Archive: January 2006

Proposal To Quiet Ballfields Killed

Updated 1/31:The bill has been killed. Originally posted 1/24:An article from this morning's Washington Post front page talks about the fallout from a local lawmaker's proposed legislation to limit the hours ballfields near residences can be used. ...

By | January 31, 2006; 9:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Metro Running Eight-Car Trains On Orange Line

Metrorail began running a test program with eight-car trains on its Orange Line yesterday. Focus on Fairfax wants to know, is it making a difference?...

By | January 31, 2006; 9:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Police Stepping Up Pedestrian Safety; Pedestrian Killed in Bailey's Crossroads

The Fairfax County Police Department has released a statement about the pedestrian fatality that occurred over the weekend on Leesburg Pike. The news comes at the same time that the department is announcing a pedestrian enforcement campaign....

By | January 31, 2006; 9:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Builders and Contractors Largest Contributors To Key Lawmakers

A Washington Post analysis of contributions to members of two key committees in the Virginia General Assembly revealed that developers, builders and real estate agents contributed about $1.4 million in campaign money over the last ten years. The committees, the Senate Local Government Committee and the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee, both have track records of dismissing controlled-growth bills that have come before them....

By | January 30, 2006; 11:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

Local Development Controls Gain Momentum in Richmond

An article in Saturday's Metro section reported that Gov. Kaine's proposal to give more powers to local governments to control growth is gaining bi-partisan support....

By | January 30, 2006; 10:59 AM ET | Email a Comment

Use Caution When Selecting Day Care

Julia Karpeisky of McLean offers advice to parents looking for a day care provider in this week's Voices of Fairfax guest column....

By | January 26, 2006; 11:39 AM ET | Email a Comment

Changes To Reston's Charter Outlined

An article in this week's Fairfax Extra highlights the major changes that Reston officials are proposing as property owners there prepare to vote on the first major changes to the community's governing documents since 1984....

By | January 26, 2006; 11:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

Programs To Combat Lyme Disease, West Nile

From today's Fairfax Extra: The county Board of Supervisors has approved this year's program to control the West Nile virus and Lyme disease. The program includes the spraying of larvicide in mosquito breeding areas such as storm-water catch basins in May through October. County officials also will conduct a community outreach and education program to increase awareness of West Nile virus. Part of the program involves monitoring and documenting the number of human infections. There were no human cases in Fairfax last year, but between 2002 and 2004, there were 17 cases and two deaths. The Lyme disease effort centers on surveillance of ticks, which carry the disease....

By | January 26, 2006; 11:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Pedestrian Task Force Offers Recommendations

From today's Fairfax Extra: The county's pedestrian task force has called for a series of broad changes in policy and infrastructure to improve the safety of the walking public. The report, which capped a year of work by the task force, proposed a 10-year capital spending plan in four areas: var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/25/AR2006012500954_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('IN BRIEF','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/25/AR2006012500954.html','The county\'s pedestrian task force has called for a series of broad changes in policy and infrastructure to improve the safety of the walking public.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); · Major pedestrian activity centers, transit access and intersection retrofits. · Neighborhood connections, arterial walkways and road diets (reducing the traffic lanes of a particular roadway). · Bus stops. · Retrofitting for the disabled and pedestrian bridges. The Board of Supervisors has identified about $11 million in federal, state and county funding for pedestrian improvements. "This document will not...

By | January 26, 2006; 11:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Study Supports Later Start Times For High Schoolers

Update 1/26/06: A cover story in today's Fairfax Extra tackles the subject of later school start times. Originally posted 1/10/06: Arguments for and against later school start times were posted by Focus on Fairfax readers in this space a few months back. Now a new study is coming down firmly on the "for" side. Read about it here....

By | January 26, 2006; 11:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

Northern Virginia Has Grown by 293,000 Over Last Five Years

According to a Metro section article in this morning's paper, Virginia is seventh in the nation with regard to growth rate over the last five years and 60% of the growth occurred in the northern part of the state. Read the article here....

