Falls Church News-Press 1-19-2023

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Murphy is an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Anderson ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the board in 2021 and Henderson is a non-

outs in recent years, the annual march in downtown Falls Church honoring the nation’s greatest civil rights and moral justice champion, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., drew hundreds

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Check out the second edition of this year’s guide for camps and education. This issue includes articles about camps/programs for children with special needs, as well as how theater camps can help people learn about life skills.

rating the first ever rural chapter of the NAACP founded nearby, on S. Washington St. to the nearby Falls Church Episcopal Church was bedecked with home made banners and signs

the signage masterpieces.

Edwin B. Henderson III, grandson of that rural chapter’s founder, Edwin Henderson and founder of the current Tinner Hill Foundation, told the News-

tice held in the sanctuary of the church that was keynoted by the Virginia Commonwealth Attorney for this area, the inno-

SEE PAGES 7 - 14
News Briefs..........................................2 Comment 5,21 Editorial 6 School News 14 News & Notes................................16,17 Calendar 18,19 Classifieds..........................................20 Crime Report.......................................21 Business News...................................23 Continued on Page 4 INDEX I����� T��� W��� Continued on Page 3

Little City Gift Card Program Runs Through Jan. 31

After a successful run that has seen over 2,800 Little City Gift Cards purchased since launching on Small Business Saturday last Nov. 26 ,the City of Falls Church will end The Little City Gift Card bonus gift card promotion at the end of January. The bonus gift cards expire 90 days from when issued.

The terms are, again, that a customer who buys a $30+ gift card gets a free $15 gift card from the City, a customer who buys a $50+ gift card gets a free $25 gift card from the City, and a customer who buys a $100+ gift card and gets a free $50 gift card from the City

Funding for the program is provided by the federal government as part of its incentive program called the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to recover from the pandemic. As such, it is designed to encourage local spending in the City of Falls Church,

The Little City Gift Card is a digital e-gift card, that can be used at over 70 participating organizations and small businesses in the City. To incentivize sales of The Little City Gift Card, the City sponsored a promotion that offers customers a bonus gift card with their qualifying gift card purchase.

To date, over $190,000 in gift cards and bonus cards have been redeemed at participating businesses.

To view a list of participating organizations and businesses or to purchase The Little City Gift Card, the public is invited to visit www.fallschurchva.gov/GiftCard.

Major Results for Meridian/Henderson ‘Give Day’ Effort

More than 120 Henderson middle and Meridian high school students packed 25,000 pasta meals, with half to be sent to local food banks and the other half will go to Ukraine in the Give Day effort that culminated last weekend. Student volunteers spent the past two months planning Give Day and running fundraisers, and set up and cleaned up the packing stations and trained their peers in the packing process.

Nearly 20 teachers and administrators also volunteered either to get a pie in the face or have their hair redone by students to raise money for Give Day; and many community members provided financial support to make the packing day possible.

Pete Davis Documentary Set for Premiere in March at SXSW

“Join or Die,” the documentary on community in America that Falls Church’s Pete and Rebecca Davis have been working on for the past five years is headed to SXSW in March for its world premiere.

The documentary follows the story of America’s civic unraveling through the journey of social scientist Robert Putnam, whose viral “Bowling Alone” research into the decline in American community lights a path out of our democracy’s present crisis.

Put another way: It’s a film about why everyone should join a club, and why the fate of America depends on it. It follows on themes that are the focus of Pete Davis’ acclaimed book, “Dedicated, The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing.”

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 2 | JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023
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a Diverse Workforce

profit CEO.

All expressed views and exhibited qualifications that seemed to fit with the values and goals of FCCPS.

Those values and goals were on display later on in the meeting with an in-depth presentation on progress in the schools’ goal to achieve greater equity among students and staff in the system. The system’s Chief Academic Officer William Bates and Dr. Jennifer Santiago, director of Equity and Excellence for the school system, delivered the update, led off by Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan who noted that “equity is at the center of our work.”

Their presentation included an update on SOL scores for students who fall into the categories of having special needs, including black students, students with disabilities, those with English learning issues and the economically disadvantaged.

While acknowledging that the FCCPS are “the highest performing school division in the state,” Bates also acknowledged there are areas where the progress, especially in terms of recovery from the effects of the pandemic on education, are

not as robust as they could be. This is despite the fact that gaps between groups are closing up along with significant progress overall in improving scores. Between 2021 and 2022, for example, math scores are up from 56 percent to 65 percent among black students, from 49 percent to 56 percent among students with disabilities, up from 41 percent to 53 percent for English learners and from 47 percent to 59 percent among the economically disadvantaged.

