Archive: September 2005

Is the Board of Supervisors Vulnerable on the Issue of Development?

A dozen people from all over the county came to The Post's Fairfax offices yesterday to vent their frustration about development in their neighborhoods. They do not believe the county Board of Supervisors listens to "the little people" in Fairfax. They say the board too often favors big developers, who have their way in Fairfax because they contribute money to the supervisors' campaigns. They targeted their wrath at Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) and Linda Smyth (D-Providence). The folks fighting such projects as Metro West near Vienna Metro, Wedderburn in Vienna and the proposed redevelopment of an area of rural Hunter Mill Road in Reston/Vienna said they believe there are many county residents who feel disenfranchised because of the behavior of the supervisors. I get a sense that we could be seeing a repeat of 1987, when voters fed up with traffic and growth threw out the board chairman...

By Steve Fehr | September 30, 2005; 12:36 PM ET | Email a Comment

Volunteer Litter Clean-Ups Set For Cub Run and Lake Accotink

The Pleasant Valley neighborhood connection will conduct a waterway cleanup Saturday 10/1 at Cub Run Stream and Oct. 22 at Lake Accotink Park.Volunteers will bag up beverage containers, discarded cigarette filters, deflated balloons, fishing line and other pieces of litter....

By | September 30, 2005; 5:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Free Homebuyers Seminar Saturday In Reston

The town of Herndon will hold a free homebuyers seminar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday 10/1 at the Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center.Attendees will learn about home buying options, the advantages of home ownership, qualifying and applying for a loan and how to establish or restore credit.Washington Mutual Home Loans will give attendees a certificate to use when applying for first homebuyer's programs.The resource center is at 1086 Elden St., Herndon. For more information, call 703-435-3182....

By | September 30, 2005; 5:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Digital Electric Meters Coming From Dominion Power

Dominion Virginia Power officials said the utility will begin installing more than 80,000 wireless automated digital meters in Vienna, McLean, Dulles, Falls Church, Great Falls, Reston and other areas of Northern Virginia.The new meters will transmit usage data electronically to equipment in specially equipped mobile vehicles that will be driven through neighborhoods. The meters will also allow the company to read as many as 10 times the number of meters each day.Some of the new meters will have a digital display of numbers instead of the more familiar dials.Customers will receive a letter about the installation of the new meters....

By | September 30, 2005; 5:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Hunter Mill Road Task Force Meets Tomorrow

The Hunter Mill Road area special task force will hold a public visioning workshop from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Madison High School in Vienna.Attendees will work in small groups led by volunteer facilitators. The workshop will result in a written document that will be submitted to the task force in November. The panel is trying to decide the future look and density of the area between Reston and Tysons Corner....

By | September 30, 2005; 4:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tysons Corner Center To Unveil Expansion Friday

Reasd about the opening of the new stores at www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092801000.html...

By Steve Fehr | September 29, 2005; 12:19 PM ET | Email a Comment

Where Do TJ Students Come From?

Education writer Jay Mathews answers that question in today's Extra Credit column. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092800974.html There's a chart too showing the breakdown by middle school.www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092800953.html...

By Steve Fehr | September 29, 2005; 12:10 PM ET | Email a Comment

Supes Ask VDOT to Expedite Fairfax County Parkway

The long-awaited final stretch of the Fairfax County Parkway, which had been on track for groundbreaking next year, has been stalled indefinitely by a prolonged cleanup of an old oil spill on the property the road it will cut through. Read Lisa Rein's story...

By Steve Fehr | September 29, 2005; 11:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Welcome to Fairfax County

Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) said he wants signs welcoming people when they drive into Fairfax. "While our towns and several unincorporated areas have such signs welcoming people, there are currently no signs welcoming visitors to Fairfax County," Connolly told his colleagues at Monday's board meeting. At Connolly's request, the board asked the county Convention and Visitors Corp. to look into the possibility of installing "Welcome to Fairfax County" signs at key roadway entrances to the county....

By Steve Fehr | September 29, 2005; 1:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Regional Rescue Team Returns from N.O. Tonight

The Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs today released a statement about the return of the initial regional team sent to help with reliefs efforts in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina....

By | September 28, 2005; 4:13 PM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Area Murder Victim Identified as Jamie Coate

From Fairfax County Police: The homicide victim has been identified as Jaimie J. Coate, 31, of Falls Church. She died of stab wounds to the upper body. Her body was found Tuesday. She was last seen Fri. Sept. 23 around 5 p.m. in the Lee Highway/Graham Road area. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or the police non-emergency number at 703-691-2131....

