Archive: April 2007

Study Projects Fairfax Worker Shortage

An analysis of Fairfax County's projected job-growth over the next 25 years forecasts that by 2030 the number of jobs will have grown by 89 percent, while the population will have grown by 44 percent. The news that a large portion of the local work force will likely need to be imported from other jurisdictions is adding to the concern about our crowded roads and expensive housing. A news article was published in this morning's Business section....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 30, 2007; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Local Road Fixes on the Way

Small local road fixes are being planned throughout the Northern Virginia over the next few years as state transportation officials begin to shift their focus away from nearly completed large projects such as the Springfield Interchange and the new Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The cumulative effect of many small fixes may have a big impact, officials say. The news is in this morning's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 30, 2007; 10:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Financial Reports Cite Builders as Top Donors to Connolly Campaign

Gerald E. Connolly (D) has received $808,293 since the beginning of 2004 for his reelection campaign for the Chairman's seat of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, according to a report from the Virginia Public Access Project. More than a third of that money has come from real estate development and construction companies. Connolly says he receives broad support from the business community and that focusing on the development dollars distorts perceptions of his donor base. The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 30, 2007; 9:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATED 4/30: Model Plane Enthusiasts Seek Fairfax Fly Zone

Updated 4/30 Check out this article from this morning's Metro section to hear how the flight demonstration went and about the concerns the park's equestrian users have about the plan. Originally posted 4/12 If all goes well for a group of local radio-controlled airplane hobbyists, a flight show scheduled for later this month will convince officials from the Fairfax County Park Authority that their pursing their pastime in a designated area of the Sully Woodlands area is a good use of public property. Read the story here....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 30, 2007; 8:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Board Practices Secrecy It Decried

Less than 7 weeks went by after the board of supervisors complained about the lack of transparency in the process ofnegotatiing between Virginia and a comtractor on building the first phase of the Metrorail extension to Dulles--before its own deliberations went tark. Thkree times in the past six weeks, the board has convened in closed session to discuss---what else--the multibillion-dollar project. Story ishttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/26/AR2007042602557.html...

By Robert Samsot | April 27, 2007; 2:52 PM ET | Email a Comment

The 2007 Guide

Today marks the publication of the Washington Post's fourth annual community guide, zoned in your local Extra to give you the best information about the places we live, work and play. Today's Fairfax Extra is the one you want to make sure doesn't go out with the recycling. Rather, you might want to put it aside with other informational reference material like your road maps or telephone directories, you'll want to refer to it all year long. And if you don't subscribe to the print edition of the Post, newsstand copies sold in Fairfax locations will carry the guide as well. And a limited number of copies of the Guide are also available at locations throughout the county like the Fairfax County Government Center, the Fairfax County Visitors Center, and the offices of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 26, 2007; 11:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Virginia Tech Shootings

Profiles of the victims in last week's shootings at Virgnia Tech who called Fairfax County their home are here. Erin Peterson, Mary Read, Reema Samaha, Leslie Sherman, and Maxine Turner....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 24, 2007; 10:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Budget Set For Approval Next Week

With final approval of the next year's Fairfax County budget scheduled for next week, members of the Board of Supervisors, including Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock, who called the budget process "the quietest, least contentious in my 20 years in office," are marveling at the the lack of rancor the procedings engendered. The story is in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 24, 2007; 9:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

Two-Wheeling in Tysons: Is There a Future for It?

One of the things local officials want to know as they prepare to remake Tysons Corner is, how can they make it easier for bicyclists to get around? To that end a group of cyclists took to the streets in Tysons on Saturday to find out just how bad it is and how much will have to be done to make the corridor bike-friendly. The story was in yesterday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 23, 2007; 10:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

City of Fairfax Arts Festival Opening Delayed, Some County Activities Canceled

From http://www.fairfaxspotlight.org/: In memory of the fallen students and as a mark of respect to the students, families and friends of Virginia Tech. President, the Honorable Jane Woods and the Board of Spotlight on the Arts have decided to postpone the opening Musicale and Reception planned for...Friday 20th April at 8pm. Governor Kaine has declared [today] a day of mourning and Dr. Dale, Superintendent of FCPS Schools has planned a memorial [this] evening at 7:30pm in the Robinson Secondary School Field House, many of the students who would have performed at the opening Musicale will be at that ceremony. This event is open to all members of the community. We will reschedule the Spotlight opening, which appropriately this year honors George Stepp, the Superintendent of City of Fairfax Schools. Please visit our website for updated information www.fairfaxspotlight.org or call 703 352 2787 A message from the Fairfax County government regarding...

