Tysons, VA

What does the word ‘invite’ mean?

That question occupied the bulk of a Vienna Town Council discussion on Monday night regarding a proposal to invite Vienna restaurant lenders, owners, landlords and tenants to brainstorm ideas to support businesses this winter in light of the economic instability caused by COVID-19. The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Vienna Community Center gym and will be moderated by Peter Sparber, a Vienna resident.

The proposal passed 5-2, with Mayor Linda Colbert and Councilmember Ed Somers voting against it.

During the town council meeting, Colbert, Town Manager Mercury Payton, and the council members debated whether it is legal or proper for the town to hold an invite-only event not moderated by a town official.

Councilmember Ray Brill, who requested the town council take up the motion, said time is of the essence and the word “invite” must stay to gather together stakeholders.

“Winter is coming and there is nothing that we can do to stop it,” Brill said. “We need to listen to residents and other business folks to learn their point of view and navigate the COVID-19 crisis.”

Colbert worried about the town hosting an event but ceding control of the conversation. She said this gathering should remain in the private sector.

“I think it comes down to how some of us view the word invite,” Colbert said.

She said that if she invites people to a party, it is her party and she runs it. Similarly, if the town invites stakeholders, that makes it an official function. She said she would support a motion without the word “invite.”

Many members tweaked the proposal’s language. Like Brill, Councilmember Chuck Anderson, whose amended motion was ultimately approved, said the word “invite” needs to stay.

“I want the gravitas of the town to be part of the attempt to get people there,” he said.

His changed motion states: “This gathering is not an official function of the Town of Vienna. The town is not proposing any specific legislative action as a result of this meeting and Town Council members may observe, but will not participate in the discussion.”

Councilmember Dr. Nisha Patel offered another compromise to change “invite” to “encourage a conversation.”

Brill countered that encouragement occurs on social media. In order to have an honest dialogue, he only wants those who are invited to show up.

“We change from the word ‘public forum’ to ‘meeting,’ we run the risk of no one showing up because they don’t talk in person,” he said.

Patel said she understood the dilemma and supported the event.

“I think we should help make this a possibility for them,” she said. “We are all interested in helping them, that’s not a question.”

Photos via Vienna Town Council

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Jan. 6)

  • Daf Circle — 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Iranian-American Community Center (2236 C Gallows Road) — People from around the community are invited to come and make drum music with friends and other community members — no previous skill required. A $10 cash entry fee will be collected at the door.

Thursday (Jan. 9)

  • Fall Church Chamber Networking Breakfast — 8 to 9 a.m. at Original Pancake House (7395 Lee Hwy) — This event invites anyone interested in the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce to attend this meet and greet. No registration is required but attendees are expected to pay for their own meals.

Friday (Jan. 10)

  • Dining in the Dark — 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Greenhouse (2070 Chainbridge Road) — Ever wonder what it is like to remove one of your senses and let the others take control? At this event, you will be blindfolded by a waiter who will serve you a four-course meal along with a wine pairing for $99 while a DJ plays music.
  • Vision Board Workshop — 6 to 8 p.m. at BRAWS Office (114 Courthouse Road SW) — This event will teach attendees how to put together a vision board and help people design what they want their lives to look like. A $10 donation is suggested to benefit Bringing Resources to Women’s Shelters. Snacks, wine and supplies will be included. All are welcome.
  • (the) unRuly TheaTre pRojecT” — 6 to 8 p.m. at Bards Alley (110 Church Street NW) — This teen improv group will perform a free show for the public. No RSVP is required. “These talented teens make up the show as they go along, so that each show is completely new and hilarious,” according to the Facebook page.

Saturday (Jan. 11)

  • Children’s Clothing and Toy Swap — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Philip Catholic Church (7500 St. Phillips Court) — People are invited to gather at Hayden Hall and either donate or swap gently used or new items for kids. All items not claimed at the end of the event will be donated to families in need. The event will also accept bedding, strollers and bouncy swings.
  • Resolution Buster Bash — 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Settle Down Easy Brewing (2822 Fallfax Drive) — To celebrate the release of its new hard seltzer water, the brewery is hosting a party. The first 50 people to attend will receive a free pint glass with $1 off refills all day. There will also be food and various beer specials.

Sunday (Jan. 12)

  • Ski and Snowboard Waxing Workshop — 9 to 11 a.m. at REI (8209 Watson Street) — This winter, people can learn how to make their rides down the mountain go more smoothly with regular waxings. No prior experience is needed. This workshop is free and open to all.
  • Dog Adoption Event — noon to 3 p.m. at Chico’s Natural Pet Market (6349 Columbia Pike) — Anyone interested in adopting a furry friend can stop by to meet new friends in need of a home. Volunteers will be available to ask questions and the shelter is also looking for foster homes. This event is free and open to the public.

Image via Facebook

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Tysons may not have the liveliest nightlife at the moment, but that could soon change as more late-night restaurants and places to hang out open. “Tysons After Dark” will highlight a different spot every week.

