Archive: May 2006

Planners Envision a New Springfield

Check out this front page story from the weekend to find out how developers plan to remake Springfield, transforming it from suburban crossroads into a miniature city with new retail and residential components....

By | May 30, 2006; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Detective Dead; Two Wounded, One Badly

Updated 5/31 Today's Metro section reports that police are seeking Michael Kennedy's phone records for evidence that he made threats against the police before the ambush. Updated 5/26 According to an article in today's Metro section, Michael Kennedy was rebuffed several times when attempting seek help for his mental health. Updated 5/23 ATF Investigates Parents of Teen in Shooting Updated 5/19 Friends of Michael Kennedy said he sought help for delusions in the months leading up to his attack on the police station. A front page story in this morning's Washington Post has the details. Updated 5/12 Attorneys for the Kennedy family released a statement last night saying that the guns stored in the family home were kept under lock and key. Coverage is in this morning's paper. Updated 5/11 According to a story in today's Metro section story, a police search of the townhouse shared by Michael Kennedy and...

By | May 26, 2006; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Board Approves Record $2.1 Billion Budget

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County School Board approved a $2.1 billion budget last night that includes funds to expand full-day kindergarten and increases the starting salary for beginning teachers. This is the first time the schools budget has topped $2 billion....

By | May 26, 2006; 10:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

Your Fairfax Extra

Find the print edition of the Fairfax Extra tucked inside the Home section of today's Washington Post anywhere newspapers are sold or delivered in the county. There, in addition to local news and features, you can regularly see recent home sales and crimes reports from your neighborhood, a monthly look at what new projects developers have in store, religion notes, arts and entertainment and sports listings and stories, as well as your letters to the editor, when we receive some, guest columns which we are always eager to see, and much more....

By | May 25, 2006; 11:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

Coming to Vienna, an Old-Fashioned Town Green

The project upends traditional ideas about how communities develop, according to this Fairfax Extra article. Instead of the town growing up around a central gathering place for its citizens, this green will be carved from reclaimed commercial property....

By | May 25, 2006; 11:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Contruction Delays Ahead For Summer

Construction Work on the Springfield interchange and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge are expected to contribute to significant traffic delays throughout the busy summer travel season, according to an article from today's Fairfax Extra....

By | May 25, 2006; 11:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

GMU to Drop SAT Requirement for Some Applicants

Citing studies that show that SAT scores can be a poor indicator of how well students will perform at the University level, officials at George Mason University have decided that students who meet certain other requirements with regard to their high school achievements will be exempt from submitting Scholastic Aptitude Test scores. Today's Metro section has the story....

By | May 25, 2006; 10:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Mayor-Elect Faces Tough Issues

According to a story in today's Metro section Steve J. DeBenedittis, the mayor-elect of Herndon and a political novice, is likely to find his term defined by the contentious immigration issues that set the stage for the sweeping changes in the town's leadership that came out of the recent election results....

By | May 24, 2006; 9:59 AM ET | Email a Comment

Appalachian Outfitters Site to Chevy Chase Bank

Appalachian Outfitters, which has been at the corner of Hunter Mill and Chain Bridge Roads for 30 years, is the latest Fairfax landmark to face the wrecking ball to make way for a bank. Read about the trend and the fate of the long time camping supplier in today's Business section....

By | May 22, 2006; 11:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Activist and Neighbors Feud Over Land

Updated 6/6 From today's Metro section: Land Application Withdrawn A politically prominent southern Fairfax County firefighter who sought to take over a small strip of county-owned land for his driveway has withdrawn his application, the Board of Supervisors was told yesterday. John Fedorshik, a member of the Mount Vernon District Democratic Committee and the board of the South County Federation, an umbrella group of civic and neighborhood organizations, wanted the county to give up an undeveloped portion of Talbert Road that crossed the driveway of his Lorton home. His proposal drew sharp opposition from neighbors in Lorfax Heights, who said the right of way was needed for a potential new road to improve access to their subdivision. Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon), who supported Fedorshik's application, reported his withdrawal yesterday. The board passed a resolution, sponsored by Hyland, asking that the Virginia Department of Transportation assess whether Talbert Road...

