Archive: August 2006

Inside Your Fairfax Extra

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. It has regular features, recent home sales (check out the the $old list of the highest priced homes) 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--today's, on Fort Belvoir Growth, is from Supervisor Elaine McConnell --and much more....

By | August 31, 2006; 12:44 PM ET | Email a Comment

More Gulf Coast Memories, Stories

Today's Fairfax Extra offers another selection of readers' memories of the Gulf Coast savaged by Hurricane Katrina. And even as meteorologists are predicting heavy rainfalls in our area this weekend from tropical storm Ernesto and Gov. Kaine has declared a state of emergency, some local residents are still trying to recover from this summer's earlier flooding. This article describes a federal loan program that is offering assistance....

By | August 31, 2006; 12:35 PM ET | Email a Comment

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Back to School They Go

This week's Fairfax Extra is the back to school edition. The coverage begins with this look at a county summer school program. The extra also includes a look at the school calendar and an introduction to school officials from the county and from the City of Falls Church (the city's school calendar is here.) New faculty members are listed here and here. Phone numbers for the county system and for the city are also listed. Links to the school sytem webpages are http://www.fcps.edu and http://www.fccps.org....

By | August 31, 2006; 12:19 PM ET | Email a Comment

Local Governments' Remembrances of Sept. 11

As the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon draws near, officals in Northern Virginia plan subdued commerations. Read about the plans here....

By | August 31, 2006; 11:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fifth Worker Killed at Springfield Interchange Site

Julio Alvarez Rodriguez, 43, owner of an Alexandria trucking company, became the fifth person to die in a construction-related accident at the Springfield interchange since construction began there in 1999. The story is here....

By | August 31, 2006; 9:29 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax 2nd Richest County in Nation; Loudoun 1st

Our neighbors in Loudoun. Together with Howard, Montgomery and Prince William counties, Loudoun and Fairfax combine to make the Washington suburbs the wealthiest of any major metropolitan area in the U.S. And the federal money that has flowed into local economies for defense and homeland security in the wake of 9/11 plays a big part. The Post's front page story is here. But all those jobs come with a dark side according to this companion A1 article that says Washington's outer suburbs are home to commuters with the second-longest daily drives in the U.S....

By | August 30, 2006; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Allen to Speak at GOP Rally for Ethnic Groups

From today's Metro section: Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) is scheduled to speak Sept. 9 at a rally for ethnic groups sponsored by the Fairfax County Republican Party, officials said yesterday. Allen has been under fire for remarks to S.A. Sidarth, a Fairfax native of Indian descent and volunteer for Allen's foe, James Webb. Sidarth recorded Allen on video calling him "macaca" and welcoming him "to America and the real world of Virginia." Macaca is the scientific name of a genus of monkeys, and it is a slur in some cultures. Allen apologized to Sidarth. Fairfax GOP Chairman Eric Lundberg said Allen had been previously scheduled to speak at the rally. -- Lisa Rein...

By | August 30, 2006; 10:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

Wrathful Commuters: Want to Destroy Wilson Bridge?

Updated 8/30 With remains of the old bridge now being dismantled work on the second span in getting started. The story is here. Originally posted 8/10 Unlike Col. Nicholson (Alec Guinness) in "The Bridge on the River Kwai" the winner of the the Wilson Bridge project's contest to demolish the Wilson Bridge won't have to take any shrapnel in the effort. (Photo Copyright 1957 Columbia Pictures Corporation) Ever wanted to blow up the Woodrow Wilson Bridge? You now have a chance to make your dream reality. Wilson Bridge project officials have announced a contest in which the winner will get to trigger the explosive charge that will destroy a half mile section of the old bridge at midnight Aug. 24. All you have to do is come up with the most compelling story of misery and woe caused by the bridge. The Post's article is here....

By | August 30, 2006; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

8/29 UPDATE: New Wrinkle for Tyson's Metro Tunnel?