By Steve Fehr | September 28, 2005; 3:55 PM ET | Email a Comment

Prosecutor's Aide Charged With Forgery

An administrative assistant to Fairfax County's chief prosecutor has become the third county courthouse employee to be arrested and charged in the last six weeks. Cecilia A. Ruiz, 29, of Herndon was arrested Monday and charged with forgery in connection with the erasure of a drunken-driving conviction from a computer database. Two employees of the Circuit Court had been charged with grand larceny last month. The complete story is in today's Metro section....

By | September 28, 2005; 11:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Water Chief's Pension To Be Doubled

Charlie Crowder, the retiring general manager of the Fairfax County Water Authority, will receive nearly twice the pension he had been entitled to before a Sept. 15 vote to raise it by the water authority's board. Read about it here....

By | September 28, 2005; 10:40 AM ET | Email a Comment

New NVCC Board Leaders Announced

Northern Virginia Community College announced today that Jeffrey Tarbert, representing Falls Church, is the new Board chair for the 2005-06 term. Tarbert succeeds Ms. Mary Jo Rasmussen. The text of the news release:...

By Steve Fehr | September 27, 2005; 3:43 PM ET | Email a Comment

Homicide in Falls Church Area

The county police issued the following statement today: The body of a woman was found in the Falls Church area. On Tuesday, September 27 around 9:50 a.m., a citizen contacted the police after finding a body in the 2700 block of Devonshire Gardens Court. Detectives on scene have confirmed that this is a homicide. The body appears to have sustained trauma to the upper body. The investigation is ongoing....

By Steve Fehr | September 27, 2005; 3:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

VDOT Gets Federal Money to Widen Lee Highway

There is also money for unspecified safety improvements on Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia. Here's a text of the news release that was issued at 1:45 p.m. today:...

By Steve Fehr | September 27, 2005; 1:47 PM ET | Email a Comment

Supervisors Approve Controversial Wedderburn Development in Vienna

After a contentious three-hour hearing last night, the board unanimously approved a development of 24 homes on 13 acres abutting the Washington & Old Dominion bike trail in Vienna....

By Steve Fehr | September 27, 2005; 11:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Cable Competition Comes To Fairfax County

The Board of Supervisors last night approved Verizon Communications Inc. as a licensed seller of cable television service. An article about the decision was in today's Business section....

By | September 27, 2005; 11:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

Program On Underage Drinking at GMU Tonight

A 90-minute town-hall style program about underage drinking will be held tonight at the Harris Theater at George Mason University. All public and private school systems in Northern Virginia have been invited....

By | September 27, 2005; 9:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Free Bus Rides In Fairfax City Today

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the CUE bus system www.fairfaxva.gov/CUEBus/CUEBus.asp, Fairfax City is offering free bus rides today....

By | September 27, 2005; 6:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

GMU Professor: I'll Work in Fairfax But I Won't Live There

Richard Florida, George Mason University's new hot shot economic geography professor, told Post columnist Marc Fisher there was no way he could live in Fairfax. Read Fisher's column:...

By Steve Fehr | September 26, 2005; 5:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fred Morin Dies

Fred C. Morin, chairman emeritus of Fairfax Water, died Saturday, a county spokesman said today. Morin was the county's longest continuously serving appointed or elected official. He served on the board of Fairfax Water from 1961 to 2004. More from a county government news release:...

By Steve Fehr | September 26, 2005; 3:30 PM ET | Email a Comment

New Fairfax County Brand Name To Be 'fxva'

At the Board of Supervisor's meeting this morning, county tourism officials unveiled a new brand identity for the county in an effort to draw more visitors. The logo will be "fxva." The slogan will be "Fx marks the spot." There will also be a segway scooter at Tysons Corner Shopping Center acting as an information booth for the county. More information is here and here....

By Steve Fehr | September 26, 2005; 11:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Meeting Tomorrow Night on McLean Park

The county Park Authority has scheduled a public information meeting Sept. 27 to re-examine the master plan for Langley Fork Park in McLean....

By Steve Fehr | September 25, 2005; 7:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Local Red Cross Office To Set Up Hurricane Katrina Assistance Center in Seven Corners

The Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria offices of the American Red Cross will relocate on Monday to the Seven Corners area of Falls Church to jointly staff an assistance center for Hurricane Katrina victims....

By Steve Fehr | September 25, 2005; 5:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

Just Released: GMU Raises $142 Million in Private Donations

George Mason University www.gmu.edu/ today announced the conclusion of its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, raising a total of $142 million in private support. The announcement was embargoed until Saturday night but since the Washington Business Journal has already posted it, so will we. The Campaign for George Mason University, which had a goal of $110 million, will hold a celebratation Saturday night at the university's Center for the Arts....

