Archive: October 2007

Firefighters Lead Contributors in Supes Race

The leading contributors to the political campaign for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is the local branch of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The union has put up more than $100,000 over the last four years, most of it going to the incumbents. The details are in this article from today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 31, 2007; 9:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

Herndon Police Seek Man Suspected in Fatal Stabbing

Luis Miguel Abrego Romero, 20, is being sought by police in connection with the death of another man with whom he was seen fighting at a party on Saturday night. The details are here....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 30, 2007; 9:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

Early Distribution of Election Flier Prompts Calls For Investigation

A a door hanger distributed this past weekend urging people to "vote today" by the campaign of State Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis (R-Fairfax) has prompted calls for an investigation from her Democratic opponent, J. Chapman "Chap" Peterson, into whether the Devolites-Davis campaign was deliberately attempting to deceive voters. The story is here. Other news about the same race from today's Metro section: Coalition Keeps Devolites Davis Endorsement The Virginia Coalition of Police and Deputy Sheriffs will stand by its endorsement of state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R), coalition President Josh David said yesterday. The coalition had considered rescinding the endorsement after Devolites Davis's opponent, Democrat J. Chapman Petersen, complained last week about a campaign mailer that published his home address and family members' names. David said Devolites Davis has a strong voting record on behalf of law enforcement, so the coalition will not change its position. -- Amy Gardner...

By Focus on Fairfax | October 30, 2007; 9:31 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax GOP Candidates Say They Can Cut Taxes and Expand Programs

The Republican candidates for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors say that it is possible to expand county programs and even pay for new ones while still lowering property taxes and that they know how to get it done. Their Democratic opponents say they don't believe it. Read the story from yesterday's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 29, 2007; 10:04 AM ET | Email a Comment

What's Going Where?

The Fairfax Extra's monthly guide to new development is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 25, 2007; 11:38 AM ET | Email a Comment

Big Burgers on the Menu in McLean

Today's Neighborhood Flavor restaurant review takes us to Joe's Burger Restaurant in McLean, where critic Nancy Lewis says the burgers are gourmet and greasy. And that's a good thing. If you've eaten at Joe's, let us know what you think. And while you're at it, don't forget to share your thoughts about other winners and losers when it comes to local dining at the Washington Post's City Guide listing of Fairfax restaurants....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 25, 2007; 11:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

Thomas Jefferson High Hurts College Chances for Some?

In today's Extra Credit column, one parent wonders if Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology has a deleterious effect on the college admission chances for students from the county's other high schools. She bases her question largely on recent remarks by Georgetown University's dean of admissions who told Washingtonian magazine that "Jefferson robs all the local schools of their best students, leaving behind a culture that's more dominated by athletics and rock music and less dominated by AP's and high academic achievement." Read the column for Jay Mathews's take in the question and then let us know what you think here....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 25, 2007; 11:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

Woodson Grad McCandless ("Into the Wild") Recalled

Chris McCandless, a former runner at Woodson High and the subject of the book "Into The Wild" by Jon Krakauer and a new film of the same name from director Sean Penn, is remembered in today's Varsity Letter column in the Fairfax Extra. McCandless died, likely from starvation, in 1992 after deciding to live alone in the Alaskan wilderness....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 25, 2007; 10:49 AM ET | Email a Comment

Volunteerism Alive and Well in Fairfax

According to the cover story in today's Fairfax Extra, people in Fairfax County and in other parts of the Washington area devote on average 10 more hours per week to volunteer community projects than do people in the rest of the country. Read the story and than read here to see how you too can help....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 25, 2007; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

News Briefs: Fatal Accidents on Rainy Wednesday and Fraternity Sues GMU

From today's Metro section: Woman Dies in Beltway Crash A Prince George's County woman was killed in Fairfax County yesterday morning when her car skidded into the back of a tractor-trailer on the Capital Beltway, Virginia State Police said. Shortly after 10:15 a.m., Carla Ann Steen, 36, of Oxon Hill was heading north in the rain on the George Washington Memorial Parkway in a 2000 Toyota Camry when she entered a ramp to the inner loop of the Beltway, said Sgt. Terry W. Licklider. She slid off the ramp into a lane of Beltway traffic and slammed into the tractor-trailer, which was carrying bags of cement, Licklider said. Steen, who was wearing a seat belt, was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital. The driver of the truck was unhurt, Licklider said. -- Tom Jackman Man Changing Tire Fatally Struck A man changing a tire on the shoulder of westbound Interstate 66...