Updated 8/29 According to this article some Tysons Corner neighborhood groups like the idea of the tunnel but are expressing serious concerns about the potential costs and the effects a tunnel might have. Updated 8/18 From today's Metro section: More Toll Road Money Coveted Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) said that one possible source of additional funding for a rail tunnel at Tysons Corner would be the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the revenue it will collect from the Dulles Toll Road. Virginia officials are deciding whether the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport should run above or below ground through Tysons. Most agree that a tunnel would be better, but it is unclear how to cover its extra costs, at least $200 million. Connolly's remarks in an interview Wednesday on Washington Post Radio represented one of the first public suggestions that extra money could...

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

Teens Work as Planners at Youth Centers

An article in this morning's Metro section discusses Fairfax County's program wherein teens hired by youth centers are charged with creating programs that will engage their peers and steer them away from violence and trouble....

By | August 29, 2006; 10:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Pricier Homes Eligible for Subsidies?

Housing subsidies for families making $110,0000 a year? That may be the reality soon in Fairfax County. Check out this story from yesterday's paper....

By | August 28, 2006; 11:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Close to Tunnel, Role in Land Use Decisions

According to this article from yesterday, Governor Timothy M. Kaine (D) is close to coming out in favor of the proposed rail tunnel through Tysons Corner. In a separate article, Kaine is promising that local land-use decisions will be coming under greater scrutiny....

By | August 28, 2006; 11:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Schools Get "A" in Lunch

A group that promotes meat-free diets has given Fairfax County Public Schools the highest marks of all the local school systems surveyed for their menus. Read the story here....

By | August 28, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

S.R. Sidarth on Allen's "Macaca" Remarks

Fairfax native and Jim Webb campaign volunteer said in an interview in this morning's Metro section that what hurt more than "macaca" was being sarcastically welcomed to his own country....

By | August 25, 2006; 9:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Inside Your Fairfax Extra

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. It has regular features, recent home sales (check out the the $old list of the highest priced homes) 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--if you write them--and much more....

By | August 24, 2006; 12:28 PM ET | Email a Comment

Virginia Is Best State For Business

So says Forbes magazine. An article from today's Extras questions what this might mean for Mark Warner's presidential aspirations....

By | August 24, 2006; 12:27 PM ET | Email a Comment

Gridlock Tips: Headed to the Beach For Labor Day?

Dr. Gridlock and his readers offer some suggestions....

By | August 24, 2006; 12:24 PM ET | Email a Comment

Pre Back-To-School News

Next week's Extra is the back-to-school isue. But three items from today's Fairfax Extra are of interest for parents preparing kids for the start on Sept. 5. First, as described in this story, county officials have issued draft guidelines for child-care providers to help them prepare children to succeed. A second story discusses the new requirement for 6th graders to get a whooping cough booster vaccine. Another is the last entry in the Extra's series revealing student's answers to the county's annual survey of their attitudes and actions is here....

By | August 24, 2006; 11:39 AM ET | Email a Comment

Extra Readers Recall Katrina and Better Days

The cover story for this week's Fairfax Extra consists of reader's essays about their experiences in New Orleans, before and after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city almost a year ago. If you have anything to share, please post a comment....

By | August 24, 2006; 11:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/23: Mixing Bowl Nearly Unmixed

Updated 8/23 The lead story in today's Metro takes another look at the mixing bowl on this, the eve of the the project's last major bridge opening. Originally posted 8/17 With work on the Springfield Interchange entering its final year and the major work scheduled to be completed by next month, VDOT officials say that end is in sight. Fairfax Extra coverage is here....

By | August 23, 2006; 10:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fort Hunt: A Long Kept Secret about WWII POWs.

More than 3,400 prisoners of war spent time incarcerated at Fort Hunt in southeastern Fairfax County during World War II. Details about the military base's secret, and not entirely legal, mission are just know beginning to be known. Read the article here....

By | August 21, 2006; 10:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

Bigger Questions on Tysons Redevelopment/Rail

With all of the the discussion about the specifics of extending Metrorail through Tysons Corner and redeveloping the area into a walkable downtown for Fairfax County, are some bigger questions getting overlooked? Is the plan to remake Tysons feasible? Is it even desirable? This article from yesterday's Metro section takes a closer look at the big questions local officials face as decision time on what to do draws near....

