Archive: July 2007

UPDATE 7/30: Teen Sentenced to A Year in Jail After GW Parkway Crash

Updated 7/30 Muslu will spend a year in jail and perform community service. Details of her sentencing are here. Originally published 3/15 Saadet Muslu, 18, of Great Falls, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter yesterday in the death of Jesse H. Little, 21 of Great Falls. Little died when the car Muslu was driving at more than 100 miles per hour crashed on the George Washington Parkway in September. The news is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 30, 2007; 9:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Lorton Station's Fireside Grill a Winner

So says Nancy Lewis in her Neighborhood Flavor restaurant review in today's Fairfax Extra, jut one of the many regular features and columns that come your way Thursdays in the Washington Post's print and online editions....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 26, 2007; 11:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fire Shutters Therapeutic Riding Program

A fire is a Clifton barn has left the horses used by a therapeutic program for mentally and physically disabled people homeless and forced the suspension of the program. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 26, 2007; 11:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Residents Question Plan For Affordable Apartments

Skepticism from Springfield District residents greeted officials presiding over a meeting held last week about plans to build an affordable apartment complex adjacent to the county Government Center. The planned development is intended to house primarily county workers, but residents expressed concerns that the complex could shelter homeless people or be used for federally subsidized housing. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 26, 2007; 10:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

Crime Drops Across the Region: COG Report

According to a report released by the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, though robberies by groups of people have increased, the rate of other types of crime is down all across the region. Read the news here....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 26, 2007; 10:39 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 7/26: Charity Blames Connolly, County Staff for Some of Its Many Woes

Updated 7/26 Officials with Western Fairfax Christian Ministries acknowledge they made mistakes leading to the charity's current budgetary problems -- the organization has slashed its spending and laid off three-quarters of its staff -- but say "the biggest mistake we made was in ticking off Gerry Connolly," contending that the organization's struggles were an embarrassment to government officials. The news is in today's Fairfax Extra. Originally posted 5/1 Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, a coalition of churches based in Centreville which works to prevent homelessness, may have to shutter its doors permanently unless it can find emergency funding this week. When the news was unannounced at yesterday's Board of Supervisors meeting, Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) expressed anger with county staff for failing to share the information with him in a timely fashion. County officials have said that ending homelessness in the county is one of their top priorities. Today's Metro...

By Focus on Fairfax | July 26, 2007; 10:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 7/24/07: Builders Find Loophole On Home Height Restrictions

Updated 7/24/07 According to this article from today's Metro section. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will try to close a loophole that has allowed some builders to construct homes in excess of the county's 35-foot limitation by artificially elevating lots with extra fill dirt. Supervisor Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) said that he has been receiving complaints about the practice from neighborhoods in his district. Updated 8/21/06 This article from this Saturday's Metro section describes how some builders and home buyers are trying to resolve problems with the height of their homes before they can move in. Updated 8/14 An article published in yesterday's Metro section explains how thousands of too tall homes cane to be built in the county. Updated 8/1 This Metro section story reports that the Board of Supervisors decided yesterday that buyers of new homes that are in violation of the height restrictions will have...

By | July 24, 2007; 10:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Teen Assaulted by Man Claiming to be Officer

From Saturday's Metro section: A 17-year-old Loudoun County teenager was assaulted Thursday night by a man who identified himself as a police officer after using flashing blue lights to pull over her car in western Fairfax County, police said yesterday. The driver was headed west on Route 50 near the Greenbriar Shopping Center in Chantilly when a dark-color four-door sedan flashed its lights, and she pulled over about 11:50 p.m., Fairfax police officer Don Gotthardt said. The driver of the sedan quickly flashed a badge, ordered her out of the car and then touched the teen inappropriately, Gotthardt said. The teen screamed and reached for her car horn, and the man fled. It was the fourth time in recent weeks that drivers have reported being accosted by police impersonators in Fairfax, but Gotthardt said police believe that the first three might not have been impersonators. Gotthardt said if drivers are...

By Focus on Fairfax | July 23, 2007; 10:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

Kings Park: Keeping a Maturing Neighborhood Vibrant

Kings Park residents are searching for ways to keep spirit alive as the community matures. Read here about what community leaders are doing to prevent the neighborhood's decline and what they have done to raise membership in their civic association by more than 30% in just a year....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 19, 2007; 11:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

Military Matters: Public Honors for a Secret Victory

A new painting set to be unveiled at CIA headquarters in Langley next month depicts a tale, a largely untold, from the Vietnam War: An air battle between a U.S. helicopter and North Vietnamese biplanes. Read the story and see the painting in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 19, 2007; 11:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Old Town Fairfax Shops On Schedule to Open Jan. 1

This article, courtesy of the Fairfax Extra, reveals some of the tenants that will be open for business when construction of the shops at Fairfax City's Old Town Village is complete next year....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 19, 2007; 10:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tackling Illegally Placed Trash Bins and Containers

In this file photo from 2004, a storage container called a "POD" sits on Fifer Street in the Mt. Vernon area. (Gerald Martaineau) Don't be surprised if you've got a storage container or dumpster parked on the street to come home and find it gone. The county is launching an effort to combat the illegal practice of parking such behemoths on public property, complete with a 24 hour hotline for neighbors to report violations. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 19, 2007; 10:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Three Charged In Abduction of Herndon Girls

Two men and a teenage Dumfries girl were arrested and charged with abduction with intent to defile after two missing Herndon girls were found safely in the Atlanta area yesterday. Police were investigating whether the abductors were planning to sell the girls into prostitution. The story is in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 19, 2007; 10:12 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 7/19: It's Done!

