Archive: Environment

School Fundraiser a Bright Idea

The newest fundraising effort undertaken by Fairfax County school students won't leave you with chocorific calories to burn or expensive wrapping paper cluttering the closet. In the long run, it may even save you money. Beginning later this month, the students will be selling environmentally-friendly low energy-use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Get the details in this article from today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 3, 2008; 02:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

UPDATE 3/25: Huntington Still Ineligible for Flood Dollars, Other Areas Qualify

Updated 3/25 Under the Army Corps of Engineers calculus, Huntington remains ineligible for aid, but other nearby neighborhoods qualify leading some Huntington residents to ponder the rationale for determining which neighborhoods are worth protecting. The news is here. Updated 11/20 According to a story in today's Metro section, the county will have to look elsewhere than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for money for measures to prevent a recurrence of the Huntington flooding; the project won't qualify for federal funding. Originally posted 6/25 As the victims of the damaging flood waters that hit Huntington one year ago today celebrate their neighborhood's comeback, some wonder when the disaster may repeat itself, even as local leaders ponder how to prevent such an occurrence. A flood wall along Cameron Run may help, but is expensive. Dredging the stream is another potential solution and less expensive, but needs to be repeated periodically. And...

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 25, 2008; 08:37 AM ET | Email a Comment

14 Miles of Stream Restoration Set for Reston

A five-year project to restore 14 miles of streams in Reston suffering from the erosion effects of 40 years of urban runoff will begin next month. Today's Fairfax Extra tells the tale....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | February 1, 2008; 12:05 PM ET | Email a Comment

Dry, But No Drought in Fairfax County

After and extraordinarily dry summer followed by heavy rains in October, water supplies vary greatly in the Washington region. In Fairfax County, which draws it's water primarily from the Potomac, all looks well. But in Fairfax City and other spots, officials are taking precautions. Today's Fairfax Extra has the story....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 8, 2007; 10:47 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

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; 01:33 PM 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

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 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

And The Green Grass Grew All Around, All Around

Tall grass in medians and along public roadways in Fairfax County is generating many complaints to county supervisors' offices. But mowing is the responsibility of the Virginia Department of Transportation, not the county. Tall grass, un-mowed on the median strip along Braddock Road blocks a clear view of the west bound traffic wishing to turn left off Braddock Road into a subdivision. (Photo by Richard A. Lipski ) But it's an election year and being seen as responsive is important, so local leaders are adding their voices to the hue and cry. The news from the Post's Metro section is here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 29, 2007; 10:50 AM ET | Email a Comment

Immigration and Overcrowded Houses

This front page article in yesterday's paper on neighborhood disputes over overcrowded houses in Fairfax County has spawned a spirited discussion with people from Fairfax, the Washington region and elsewhere in the country, joining in by posting comments about the problem. Focus on Fairfax invites readers to continue the discussion here....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | May 14, 2007; 10:53 AM ET | Email a Comment

County Preaches "Green;" Practice is Another Story

The Fairfax County government may find it hard to practice what it preaches with regard to newly announced plans to emphasize environmental stewardship throughout the county. Find out why in this article from today's front page....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | April 3, 2007; 09:58 AM ET | Email a Comment

Connolly To Outline Environmental Proposals Tonight

In his televised State of the County address at 6:30 p.m. tonight, Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) is set to provide details of an initiative that could put Fairfax at the forefront among U.S. counties who are providing incentives for businesses and private citizens to make environmentally-friendly choices. The details are in this front page article in today's Washington Post....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | March 15, 2007; 08:47 AM ET | Email a Comment

Firetrucks are Red, Station is Green

Today's Fairfax Extra takes us inside Fairfax County Fire Station 40, the county government's first building designed and built to be especially energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 21, 2006; 12:22 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Staff Against Joining Environmental Agreement

Saying that more study is needed to find a realistic goal to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, Fairfax County officials are recommending against participating in an environmental pact that more than 300 U.S. cities have already agreed to. Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin explains why in this article from today's Metro section....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | December 12, 2006; 10:07 AM ET | Email a Comment

Conservation Projects Honored

From today's Fairfax Extra comes this story about the non-profit organization Scenic Virginia and the conservation projects it chose to honor this year....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | November 16, 2006; 10:20 AM ET | Email a Comment

Report: Fairfax Lost 26% of Forested Land Between 1986-1999

A report on the state of the forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed was issued last month and contains some starling numbers. More than a fourth of Fairfax County's forested land was lost to development in the final years of the 20th century. The report also says that 100 acres of forest are lost every day in the watershed and that more than a third of the natural pollution filter that is forested land could be gone by 2030. The details are in this week's Fairfax Extra....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 6, 2006; 03:09 PM ET | Email a Comment

Area Seems To Accomodate Snakeheads

While the scientists say that the invasive nothern snakehead indeed seems to be spreading in the Potomac and its tributaries, so far there isn't much evidence that the Asian fish is squeezing out native species like the bass. Here is the latest....

 

By Focus on Fairfax | October 2, 2006; 05:40 PM ET | Email a Comment

Bigger Questions on Tysons Redevelopment/Rail

With all of the the discussion about the specifics of extending Metrorail through Tysons Corner and redeveloping the area into a walkable downtown for Fairfax County, are some bigger questions getting overlooked? Is the plan to remake Tysons feasible? Is it even desirable? This article from yesterday's Metro section takes a closer look at the big questions local officials face as decision time on what to do draws near....

