Archive: March 2007

Metro Trains to Dulles Is A Go

An agreement between officials in Virginia and the private group tasked with building the rail line extension was reached this morning. Read about it here....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 30, 2007; 4:08 PM ET | Email a Comment

Hate Litter? Like Volunteering?

The 19th annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup is set for this weekend from 9 a.m. to Noon Saturday and Sunday. The Fairfax Extra has the particulars and registration is at www.hardbargainfarm.org....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 29, 2007; 11:41 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Sports in Your Extra

The lead article in today's Fairfax Extra sports package introduces us to Jennifer and Stephanie Wisniewski, twins and rival star field hockey goalies for Westfield High School's team. Now the two will continue their rivalry as the head to Radford University where they will split time at the position. Elsewhere in the Extra's sports coverage you can read about the familiarity that distance runners from rival teams enjoy as they chase over different course but against the same competitors over and over....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 29, 2007; 11:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Election Registrar Agress To Stay for More $$$

Jacquelynne C. Harris, Fairfax County's election registrar had announced she would leave, saying that long hours and stresses of her job were not worth her $93,411 annual salary. The Board of Supervisors, with two years of important elections looming, decided this would not be a good time to change horses. TThe Elections Board, with the blessing of the supervisors, offered a boost to $105,000 and Harris will stay. The Fairfax Extra has the story....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 29, 2007; 11:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

Parents Organize To Expand Child-Care Subsidies

With Virginia subsidies for child care being cut, a group of Fairfax County parents has taken it upon themselves to work to expand the program that aids low-income working parents. The Fairfax Extra has the story....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 29, 2007; 11:07 AM ET | Email a Comment

Raising Rabies Awareness

Last year 84 people in Fairfax County were treated for exposure to rabies. To learn how to protect against the disease, check out this news article from today's Fairfax Extra and see what county health officials are doing to educate the public about rabies during the annual Rabies Awareness Week....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 29, 2007; 10:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 3/29: McLean High Students File Suit Against Database Co.

Updated 3/29 Two students at the school, who object to their papers being archived by a company that profits by using them to prevent future cheating by other students, have sued for $900,000 in damages. The report is in today's Metro section. Updated 10/4 School officials have announced that current seniors and juniors will not have their work archived in the anti-plagiarism database, but freshmen and sophomores will and the 11th and 12th graders will be forced to take part in coming years. Some of the student protesters say that is still not good enough. Here is the story from today's paper. Originally posted 9/22 The students at the school say that use of the database makes an presumption of guilt and violates their intellectual property rights by copying and storing their work. The news story is on today's front page....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 29, 2007; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Prosecutor's Office Woes

Cecilia A. Ruiz, 30, a former administrative aide in the Fairfax County prosecutor's was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison yesterday for erasing an Annandale man's drunk-driving conviction. It's the second bit of embarrassing news for the prosecutor's office this month. Last week an assistant prosecutor was criticized for reducing charges against an accused rapist. The news is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 29, 2007; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Students Charged In Gang Initiation at Hayfield

Fairfax County police have filed felony charges against four teenagers who were discovered Thursday by a teacher at Hayfield Secondary School, performing a gang initiation in a school bathroom. The news is in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 28, 2007; 10:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

McConnell Makes It Official: She's Not Running. So....

Springfield District Supervisor Elaine N. McConnell's (R) official announcement on Sunday that she would not seek reelection prompted this article in today's paper which takes a look at how the field of candidates is shaping up with regard to this fall's election. Two seats are now open with incumbents McConnell and T. Dana Kauffman (D-Lee) opting not to run. Gerald D. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) is still weighing his decision....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 27, 2007; 9:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

Oh, Deer!

The explosive growth of the local population of whitetail deer (as many as 400 per square mile in some parts of the county) have health officials concerned about Lyme disease, transmitted by deer ticks, which also is a growing problem. The increasing number of deer has become more than a mere nuisance characterized by having your azaleas eaten or having the animals become an occasional traffic hazard. The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 26, 2007; 12:13 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 3/23: Details of Any Dulles Rail Deal Likely To Remain Secret

Updated 3/23 A state law governing road and rail projects likely will afford the players in a Dulles rail project a large degree of secrecy with regard to the details of any plan they work out to move thee project forward, according to the latest in today's Metro section. Updated 3/9 According to this article from today's Metro section, Gov. Kaine's opposition to the tunnel is likely to be fortified by the results of a new state study. Other officials say that they are preparing to move ahead without the tunnel and that, "the planning phase of this project is closed." Updated 2/15 Congressman Tom Davis (R) has come out in favor of the tunnel. The news story is in today's Metro section. Updated 2/12 Even as the local cry against overhead tracks becomes stronger, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), has not changed his mind to favor the tunnel option....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 23, 2007; 9:40 AM ET | Email a Comment

Student Artists Bring Home The Gold

Several top prizes were awarded to Fairfax student artists in the recent national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition in New York. You can read about the students work here at see it for yourself on this page, courtesy of washingtonpost.com and your Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 22, 2007; 2:54 PM ET | Email a Comment

Politics: Local Pols Debate Transportation; Other Items

Today's Fairfax Politics column focuses on what's going on behind the scenes and behind closed doors as local leaders discuss transportation issues. Read about it and tell us what you think; what more could leaders at the county and city level of government be doing to help the state fix our transportation woes?...