In science, those scores are up in the respective categories from 50 percent to 73 percent, 51 percent to 62 percent , 26 percent to 43 percent and 50 percent to 57 percent. Similarly for the areas of reading, writing and history.

In response to the challenges, these numbers represent, Dr. Santiago stated that the FCCPS policy will be to “recruit, employ, support, and retain a diverse workforce that includes diversity, as well as culturally competent administrative, instructional, and support personnel. FCCPS will take specific recruitment actions, including interviewing at schools likely to lead to a diverse workforce, in order to enhance diversity.”

Program goals include increased inclusion of gap groups in acceleration and enrichment programs, provision of parent support and education programs, and resources to support extended learning at home.

“Building a culture of belonging” includes the production of a regular “equity newsletter” entitled, “The Equity Observer,” a book audit at the elementary school level, cultural proficiency training, initiatives such as “Our History Matters” and “Our Story Matters,” curriculum reframing, School Board resolutions, ensuring all stakeholders understand how to navigate FCCPS systems to provide equitable access, and the fostering of a culture of belonging and empowerment for staff and students.

Initiatives include participation in the Alcanza College Fair (Dr. Bates noting that many disadvantaged high school students have never been on a college campus), a Racist Incident Response Framework, and Restorative Justice practices.

Investing in these values for students and staff involve, according to the update, the formation of equity teams, a commitment to increase diverse teaching and professional staff, Pathways to Education to the

Northern Virginia Community College, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, the gathering voices of all, but with a focus on ensuring the voice of those not typically heard, beginning school-based supportive sessions, development and implementation of a systemwide professional development plan that is responsive to the needs of employees, providing opportunities for improved job performance, growth, and leadership, the recruitment and

retention of diverse, highly qualified staff, and provision for regionally competitive salaries.

Connecting to the wider community involves parent liaisons, Family Resource Center, use of Zoom interpretation add ons, interpretation headsets, a language line, increased International Baccalaureate information sessions, and the overcoming of barriers to effective communication include language, accessibility and tech issues.

LOCAL JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 3 FCNP.COM | FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS
Recruit, Employ,
Retain
Continued from Page 1
FCCPS Policy to
Support &
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AT TUESDAY’S FCCPS School Board meeting, Chief Academic Officer William Bates and Dr. Jennifer Santiago, director of Equity and Excellence for the school system made an in-depth presentation on the system’s Equity initiative (News-Press Photo)

vative and forward-thinking Parisa Dehghani-Testa.

She spoke on the issues surrounding the new law enforcement priorities under the popular rubric of “restorative justice” that seeks to find ways toward reconciliation involving persons charged with victimless and nonviolent crimes, which would have a very powerful impact on minorities, in particular.

The plight of blacks since the Civil War was first applied through a wide range of highly prejudicial so-called “Jim Crow” laws, she noted, including widespread illegal lynchings, and in more modern times by the startlingly-high incarceration rates of blacks in prisons as well as practices like

two constituted a panel moderated by the local church’s Amy Marshak, formerly a clerk for the late U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The panel was introduced by the historic Episcopal Church’s Senior Rector Burl Salmon, an openly gay religious leader in downtown Falls Church on whose property the Civil War against slavery was fought.

Dr. King “invited us to a moral code, a new world,” the Rev. Hill stated. “He called us to a ‘beloved community’ of the Kingdom of God, that is, the ‘kin-dom’ of God. and he calls us to moral courage.”

On the importance of “restorative justice” and other progressive initiatives, Dehghani-Tasta said that despite imperfections in the system, “We have to start somewhere.”

bring about Civil Rights for Black Americans. Thanks to his efforts and those of other civil rights groups, discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin became unlawful with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Here in Fairfax County we have our own way of celebrating alongside the nation for Dr. King’s birthday. Volunteer Fairfax joined many other County organizations on Monday for a series of events to honor his inclusivity and his service to others. This important work empowers and strengthens our community, helps to address social problems, eliminates barriers, and moves us closer to the vision Dr. King shared of a ‘Beloved Community.’ In fact, communities of color are driving Fairfax County’s population increase, and their ability to thrive and participate is critical to the County’s success.