By | January 26, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

An Easier Way to Contact Post Reporters

Washingtonpost.com will soon launch a new feature that will allow readers to contact Washington Post staff writers. The feature will make all of the bylines readers see on the site clickable text. Once the byline is clicked, a dialogue box will open allowing the reader to send an email to the writer....

By | January 25, 2006; 12:14 PM ET | Email a Comment

Legislators Seek Tighter Restrictions On Illegal Residents

Bills introduced this week in the Virginia General Assembly  would prevent illegal immigrants from attending state colleges, punish businesses that hire them and require proof of legal residency to get married. Read about it in this morning's Metro section....

By | January 25, 2006; 10:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

Civil Defense Sirens Could Make A Comeback

Fairfax officials will have their eyes (and ears) on our neighboring jurisdictions in Alexandria and Arlington where officials plan to supplement existing terror alert systems with updated versions of Cold War era technology. The story was on this morning front page of the Washington Post....

By | January 25, 2006; 10:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Fairfax Extra- and Blog- Editor Announced

The Post announced that Steve Fehr, Fairfax Extra editor, will be heading to a new job as an assistant Virginia editor at The Post's main newsroom in Northwest Washington. Fehr will be replaced by Bob Samsot, currently an assistant city editor. Samsot lives across the street from the Fairfax news bureau in Fairfax City, so he won't have a bad commute. More details about Samsot are below. Fehr will oversee The Post's coverage of local government in Northern Virginia. A start date has not been announced but the change should occur pretty soon....

By Steve Fehr | January 24, 2006; 1:43 PM ET | Email a Comment

Flat Tax For Communication Under Consideration in Richmond

Fairfax County residents with land lines, long-distance service, cell phones and cable TV would pay an average of $5.35 less a month under the proposed tax according to a study cited in a Metro section article....

By | January 24, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly: Fairfax Is At Build-Out

Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) told his colleagues today, "We're hardly doing any land use in Fairfax County." Connolly noted that there were only two public hearings scheduled today, the lowest he could remember in years. There was a time when there were 40 public hearings at a board meeting related to rezonings and other land use cases, he said. "We are at build out," Connolly said. Connolly generally was referring to the relative lack of land remaining for development. There are huge development projects underway or planned on existing land, especially the planned extension of rail to Dulles International Airport, one of the largest development projects in the county's history....

By Steve Fehr | January 23, 2006; 5:12 PM ET | Email a Comment

Less Traffic = More $

Yesterday's Metro section had an analysis of what the competing transportation plans in Richmond could mean for Northern Virginians. The bottom line: If you want relief, prepare to open your pocketbooks....

By | January 23, 2006; 12:39 PM ET | Email a Comment

MetroWest Meeting Set for Feb. 1

The Providence District Council will hold a meeting on the MetroWest project, south of the Vienna Metro station, from 7 p.m to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 1 at Mosby Woods Elementary School. The meeting, which is open to the public, comes in advance of the rezoning hearing before the county Planning Commission on Feb. 8. Both the project in general and the large county staff report will be discussed. The school is at 9816 Five Oaks Road, Fairfax....

By Steve Fehr | January 21, 2006; 7:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax GOP Officials Want $300 Million For Local Roads

Today's Metro section has an article about the legislation the lawmakers intend to submit today....

By | January 20, 2006; 2:55 PM ET | Email a Comment

Tunneling Under Tysons

Yesterday's Fairfax Extra cover story looks at whether a two-pronged attack, using both elevated tracks and tunnels, can cut costs enough to make Metrorail through Tysons Corner a reality....

By | January 20, 2006; 10:21 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kauffman Exits As WMATA Chairman

Metro's website has the text of the remarks Supervisor Dana Kauffman (D-Lee) made as he presided over his final meeting as the chairman of Metro's board of directors....