By Focus on Fairfax | April 20, 2007; 10:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Military Matters is Back; More in Your Extra

The Washington Post today marks the return to its pages of Military Matters, which will be published twice monthly in the pages of our Extra editions and focus on issues concerning the armed forces and our local community. Today's column focuses on one man's deathbed defense of the care he got at the embattled Walter Reed Army Medical Center. 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, 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 | April 19, 2007; 11:57 AM ET | Email a Comment

Growth is Top Issue in Vienna Council Race

Five candidates will vie for three seats on the Vienna Town Council in a town election set for May 1. Growth issues and how Vienna's leaders hope to maintain the town's sense of identity amidst development pressures have emerged as the central issues of the campaign. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 19, 2007; 11:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Centreville Woman Helps Mentally Ill Find Housing

Stirred to action by the need for housing for Fairfax County's mentally ill citizens, Realtor Trudy Harsh founded the Brain Foundation and bought a townhouse for four mentally ill men. She's raising money to buy a second house presently. Read about Harsh and her work in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 19, 2007; 11:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Study: County Could Do Better With Affordable Housing

A report from the Coalition for Smarter Growth says that Fairfax County still has a way to go to do all it can to help low-wage earners find affordable housing. The story is in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 19, 2007; 11:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Foul Play Suspected in Death of County Peace Corps Vol

Police in the Philippines are treating the discovery of the body of Peace Corp volunteer Julia Campbell, 40, of Fairfax, as a criminal investigation according to this article in today's Metro section. Campbell's body was discovered Wednesday after she disappeared while hiking in a mountainous region of the islands....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 19, 2007; 10:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax County Ties to Virginia Tech Shootings

With so much attention on Monday's shooting deaths of 33 students and faculty and Virginia Tech, Fairfax County was home to several of the victims and the suspect, whose family lived in Centreville. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Faith Communities in Action will host a community gathering at 7:30 p.m. tonight, April 18 Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, "to assemble, grieve and celebrate the lives of those killed."...

By Focus on Fairfax | April 18, 2007; 10:22 AM ET | Email a Comment

HOT Lane Operators Promise to Keep Traffic Moving

The private companies planning to build and operate high-occupancy toll lanes on Interstates 395 and 95 say they will take the necessary steps to keep the lanes moving at a minimum of 55 miles per hour, even during the morning and evening rush hours. The story is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 18, 2007; 10:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

Taxes Go Up in NoVa, including cities; not county

While Fairfax County is an exception, taxes in many Northern Virginia jurisdictions, including the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church are going up. Read about what the housing slump is doing to the local tax rates in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 16, 2007; 10:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Breaking Schools News: Schools To Close Early Today Because of High Winds

The details are at the Fairfax County Public Schools website....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 16, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 4/13: Fairfax City Budget

From today's Metro section: Real Estate Tax Rate Increase Is Approved The Fairfax City Council has approved a $124 million budget for the next fiscal year that calls for a 1-cent increase in the real estate tax rate. The new tax rate will be 72 cents for each $100 of assessed value, which city officials say is the lowest rate of Northern Virginia jurisdictions. Commercial real estate values increased an average of 13.7 percent in the city while residential real estate dropped 3.1 percent, according to a news release. As a result, the average real estate tax bill increase is about 3.6 percent. For the year beginning July 1, the council increased spending on public safety by $3.4 million and on education by $3.6 million. The council also increased the meals tax rate from 2 percent to 4 percent, which is expected to generate an additional $2.4 million a year...