By Steve Fehr | September 24, 2005; 6:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Students Participate In Asian Career Expo Today

The county school system will participate in an Asian career and entrepreneurship expo today at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale.The schools will have a booth on the main floor during the job fair and will hold an information session from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fair hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair is sponsored by Asian Marketing Services.NVCC is at 8333 Little River Tpnk. For more information, call 703-658-8072 or send an email to realista.Rodriguez@fcps.edu....

By | September 24, 2005; 9:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Free CUE Bus Rides in Fairfax City Tomorrow

The Fairfax City CUE bus system www.fairfaxva.gov/CUEBus/CUEBus.asp will offer free rides Sept. 25 to celebrate its 25th anniversary, city officials said....

By Steve Fehr | September 24, 2005; 6:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

2nd Gang Member Convicted in Herdon Teens Shooting Death

A Metro section article from this morning reports that Alirio Reyes, 26, pleaded guilty yesterday to federal murder charges in the shooting death of Jose Sandoval, 17 last May in Herndon....

By | September 23, 2005; 10:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Development Web Site Launched

Just released today: Citizens groups concerned with Fairfax County development policies announced a new Web site that allows residents in all parts of the county to discuss their concerns about the direction and effects of growth. The address is  www.Fairgrowthnetwork.org     More of the statement released:...

By Steve Fehr | September 22, 2005; 3:33 PM ET | Email a Comment

Rep. Wolf Blasts Plan for Tax Breaks for Gambling Industry

Reacting to a story in today's Post www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/21/AR2005092102394.html that the gambling industry may receive special tax breaks after Hurricane Katrina, Rep. Frank R.Wolf (R-VA) today made the following remarks on the floor of the House:...

By Steve Fehr | September 22, 2005; 3:22 PM ET | Email a Comment

George Washington Parkway Named A Scenic Byway

Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) announced today that the George Washington Memorial Parkway  had been named by the Federal Highway Administration one of four new scenic byways in the state....

By | September 22, 2005; 3:15 PM ET | Email a Comment

McLean Community Dialogue Set For Sept. 29

The annual McLean "community connections dialogue" will be held Sept. 29 at the McLean Community Center, officials have announced. The theme for this year's dialogue is, "When values and principles are at stake, do we give up community harmony?"...

By | September 22, 2005; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Stuart a Model High School For Visiting Educators

Stuart High School in the Falls Church area will host educators from 10 school districts across the country as part of a model high school study tour Sept. today and tomorrow, officials said.Stuart was named one of 30 model schools by the International Center for Leadership in Education. The center is conducting the tours to examine the characteristics of successful high schools and talk with district and school leadership.The tours are designed for teams of school leaders who are restructuring high schools....

By | September 22, 2005; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Dulles Rail Financing Plan Unveiled

A group of commercial landowners in the Reston-Herndon area has a plan for a special real estate tax to finance Fairfax County's portion of the cost of the second phase of Metrorail's planned extension to Dulles International Airport....

By Steve Fehr | September 22, 2005; 5:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Urban Rescue Unit Heading for Texas

Virginia Task Force 1, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department's Urban Search and Rescue team has been activated and will travel to a staging area in Fort Worth, anticipating the arrival of Hurricane Rita. The Type III, 35-person team was scheduled to depart at noon today....

By Steve Fehr | September 21, 2005; 4:48 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax County Park Authority On Supreme Court Decision

The Fairfax County Park Authority today released the following statement with regard to Friday's Supreme Court of Virginia decision on Lewinsville Park: The Fairfax County Park Authority Board is disappointed with the ruling of the Supreme Court of Virginia in the Lewinsville Park case. It should be noted that the Supreme Court ruled against the Park Authority on technical grounds, and did not rule on the underlying merits of the case related to whether Lewinsville Park is a public use.Under the rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Park Authority has the right to request a rehearing from the Supreme Court. We intend to request a rehearing from the Supreme Court in order to rectify this matter. Therefore, the appeal process is still underway and there has not yet been a final ruling of the Supreme Court....

By | September 20, 2005; 1:49 PM ET | Email a Comment

18 Police Groups Raising Money for Katrina Relief

The Fairfax County Police Association is working with 18 other police organizations in the Northern Virginia area to help raise money for members of law enforcement communities that were affected by Hurricane Katrina....

By Steve Fehr | September 20, 2005; 12:18 PM ET | Email a Comment

Are We Prepared in Fairfax for a Disaster or Attack?

Yesterday the Post published an opinion piece by Falls Church city councilman David Snyder expressing concern about the lack of a system being put in place to provide regional coordination in the event of a major disaster or terrorist attack in the Washington area. Do you think we in Fairfax County are adequately prepared for a disaster or terrorist attack?...

