Archive: Consumer Affairs

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

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

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; 01:59 PM ET | Email a Comment

Jet Noise Riles McLean Residents

Members of the McLean Citizen's Association say that noise from planes flying in and out of Reagan National Airport is getting worse and are seeking help from Rep. Frank Wolf (R) and the FAA. Read about it in today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 2, 2007; 11:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax: The 2006 Guide

An Introduction To The Guide Trying to make sense of Fairfax? Join our club. To help newcomers learn and old-timers discover new possibilities, here's The Guide for 2006. We know how easy it is to get confused here, because there are about a million people -- more people than seven states have -- and trying to make sense of the governing machinery can be tricky. The local governments include those of the county and two cities, the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church, each with its own idiosyncrasies and treasures. What you'll find in these pages is our attempt to lead you to old favorites you had not thought of for a while or to what might become favorites. There's golfing and fishing and biking and walking, just to name a few leisure pursuits. If you have students in the family, there's a place within the county...

 

By | April 28, 2006; 09:51 AM ET | Email a Comment

Please Read: Rules Issued for Commenting on Fairfax Focus Blog

Some readers of this blog have recently raised questions about the role of The Washington Post in policing Fairfax Focus. I have deleted a few blog posts because they did not meet The Post's standards for fairness. For more clarity about how to play by the rules, Jim Brady, the executive editor of washingtonpost.com has posted a message explaining the rules for readers participating in the site's Live Online discussions, discussion forums and for posting comments on the company's blogs. The complete list of rules is here. --Steve Fehr, Fairfax Extra Editor...

 

By | February 17, 2006; 01:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

Help Available With Returns, Relief for Eligible Taxpayers

From today's Fairfax Extra: People needing help with federal and state income tax returns can take advantage of several free programs. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/15/AR2006021501049_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/15/AR2006021501049.html','People needing help with federal and state income tax returns can take advantage of several free programs.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); · Fairfax County residents making less than $37,000 a year can receive free income tax filing assistance through a county program, officials said. Help is offered at 12 locations throughout Northern Virginia through May 1. For more information about the program and locations, call 703-222-0880 or 703-324-5319. For information in Spanish, call 703-631-3366. Or visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/partnerships . Those preparing their own returns can call the IRS hotline at 800-829-1040 or visit http://www.irs.gov ....

 

By | February 16, 2006; 12:51 PM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly Proposes End to Auto Decal Tax

In his annual state of the county address tonight, Gerald E. Connolly said he wants to eliminate the decals and tax forever. Here is the text of a news release just issued:...

 

By Steve Fehr | February 13, 2006; 08:00 PM ET | Email a Comment

Hearings Today and Thursday on Dominion Virginia Line

From today's Metro section: The State Corporation Commission will hold three public hearings today and tomorrow in Loudoun County on Dominion Virginia Power's proposal to build a transmission line from its Pleasant View substation east of Leesburg to a new substation northwest of Hamilton. The utility says the line would serve development in the western part of the county. After residents and county supervisors opposed a proposal to build the line along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, Dominion agreed to propose an option that would install the line mostly along Route 7. The first hearing is at 1:30 p.m. today, the second at 7 p.m. and the third at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. All will be in the boardroom of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison St. SE in Leesburg. For more information, visit http://www.loudoun.gov/issues/power.htm ....

 

By | February 8, 2006; 11:54 AM ET | Email a Comment

Use Caution When Selecting Day Care

Julia Karpeisky of McLean offers advice to parents looking for a day care provider in this week's Voices of Fairfax guest column....

 

By | January 26, 2006; 11:39 AM ET | Email a Comment

Flat Tax For Communication Under Consideration in Richmond

Fairfax County residents with land lines, long-distance service, cell phones and cable TV would pay an average of $5.35 less a month under the proposed tax according to a study cited in a Metro section article....

 

By | January 24, 2006; 10:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Cox To Offer 'Family Friendly' Package

From a news release: Cox Communications, Inc., today announced that it will launch a family programming package in early 2006...

 

By Steve Fehr | January 11, 2006; 05:45 PM ET | Email a Comment

SmarTrip, Other Changes Climbing Aboard Connector Buses In 2006

Officials with the Fairfax Connector bus system expect Metro's SmarTrip debit cards to be accepted on the local commuter buses by early summer, just one of the changes expected in 2006 according to a Fairfax Extra article published today....

 

By | January 5, 2006; 11:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

Toll Increase Ahead on Dulles Greenway

The increases go into effect Jan.1 and are detailed here....

