Archive: September 2007

Candidates For Chairman Lob Abramoff Accusations

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) and Gary H. Baise, Connolly's Republican challenger, each tried to associate his opponent with disgraced (and incarcerated) lobbyist Jack Abramoff at a debate Tuesday. But according to this article in today's Metro section neither accusation has much substance....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 28, 2007; 9:41 AM ET | Email a Comment

Gesher Jewish Day School Settles Into New Home

The 25 year-old school finally has a home of its own in a new $14 million space that opened this month. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 27, 2007; 1:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

Recycling Opportunities

Got an old computer gathering dust in the garage? A small business that needs some waste materials safely disposed of? How about some sensitive documents to be destroyed? The Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program has some recycling events scheduled over the next several weeks. Today's Fairfax Extra has the schedule....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 27, 2007; 1:33 PM ET | Email a Comment

Parks Set Geocaching Guidelines

The Fairfax County Park Authority has drawn up some suggestions for how to participate in the increasingly popular version of the scavenger hunt -- which uses global positioning technology -- without running afoul of park authority rules. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 27, 2007; 1:19 PM ET | Email a Comment

Rash of Break-Ins in Springfield, Annandale

Fairfax County police are warning store owners to take precautions; 24 smash and grab robberies from stores in Springfield and Annandale have been reported since March 31, including seven last Friday night. The news story is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 26, 2007; 10:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Baise and the Environment

Republican candidate for the chairmanship of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Gary H. Baise says he is "one of the original environmentalists" citing his time as the chief of staff to the EPA's founding administrator among other credentials. But some who have followed Basie's career as a lawyer representing corporations governments, developers and farmers who have run afoul of environmental regulations, say the truth is more complicated. Get the details in this article from today's front page....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 25, 2007; 10:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Gang-Related Crime Falls in Fairfax

According to this article from Saturday's Metro section, gang crimes dropped more than 32 percent from 2005 to 2006. Local officials say that the news shows that a pro-active approach to combating gangs is working. Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) said the decline is evidence that the county's approach to crime and illegal immigration is the correct one; to focus on illegal behavior rather than on attempts to enforce federal immigration laws....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 24, 2007; 10:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Horan, Chief Prosecutor for 40 Years, Retires Today

Robert F. Horan, the county's chief prosecutor for 40 years, retires today, but promises to return to try for one more conviction next year. Read about it here....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 21, 2007; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Floral Paintings On View in Franconia

Flowers are blooming this fall on the walls of the Franconia Government Center. Get the details here and check out the Fairfax Extra for more arts briefs....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2007; 11:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fall for the Book

Fall officially begins Sunday morning and so does Fall for the Book, George Mason University's annual community event to promote reading and literature. The Fairfax Extra has a run down of all the literary luminaries set to appear and details about what else to expect at this year's festival....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2007; 11:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Local Teachers Take Zero G Flight

With an assist from Northrop Grumman's Weightless Flight of Discovery program, two groups of local teachers got to experience first hand some of what they teach in their classrooms with regard to the one thing that brings us all down. Check out the feature piece from today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2007; 11:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

Broad Support for Merrifield Town Center

A proposal to build a walkable town center for Merrifield, complete with shopping, condominiums and entertainment is enjoying broad support from local residents as well as local leaders, a noteworthy accomplishment in a county where opposition to development has become the expected norm. Read about what makes this project one that most people seem like they can get behind in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 20, 2007; 11:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly and Baise Square Off in Debate

The candidates for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors met yesterday in Tysons Corner for their first full-blown debate of the campaign. The Washington Post's coverage is here. For other Fairfax political news check out out the new Virginia Politics blog....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 19, 2007; 10:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

'Silver Tsunami' Hits Fort Hunt

According to this article from Sunday's front page, 22 percent of the the population of the Fort Hunt neighborhood in the southeastern part of the county are age 62 or older, making the community a focus for those looking at how the large aging population of baby boomers are likely to affect the way local governments set their priorities. The second part of the two part story was published today....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 17, 2007; 11:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

Chairman's Race Prompts Question on Position

With the race for the chairmanship of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors heating up, some voices are asking if the time has come to invest the office with real power and to make the board's Chairman an elected chief executive. The details are in this piece from Sunday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 17, 2007; 11:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Jewish Groups Criticize Moran's Comments To Mag

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) told a California-based Jewish magazine that the "extraordinarily powerful" pro-Israel lobby has promoted the war in Iraq, drawing fire from some Jewish groups who lambasted the Congressman's comments for using "anti-Semitic images" and being "downright dangerous." The story was in Saturday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 17, 2007; 10:45 AM ET | Email a Comment