By | May 22, 2006; 11:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Armed Robber Hits String of Businesses

Updated 5/23 Another Gas Station Held Up Another Fairfax County gas station was robbed early yesterday, and police were investigating whether it was linked to four holdups last week in which one attendant was shot and a gun was fired in another. The Shell station in the 8300 block of Old Keene Mill Road, in the Springfield area, was the latest target. About 1:20 a.m. yesterday, an attendant was approached by a man who demanded money but did not show a gun. The robber was given an undisclosed amount of cash and fled. The suspect's description -- a black man in his twenties, 5 feet 4 inches and 150 pounds -- matches the description of a suspect in the four robberies last week. Three armed holdups Wednesday were committed between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., and a Crown gas station attendant in the Franconia area was shot in the face....

By | May 22, 2006; 10:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Phone Service Offers Commuting Tips

Commuters along the Route 7-Dulles Toll Road- Dulles Greenway corridor can take advantage of a new phone service called TrafficFlex which will help them find the least congested routes. Read about it here....

By | May 22, 2006; 10:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Reston's New Fees Becoming the Norm for Planned Communities

According to this Metro story from the weekend, the new fees being imposed in Reston and in Prince William County's Lake Ridge community are becoming increasing common as maturing planned communities face rising maintenance costs for their aging facilities....

By | May 22, 2006; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tonight's Rock Show Cancelled at T.T. Reynold's

Yesterday' Fairfax Extra featured a preview of tonight's scheduled line-up of bands at T.T. Reynold's in Fairfax City. We are informed that the show has been cancelled....

By | May 19, 2006; 12:57 PM ET | Email a Comment

Explore Your Fairfax Extra

Just a reminder that each Thursday you can find the print edition of the Fairfax Extra tucked inside the Home section of the Washington Post anywhere newspapers are sold or delivered in the county. There, in addition to local news and features, you can regularly see recent home sales and crimes reports from your neighborhood, a monthly look at what new projects developers have in store, religion notes, arts and entertainment and sports listings and stories, as well as your letters to the editor and guest opinion columns and much more....

By | May 18, 2006; 4:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Meeting to Air Hunter Mill Road Plans

From today's Metro section: A consultant's suggestions for "traffic calming," traffic management and safety improvements for Hunter Mill Road in Fairfax County will be presented May 24 at a public meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. at Unity of Fairfax Church, 2854 Hunter Mill Rd. in Oakton. Some of the measures being considered by the consultant -- hired last year by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission -- include signs pointing out features of historic interest along Hunter Mill Road, roundabouts, trails along the roadway for pedestrians, cyclists and horses, along with crosswalks and markers for intersections of trails and the roadway. Hunter Mill Road is a rolling, scenic 7.2-mile minor arterial designated as a Virginia byway and eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks register. The road connects Route 123 to the south with Baron Cameron to the north....

By | May 18, 2006; 9:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Student Hospitalized With Meningitis

From today's Metro section: A student at Madison High School in Vienna has been hospitalized with bacterial meningococcal meningitis, Fairfax school officials said yesterday. Principal Mark Merrell said the school sent a letter to parents Tuesday notifying them of the ill student and suggesting that they watch for certain symptoms in their children. Merrell declined to disclose other details about the ill student, but said the disease is "not highly contagious." Symptoms, which can be fatal, include severe headache, high fever, a stiff neck, nausea and vomiting or a rash. -- Allan Lengel...

By | May 18, 2006; 9:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Mixing Bowl Woes Forecast for Weekends

The first of as many as eight weekends of nighttime work on the Springfield interchange is expected to bring some of the biggest traffic delays in the construction project's history. Details are here....

By | May 18, 2006; 9:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Second Officer Dies from Shooting Rampage

Updated 5/22 Coverage of Garbarino's funeral is here. From Saturday's Metro section: Gunman's Family Offers Sympathy in 2nd Death As police prepared for the funeral of the second officer killed in a May 8 police station ambush, the family of the 18-year-old gunman, Michael Kennedy, offered condolences. Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino died Wednesday. His funeral is scheduled today at the same church where Detective Vicky O. Armel, who died at the scene, was honored a week earlier. Police have wanted to talk to Kennedy's family since he fired more than 70 rounds in the parking lot of the Sully District station before officers shot and killed him. The family has been in seclusion, releasing only faxed statements through an attorney. Yesterday's release from Richard MacDowell offered sympathy and regret to the Garbarino family on behalf of the Kennedys. "They are devastated that this tragedy has caused yet a...

By | May 17, 2006; 9:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tunnel Under Tysons a Danger to Federal Funds?