By Focus on Fairfax | October 25, 2007; 10:19 AM ET | Email a Comment

Girl, 9, Fends Off Sexual Assault in Store

A man was arrested yesterday for molesting a nine-year old girl at a Richmond Highway Wal-Mart. Police say that Jaime Francisco Calacan Jr., 36, of 212 North Furman Street in Alexandria was impersonating a police officer and told the girl he needed to check her pockets for stolen merchandise. Calacan allegedly assaulted the girl, but she was able to kick him in the groin and run to her mother. Details are in this article from today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 23, 2007; 10:14 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 10/23: Connolly, Baise on Immigration

Updated 10/23 Candidates for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors spoke about their approach to local enforcement of federal immigration laws in a meeting yesterday with Washington Post reporters and editors . Gerald E. Connolly (D) said that he would not follow Prince Williams County's lead and try to cut off services for illegal immigrants. Gary H. Baise (R) said he would seek participation by county police in a program operated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to help them identify illegal immigrants. Read more about what the candidates said at the meeting here. Originally posted 8/24 Talk Radio host Chris Core yesterday asked his listeners to call Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman Gerald E. Connolly's office to ask why Connolly didn't support the type on anti-illegal immigrant actions that neighboring Prince William County is attempting to enforce. Connolly has maintained that it is not...

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

Race for Fairfax School Board

Today's Metro section has a detailed look at the issues and candidates that voters will consider for the Fairfax County School Board. Elsewhere in the paper, the Washington Post's editorial board -- a completely separate division of the Washington Post from the news division -- has endorsed a slate of candidates for the school board positions that can be found here....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 22, 2007; 11:19 AM ET | Email a Comment

Does Control of State Senate Hinge on Results Here?

According to this article from yesterday's front page, a Democratic sweep in Fairfax could "transfer unprecedented power to a handful of senior Northern Virginia lawmakers." Read the article and share your thoughts on it here. Also in political news, an article from Saturday's Metro section reports that Democratic candidates for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have outraised their Republican counterparts by nearly two to one in campaign contributions....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 22, 2007; 11:08 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 10/22: Fisher on Fairfax Senate Race

Updated 10/22 Metro opinion columnist Marc Fisher yesterday took a look at the race for state Senate in Fairfax, noting that the candidates' party-affiliations aren't easy to deduce by their rhetoric alone. Originally posted 10/3 According to this story from today's Metro section, not much distinguishes the Republican and Democratic candidates for the 34th District seat in the Virginia Senate when it comes to issues important to gay voters. That both parties' candidates are flying the gay rights flag is seen by some as a further sign of Northern Virginia's move from conservative toward progressive politics....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 22, 2007; 9:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Foster Care Underfunded

Virginia is one of the majority of U.S. states that is not contributing enough to cover the costs of providing basic care for the foster children in its system according to a University of Maryland study. The Fairfax Extra has the news about what some are calling a "crisis."...

By Focus on Fairfax | October 18, 2007; 11:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Volunteers (2,200 of Them) Needed For Elections

Northern Virginia's local governments are asking for volunteers to man the polls in the upcoming election on Nov. 6. Read this story in the Fairfax Extra to find how you can help....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 18, 2007; 11:43 AM ET | Email a Comment

Pictures of Fairfax History, Clearer Than Ever

This is a photo of The Bowman Store on Centreville Rd. Michael Rierson explains how he was able to date the photo by blowing up and enhancing the image. Once the image was larger and sharper, it was possible to date the automobiles and the Coca-Cola sign hanging over the door. (Tracy A. Woodward) Using the latest in digital enhancement software, historic preservationist Michael Rierson is finding in old photographs a better picture of our history. The Fairfax Extra has the story. A photograph of the Spring House circa 1890-1900, before and after digital enghancement by Michael Rierson. (Photos courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority)...