By | September 19, 2005; 2:38 PM ET | Email a Comment

Va. Supreme Court Says Park Authority Controls W&OD Trail

The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, not Dominion Virginia Power, has control over the telecommunications lines that run along the 45-mile Washington & Old Dominion trail, land now in the heart of one of the nation's key telecommunications neighborhoods....

By Steve Fehr | September 19, 2005; 11:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Feedback Sought on Adding Laurel Hill to Historic Places Register

A series of public meetings have been scheduled on the nomination of a portion of Laurel Hill www.fairfaxcounty.gov/laurelhill and the former D.C. prison at Lorton to the National Register of Historic Places, county officials announced. The first meeting is Thursday night....

By Steve Fehr | September 18, 2005; 7:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

Frying Pan Park Meetinghouse To Be Re-dedicated Today

The 1791 Frying Pan Spring Meetinghouse at Frying Pan Park in Herndon will be re-dedicated today at 1 p.m. The celebration will commemorate an 18-month restoration, stabilization and documentation that recently has been completed on the 214-year old building....

By Steve Fehr | September 18, 2005; 7:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Getting Rid of a Computer or Bicycle?

The county's solid waste management program and the school system will hold a computer and bicycle recycling donation event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Edison High School in the Alexandria section....

By Steve Fehr | September 17, 2005; 6:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Parade Today in McLean Honoring Softball Champs

A parade honoring the McLean 11-12 year-old girls softball team www.mcleanll.com/ , which recently won the Little League World Series Softball Championship, will be held at 9 a.m. today....

By Steve Fehr | September 17, 2005; 6:22 AM ET | Email a Comment

Virginia Supreme Court Overturns Controversial Lewinsville Park Decision

The Supreme Court of Virginia today reversed a lower court decision that has allowed Fairfax County, through an arrangement with McLean Youth Soccer, to host Marymount University soccer and lacrosse games at  Lewinsville Park in McLean....

By | September 16, 2005; 4:43 PM ET | Email a Comment

Hearing Tomorrow On Plans For Future Of Great Falls National Park

A hearing on the draft management plan that addresses the future of  Great Falls National Park begins at 1p.m. tomorrow. Yesterday's Fairfax Extra had the story....

By | September 16, 2005; 10:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Take Your Pick: Festivals This Weekend in Centreville, Falls Church, Mount Vernon and Reston

Four festivals are planned this weekend in the county and city of Falls Church....

By Steve Fehr | September 16, 2005; 7:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

Historical Marker Dedicated Tomorrow in Newington

The Fairfax County History Commission www.fairfaxcounty.gov/histcomm/ and the Franconia Museum franconiamuseum.org/ will dedicate a historical marker on the Newington area at 10 a.m. Saturday at Dupell Park www.co.fairfax.va.us/parks/maps/dupellmap.htm in Lorton. The marker will commemorate the spot where a spur was built in 1918 to Camp Humphreys, now called Fort Belvoir, for transporting troops during World War I. The park is at 6812 Newington Rd....

By Steve Fehr | September 16, 2005; 7:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Gov. Warner Names Panel to Study Base Closing Plan

Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) today appointed members- including several from Fairfax County- to serve on the Northern Virginia and Central Virginia working groups studying the Pentagon's plan to close or relocate military installations and offices. The news release has not been posted on the governor's website but here is the text:...

By Steve Fehr | September 15, 2005; 6:07 PM ET | Email a Comment

Credit Union Branch To Open In High School

Stuart High School in Bailey's Crossroads will open a student-run branch of Apple Federal Credit Union tomorrow. With the opening of the credit union during lunch hours, Stuart High becomes the newest high school to open an Apple FCU branch. Other schools planning branches this year include Centreville and West Potomac High Schools, South County Secondary School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology....

By | September 15, 2005; 12:50 PM ET | Email a Comment

Revelation of Speeding Tickets Ratchets Up The Rhetoric In State Delegate Race

News that Democrat Greg Werkheiser has received 10 speeding tickets in the last 11 years  is fueling the rhetorical flames in Werkheiser's race against incumbent Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax). The two men spent time yesterday firing salvos, each seeking to paint the other as a greater menace to Virginia's roads....

By | September 15, 2005; 11:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

Detours Tonight On I-395

The northbound lanes of Interstate 395 at Springfield will be closed tonight, Saturday night and Monday night so workers can position steel beams on bridges that are part of the Springfield interchange project. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/14/AR2005091402479_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('Metro','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/14/AR2005091402479.html','The northbound lanes of Interstate 395 at Springfield will be closed tonight, Saturday night and Monday night so workers can position steel beams on bridges that are part of the Springfield interchange project.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); The lanes will be closed tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. tomorrow; from 8:30 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday; and from 9:30 p.m. Monday to 4 a.m. Tuesday....