“We continue his vision by promoting equity within Fairfax County with our One Fairfax policy and by creating pathways to good jobs, connecting younger generations with older ones, integrating

immigrants into the economy, building communities of opportunity throughout the County, and ensuring educational and career pathways for all youth. Our County can place all residents on the path toward reaching their full potential and secure a bright future for the whole community.”
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CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 4 | JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 ‘Restorative Justice’ Theme Dominates MLK Jr. Day March & Forum Here Continued from Page 1 Currently accepting new patients The Smile You Want The Attention You Deserve A hot bowl of pho at Eden Center. Voted best shopping center in the DMV! To Appear in this Section Contact: Sue Johnson sjohnson@fcnp.com • 703-587-1282 Winter 2023 Section Reaching The Falls Church, Fairfax and Arlington Markets Real Estate Coming Next Thursday, Jan 26th Some disasters you can prepare for. Like a big one. We’re talking about hurricanes, blizzards, blackouts, and more. Be ready and make an emergency plan today. Visit NYC.gov/readyny or call 311
FALLS

Deliver Us From Evil N������� F. B�����

This Martin Luther King Jr. weekend was different in a subtle but important way, or so I perceived it. Two major addresses by President Joe Biden set the tone, The first at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta marking the first time a sitting U.S. president has delivered remarks from the pulpit once occupied by Dr. King, and the other at the annual breakfast of the National Action Network in Washington D.C.

The slight shift in emphasis put the issue of values more to the front. Dr. King’s commitment to civil rights and subsequent achievements in that direction were, it was stressed, based on moral commitments, and not simply the recognized need for greater justice. Morality is something that a human being embodies as a personal style of relating to the world, and for Dr. King, it was at the heart of his social message.

There is no time when this focus has needed to be emphasized more than now, when the nation and the entire world, remains in the throes of a fitful moral chaos, unleashed during the last half dozen years by the elevation to the White House of an organized criminal enterprise.

The dissembling efforts by devotees of that wider enterprise, with many in the major media in lock step, have been taken to muddy these waters by claiming a moral equivalency between the systematic lying, cheating and injustice of the criminal Trump enterprise, typified by its theft and concealment of huge amounts of classified documents, and the inadvertent appearance of a small amount of such documents held by Biden.

There is no moral equivalency, period. The media have been played, yet again, by purveyors of evil to blind the public to the clear and obvious fact that the Trump organized criminal enterprise continues to drive the democratic underpinnings of the nation toward ruin.

Ladies and gentlemen, it cannot be stressed enough that what threatens our freedom and commitment to fair play, our very character as a people and individually, is not a tussle between rival political parties. It perhaps used to be, but not so the last half dozen years or more, at least. It is now a battle between good and evil, and the evil side always tries to escape accountability by contending it is no worse than the forces it is dedicated to ruining.

We as a nation have come through an extended period when basic morality took a back seat to this kind of obfuscation. But everything about our shared Abrahamic moral tradition, shared by Muslims, Christians and Jews, has pointed to the vital importance of recognizing and resisting a word we are wont to resort to in these “secular” and “modern” times: Evil. That is, witting and willing actions to harm others, always begun by denying the truth, by insisting on things like the fact, for example, that a clear election outcome is a lie.

These lies, including by the obvious sociopath from New York that Republicans have now embraced in Congress, represent one thing: any lie is an assault on all its victims. There are no “harmless” lies. Lying requires harm being brought to all who are hurt by believing or accepting it. Lying is a profound affront to society, as a whole, and those who are disenfranchised by the acceptance of it.

We now live in a culture where lying is considered just another political tool and not a horrible transgression. How did we get to this point? How will it be stopped?

We need to be reminded that the most oft-repeated faith affirmation in all shades of the Christian tradition is a petition, known as the Lord’s Prayer, to be “delivered from evil.” Evil exists. We are all susceptible to its devious ways, not just as imposed from without, but as individuals are prone to allowing it to take over their own internal thoughts and behaviors, as well. For the person striving honestly to be a moral person, with a compass directed to integrity, the disposition to reject evil has to be a full-time proposition.

Dr. King knew this, too. The holiday in his name calls us to a solemn commitment to resist evil.

Reader, please tolerate a surplus of numbers. They represent a deficit of meals for local compatriots.

“Food Insecurity,” as examined Jan. 11 at the Arlington Committee of 100, has worsened in our pandemic times. But a coalition of county, school, and nonprofit professionals and volunteers has new plans for spreading the nourishment.