By | January 19, 2006; 3:52 PM ET | Email a Comment

Community Dialogues Set on Future of Tysons Corner

From the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs: Tysons Corner Community Invited to Dialogue Sessions Residents, businesses and nonprofit organizations are invited to participate in a series of initial community dialogues in January and February to identify important issues regarding the future of Tysons Corner and how the introduction of rail stations will affect growth. The schedule of dialogue sessions, hosted by the Tysons Land Use Task Force, and more information on the Tysons planning study can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/tysonscorner/.    To reserve a space in one of the dialogues, call the Tysons Community Dialogue Hotline at 703-324-1344, TTY 711, or e-mail tysonscornerspecialstudy@fairfaxcounty.gov. Since dialogue locations have different capacities, please sign up in advance so accommodations can be made for as many people as possible. Community members unable to attend a dialogue may provide comments online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/tysonscorner/surveyform.htm. The results of the dialogues and comments submitted online will be...

By | January 19, 2006; 3:39 PM ET | Email a Comment

Meeting Scheduled On Vienna Metro Capacity Study

From the Office of Supervisor Linda Q. Smyth (D-Providence): Vienna Metro Transit Station Capacity Study Community Outreach Meeting Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. Oakton High School Cafeteria 2900 Sutton Road, Vienna The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Fairfax County Department of Transportation and Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth are sponsoring a follow-up public information session for users of the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail station and residents adjacent to the station to discuss the existing and future capacity needs of the station. The community outreach meeting scheduled for Jan. 31, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. is a follow-up meeting to the initial public outreach meeting held on July 12, 2005, at Oakton High School. This upcoming community outreach meeting is intended to serve as an opportunity to both solicit additional community input and to share interim results of the initial outreach and analysis of the station's capacity needs. Since users and residents adjacent to...

By | January 19, 2006; 3:30 PM ET | Email a Comment

A Reader's Views On Phonics

Readers of Jay Mathew's Extra Credit column today respond to an earlier piece on the value of a phonics-based reading program....

By | January 19, 2006; 1:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

$2.1 Billion Schools Budget Includes Raises

Updated 1/19: The Fairfax Extra reports today on a series of meetings about the budget. Read about it here. Originally posted 1/13: Next year's Fairfax County Public Schools budget includes $30.7 million more than this year's, largely to cover the rising cost of salaries and benefits. Read about it in today's Metro section....

By | January 19, 2006; 1:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

New Pedestrian Bridge Coming To Seven Corners

County Supervisor Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason) announced Sunday in a letter to the editor that a fix is on the way for one of the county's most dangerous intersections for pedestrians. The text is here....

By | January 18, 2006; 11:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Charges Filed In Death of Taylor Behl

A grand jury yesterday indicted Benjamin Fawley, the 38-year-old amateur photographer who reportedly had a sexual relationship with college student Taylor Behl, 17, of Vienna. Behl's badly decomposed body was found in rural Mathews County a month after she disappeared from the Richmond campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Fawley told police that Behl's death was accidental. The details are in today's Metro section....

By | January 18, 2006; 11:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Vienna Army Capt. Laid To Rest At Arlington

Army Capt. Christopher P. Petty, 33, of Vienna, was one of two Virginia soldiers killed in Iraq and laid to rest yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery, a Metro section article from this morning reports....

By | January 18, 2006; 11:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Special Election Jan. 1 for Va. Senate seat

The Fairfax County Electoral Board has issued a statement on a special election to fill the Virginia Senate's 33rd district's seat....

By | January 18, 2006; 10:46 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Sticks To Slow Growth Message

Update 1/18:And developers respond: Kaine Plan On Traffic Unleashes Swift Blitz Originally Posted 1/17:Virginia's new governor gave a speech to the General Assembly yesterday that reiterated his belief that controlling development is a necessary ingredient to remedy traffic problems. Read about it in today's Metro section....

By | January 17, 2006; 11:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

Marc Fisher On Kaine and Northern Virginia

On Sunday, Metro opinion columnist Mark Fisher offered his thoughts about the Commonwealth's new governor and what Northern Virginians are expecting from him....

By | January 17, 2006; 11:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Laborer Center Is Former Site of Segregated School

A school for black students was built in the 1950s on land currently occupied by the new Herndon day laborer center. Read about the school and its place in local history here....

By | January 17, 2006; 11:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Hyland To Host Town Meeting

Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) will hold his 19th annual town meeting, complete with a virtual bus tour of the district, on Feb. 4 in the Alexandria area. <...