With colder weather and the start of winter approaching, people in the Tysons area looking to bundle up for some seasonal activities can find ice skating rinks nearby.

The Tysons Corner Center ice skating rink is closed, but there are other places in Northern Virginia where people can skate. Here are several options within a 15-mile-radius of Tysons.

Indoor 

Don’t want to deal with wind, rain or snow? SkateQuest is an indoor ice skating rink in Reston at 1800 Michael Faraday Court. Wanna-be skaters can take lessons — private ones cost $35-$50 for a 30-minute session. Public skating is offered at certain times several days a week, including weekends.

Over at the Fairfax Ice Arena (3779 Pickett Road), people can take skating lessons. For skaters ages 13 and up, the cost is $9.25 on Fridays and Saturdays, and the rink is open until 10:30 p.m.

In Arlington, the MedStar Capitals Iceplex offers public skating for $9 for people ages 13 and up at 627 N. Glebe Road. Public skating usually lasts until 8 p.m. on Fridays and 7 p.m. on Saturdays.

Outdoor

Want to skate under the stars? At the Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion (1818 Discovery Street), adults can skate for $10 every day of the week. On, Fridays and Saturdays, skating lasts until 11 p.m. (Be sure to check out the holiday hours if you plan to go next week or the last week of December.)

The ice skating rink in Pentagon Row (1201 S. Joyce Street) in Arlington calls itself the largest outdoor rink in Northern Virginia and the second-largest rink in the state. Open every day, skaters have until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For people ages 13 and older, the cost is $10.

Photo via MedStar Capitals Iceplex/Facebook

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The City of Falls Churched announced via a Simpsons GIF that trash and recycling curbside pickup services delayed yesterday on account of the snowstorm have been rescheduled for this Saturday.

Trash pickup for other localities started sooner. In Vienna, trash pickup canceled yesterday was picked up earlier today, though the town asked locals not to include brush or bulk items.

Roughly 90 percent of Fairfax County residents and businesses use a private collection service and are encouraged to reach out to their chosen provider to find out when trash services resume.

American Disposal Services, one of the largest private collection services in the county, announced that its Wednesday trash pickup service was also postponed to the weekend. According to the website:

Wednesday Residential service will be made up on Saturday, February 23, 2019. Please have trash and / or recycling out the night before to ensure collection.

Commercial and Roll off service will be on a one day delay. Wednesday service will be performed Thursday, Thursday service will be performed Friday, Friday and Saturday services will be performed Saturday.

The collection service also asked that the lots near dumpsters and the wheels are cleared of any ice.

At least one Falls Church resident noted on Twitter, though, that some Fairfax Public Works employees were braving the foul weather yesterday to pick up bulk trash on the street.

Photo via Facebook

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It’s cold out and the snow is still piling up in the streets, but that hasn’t kept some stores from opening. Tysons currently has around three inches of snow on the ground.

Tysons Corner Center said in a tweet this morning that it would be open, though individual retailers within the store might be closed.

The security office at Tysons Galleria said that the mall is closed today as a result of the snow.

The Tower Club Tysons will be open with a limited menu until 2 p.m., with an anticipated opening and normal hours at 7 a.m. on Thursday.

While the emergency departments remain open, Inova’s physical therapy location in Tysons is closed today, as are several other Inova programs across the county. Ninotch massage and sports therapy also announced its Tysons location is closed today.

The lunch special event at TenPenh near Tysons Galleria is also postponed, though the restaurant remains open.

Vienna government facilities and community centers are closed today. Maple Avenue Restaurant in Vienna announced that it would also be closed today.

All library branches are closed today as is the Fairfax Animal Shelter, which advised locals to stay cuddled up at home with their pets.

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(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed tomorrow (Wednesday) due to a winter storm that’s just hours away from reaching the area.

A Winter Storm Warning has been issued ahead of the storm, which is expected to drop several inches of snow and some sleet and freezing rain on Fairfax County.

Despite VDOT pretreating local roadways, authorities are urging residents to stay off the roads — if at all possible — after the flakes start flying early Wednesday morning. Delays and cancellations are likely for schools, governments and flights Wednesday.

More from the National Weather Service:

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 7 PM EST WEDNESDAY… * WHAT…HEAVY MIXED PRECIPITATION EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6 INCHES AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH EXPECTED. * WHERE…THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL MARYLAND AND CENTRAL AND NORTHERN VIRGINIA. * WHEN…FROM 1 AM TO 7 PM EST WEDNESDAY. SNOW WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING AND MIX WITH AND CHANGE TO SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN DURING THE LATE MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON HOURS WEDNESDAY. PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE TO PLAIN RAIN WEDNESDAY EVENING. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS LIKELY WEDNESDAY MORNING. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW, SLEET AND ICE WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. WHEN VENTURING OUTSIDE, WATCH YOUR FIRST FEW STEPS TAKEN ON STEPS, SIDEWALKS, AND DRIVEWAYS, WHICH COULD BE ICY AND SLIPPERY, INCREASING YOUR RISK OF A FALL AND INJURY. &&