The push against hunger comes as Andrew Schneider announced he is stepping down after seven years as director of Arlington Thrive, which helps our needy with broader living expenses, food among them. The effort also arrives as Congress is ending the pandemic’s emergency SNAP federal food assistance.

And it prompted new organizational tactics laid out last October in 28 recommendations by a task force in the county’s new “strategic plan for food security.” Watch for better coordination among groups, improved data collection and help from AmeriCorps VISTA.

“I’m worried,” said Stephanie Hopkins, Food Security Coordinator at the Human Services Department. An estimated 7 percent of Arlington’s population, or 16,670 individuals, are unsure of their next meals. Demand rose 12 percent over the year ending July 2022. “It’s not one-size fits all.” Some visit the Arlington Food Action Center weekly, “but for others it’s not enough.” They use the Salvation Army, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church and Capital Area Food Bank. Food is easier to seek help for than “rent, utilities or medical expenses.” A family of four at 30 percent of the poverty line pays 30 percent of income on food.

“We provide dignified access,”

With 15 distribution sites in Arlington, one in Falls Church and another coming in Alexandria, AFAC has removed “Arlington” from its mission statement to reflect a broadened reach. They deliver to 150 homes.

Qualified clients can pick up goods once a week for six months, and then their social worker can renew eligibility. Food choices include high-cost milk, eggs, chicken, beef and fish, along with vegetables, fruit, canned goods, cereals, pasta, and “culturally specific” fare such as dried beans. AFAC’s 24 employees purchase 2 million pounds of food annually. More is donated by grocery stores, congregations and businesses, for a total of 4 million pounds. With no federal or state money for its $8.2 million budget, it gets $577,720 from the county.

There’s a socio-economic imbalance. Though Hispanics are 15.6 percent of the population, they account for 49 percent of deliveries; blacks are 8.9 percent of the county but 20.8 percent of clients; whites make up 64 percent of the county, but 11.8 percent get food help. During the pandemic, Meng says, referrals rose 60 percent, from 2,100 families to 2,600 weekly.

Our Lady Queen of Peace, said Social Justice & Outreach Minister Sally Diaz-Wells, had 26,325 visits from the food-needy in 2022. That costs $12,000 weekly for its 25 volunteers and two staffers. “We don’t ask where you came from. You present a need, we give you a bag of food,” she said, invoking the Gospel of Matthew. Before the pandemic they served 235 families weekly. Since March 2020, it’s been

Amy Maclosky, director of Food and Nutrition Services at Arlington Public Schools, observed that “kids cannot learn when they’re hungry.” Working with 36 schools, her staff administers the national school breakfast and lunch programs, and supervises state eligibility applications for emergency electronic benefits. Strongest needs are at Barcroft, Drew, Carlin Springs, Barrett and Randolph schools.

Last year through November, APS’s 160 workers provided 650,000 meals and snacks, distributing seven days a week during the pandemic. Maclosky prefers the reduced paperwork of the universal program. “It eliminates stigma and builds strong school community.”

***

Whom to believe? At the Jan. 8 rally to oppose Missing Middle housing, consumer protection attorney Jon Ware accused the county of dishonesty in claiming it sent 150,000 postcards reminding residents of the initiative. A state FOIA request, Ware said, showed postage for only 15 percent.

Not quite, I’m told by communications manager Erika Moore. “According to documents included in FOIA responses, we can confirm 151,048 postcards were printed, which matches the number of addresses provided by the Missing Middle Housing Study team. The county print shop worked with a mailing house on distribution, and the invoice shows 121,613 postcards were mailed via USPS carrier routes.”

About 80 percent.

COMMENT JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 5 FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

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That Amazing Equity Report

The overriding theme of this year’s larger than usual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day events in Falls Church were not simply racial justice in a more generic sense, but a ringing endorsement of the current initiatives toward what is called “restorative justice.” It is a central theme of our Commonwealth Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Testa’s progressive agenda to overcome residues of the racially prejudiced practices in law enforcement that have persisted in recent years and continue to disproportionately subject persons of color to vastly disproportionate high incarceration rates and other abuses of the criminal justice system.

Focus on the issue stemmed beyond the forum held at the Falls Church Episcopal Church on MLK Day this Monday, where Commonwealth Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Testa spoke, to coverage in this issue of the “restorative justice” practices now being implemented at the City’s Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and the Equity policy update provided the local School Board at its meeting this week (see stories on each of these three contexts elsewhere in this edition).

