Tysons, VA

Vienna police are investigating reports of a vehicle getting vandalized with paint and a suspicious chalk message outside someone’s home.

Last Friday, a man reported that someone used paint vandalized his vehicle while it was parked in the 400 bock of Church Street NE, police said.

In a separate incident, a woman who had recently received solicitations for people claiming to be from T-Mobile reported that someone wrote “T-Mobile” on her driveway in chalk, police said.

The chalk message happened during the day on Monday (March 23) in the 500 block of Nanterry Circle SW, police said.

“Someone did the same thing on the curb earlier in the week,” police said.

On March 17, police issued a summons to the men and charged them with Soliciting Without a Town Permit after receiving several reports about two men allegedly claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or T-Mobile.

The men were released on their signatures.

Photo via Facebook

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Earlier today, teachers and staff from a local elementary school drove decorated vehicles through Vienna neighborhoods to say hello to families.

The “Love Parade” organized by Cunningham Park Elementary School (1001 Park Street) aimed to show support for families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parade started around 11 a.m. and made its way through several local streets. Families came outside to wave to the teachers and staff, who adorned their vehicles with messages:

“We love you.”

“CPES STUDENTS ROCK!”

“Remember Wash your HANDS”

Fairfax County public schools are closed through the end of the school year. FCPS is planning for teachers to provide distance learning to students while the buildings are closed.

Some people took to social media to show their appreciation for the parade:

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A 9-year-old in Vienna wants to help local businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic after they previously supported his fundraising efforts for young cancer patients.

Matteo Lambert began his philanthropic journey after working with the founder of Hopecam, which allows severely ill cancer patients to connect digitally with friends and fight social isolation.

After starting a fundraiser, Matteo and his father Brandon Lambert said eight key businesses in Vienna donated around $250 each for the cause.

Bu now that the COVID19 pandemic has taken a toll on small businesses, Matteo wants to support them during their time of need.

Matteo set up a GoFundMe on March 17 to pay back the businesses for their original donations. So far, the campaign has raised over $1,420 out of the $2,020 goal.

The businesses that will benefit from the fundraiser include:

Brandon said his son had no fundraising experience before he began helping Hopecam and has learned a lot from the experience.

Now, Matteo communicates with donors almost exclusively on his own without too much extra help from adults.

Besides the GoFundMe campaign, Matteo and his father have their own non-profit called Off the Charts Club and have been featured on several other news outlets and podcasts.

Off the Charts Club empowers youth leadership and helps kids to lead their best lives despite any diagnosis or disability, according to its website.

Because of the pandemic, which has taken an economic toll on local businesses and families, Matteo’s dad said the organization has put its fundraising on pause for the time being because they didn’t feel it was right to ask for money in such a challenging time.

Even if someone cannot help their community by donating money, Matteo suggested that people help by donating extra items to local homeless shelters or plant gardens.

“There are no age or size requirements on helping your community,” Matteo said.

Photos via GoFundMe

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Fairfax County will provide an extra $160,000 to help the Town of Vienna kick off a stream restoration project.

The county’s Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the additional funding at their meeting on Tuesday.

The extra funds will go toward the design and construction of the Northside Park Piney Branch Stream Restoration Project.

Located in the Town of Vienna and the Difficult Run Watershed, the project will restore roughly 1,400 linear feet of the stream on Piney Branch by improving the water quality and providing more nutrients, according to county documents.

“The town will administer the design and construction of the Project. Partnering with the Town on this project will save the county the time and administrative costs that would be incurred if the county were to implement the project under its stormwater program,” according to the county.

Back in 2017, the county board gave $660,000 to the town to partially fund the project. After the town received six bids in December, “the total project estimate has increased by $333,006 due to higher than originally estimated construction bids,” according to the county.

The vote on Tuesday means the county will provide an additional $168,006 to the project, which now has a total estimated cost of $1.6 million.

The project is also being supported by an $825,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, according to county documents.

“The town will reimburse the county funds that are not expended in accordance with the terms of the attached agreement,” according to the county.

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The annual Taste of Vienna has been canceled to curb the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

In past years, the festival has brought community members together to try bites of food from various local restaurants, chains and food trucks. The event helps raise money for the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, which hosts the event.

Taste of Vienna announced the cancellation on Facebook on Monday (March 23).

“Our top priority is the safety of all of our participants and attendees, so based on the recommendations of health authorities, it is with a heavy heart that the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department has canceled the Taste of Vienna,” the Facebook post said.

Depending on how long the coronavirus pandemic lasts, the festival might get rescheduled to the fall, the Facebook post added.

Now, the Facebook page is showcasing every day different vendors who had signed up for the festival.

Photo via Taste of Vienna/Facebook

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A local author says her upcoming mystery novel is her “love letter” to Vienna.

“To Kill a Mocking Girl” is about a woman who investigates the death of someone named Tricia after being framed for her murder, according to the author’s website.

Harper Kincaid said that though the book is fiction, it is set in Vienna and includes local spots such as Bards Alley bookstore and the Freeman Store.

“I got a kick out of sharing with readers some of my favorite places in town,” she said.

There are many real-life residents written into the book too, she said, adding that she wonders if local readers can guess who they are.

