Archive: December 2005

Selling Fairfax County in India

An article in this morning's Business section provides an inside look at how the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority is trying to sell the county as place for international businesses to locate offices. The article focuses on Prasad Tagat, who is a contractor working for the county in Bangalore, India....

By | December 30, 2005; 9:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Christmas Killer Suspected In Earlier Shootings

Fairfax County police believe that Nathan Cheatham and Adam Price were involved in a Dec. 21 shooting spree that damaged a Great Falls home. Four days later the two were among five people dead by Cheatham's hand. The news about the earlier shooting suggests a motive in the Christmas Day murders, say police. Read about it in today's Metro section....

By | December 30, 2005; 9:22 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Names Cabinet Members

The Governor-elect's office has released the following statement:"Governor-Elect Tim Kaine Appoints Secretary of Administration, Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Richmond - Governor-elect Tim Kaine today announced that Delegate Viola Baskerville will serve as Secretary of Administration, Daniel LeBlanc will serve as Secretary of the Commonwealth, and Robert Bloxom will serve as Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry....

By | December 29, 2005; 10:49 AM ET | Email a Comment

County To Report On High Risk Dams

With the devastation wrought by hurricane Katrina on the U.S. gulf coast still fresh in people's mind, county officials want to know just how many homes are at risk from dam failures here. The story is in today's Fairfax Extra. The list of the county's high-hazard dams is here: Download Dams.doc...

By | December 29, 2005; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Lake Accotink About To Get A Little Deeper

A dredging project which will remove about 161,000 cubic yards of silt from the Springfield lake's bottom will be getting underway soon. Read about the project in today's Fairfax Extra....

By | December 29, 2005; 9:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

School Renovation Budget Proposed; Hearing Set for Jan. 17

The county school system has scheduled a public hearing for Jan. 17 on a five-year, $728.5.million capital improvement program announced recently by Superintendent Jack D. Dale. Of that amount, only $481.4.million in projects is funded....

By Steve Fehr | December 26, 2005; 10:59 AM ET | Email a Comment

Growth in Students Slowing, Signaling More Boundary Changes

Given the keen interest by blog readers in boundary changes, take a look at Post schools reporter Maria Glod's latest piece. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/25/AR2005122500723.html...

By Steve Fehr | December 26, 2005; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Five Dead in Violent Christmas Shootings in County

Fairfax has not had such a day of killings in years. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/25/AR2005122500771.html...

By Steve Fehr | December 26, 2005; 10:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

Great Falls Poker Game Raided, Charges Filed

The homeowner was taking a cut from the game, which had a $300 buy-in. Today's Metro section has the story.   ...

By | December 23, 2005; 9:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

"I look like Christmas Regurgitated All Over My Balcony"

Llori Stein of Falls Church revels in her tacky holiday display. Read about it in today's Metro section....

By | December 23, 2005; 9:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly Says Density Near Transit Key To Easing Congestion

The Chairman's remarks to local business leaders are reported here....

By | December 22, 2005; 3:28 PM ET | Email a Comment

Library Patrons Go Out of Their Way To Avoid Fines

The Fairfax Extra today reports on the lengths that county library officials say that their patrons go to renew and return their books to avoid incurring penalties for overdue materials....

By | December 22, 2005; 3:24 PM ET | Email a Comment

Accord Reached on Day-Laborer Site

From today's Metro section: Loudoun County and the town of Herndon have agreed that the town will cease using any portion of its recently opened day-laborer center on county land. The publicly funded center, which has been operating for about a week in a former police station, straddles the line between Loudoun and Herndon. By Jan. 1, one entrance to the center as well as part of the parking lot will be blocked off, according to the agreement. The accord was reached after Loudoun County Administrator Kirby M. Bowers wrote this week to Herndon Town Manager Stephen F. Owen, asking him to shut down the controversial center because it does not comply with county zoning. Bowers had threatened to take the town to court if it did not comply....