By Robert Samsot | April 13, 2007; 6:43 PM ET | Email a Comment

GMU's Center for the Arts Announces New Season

So, the Patriots didn't make the Final Four this year, butGeorge Mason's University's Center for the Arts once again shoots and scores with an impressive list of performances for their 2007-08 season which was announced last week and is detailed in this Fairfax Extra article today....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 12, 2007; 11:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

Rebel Spy's Herndon Area Home Gets Landmark Status

The home of Laura Ratcliffe who made a name for herself during the Civil War by keeping the Confederate officers informed of Union troop movements, was listed last month on the National Register of Historic Places. Here's a link to some local history, in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 12, 2007; 11:35 AM ET | Email a Comment

Legislative Action, Inaction: What You Should Know

With the latest General Assembly session in the rear-view mirror, this article has some things you should know about which bills passed and which bills didn't in Richmond. Elsewhere in the Fairfax Extra's government and politics coverage, check out Tim Craig's Virginia Politics column for some thoughts about how the scarlet letter in November's election might be "R."...

By Focus on Fairfax | April 12, 2007; 11:21 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Plans For An Aging Population

With the county's population of those 65 and older expected to increase dramatically over the next dozen or so years, government agencies are making plans to meet the increased demand for transportation services, accessible housing and recreation programs. And it is hoping the aging can help out. Read about what the future will likely bring in this article from today's Fairfax Extra....

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

Tysons Traffic Unfunded for Upcoming Construction

According to this article from today's Metro section, despite two major construction projects set to begin within a year, state transportation officials have yet to set aside any cash for the management of traffic through Tysons Corner during that time....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 10, 2007; 8:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Fire and Rescue Chief a Familiar Face

From today's Metro section: Fairfax County yesterday named Ronald L. Mastin, the fire chief of Henrico County, to be the new chief of the Fairfax Fire and Rescue Department. Mastin, 53, was with the Fairfax department for 28 years, rising to the rank of deputy chief of operations, before leaving in 2001 to take over in Henrico, just outside Richmond. Mastin succeeds Michael Neuhard, who retired in February to become a deputy county administrator in Stafford County. Mastin's appointment, announced by the Board of Supervisors after a national search, becomes effective June 3. His annual salary will be $160,000, Fairfax officials said. -- Tom Jackman...

By Focus on Fairfax | April 10, 2007; 8:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 4/16: More on Retiring Prosecutor

Updated 4/16 The race to see who will be elected to replace retiring Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney, Robert F. Horan is already heating up according to this article in Saturday's paper. More on Horan and his 40-year career was in yesterday's Metro section. Updated 4/10 Horan announced his retirement this morning. Originally posted 4/9 Robert F. Horan, a fixture as Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney for 40 years is considering retirement. According to this article from Saturday's Metro section, he will make his decision by next week....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 9, 2007; 10:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 4/9: Sully Station Shooter's Dad Released on $100,000 Bond

Updated 4/9 Brian Kennedy was released Friday on a $100,00 bond and ordered to stay away from guns and drugs. The latest news is here. Originally posted 4/6 The father of the teenager who who shot and killed two Fairfax County police officers has been charged with illegally procuring the guns that his son later used in the ambush of the Sully District police station last May. The news is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 6, 2007; 9:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

What's Going Where

Want to know what that new development is going in down the street? You need to read What's Going Where in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 5, 2007; 5:13 PM ET | Email a Comment

All - Extra Winter Athletes

Who are the best of the best when it comes to winter high school sports in the county? Check out these links to read about the best in boys' and girls' indoor track. More is in the print edition of the Fairfax Extra including, basketball, hockey, wrestling and swimming....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 5, 2007; 5:04 PM ET | Email a Comment

Arlington, PW Residents Question Road Project Benefits

Fairfax County is smack dab in the middle of two potential showdowns over long-planned road projects: Building high-occupancy toll lanes along Interstate 95/395 and widening Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway. Read about the opposition to the plans by people in Prince William and Arlington Counties in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 5, 2007; 4:49 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Preaches "Green;" Practice is Another Story

The Fairfax County government may find it hard to practice what it preaches with regard to newly announced plans to emphasize environmental stewardship throughout the county. Find out why in this article from today's front page....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 3, 2007; 9:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Richmond Vote on Builder Fees Set for Wednesday

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's (D) proposal to give local governments greater powers to impose fees on developers to help offset the traffic congestion their projects create, is set to come to a vote before the General Assembly on Wednesday. Supporters of the proposal say that such a measure will be helpful, but critics in the building industry say that they will be forced to pass additional costs along to their customers. The details are in this article from yesterday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | April 2, 2007; 10:40 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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