Live More, Commute LessLive More, Commute Less

Nov
2

Dulles Matters: Dulles Airport by the Numbers

By Rob Yingling

Looking back on Dulles International’s 55th year as an airport, some impressive numbers come to light.

Dulles handled about 23 million passengers and 266,000 flights in the last twelve months – serving 120 cities with nonstop flights, including 34 capitals around the globe. Dulles hosted the 25th anniversary Plane Pull – which has raised more than $2.5 million for Special Olympics Virginia since the first Plane Pull in 1992.

Active construction continues along 11.4 miles of new Metrorail track with six new stations taking shape. The track through the airport is approximately 3.8 miles long.  72 new shops and restaurants opened at Dulles since concessions redevelopment began in 2013.

Passengers can visit flydulles.com to learn about the latest airport offerings, specials and security wait times. New restaurants such as the Washington Redskins Burgundy and Gold Club (B-gates), Pei Wei (B-gates) and Chef›s Table by Wolfgang Puck (C-gates) await travelers. And a new, free Wi-Fi system in the airport has dramatically increased connection speeds for people traveling with devices.

Happy holidays, and have a safe and enjoyable journey!

Nov
2

Northern Virginia Awarded Another Dubious Traffic Distinction – Worst Traffic Hotspot in US

I-95 gridlock, photo courtesy of VDOT.

If you have ever driven in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta or Dallas, you will very much agree their traffic is horrific.  And it is…all rank in the top five for the worst traffic in metropolitan areas.  But DC likes traffic misery too. We ranked third, just behind LA and New York.  But wait, we beat them out in a new analysis – worst traffic hotspot in the US.  Congratulations to Northern Virginia!

As reported recently in the Washington Post, INRIX, a traffic analysis and traffic app company, surveyed metropolitan areas over a two month period (March-April) to ascertain where and how many times traffic back ups occurred, and then put dollar figures on what the lost time and productivity cost each metro region.  The I-95 south segment between the Fairfax County Parkway and Fredericksburg took the gold medal for worst traffic hotspot in the US.

Anyone who commutes this segment of roadway would never disagree, but the analysis brings to light just what these commuters experience every day, a “whopping 23 traffic jams a day” and they lose “an average 33 minutes in backups that leave brake lights stretching an average 6.5 miles.”

Those are truly painful numbers, but wait, there is even more alarming news for our region.  The WaPost article goes on to note that “If congestion doesn’t improve over the next decade, the researchers said, that stretch of I-95 will cost local motorists $2.3 billion in wasted time, lost fuel and additional carbon emissions.”  And that is just on one segment of our region’s road network.

Two more segments made the nation’s top 25 – “Northbound I-95 from an area south of Fredericksburg to Exit 143 (Garrisonville Road), also in Northern Virginia, came in seventh with “936 traffic jams,” and “the eastern part of the Capital Beltway between Kenilworth Avenue (Route 201) and just east of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Prince George’s County ranked ninth worst with nearly 700 backups.”

INRIX conducted this research to assist policy makers to prioritize where to dedicate scarce funding for infrastructure improvements…  essentially what gives public investments the most bang for buck.  This type of analysis also demonstrates, at least to those who work in the alternative mobility fields, the needs to find transportation alternatives for these commuting corridors.

Nov
2

DATA Welcomes New Member Froehling & Robertson, Inc.

For over 70 years, Froehling & Robertson, Inc. has been helping the public and private sectors complete their transportation construction projects on time and under budget. During this time, F&R have proudly provided multi-disciplinary engineering services not only for some of the mid-Atlantic region’s most transformational highway and bridge construction projects, but also for many of the smaller, municipal quality-of-life projects that are so important to maintaining efficient and liveable communities.

Established in 1881, F&R has provided clients in the transportation sector with the full range of engineering services, including their core competencies of geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, and environmental services. F&R offers a comprehensive scope of geotechnical engineering exploration and design services to assist in the design and construction of foundations, roadways and earth structures for all types of transportation projects. Their materials testing field and laboratory professionals are DOT certified throughout the mid-Atlantic to provide the most thorough inspections and accurate reporting available in the industry. Let them show you how over a century of engineering experience can keep your transportation projects rolling along to successful completion.

F&R performed the very first subsurface explorations in support of what is now Dulles International Airport, and to this day have completed a number of noteworthy transportation projects in the Metropolitan Washington Area.  These include the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge over the Potomac, the 11th Street Corridor Reconfiguration in Washington, DC, and the I-95 Hot Lanes in Northern Virginia.  “Off road” projects include the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Expansion, and the Virginia Square Towers in Arlington.

DATA welcomes F&R and looks forward to working with them in
the future.

Nov
2

Party Planning 101

Where will you be jingling and mingling this Winter?

By: Mon Ami Gabi

‘Tis the holiday party season! Read these party planning tips to create the perfect holiday bash that will leave your guests in awe.

 

Scout It Out

Live local? Set up a time to see the space and meet the catering team. Out-of-towner? Request photos or schedule a visit for when you’re in town.

