Archive: December 2006

Va. House: County Supes at Fault for Transpo Probs

Republican lawmakers in the Virginia House of Delegates are laying a large part of the blame for the Commonwealth's transportation problems at the feet of county supervisors from Northern Virginia. Read about it here....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 29, 2006; 10:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

Pacts to Limit Traffic Around Developments Go Unmet

This article looks at how, despite extracting agreements to provide incentives to reduce traffic around new developments, Fairfax ofiicials have been largely unsuccessful in holding developers and employers to their word....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 29, 2006; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Homeless Face More Dangers Than Cold

The murder of David Feliz last week is illustrative of one of the dangers homeless people face in addition to the obvious ones that come with their lack of regular shelter. Nationwide, nearly 170 homeless people have been killed in the last six years. Here is the article from this morning's newspaper....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 22, 2006; 10:56 AM ET | Email a Comment

Inside Your Fairfax Extra

Look inside the Home section of the print edition of The Washington Post and find the Fairfax Extra --anywhere newspapers are sold or delivered in the county. Why, you ask? Well, today's Extra includes some things for commenters to weigh in on: readers' letters to the editor about the controversial decision by the Fairfax City council to buy an office building in a residential area in Merrifield to locate a daytime shelter for the homeless and a story about the first proposed mixed-use structure for what is envisioned as a transformation of downtown Falls Church. Each edition of the Extra also has regular features: recent home sales (check out the the $old list of the highest priced homes) and crime reports from your neighborhood, as well as, monthly restaurant reviews, weekly religion notes, volunteer opportunities, health briefs, arts and entertainment features and sports listings and stories, as well as guest...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2006; 12:38 PM ET | Email a Comment

Firetrucks are Red, Station is Green

Today's Fairfax Extra takes us inside Fairfax County Fire Station 40, the county government's first building designed and built to be especially energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2006; 12:22 PM ET | Email a Comment

Tips on How to Stay Warm, Stay Safe

With the winter solstice set for 7:22 p.m. this evening, the Fairfax Extra offers these winter safety tips....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2006; 12:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

Report: School Bus System Taxed to Limit

According to a consultant's report, officials with Fairfax County schools need to make changes soon to the way the school bus system is run if the system is to handle increasing traffic congestion . Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2006; 11:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Airports Authority Control of Toll Road, Metrorail Extension

According to articles published today in the Metro section and in the Fairfax Extra, The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority will be given control over the Dulles Toll road, as well as the planned Metrorail expansion to Dulles International Airport,sometime next week. This comes as some residents and businesses are still fighting for design changes to the plan....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2006; 11:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Sully Officers Honored; New Details of Shootout Released

Slain Fairfax County Police officers Michael E. Garbarino and Vicky O. Armel will receive posthumous gold medals of valor from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce as part of the chamber's annual Valor Awards. The announcement was made yesterday even as new details about the May shootout at the Sully police station were released. The story is in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 20, 2006; 9:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

Wreck the Road With Miles of Gridlock

Office workers in Tysons Corner have come to dread the annual holiday shopping season and how it exacerbates the already miserable traffic in the area. Read about how some of them are coping in this article from today's Business section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/18: English-Only Proposal Tabled in Herndon

Updated 12/18 Mayor Stephen J. DeBenedittis said he is satisfied that the number of official documents that the town translates into Spanish is not unreasonable. Originally posted 12/4 Herndon town council member William B. Tirrell Sr. has proposed that the town's government print all official documents only in English, saying that the move would encourage Hispanic immigrants to learn the language. Read about it here....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/18: Fairfax Churches Lead the Way in Split

Updated 12/18 Churches in Fairfax City and Falls Church were among seven Virginia Episcopal parishes that voted to break with the national church leadership over issues related to the roles of women and homosexuals. The Post's front page has the news. Updated 12/4 More on this story from the front page of today's Washington Post. Originally posted 11/17 From today's Metro section: The raw dispute between conservative Episcopal churches and top officials of the U.S. church took a serious turn this week in Virginia. Since the consecration of an openly gay New Hampshire bishop in 2003, some conservative congregations across the country have been considering breaking away from the national denomination and aligning themselves with an overseas branch of the global Anglican Church. Leaders from two prominent Virginia churches -- the Falls Church in Falls Church and Truro Church in Fairfax -- voted recently to recommend breaking away. Congregants could...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

What To Do With the Lorton Crucifix ?

