Archive: January 2007

Fairfax Jobs Growth Far Ahead of Other Jurisdiictions

According to this article from today's Washington Post, officials at the Bureau of Labor Statistics are stunned at how much Fairfax has pulled away from the pack of other local jurisdictions in terms of job growth. Read about it here....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 30, 2007; 9:19 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 | January 25, 2007; 3:08 PM ET | Email a Comment

Wrestling: It Isn't Just For Boys These Days

This story in the Fairfax Extra looks at the increasing number of girls on local high school wrestling teams, including at Fairfax's Robinson Secondary School....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 3:01 PM ET | Email a Comment

Theater News: Company May Lose Home; WATCH Nominees

The Elden Street Players, which this week was nominated for 19 awards in this year's Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (you can read here about the nominations for the Elden Street Players as well as those for the Reston Community Players, the Providence Players , and the Vienna Theatre Company may lose their long-time performance space at the Industrial Strength Theatre unless the company can get the cash it needs to buy the space from its owners. The news is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 2:02 PM ET | Email a Comment

Your Thoughts? Television As Good As Homework?

In his Extra Credit education column on today's Fairfax Extra, Jay Mathews ask readers to write in to tell him if he is wrong to disagree with two authors who recently penned books questioning the value of homework and claiming that watching television as a family can be at least as valuable. What do you think?...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 1:51 PM ET | Email a Comment

A County History Museum Is Under Consideration

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has begun the process to create a panel that, in cooperation with George Mason University, explore the ins and outs of creating museum dedicated to the history of the county. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 1:44 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/25 $2.2 Billion Budget for Schools Detailed

This article in today's Fairfax Extra takes a closer look at the school budget; how economic changes are affecting it and some of what that $2.2 billion buys. Originally posted 1/12 Jack D. Dale described the request, which reflects about a 4 percent increase, as "conservative." Details form last nights budget meeting are in this news story from today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 11:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fire at Mall Prompts Evacuation

From today's Metro section: Dozens of people were evacuated at Tysons Corner Center yesterday evening after a fire broke out at an optical store. No one was injured. About a quarter of the mall was closed for about 90 minutes until the fire was contained. The fire started about 5 p.m. in a machine at the Lenscrafters store inside the mall, in the 1900 block of Chain Bridge Road, authorities said. Fire officials ordered customers and workers at several adjacent stores to move to other parts of the mall because of concerns that chemicals at the optical shop could ignite, said Renee Stillwell, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department spokeswoman. About a quarter of the mall was closed for about 90 minutes until the fire was contained. -- Candace Rondeaux...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 10:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Davis, Connolly Point Up Shared Positions

Republican Congressman Thomas M. Davis III and the Democratic Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Gerald E. Connolly were stressing the common ground they share politically at a recent meeting of the Mantua Citizens' Association. Find out what's going on with the two long-time political adversaries in this article from today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 25, 2007; 10:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/1: Plan To Transform Tysons Mall Approved

Updated 1/23 The overhaul of Tysons Corner Center was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors yesterday. The story is here. Updated 12/1 From today's Metro section: Mall Owner Delays Push for Approval of Part of Expansion The owner of Tysons Corner Center has agreed to postpone seeking Fairfax County's approval for part of a major overhaul of the 38-year-old mall in response to criticism of the proposal's timing. The Macerich Co., based in California, is proposing to expand the mall by wrapping it with apartments, offices and a hotel in towers as tall as 30 stories, adding 3.5 million square feet to the 78-acre property. Under the initial plan, the work would proceed in four phases, with the first expected to open by 2010 and the final two after the planned extension of Metrorail to Tysons, which is scheduled for 2012. But critics said it made no sense...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 23, 2007; 10:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Chief, Attorney Get Raises

From today's Metro section: Fairfax County supervisors approved a 4.3 percent pay raise for County Executive Anthony H. Griffin yesterday, bringing his base salary from $213,960 to $223,160. The raise was part of an annual evaluation process, instituted in 2005, in which Griffin's performance is judged in various categories. Supervisors also raised the salary of County Attorney David P. Bobzien by 5 percent, from $183,680 to $192,880. Fairfax schools chief Jack D. Dale remains the county's highest-paid public official, with a base salary of $266,292. -- Bill Turque...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 23, 2007; 9:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/25: Kauffman Won't Seek Another Term