Updated 5/16 According to this story in this morning's Metro section, a decision regarding the tunnel will be postponed for 60 days while a panel of engineers study the various proposals in order to advise Virginia Transportation Secretary Pierce R. Homer on a course of action. Originally posted 5/8 According to this article in this morning's Washington Post, federal rules that depend on a favorable analysis of a project's cost-effectiveness could result in loss of almost a billion dollars in funding for a Metro extension to Dulles International Airport if a tunnel is included and adds too much to the cost....

By | May 16, 2006; 12:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

Schools Want "No Child Left Behind" Flexibility

At McNair Elementary School in Herndon, sanctions have been imposed under the No Child Left Behind Act. Federal requirements have not been met at the school for the past three years. Sanctions have failed to help officials say, and want relief from the law. Read about it here....

By | May 16, 2006; 11:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

Same-Sex Marriage Ban Fought

From today's Metro section: Gay rights activists in Fairfax County last night officially began the local effort to defeat a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. Voters will cast ballots on the amendment Nov. 7. Representatives from Equality Fairfax organized more than 100 volunteers to walk neighborhoods, work county fairs and organize civic groups in coming months to try to defeat the amendment. Opponents say the amendment is written so broadly that certain contracts between unwed heterosexual couples would be nullified. Proponents disagree. -- Chris L. Jenkins...

By | May 16, 2006; 11:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Supervisors Ask Congress to Limit Assault Weapons

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, citing the May 8 shooting death of Detective Vicky O. Armel, called yesterday on Congress to reinstate the ban on assault weapons it allowed to expire in 2004....

By | May 16, 2006; 11:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax City's First Homicide of Year: Son Charged in Mom's Stabbing Death

Nathan P. Jones, 24 is being held without bond in the stabbing death of Pamela Ann Jones, 57. The story is here....

By | May 15, 2006; 11:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

MetroWest Offers Hard Lessons On Land Use

In today's Voices of Fairfax guest opinion column in the Fairfax Extra, William S. Elliott, a spokesman for Fairfax Citizens for Responsible Growth, writes about the lessons that developers and government and community leaders should take from contentious process leading to the approval of the MetroWest development....

By | May 11, 2006; 12:46 PM ET | Email a Comment

Mixed-Income Senior Housing in Falls Church

The project, the first in its kind in Fairfax County, had drawn criticism from some people who objected to subsidized housing in their neighborhood. According to this Fairfax Extra article, the controversy illustrates the difficulty in meeting the increasing demand for affordable housing for our aging citizens....

By | May 11, 2006; 12:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

Art Atelier in Great Falls Shopping Center

A tiny loft above a Great Falls shopping center has become the working home of seven local painters. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

By | May 11, 2006; 12:36 PM ET | Email a Comment

Gala for New Wilson Bridge Span Set Next Week

Updated 5/19 Coverage of the gala opening is here. Updated 5/15 A look at the bridge project's future and past was the lead story in yesterday's Metro section. A graphic and photos were included. Originally posted 5/11 Officials are readying a celebration next week for the completion of the first span of the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Read about it here....

By | May 11, 2006; 10:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Detective Vicky O. Armel Remembered

Updated 5/15 Thousands mourned as Armel was laid to rest over the weekend. Counseling is being offered to county police officers to help them deal with their grief, according to this article. Originally posted 5/10 The slain officer's friends and colleagues shared memories for this story....

By | May 10, 2006; 8:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

At Average Age 81, Miles to Go...

Six runners gather each month in Springfield for a lunch meeting to discuss races for which they are diligently training. Their average age is 81. Collectively they bring nearly half a millennium of experience to the footpaths. Read about them here....

By | May 8, 2006; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Dem Candidates Target GOP Culture, Leadership

Democratic candidates for the 11th Congressional District used a debate between Ken Longmeyer and Andrew Hurst to hit Republicans with fierce criticism; incumbent Thomas M. Davis III (R) was described as epitomizing Washington's "culture of corruption." President Bush's leadership in the Iraq war was denounced. Post coverage of the debate is here....

By | May 8, 2006; 10:29 AM ET | Email a Comment

Huntley Meadows Goes Quackers

A feature story from Sunday's Metro section focused on the work of a team of volunteers who monitor duck nest boxes at Huntley Meadows Park for newly hatched ducklings, the ornithological equivalents of the tough kids on the block....