Davis Says He's in No Rush To Declare For Senate

Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) is signaling his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen John W. Warner (R), but is in no hurry to make an official announcement according to this article from Saturday's Metro section. One reason for Davis' reticence to start ramping a Senate push, according to another story in today's Metro section is his reluctance to distract himself and others from the reelection campaign of his wife, state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax)....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 17, 2007; 10:34 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 9/17: Laborers Face First Days Without Herndon Center

Updated 9/17 This article from Saturday's Metro section and this one from Sunday's look at the new realities facing the workers seeking day labor jobs in Herndon now that the town's official workers' center is closed. Updated 9/13 From today's Metro section: After Herndon's hiring center for day laborers closes tomorrow, workers will begin soliciting employers for jobs on the sidewalk near Alabama Drive Park, an activist group announced yesterday. The workers are planning to hold a march at 10 a.m. tomorrow from the center to the park to draw employers' attention to the informal new job site, said Marco Amador, education and outreach coordinator for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. He said workers will begin gathering there Saturday morning. The workers also wanted "to show their disagreement with the closing of the center," Amador said. Town officials voted last week to shut down the center rather than open...

By Focus on Fairfax | September 17, 2007; 9:27 AM ET | Email a Comment

Developer and Preservationists Square Off Over Park

The story is set in West Virginia's Harper's Ferry National Historical Park, but Fairfax readers -- who always seem keen on development news and how it relates to our own crowded existence here -- might be interested in this item from today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 13, 2007; 1:57 PM ET | Email a Comment

Virginia Tech Victim's Family Plans Memorial

The family and friends of Mary Read, who graduated from Annandale High School in 2006 are preparing memorials to the teenager who was killed during the shooting rampage at Virginia Tech in the spring. In this article from today's Fairfax Extra, the Reads share their plans and explain how they are coping with their loss....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 13, 2007; 1:21 PM ET | Email a Comment

Ambivalence Greets Wetlands Project

The Fairfax County Park Authority is getting set to build a new $2 million earthen dam to protect the wetlands at Huntley Meadows Park. Some are happy that an effort to preserve the ecosystem is in the works, but others think that this specific plan might not be the right one. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story. Taking a walk through Huntley Meadows Park wetlands are, from left, Gregory Nardacci, 5, Jennifer Nardacci, Camille Westmore, 12 and Rebecca Nardacci, 1. They are talking with David Lawlor, Natural Resource Manager for the park (Tracy A. Woodward)...

By Focus on Fairfax | September 13, 2007; 12:53 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 9/13: More 'Extra Credit' on Gifted And Talented

Updated 9/13 Readers sound off in today's column on accelerated courses for high-achieving students. Originally posted 8/16 Students are preparing to return to school and that means that Jay Mathews' column is back in the pages of the Fairfax Extra beginning this week. Today, Mathews looks at local gifted and talented programs....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 13, 2007; 12:35 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 9/13: Man Shot by Police in Traffic Stop Is Identified

Updated 9/13 From today's Metro section: Fairfax County police identified yesterday the man they shot early Tuesday during a traffic stop as Rocky L. King, 26, of no fixed address. King remained under guard yesterday at Inova Fairfax Hospital with injuries that were not deemed life-threatening. Arrest warrants were on file charging him with attempted capital murder of a police officer and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The warrants were to be served upon his release from the hospital. Police shot King sometime after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Dulles Technology Center, an office park near Herndon, where they were responding to a report of a one-car accident. Police said King pointed a gun at them, prompting them to fire. -- Amy Gardner Originally posted 9/12 From today's Metro section: Fairfax County police shot a man who pointed a gun at them during a traffic...

By Focus on Fairfax | September 13, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 9/11: Supervisors Vote For Commercial Tax Increase

Updated 9/11 The Board of Supervisors yesterday voted unanimously for the tax increase, the first step to securing the new funding. The news is in today's Metro section. Originally published 8/8 The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote next month on whether to make the county the first Northern Virginia County to take advantage of a provision in the transportation agreement passed in the General Assembly in April and raise taxes on commercial property to fund transportation projects. Today's Metro section has the details....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 11, 2007; 9:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

Weekend Crime Briefs

From Sunday's Metro section: Baby's Body Found In Garbage Truck A garbage truck driver discovered an infant's body in the back of his truck yesterday morning in the Great Falls area, and Fairfax County police yesterday were tracing the driver's route to try to determine the baby's identity and how he or she died. The driver told police he began his route about 7 a.m. with an empty garbage compartment, Fairfax Officer Donald R. Gotthardt said. While making his rounds on Utterback Store Road, the driver pulled over about 9 a.m. to check the compartment, just south of Beach Mill Road, and found the baby. It was not clear whether the driver was working alone, Gotthardt said. The infant's age, race and sex were not released yesterday, and police said an autopsy would be needed to determine the cause of death. Police declined to discuss the driver's route. Fairfax police...