By | August 21, 2006; 10:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Danger On the W&OD Trail?

According to a front page article from this morning, increased usage of the historic Washington & Old Dominion Trail is choking the pathway, leading to increased danger for bicyclists pedestrians and other users. Three bicyclists have died on the trail in the last year....

By | August 18, 2006; 10:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

Battered Fairfax Station Woman Wins Suit Against Former Husband

In an example of legal experts say is becoming a more common occurrence, a Fairfax Station woman has won a $550,000 award against her former husband who served jail time for beating her in their home in 2003. The story is in today's Metro section....

By | August 18, 2006; 10:38 AM ET | Email a Comment

School Prepares to Offer Tutoring

From today's Metro section: Preliminary test scores show that Fairfax County's Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School did not reach the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act for the second straight year, and school officials are preparing to offer tutoring for some students. Fairfax school officials said yesterday that they are still verifying the test results but wanted to inform parents of those who would be eligible for tutoring. Students at the school, in the Alexandria section of the county, appear to have fallen short in reading, school officials said. Under the No Child law, schools must meet benchmark scores on standardized reading and math tests. Strict sanctions are imposed on failing Title I schools, which receive federal funds aimed at their high proportion of low-income students. Typically, Title I schools that do not meet the mark for two years must allow students to transfer to higher-performing schools....

By | August 18, 2006; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Inside Your Fairfax Extra

This week's Fairfax Extra marks the return of the Dr. Gridlock column. 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. It has regular features, recent home sales (check out the the $old list of the highest priced homes) 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--if you write them--and much more....

By | August 17, 2006; 10:49 AM ET | Email a Comment

State To Expand Crime Victim's Information Program

Virginia is expanding a program that allows the victims of crimes to follow the movements inmates between jails and prisons and to be informed of a criminal's release. The story is here....

By | August 17, 2006; 10:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

Channel 16 Offers A Cathode Ray Window on Fairfax

Today's Fairfax Extra cover story takes us behind the scenes at county government sponsored Channel 16 television. Check it out....

By | August 17, 2006; 10:22 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/17: Woman, 72, Found Slain in Springfield Home

Updated 8/17 From today's Metro Section: Help Sought in Woman's Death A Fairfax County woman found slain in her Springfield home Monday night had been shopping at a nearby Giant grocery that morning, and yesterday Fairfax police appealed for help from anyone who might have seen her in the Bradlick Shopping Center. A neighbor found Marion B. Marshall's body inside her home on Bostwick Drive at 6:10 p.m. Monday. An autopsy determined that Marshall, 72, had died from unspecified trauma. Marshall lived alone, and police said there were no signs of forced entry. A surveillance camera captured Marshall in the Giant store at 6980 Braddock Rd., blocks from her home, about 11:15 a.m., Lt. Richard Perez said. Anyone who might have seen her is asked to call police at 866-411-TIPS (8477). -- Tom Jackman Originally posted 8/16 Fairfax County police are investigating the death of Marion B. Marshall whose body...

By | August 16, 2006; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Debate On Open Space in Fairfax City

A disagreement on what two do with the rare open space in the city of Fairfax is focused on two parcels along Fairfax Boulevard. Read about it in today's Metro section...

By | August 14, 2006; 11:15 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/14: FEMA Denies Fairfax Flood Aid

Updated 8/14 From Saturday's Metro section: FEMA Again Denies Aid Virginia officials announced yesterday that the state has lost its appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for flood aid to 13 communities that suffered storm damage in late June. Without explanation, FEMA denied Virginia's appeal of the agency's decision last month turning down emergency aid the state had requested for the communities, including Fairfax and Arlington counties and the city of Alexandria. The state had hoped FEMA would grant low-interest loans, cash grants, unemployment assistance and temporary housing to residents whose homes were flooded, including 150 in the Huntington neighborhood of Fairfax that suffered severe damage. Local officials and members of Virginia's congressional delegation were furious that the aid was denied, and they wrote letters to FEMA in protest as Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced the appeal last week. Yesterday, U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), whose...