A crucifix created by the inmates of the former Lorton prison and bearing a life-size figure of Christ now sits in a warehouse and awaits restoration. But where the icon, which many agree is an item of historical, cultural and religious significance, will be placed for permanent display is undecided. Read about it in this article from yesterday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/21: Major Decisions Face Schools Chief

Updated 12/21 The Fairfax County School Board is expected to extend Jack D. Dale's contract in a vote tonight. The story is here. Originally posted 12/18 According to this article from yesterday's Metro section Fairfax schools Superintendent Jack D. Dale has worked to keep a low-profile despite making notable proactive decisions in managing the region's largest public school system. Parents, educators and public officials say that Dale's most difficult work likely lies ahead....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 18, 2006; 10:20 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, restaurant reviews, religion notes, volunteer opportunities, health briefs, arts and entertainment features 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 Focus on Fairfax | December 14, 2006; 10:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

Area Development Leads To Flooding of McLean House

At Carolyn Arafat's house on Meadowbrook Ave. in McLean, intensive "infill" development in the neighborhood is being blamed as the primary culprit for the regular flooding the family has experienced inside their house recently. Today's Fairfax Extra tells the tale....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 14, 2006; 10:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Marc Fisher on Reston Interfaith

Marc Fisher, in his Metro opinion column today, takes a look at Reston Interfaith -- The group charged with operating the Herndon day laborer center -- and its chief executive Kerrie Wilson as she opposes the Town Council's insistence that her group check immigration status of laborers....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 14, 2006; 9:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Three New Beltway Exits to Tysons?

Under the latest plan created by the private group building toll lanes on the Capital Beltway, the number of direct connections to Tysons Corner would triple, according to this article from this morning's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 14, 2006; 9:46 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/18: Robbery Suspect's Family Says Killing Was Avoidable

Updated 12/18 Suspected bank robber Edward R. Argus Jr.'s family spoke about his death on Friday. The news article is here. Updated 12/15 More details on the robbery and the slaying of the suspect are here. Originally posted 12/14 A man suspected of a string of robberies along the Route 1 corridor was shot and killed by Fairfax County police yesterday after another apparent robbery attempt. The story is in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 14, 2006; 9:39 AM ET | Email a Comment

Off-Duty Officer Charged With DWI

From today's Metro section: An off-duty Fairfax County police officer was arrested yesterday and charged with drunken driving after crashing his Hummer H3 sport-utility vehicle into the back of a delivery truck in the county's Alexandria area, police said. Officer Walter R. Fasci, 32, was driving the SUV south on South Van Dorn Street, just past the Capital Beltway, when he slammed into a 1993 Chevrolet truck near the intersection with Oakwood Road, Officer Richard Henry said. The collision, at 5:40 a.m., did not injure Fasci or the truck driver, a 30-year-old Woodbridge man. Fasci refused to take a breath test, police said. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and refusal to take a breath test. Fasci, who has been a Fairfax officer for four years, is assigned to patrol duties, although police declined to say in which district. He was placed on administrative leave with pay pending an...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2006; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fear of Growth Stifles Great Falls Discussion of Future

According to this article from today's Metro section some residents of Great Falls are struggling with articulating what the community will look like in the future for fear that any discussion of the issue will open the door to uncontrolled development....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2006; 9:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Staff Against Joining Environmental Agreement

Saying that more study is needed to find a realistic goal to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, Fairfax County officials are recommending against participating in an environmental pact that more than 300 U.S. cities have already agreed to. Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin explains why in this article from today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 12, 2006; 10:07 AM ET | Email a Comment

Inova Fairfax Discontinues Liver Transplant Program

Citing a steep and steady decline in the number of the operations performed at the hospital as the reason for the change, staff began notifying the 59 patients on its waiting list that they would need to transfer to transplant programs at other hospitals. Here is the Metro section article....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 12, 2006; 10:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE: 12/13 County Police See Three Homicides in 12 Hours

Updated 12/13 From today's Metro section: One of Three Homicides Described A day after Fairfax County endured three homicides in 12 hours, police said they had not filed any charges in the three unrelated cases. In a stabbing Monday in an apartment on Edsall Road in the Alexandria area, officers arrived to find Martha Majors, 56, lying on top of her niece, Laquetta Shawrie Sanders, 22, shortly before 8 a.m., according to court records. Majors "was stabbing herself in the presence of the arriving police officers," according to a search warrant affidavit filed after the killing. Sanders died at the scene. Majors was being treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital for her stab wounds. Police think they have identified a suspect in the fatal shooting Sunday night of Orator "Jose" Hall, 24, in the Burke area. They said they had no suspects in the slaying of David R. Feliz, 45. His...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 12, 2006; 9:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly's Ambitions Influence Board's Tone?