By Focus on Fairfax | September 10, 2007; 11:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 9/10: Gun Owners' Suit Is Dismissed

From Saturday's Metro section: The Virginia Citizens Defense League's lawsuit against Fairfax County was dismissed yesterday by a judge who ruled that the plaintiff, which was seeking to hold a gun raffle, had sued the wrong defendant. County officials told the gun owners group in May that holding a raffle with guns as prizes constituted illegal gambling. The raffle was intended to raise money to assist two gun shops that New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) targeted in a lawsuit. So the league sued Fairfax in July, seeking a court's declaration that the raffle did not violate state law. Assistant Fairfax County Attorney Erin C. Ward argued that the county did not write the law and that the commonwealth's attorney, who would decide whether to enforce it, is not a county employee. Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Marcus D. Williams agreed and dismissed the case. Richard E. Gardiner, the league's...

By Focus on Fairfax | September 10, 2007; 9:59 AM ET | Email a Comment

Extra Credit: Combined Grade Classes

They affect only 2.1 percent of Fairfax County's elementary school classes, but parents say they have concerns over the practice of combining grades when there are too many students and not enough teachers. Read about it here. Besides the Extra Credit column, the Fairfax Extra has plenty of useful columns, lisitngs and news stories each week Thursday. Look for the print edition inside your Home and Classifieds sections and links here each week on Focus on Fairfax....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 6, 2007; 11:17 AM ET | Email a Comment

What's Going Where?

The county's newest monthly growth map is here, courtesy of the Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 6, 2007; 11:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

Needy Families Build Their Own Condos

With the help of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, the future owners of new condominiums being built just outside Fairfax City are doing the work themselves. The condo project is the first such in the area. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 6, 2007; 11:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Sports: Football, Volleyball and Field Hockey

Today's Sports section has a look at all the preparation that goes into getting local high school fields ready for their Friday night games with a special focus on Robinson High. Also in today's Sports section, check out these previews of the volleyball and field hockey seasons....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 6, 2007; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Volkswagen to Move National HQ to Herndon

According to today's Business section, the German automaker has announced plans to move the headquarters of its Volkswagen of America operation from Michigan to Herndon, bringing 400 jobs to Fairfax County....

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

Hayfield School Principal Honored

From today's Metro section: Bill Oehrlein, principal of Hayfield Secondary School in Fairfax County, has been named an outstanding principal of the year by the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals. Oehrlein, 44, became principal of the combined middle-high school in 2004 after two years as principal of Irving Middle School. The association, which honored Oehrlein in a middle school category, cited him for smoothly leading a sharp reduction in Hayfield's enrollment when a new high school opened in the area. He was also praised for careful attention to improving instruction for struggling students and his support for foreign language courses, including reading the Pledge of Allegiance over the public address system in Spanish and German. -- Jay Mathews...

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

Cuccinelli Needs Conservative GOP Turnout

Leaders of both parties, and the state Senator himself, agree that if Ken Cuccinelli doesn't motivate his base of conservative Republicans to turn out on election day, he may well be defeated by Democratic challenger Janet S. Oleszek. Get the details in this article from this morning's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 6, 2007; 10:03 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Crime Briefs

Leader of Gang Pleads Guilty to Racketeering A Fairfax County man who admitted that he was the leader of a violent Asian street gang pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal racketeering charge that includes two slayings committed in the 1990s. Hoang Anh Tran, 29, of the Fairfax City area admitted being one of three men who burst into a Falls Church pool hall in January 1997 and fatally shot Long Hung Nguyen, 27, in retaliation for the beating of a fellow gang member. The other two shooters were previously convicted. Tran admitted that he was a leader of the Dragon Family gang and that he shot Trung Duc Le, 21, while both men were driving on the Capital Beltway near Greenbelt in April 1999. Tran's brother, Tam Anh Tran, 34, of Centreville, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Alexandria to one count of drug conspiracy. -- Tom Jackman Man...

By Focus on Fairfax | September 5, 2007; 10:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Full-Day Kindergarten Expands in Fairfax

Twenty-one additional Elementary schools in Fairfax County will begin all-day kindergarten classes today as students head back to school for the 2007-2008 school year. Read about it in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | September 4, 2007; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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