Updated 1/25 More on Kauffman and his decision not to run is in today's Fairfax Extra. Originally posted 1/23 From today's Metro section: Fairfax County Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman (D-Lee) announced yesterday that he would not seek a fourth four-year term. Kauffman, 50, who also served as Metro board chairman in 2005, cited a mix of reasons for giving up his seat, including family obligations, satisfaction with having met important objectives and disappointment over lack of progress on other issues. Mostly, he said, it was time to leave. "I'd rather leave with folks wondering why I'm going than leave with folks wondering why I'm here," he said. Kauffman said he has no immediate career plans but is interested in remaining in the public sector or working for a nonprofit organization. -- Bill Turque...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 23, 2007; 9:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Richmond Lawmakers Richmond Offer Transpo Plan

Republican legislators in the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates have drafted a multibillion-dollar transportation plan that they say could ease some of Northern Virginia's traffic problems. This story from the today's front page has the details....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 19, 2007; 9:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

Episcopal Diocese Moves to Recover Breakaway Sites

From today's Metro section: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia moved yesterday toward seizing properties from 11 congregations that voted in recent weeks to leave the U.S. church. Describing the breakaway congregations as "occupying" Episcopal property, the diocese's executive board unanimously voted to "authorize the Bishop to take such steps as may be necessary to recover or secure" the properties of the churches, which are mostly in Northern Virginia. The vote formally declares the properties, which are now being controlled by congregations that have placed themselves under the authority of the Church of Nigeria, "abandoned." Although the board's vote is procedural, lawsuits "are a strong possibility," diocesan spokesman Patrick Getlein said. Jim Pierobon, spokesman for the breakaway churches, said last night that they still want to negotiate fair prices for the properties. -- Michelle Boorstein...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 19, 2007; 9:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

Virus Infects 100 at Dulles Hotel

The Fairfax County Health Department has confirmed that about 100 employees and guests at a Hilton hotel near Dulles airport have become ill with the highly contagious norovirus which causes vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Today's Metro section has the news....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 19, 2007; 9:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

SOL Tests Await Class of 2007

Graduating seniors will be the first required to pass new Standards of Learning tests in math, science, history and English. Today's Fairfax Extra looks at what the students are facing....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 18, 2007; 3:50 PM ET | Email a Comment

AARP Offers Tax Assistance

This list from the Fairfax Extra gives the details regarding free tax help from the AARP for anyone who needs it, with emphasis on the retired and those of a certain age....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 18, 2007; 3:46 PM ET | Email a Comment

Photo Exhibit Introduces Kids Seeking Adoptive Families

Today's Fairfax Extra cover story introduces us to some older foster children looking for homes who are the subjects of a new photography exhibit at the county Government Center....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 18, 2007; 3:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

McLean Youth Soccer Seeks More Synthetic Turf Fields

The McLean Youth Soccer Association is looking to spend $7 million of its own money to install artificial turf on up to a dozen county-owned grass fields to greatly extend the number of hours the fields can be used. The story is in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 18, 2007; 2:44 PM ET | Email a Comment

A Challenge to Herndon's Anti-Solicitation Law

A Reston man facing up to six months in jail or a fine of $2,000 for hiring a day laborer in Herndon to do yard work will challenge the town's anti-solicitation law which makes it illegal to hire off the street or to search for work on public sidewalks. Read about it in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 18, 2007; 11:04 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Youths Charged With Robbery, Hate Crime

The boys, ages 12 to 14 were arrested on felony charges stemming from a series of robberies in December and with an assault on a 48-year old man. The news is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 12, 2007; 11:07 AM ET | Email a Comment

Mangement Proposals Sought on Herdon Labor Center

From today's Metro section: The Herndon Town Council has voted to solicit proposals from employment firms interested in operating the town's center for day laborers. The council, which has promised to crack down on illegal immigration, is looking for a firm that will require workers to present documentation proving that they are in the country legally. Project Hope & Harmony, which operates the Herndon Official Workers Center with Reston Interfaith, does not require extensive documentation. Opponents of the plan warned that it could drive immigrant laborers back to the town's streets to look for work. The center opened in 2005 in response to complaints about workers congregating in a 7-Eleven parking lot near downtown. "I fear that moving to a new operator who will check eligibility will come with some unexpected consequences," said council member J. Harlon Reece, the only member to vote against the proposal. Vice Mayor Dennis D....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 12, 2007; 10:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE: 1/16 More Information on Causes of Huntington Flood

Updated 1/16 This article from yesterday's Metro section provides some more information on what led to the flooding. Originally posted 1/12 Sediment produced by construction projects and deposited in Cameron Run by decades of storm runoff was the primary culprit in the flooding that caused an estimated $10 million dollars in damage to homes in the Huntington neighborhood last June. Today's Metro section has the news on a study of the disaster by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 12, 2007; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Monday's Holiday Closings