By | December 21, 2005; 10:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Negotiations For New Toll Lanes To Begin

From today's Metro section: The Virginia Department of Transportation announced it will formally open negotiations with a private company, Fluor-Transurban, to add toll lanes to a 56-mile stretch of interstates 95 and 395. If the two sides reach a deal, the company would add a third lane to the existing two high-occupancy vehicle lanes from the 14th Street Bridge to Dumfries and build two carpool lanes from Dumfries to Massaponax. Cars carrying three or more passengers, as well as buses, could travel the lanes for free. Others would pay a toll that would vary based on traffic conditions, with the company keeping some of the toll revenue. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/20/AR2005122001469_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('Metro','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/20/AR2005122001469.html','The U.S. Botanic Garden needs volunteers to lead children\'s activities, serve as tour guides or help with gardening.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() );...

By | December 21, 2005; 10:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

Airports Authority To Disclose Proposed Dulles Corridor Improvements

Updated 12/21: A front page article on this subject was in today's Washington Post. Originally posted 12/19:Officials from the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority are expected to provide details of proposed road and rail improvements to the Dulles corridor at 2 p.m.tomorrow at the Authority's headquarters at Reagan National Airport....

By | December 19, 2005; 3:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Life Sentence in Gang Killing

The murder trial for the accused man in the May 2004 slaying of Jose Sandoval 17, has resulted in a sentence of life in prison for Alirio Reyes 27, of Herndon. The story was in Saturday's Metro section....

By | December 19, 2005; 2:41 PM ET | Email a Comment

Warner Wants Wider I-66

In his final budget plan Gov. Mark R. Warner is asking for funds to widen part of westbound I-66 inside the Capital Beltway and to buy additional rail cars for the Virginia Railway Express, the Washington Post Metro section reported on Friday....

By | December 19, 2005; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Metro To Test Orange Line Bottleneck Fix

Officials at Metro hope that by adding cars to some Orange Line trains and making trains run less frequently they can eliminate bottlenecks in The Rosslyn tunnel. Friday's Metro section had details of the plan....

By | December 19, 2005; 9:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Technical Issues With Focus On Fairfax

A note to our readers: We apologize for the lack of postings over the last few days. Focus on Fairfax and our sister blogs at washingtonpost.com have been experiencing some technical difficulties. We appear to be back up and running today and will do our best to catch up. The Post uses a vendor for the blog, TypePad, which had the problems. Thanks for your patience....

By | December 19, 2005; 9:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Opening Advanced Placement To All Has Worked

An article in today's Fairfax Extra reports that the county's policy of opening AP classes to any student who is interested has led to higher test scores from more students....

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

The 2005 Challenge Index Of Top Schools

The Post today published its annual list of the top schools in the area as measured by their efforts to challenge their students. The list is here....

By | December 15, 2005; 3:12 PM ET | Email a Comment

Supervisors' Legislative Committee Adds Meetings

From today's Fairfax Extra: The county Board of Supervisors' legislative committee has added two dates to its meeting schedule for next year. The committee will meet at the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy., at 4 p.m. on Jan. 20 and 27, Feb. 3, 10 (a new date), 17 and 24, and March 3 and 24 (a new date). The meetings are open to the public. The committee, led by Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D), meets throughout the General Assembly session to monitor issues that could have an impact on Fairfax County. For more information, call 703-324-3187....

By | December 15, 2005; 3:07 PM ET | Email a Comment

Toll Increase Ahead on Dulles Greenway

The increases go into effect Jan.1 and are detailed here....

By | December 15, 2005; 3:04 PM ET | Email a Comment

What Does The Future Hold For Transportation In NoVa?

Michael D. Shear's Virginia Notebook column today looks at what might come of three separate transportation plans being advanced by Virginia pols....

By | December 15, 2005; 3:01 PM ET | Email a Comment

Top Officials In Falls Church Won't Seek Reelection

Neither Mayor Daniel E. Gardner nor vice mayor Martha R. Meserve plan to run for reelection next year. The Fairfax Extra reports that both officials have cited personal reasons for their decisions....

By | December 15, 2005; 2:55 PM ET | Email a Comment

Meet the New Boys & Girls Club President

Former military lawyer and Fairfax County resident Will A. Gunn is the new president of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington. A profile of Gunn was in today's Fairfax Extra....