Particularly impressive to us is the extensive set of new initiatives that were presented on behalf of the schools’ Equity initiative to the School Board. An examination of the presentation (the slide show is available on the school system’s website) shows that this is about as far from being mere lip service as you can get.

Namely, the school system is dead serious about closing the gaps in its own system on behalf of an array of conditions of disadvantage that many of the students in the system are subjected to. Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan, this is a system that with its vastly superior demonstrated results, being only one of seven systems in the entire U.S. that offers an elite International Baccalaureate curriculum and best practices from preschool all the way through Grade 12, does not rest on its already fabulous laurels.

We are going through a period when attacks by politically-motivated adults are wreaking havoc on the school boards of many systems across the nation. Doing quality public education is never easy, but in this period, it is far too much like a war zone for many systems, despite their imperfect but wellmeaning efforts. Once again, we are finding systematic lying and nihilistic dissembling to be driving attacks on local systems, including all around us in Northern Virginia.

Before major pushbacks can develop on behalf of rationality, reason and fairness, we cannot wait to press ahead with a potent defense of our best practices in education for all, and there’s no way this is done better than to get on with it at our local school system level. So, the report presented to the Falls Church School Board this week should be seen as a vital tool in our collective arsenal. We must press forward with work like this to unapologetically stand for the kind of equity approach that is the right thing to do for all our young.

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ONLINE On it. Ending racial injustice requires all of us to work together and take real action. What can you do to help? Educate yourself about the history of American racism, privilege and what it means to be anti-racist. Educate yourself about the history of American racism, privilege and what it means to be anti-racist. Commit to actions that challenge injustice and make everyone feel like they belong, such as challenging biased or racist language when you hear it. Vote in national and local elections to ensure your elected officials share your vision of public safety. Donate to organizations, campaigns and initiatives who are committed to racial justice. Let’s come together to take action against racism and fight for racial justice for the Black community. Visit lovehasnolabels.com/fightforfreedom
CAMPS & SCHOOLS R E G I S T R A T I O N D A T E S C i t y R e s i d e n t s : F e b r u a r y 6 t h N o n - C i t y R e s i d e n t s : F e b r u a r y 1 3 t h H O W T O R E G I S T E R f a l l s c h u r c h v a g o v / r e g i s t e r 7 0 3 - 2 4 8 - 5 0 2 7 ( T T Y 7 1 1 ) S U M M E R 2 0 2 3 S U M M E R C A M P S C I T Y O F F A L L S C H U R C H R E C R E A T I O N & P A R K S R E G I S T R A T I O N O P E N S A T 8 : 0 0 A M Camps and Schools 2023 See Inside this Section Page 8: Local Programs Aim to Give Children With Special Needs a Camp Experience • Page 10: Theater Camps Teach the Arts & Life Skills to Children of All Ages Page 12: Henderson Middle Hosts Restorative Programs for Students Rising 1st-6th Grade June 20 - August 18, 2023 Falls Church, VA 8:30 am to 4:30 pm $340/week www.columbiabaptist.org/camp-columbia

CAMPS & SCHOOLS

Although the concept of a “camp” is a place offering simple group accommodations and organized recreation or instruction, these programs can mean much more to children who may find it difficult to participate in the physical activities a camp provides or the social aspect of it as well.

In the City of Falls Church and surrounding areas, there are camps that are specifically aimed at children and young adults with special needs. These camps allow those who may have physical or intellectual limitations a way to experience what makes a camp so fun and impactful for children their age.

LCF Kids is a children’s gym located in the Little City that focuses on skills such as gross and fine motor skills, motor planning, dynamic and static balancing, visual spatial awareness and more. Founded in 2011, the main goal of LCF is to create an environment for

children with special needs that provides them with a space where they can practice both physical exercise and motor/ social skills.

LCF also provides a variety of camps throughout the summer, spring and winter, such as the “Get Moving Get Social” therapeutic summer camp that incorporates movement, selfesteem building and social skills through the use of team sports.

Ricardo Cunningham, the founder of LCF Kids, said the camps and programs the gym provides are mostly geared toward children with physical or intellectual challenges to work on their motor and social skills. However, a participating child can bring a sibling along who may not have special needs so that the child can interact with someone they are more comfortable around.

This can also create the opportunity for other participating special needs children to experience playing and interacting with others who may not be like them, and vice versa.

“We are a very big advocate for inclusiveness,” Cunningham said. “We figure if the special needs kid can work with the typical kids, it will make our [camps] better.”

