Archive: December 2007

Deployed Virginia Soldiers Send Holiday Greetings

Video holiday greetings from the U.S. Army' s 116th Infantry Brigade, currently serving in Iraq and including soldiers from Fairfax, Reston and Springfield can be seen here....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2007; 12:12 PM ET | Email a Comment

Alexandria, Fairfax Investigate Sex Attacks

From today's Metro section: A woman who was attacked in Annandale on Wednesday night might have been the seventh victim of a masked sexual predator, Fairfax County and Alexandria police said yesterday. Police said the Falls Church area woman, 28, was walking along Little River Turnpike toward a bus stop at Columbia Pike about 6 p.m. when a man wearing a black ski mask and dark clothing pulled her down from behind. The woman fought the man off and was not seriously hurt, police said. Earlier Wednesday, an Alexandria woman, 47, was grabbed from behind by a masked man in the 6100 block of Edsall Road sometime before 6 a.m., police said. The woman struggled and escaped, they said. On Monday morning, police said, a similarly dressed and masked man molested a woman after hitting her in the face as she walked near Backlick and Braddock roads, also in the...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2007; 10:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

Parishioners From 80 Nations at Springfield Church

Word of Life Assembly of God in Springfield is presented as a microcosm of the multi-cultural and multi-national face of the area in a story from today's front page. But the church is also a bit unusual because, even as the local population has grown more diverse, most church congregations have remained fairly homogeneous. Read about it here....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2007; 10:42 AM ET | Email a Comment

I-395 HOV Enforcement Coming In January

For 25 years southbound Interstate 395 commuters have been able to use a stretch of the highway's high occupancy vehicle lanes on the approach to Springfield whether they were carpooling or not. With the new Springfield Interchange open for business and much of the congestion in the area alleviated, that era is coming to an end. Beginning Jan. 14, HOV enforcement will resume and cars caught driving in the lanes between 3:30 and 6 p.m. with fewer than three occupants will be ticketed. Read more in this story from today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 20, 2007; 11:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

All-Extra Athletes

The best student athletes in area schools are named in today's Fairfax Extra. Click the links to see the names in field hockey, football, boys' soccer, girls' soccer, boys' cross country, girls' cross country and volleyball....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 20, 2007; 11:25 AM ET | Email a Comment

Tysons May Get Trolley or Monorail to Connect Metro Stops

Reinventing Tysons Corner will require more than just a Metrorail line say planners. It will require a "circulator," a dedicated, fareless method of moving people from the furthest reaches of Tysons to the rail stations while remaining out of the general traffic patterns. Read more about the idea in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 20, 2007; 11:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

NOVA Police Honored For Anti-Drunk Driving Efforts

Officials of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program are lauding efforts of Northern Virginia's law enforcement community for efforts to curb drunk driving. The Fairfax Extra has the news....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 2:07 PM ET | Email a Comment

Jewish Group Protests White Nationalist Meeting

A meeting of a white nationalist group --described by critics as a "neo-Nazi" organization -- set to take place in a Herndon hotel in February has sparked a protest from a Jewish group that has itself been labeled as an extremist group. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 1:55 PM ET | Email a Comment

Churches Step Up Christmas Charity Efforts

Fairfax's faith community is taking I Corinthians to heart, -- "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" -- this holiday season. Read all about local churches' efforts to help the needy at home and abroad in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 1:45 PM ET | Email a Comment

N. Va. Schools Score High in Giving College-Level Tests

Once again many of the county's schools are near the top of the Washington Post's annual Challenge Index ranking of local high schools. That's attributable in part to the policy the Northern Virginia school systems have adopted of requiring and paying for college level tests for students in their Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Read all about it in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 1:33 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Officials Sworn In

County elected officials were sworn in at a ceremony yesterday at the County Governement Center. Last evening the county issued this press release: In a ceremony this evening, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County constitutional officers, and the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District directors all took their oath of office in front of several hundred spectators. Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Stanley P. Klein administered the oath of office to Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly and 14 other elected officials, who each swore to support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the commonwealth of Virginia, and to faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon them as officials of Fairfax County. All elected officials will take office on Jan. 1, 2008....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 10:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Vienna Officials Consider Alternative to Fireworks

From today's Metro section: Vienna, which had the worst of several fireworks malfunctions in Northern Virginia on July 4, is leaning toward replacing its annual pyrotechnics display with a laser light show, town officials said yesterday. Rockets from a box of Chinese-made mortar tubes launched into the crowd at Waters Field in Vienna, injuring 11 people, two of them seriously. The same type of box also misfired at five other locations in Fairfax County and Fairfax City the same night. County officials reviewed fireworks regulations and decided that the distance from the firing spot to the spectators had to be doubled for such fireworks boxes, which would eliminate them from Waters Field, said Cathy Salgado, the town's parks and recreation director. Vienna was already considering eliminating fireworks after this year's incident, because the mortar boxes could not be sufficiently inspected, Salgado said. At a Town Council work session this week,...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 10:48 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/13: Transportation Funding Tax Finds Mixed Results