By | September 15, 2005; 11:29 AM ET | Email a Comment

A Gift To Louisiana From Falls Church: Portable Classrooms

The following is a news brief in today's Metro section: At its meeting Tuesday night, the Falls Church School Board agreed to donate two classroom trailers to the West Baton Rouge Parish public schools in Louisiana, where displaced hurricane victims have enrolled in large numbers. The student population there has increased 16 percent in two weeks, prompting a need for additional classroom space and additional teachers....

By | September 15, 2005; 11:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Man Pleads Not Guilty In Plot To Kill President

Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 24, of Falls Church, pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges he planned to assassinate President Bush and to conduct a major terrorist attack inside the U.S. An article about Ali's indictment was in Friday's Washington Post....

By | September 15, 2005; 11:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Just Released: Fairfax's 200 National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists

Two hundred Fairfax County Public Schools students have been named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for 2006. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, which also serves as the Governor's Regional School for Northern Virginia , has 167 semifinalists. Here's the list: www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/091405b.htm....

By Steve Fehr | September 14, 2005; 4:35 PM ET | Email a Comment

How to Find Va. Gov. Candidates Debate

Coverage of yesterday's debate in Fairfax County between Virginia's candidates for governor is here. The Washington Post is also hosting a blog on the campaign, "Race To Richmond."...

By | September 14, 2005; 11:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Making Ends Meet Takes More Money In Fairfax

It's probably no surprise to Fairfax County residents, but according to the results of a new study, it costs more to live in our county than in an any other part of the Washington metropolitan region. A two-parent household with a preschooler and an infant would need $71,833 in yearly income to eke out a subsistence living. Today's Metro section has an article about the study and a look at how other jurisdictions compare....

By | September 14, 2005; 10:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Rescue Officials Among Hurricane Relief Team Members Deploying Today

Fairfax County Government released this statement today: Northern Virginia Deploys High-Level, Regional Hurricane Relief Team to New OrleansA 10-person team, representing five Northern Virginia jurisdictions, will deploy today to New Orleans as part of the region's coordinated response to the area ravaged by Hurricane Katrina....

By | September 13, 2005; 4:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Spokeswoman Resigns

Falls Church city communications director Dionne C. Williams today announced her plans to pursue her doctorate in mass communications and media studies at Howard University's School of Communications. Her last day with the city is Monday....

By Steve Fehr | September 13, 2005; 2:17 PM ET | Email a Comment

Former County Spokesman Dies

Edmund L. Castillo, 80, a retired Navy captain who was one of the Navy's original public information officers and who was spokesman for Fairfax County for 13 years, died Aug. 24 of congestive heart failure at Sibley Memorial Hospital. Read Castillo's complete obituary here....

By | September 13, 2005; 1:53 PM ET | Email a Comment

Supervisors Approve Tax Relief for Elderly, Disabled

Fairfax County's  $46.6 million budget surplus will allow tax relief programs for the elderly and disabled to be broadened and will fund expansion of an after school program according to an article in this morning's Metro section. Or read the county's news release www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/2005/05231.htm....

By | September 13, 2005; 10:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

30 Cars Vandalized in Falls Church Area

About 30 vehicles were vandalized in the Falls Church area, police said....

By Steve Fehr | September 12, 2005; 5:16 PM ET | Email a Comment

County: Negotiations May Affect Fairfax Connector Bus Service

The county government said today in a news release: Fairfax Connector bus service in south Fairfax County may be affected by labor negotiations between employees of Local 3398 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the contracted bus operator, Connex/Yellow Transportation Inc. The contract between AFSCME 3398 and Connex/Yellow Transportation Inc. expires at midnight Wednesday, Sept. 14. Negotiations to renew the contract are underway....

By Steve Fehr | September 12, 2005; 4:26 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Search and Rescue Unit Dispatched to Hurricane Ophelia

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department's Urban Search and Rescue team received an activation order from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Tuesday to assist with Hurricane Ophelia. Virginia Task Force 1 has been activated as a Type I task force, consisting of approximately 80 members specializing in six functional areas: search, rescue, medical, hazardous materials, logistics, and planning. The task force will be holding at their home station pending deployment instructions from FEMA officials....

By Steve Fehr | September 12, 2005; 3:53 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Sets Goal of 200 Jobs, 100 Housing Units and 400 Students to Help Katrina Victims

Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) announced at today's board meeting that the coalition of community, business and and religious groups www.fxfc.org has set these goals as a starting point. The group will attempt to create 200 jobs, provide 100 housing units and take in 200 schoolchildren in county schools. Here's the complete news release:...