 

By | August 21, 2006; 10:13 AM ET | Email a Comment

Officials Alarmed at River, Water Pollution

A Virginia Department of Environmental Quality report issued last month identifies 9,000 miles of the commonwealth's rivers as polluted. Fishermen quoted in this Fairfax Extra article describe fish pulled from the Potomac covered in burn-like lesions. Other waterways like lakes and reservoirs are also suffering according to the report....

 

By | August 10, 2006; 12:04 PM ET | Email a Comment

County Wants To Boost Recycling Efforts

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted new rules aimed at prodding businesses, renters and homeowners to take a wider view of recycling efforts and convert more solid waste into recycled material. The Fairfax Extra story is here....

 

By | July 20, 2006; 11:23 AM ET | Email a Comment

West Nile Virus Shows Up in County

A mosquito pool in the county has tested positive for West Nile virus, the first such positive test in Virginia this year, county health officials said yesterday. So far this year, health department workers have tested more than 31,000 mosquitos looking for West Nile and similar viruses, and treated more than 30,000 storm drains, which can become breeding areas, with lavicide that inhibits breeding. More treatments are scheduled throughout the mosquito season, which usually runs from May to October. Meanwhile, the Health Department recommends that residents take measures to reduce exposure to mosquitos. These include using insect repellants containing the active ingrediate DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon or eucalyptus when outdoors, turning over or removing yard containers and other recepticles of standing water. For more information on West Nile virus, residents may visit Fairfax County's "Fight the Bite" Web page at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fightthebite or call the Health Department at...

 

By | July 3, 2006; 11:28 AM ET | Email a Comment

Conservation Easement Tax Break Nixed by Court

In 1999 a real estate company promised not to overly develop land the company owned near George Washington's Historic Mount Vernon estate. In return for the conservation easement the company claimed hundreds of thousand of dollars in tax deductions. Last month the U.S. Tax Court ruled that the land, on which the company had erected 29 large houses, was not eligible for the deduction because the easement "did not protect open space or a historically important land area." A front page Washington Post story from yesterday is here. This is the first time that a court had thrown out such a deduction and the decision is seen as an important one in light of the increasing popularity of conservation easements which are favored by historic and environmental preservation groups and seen by many investors as an attractive way to ease their tax burdens....

 

By | June 5, 2006; 12:17 PM ET | Email a Comment

Falls Church Filmmaker Shoots for a Difference

Today's Fairfax Extra cover story introduces us to Falls Church documentary filmmaker David Eckert who has made five movies about local environmental issues in as many years....

 

By | May 4, 2006; 02:00 PM 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

Batteries and Flourescent Bulbs Are Hazmats Commission Warns

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is warning that commonly disposed of objects like rechargeable batteries and fluorescent light bulbs contain levels of mercury and other toxins that are hazardous to the environment and need to be disposed of or recycled properly. The Fairfax Extra article is here....

 

By | April 13, 2006; 12:06 PM ET | Email a Comment

Reston Referendum May Miss Quorum

The outlook for Reston Association's four-year effort to revise the community's governing documents for the first time in 22 years is increasingly dim, say association officials. The 60-day voting period on the revisions was scheduled to end today and the number of ballots turned in is still short of the 40% of Reston homeowners required to make it valid....

 

By | March 31, 2006; 11:01 AM ET | Email a Comment

A Blaze Set For Meadow's Health

From today's Fairfax Extra: County parks officials recently set fire to a 20-acre meadow in the Centreville area as part of an effort to create a more diverse field of native grasses and wildflowers. (Continue reading "A Blaze Set For Meadow's Health.")...

 

By | February 23, 2006; 02:25 PM 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

More Bug Spraying Planned

County pest management specialists observed more gypsy moth egg masses last fall, prompting a call for more aerial spraying of insecticide this spring to combat the potential for defoliation the bugs bring. Today's Fairfax Extra has an article about the moths and the what the county is doing about them and other local forest pests....

 

By | February 2, 2006; 01:28 PM ET | Email a Comment

County To Report On High Risk Dams

With the devastation wrought by hurricane Katrina on the U.S. gulf coast still fresh in people's mind, county officials want to know just how many homes are at risk from dam failures here. The story is in today's Fairfax Extra. The list of the county's high-hazard dams is here: Download Dams.doc...

 

By | December 29, 2005; 10:30 AM ET | Email a Comment

Lake Accotink About To Get A Little Deeper

A dredging project which will remove about 161,000 cubic yards of silt from the Springfield lake's bottom will be getting underway soon. Read about the project in today's Fairfax Extra....

 

By | December 29, 2005; 09:44 AM ET | Email a Comment

Chesapeake Is Still In Trouble

An article in this morning's Metro section describes the health of the Chesapeake Bay as still "dangerously out of balance" after 30 years of clean-up efforts. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/13/AR2005111301180.html Fairfax County passed measures in 1993 and 2003 aimed at helping to save the bay by limiting what types of development and construction projects can be done in resource protections areas where run-off leads into streams and eventually into the bay. What's your opinion of what is being done locally to protect the bay? Do you live in a resource protection area? How have the rules affected your property?...

 

By | November 14, 2005; 09:09 AM ET | Email a Comment

 

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