By | August 14, 2006; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 8/10: At Vienna Office Tower, No Dog Docs Allowed

Updated 8/10 The Vienna's Zoning Board of Appeals has denied Schutzengel's request. The Fairfax Extra's coverage is here. Originally posted 6/15 Finding a new home for an animal hospital isn't easy, as veterinarian Daniella Schutzengel found out when she faced fierce opposition to her plan to relocate her practice to a Vienna office tower. The Fairfax Extra has the tale....

By | August 10, 2006; 2:10 PM ET | Email a Comment

Inside Your Fairfax Extra

Each Thursday you can find the print edition of the http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/print/community/fairfax/index.html tucked inside the Home section of the Washington Post anywhere newspapers are sold or delivered in the county. It has regular features, recent home sales (check out the the $old list of the highest priced homes) and crimes reports from your neighborhood. A recent series in the Extra has been reporting the results of a survey of the attitudes and actions of the county's public school students. Other regular listings include, religion notes, arts and entertainment and sports listings and stories, as well as your letters to the editor and guest opinion columns--if you write them--and much more....

By | August 10, 2006; 12:21 PM ET | Email a Comment

Adopted Children Learn About Cultures at Camp

At Adoption Service International Agency's annual Culture Camp, internationally adopted children spend three days each summer learning about the cultures of their birth countries and sharing experiences with other families like their own. Read about it in the Fairfax Extra....

By | August 10, 2006; 12:11 PM ET | Email a Comment

Officials Alarmed at River, Water Pollution

A Virginia Department of Environmental Quality report issued last month identifies 9,000 miles of the commonwealth's rivers as polluted. Fishermen quoted in this Fairfax Extra article describe fish pulled from the Potomac covered in burn-like lesions. Other waterways like lakes and reservoirs are also suffering according to the report....

By | August 10, 2006; 12:04 PM ET | Email a Comment

Child Care for Some Low Income Families in Jeopardy

In this week's Fairfax Extra this article reports that Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin says money from nearly $20 million in unallocated county funds should not be used to cover a gap in the state funding of child-care programs for low-income families. Griffin reasons that the money will be needed as a buffer for the coming year as revenue growth slows. What do you think? Is this a worthy cause for some of the county's unspent cash?...

By | August 10, 2006; 11:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Ethnic Tennis Groups Thrive

As this article from this week's Fairfax Extra illustrates, the sport of tennis has become widely popular in the various ethnic immigrant communities in the area....

By | August 10, 2006; 11:41 AM ET | Email a Comment

Taylor Behl's Killer Sentenced to 30 Years

Benjamin Fawley, the 39-year-old Richmond man who in court yesterday admitted killing VCU freshman Taylor Behl, 17, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. Behl, of Vienna, disappeared last September and her body was discovered in a shallow grave in rural Mathew's County a month later. Metro coverage is here....

By | August 10, 2006; 11:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

GMU Growth Worries Some Neighbors

According to this article, George Mason University's plans for $400 million in construction and renovation over the next five years worries some of the school's neighbors about the impact on the area....

By | August 9, 2006; 9:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

Foreign Language for Elementary School Brains

Educators say that the human capacity to learn languages is greatest in childhood, so it makes sense for schools to add language classes to the elementary curriculum. Tale is in this story. Whats your take? Do you wish you'd had this opportunity when you were in grade school?...

By | August 8, 2006; 10:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

Amendment May Make Some Gay Virginians Leave

Some gay Virginians say that the proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw same sex marriages and civil unions of any kind makes them wonder whether to continue to make their homes in the commonwealth.The Metro story is here....

By | August 7, 2006; 10:34 AM ET | Email a Comment

One Park Gets a Plan; Another a New Name

The master plan for the John C. and Margaret K. Horticultural Park near Falls Church has been completed, ending a controversial process to determine where the park's entrance will be placed. And Fox Mill District Park in Herndon will be Fred Crabtree Park in honor of the former Park Authority board member.....