According to sources quoted in this article from yesterday's Metro section, Fairfax County Board of Supervisor's Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) is working to ensure that nothing the county government does rocks the boat so hard as to upset his possible plans to run for higher political office. What do Focus on Fairfax readers think? Is the Chairman's influence on the board a positive one? Do you think his ambitions are having any impact on how the Board of Supervisors is governing?...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 11, 2006; 10:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

High School Hispanic Club Promotes Understanding

Students from Annandale High School's Hispanic Leadership Club met with students from Georgetown Day School on Friday to promote cross-cultural understanding from their point of view as immigrants or the children of immigrants. Read about it in this article from Saturday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 11, 2006; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Two Fairfax Teams in State Football Championships

Today's Washington Post sports section offers coverage of the Edison Eagles and the Chantilly Chargers, both of which will play in their division's state championship games this weekend....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 8, 2006; 10:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Legislation to Rename Post Office For Fallen Fairfax Soldiers Passes

From today's Metro section: Legislation to rename a post office in Vienna for two local soldiers killed in Iraq was approved Wednesday by the U.S. Senate. House Resolution 6102, which would rename the post office at 200 Lawyers Rd. for Army Capt. Christopher Petty, a graduate of James Madison High in Vienna, and Maj. William F. Hecker III, who graduated from McLean High, goes to President Bush for his signature, according to a spokesman for Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.). Petty, 33; Hecker, 37; and three other soldiers were killed Jan. 5 when a roadside blast hit their Humvee as they traveled from Baghdad to Najaf to check the progress on rehabilitating schools, the spokesman said in a news release....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 8, 2006; 9:59 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, restaurant reviews, religion notes, volunteer opportunities, health briefs, arts and entertainment featuresand sports listings and stories, as well as your letters to the editor and guest opinion columns--if you write them--and much more....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 7, 2006; 11:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

McConnell Considers Stepping Down

Elaine N. McConnell (R- Springfield), a fixture of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for 23 years, says in today's Fairfax Politics column that next year may be the year to consider retiring from the board....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 7, 2006; 11:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

Churches, County Offer Beds To The Homeless

This article from today's Fairfax Extra explains what the county, in cooperation with local churches, is doing this winter to offer shelter to homeless people in our community. Meanwhile in Fairfax City, officials are planning to buy an office building outside the city limits to replace its shelter on Old Lee Highway. That news is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 7, 2006; 11:21 AM ET | Email a Comment

More Foreign Firms Moving to Fairfax

More and more, foreign companies are creating headquarters for their U.S. operations in Fairfax County. This Fairfax Extra article has the latest on the work of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and its work to encourage economic growth through foreign investment....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 7, 2006; 11:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Former Gov: More Transportation Funding Needed

Former Virginia governor Gerald L. Baliles last week added his voice to the growing chorus of political and business leaders who are demanding more state money to repair Northern Virginia's transportation woes. The report is in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 7, 2006; 10:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Police See Connection in Springfield Murders

Fairfax County police said yesterday that the murders of two elderly women, killed three months apart in Springfield, are connected. They are urging area residents, particularly seniors, to take precautions. The story is in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 7, 2006; 10:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

Restricted Development in the Area? Your Thoughts?

Officials in neighboring Prince William, Loudoun and Montgomery counties all moved yesterday to put strict controls on new growth in their jurisdictions. The Post's front page story is here. Focus on Fairfax readers usually have something to say when it comes to growth and development issues, so tell us, how do you think this will affect Fairfax? Are the measures our neighbors have adopted something we could or should consider?...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 6, 2006; 10:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Performing Artists in Metro Stations' Future?