Updated 7/19 Governor Kaine and VDOT want the the success of the Springfield Interchange Project to be replicated in other current and future construction efforts. Coverage of yesterday's dedication ceremony is here. Originally posted 7/18 The Springfield Interchange is complete and a dedication ceremony is set for today. Coverage is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 18, 2007; 7:16 AM ET | Email a Comment

700 Lbs. of Explosives Found in Centreville After Fire

A Centreville homeowner was apparently engaged in an illegal and very dangerous hobby, the making of large homemade fireworks, when an explosion and fire engulfed his property this week. Today's Metro sections has the tale....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 17, 2007; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Court Backing Asked on New Taxes for Transportation

The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is asking a judge to quickly rule on the legality of the authority's plan to impose new taxes and fees in January that would help to fund projects like a new interchange on the Fairfax County Parkway. More information is in in this article from Saturday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 16, 2007; 10:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 7/16: New Wrinkles in Search for Laborer Center Operator

Updated 7/16 New developments int he search for an operator for the center mean that Reston Interfaith is likely to stay in place for a while, whether town officials like it or not. Read the news here. Originally posted 7/12 Herndon officials say that they may select one of the two applicants to run the town's day laborer employment center as early as Aug. 14. Whichever of the applicants the town chooses, it would be under instructions to check the legal immigration status of all workers that come through its doors. The story is in today's Fairfax Extra....

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

Taco Bell Robber Posed as Health Inspector

From today's Metro section: A man in a suit and tie and posing as a health inspector took notes as he toured a Taco Bell in the Falls Church area Wednesday afternoon and then locked an employee in an office and robbed the restaurant. Fairfax County police said yesterday that the man showed up at the Taco Bell at 8200 Lee Hwy. about 1:30 p.m., identified himself as an inspector, observed the food items and commented on the storage conditions. Then, when he said he wanted to write his report in the restaurant's office, he locked the door with the employee inside and demanded money, implying he had a gun, police said. But there was no money in the office, so the man took some other property, which police would not describe, and ran down the street and into another restaurant. No one was hurt, and no gun was shown....

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

UPDATE 7/12: Mandatory Paper Recycling is Here

Updated 7/12 Did you remember to put out the paper and cardboard this week? The new recycling rules are now in effect and trends in the movement are detailed in this article from the Fairfax Extra. Originally posted 6/27 From today's Metro section: Fairfax County officials announced yesterday that residents, businesses and institutions will be required to recycle cardboard, magazines, office paper, catalogs, cereal boxes, telephone books, envelopes and junk mail beginning July 10. The Board of Supervisors adopted the tougher recycling rules last year. The county's solid-waste management program handles more than 1.5 million tons of municipal solid waste and recyclables annually. It is projected to handle an additional 139,000 to 500,000 tons of waste a year by 2025....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 12, 2007; 1:59 PM ET | Email a Comment

In Search of Volunteers to Keep History Alive

Inside this week's Fairfax Extra you'll find this story with a plea for volunteers from officials at some of Virginia's most important Civil War sites. Read here to find out what you can do to help....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 12, 2007; 1:49 PM ET | Email a Comment

Eagles in Fairfax

Edward Clark of the Wildlife Center of Virginia releases a rehabilitated bald eagle back into the wild at the Mason Neck State Park. (Linda Davidson) Last week the bald eagle was removed from the list of endangered species and one needn't look far to see why. According to the Fairfax Extra, Between 20 and 40 of the birds are thriving on the Mason Neck peninsula....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 12, 2007; 1:33 PM ET | Email a Comment

11 Recovering from Fourth's Vienna Fireworks Mishap

Eleven people were injured, some seriously, after a rocket exploded in its launch tube at a fireworks display in Vienna last week. Read about the accident and how the victims are faring in this article from today's Metro section....

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

Politics: Life after Callahan and the Race to Unseat Wolf

Two stories appeared on the Metro section's front this morning that are likely to be of interest to those that follow Fairfax politics. First there is this look at the 40 year career of Vincent F. Callahan Jr. as a Republican lawmaker in the Virginia House of Delegates and an analysis of how his coming retirement affects the political landscape in Northern Virginia. Then there is this article about the increasingly crowded field of candidates looking to unseat U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) in the 2008 elections. Two Democrats and two Republicans (including Wolf) have their hats in the ring....

By Focus on Fairfax | July 10, 2007; 11:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly's Job with Tysons Corporation Provokes Criticism

"Totally inappropriate" is how one of Gerald E. Connolly's fellow Democrats, McLean Citizen's association vice president Susan Turner, describes the Board of Supervisors chairman's work for SAIC, the area's fourth largest employer and major stake holder in decisions affecting land use and transportation issues in Tysons Corner. But Turner and other critics of Connolly's position with the company have not been able to cite any violation of the state's conflict of interest laws and the chairman says he has done everything above board, including recusing himself from votes that directly affect SAIC property. This article from yesterday's front page details Connolly's defense of his "other" job in the face of what some say is at least "a problem of appearances."...

By Focus on Fairfax | July 9, 2007; 10:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 7/9: Retrial in 1988 Reston Slayings Set For January

Updated 7/9 While Focus on Fairfax was on vacation, a mistrial was declared after a juror committed misconduct during preliminary deliberations in the sentencing phase of the trial. A retrial is set for Jan. 7, and retiring prosecutor Horan may return to take the case. Read about it here. Updated 6/19 Prieto was found guilty yesterday of two counts of capital murder. Now the defense will try to prove that he is mentally retarded and ineligible for execution. The story is here. Originally posted 6/4 Alfredo R. Prieto, on California's death row for rape and murder for the last 15 years, will be on trial here beginning this week for a 1988 Reston-area double homicide of which he is suspected. Virginia prosecutors say that they can get a conviction and have Prieto executed within five years, whereas in California Prieto's appeals could last another ten years. The story is in...

By Focus on Fairfax | July 9, 2007; 10:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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