By Steve Fehr | September 12, 2005; 1:32 PM ET | Email a Comment

Meet MetroWest's Main Man

Today's Metro section has a profile of Stan Settle Jr., the Pulte Homes executive who is leading the company's effort to develop the high-density, mixed use MetroWest community next to the Vienna Metro station....

By | September 12, 2005; 11:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax County Garage Supervisor Pleads Guilty In Kickback Scheme

Donald Wray, 36, a supervisor with the county's Department of Vehicle Services, has pleaded guilty to a charge of mail fraud in U.S. District Court. Wray was accused of accepting more than $17,000 in gratuities in the form of retail gift cards from the Florida-based Stone Cold Chemicals company in exchange for using county government money to purchase overpriced and unnecessary automotive products. Wray faces up to 16 months in prison....

By | September 12, 2005; 10:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Candidates For Governor To Debate Tomorrow

Tomorrow's debate in Fairfax between the candidates for Virginia governor, Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) and Jerry W. Kilgore (R), is the only scheduled live televised face-off of the campaign planned in Northern Virginia, officials said. The event  begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilton McLean in Tysons Corner. The county Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the debate....

By | September 12, 2005; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Annual Book Festival Starts Wednesday at GMU

Nearly 90 top authors and performers are scheduled to attend the eight-day Fall for the Book Festival www.fallforthebook.org to be held Sept. 14-21 at George Mason University in Fairfax. Novelist Pat Conroy will receive the first Fall for the Book prize, which festival organizers said celebrates an author "who has made extraordinary contributions to bringing literature to a wide reading public." Conroy wrote "Beach Music," "The Prince of Tides," "The Great Santini" and other works....

By Steve Fehr | September 12, 2005; 7:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Katrina Aid Concert Scheduled for Sept. 24 at Hayfield

The Critics and Awards Program, also known as Cappies www.cappies.com , is sponsoring a Katrina aid show Sept. 24 featuring high school performers from throughout the Washington area....

By Steve Fehr | September 11, 2005; 6:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Public Horse Stables Proposed in Lorton

A group trying to establish horse facilities on county parkland recently showed drawings for a proposed stable for Laurel Hill Park www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/laurelhill/LHcdpsummary.htm in Lorton....

By Steve Fehr | September 10, 2005; 7:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax City Postpones Downtown Switch to Two Way Traffic

Fairfax City officials announced today that they will delay plans to convert Main and North Streets to two-way traffic until next summer to avoid potential conflicts with other ongoing construction efforts related to the downtown redevelopment project.  ...

By | September 9, 2005; 11:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Shirley Highway Closures Planned This Weekend

Construction work on the Springfield interchange this weekend is scheduled to close part of Interstate 395 north, the Virginia Department of Transportation said. Motorists who do not need local exits north of the Capital Beltway are encouraged to use the HOV lanes, which will be open to all drivers, VDOT spokesman Steve Titunik said yesterday. Others will have to take a seven-mile detour through Van Dorn Street and Eisenhower Avenue, onto the inner loop of the Beltway, he said. The lanes on I-395 will close from 8:30 p.m. tomorrow to 10 a.m. Sunday. Crews will put up two steel beams that will help support the flyover linking Interstate 95 north to the Beltway's outer loop, Titunik said. More closures are expected in coming weeks as workers raise the remaining beams....

By | September 9, 2005; 10:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

1,600 New Teachers In Fairfax County Public Schools

Fairfax County has hired 1,600 new teachers for the current academic year. That's 200 more new hires than last year. The current total county teaching staff is about 14,000. See www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/08/AR2005090801948.html...

By | September 9, 2005; 10:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

Native American Festival Tomorrow in Great Falls

The annual Virginia Indian Festival will be held Saturday at Riverbend Park in Great Falls. The festival includes the reenactment of village life by members of the Mattaponi Tribe, traditional dances by members of the Rappahannock Tribe, native American pottery, crafts, spear throwing and dugout canoe building. The county Park Authority, the Friends of Riverbend and the Fairfax County History Commission are among the sponsors. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5; children two and under are free. For more information, call 703-759-9018 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks....

By Steve Fehr | September 9, 2005; 7:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Four Workers of Herndon Firm Killed in Iraq

From the Associated Press: Four private security agents from Herndon-based Triple Canopy www.triplecanopy.com were killed in a roadside bombing near Basra on Wednesday....

By Steve Fehr | September 8, 2005; 3:44 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax City To Collect Money for Katrina Relief

Fairfax City officials announced today that the city government would collect money at two special events this weeked on behalf of those affected by Hurricane Katrina. See the details at www.fairfaxva.gov/News/News.asp?418...

