process is being led by the Fairfax County Office of Environmental and Energy Coordination (OEEC) with support from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Fairfax-based consulting firm ICF.

The county previously sought public input on the plan in August and September, when a CECAP Task Force started developing draft mitigation goals.

In addition to holding two public meetings last week, one focused on energy and another on transportation, waste, and development, the county is looking to gather more public feedback through a trio of short surveys.

“We want to make sure that we expand our reach and get information from as many county residents and business owners as we can,” ICF Director of Human Capital Michelle Heelan said when facilitating the energy community meeting on Feb. 23.

One survey gauges respondents’ interest in undertaking projects to make their home more energy-efficient and sustainable, like installing solar panels and replacing light bulbs and HVAC systems. Another deals with transportation and development, asking questions about public transit, electric vehicles, and mixed-use development.

There is also a more open-ended survey for people to share general comments on the CECAP initiative.

“In Fairfax County, energy use and transportation are the two greatest sources of greenhouse gas emissions,” the OEEC says. “The CECAP will address both issue areas, and with your input, we can ensure that the final plan reflects the needs of everyone in our community as we work to reduce our collective carbon footprint.”

The surveys are currently available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese. They will be open until 11:59 p.m. on Mar. 14.

ICF will draft a final report with input from a CECAP Working Group and the community for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to adopt this summer, according to OEEC Senior Community Specialist Maya Dhavale.

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Tysons Reporter is asking readers to weigh in on how we’re doing and what we should do differently.

While we strive to cover the local community to the best of our ability, we are always looking to improve. To that end, today we’re launching the 2021 Tysons Reporter reader survey.

We would greatly appreciate if you could take five minutes to answer the eight-question survey, which will help us better serve readers in Tysons, McLean, Vienna and Falls Church. We conduct the survey no more than once a year, and it helps to set the direction for the site for years to come.

Thank you for your time and your feedback!

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Fairfax County is seeking public input on the characteristics, skills, and values it should prioritize in selecting its next police chief.

Conducted by the search firm Polihire, the community survey asks respondents to share their thoughts on the most important public safety issues facing the county, the police department’s relationship with the citizens it serves, and the experience and skills that they expect from a police chief.

Available in English and Spanish, the survey has been open since mid-December, but this Friday (Jan. 8) is the deadline for contributing. The county is encouraging all residents and businesses to participate.

The survey is part of a nationwide search that Fairfax County hired Polihire to conduct after current Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. announced on Nov. 5 that he will retire in February.

The community engagement portion of the search process will also include focus groups with key community organizations, according to the county.

Photo via FCPD

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The results of a recent survey on whether to rename Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and George Mason High School triggered surprise, anger, and tears during a Falls Church City Public Schools School Board meeting on Tuesday (Nov. 17).

A majority of respondents — 56% overall — support keeping the names Thomas Jefferson and George Mason, two key historical figures from Virginia who publicly supported an end to slavery, while privately enslaving Black people. For George Mason, 26% support a name change, and for Thomas Jefferson, that population is 23%. The rest had no opinion.

K12 Insight, a consultant hired by the school board, surveyed parents, staff members, students in grades 6-12, and community members from Oct. 14 to 28 to gauge whether they want to see new names for the schools. For both schools, three-quarters of the community members who responded wanted to keep the names, and the margins were smaller for parents, students, and staff.

The discussion to rename the schools began on June 30. With the survey results back, school board members have scheduled a vote on whether to move forward with the name changes for Dec. 8.

Those who support changing the names cited the fact that the men participated in slavery and urged the school to embrace social change and support students who may feel marginalized.

Those who voted to keep the names responded that slavery was a norm at the time that should not disqualify these men from being honored.

School Board member Lawrence Webb, the only Black person on the board, said during a work session on Tuesday that he was surprised by the results of the survey.

“There are a lot of folks who are progressive and supportive of community relations,” he said. “I’m sort of bothered by how folks have couched this conversation of ‘This is something that was acceptable at the time.'”

Webb disagreed with those who characterized a school name change as a waste of resources. The amount of money would be “nominal,” and for George Mason, the timing would coincide with an ongoing project to build a brand new high school.

According to FCCPS, renaming George Mason would cost an estimated $96,760, and renaming Thomas Jefferson would cost around $13,500. The K12 Insight survey cost $8,500. Read More

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