The camps provided by LCF also give families an option to send their child to a more local environment, compared to other programs that may be at further locations. According to Cunningham, the camps and programs only take place at their Falls Church location, due to the organization having various activities such as a rock wall, trampoline, and interactive/balance games that help a child physically and cognitively.

“Most of the equipment at the gym is designed to work on motor and cognitive skills naturally without the child even being aware,” Cunningham said.

An example would be the rock wall at the gym, which Cunningham said allows children to practice their physical skills by moving their arms, legs, toes and fingers, as well as

their cognitive skills by having to plan whether they want to go up, down, left or right.

The mindset behind these camps is to provide a way for a child to be able to participate in activities outside of the gym, such as going to school and playing on a playground.

According to Cunningham, if a child can participate in

the camps/programs offered by LCF and improve on their motor and cognitive skills, they have a better chance in taking those lessons into the outside world.

In Alexandria, Speech of Cake, Inc. provides help in personalized pediatric speech, lan-

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 8 | JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023
Local Programs Aim to Give Children With Special Needs a Camp Experience PROGRAMS S UCH AS Speech of Cake’s helps children with physical and cognitive challenges be able to experience a “camp” setting. (P����: C������� O������)
Continued on Page 13 Grace Christian Academy Junior K - 8th grade Enrollment Opens Feb 1 www.gracechristianacademy.org (703)534-5517 3233 Annandale Road, Falls Church Prospective Parent Night January 23, 2023 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. RSVP at trsecc.org Temple Rodef Shalom Early Childhood Center Classes for children 2years-old through Kindergarten Parent-child classes available for children under 2 Reggio-inspired community school Reform Jewish traditions and values trsecc org 703.532.2227
CAMPS & SCHOOLS JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 9 FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

CAMPS & SCHOOLS

Theater Camps Teach the Arts & Life Skills to Children of All Ages

When one thinks about the theater and performing in a show, they probably think it’s a way that a person can learn how to memorize lines or act with others. However, it can also be a way for young adults to learn about empathy and communication skills, as well as raise their self-esteem.

During the summer months, children can take part in camps and programs that explore the world of theater and what it takes to be an actor. According to a January 10th article by The New York Times, theater can also impact a child — between the ages of 5 and 18 — on developing their communication skills across age, gender and race. These communication skills can lead to someone possessing higher self-esteem and enjoying happier relationships.

The City of Falls Church hosts a variety of camps over the summer months, including programs focused on theater, improvisation and acting. Ashley Hammond is the managing director for Educational Theatre Company, which partners with the Little City to pro-

vide theater camps. This summer, Hammond said the city will be offering four theater camps catered to third through eighth grade children that focus on musical theater, theater skills, comedy improvisation and skits or sketches.

Hammond said that participating in these theater camps can help a child to learn about empathy and team-building skills; things she stated were interrupted due to the pandemic. She also said the teachers for the camps and programs are really good at making sure an individual child’s needs are met while keeping the rest of the group moving forward, she said.

As for how these theater camps can impact a child outside of the program and in the real world, Hammond said it can make children “better listeners, as well as learning how to work with others and becoming comfortable with public speaking.” One important thing she stated she has seen is that the theater camps can help a child “open their eyes to other cultures and worlds,” giving them an opportunity to understand various points of views.

“It’s about making a good

human,” Hammond said, “and I think theater brings young adults sympathy for other people.”

Heather Sanderson, the governor of education for The Little Theatre of Alexandria, said the main goal of providing theater camps and programs is to give children an “opportunity to explore what theater is all about, as well as broaden their horizons.” Since its opening almost 90 years ago, The Little Theatre offers about 50 camps and programs that take place between mid-June through the end of August.

“We’ve been told that these camps really open kids’ eyes to all sorts of different performing arts opportunities,” Sanderson said.

Sanderson also said theater camps can be a way for children to create friendships and learn and improve skills “they already have or want to build on.” She also said a child’s confidence can blossom from attending these camps and programs: A child who may be shy on the first day of camp on a Monday can gain enough self-esteem to perform in front of an audience on the last day of camp on a Friday.

“There is something about the programs that make kids feel great

about themselves,” Sanderson said. “They learn to cheer each other on and to be supportive of their peers.”

During the spring and summer breaks, Creative Cauldron offers theater camps based around a certain theme, which can explore “multicultural myths” to folktales, as well as a popular musical theater summer program.