By | January 16, 2006; 1:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

Discovery of 25-Year-Old Error Reveals Family's Home is Illegal

Updated 1/12:The county has approved a variance for the LoGrande home. The details are here. Originally posted 12/22:The LoGrande family home in the Mount Vernon district is the subject of this week's Fairfax Extra cover story. A recent discovery of a 25-year old mistake has revealed that the house is seven inches below what the county requires for a building in the flood plain of the Potomac River and that the house as it stands is an illegal structure....

By | January 12, 2006; 3:48 PM ET | Email a Comment

Arlington's New Trolley Would Extend Into Fairfax

The proposed trolley line would run from Pentagon City to the Skyline area or Baileys Crossroads along the Columbia Pike corridor according to an article in today's Virginia Extras....

By | January 12, 2006; 2:57 PM ET | Email a Comment

A Reader Urges Less Talk, More Action on Dulles Rail

The text of a letter to the editor from Sam Rosenberg of Centreville is here....

By | January 12, 2006; 2:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

Why High School Athletes Shouldn't Share Water Bottles

In today's Voices of Fairfax column, Oakton mother Barbara Roberts relates her personal tale; she suspects her son Wesley got mononucleosis from sharing a water bottle at football practice....

By | January 12, 2006; 2:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

Seniors' Taxicab Program Getting Changes

A county program designed to provide low-income senior citizens with  reduced cost taxi service has undergone a revision after a series of complaints from the program's users. Read about it here....

By | January 12, 2006; 2:21 PM ET | Email a Comment

Hearing Rescheduled on Lawyers Road Park

A hearing on proposed changes at Lawyers Road Park in Vienna has been rescheduled for Jan. 26 after being postponed Dec. 15 because of snow. The 7 p.m. hearing, conducted by the county Park Authority, will be at Flint Hill Elementary School. Park officials will talk about 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 | January 12, 2006; 1:54 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Surpasses Telecommuter Goal

From today's Fairfax Extra: Fairfax County is the first jurisdiction to reach -- and then exceed -- a regional goal to have 20 percent of the eligible workforce telecommuting one day a week or more, county officials said. The 20 percent goal, set by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, was met by Fairfax by the end of last year, board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) told the supervisors Monday. "Teleworking is an essential tool for improving the region's air quality," Connolly said in a news release. He pointed out that 1,000 county employees telecommuting an average of one day a week would save 1.8 million commuting miles and prevent 720,000 pounds of pollutants from entering the air by taking cars off the roads. Telework also is an important part of emergency preparedness efforts, officials said in the news release. It can provide continuity of operations in government and the...

By | January 12, 2006; 1:46 PM ET | Email a Comment

Wolf Set to Speak At Meeting On Gangs

From today's Fairfax Extra: The Fairfax League of Women Voters will discuss the problem of gangs on Jan. 21 in Chantilly, with U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) as the featured speaker. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/11/AR2006011100867_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/11/AR2006011100867.html','A portion of Wilson Boulevard in the Falls Church area would be named Saigon Boulevard under a proposal made by the county Board of Supervisors to the Virginia Department of Transportation.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); Wolf will talk about legislation he has sponsored to address the gang problem in Northern Virginia. The 10:30 a.m. meeting will be at the International Country Club, 13200 Lee Jackson Hwy. Registration is required; call 703-404-0498 by Saturday. Attendance is free, but a luncheon scheduled to follow is $25. For more information, call 703-658-9150 or go to http://www.lwv-fairfax.org and click on "What's New."...

By | January 12, 2006; 12:50 PM ET | Email a Comment

Board Agrees on $6 Million For Huntington Garage

From today's Fairfax Extra: The county Board of Supervisors has approved spending up to $6 million to keep construction going on the expansion of the 1,400-space parking garage at the Huntington Metro station. Metro agreed with a developer to build a mixed-use project on the surface lot on the south side of the station. The developer, Stout and Teague, agreed to replace the 924 spaces with a parking garage. Metro later said it would add about 500 spaces to handle future growth at Huntington. The cost of the addition was $25.2 million but has grown to $31.2 million. The supervisors were asked to plug the $6 million gap. The money will come from parking fees collected at county Metro stations and from the transit agency's infrastructure fund....