 

By | December 15, 2005; 03:04 PM ET | Email a Comment

Proposed Water Hike Is Topic of Hearing

From today's Fairfax Extra: Fairfax Water will hold a hearing at 6:30 p.m. tonight to discuss a proposed 5-cent increase in the water rate beginning April 1. The utility, which serves 1.3 million customers in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, is proposing several revisions to its schedule of rates, fees and charges. var technorati = new Technorati() ; technorati.setProperty('url','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/14/AR2005121400892_Technorati.html') ; technorati.article = new item('in brief','http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/14/AR2005121400892.html','Fairfax Water will hold a hearing at 6:30 p.m. tonight to discuss a proposed 5-cent increase in the water rate beginning April 1.','') ; document.write( technorati.getDisplaySidebar() ); The water usage, or commodity, charge would go from $1.45 to $1.50 for each 1,000 gallons. This would mean an increase of $1.20 a quarter, or $4.80 a year, on an average water bill....

 

By | December 15, 2005; 02:31 PM ET | Email a Comment

Cable TV From Verizon Now Available In Herndon

Cable television customers in Herndon now have a choice in providers with Verizon joining Cox Communications as the second company to offer service in the town. Details are in a Saturday Business section article. ...

 

By | November 21, 2005; 10:34 AM ET | Email a Comment

Taxpayer Alliance Meeting This Weekend

The annual meeting of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday 10/22 at the Marco Polo restaurant in Vienna.The meeting will center on a discussion of public-private transportation partnerships. The speaker will be Patrick M. McSweeney, chairman of the Virginia Conservative Alliance.The alliance describes itself as a non-profit, non-partisan, volunteer organization founded in 1956 to prevent excessive real estate tax increases in the county.The restaurant is at 245 Maple Ave. Wes. For more information, call 703-642-5567 or send an e-mail to luncheon@fcta.org....

 

By | October 21, 2005; 02:41 AM ET | Email a Comment

Building Backyard Nature Preserves

The cover story in today's Fairfax Extra takes a look at how, in the face of increasing development, some residents and businesses are using environmentally friendly landscaping in an effort to preserve native plants and animals....

 

By | October 13, 2005; 12:56 PM ET | Email a Comment

Victoria's Secret at Tysons Tones Down Display...

...But a Christian conservative group was planning to protest outside the store today, anyway. The story is in this morning's Metro section....

 

By | October 7, 2005; 10:33 AM ET | Email a Comment

Northern Virginia Home Contractor Guilty in Fraud

Alexandria home contractor Craig J. Oliver faces as much as 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in January for defrauding 68 of his customers, most of them from Fairfax County. Oliver pleaded guilty to wire fraud in U.S. District Court on  Monday....

 

By | October 5, 2005; 11:32 AM ET | Email a Comment

Lifelike Mannequins In Lingerie Attract Attention At Tysons Corner Center

The new Victoria's Secret store in the the expanded wing of Tysons Corner Center is creating a buzz, not all of it positive, with its racy  display of scantily clad, realistic mannequins in provocative poses. An article is in this morning's Metro section....

 

By | October 5, 2005; 11:00 AM ET | Email a Comment

Free Homebuyers Seminar Saturday In Reston

The town of Herndon will hold a free homebuyers seminar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday 10/1 at the Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center.Attendees will learn about home buying options, the advantages of home ownership, qualifying and applying for a loan and how to establish or restore credit.Washington Mutual Home Loans will give attendees a certificate to use when applying for first homebuyer's programs.The resource center is at 1086 Elden St., Herndon. For more information, call 703-435-3182....

 

By | September 30, 2005; 05:18 AM ET | Email a Comment

New Digital Electric Meters Coming From Dominion Power

Dominion Virginia Power officials said the utility will begin installing more than 80,000 wireless automated digital meters in Vienna, McLean, Dulles, Falls Church, Great Falls, Reston and other areas of Northern Virginia.The new meters will transmit usage data electronically to equipment in specially equipped mobile vehicles that will be driven through neighborhoods. The meters will also allow the company to read as many as 10 times the number of meters each day.Some of the new meters will have a digital display of numbers instead of the more familiar dials.Customers will receive a letter about the installation of the new meters....

 

By | September 30, 2005; 05:02 AM ET | Email a Comment

Fairfax Water Chief's Pension To Be Doubled

Charlie Crowder, the retiring general manager of the Fairfax County Water Authority, will receive nearly twice the pension he had been entitled to before a Sept. 15 vote to raise it by the water authority's board. Read about it here....

 

By | September 28, 2005; 10:40 AM ET | Email a Comment

Cable Competition Comes To Fairfax County

The Board of Supervisors last night approved Verizon Communications Inc. as a licensed seller of cable television service. An article about the decision was in today's Business section....

 

By | September 27, 2005; 11:11 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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