By Focus on Fairfax | October 18, 2007; 11:05 AM ET | Email a Comment

Two Schools' Miss Marks on Math Tests

Less than 70% of Holmes and Glasgow middle schools' students passed recent standards of learning tests, prompting state officials to warn the schools that their full accreditation requires that they now mus create improvement plans. Elsewhere in the county, most schools satisfied the SOL requirements. Read more in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 18, 2007; 10:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

Natural Gas Customers Will Get Refund

From today's Metro section: Natural gas customers in Fairfax County will receive an average refund of $16.50 as a result of negotiations between Washington Gas and government officials, the Board of Supervisors was told Monday. Washington Gas applied for rate increases worth $23 million in 2006, but a State Corporation Commission order issued last month authorized only $3.9 million in increases. The refund represents the difference between the rate increases the company sought and what was authorized. The company had been charging higher rates on an interim basis since February. -- Amy Gardner...

By Focus on Fairfax | October 17, 2007; 10:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

GOP Candidates for Supervisor Issue Position Paper

According to this article from today's Metro section, five of the six Republican candidates for The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have signed a position paper pledging to cut taxers, raise ethical standards and require developers to offer public improvements before their projects are approved. Some incumbent supervisors said the positions outlined in the paper differ little from an agenda the board has already been pursuing....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 17, 2007; 10:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Takes Look at Services It Could Deny Illegals

At the request of Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully), Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin has ordered staff to examine the services that the county provides to determine which could, under current law, be denied to illegal immigrants. Griffin said that there are no plans to revise the county's current policies and that the examination was for informational purposes only. More on the topic in this story from today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 17, 2007; 10:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Boarding House Operator Jailed For Contempt

Rosita Lim Ong Chang, 66 was arrested Friday and sent to jail for contempt of court for failing to obey a judge who cited her four years ago for illegally boarding tenants in her single-family home near George Mason University. Chang is the first person arrested for such an offense since the county stepped up its enforcement of zoning codes. Read about it in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 16, 2007; 11:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

The Connolly Approach

This morning's Metro section offers this look at Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly and his approach to government; how he uses his office to steer policy and achieve his goals. Admirers of the Chairman have some things to say about all that, as do his critics. Feel free to share your view in the comments section....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 15, 2007; 9:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Men Try to Abduct Boy, 12

From today's Metro section: Two men in a van tried to abduct a 12-year-old Fairfax County boy as he walked to school Tuesday morning, but the boy fled to a neighbor's home, police said. The incident began about 8:30 a.m. on Rhododendron Circle in the Lorton area. As the boy reached Native Violet Drive, he heard the van's horn blowing but ignored it, police said. The driver continued honking and seemed to be following the boy, so the boy called his father on his cellphone, and the father told him to call police. The boy ran to two nearby houses but got no response, and a passenger in the van rolled down his window and grabbed the boy's arm, police said. The boy wrested free and ran back to Rhododendron Circle and escaped into another home. He told police that the vehicle appeared to be an older Ford panel van...

By Focus on Fairfax | October 12, 2007; 9:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Pastor For Immanuel Bible Church

The Rev. Ron L. Jones will be the new minister at the Springfield megachurch which is planning an expansion to its facilities that already draw thousands of worshippers. Read about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 11, 2007; 12:22 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Steps up Home Care Support Services for Seniors

More and more people here are choosing to bring their aging parents and relatives to live with them. To help them deal with the challenges of caregiving, Fairfax County has put more resources into providing support. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 11, 2007; 12:12 PM ET | Email a Comment

Screening for Illegal Immigrants To Begin at County Jail

Fairfax County Sheriff Stan G. Barry has pledged to screen inmates for immigration violations and to work with federal authorities to deport those here illegally. Read about it in today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 11, 2007; 10:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

Chairman Candidates Disagree on Spending

Gary H. Baise and Gerald E. Connelly clashed on tax and budget issues during a debate last night, with Basie advocating caps on real estate assessments and Connelly calling such measures, "ideas that sound good but have terrible long-term consequences." The details are in this article from today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 9, 2007; 10:24 AM ET | Email a Comment