Courtesy of the Fairfax Extra, here is a list of what is closed on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 11, 2007; 2:41 PM ET | Email a Comment

School Budget, Flood Study Meetings Tonight

Check out the Fairfax Extra for details on these two high profile meetings set for this evening....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 11, 2007; 2:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

No Snow Means Big Savings for Roadwork

It may be bad news for skiers but the lack of wintry weather could be great for VDOT's coffers. The agency budgeted $82 million for snow removal this winter which, so far, it hasn't needed to tap. Read about the how the lack of snowfall may lead to a windfall, here....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 11, 2007; 2:25 PM ET | Email a Comment

A Car-Buying Program for Working Poor

The Fairfax Extra today offers this look at an Oakton-based program to help poor families achieve financial independence through a low-interest loan program for automobile purchases....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 11, 2007; 2:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

Bank Robberies Up 126 Percent in 2006

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/10/AR2007011000719.html from today's Fairfax Extra looks at a notable Fairfax crime statistic for 2006, a year in which the rate of bank robberies more than doubled....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 11, 2007; 2:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/11: Woman Held in Niece's Death Found Dead

Updated 1/11 From today's Metro section: A Fairfax County woman who was arrested Monday and charged with murder died Tuesday, possibly from heart failure, after she was found unresponsive in her jail cell, Fairfax authorities said yesterday. Martha Majors, 56, of the Alexandria area of Fairfax was charged with fatally stabbing her niece, Laquetta S. Sanders, in their apartment on Edsall Road on Dec. 11. Majors also stabbed herself repeatedly, officers said, and was hospitalized until Monday, when she was released and arrested. Court records indicate that Majors was arraigned Tuesday morning in the Fairfax courthouse. At 2:35 p.m., she was discovered in her cell, taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital and pronounced dead. Lt. Mylene Whorton of the sheriff's office said an autopsy indicated possible heart failure, but further tests were needed. Her death did not appear related to her stab wounds, Whorton said. -- Tom Jackman From today's Metro...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 9, 2007; 10:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/10: Fairfax Abandons Plan to Relocate Shelter

Updated 1/10 The latest news is here. Updated 1/9 The plan to move the Lamb Center to a planned Merrifield location was dealt a serious blow yesterday when Fairfax County officials said that they are unlikely to grant the necessary zoning exception. The news is in this article from today's Metro section. The Fairfax City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to spend $2.6 million dollars to purchase an office building in Merrifield to be used as daytime shelter for the homeless. Some neighbors of the planned location say they will continue to stand in opposition to moving the shelter from its current site near Fairfax Circle. Here is the news story....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 9, 2007; 8:10 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly Critical of Kaine's Police Funding Proposal

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly criticized on Saturday Governor Timothy M. Kaine's proposal to boost police spending in Richmond saying it was being done at the expense of Fairfax County. Read about it here....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 8, 2007; 10:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

State Lawmakers Aware of Voters' Ire Over Traffic

Virginia's state Delegates and Senators say they are acutely aware of how transportation and growth problems are fueling voter dissatisfaction in the Commonwealth and the potential political consequences they face if they fail to address the issues. The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 8, 2007; 10:49 AM ET | Email a Comment

No Development Freeze for Fairfax

This article from Saturday's Metro section looks at Fairfax County's resistance to the building moratoriums adopted by Prince William and Loudoun counties, moves seen by some Fairfax officials as election-year grandstanding....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 8, 2007; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Legislative Delegation's Hearing Is Tomorrow

From today's Metro section: Members of the General Assembly from Fairfax County will hold their annual public hearing tomorrow on the 2007 session, which begins Wednesday in Richmond. Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, will address the delegation at the hearing at 9 a.m. at the county Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway. Members of the public may attend and give comments. Those who want to speak should call 703-324-3151, TTY 711, to sign up by noon today. Speakers also may sign up at the hearing, a news release said. -- Bill Turque...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 5, 2007; 10:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/5: Herndon Police Will Be Trained To Enforce Immigration Laws

Updated 1/5/07 From today's Metro section: Herndon has been accepted into a federal program that will train some of its police officers to enforce U.S. immigration laws, including the initiation of deportation proceedings. Police Chief Toussaint E. Summers Jr. told the Town Council on Tuesday night that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency approved the town's request to enter the agency's "287 (g)" program, a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The council, which has approved measures designed to make the town less hospitable to illegal immigrants, voted 6 to 1 on Sept. 19 to apply for the program. Summers said that two senior immigration agents have been assigned to oversee the town's participation in the program and that his department would soon begin discussions on the scope of training the officers would receive during the five-week course. The council would then review and vote on a memorandum...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 5, 2007; 10:40 AM ET | Email a Comment