By | May 8, 2006; 10:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

No Free Rides for Seniors and Disabled?

Yellow Cab, a subsidiary of the Red Top Cab Co. of Arlington will no longer offer free rides to senior and disabled citizens because of a pay dispute with MV Transportation, which operates the MetroAccess service that reimburses the cab company. The story is here....

By | May 8, 2006; 9:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Demand For Day Laborers in Herndon Increases

Herndon's election results went against the center, but April saw a 15 percent increase in the average number of day laborers hired each day at the Herndon Official Workers Center. Seasonal demand has created work for about 50 workers each day at the center. The story was in today's Fairfax Extra....

By | May 4, 2006; 2:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Filmmaker Shoots for a Difference

Today's Fairfax Extra cover story introduces us to Falls Church documentary filmmaker David Eckert who has made five movies about local environmental issues in as many years....

By | May 4, 2006; 2:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Speed Control or Optical Illusion on Lee Chapel Rd?

A narrow bend on Lee Chapel Road where drivers routinely speed is a test site for new system of speed control based on creating an optical illusion that makes speeding drivers think they are travelling even faster than they are. Read about how it works here. Video is here....

By | May 4, 2006; 9:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Election Brings New Faces to Council, School Board

Three new faces were elected to each the Falls Church City Council and the city's school board yesterday. Election results are here....

By | May 3, 2006; 10:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

Incumbents Prevail in Vienna and Fairfax City As Growth Issues Dominate Regional Election Results

Read about the results in this article from this morning's Metro section. A look at the results in Fairfax City is here....

By | May 3, 2006; 10:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Voters Select New Mayor, Unseat Day Laborer Center Supporters

Updated 5/4 According to a story in this morning's Metro section, anti-immigration groups are saying the that the results of the election should send message to politicians elsewhere, while immigration rights groups are downplaying the significance of the Herndon election's larger implications. Originally posted 5/3 Washington Post coverage of the Herndon election results are here....

By | May 3, 2006; 10:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Cross County Trail Officially Opens Saturday

It was completed in December but the celebration marking the opening of the 40-mile long Cross County Trail is scheduled for Saturday. Read about the trail and the festivities here. A Cross County Trail Marker in Wakefield Park (James M. Thresher)...

By | May 2, 2006; 11:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tax Assessment Appeals Soar

Loudoun County leads the local area in the number of appeals filed by local homeowners who dispute their 2006 property tax assessments, but a hefty 2,100 appeals were filed in Fairfax County, up from 1,700 last year. Does that number include you? Tell us about your appeal; how you came to the decision to file and if response was quick, good or what....

By | May 2, 2006; 11:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Family Challenges Police on Fatal Crash With Cruiser

Jatinder Baboota 61, of Vienna, died in February, 13 days after his car had been struck by a Fairfax County police cruiser driven by officer Michael D. Weinhaus who was responding to an emergency call. Now Baboota's family questions the police department's official version of what happened, citing witness reports that the officer didn't have his siren or lights on. Police did not disclose the crash or Baboota's death. The Metro section article is here....

By | May 2, 2006; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Heard the Buzz? It's Headed for Your Backyard

Entomologists are warning that the Asian tiger mosquito, a plague to our area since it showed up here in the late 1980s, may be out in swarms within two weeks. Read about the nasty little beasties and what you can do to help reduce them in your neighborhood, here....

By | May 2, 2006; 10:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

Sperm Donor's Progeny and Fame Spread

Known only as Donor 401, a man who donated his sperm to Fairfax Cryobank has become the object of much speculation since 25 children (and counting) have been reported to have resulted from his contributions. Read about 401 and his offspring here....

By | May 1, 2006; 11:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Mayor Is Unopposed

Fairfax City mayor Robert F. Lederer has received his fair-share of criticism for his anti-growth stance, but in tomorrow's election Lederer's name will represent the only mayoral candidate on the ballot. Read about Lederer and the election here....

By | May 1, 2006; 11:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Outreach To Latino Voters Underway in Herndon

With the town's mayor and city council election less than 24 hours away, a get-out-the-vote effort is targeting Herndon's Latino voters. Read about it here....

By | May 1, 2006; 11:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Streetcars on Columbia Pike Line?

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today will debate the merits of a proposal for $120 million dollar cross-jurisdictional streetcar line along Columbia Pike. An article was in yesterday's Metro section....

By | May 1, 2006; 11:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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