 

Cheers

Restaurants offer multiple drink options to best suit your needs. “Does Uncle Mike love single-malt Scotch?” Select an all-inclusive beverage
packages so Mike doesn’t blow your budget. If you don’t want your guests drinking on your dime, offer them a cash bar!

 

Food

From passed hors d’oeuvres and reception style cocktail stations to full seated dinners with perfectly paired wines, find a restaurant that can cater to all your needs. Don’t forget the kids, either!

Decor

Make the space yours with decor! Candles and ambient lighting make everyone look better. Add a splash of color with a table runner or linen napkins. And remember, flowers aren’t just for spring; work with a local vendor or use DIY arrangements.

 

At Mon Ami Gabi’s cozy French bistro, we’ll work closely with you to plan your holiday event in one of our private party rooms. Choose your menu items, bar package and time of day. Contact our Catering Manager at monamirestonparties@leye.com and visit our website at monamigabi.com for more information.

Nov
2

Northern Virginia Strong – Show It and Volunteer

Northern Virginia is one of, if not the most, wealthy region in the United States, yet there are many, many residents in need of a wide variety of assistance.  During the holidays there seems to be an uptick in volunteerism, yet volunteers are vital year round to the lives of many of the people these organizations assist.  Visit one or more of the organizations below and make a difference in your community.  Volunteer so that every resident in Northern Virginia can Live More!

Fairfax County-Wide Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers contributed more than $33.8 million worth of their time to make the Fairfax Community Thrive!

Recognizing the significant value and importance of volunteering, Fairfax County has created an easy way to see, apply and track ways to volunteer…The Volunteer Management System or VMS.  Located online at www.volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov, the system serves as a one-stop shop for volunteering to support Fairfax County programs and services.

Those interested can fill out one application electronically and then search for opportunities by geographic location, dates, type of people or program type. It also allows for group volunteering, and highlights opportunities for students needing service hours or anyone looking to fulfill court-mandated volunteering requirements.

VMS also allows users to track their hours and review upcoming and past volunteer jobs and, when needed, volunteers who indicate their willingness to serve in times of emergency can be called upon and placed quickly through an automated alert system that is all built into the new system.

 Contact Information

volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov

Childrenís Science Center

The Children’s Science Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to filling the gap in Northern Virginia with a permanent, world-class interactive exploration center that incorporates traditional museum exhibits with cutting edge discovery experiences.  Our mission is to instill the love of learning STEM in all children by providing unique opportunities to explore, create, and be inspired.

Volunteers are the foundation of the Children’s Science Center. Volunteers do not need a math or science background or any specific experience to help out; they just need a lot of enthusiasm and a little bit of time.  We offer a variety of opportunities for children, teens, adults and groups depending on interests and availability, including behind the scenes preparation or direct interaction with children and families.  We welcome volunteers to help at our Children’s Science Center LAB (11948 Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, VA 22033) or at events throughout the Northern Virginia area.

Contact Information:

For those interested, please visit our website to fill out an online Volunteer Application (www.childsci.org/get-involved/volunteer/). For further information, please contact Traci McGillicuddy, Volunteer and Program Coordinator, at Volunteer@childsci.org

Connect Northern Virginia

Connect Northern Virginia is an initiative to expand understanding of important community needs in Northern Virginia.

The Connect Northern Virginia website offers public and private sector information about a wide range of community issues and resources. The website also connects you to a regional calendar of events and activities, volunteer opportunities and more. Organizations may register and submit events for the online calendar.

In addition to information about Loudoun County, it also connects the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William with the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park and with the Towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg, Purcellville
and Vienna.

Connect Northern Virginia’s funders include governments, chambers of commerce, nonprofits and foundations. In addition to the Loudoun County Government, funders include the Claude Moore Foundation, Comstock Partners, Fairfax County Government, HCA/Reston Hospital Center, Town of Leesburg, Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, McLean Community Foundation and Unanet.

Contact Information:

connectnorthernvirginia.org.

Alexandria/Arlington CASA

Be the chance for a child- CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers are ordinary people – men and women, retirees and busy professionals – who become the voice for a child whose home is no longer safe.  When a child enters the foster care system, because his or her home is no longer safe, a judge may appoint a committed volunteer to help them. That volunteer is called a Court Appointed Special Advocate®, or CASA.

CASA volunteers are screened and highly trained and then appointed by Family Court Judges to represent and advocate for a child’s best interests while they are involved with the child protection system. Once assigned to a child, advocates gather information from the children, families, and professionals involved in the case and submit a written report to the court with their findings and recommendations.  A CASA’s job is to be an objective observer who advocates for the best interest of the child. Our single goal is to ensure that every child has a safe, stable and permanent place to live.

If you are interested, the next step to learn more is to sign up and attend an orientation.  Orientations are held once a month and the next two are scheduled for Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 12:30 PM and Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 6:30 PM Tuesday, at the SCAN office at 205 S. Whiting Street, Alexandria, VA.  Sign up at scanva.org/support-scan/volunteer.