By Focus on Fairfax | March 22, 2007; 2:47 PM ET | Email a Comment

Cities' Budget Proposal Highlights

Check out this story from the Fairfax Extra to see highlights from the recently issued budget proposals from Falls Church and the City of Fairfax....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 22, 2007; 2:42 PM ET | Email a Comment

Crime Rate Continues its Fall

Crime in Fairfax County is at a 30-year low according to this news from the Fairfax Extra. The latest crime statistics show that fewer crimes were committed last year than in 1972 when the county's population was less than half what it is now....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 22, 2007; 2:35 PM ET | Email a Comment

Birds and Watchers and a Freshwater Marsh.

More than 200 species of birds, and the people who come to watch them, re regular visitors to Huntley Meadows Park, the areas largest non-tidal freshwater marsh. Read about the park and its winged denizens in this story from today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 22, 2007; 2:28 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fisher on Jack Dale and Defiance of 'No Child' Law

Metro opinion columnist March Fisher writes today about Fairfax schools superintendat Jack Dale and praises his opposition to testing recent immigrant students in English as required by the No Child Left Behind act. Meanwhile Dale and other Northern Virginia school chiefs are being joined by educators from other states in defying the policies of No Child Left behind. The latest news on the topic is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 22, 2007; 10:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 3/21: Family Sues County, Police for Shooting Death

Updated 3/21 According to this story from today's Metro section, the Culosi family filed their lawsuit yesterday in federal court. Updated 1/12 An article in today's Metro section provides details from a report by the Fairfax County Police Department on the shooting in January, 2006. Updated 1/5/07 An attorney for Salvatore and Anita Culosi has written a letter to Board of Supervisor's Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) as required by state law before the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit. The Post's article is here. Originally posted 1/27/06 Fairfax County police were using SWAT tactics when an officer accidentally fired his weapon, killing the unarmed suspect of a gambling investigation on Tuesday night. Now the victim's father wants to know how this happened and why such tactics were necessary in the first place. Read the latest article here....

By | March 21, 2007; 10:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly Keeps Door Open for 2008 Congressional Run

Even as he announced his reelection bid for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Gerald E. Connolly (D) declined to say that he would commit to serving all four years if Rep. Thomas R. Davis III (R) decides to run for Senate or steps down. The story is in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 20, 2007; 9:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 3/21: Fund to Aid Family After Trailer Home Fire

Updated 3/21 From today's Metro section: Friends of the Peterson family, which was devastated by a March 11 Chantilly trailer home fire, have set up a fund to help survivors rebuild their lives. "They've lost everything. Susan doesn't have even a single article of clothing," said Lindsey Swanson, who helped establish the fund to aid survivor Susan Peterson. Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department officials are still working to identify two people killed in the blaze, but Peterson said her husband, Richard, 60, and her disabled daughter, Sophia, 21, were the victims. Richard had quit work 15 years ago to care for Sophia; he also took care of his wife after she was badly injured in a car accident. Donations may be sent to the Richard & Sophia Peterson Fund, c/o Wachovia Bank, Bradlee Financial Center, 3624 King St., Alexandria, Va. 22302. -- Brigid Schulte Originally posted 3/19 Richard and Sophia...

By Focus on Fairfax | March 19, 2007; 10:26 AM ET | Email a Comment

Couple of Readers on Early Kindergarten Admissions

Jay Mathews dedicates his Extra Credit column today to allowing readers to respond to his column last month on a question many parents face about when their five-year-olds should start kindergarten....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Departing Parks Director Looks Back (and Ahead)

Michael A. Kane, who will step down as the Director of the Fairfax County Park Authority next month, took time last week to share with the Fairfax Extra some of his thoughts about the work he accomplished and what lies ahead for the county parks. A Q & A with Kane is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 10:52 AM ET | Email a Comment

Plan Calls for Pet-Friendly Disaster Response.