By | December 15, 2005; 2:43 PM ET | Email a Comment

Libraries: Don't Drop Kids Here On Snow Days

The county library system is asking parents to make alternative plans for child care during snowy weather when schools are closed. Dropping off children at libraries is not an option, library officials say. "Unfortunately, some parents have left small children alone at the library on snow days," library director Edwin S. Clay III said in a statement. "This is inappropriate, because librarians are not child-care providers." According to the county Department of Family Services' child supervision guidelines, "Children who are 7 years old or younger should not be left alone for any period of time." var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/14/AR2005121400892_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/14/AR2005121400892.html','Fairfax Water will hold a hearing at 6:30 p.m. tonight to discuss a proposed 5-cent increase in the water rate beginning April 1.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() );...

By | December 15, 2005; 2:37 PM ET | Email a Comment

Park Authority Board Sets 2006 Meeting Dates

From today's Fairfax Extra: The county Park Authority board has announced its meeting schedule for next year. The 12-member board is scheduled to meet Jan. 11 and 25, Feb. 8 and 22, March 8 and 22, April 12 and 26, May 10 and 24, June 14 and 28, July 12 and 26, Sept. 13 and 27, Oct. 11 and 25, Nov. 2 (committee only) and 8 and Dec. 6 (committee only) and 13. The board sets policy and establishes priorities for the park agency....

By | December 15, 2005; 2:35 PM ET | Email a Comment

Proposed Water Hike Is Topic of Hearing

From today's Fairfax Extra: Fairfax Water will hold a hearing at 6:30 p.m. tonight to discuss a proposed 5-cent increase in the water rate beginning April 1. The utility, which serves 1.3 million customers in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, is proposing several revisions to its schedule of rates, fees and charges. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/14/AR2005121400892_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/14/AR2005121400892.html','Fairfax Water will hold a hearing at 6:30 p.m. tonight to discuss a proposed 5-cent increase in the water rate beginning April 1.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); The water usage, or commodity, charge would go from $1.45 to $1.50 for each 1,000 gallons. This would mean an increase of $1.20 a quarter, or $4.80 a year, on an average water bill....

By | December 15, 2005; 2:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

Lessons Learned in Hunter Mill

So what is the lesson that county residents can learn from the death of the planned development in the Hunter Mill Road area? Did Hunter Mill residents 'fight city hall' and win? Did the developer blow it by publishing that full page ad? Should the supervisors be praised for listening to the people? What are the implications of this on the future development along the Dulles Toll Road corridor? Let's start a discussion on this important subject....

By Steve Fehr | December 15, 2005; 12:36 PM ET | Email a Comment

'Cat Lady' Pleads Guilty

Ruth Knueven, the 83-year-old Mount Vernon area woman who was arrested in July after she was discovered with several hundred feral cats in her home, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in court yesterday....

By | December 15, 2005; 11:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Man 89, Convicted of Molesting Girl, 13

Kenneth Bayer, 89, of Reston, an elementary school volunteer, was convicted of three felony counts yesterday. The retired geophysicist, whose lawyer said he is in the early stages of dementia, faces a possible 11 month sentence....

By | December 15, 2005; 11:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

South Lakes High Student Arrested On Weapons Charges

From today's Metro section: A 15-year-old student at South Lakes High School was arrested on school grounds yesterday after police found that he was carrying a BB gun and two knives. No one was threatened or harmed with the weapons, Fairfax County police said. School administrators alerted police about 9:15 a.m. after hearing that a student had a gun. Police isolated the student, took him into custody and found the gun and knives while searching him, Fairfax police said. The boy was charged with three counts of carrying a concealed weapon on school property. South Lakes Principal Bruce Butler e-mailed a letter to South Lakes parents yesterday informing them of the incident....

By | December 15, 2005; 11:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax and Montgomery Could Face Shortfall Of 92,000 Homes

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Government's latest regional growth forecast says that the local economy will create abut 1.6 million new jobs by 2030, but that current building patterns will  leave a shared shortage of about 92,000 homes in the areas two largest jurisdictions. A detailed article is in today's Metro section....

By | December 15, 2005; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Proposed Hunter Mill Development Could Be Dead

According to Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) the proposed revisions to the county's master plan to allow high density development near Hunter Mill Road in Vienna are so unpopular that the county board will almost certainly reject the changes....