By Steve Fehr | September 8, 2005; 3:26 PM ET | Email a Comment

New Softball Fields Open in Annandale

Fairfax County has opened two athletic fields specifically designed for girls fast pitch softball at Wakefield Park in Annandale, park officials said....

By Steve Fehr | September 8, 2005; 7:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Cox To Announce On Demand Service Today

Cox Communications will announce plans today to launch On DEMAND (OD) with Interactive Television (iTV) to customers in Fairfax County, company officials said in a news release. Beginning this fall, Cox Digital Cable customers will have access to information and entertainment via their existing receiver and remote control. Details are at www.cox.com/fairfax/PressRoom.asp...

By Steve Fehr | September 8, 2005; 5:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Groups Donated Over $1 million to Summer Reading Program

More than 25 organizations donated more than $1 million of prizes to children who finished the required number of books as part of the county library system's www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library summer reading program....

By Steve Fehr | September 8, 2005; 4:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Schoolchildren Raising Money for Katrina

Canterbury Woods Elementary to Hold New Orleans Style Snowball Fund-Raiser See www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/ma090705.htm Students and staff members at Washington Mill Elementary are giving up a treat such as a fast food meal, a movie rental, or a special dessert in order to bring in $2 for the Hurricane Katrina relief fund. The school's goal is to send $1,000 to the Salvation Army to help hurricane victims. The project supports a tenet of the Community of Caring. Contact principal Tish Howard at 703-619-2500 or tish.howard@fcps.edu...

By Steve Fehr | September 7, 2005; 4:20 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Groups Form Katrina Network

Fairfax County government, schools, volunteer, faith-based and community organizations have formed a countywide network to support children and their families who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. A school spokesman said the coordinated effort is intended to focus on families needing employment, housing, and schooling for their children. For more information, see: www.fxfc.org/ www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/090705a.htm...

By Steve Fehr | September 7, 2005; 4:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

McLean-Based Real Estate Company Bought Out For $3.4 Billion

A group of unidentified investors will buy out Capital Automotive REIT, a McLean-based real estate company owned by some local automotive dealers, for $ 3.4 billion dollars, according to a business section article in this morning's Post....

By | September 7, 2005; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

McLean Community Center To Hold Budget Work Session Tonight

Residents of the Dranesville Small Tax District 1,which includes the McLean area, are invited to the McLean Community Center's work session on its fiscal 2007 budget at 7:30 p.m. tonight.The center is supported by a special real estate tax paid by residents of the district. The current tax rate is 2.8 cents for each $100 of assessed value. Residents who have suggestions, comments or concerns will have an opportunity to talk about them at the session....

By | September 7, 2005; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Schools Chief Online Today

Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent Jack D. Dale will answer questions about the school system in an online discussion on the Live Online section of washingtonpost.com at 1 p.m. today. Further details are here....

By | September 7, 2005; 9:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Chamber Names Capitol Hill Veteran as Chief Lobbyist

The Fairfax County Chamber today announced that Jason A. Flanary will be the chamber's new vice president of government affairs. Read the rest of the news release: www.fccc.org/newsroom/chamber-news/flanary...

By Steve Fehr | September 6, 2005; 6:08 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Gains 234 Jobs From Maryland

Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) today announced that OPTIMUS Corporation, a provider of government information technology services, will invest $1.15 million to relocate its headquarters from Maryland. The project brings 234 new jobs to Fairfax County that include managers, professionals, technicians, and office and clerical positions. Here is the rest of the governor's news release:...

By Steve Fehr | September 6, 2005; 3:52 PM ET | Email a Comment

Four Arrested in Katrina Scam

Four people were arrested Sunday for conducting a scam claiming to collect money for victims of hurricane Katrina, the county police said today. Here is the rest of the police news release:...

By Steve Fehr | September 6, 2005; 2:24 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Search and Rescue Unit Returns Tonight From Hurricane Recovery Effort

The county Fire and Rescue Department's urban search and rescue team, returns at 7 p.m. tonight from a week-long deployment to Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina...

By Steve Fehr | September 6, 2005; 2:17 PM ET | Email a Comment

GMU Will Add Loudoun Campus

George Mason University www.gmu.edu/ officials announced today they will establish a new campus in Loudoun County on 123 acres near Routes 50 and 659. The property is being donated to the university by Greenvest LLC, a North Carolina developer. Here is the rest of the GMU news release:...

By Steve Fehr | September 6, 2005; 1:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

Finding Cheap(er) Gasoline in Fairfax County

Fairfax area drivers are swarming to gasoline stations, fearing shortages and price increases. The talk in many neighborhoods is about which stations have the cheapest prices....

