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The Virginia Chamber Orchestra started performing at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens during the pandemic (courtesy Virginia Chamber Orchestra)

The Virginia Chamber Orchestra is tuning up for a fall concert series at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Wolf Trap.

The “Music in the Gardens” series will kick off at 3 p.m. this Sunday (Sept. 4) with “Viva Violas!,” a showcase of that oft-overlooked member of the string family.

A quintet of performers from the professional, Northern Virginia-based orchestra will play for an hour at Meadowlark’s Korean Bell Pavilion. The advertised program features pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton Dvorak, and more:

  • Viola Duets from the Renaissance
  • Charles De Beriot: Two Duets
  • Telemann: Concerto for Two Violas
  • Dvorak: Allegro from Quartet in F Major, Op. 96, “American”
  • Mozart: Andante and Allegro from Viola Quintet in C Major

The series will continue throughout the month with a guitar quintet on Sept. 11, a viola duo with double bass on Sept. 18, and a clarinet quintet on Sept. 25.

All concerts take place from 3-4 p.m. and are free to attend, though Meadowlark’s $6 admission fees are in effect. The park has a $3 discount for people aged 6-17 and 55 and older, with kids under 5 getting in for free.

The Virginia Chamber Orchestra first teamed up with Meadowlark for the “Music in the Gardens” series in fall 2020, when concert venues remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Audiences were so large and enthusiastic that the Virginia Chamber Orchestra is continuing them with both a Spring and a Fall series in 2022, even though traditional concert venues have reopened,” the VCO previously said in a press release.

The series’ spring iteration started May 15 and concluded on June 26.

Long based at Northern Virginia Community College’s Ernest Center in Annandale, the VCO relocated to Capital One Hall in Tysons last year as it celebrated its 50th anniversary season.

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The ramp from northbound Hunter Mill Road to Dulles Toll Road East (via Google Maps)

Updated at 7 p.m. — Hunter Mill Road has fully reopened after this afternoon’s crash, per Fairfax Alerts.

Earlier: Northbound Hunter Mill Road has been closed at the Dulles Toll Road in the Reston/Wolf Trap area after two vehicles collided this afternoon (Wednesday).

A driver told FFXnow shortly after 3 p.m. that there had been an “accident” on the eastbound ramp to the toll road, and they saw fire trucks and ambulances in the area.

The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed that it has officers on the scene of a two-vehicle crash “involving a dump truck that flipped over” near Hunter Mill the toll road, also known as Route 267.

“No injuries were reported,” the FCPD said. “…Drivers are asked to use an alternative route as they work to clear the road.”

As of 4:09 p.m., all northbound lanes remain closed, with congestion building around the toll road, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic information map.

Police said they currently don’t have an estimate for how long the closure will last.

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Drivers to and from eastbound Route 7 at the Lewinsville Road intersection will be detoured this weekend (via VDOT)

By this time next week, the intersection of Route 7 and Lewinsville Road in the Wolf Trap area will have a whole new look, but drivers must endure some inconveniences before the result of the makeover is revealed.

The median that currently facilitates traffic between eastbound Route 7 and Lewinsville will close at 7 p.m. on Friday (Aug. 26), requiring drivers to take an extended detour through Tysons, the Virginia Department of Transportation says.

Signs will be erected to guide drivers through the detour, which will go from Route 7 to Westpark Drive with a northward turn onto International Drive and Spring Hill Road.

“All residences, businesses and other public facilities will remain accessible via the signed detour route,” VDOT said in the news release.

The new Lewinsville Road will open to westbound Route 7 drivers, who can turn right at the McLean Bible Church intersection.

The detour will remain in place through 5 a.m. on Monday (Aug. 29), but the median will reopen to some movements at 6 a.m. Sunday (Aug. 28):

  • Drivers on LewinsvilleRoad/Brook Road will be able to turn left onto eastbound Route 7, turn right onto westbound Route 7, and go straight across to McLean Bible Church at the old Lewinsville Road intersection.
  • Drivers from McLean Bible Church at the old Lewinsville Road intersection will be able to turn left onto westbound Route 7, turn right onto eastbound Route 7, and go straight across the intersection to Lewinsville Road/Brook Road.
  • Drivers from McLean Bible Church at the new Lewinsville Road intersection will be able to turn right onto eastbound Route 7.
  • Drivers on westbound Route 7 will be able to turn left into McLean Bible Church at the old Lewinsville Road intersection.