By | December 15, 2005; 10:29 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tempers Flare As Herndon Day Laborer Center Opens

Today's Metro section leads with the official opening of the taxpayer-funded day laborer center in Herndon, where supporters and opponents of the center clashed verbally....

By | December 15, 2005; 10:22 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax County Schools Closing Early Today

Because of today's winter weather Fairfax County schools  will close two hours early. From the schools' website: December 15     All Fairfax County public schools will close two hours early today, Thursday,     Dec. 15.   Afternoon (half-day) kindergarten is canceled. Morning   (half-day) kindergarten students will be provided lunch at no cost and will   be released with other students. Morning kindergarten students who were bused   to school will be bused home with other students. Kindergarten students living   within the normal walking boundary will not be bused. Morning preschool (special   education) and Family and Early Childhood Education (Head Start) classes are   dismissed at approximately 11 a.m. Full-day preschool (special education) and   Family and Early Childhood Education (Head Start) classes are dismissed two   hours earlier than the usual time. Afternoon preschool (special education)   and double session Family and Early Childhood Education...

By | December 15, 2005; 10:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Schools Expect Higher Heating Bills

Fairfax County school officials are among those in the local area who say that their energy costs will be  impacted by the high cost of fossil fuels this winter....

By | December 14, 2005; 12:07 PM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Advances Plan to Empower Local Governments To Curb Growth

The Gov.-elect's statement that he would seek legislation to allow local governments more power to control development has angered the state's home-building lobby. The story is in today's Metro section....

By | December 14, 2005; 12:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Casting Call Saturday

From the county recreation department: Casting Director Jeanne Boisineau is seeking three young boys for the major motion picture THE KITE RUNNER. The film, produced by Dreamworks SKG (War of the Worlds, Madagascar, Shrek), and directed by Marc Forester (Finding Neverland, Monsters Ball), is based upon the novel by Kahled Hosseini. Shooting is scheduled to begin in April 2006....

By Steve Fehr | December 13, 2005; 7:11 PM ET | Email a Comment

Minuteman To Continue Shadowing Herndon Laborers at New Site

With Herndon's day-laborer center opening tomorrow, the president of the local chapter of the Minuteman Project said his group will continue to photograph and investigate the workers and those that hire them. The story was in today's Metro section....

By | December 13, 2005; 9:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

Newly Dedicated Trail Links Riverbend and Great Falls Parks

The Potomac Gorge Interpretive Trail, was dedicated on Saturday. Read about the 2.5 mile and its 14 informational signs here....

By | December 12, 2005; 2:55 PM ET | Email a Comment

Property Taxes Likely To Rise Next Year Despite Cooling Housing Market

Faced with a cooling real estate market, Fairfax County is among the local jurisdictions that is trying to dedvelop a budget plan for decreased tax revenue at a time when spending increases have been steady. The article was in yesterday's Metro section....

By | December 12, 2005; 2:49 PM ET | Email a Comment

Three Cited for Illegal Boarding Houses

A Fairfax County General District Court judge has cited three property owners for operating illegal boarding houses in their single-family homes, a violation of Herndon's zoning ordinance, town officials said. Neighbors reported crowding at 455 Virginia Ave., 1001 Jeff Ryan Dr. and 322 Missouri Ave. A town inspector found 10 or more people living in each home, several of them unrelated. Each owner, Marcia Garcia of Reston, Eduardo Murcia of Herndon and Jose D. Aguirre Portillo of Herndon, was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation and was fined at least $100....

By | December 12, 2005; 2:33 PM ET | Email a Comment

Holiday Music From City of Fairfax Band

Those wanting a fresh recording of holiday music to plant in their CD players this season need look no farther than the City of Fairfax Band's Bavarian subset Blaskapelle Alte Kameraden, who have released "Eine Kleine Weinachtmusik." The CD feature 70 minutes of music. The City of Fairfax Band will present its holiday concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 in the Fairfax High School auditorium, 3500 Old Lee Hwy....