By Steve Fehr | September 6, 2005; 7:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Superintendent Jack Dale To Visit Six Schools Today As Classes Begin

On the first day of school today, Fairfax schools chief Jack D. Dale will be visiting six schools, including the new South County Secondary School in Lorton. Details are at www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/083105b.htm...

By | September 6, 2005; 7:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Groups Issue Call to Help Hurricane Victims

Fairfax area civic, religious and business organizations are calling on county residents to donate money to victims of Hurricane Katrina....

By Steve Fehr | September 5, 2005; 10:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Government's Labor Day Schedule

Here is a link that shows how today's Labor Day holiday effects the Fairfax County Government....

By | September 5, 2005; 6:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Offers Free 'College' Classes

The fall South County Neighborhood College will begin Sept. 14 at the South County Government Center in the Alexandria section of Fairfax. The deadline for registration is Sept. 9. Through panel discussions, hands-on activities and field work, participants learn about how local government works. They also are taught about county services, the history and demographics of the area, community resources, cross-cultural dynamics and more....

By Steve Fehr | September 3, 2005; 7:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Sobriety Checkpoint in Franconia-Springfield Area Late Tonight

Police officers from the Franconia District station will conduct a sobriety checkpoint to deter and apprehend intoxicated drivers from 11:30 p.m. tonight to 2:30 a.m. Sunday. The police said all motorists will be stopped and drivers will be checked to determine whether their abilities to drive have not been impaired by alcohol or drugs....

By Steve Fehr | September 3, 2005; 6:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Group Files Lawsuit To Block Herndon Day Laborer Site

A conservative legal group, Judicial Watch, filed a suit on behalf of a group of Herndon residents to stop the town's plan to create an official site where day laborers can gather to wait for work, The Post reported today....

By | September 2, 2005; 10:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Gang Member Pleads Guilty In Death of Herndon Teen

According to a Metro section article this morning, Osmin Heriberto Alfaro-Fuentes pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges in the shooting death of Jose Sandoval, 17, of Herndon. Sandoval and a female companion who survived the incident were shot on a Herndon street in May 2004....

By | September 2, 2005; 9:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Heading to the Beach This Weekend?

Fairfax beachgoers may be interested to know that a Maryland task force is looking for ways to alleviate the notorious traffic that clogs the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, a study that could lead to the construction of another bay crossing. A new bridge, which would be a massive, expensive and controversial project, is only an idea and wouldn't come to fruition for many years, officials said. But as traffic worsens, it may be inevitable, said O. James Lighthizer, co-chairman of the 23-member task force appointed by Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan. ....

By Steve Fehr | September 2, 2005; 7:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Just In From School District: County School Students Post Highest SAT Scores Ever

A news release issued at 6 p.m. by the school system said: Fairfax County Public Schools students achieved an average combined score of 1,114 system wide for the SAT I: Reasoning Test (SAT), the highest ever reported for FCPS by the College Board, according to figures released by FCPS Superintendent Jack D. Dale. The scores represent tests taken by FCPS seniors in the class of 2005. Here are the details: www.fcps.edu/mediapub/pressrel/SAT05.htm....

By Steve Fehr | September 1, 2005; 6:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

Come Together, Fairfax County

In my neighborhood in north Reston, we have a block party every Labor Day. That's the last day of summer before the kids go back to school. At Monday's block party. we are asking all of our neighbors to chip in some money to send to the Red Cross to help the Hurricane Katrina victims. This is the same spirit and unity of purpose we showed following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Remember how Fairfax County banded together then? The candlelight vigils, the flags on houses, the special church services? Katrina is a disaster that calls for a similar response. Consider ways your neighborhood can help the victims. Post some of your ideas at FairfaxFocus....

By Steve Fehr | September 1, 2005; 2:56 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax City Remembers Sept. 11

Fairfax City has scheduled a 7 p.m. remembrance for Sept. 11 next Sunday at the Veterans Amphitheater next to City Hall, 10455 Armstrong Street....

By | September 1, 2005; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Soldier Who Killed Roommate In Annandale Sentenced

Wayne S. Grimm, 22, who was charged with shooting to death his friend and roommate Michael Kenagy, 24, in February by Fairfax County Police, was sentenced Wednedsday to 4 1/2 years for manslaughter in a closed military court. The two were members of the Army's ceremonial Old Guard unit at Fort Myer in Arlington....

By | September 1, 2005; 10:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Charge Tolls on Beltway, I-66, I-395, Says Former Gov. Baliles

Former governor Gerald A Baliles (D) has proposed a plan that would put tolls on the Capital Beltway, Interstate 66 and the Shirley Highway (Interstate 395) to generate income to help fund needed Virginia transportation projects. The story was inside today's Metro section....

By | September 1, 2005; 10:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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