When the new intersection fully opens at 5 a.m. on Monday, there will be a new, displaced left-turn lane for eastbound Route 7 drivers to access Lewinsville and Brook Road. The service road in front of McLean Bible Church will permanently close.

The new Lewinsville Road and Route 7 intersection (via VDOT)

The intersection was previously expected to open in the spring as part of the ongoing project to widen Route 7 from four to six lanes between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.

The intersection’s permanent configuration is scheduled to be completed on Oct. 25, with the overall Route 7 project on track for a July 31, 2024 finish.

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Amazon wants to use a greenhouse in Fairfax County for plants at The Helix in Arlington (via Amazon)

The greenery proposed for Amazon’s second headquarters in Arlington is so extensive that the company needs a greenhouse to keep it going.

According to plans submitted to the county, Amazon hopes to convert Meadow Farms Nurseries and Landscapes (10618 Leesburg Pike) in Great Falls into a greenhouse to provide a “permanent operation to provide for the continuous maintenance of the extensive landscaping elements” at HQ2. The concept is called Project Wren.

The company’s second headquarters is being built in two phases. The first phase — Metropolitan Park — includes two 22-story buildings, and 2.5 acres of open space. The second phase — PenPlace — includes 3.2 million square feet of office space and about 94,500 square feet of retail.

Its signature building is “The Helix” — a glassy, twisting structure that is intended to be as green as possible in both color and nature.

“The greenhouse will help ensure a ‘Year Five on Day One’ experience for the interior and exterior horticultural program elements at HQ2,” the application materials say.

The company expects the project will require between five to 10 employees. In line with the delivery-based nature of the business, Amazon expects to have weekly and monthly trips from sprinter vans and tractor-trailers to box trucks to keep the facility operational.

The greenhouse — which would not be open to the public — would include hanging plants, full-size trees, and living green walls.

Although Amazon expects to retain most of the existing greenhouse, it needs the county’s blessing to add a new hoop house structure to store larger trees that do not fit in the existing 15,200-square-foot facility.

The company believes the structure does not significantly expand the approved greenhouse use for the site.

A spokesperson for Meadow Farms told FFXnow that the nursery, which is on Great Falls side of Route 7 near Wolf Trap, plans to close next month. The company will consolidate operations to its other locations in Leesburg, Herndon, Chantilly and Fredericksburg.

Amazon did not return multiple requests for comment from FFXnow over the last several weeks.

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Musician Josh Lovelace will kick off the 2022 Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods season on June 21 (courtesy Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts)

School is out for the summer, but young kids won’t have much opportunity to get bored — at least as far as Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is concerned.

The park will launch a complete slate of family-friendly entertainment next week for the first full Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods season of the pandemic. The 2020 season was canceled, along with the rest of Wolf Trap’s summer programming that year, and last year’s lineup was limited to just six performances.

The seven-week season will open at 10:30 a.m. next Tuesday (June 21) with folk singer Josh Lovelace, who plays keyboard for the rock band NEEDTOBREATHE.

“After last year’s shortened season, we’re thrilled to welcome our new and returning families back to Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods for seven exciting weeks of performances,” Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts Director of Community Programs and Internships Cate Bechtold said in a statement. “This summer we’re proud to feature many diverse acts, from Xuejuan Dance Ensemble and Native Pride Dancers to D.C. favorites Uncle Devin and 123 Andres. Whether you are a fan of dance, theater, music or puppetry, there is something for everyone to enjoy!”

All performances will take place in the outdoor theater at 1551 Trap Road on Tuesday through Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. through Aug. 6.

Tickets are on sale now through Wolf Trap’s website and at the Filene Center box office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. A “Pick Three” promotion gives a $2 per ticket discount to anyone who buys tickets to three or more shows.

In addition to singers, the lineup features dance ensembles like the Maryland Youth Ballet, puppetry, theater, and to close the season, a bit of magic from the Amazing Max. The full schedule can be found on the Wolf Trap website.