Enrollment Imbalance, Textbooks On Agenda at Public Meetings

From today's Metro section: Fairfax County public schools have scheduled three public meetings for a study of enrollment and capacity imbalances among five high schools in the western part of the county. The meetings, all starting at 7:30 p.m., will be held Nov. 12 at Chantilly High School, Dec. 3 at Westfield High School and Dec. 19 at Oakton High School. The school system is also seeking input on proposed new textbooks for German, French, Latin and Spanish classes in secondary schools. The books are available for review at eight public library branches: Centreville, Chantilly, Fairfax City, George Mason, Pohick, Reston, Sherwood and Tysons-Pimmit. The School Board plans to vote Dec. 20 on the book acquisition....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 9, 2007; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Police Chiefs Worried About Cuts To Funding

According to this article from today's Metro section, local police chiefs are concerned that state spending cuts will affect public safety efforts. Fairfax County could lose up to $1.5 million....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 5, 2007; 11:06 AM ET | Email a Comment

Police Charge Man With Sexual Assault

From today's Metro section: A Fairfax City man was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at an ice cream shop owned by the city's mayor. Peter V. Lupo, 34, a former owner of the now-defunct Il Lupo restaurant, was assisting the owners of the Sweet Life Cafe with business matters, police said. On Sept. 19, he allegedly stayed in the cafe with a 19-year-old employee after the shop in the city's downtown closed, provided her with alcohol and molested her, they said. Police said the woman reported the incident Sept. 28. Lupo was arrested at his home Tuesday and charged with aggravated sexual battery, animate object sexual penetration, providing alcohol, and keeping or allowing alcoholic beverages without a license, court records show. He was being held without bond last night in the Fairfax jail. Mayor Robert F. Lederer, who owns the shop with his wife, Maureen, said he was shocked...

By Focus on Fairfax | October 5, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

What's Going Where?

What's developing in your neighborhood? The Fairfax Extra, presents the October "What's Going Where" map....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 4, 2007; 2:14 PM ET | Email a Comment

Kaine Presents Preschool Plan

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine wants to expand state-funded preschool to 17,000 more underprivileged 4-year old Virginians. Last week he presented his plan for how to accomplish that. Read about it here, in the Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 4, 2007; 2:03 PM ET | Email a Comment

New Affordable Housing Requirements Draw Fire

Newly approved requirements that 12% of units in new high-rise housing must be designated for affordable housing if the developer wants to increase density over the current zoning allowances are drawing fire from critics who say the measure goes too far, or alternately not far enough. The Board of Supervisors also increased the amount of money a family could make and still qualify for affordable housing. Read the news in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 4, 2007; 1:46 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax City Calls For Water Restrictions

With the area's drought continuing to worsen, Fairfax City has imposed voluntary restictions of water usage and has issued a press release: City of Fairfax Imposes Water Restrictions FAIRFAX -- Due to very low levels of water in the City of Fairfax's water reservoirs, the city will commence voluntary water restrictions beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, October 5. The water restrictions will remain in effect until reservoirs are restored or until rainfall patterns return to normal. The city joins several other jurisdictions in this action, including Loudoun County, a city water customer already on water restrictions for several months that recently moved to more stringent mandatory restrictions. Other jurisdictions throughout Virginia also are affected, including Leesburg, Stafford County, and Virginia Beach, Caroline County, the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. The situation is so dire that restrictions are being discussed at the state level. To ensure that the water supply...

By Focus on Fairfax | October 4, 2007; 11:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

Baise Accepted Farm Subsidies

Today's Washington Post reports that Gary H. Baise, the Republican candidate for Board of Supervisors chairman and a vocal proponent of limited government, reduced taxation and less spending, accepted more than $300,000 in federal subsidies for his Illinois farm from 1995 -2205. The story from today's front page is here....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 4, 2007; 10:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

Six-Figure Salary Households Get Subsidized Housing

According to this article from yesterday's front page, ten percent of the county's subsidized housing is occupied by families who no longer would qualify for assistance if they were just now seeking it. One of the households takes in more than $216,000 a year. County officials say there are no provisions for making renters who once qualified for assistance move on or pay more once there fortunes improve....

By Focus on Fairfax | October 1, 2007; 9:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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