According to this story, Metro's board of directors are considering a proposal to allow local arts councils to select and pay performing artists to offer entertainment outside Metro station entrances between April and October each year. What do Focus on Fairfax readers think? Is this a good idea?...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 5, 2006; 10:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Dunn Loring Station to get Apartments, Commercial

Up to 720 apartments and stores are expected to rise on a 15-acre parking lot adjacent to the Dunn Loring Metro station under a plan unanimously approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors yesterday. Read about it here....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 5, 2006; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Officials Urge Higher VRE Fares

Virginia Railway Express faces nearly $8 million in budget deficit and local officials see a fare increase as part of a solution. The story is in today's Metro section...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 5, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Notes From School Boundary Meetings Are Online

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County public school system held a series of town meetings this fall as part of a boundary-study process for South County Secondary School; the gifted-and-talented programs at Frost, Kilmer and Jackson middle schools; and the gifted-and-talented programs at Haycock and Churchill Road elementary schools. Information from the meetings was posted yesterday on the school system's home page, http://www.fcps.k12.va.us....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 5, 2006; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Is Lending $5 Million for Affordable Housing Complex

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to lend $5 million to a real estate partnership that will buy and rehabilitate a 90-unit apartment complex in Falls Church for use as affordable housing. The complex, the Sunset Park Apartments on Seminary Road, has apartments that will cost from $770 to $1,300 a month. The loan comes from a special fund the county has set aside with the goal of preserving 1,000 units of housing for low- and moderate-income residents. By Dec. 31, the county is expected to exceed that target by preserving 1,358 units. -- Bill Turque...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 5, 2006; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/5: Supervisors Approve End to Irregularly-Shaped Lots For Homes?

Updated 12/5 From today's Metro section: Supervisors Approve Rules on Lot Shapes The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors yesterday unanimously approved rules to keep property owners and developers from using highly contorted lot lines to carve out as many homes as possible in infill subdivisions. As builders seek to squeeze more homes into already developed areas of the county, officials say they are hearing complaints that highly creative lot shapes designed to meet county rules for septic systems and road frontage are causing confusion among residents and making it difficult for them to maximize use of their property. In some neighborhoods, an area that one might assume to be the back yard of one house is actually the septic area of another house, or what looks like the front yard of one house is actually a strip running from another home to provide required road frontage. Under the new rules,...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 5, 2006; 10:04 AM ET | Email a Comment

Parking at Accessible Playground in Short Supply

At Clemynjontri Park, Fairfax County Park Authority's wildly successful playground for both disabled and able-bodied children, the lines are long and the parking is in short supply. The park authority has been asking visitors to come at off-peak hours. The story is in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 4, 2006; 11:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/4: Man Sentenced for Murder Of Alexandria Area Lawyer

Updated 12/4/06 The man who killed Miller was sentenced Friday to 33 years in prison. The story is here. Originally Posted 9/9/05 An arrest was made Wednesday night by D.C. police in the murder of Fairfax County lawyer Eric N. Miller, whose body was found in the trunk of a burning car in the District last week. The story appeared in today's Metro section....

By | December 4, 2006; 10:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

So, This Right? For Biz, Reston is Hot, Tysons is Not

In his Business section column today, Steven Pearlstein reports that Reston Town Center has overtaken Tysons Corner as the choice place for businesses to make their homes. A view of the Reston Town Center. (Jahi Chikwendiu - The Washington Post) But Pearlstein says he is putting his money on Tysons as the place with the most potential as a true urban center. So what do Focus on Fairfax readers think? Between Tysons and Reston where do you prefer to work, and why?...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 1, 2006; 9:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/1: Army Moves Planned Museum Site

Updated 12/1 According to this article from this morning's Metro section, the Army will bow to pressure from elected officials who were concerned about the museum's traffic impact and move the site from the Engineer Proving Ground to Fort Belvoir itself. Updated 11/9 Army officials are quoted in this article as saying that the National Museum of the Army near Ft. Belvoir is very much part of their future plans. strong>Updated 8/9 Now the Army is characterizing the theme park proposal as DOA, but a museum is till on the table. The latest is here. Originally posted 8/8 U.S. Army officials are considering a developer's proposal to create a military theme park, hotel and entertainment district near Fort Belvoir. The plan is billed as possibly drawing a million tourists a year. The Post's story is here. There are 22,000 new jobs coming to the fort and triggering new traffic concerns....

By | December 1, 2006; 9:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/1: In Reston, Don't Ask. The Bell Doesn't Toll

Updated 12/1 The church has been denied a waiver of the county's noise restriction that would have allowed the bells to ring out once again. Read about it here. Originally posted 4/6 Leaders at Saint John Neumann church in Reston are awaiting a decision from county officials on when, if ever, they can resume ringing the church bells. The county ordered the bells silenced in December 2004 after neighbors' complaints; the bells violated the county's noise ordinance. The story is in today's Metro section....

By | December 1, 2006; 8:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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