Sketch Released of Suspect in Two Break-Ins

From today's Metro section: Fairfax County police released a composite sketch this week of a man they think broke into two houses on Christmas Eve in the area where two women have been killed since August. Investigators are trying to determine whether the four cases are related, police said. The first attack Dec. 24 occurred on Frontier Drive, near Springfield Mall, between 8 and 9:40 p.m. A woman told police that a man knocked at her door, then forced his way in and stabbed her in the arm. While investigating that case, officers learned that a man had entered a home on nearby Alamo Street about 8:30 p.m. and told a resident that he was looking for food. He did not show a weapon or attack anyone, Officer Richard Henry said. Henry said there was no evidence to link the man to the slayings of Marion B. Marshall on Aug....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 5, 2007; 10:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

What's Going Where in Today's Fairfax Extra

Beginning today, the Extra's popular " What's Going Where" feature which offers a look at what new project's developers have in store, moves from publishing the last Thursday of each month, to the first Thursday. Check it out....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 4, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Understanding Fairfax Schools' Grading System

In today's Extra Credit education column, reader Suzanne S. Summers of Annandale writes about her concern with Fairfax County Schools' somewhat arcane grading system for public students. The Post's Jay Mathews explains how the system works with some help from Fairfax County School Board member Tessie Wilson....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 4, 2007; 11:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Draft Guidelines for "Transit-Oriented Development"

It's long been a sticking point for Fairfax County leaders who say they want to encourage "transit-oriented development;" no one has been able to agree on exactly what the term means. Now a set of draft guidelines from the county Planning Commission is being offered for public comment at a hearing scheduled for 8:15 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Pkwy. The Fairfax Extra has a news article here. So check out the guidelines Focus on Fairfax readers, and tell us, has the Planning Commission got it right?...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 4, 2007; 11:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Your Guide to--and Report from--Richmond

Today's Fairfax Extra offers this preview of the 2007 legislative session for the Virginia General Assmbly, with a special focus on issues that Nothern Virginians care the most about, including transportation. In his Virginia Notebook column, Michael D. Shear speculates that the tone in Richmond may be more civil than has been for some time. Reach your rep: The Extra also offers contact information for local representatives Senate and the House of Delegates....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 4, 2007; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Employee Evaluations "Need To Be Made Simpler."

That quote is from Fairfax County Supervisor Penny Gross (D-Mason), who said that the system for determining county employees' merit raises is unwieldy. Post reporter Bill Turque looks at the issue in today's "The Working Life" column, one of the Metro section's Page Three features....

By Focus on Fairfax | January 3, 2007; 10:41 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/3/07: Police Suspend Officer Who Killed Springfield Teen at IHOP

Updated 1/3/07 Alexandria Police announced yesterday that they have suspended officer Carl Stowe and are revising their policies on officers stepping in front of, and shooting at moving vehicles. The news article is here. Update Posted 3/2The police officer's attorney defended his client's actions to reporters yesterday. The Metro section article is here. Update Posted 3/1Two of the teens that were passengers in the Jeep disputed the police account of the shooting when they spoke to reporters yesterday, saying that the officer was not directly in the path of the vehicle when he began firing. Update Posted 2/28:More on this story, including the name of the police officer, is in today's paper. Read "Fatal Shooting In Alexandria Fuels Debate On Police Policy". Originally Posted 2/27:A 18-year-old Northern Virginia Community College student was shot and killed by an off-duty Alexandria police officer after the teenager and a group of friends allegedly...

By | January 3, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 1/5::Fairfax Libraries Cull Classics...

UPDATE: The library system has gotten a blast of criticism for the policies outlined in the article, but it disputes the sweep of changes portrayed in it. A spokeswoman said the system has available plenty of copies of the books mentioned, that it is trying to reduce the number of older, less-used texts, not do away with them. Its view of the practice and of the coverage is at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/classics.htm. /bob samsot According to this article from today's Metro section administrators with Fairfax County Public Library system have taken an aggressive stance on weeding out seldom read materials from library stacks. Popular new titles are replacing books long regarded as classics of literature to meet public demand. Some librarians reason that the library should serve the public by giving us what we want and that the classics won't be lost since many of them are available for free on the...

By Focus on Fairfax | January 2, 2007; 9:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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