More via social media:

https://twitter.com/VaDOTNOVA/status/1097896285967994880

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Weekend Notes

Winter Storm Approaching — Some 2-5 inches of snow are expected to fall on the Tysons area Wednesday. Much of the region is now under a Winter Storm Warning. [Capital Weather Gang, Twitter]

FRIT Opening Tysons Office — Maryland-based Federal Realty Investment Trust, which owns the Pike 7 shopping center, is planning to open an office in Tysons to better manage its Northern Virginia properties. [Washington Business Journal]

Sheriff’s Office Alerts ICE — “The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office notifies U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities when a possibly undocumented immigrant in its custody is scheduled to be released, a written notice given to inmates says.” [Fairfax Times]

Programming Note — For those of you used to seeing Morning Notes on this site, or on our sister sites of ARLnow and Reston Now, we’re changing things up a bit here. Instead of a daily post, we will now be doing a once-weekly roundup of Tysons, McLean, Vienna and Falls Church-related items in the news since last Friday.

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It’s extremely cold outside, and the Fairfax County Animal Shelter has some advice for pet owners over the news few days of the Polar Vortex.

One of the most urgent warnings is to keep animals away from all of the types of dangerous chemicals that might be around to try to deal with the snow.

According to the shelter:

– If it’s too cold outside for you, it’s probably too cold for your pets, too. Pets left outside in frigid temperatures can freeze or wander away due to disorientation. Please bring your pets indoors!
– For free-roaming community cats, you can provide straw-filled shelters to give them a protected place to get warm.
– After walks, make sure to towel dry your dog, and wipe their paws and in between their toes to remove ice, snow, and salt. Keep antifreeze away from all animals!

If a pet is found outside in frigid temperatures, Animal Protection Police can be contacted at 703-691-2131.

As cold weather sets in, Fairfax County Animal Control urged residents to be mindful of warm areas around their house that wild animals can seek shelter in. Sgt. Alena Swartz, Animal Control Officer for Fairfax County, said conflicts can happen when wild animals come too close to homes.

While the types of animals are unlikely to change, Swartz noted that residents are still likely to see foxes, raccoons or coyotes throughout the winter.

Courtesy photo

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As local leaders work to make Tysons more walkable, a big part of that push is going to involve keeping the sidewalks clear during snowstorms.

One day after the first snowstorm of 2019, Tysons seem to have mostly — but not entirely — met that goal.

While most of the roads are cleared by the Virginia Department of Transportation, Robin Geiger, head of communications for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, says private organizations and individuals around Tysons are entirely to credit for the clear sidewalks.

“Neither VDOT nor the county clears snow and ice from public walkways (sidewalks and most trails),” Geiger wrote. “While not legally obligated, residents and businesses are asked to help keep sidewalks safe, when possible, by clearing snow off the sidewalks in front of their property so that all pedestrians, especially school children, those with disabilities and the elderly, may walk securely.”

“Homeowner associations may require members of their communities to clear the private walkways abutting their property,” she added.

According to Geiger, the only sidewalks cleared by the county are those outside county-operated facilities, like police stations, fire stations, libraries and community centers.

By early afternoon yesterday (Monday), many of the sidewalks near Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria were mostly or entirely cleared of snow. Undaunted by the cold, there were also a fair number of people taking advantage of the snow day to shop at both malls and other surrounding businesses.

Many of the outlying streets, like Jones Branch Drive, also had sidewalks on at least one side of the road clear, with some of the streets near residential developments remaining snow-covered. For many of the sidewalks on the fringes of Tysons, even those with a path through the snow are still covered with ice.

Geiger said if sidewalks in front of private property are not cleared by the owners or other private entities, the job falls upon Mother Nature.

“Many businesses, [homeowners associations], and residents clear sidewalks, but they are not required to by county ordinance,” said Geiger. “Some sidewalks do not get cleared during snow events.”

In Fairfax City, Falls Church, Alexandria and Arlington, ordinances do require business owners and residents to clear their sidewalks.

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Morning Notes

What to Do About Backyard Wildlife — “Don’t pet or feed wild animals. In fact, local animal control encourages you to ‘haze’ them if at all possible. As winter sets in, homes around Fairfax County could look particularly appealing to animals looking for a refuge for the cold weather or a bite to eat.” [Reston Now]

Flood Watch Today — The area remains under a Flood Watch through 6 p.m. as rain continues today. Some storms may form later in the day. This evening, the solstice will usher in winter on the shortest day and longest night of the year. [FairfaxNews, Capital Weather Gang]

Winter Weather Reminder — “Today is officially the first day of winter! Enjoy the season but stay safe and warm. Sign up for Fairfax Alerts to stay informed on winter weather.” [Twitter, Fairfax Alerts]

Holiday Grocery Store Hours — Patch has a list of grocery stores around the Tysons area and the hours for each on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Most grocery stores will be closed on Dec. 25, though some will be open with reduced hours. [Patch]

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