This regional news story from today's Fairfax Extra describes a new statewide initiative designed to help pet owners find animal-friendly disaster shelters where they can go in the event of an emergency....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Churches Seek Better Solution to Local Homelessness

This cover story from today's Fairfax Extra looks at the coalition of area churches who provide food and shelter to the county's homeless citizens and what they hope to do to provide more lasting solutions....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly To Outline Environmental Proposals Tonight

In his televised State of the County address at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) is set to provide details of an initiative that could put Fairfax at the forefront among U.S. counties who are providing incentives for businesses and private citizens to make environmentally-friendly choices. The details are in this front page article in today's Washington Post....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 8:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

$124 Million Budget Offered for Fairfax City

From today's Metro section: Fairfax City Manager Robert Sisson has proposed a $124.3 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 that includes increases in taxes and fees. Sisson asked the City Council on Tuesday for a 3-cent increase in the city's real estate tax rate, to 74 cents per $100 of assessed value. He also proposed a doubling of the meals tax to 4 percent and a 3 percent increase in water and sewer rates. If approved by the council, the budget would increase spending by 5.1 percent over the current fiscal year. -- Bill Turque...

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 8:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Supervisors Define, Endorse Transit-Oriented Development

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors yesterday formally approved a policy which will encourage high-density, pedestrian-friendly development within a half mile of transit stations. The news is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 13, 2007; 8:46 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tysons Tunnel Pits Chamber Against Chamber

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce last week sent a letter to Gov. Kaine expressing concern about the support it's sister chamber in McLean is throwing behind the effort to get the Metrorail through Tysons Corner going underground instead of over head. At the the root of the Reston business community's concerns is the danger of higher tolls for those using the Dulles Toll Road should the pursuit of the tunnel option destroy hopes of federal funding assistance for the project. The news story is in this morning's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 12, 2007; 9:41 AM ET | Email a Comment

Hopeful Wants More Diverse Fairfax County Board

Vellie Dietrich Hall, a native of the Philippines and a Republican candidate for the Mason District Supervisor's seat says she would like to see the faces on the Board of Supervisors reflect more of the diversity of the county. Read about Hall and her campaign in this story from yesterday's front page....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 12, 2007; 9:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Female County Detective Subject of Docu-series

June Boyle, The Fairfax County homicide detective best known for her work on the 2002 Washington area sniper shootings will be featured on the pilot episode of a new show about female investigators on the Oxygen cable network. Boyle was chosen because of her work on a three year investigation that led to the arrest of Matthew Harper for the 1995 murder of his sister, Anne, in Burke. The story is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 12, 2007; 9:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

Move of Korean Mega Church Concerns Centreville Res.

Some people in Centreville say they fear the traffic and environmental impacts that Korean Central Presbyterian Church's move from Vienna will bring. But some residents say they are uncomfortable with the growing immigrant population in the area. The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 12, 2007; 9:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

Veto of Red-Light Cameras Urged

From today's Metro section: The Fairfax County Privacy Council is urging Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) to veto legislation that would allow communities with 10,000 or more residents to install cameras to catch drivers who run red lights. A red light camera in use at Chainbridge Rd and Lee Highway during the 2005 pilot program. (Larry Morris) The red-light camera program would replace an experiment that ended in 2005 in Alexandria, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Vienna and Virginia Beach and Arlington and Fairfax counties. Safety advocates say red light cameras reduce accidents and aggressive driving, but privacy groups have raised concerns about personal liberties. In an e-mail alert sent to members and supporters yesterday, the Fairfax privacy group said red-light cameras violate the rights of drivers and contribute to rear-end collisions. -- Eric M. Weiss...

By Focus on Fairfax | March 9, 2007; 10:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Belvoir Environmental Statement Open For Public Review

The public review and comment period for the draft environmental impact statement for Fort Belvoir's realignment plan is now open. Details are in the Fairfax Extra of March 8....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 8, 2007; 1:14 PM ET | Email a Comment

Multiple Theater Awards To Elden Street Players

Herndon's Elden Street Players won seven awards in all and six of the eight top honors in the annual Washington Area Community Theatre Honors which were handed out on Sunday. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story. Other arts coverage in today's Extra includes a review of the Providence Players' production "Good Help Is So Hard To Find," which runs through this weekend, a column on comedian Janeane Garofalo who performs at the State Theatre on Tuesday and arts briefs on a Celtic music concert and local art exhibitions....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 8, 2007; 1:03 PM ET | Email a Comment

Public Appearances Rule Connolly's Schedule

This week's Fairfax politics column takes a look at a recent and fairly typical Saturday for Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, a day packed with 12 hours of public appearances....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 8, 2007; 12:54 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax By The Numbers

Today's Fairfax Extra offers a package of stories based on some numbers that impact county citizens lives, beginning with this look at the spending plan driving the $3.3 billion 2008 budget. The print edition of the Extra also has a map and graph with information about about property assessments. If your curious here is how your bill was calculated and here is information about what to do if you don't agree with it or have other questions. Finally we offer a collection of numbers that reflect things as diverse as the number of library cards issued in the county to the number of dollars collected by the county for massage therapy permits....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 8, 2007; 12:42 PM ET | Email a Comment