By | December 10, 2005; 12:13 PM ET | Email a Comment

Coats for Needy Available At Supervisor's Office

From today's Fairfax Extra: The annual winter coat closet in the Hunter Mill area is open for children and adults in need. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/07/AR2005120701430_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/07/AR2005120701430.html','The Board of Supervisors has approved design plans for a four-story parking garage at the Burke Centre station served by Virginia Railway Express.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); The closet, co-sponsored by Reston Interfaith and Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill), distributed more than 500 coats and jackets last year. The coat closet is in Hudgins's office at the North County Government Center, 12000 Bowman Towne Dr. in Reston. Donations of new or gently used coats and jackets are needed and can be dropped off at the office from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Boxes are available for after-hours and weekend donations. Volunteers are needed to help clients select coats, and to greet donors and sort...

By | December 10, 2005; 11:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

Man Gets Life Sentence For Murder of Pregnant Girlfriend

Darius T. Hicks, 32 was sentenced to life in prison yesterday for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Shawndre N. Fulton. Fulton's body was discovered Thanksgiving Day of last year in Mount Vernon Woods Park. Hicks conviction is the first in Fairfax that includes prison time for the killing of a fetus....

By | December 9, 2005; 8:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Coincidences Abound In Separate Murder-For-Hire Cases

Two Fairfax County women, both named April Dawn, have been charged within the last three weeks in separate plots to hire someone to kill their respective  22-year-old boyfriends. Read about the cases here....

By | December 9, 2005; 8:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Air and Space Museum Anniversary Discounts Sunday

From today's Fairfax Extra: Parking fees will be reduced from $12 to $5 Sunday at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center to mark the air and space museum's second anniversary. In addition to displays from the Smithsonian's flight collection, the center offers museum store shopping, IMAX film entertainment, simulator rides, casual dining and a coffee shop. As part of the celebration Sunday, a drawing will be held for five of the new aviation-themed, limited-edition M&M candy dispensers created exclusively for the museum. Visitors who spend $50 or more at the Udvar-Hazy store will receive 10 percent off their purchases. All proceeds from Udvar-Hazy Center parking help pay for museum operations. Fees are charged per vehicle, not per person....

By | December 9, 2005; 5:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Note From the Editor

Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) did NOT post a blog item today about the planned changes on Route 7 (Leesburg Pike). The post has been deleted. If you happened to read it, the post was a failed attempt at humor. Please respect the integrity of the blog and refrain from posting bogus items. Thank you. Steve Fehr The Washington Post...

By Steve Fehr | December 8, 2005; 5:51 PM ET | Email a Comment

Moran To Discuss Illegal Dog and Cat Fur Trade on Larry King Live

Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.) is scheduled to appear on CNN's Larry King Live at 9 p.m. Saturday along with actor Alec Baldwin, animal rights activist Heather Mills McCartney and Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) to discuss the illegal trade on items from Asia that have been decorated with dog and cat fur....

By | December 8, 2005; 1:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Schools May Be Best, But Could Be Better

Education columnist Jay Mathews elaborates on his recent claim that the Fairfax County public schools make up "the best school system in America" in today's Extra Credit....

By | December 8, 2005; 1:16 PM ET | Email a Comment

Why Lorton Residents Oppose Prison's Historic Status

Update 12/8: Steven P. Adragna, president of the Crosspointe homeowners association added his explanation in this week's Voices of Fairfax column Originally posted 10/27:The president of the Laurel Hill Civic Association explained in a guest opinion column in this week's Fairfax Extra why  his group opposed the nomination of the former Lorton prison property to the National Register of Historic Places....

By | December 8, 2005; 1:10 PM ET | Email a Comment

Supervisors Want Bike Policy Update to Encourage Cycling

Proposals such as creating a countywide biking map and creating new bike lanes on roads are to be considered. Read the details in today's Fairfax Extra. Also related, park officials have announced improvements to county trails....

By | December 8, 2005; 12:57 PM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly Favors Expansion Of Artificial-Turf Program

From Thursday's Fairfax Extra: Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) is asking county park officials to consider using money from bond sales to help finance additional artificial-turf fields throughout Fairfax. The county recently launched a program that allows Fairfax sports organizations to apply for matching funds of up to $483,000 to develop artificial-turf fields. At least one field will be built as part of the program this year. However, Connolly said at Monday's board meeting, if the staff can find ways to leverage other existing county resources, additional fields could be built. Connolly asked that county officials report back to the board with a plan to make park bond funds available for the installation of more artificial-turf fields....