“These camps really offer an opportunity for some kids to get their feet wet for the first time in act-

ing, theater and the arts,” Creative Cauldron’s founding artistic director Laura Connors Hull told the NewsPress. “It’s really important to honor creative ideas in kids and to give them a sense of agency about that.” Hull further stated participation in these camps is a way a child can learn about working with others as a team. This can lead to “great collaboration and communication

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 10 | JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023
THE LITTLE THEATRE OF ALEXANDRIA’S main goal for hosting their theater camps is to give children an opportunity to “explore” what theater is all about. (P����: H������ S��������)
Continued on Page 13
CAMPS & SCHOOLS JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 11 FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM

CAMPS & SCHOOLS

Henderson Middle Hosts Restorative Programs for Students

When a student goes to school, they may be expecting to learn about mathematics, science, history and more academic-based subjects. However, at Falls Church’s Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, students are being taught ways to emphasize dialogue and connections with one’s self and others.

Inside Henderson Middle School classrooms, teachers are using what is called Restorative Practices to promote accountability amongst peers and restore “broken relationships” through peer mediation in the form of a circle.

According to an article by the International Institute for Restorative Practices, Restorative Practices is a field within the social sciences that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals, as well as social connections within communities. These practices have deep roots within indigenous communities throughout the world.

MEHMS Special Education teacher Sara Tennyson teaches “social emotional learning” for the school’s social emotional learning flex classes.

Tennyson told the News-Press in an interview this week that the creation of the Restorative Practices circle has been about eight years in the making. She began being trained in the practices in 2016, which initially she had never heard about.

“Restorative practices are on a continuum,” Tennyson said. “The very beginning of the continuum is effective statements and on the other end are the harm circles.”

In her classroom, Tennyson helps students learn and experience restorative dialogue and justice through the use of circles in a classroom setting. The point and purpose of having these types of circles is to “promote organic communication” as well as “connectedness,” according to Tennyson.

One student in the FCCPS video on the subject said a typical day in the classroom begins with daily “checkins,” which can be a way to find out if a person is “upset or not” and to “help comfort them” if they need to be comforted.

Tennyson said another purpose of having the circle is that it’s “neverending,” as students take what they have learned in the circle outside of the classroom and use it throughout

the school day. So far, she said she has seen a “tremendous increase in the communication skills” with her students, as well as in maintaining eye contact with one another when speaking.

“I have seen just a huge increase in students’ ability to communicate,” Tennyson said.

There are also Restorative Justice Circles used in the classroom that are focused on harm and misbehavior. These circles can be used to help someone in the classroom or at school who has done something to harm others. They are also a way to teach students, staff and adults that “when harm is done in the community, it doesn’t affect just one person, but affects the entire well-being of the whole community.” The circles can give the victim a chance to share how they were impacted by the offender’s actions or words, while also allowing the opportunity for the offender to take accountability and apologize for their actions/words.

According to Tennyson, the Restorative Justice Circles can be a way to counteract the impact of punitive measures placed in a school, such as detention, suspension and/or expulsion. For example, if a student

is suspended for five days of school, they are not only missing academic time and falling further behind, but are given a message that he or she is not wanted at the school.

“Granted, there are definitely circumstances that do require an out-ofschool suspension,” Tennyson stated. “However, Restorative Practices aims to mediate that and say ‘You’re taking accountability, [instead of] just going out of school for five days.’”

In December, the class shifted focus into “authenticity building,” which Tennyson said transitioned

from “non-confrontational” questions to more “vulnerable” questions such as what would one do to change their school day.

As for how these Restorative Practices Circles can be important for various other school systems, Tennyson said they are “vital to school culture, communication and rapport building with students.” She further stated she has had other staff members join the circles and a mutual agreement has been reached that more such “emotional learning” should be taught in the classrooms.

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 12 | JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023
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Programs Getting ‘Bigger and Better’

guage, literacy and orofacial myofunctional programs. This summer, the organization will be providing two different camps in June and July that will help children with special needs. The first camp in June will be for children in third to fifth grade, focusing on literacy skills. The second camp will be for children entering kindergarten through second grade, which will focus on the instruction for articulation — like how to pronounce a sound.

Courtney Overton, the owner and founder of Speech of Cake, said she and her fellow co-founder Leigh Poole saw a need to introduce a summer enrichment program for students who “didn’t necessarily” qualify for special education services after both being former Fairfax County Public School teachers.