Political Action Committee Sows Grass Roots in a Clifton Basement

Metro opinion columnist Marc Fisher writes today about the Next Generation Democrats political action committee which from a suburban basement in Clifton is trying to grow the influence of Democrats and young people in Virginia's politics....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 8, 2007; 12:24 PM ET | Email a Comment

Baise Edges Closer to Challenging Connolly

Attorney and former Nixon Administration official Gary H. Baise is edging closer to becoming a Republican candidate in the 2007 race for chairman of the Fairfax County Board. Sources say Baise has commissioned a poll to determine what issues might provide the basis for an effective challenge to incumbent Democrat Gerald E. Connolly. Baise, a Falls Church resident, has been meeting with potential supporters and says he will make a decision most likely within the next 30 days. He declined to discuss the poll: "I wouldn't want to comment at this point." Baise is a litigator for the Washington firm Kilpatrick Stockton, where he specializes in environmental and land use issues. He held a string of top federal jobs in early 1970s, as chief of staff to the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, William D. Ruckelshaus, executive assistant to the acting director of the FBI and acting deputy...

By Bill Turque | March 6, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Child Care Subsidy Shortage Brings Tough Choices

More than 10,600 children are on a waiting list for child-care subsidies in Virginia. While they wait for assistance, some families are saying that they need to restructure their lives and job arrangements, and even stop working, to balance the needs of their children. Read about one such family from Reston in this article from today's front page....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 6, 2007; 10:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

Callahan Set To Retire From Va. House

After 40 years in the General Assembly, Fairfax Republican Vincent F. Callahan Jr. said yesterday, "...it is time to move on." Read the news in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 6, 2007; 10:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fort Belvoir Needs $458 Million For Roads

An estimated $458 million will be needed for road fixes before Fort Belvoir can move ahead with the BRAC plan to relocate 22,000 federal employees to the Fort, most of which would work at the nearby engineer proving ground rather than at the main base. Local officials criticized the plan saying that the federal government doesn't seem prepared to offer that much money, which would be essential to avoid worsening traffic in the southern part of the county. The news was in Saturday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 5, 2007; 10:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

A Soldier's Death Becomes Lesson in Dad's Govt Class

The 2002 death of Army Ranger Matthew Commons in Afghanistan has become an annual teaching opportunity for his father Greg , a government teacher at Annandale High School. Read about how the students are learning about civic duty in this article from Saturday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 5, 2007; 10:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

Jet Noise Riles McLean Residents

Members of the McLean Citizen's Association say that noise from planes flying in and out of Reagan National Airport is getting worse and are seeking help from Rep. Frank Wolf (R) and the FAA. Read about it in today's Metro section....

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

For Restonians, A Plate of Their Own

Here is news on the selection of a design for a proposed Reston vehicle license plate that celebrates the country's first modern planned community....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 1, 2007; 11:38 AM ET | Email a Comment

What's Going Where

It's time once again for that popular monthly feature on development projects that we here at Focus on Fairfax like to call the growth map. You know it as "What's Going Where." Check it out....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 1, 2007; 11:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Blvd. Redevelopment Planned

City planners and business owners would like to see the 50 year old strip malls, motels and car dealerships along Fairfax Boulevard in the city's center transformed into a walkable business district with shops offices and restaurants. Read about the new master plan in the works for the area in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 1, 2007; 11:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Supervisors' Financial Disclosures Show Differences

As required by law members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors file an annual Statement of Economic Interest. Today's Fairfax Extra reports on what the disclosures reveal....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 1, 2007; 10:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Supes Line Up to Add Proposals to Budget

Members of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors are lining up with proposed additions to the new budget presented on Monday by County Executive Anthony H. Griffin. Supervisor Linda Q. Smyth (D-Providence) wants $600,000 to improve the county's ability to enforce promises made by developers to limit traffic. In exchange for approval of projects, companies often agree to offer workers parking discounts, encourage car and van pooling, and subsidize Metro or VRE fares, all in the name of what planners call "transportation demand management" (TDM). But Fairfax County has done little to enforce these agreements, which have proliferated in recent years. Smyth said there are currently 140 TDM "proffers," or promises from developers, that need monitoring. She wants $177,638 to fund two positions in the county Department of Transportation for officials to scrutinize and enforce TDM commitments. She also wants spend $250,000 a year for marketing and outreach consultants to help...

By Bill Turque | March 1, 2007; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Route 1 Detours Set For This Weekend

Woodrow Wilson Bridge project officials say drivers should try to steer clear of the Route 1 interchange this weekend, particularly on Richmond Highway itself as crew finish work on a Beltway-spanning bridge. Details are in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | March 1, 2007; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company