By | December 8, 2005; 11:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Parking Garage Design Approved for Burke VRE Station

From today's Fairfax Extra: The Board of Supervisors has approved design plans for a four-story parking garage at the Burke Centre station served by Virginia Railway Express. The $28.8 million garage will have 1,293 spaces and 233 street-level spaces nearby. There will also be an area for buses adjacent to the station, plus sidewalks, elevators, stairs, bicycle racks, a covered walkway from the garage to the train platform, lighting, landscaping and a rain garden. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/07/AR2005120701430_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/07/AR2005120701430.html','The Board of Supervisors has approved design plans for a four-story parking garage at the Burke Centre station served by Virginia Railway Express.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); The county, which owns the Burke station, is expected to advertise for construction bids in June....

By | December 8, 2005; 10:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

When It's 'Just Impossible' To Throw Anything Away

Todays' Fairfax Extra cover story took a close look at hoarding behavior. There 60 to 90 cases reported in the county each year....

By | December 8, 2005; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

VDOT Advances Toll Road Privatization Plans

From today's Metro section: The Virginia Department of Transportation yesterday moved forward four proposals to privatize the Dulles Toll Road. State officials advanced proposals put forth by Macquarie Infrastructure Group, Autostrade, John Laing and IIG; Cintra USA Corp.; Franklin L. Haney Co.; and Transurban and Goldman Sachs. The agency determined that a fifth proposal, by Virginia Mobility Associates, did not merit further review. The next step is for the state to name a panel of transportation experts to review the four proposals and recommend one or more for final consideration. The panel will be named in the next two months, and its review could take as long as a year. VDOT said each of the groups would pay about $1 billion to operate, maintain and collect tolls on the Dulles Toll Road for 50 years. The groups also propose making improvements to the road, its entry and exit ramps and...

By | December 8, 2005; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Plans For Route 7 Makeover To Be Revealed Tonight

A new vision for Route 7 through Tysons Corner will be revealed tonight when project managers hold a public hearing on extending Metro through the area. An article with details of the plans was in today's Metro section....

By | December 8, 2005; 10:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Developers Form Their Own Coalitions To Counter Citizen Groups

A front page story in this morning's Washington Post looks at the nonprofit organizations builders have taken to creating in response to citizens groups that advocate checks to development....

By | December 7, 2005; 10:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

Economic Development Authority Sells Fairfax in Mexico

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority has sent officials to Mexico for the first time ever this week to try to entice Mexican companies to consider Fairfax County as the best site for expansion into the U.S. The authority officials are taking part in U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce meetings in Mexico City....

By | December 6, 2005; 3:56 PM ET | Email a Comment

Long-Awaited 38-mile Cross County Trail To Open Dec. 17

The Fairfax County Park Authority has issued the following news release: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Park Authority Board will cut the ribbon at the Cross County Trail (CCT) on Saturday December 17, 2005, marking the official opening of this 38-mile trail which runs the length of the County, providing a continuous link from the Occoquan River in the south to the Potomac River in the north....

By | December 6, 2005; 1:39 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax County Wants Criminal Penalties For Overcrowded Houses

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has asked the General Assembly for authority to fine landlords who allow more than four unrelated people to live together under one roof. The story is in today's Metro section....

By | December 6, 2005; 10:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

Your Feedback Needed: What is 'Transit Oriented Development'?

At today's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisors T. Dana Kauffman (D-Lee) and Linda Smyth (D-Providence) asked the county staff to give the board a definition of transit oriented development....

By Steve Fehr | December 5, 2005; 6:41 PM ET | Email a Comment

After School Activities Cancelled Today Due to Snow Forecast

This bulletin has been issued by Fairfax County Public Schools: All Fairfax County public school after-school and evening activities are canceled today (12/5/05), including extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices,field trips, adult and community education classes, and recreation programs in schools and on school grounds. School-age child care (SACC) centers will stay open until the normal closing time, 6:15 p.m. All schools will close on the normal schedule for today....