Kincaid wasn’t born in the town but moved there around 2006 and said the townspeople help her to feel at home.

Though a hard copy of the book was set to launch in May, the publicist told Tysons Reporter that the physical book launch has been pushed to June 9 after a prerelease of the e-book on May 12.

Currently, the book is available for preorder but it is unclear when it will actually ship.

Depending on how things progress, Kincaid said she is considering having a book launch on June 9 at 7 p.m. in Bards Alley bookstore where she wants to give away a gift-basket valued at around $250.

Image courtesy Harper Kincaid

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The Vienna Business Association (VBA) and the North East Vienna Citizens Association (NEVCA) plan to host a virtual debate ahead of the town’s upcoming election.

“The VBA and NEVCA are teaming up to host a virtual Vienna candidate forum in April,” according to the VBA’s email newsletter today (Tuesday). “It will be recorded so that you can watch at your convenience.”

People can submit questions for the candidates.

Previously, several in-person candidate forums were scheduled for the Vienna candidates.

There are three mayoral candidates and seven people running to become councilmembers. Absentee voting for the May 5 election began on March 20.

Tysons Reporter will also reach out to the candidates for Q&As that will be published this spring ahead of the election.

If you have a question you would like the Tysons Reporter team to consider asking, please let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages.

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Now that winter is over and spring is finally here, people looking to sip on a cold beer or alcoholic drink outside can order from these local breweries and distilleries.

Sweetwater Tavern (3066 Gate House Plaza), a microbrewery in Merrifield, is offering curbside pick-up for growlers and carry-out beer and wine orders from 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., according to its website. The online menu includes all-day lunch, kids meals and seven growlers to-go.

Over in Falls Church, Audacious Aleworks Brewery and Taproom (110 E. Fairfax Street) is open 2-7 p.m. daily for only carry-out cans and growlers, according to its website. The small craft brewery specializes in small batch ales, and the taproom has up to 20 beers on tap.

The Falls Church Distillers (442 S. Washington Street, Suite A) has closed its restaurant for right now, but the on-site ABC store is still open, according to a Facebook post. The distillery produces several small-batch spirits including vodkas, gins, rums and whiskeys.

Settle Down Easy Brewing Co. (2822 Fallfax Drive), a nano-brewery in Falls Church, is offering pick-up orders from noon-7 p.m. daily, according to a Facebook post.

The Caboose Brewing Company, a 15-barrel-brewhouse is behind Caboose Commons in Merrifield and Caboose Tavern in Vienna, is accepting to-go orders for both locations.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (7861 Tysons Corner Center) in Tysons Corner Center is temporarily closed.

While not a brewery, the newly opened Black Dog Beer Shop (2672 Avenir Place, Suite M) is offering curbside delivery and pick-up for beer and groceries. Near the Dun Lorring-Merrifield Metro stop, the shop is open from 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays.

Photo courtesy Caboose Commons

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Just weeks after its official opening, the owner of the Bear Branch Tavern in Vienna made the “particularly heartbreaking” decision to temporarily close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To help the restaurant’s employees, who are now temporarily jobless, owners Chris Lefbom and Adam Lubar created a GoFundMe page on Sunday (March 22) that has already collected roughly $1,200 and counting.

The page has a goal of $5,000 right now and the description said that the proceeds raised from the page will get split between full-time and part-time employees.

“We had to seriously consider our hourly (both in the Front and Back of the House) team members who rely on their paychecks and tips to live,” the owners wrote on the GoFundMe page.

It is unclear at the moment when Bear Branch Taven will reopen but an announcement on the eatery’s Facebook page said that the owners will do so when they feel the time is right — with respect to the health and safety of the community.

“The team at Bear Branch is a new family and we want to help make sure the family is taken care of and is there for you when we open our doors again,” the page said.

Photo via Bear Branch Tavern/Facebook

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Editor’s note: Starting March 24, Tysons Reporter will have “Morning Notes” every weekday instead of twice a week to accommodate more news.

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

FCPD Makes Changes Due to Coronavirus — “The department has added staff and is available to take certain police reports over the phone. Community members are also encouraged to utilize the online reporting system.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

AP, IB Info for Students — “Traditional face-to-face [AP] exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home… The May 2020 IB examinations for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme students will no longer be held.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Local Couple 3-D Printing Mask Shields — “As protective gear shortages put our frontline medical workers at risk, Vienna couple Amy and Jeremy Filko are 3D-printing shields to protect N95 masks. For each request received, the Filkos are covering shipping costs and sending four free masks to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers.” [Washingtonian]

Dalia Palchik, Del. Marcus Simon (D-53rd) Host Virtual Town Hall — “In an audience that ranged up to 44 viewers, the two responded to questions both about the current pandemic and, for Simon, the recently-concluded legislative session in Richmond.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Capital One Ups Pay for Workers Not Teleworking — “Capital One Financial Corp. is hiking the salaries of its employees who work directly with customers as the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country, the company announced internally and confirmed to the Washington Business Journal.” [Washington Business Journal]

Metro Cuts Back Service This Week — “Trains will be operating every 20 minutes on all lines except the Red Line, which will run every 15 minutes, according to a news release.” [Inside Nova]

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