- A deputy from the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office shot and killed a man who he believed had a weapon, on the grounds of Inova Fairfax Hospital last week. (Fairfax County Police)
- Registration is now open for the Oct. 1 Taste of Annandale 5K race. (Annandale Blog)
- Fairfax County Police arrested a man in connection with a murder near Bailey’s Crossroads. (Fairfax County Police)
- Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan toured the Eden Center in Falls Church to promote the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton. (Falls Church News-Press)
- The City of Falls Church will hold a lottery next month for 14 affordable units in the new Lincoln at Tinner Hill building on South Maple Avenue. (Falls Church News-Press)
Remember when it was pretty cool to buy something online and get it delivered the very next day? How passe. Last week Amazon rolled out a one-hour delivery program, Prime Now, in Northern Virginia. And the West of Falls Church area is part of the coverage area.
The six zip codes between Falls Church, Tysons, and Fairfax City that this blog writes about – 22027, 22031, 22042, 22043, 22046, and 22180 – are all part of the program and eligible for one-hour delivery.
I checked the web site – PrimeNow.Amazon.com – and found thousands of items available for one-hour delivery, including diapers, potato chips, coffee makers, toilet paper, and fire logs. A search for beer returned results only for root beer, so I guess alcohol isn’t included.
For Amazon Prime members, one-hour delivery costs $7.99 and two-hour delivery is free. The service is available from 8 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. .
If you’ve used the service, email me at WestOfFallsChurch.com and let me know how you like it.
Police arrested a Vienna man after he allegedly robbed a Merrifield bank and snarled traffic on Gallows Road Tuesday by claiming to have a bomb.
On Tuesday afternoon David Canavan, 53, of Vienna, walked into the Wells Fargo bank in the Merrifield Plaza shopping center and gave an employee a note demanding money and claiming to have an explosive, according to Fairfax County Police and ABC7. When he left the bank he left behind a package. Police closed Gallows Road in both directions from about 4 to 7:30 p.m. while the Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit investigated the package, according to Falls Church Patch.
The shopping center at the intersection of Lee Highway and Gallows Road is also home to the H Mart and an Office Depot. It’s across Gallows from Mosaic.
Police “quickly saturated the area, set up a perimeter, and located and detained a suspect a short time later,” according to a police statement. They used both K9 units and a police helicopter in the search. They arrested Canavan about two miles north on Gallows Road, near Kilmer Middle School.
Police said that they believe Canavan robbed two other banks in Fairfax County last month.
- The City of Falls Church got two big grants that will help it set up 16 bike sharing stations in late 2017 or early 2018. (Falls Church Patch)
- The autopsy of a man with cognitive disabilities, who died while being restrained by police in West Falls Church, concluded that the death was an accident caused by “Cardiac Arrhythmia Associated with Police Restraint.” (Fairfax County Police Department)
- The Fairfax County School Board has approved the creation of a group to look into the prospect of changing the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School, because the school’s namesake was a Confederate general during the Civil War. (Fairfax County Times)
- Virginia Sen. Janet Howell, whose district includes Pimmit Hills, received a 100 percent rating from a coalition of Virginia business groups. (Inside NoVa)
— WTOP (@WTOP) July 29, 2016
Friday’s train derailment outside the East Falls Church Metro station fouled commutes and led to the closure of the west end of the Orange Line all weekend. But the track between Ballston and West Falls Church is scheduled to reopen for regular service this morning.
The reopening coincides with the end of the latest phase of Metro’s SafeTrack initiative, which had slowed Metro schedules on the west end of the Orange Line, as trains shared a single track between Ballston and East Falls Church.
Friday’s derailment wasn’t in the SafeTrack work area. It caused no serious injuries, but damaged the tracks, traction power system, and two rail cars, according to Metro. While the derailed train was cleared away Friday, Metro kept part of the Orange Line closed through Sunday to more thoroughly investigate the crash.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a rezoning application July 12 to allow Fairfax County to replace the Jefferson Fire Station in Falls Church.
The existing fire station, at 3101 Hodge Place, was built in 1953 and is too small for newer, larger firefighting vehicles. The station also needs more space to accommodate female firefighters.
The old Jefferson Fire Station is obsolete.
During the BoS meeting, Mason Supervisor Penny Gross said when firefighters back the apparatus into the station, there’s only an inch from the wall on either side. “This really does need to be upgraded. It needs to be totally rebuilt,” she said.
The new building will be about 18,000 square feet with two stories and five bays, while the existing one-story fire station is 14,670 square feet and has four bays.
The first floor in the new building will have administrative offices, a day room, kitchen, dining room, and conference room. The upper level will have bunk rooms, locker facilities, and an exercise room. There will be four access points to the property, including a new one on Woodley Lane.
The proposal calls for the 1.2-acre property to be rezoned from C-5 to R-4. The Planning Commission approved the rezoning on June 29. Funding for the new fire station was in a public facilities bond approved by voters in 2012.
During the construction, the fire station will be relocated to a temporary structure to be installed on a vacant, wooded lot at the corner of Annandale Road and South Street.
Between July 20 and 31, trains will share a single track between East Falls Church and Ballston. That means a 70% reduction in the number of trains between Vienna and East Falls Church. At rush hour, trains will come every 18 minutes on our stretch of the Orange Line, compared to the normal schedule of one every six minutes.
And fewer trains means potentially dangerous crowding. Metro expects an average of 155 people per car between West Falls Church and East Falls Church during this phase of SafeTrack. For reference, 80 people per car means a comfortable ride with seats available. One hundred people per car is still comfortable, but standing-room-only. Anything above 120 starts to get unpleasant, with crowding, pushing, and people getting left on platforms.
Looking for a new job at a great company that’s also close to home? The Washington Post has released its annual list of Top Workplaces in the Washington area, and six of the 150 employers – including two of the top five large companies – are in the West of Falls Church area (see map below).
- Hitt Contracting is a family-owned construction company headquartered just off Lee Highway near the Beltway. It got high marks from the Post for keeping employees informed about management decisions. It ranked number one in the large companies category. Hitt has over 600 employees in the area.
- Noblis is a nonprofit headquartered south of Route 50 near the Beltway that provides technical and advisory services to multiple federal agencies. The Post recognized the company for keeping employees intellectually challenged and giving them opportunities for professional growth. Noblis employs over 800 locally. It ranked number five among large companies.
- ECS Federal is a federal contractor based in Merrifield, with over 600 local employees. It ranked 17th on the Post list of large companies.
- Custom clothing maker CustomInk ranked 45th among midsized companies. The company’s headquarters is in Mosaic, where it has over 400 employees.
- MBP (Mcdonough Bolyard Peck), an engineering consulting firm, has 100 local employees and is based in Merrifield. It ranked 38th among small companies.
- Emagine IT is another federal contractor based in the same building as ECS Federal in Merrifield. The Post ranked it 50th among small companies.