The park’s main summer season at the Filene Center has been underway since May 28. Up next will be the indie-pop band Belle and Sebastian, who will make their Wolf Trap debut with the band Japanese Breakfast at 7 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).

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Morning Notes

A path in the Mount Vernon area (staff photo by Brandi Bottalico)

First Case of Monkeypox Hits Northern Virginia — “A Northern Virginia woman likely has monkeypox, the Virginia Dept. of Health announced today.” [ARLnow]

Man Settles Lawsuit with FCPD — “An unarmed Black man who was shocked with a stun gun wielded by a white Fairfax County police officer in June 2020 has reached a settlement in a federal civil rights lawsuit, WTOP has learned.” [WTOP]

Closing Arguments Begin in Celebrity Case — After six weeks of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation trial causing some commotion at the county courthouse, it’s set to come to a close soon. Both sides rested their case on Thursday afternoon, and closing arguments are set to begin today. [WJLA]

Virginia Chamber Orchestra Performing at Botanical Gardens — The VCO is holding weekend concerts at the Korean Bell Garden at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Wolf Trap. The next performance is this Sunday (May 29) from 3-4 p.m. [VCO]

Local Teacher Helps Ukraine — “A teacher from Fairfax County, Virginia, is back from a trip to Poland, where she helped feed refugees who were fleeing Ukraine. Meredith Hedrick, who teaches English as a second language at Annandale High School, took a 10-day trip to participate in humanitarian relief efforts at the busiest border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, which includes vehicle, foot and train traffic.” [WTOP]

Vienna to be Featured on WETA — Vienna will be featured in an episode of “If You Lived Here” on WETA, spotlighting the town. The show is expected to air early next year. [Town of Vienna/Facebook]

FCPD Frees Turtle Stuck Under Tire — Fairfax County police tweeted a photo of an animal protection officer holding what appears to be a “smiling” snapping turtle that was rescued from under a car tire and freed. [FCPD/Twitter]

It’s Friday — Rain throughout the day. High of 70 and low of 65. Sunrise at 5:49 am and sunset at 8:26 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

A Virginia Department of Transportation truck at the intersection of Route 1 and Popkins Lane in Groveton, where traffic signals were flashing (staff photo by Brandi Bottalico)

Metro Leaders Step Down — Metro General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld and Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader resigned, effective immediately, last night (Monday) after the transit agency pulled 72 operators for failing to recertify. Wiedefeld had been set to leave on June 30 but says he wanted to “provide a more timely transition to Interim General Manager Andy Off.” [WMATA]

Mosby Woods Residents Split Over Possible Street Renamings — “The increasingly diverse neighborhood named after Confederate army battalion commander John S. Mosby…is another battleground, with the [Fairfax] City Council set to decide in June whether nine streets in Mosby Woods should be called something else.” [The Washington Post]

Pipe Replacement to Disrupt Wolf Trap Area Traffic — “Lawyers Road (Route 673) just south of Carhill Road will have one lane of alternating traffic in each direction via flagging Tuesday, May 17 through Wednesday, May 18, between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day to replace a stormwater pipe…Through traffic will be detoured via Garrett Street, Trott Avenue, Vale Road, Hunter Mill Road and back to Lawyers” [VDOT]

Police Share Details on I-95 Crash — “The woman who died in last week’s fatal three-vehicle crash on Interstate 95 in Springfield, Virginia, was identified Monday by Virginia State Police….Speed and driver distraction are being investigated as contributing factors in the crash.” [WTOP]

Herndon IT Company Bought for $4.2B — “Herndon information technology contractor ManTech International Corp. (NASDAQ: MANT) said Monday morning it has agreed to be acquired by D.C. private equity powerhouse The Carlyle Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CG) in an all-cash transaction valued at $4.2 billion.” [Washington Business Journal]

Decision Nears on Lake Accotink Dredging — Fairfax County will make a final decision “in just weeks” on how to address sediment build-up in Springfield’s Lake Accotink. The options currently on the table would transport the sediment to a nearby industrial park or pipe it to Wakefield Park, where it would then be taken to a quarry via I-495, raising environmental and traffic concerns. [ABC7]

Reston Association’s Pool Season Underway — “Our Pools season has officially started! Check out these scenes from opening weekend at North Shore and Lake Audubon! Thanks to all who came out! We’re ready to have an amazing summer at the Pools!” [RA/Twitter]

Bear Sightings Might Become More Common — “Due to warmer weather, bears are beginning to move throughout the county. Be safe by securing your trash cans and bird feeders, reducing the likelihood of on of our hairy friends popping up in your community.” [Pat Herrity/Twitter]

It’s Tuesday — Clear throughout the day. High of 73 and low of 58. Sunrise at 5:56 am and sunset at 8:18 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The project is expected to finish in the summer of 2024 (via VDOT)

The widening of Route 7 is roughly 60% complete, remaining on schedule for completion by July 2024.