By | December 5, 2005; 12:57 PM ET | Email a Comment

Developers Eye Fort Belvoir Area For Office Construction

The area of southeast Fairfax County near Fort Belvoir is under scrutiny by developers and county officials who consider the land underused in the booming growth climate. This morning's Business section has details....

By | December 5, 2005; 11:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Belle View Homeowners Off the Hook for FEMA Paybacks

From Saturday's Washington Post: Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said Friday that the agency would no longer try to recover flood damage assistance given out to some Fairfax County homeowners whose residences were damaged during Hurricane Isabel in September 2003. U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) said in a statement that FEMA had agreed to cease efforts to recoup money from Belle View condominium residents who were not insured beyond what was provided under the condo association's policy. For those who had already complied with FEMA's earlier order to return the assistance, a process is being formulated to give the money back, according to the statement. The 900-unit condominium complex, just off the George Washington Memorial Parkway south of Alexandria, sustained nearly $6 million in damages from the hurricane. FEMA paid about $140,000 to 147 homeowners....

By | December 5, 2005; 11:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Transportation Authority Hosts Open House

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority has released the following statement about an open house Tuesday evening at Marshall High School in the Falls Church area: TAKE ACTION WITH TRANSACTION 2030NVTA invites public to comment on 2030 transportation plan update. Free SmarTrip Cards to first 25 attendees! Arlington, VA -- The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) invites the public to an open house and public hearing on December 6, 2005 at: George C. Marshall High School - 7731 Leesburg Pike - Falls Church, VA 22043Open House 5:00 pm to 7:30 pmPresentation at 6:00 pm & 7:00 pmPublic Hearing and Comment Period 7:30 pm--West Falls Church Metro Station and Metrobus routes 28A & 28B--The NVTA will present the initial results of a year-long study of the entire Northern Virginia transportation system starting with current conditions in 2005 and projecting conditions for 2030 that reflect the construction of planned improvements.  The NVTA seeks...

By | December 2, 2005; 12:22 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Connector Luring Hispanic Riders

A new campaign from the county transportation department is the broadest effort thus far by the agency to inform and attract Hispanic riders to the county's public bus system. The story was in today's Fairfax Extra....

By | December 2, 2005; 3:29 AM ET | Email a Comment

South County Secondary School To Be Dedicated Saturday

Fairfax County Public Schools issued this news release today: South County Secondary School, the newest Fairfax County public school, will be formally dedicated at a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 3. The school is located at 8501 Silverbrook Road in Lorton. The ceremony will recognize key people involved in the process of building and opening the school....

By | December 1, 2005; 3:59 PM ET | Email a Comment

Why Do Fairfax County Schools Succeed?

Jay Mathews's Extra Credit column reports this week on a study that shows the Fairfax County School system has adopted policies, including giving principals broad decision-making power, that help ensure the schools' success....

By | December 1, 2005; 3:52 PM ET | Email a Comment

Hunter Mill Task Force Meetings Scheduled For Next Two Wednesdays

The following news brief was in today's Fairfax Extra: The Hunter Mill Road task force is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Dec. 14 in Reston to discuss the planning process and present tabulations of current development potential in the surrounding area....

By | December 1, 2005; 3:37 PM ET | Email a Comment

New Hope For An Escape From Poverty

The cover story in today's Fairfax Extra describes how a program run by the nonprofit  New Hope Housing is helping local women living in poverty help themselves to a better life....

By | December 1, 2005; 3:22 PM ET | Email a Comment

Church Members Pray For Former Fairfax Man Held Captive In Iraq

About 75 people gathered last night at a worship service for Tom Fox and three other members of Christian Peacemaker  Teams who were kidnapped by insurgents in Iraq on Saturday. The service was held at the Langley Hill Friends Meeting in McLean, where Fox is a longtime member. Today's Metro section has the story....

By | December 1, 2005; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Lawyers Road Park Hearing Set

The following news brief was in today's Fairfax Extra: The county Park Authority is planning to hold a public hearing Dec. 15 at Flint Hill Elementary School to present a proposal for changes at Lawyers Road Park in Vienna. Park staff will outline plans for the 13.7-acre park, which is on the west side of Lawyers Road and about a mile south of Hunter Mill Road....

By | December 1, 2005; 3:34 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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