By | January 12, 2006; 12:44 PM ET | Email a Comment

Part Of Wilson Boulevard Could Get a New Name

From today's Fairfax Extra: A portion of Wilson Boulevard in the Falls Church area would be named Saigon Boulevard under a proposal made by the county Board of Supervisors to the Virginia Department of Transportation. The supervisors voted Monday to ask VDOT to designate the stretch of Wilson between Route 7 and Roosevelt Boulevard as Saigon Boulevard, with signs to mark the change. The stretch is in front of the Eden Center. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/11/AR2006011100867_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/11/AR2006011100867.html','A portion of Wilson Boulevard in the Falls Church area would be named Saigon Boulevard under a proposal made by the county Board of Supervisors to the Virginia Department of Transportation.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); Representatives of the Vietnamese American community requested the change to reflect the area's retail and cultural activity. The name change would be ceremonial; Wilson Boulevard would keep its name and addresses...

By | January 12, 2006; 12:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

Share Your Movie Theater Memories

Two score and six new movie theatre screens have opened in the county in the last 14 months. A recent Fairfax Extra cover story examines what that says about (and means for) the county. The Extra also invites it's readers to share their movie theater memories by emailing them to us....

By | January 12, 2006; 12:26 PM ET | Email a Comment

Officials Say Herndon Laborer Site a Success

The site, which opened last month, has been drawing an average of 97 workers a day . The details are in today's Metro section....

By | January 12, 2006; 10:40 AM ET | Email a Comment

Cox To Offer 'Family Friendly' Package

From a news release: Cox Communications, Inc., today announced that it will launch a family programming package in early 2006...

By Steve Fehr | January 11, 2006; 5:45 PM ET | Email a Comment

Pulte Faces Possible Fines If It Can't Cut Car Use at MetroWest

Under the proposed plan, Pulte Homes the project developer would have to prove a reduction of  47 percent of residential car trips and 25 percent of business car trips or face the penalties. Today's Metro section has the story. ...

By | January 11, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Mixing Bowl Improvements Among Area Traffic Fixes Ahead in 2006

Three new bridges, including one scheduled to open next week are, expected to open in 2006 as part of the major improvements being made to the Springfield Interchange.  Read about the various projects, including the first span of the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge, opening in June, in today's Metro section....

By | January 11, 2006; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Superintendent's Schools Budget Proposal To Be Annnounced Thursday

The Fairfax County Schools fiscal year 2007 budget will be formally presented by Superintendant Jack D. Dale to the Fairfax County School Board at its business meeting at 7:30 p.m. on January 12 at Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road in Falls Church.The Superintendent's budget presentation to the School Board will be carried live by Channel 21 via Cox Communications cable television....

By | January 10, 2006; 11:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly Proposes Mobile Health Clinics For Homeless

The Board of Supervisors Chairman has directed County Executive Anthony H. Griffin to come up with a plan to address the health care concerns of the county's homeless population, which is expected to increase this year. An article with the details of the proposal in in today's Metro section....

By | January 10, 2006; 11:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Community Dialogue Jan. 17 on the Future of Tysons Corner

The following was released by the Providence District Council today: Providence District Council invites all interested area communities to participate in a Community Dialogue on the Future of Tysons Corner on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 7:30-9:00pm at the Dunn Loring Center, located at the northwest corner of Gallows and Idylwood Rds....

By | January 9, 2006; 2:36 PM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Names Communications Director

The following press release was released today by the City of Falls Church: City Manager Appoints Communications Director FALLS CHURCH, VA. -  City Manager Dan McKeever has announced the promotion and appointment of Nicole Gobbo as Communications Director for the City of Falls Church. As Communications Director, Gobbo will oversee the City's Office of Communications.  Her responsibilities will include serving as media spokesperson for the City and managing City publications, publicity, and Web content among other outreach initiatives.  Gobbo joined the City in May 2004 as Communications Specialist and served as Acting Director of Communications September through December 2005....