By | August 4, 2006; 9:29 AM ET | Email a Comment

All-Day Kindergarten for All Schools by 2010 is Aim

Citing the benefits of all-day instruction at the kindergarten level, Fairfax County school officials are putting the roll-out of all-day programs on the fast track, but the cost could be prohibitive. Here is the article....

By | August 4, 2006; 9:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

TRAFFIC ALERT: Fairfax City Goes Two-Way

Here is what to expect courtesy of yesterday's Fairfax Extra. The change was subject of the July 20 Fairfax Extra cover story....

By | August 4, 2006; 9:21 AM ET | Email a Comment

Challengers for Congress Focus on Oil and War

This article from the Fairfax Extra looks at the issues that challengers to well-established and popular incumbents like Frank Wolf and Tom Davis are using to sell their candidacies....

By | August 4, 2006; 9:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Vienna Buildings Sometimes Dwarf Ramblers

Many people agree that the scores of new houses being built in the southern part of Vienna are more attractive than many of brick behemoths derisively labeled as McMansions that constitute much of the newer and larger houses being built in Northern Virginia. But some people are wondering if the new homes are driving up neighborhood property values and forcing out established residents with higher taxes. The story is in this week's Fairfax Extra....

By | August 4, 2006; 9:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

Inside your Fairfax Extra

Look inside the Home section today and every Thursday for the Fairfax Extra in your ara. The Fairafx Extra has regular features including recent home sales (check out the the $old list of the highest priced homes) and crimes reports from your neighborhood, a look at what new projects developers have in store--on the fourth Thursday of each month, religion notes, arts and entertainment and sports listings and stories, as well as your letters to the editor and guest opinion columns--if you would kindly submit them--and much more....

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

UPDATE 8/3: Sales Tax Holiday is Aug. 4- Aug.6

Updated 8/3 There is good news for shoppers in this article from this morning's Metro section. Some of the state's larger retailers, including Wal-Mart and Circuit City, plan to extend the tax savings to all of their merchandise, not just school supplies, this weekend Originally posted 6/29 Virginia sales tax (5 percent) on back-to-school items and clothing will be lifted from 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 4 through midnight Sunday, Aug. 6. Today's Fairfax Extra reports that the effort is designed to ease the burden on families with school-age kids. For a complete list of qualified items, visit www.tax.virginia.gov/salestaxholiday....

By | August 3, 2006; 9:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Guitar Wizard Gains Fame on 'Net

Guitarist Matthew Baamonde, 19, of Herndon, is featured in this profile in today's Metro section. Baamonde has two self-produced rock songs in the top 10 of American Idol Underground, an online version of the Fox television talent contest....

By | August 2, 2006; 11:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

FEMA to Fairfax: Help Your Own

Fairfax County officials are outraged at a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deny financial assistance to Northern Virginia homeowners for losses in the June floods. FEMA officials reasoned that local governments represent an affluent population and should provide relief. The Metro section article is here. What's your take? So, who's right here? Should FEMA just provide help to the less fortunate?...

By | August 2, 2006; 10:39 AM ET | Email a Comment

The Buzz on Fairfax County's Mosquito Expert

Entomologist Jorge Arias of the Fairfax County Health Department makes controlling the tiny bloodsuckers his mission. Read about Arias and his work to keep your backyards free of the bugs here....

By | August 2, 2006; 10:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Revenue Slowdown Limits Budget Increases

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has announced limited spending increases for next fiscal year, prompted by flatter property tax revenue as the housing market cools. County spending will rise no more than 3 percent, and the public school system -- which accounts for more than half the budget -- will receive a maximum of 4 percent more from the county, the board said yesterday. In previous years, the schools have received annual increases of up to 9 percent. The flattening housing market comes after six years of double-digit property assessment increases in Fairfax and other communities in the region. Fairfax home values soared by an average of 20.5 percent last year, but county officials expect increases of 1 to 3 percent in the coming budget year. -- Lisa Rein...

By | August 2, 2006; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tips To Beat The Heat

Fairfax County is offering these tips to stay cool as the area faces a heat emergency over the next few days....

By | August 1, 2006; 10:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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