Updated 12/13 More on the growing concern about the state's transportation funding package is in today's Metro section. Originally posted 12/4 In the struggle to generate income for state road projects, Fairfax and Arlington counties might tax commercial property at a lower rate than initially planned. Prince William and Loudoun counties have already decided to reject the tax spelling possible trouble for the transportation funding agreement. Read about it in this story from today's Metro section....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 13, 2007; 9:36 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Faces Budget Crisis

A shortfall of about $220 million faces the Fairfax County government according to this article from the front page of today's Washington Post. The crunch, which stems from the housing slump, could last several years and affect a range of county services and programs. So what gets cut? Let's hear what readers of Focus on Fairfax would do if you had to make the hard choices that face county leaders....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 12, 2007; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

High School Basketball Preview

Want to know what to expect as the high school basketball season gets underway? The Fairfax Extra presents these previews of the outlook for boys' and girls' teams and players in Northern Virginia....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 6, 2007; 12:13 PM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax's Monthly Development Map

Here's a new look at, 'What's Going Where.'...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 6, 2007; 12:11 PM ET | Email a Comment

New Fingerprint Machine for County Police

Lt. John V. Byrd of the Fairfax County police shows off the new mobile automated fingerprint identification system at Fairfax police headquarters last week. (Tom Jackman) Called by one local law enforcement officer potentially "the most effective tool for police since the two-way radio," the Automated Fingerprint Identification System enables county police to scan a suspect's fingerprints at a crime scene and find any matches on file within 30 seconds. Read all about it here in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 6, 2007; 11:55 AM ET | Email a Comment

More Security Technology Comes to Schools

Today's Fairfax Extra carries this story about the efforts local schools officials are making to increase security and prevent sexual predators from infiltrating school grounds. High tech weapons in the tasks will include ID scanners, computer databases and video intercoms....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 6, 2007; 11:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Reston Museum Plans Future Growth

The little Lake Anne Village Center storefront museum that chronicles the history of Fairfax's first planned community is about to get an upgrade thanks to grants of up to $250,000 the county is planning to bestow. Read about that news and the past present and possible future of Reston in today's Fairfax Extra....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 6, 2007; 11:39 AM ET | Email a Comment

Evening School Activities Cancelled

From Fairfax County Public Schools: All Fairfax County public school activities for this evening are canceled, including extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices, field trips, adult and community education classes, and recreation programs in schools. SACC centers remain open until 6:15 p.m. For complete details, visit www.fcps.edu or call 1-800-839-3277....

By Focus on Fairfax | December 5, 2007; 2:24 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/03: Tysons Landowners Getting Behind Rail Plan

Updated 12/3 According to this article from Sunday's Metro section, support for rebooting the Tysons rail plan to put the rail line underground appears to be dwindling. Updated 11/29 From yesterday's Metro section: Opponents of an elevated rail line through Tysons Corner have sued the U.S. Department of Transportation, contending that the agency violated federal law by failing to seriously consider the idea of placing the track underground. The Tysons segment is part of the planned 23-mile Metrorail extension from Falls Church to Dulles International Airport, currently under review by DOT to determine whether it qualifies for federal funding. Tysons Tunnel Inc., a McLean-based group of Tysons property owners, civic groups and homeowner associations, filed the suit Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. It was joined as a plaintiff by Ratner Cos., a firm at Route 7 and Spring Hill Road, adjacent to a portion of the proposed elevated...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 3, 2007; 10:04 AM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 12/4: TJ is Tops in the Nation, One Senior Wins $40,000 Scholarship

Updated 12/4 From today's Metro section: Student Takes Third in Science Contest A Fairfax County teenager placed third yesterday in a national high school science competition sponsored by the Siemens Foundation, winning a $40,000 college scholarship. Jacob Steinhardt, 18, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, was honored for mathematical research that could lead to the design of faster computer networks. Steinhardt hopes to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The top prize and a $100,000 scholarship went to a Bethlehem, Pa., student whose research on bone growth in zebra fish has implications for the treatment of bone injuries and disorders in humans. -- Michael Alison Chandler Updated 12/3 Thomas Jefferson High School senior Jacob Steinhardt could earn a $100,000 scholarship for his research that could help build faster computer networks. Read about it here. Originally posted 11/30 U.S. News and World Report has ranked Fairfax...

By Focus on Fairfax | December 3, 2007; 9:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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