By | January 9, 2006; 1:53 PM ET | Email a Comment

A Softening Market: Condo Supply Outstrips Demand

An article in Saturday's paper looks at how a softening housing market is affecting the sales of new condominium units. Northern Virginia makes up the biggest share of the region's condo market and, despite the downturn, developers are readying about 24,000 new units for sale in the next three years....

By | January 9, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Woman Says Vienna Town Police Assaulted Her

Tara Shea, 28, of Bowie, who has been charged with DWI and possession of a concealed weapon, said officers bloodied her following her a sobriety test. The story is in today's Metro section....

By | January 9, 2006; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Picks Education Secretary

Details on the selection of Thomas R. Morris to head the state's education department were released today by the Gov.-elect's office: Governor-Elect Tim Kaine Appoints Secretary of Education Richmond - Governor-elect Tim Kaine today announced that Dr. Thomas R. Morris will serve as Secretary of Education in his cabinet. Morris has served as President of Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia, since 1992.  In addition to his responsibilities as President, Morris continued to teach courses in political science and served as a member of the Appalachian College Association Executive Committee. Prior to being named President of Emory & Henry, Morris spent over two decades teaching political science at the University of Richmond, where he served as chair of the Faculty Council and was honored as a University Distinguished Educator....

By | January 6, 2006; 12:38 PM ET | Email a Comment

Homelessness Could Increase In County This Year

Driven in part by the rising cost of housing, officials anticipate an increase in the number of homeless individuals and families this year. The story is in today's Metro section....

By | January 6, 2006; 10:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Va. Lawmakers Agree Transportation Is Top Priority...Now What?

State legislators agree that solving Virginia's transportation problems is job No.1. How to fix them is another story....

By | January 6, 2006; 12:59 AM ET | Email a Comment

Group Opposes Rail, Wants More Buses and Toll Lanes to Dulles

In the Jan. 5 Voices of Fairfax column, guest writer Christopher W. Walker of Landowners Opposing Wasteful Expenditures argues against the proposed Metrorail extension to the airport....

By | January 6, 2006; 12:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Keeps Pierce Homer; Fairfax's Hanley Had Been Candidate

The Governor-elect's news release: Governor-Elect Tim Kaine Announces Transportation Leadership Team Richmond - Governor-elect Tim Kaine today announced that Pierce R. Homer will serve as Secretary of Transportation and Ralph Davis and Scott Kasprowicz will serve as Deputy Secretaries of Transportation. Former Fairfax Board Chairman Katherine "Kate" Hanley had been considered for the top job....

By | January 5, 2006; 3:25 PM ET | Email a Comment

And We'll Have Fun, Fun, Fun 'Til the Legislative Session Begins

This just in from the Governor-elect's office:Governor-Elect Tim Kaine Announces That Tickets to the Inaugural Concert and Inaugural Ball Are Available for the General Public to Purchase Richmond - Governor-elect Tim Kaine announced today that tickets to the Inaugural Concert featuring the Beach Boys on Friday, January 13th and the Inaugural Balls on Saturday, January 14th are now available to the general public for purchase.  The Inaugural Committee also announced that a heated tent, with large-screen TVs and a live feed of the swearing in ceremony, will be available to help accommodate more people, who want to attend the unique and historic Inauguration....

By | January 5, 2006; 1:28 PM ET | Email a Comment

Former BOS Chairman Weighs In on County Rail to Dulles Funding

The text of a letter to the Fairfax Extra from Jack Herrity follows: Fairfax County, with little public notice and without public hearings, has just made a future budget commitment of approximately $50 million of the known cost overruns on the proposed Metro extension to Dulles International Airport and has done so with no cap on the amount of the ultimate commitment to which the county is now exposed....

By | January 5, 2006; 12:23 PM ET | Email a Comment

Reader Responds To Gerry Connolly's Call For Density

A reader's letter to the Fairfax Extra: The flippant defense by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) of high-density growth as the solution for getting his latte at the Vienna Metro ["Connolly Promotes Dense Development Near Transit Hubs," Fairfax Extra, Dec. 22] is a smoke screen for the board-developer alliance's relentless commitment to transforming Fairfax County into another congested, overbuilt Los Angeles....