Contact Information:

Amy Wilker, Program Manager,Alexandria/

Arlington Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Program

SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) of Northern Virginia

205 S. Whiting Street, Suite 205
Alexandria, VA 22304
Telephone: (703) 820-9001 – ext. 112
Fax: (703) 820-9002

Fairfax CASA

The mission of Fairfax CASA is to advocate for the best interests of each abused and neglected child referred by the Fairfax County Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court through the promotion and support of quality volunteer representation.

We seek to ensure that each child’s needs are identified and addressed with the goal of living in a safe and permanent home.  As permitted by our legislative charter, we also provide assistance to youths entering adulthood who have been referred to the CASA program by the Court, up to the age of 21.

Needed: Volunteers 21 and up that advocate for abused and neglected children, being their voice in the Courts. Our volunteers are committed for the long term, serving a child on a case for an average of 23 months.

Contact Information:

Fairfax CASA
4103 Chain Bridge Rd, Suite 200,
Fairfax, VA 22030

Volunteer Coordinator:
Shaina Goldberg,

Phone: 703-327-3526, ext. 18
Email: sgoldberg@casafairfax.org

Loudoun Cares

Make the connection to serve through Loudoun Cares’ online Volunteer Center. Organizations and individuals should register in preparation for severe winter weather and other emergency events. The Loudoun Cares Volunteer Center provides an online tool that helps connect nonprofit and community organizations in Loudoun County with volunteers and resources.  For example, homeowners associations can create profiles and post volunteer needs. The Volunteer Center connects residents who have previously signed up to the volunteer opportunities that are posted by the HOAs and are alerted when needs arise. For assistance creating your profile, contact Loudoun Cares.

How Do You Get Started?

Organizations

1. Create a profile before a winter weather event occurs. Groups, such as nonprofits, HOAs, faith communities, and others, should identify a person to act as the “Agency Manager,” who can create a profile now to prepare for winter weather or another emergency event where volunteers are needed.

2. Once the profile is created, Loudoun Cares will provide more information and training about how to use the tool and post a need for volunteers. Groups can then invite members of their communities or neighborhoods to sign up to volunteer.

Volunteers 

Individuals can create a profile and become a “fan” of any group that they would like to follow. By becoming a fan of a group, volunteers will receive notifications when the group posts opportunities to serve.

Loudoun Cares Information & Referral Helpline

Loudoun Cares also operates an Information & Referral Helpline at 703-669-INFO (4636). The helpline offers free and confidential assistance to Loudoun residents who have questions or issues related to health and human service needs. The helpline connects callers with the agencies and programs that can best assist with callers’ specific needs.

Contact Information

www.loudouncares.org

SCAN of Northern Virginia

Our vision is that every child in Northern Virginia will grow up in a safe, stable, nurturing family, with the supports they need to contribute to stronger communities today and as adults tomorrow.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the well-being of children, improve parent-child relations and prevent child abuse and neglect by:

EDUCATING the community about the scope, nature and consequences of child abuse and neglect and the importance of positive, nurturing parenting;
PROVIDING   direct parent education;
& ADVOCATING for children in the community, the legislature and
the courts.

Volunteer

The first steps toward becoming a SCAN volunteer are to complete the SCAN Volunteer Interest Form and to attend a volunteer orientation.
Attendance at an orientation is required before volunteering with SCAN. After orientation, potential volunteers will receive a volunteer application to complete and be routed to the appropriate program(s).

Donate

SCAN also accepts donations to help fund their programs.  To donate, go to www.scanva.org/donations/

Contact Information:
SCAN of Northern Virginia
205 S. Whiting Street, Suite 205
Alexandria, Virginia 22304
Phone: 703-820-9001
Fax: 703-820-9002
Email: info@scanva.org
TTY: Dial 711

Se Habla Español

Women Giving Back

WGB’s mission is to support women and children in crisis, and build their confidence and self-esteem, by providing great quality clothing at no cost, assisted by caring and committed volunteers who offer personalized service and interaction.

WGB has ongoing volunteer opportunities throughout the year, every month.

WGB consistently has opportunities the second and third Saturday of each month from 9 AM to Noon.  Parents with children > 10 years old are always welcome.  Sign up is always preferred and other options in addition to the two days mentioned are available by visiting WGB’s website:  signupgenius.com/go/20f0845ada622a7f49-wgbvolunteer

WGB also accepts donations.  WGB typically asks their volunteers to help us sort and organize clothing donations.  Adult Women can opt into helping our benefactors with a dignified shopping experience by helping them choose their clothing items.

WGB needs gently used, clean women’s and children’s clothing in good condition. Gently worn shoes, jewelry and accessories, purses and totes, new toilet kits, make-up items and toiletries. Baby clothes, but no opened disposable diaper supplies.

Contact Information:

Women Giving Back
20 Export Drive
Sterling, VA 20164
Phone: (703) 554-9386
Email: info@womengivingback.org
Website:  womengivingback.org