The $314 million project is expanding Route 7 from four to six lanes with significant updates at 19 intersections and shared-use paths along both sides of the road between Reston and Tysons. Other projects include replacing the bridge over Difficult Run.

A virtual meeting on the next phase of the project is planned for Tuesday (April 19) at 7 p.m. Virginia Department of Transportation representatives will be available to discuss the project and answer questions.

The next big ticket item is the construction of the new Lewinsville Road intersection, which is scheduled t0 open later this spring near Wolf Trap. The intersection includes a displaced left-turn lane from eastbound Route 7 to Lewinsville Road.

VDOT plans to temporarily configure the intersection in May, according to VDOT spokesperson Kathleen Leonard.

“Lewinsville Road will be realigned to an intersection with Route 7 across from the east entrance to McLean Bible Church,” Leonard told FFXnow. “Traffic signals at the east and west entrances to McLean Bible Church will be coordinated to maximize throughput at this busy intersection and the final configuration is expected to be completed later this fall.”

A displaced left-turn lane allows left-turn vehicles to cross to the other side of opposing through-traffic before the main intersection. An online simulation of the changes is available online.

The project is expected to clear a major milestone this fall, when three lanes of traffic in each direction open along nearly two miles of Route 7 between Reston Avenue and Riva Ridge Drive.

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Fairfax County police cruiser with lights on (via FCPD/Facebook)

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors expressed solidarity with the local Jewish community today (Tuesday) after dozens of anti-Semitic flyers were found in a Wolf Trap neighborhood over the weekend.

Reiterating a statement released on social media yesterday (Monday), Chairman Jeff McKay characterized the flyers as a backlash to the county’s embrace of religious diversity during the board’s meeting this morning.

“It’s not by accident that sadly Fairfax County is targeted by this hateful propaganda, because we are proud in our county to have the largest Jewish congregation in Virginia,” McKay said.

The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed yesterday that it is investigating the 70 to 80 anti-Semitic flyers reportedly found in the 1400 block of Laurel Hill Road on Sunday (Feb. 20).

The flyers were reported by a community member who found one in a plastic bag weighed down with corn kernels on his property, according to police.

The FCPD said it has increased patrols in the neighborhood, which is on the south side of Route 7 near the McLean Bible Church. It is also working with the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington to raise awareness.

Calling the perpetrators “despicable people,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust advised community members to contact the police if they have any information about the flyers, especially surveillance video that may have captured their distribution.

FCPD Organized Crime and Intelligence Bureau detectives can be contacted at 703-802-2750. Tips are accepted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), text (type “FCCS” plus tip to 847411), and online.

Detectives are still working to determine where the flyers came from, and it’s unclear so far why the Wolf Trap neighborhood was targeted, FCPD spokesperson Sgt. Ian Yost told FFXnow.

Fairfax County is one of several communities across the country hit by anti-Semitic flyers this past weekend, from Bowie, Maryland to California’s Bay Area, Colorado, Texas, and the University of Illinois.

Yost says Fairfax County detectives are collaborating with regional and local partners to see if there are any commonalities across the reported incidents.

McKay noted this morning that Fairfax County has seen these “scare tactics” before. Just last summer, flyers attributed to Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were discovered in the Springfield and Sully areas, specifically targeting members of the county’s school board.

Anti-Black hate crimes and incidents tend to be the most prevalent in Fairfax County, according to police data, but there were also 22 anti-Jewish incidents reported between 2018 and 2020.

These acts won’t be tolerated and strengthen the county as people stand in solidarity with the Jewish community and all religions, McKay said.

David Taube contributed to this report. Photo via FCPD/Facebook.

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