By | January 5, 2006; 12:13 PM ET | Email a Comment

Report: Area Roads More Crowded, But Safer

Despite increasing traffic, the numbers of crashes and fatalities have declined in Northern Virginia according to a report  from the Washington Regional Alcohol Program. An article was in today's Washington Post. The most recent numbers from local police departments are here....

By | January 5, 2006; 11:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

SmarTrip, Other Changes Climbing Aboard Connector Buses In 2006

Officials with the Fairfax Connector bus system expect Metro's SmarTrip debit cards to be accepted on the local commuter buses by early summer, just one of the changes expected in 2006 according to a Fairfax Extra article published today....

By | January 5, 2006; 11:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

Study To Explore Upgrades To 3 County Police Stations

From today's Fairfax Extra: The Fairfax engineering office of PSA-Dewberry has been selected to conduct feasibility studies for improvements at three district police stations, in Reston, McLean and Fair Oaks. The studies will explore current and future space needs and opportunities for renovation and/or expansion to improve staff efficiency, security and community outreach services at the stations, according to a news release....

By | January 5, 2006; 11:07 AM ET | Email a Comment

Have You Ever Considered Adding Onto Your House?

Meet Reston homeowner Eric Young, who with no previous experience, has begun to build a $150,000 addition to his house. The Post's Home section is covering Young's ongoing progress in a series of semi-regular essays, beginning today....

By | January 5, 2006; 10:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Judge: Virginia's DWI Law Constitutional

The saga of the state's embattled DWI law took another turn yesterday when a Fairfax County judge ruled that the law is constitutional, but that juries and judges cannot presume guilt simply because a defendant's blood alcohol level was measured above the legal limit.    Another judge had begun dismissing DWI cases last year, because he believed the Virginia law had unfairly shifted the burden of proof to the defendant. A detailed article is in today's Metro section....

By | January 5, 2006; 10:46 AM ET | Email a Comment

High Praise For Annandale High School

In yesterday's Extra Credit column, Jay Matthews explains why he thinks that Annandale High School's ranking of number 88 on the Washington Post's recent Challenge Index of area public high schools doesn't quite accurately reflect the excellent strides the school has made in preparing its students for the future....

By | January 5, 2006; 12:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

Accused Murderer Won't Face Death Penalty

Dinh Pham, 34 of Annandale who is accused of the 2004 murders of Loan P. Nguyen, 30, and her 22 month-old daughter Ashley N. Ton of Merrifield, will not face capital murder charges. Yesterday a judge ruled that Fairfax County police violated the Pham's rights by not informing the Vietnamese man that he could contact his country's embassy. The story is in today's Metro section....

By | January 4, 2006; 10:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Little Consensus at Kaine Transportation Forums

A front page story in this morning's Washington Post reports on Gov.-elect Timothy M. Kaine's pre-inaugural efforts to hear Virginians' ideas for solving the state's transportation problems. While there has been much discussion at the forum's Kaine has been sponsoring, including one last night in Fairfax County, there has been little agreement. The text of Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly's statement at last night's forum is here: Download Statement.doc...

By | January 4, 2006; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Local Legislative Delegation To Hear Public Comments Saturday

The state delegates and senators who represent Fairfax County in the General Assembly will hold a hearing on the upcoming legislative session at 9 a.m. Jan. 7 at the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway. The public is invited to attend and comment. Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) is among those expected to deliver remarks to the state legislators. People who want to sign up in advance to speak at the hearing should contact the Fairfax County Office of the Clerk to the Board of Supervisors at 703-324-3151, TTY 711, by noon on Friday. Speakers also may sign up at the hearing....

By | January 3, 2006; 1:28 PM ET | Email a Comment

Text of Independence Air's Letter to Customers

The Dulles-based airline, which employed many people in Fairfax County, will stop flying on Thursday. The company's letter to its customers is here. Post coverage of the news is here and here.  A Business section article on the job search that faces Flyi's employees is here. An analysis of what the airline's demise will do to air fares and a Q&A for ticket holders are also in today's Washington Post....

By | January 3, 2006; 1:03 PM ET | Email a Comment

 

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