The camps and programs provided by Speech of Cake admit all “different types of students with different disabilities,” due to Overton and Poole’s belief that “inclusion

is very important” due to some children needing help with various instruction, such as articulation or literacy.

“We believe that all students have strengths,” Overton said. “We want to highlight that and make sure that each student is also getting what they need.”

Overton stated that every year, the camps and programs keep growing and “getting bigger and better” due to ideas coming from the staff and the guardians of the children who participate. She further said that there are not many camps like what Speech of Cake offers in Alexandria, and based on the results recorded from hosting their past programs, it has been “stunning” to see the progress of children learning how to read and overcome language difficulties, she said.

“We want everyone in the entire company to be able to do what we do in terms of educating [the children] and understanding the latest and greatest research.”

skills processes, while also learning to develop self-confidence,” she said.

“I can’t tell you how many former students have come back to say the experience they had at this performing arts camp helped them feel more comfortable when they were speaking in public and in all aspects of their lives,” Hull said. “These camps really develop social and emotional intelligence.”

The Traveling Players Ensemble hosts theater camps and conservatories for children from June to August. These camps can range from one week day camps to six week camps, including a one week sleepaway camp option. Greek myths, fairy tales and Shakespeare are taught and performed by the attendees of the camp, who range from young children to high schoolers.

Jeanne Harrison, the founder and producing artistic director for the Traveling Players said the main goal of hosting these camps and conservatories is providing “joy and connection.” She further stated these camps can be a way that children can figure

out who they are while also learning how to memorize lines, lead others, think on their feet and “free up their imagination.”

Morgan Shotwell is the director of communication outreach at the Traveling Players as well as a theater camp “alum.” She said taking part in these camps can teach both soft skills, such as communication and connecting with others, as well as “hard life” skills that can teach them about independence, such as learning how to do their own laundry and

cleaning their dishes while attending the sleep away camp program.

“It’s really easy to do camp chores, but it lets them take ownership of their space and their experience,” Shotwell said.

Both Harrison and Shotwell said these types of camps and conservatories, such as the weekly theater camps and sleepaway camp, can give young adults the ability to go to college and “find their footing really fast” due to them learning both creativity and independence.

JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 13 Continued from Page 8 FCNP.COM | FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS
CAMPS & SCHOOLS
Theater Camps Help Teach Agency and Promote Empathy Continued from Page 10
“my growth as an actor was immediately evident” Grades 2-12 travelingplayers.org • 703-987-1712 • Visit Our Tysons Corner Studio Sleepaway Acting Camps Beginner & Advanced Actor Training SMALL BY DESIGN • AWARDED FOR EXCELLENCE Day Camps in Tysons! REGISTER TODAY ShakespeareTheatre.org | 202.547.5688 JUN 20–AUG 19 TWO- AND THREE-WEEK SESSIONS CAMP SHAKESPEARE 2023
THE TRAVELING PLAYERS ENSEMBLE have theater camps ranging from day camps to overnight camps. (Photo: Jessica Wallach)

Falls Church School

Fourth Graders Present Artifact Showcase

The Fourth Grade students at Oak Street Elementary created an Artifacts Showcase shortly after their trip to Jamestown. Students were tasked to create an artifact that could have been found in or around the Jamestown area. During their PYP Unit of Inquiry, Where We are in Place and Time, students discussed and explored the fundamental concepts of change and causation through the lens of the earliest inhabitants of Virginia. Students in the fourth-grade classes could retell a small part of their stories with the artifacts they created and the journals they wrote from the perspectives of the two cultures that met in Jamestown in the early 1600s.

This Year’s Give Day A Smashing Success

The Elementary GIVE Day Club hosted almost 350 attendees who came and assembled 2,147 power packs. The Falls Church Chapter of AKA Sorority assisted the behindthe-scenes crew of ambassadors, Meridian mentors, and parent volunteers. In addition to Power Packs, the community donated several hundred pounds worth of canned goods to the Food For Others Food Bank. Attendees also helped sort sports gear that will be shipped to Africa, designed reusable tote bags for groceries, and made enrichment toys for small pets to donate to the animal shelter.

More than 120 middle and high schoolers packed 25,000 pasta meals for the Outreach Program. Half of the meals packed will be sent to local food banks to feed families in our area. The other half will go to

Ukraine. GIVE Day Ambassadors — students who’ve spent the past two months planning GIVE Day and running fundraisers — set up (and cleaned up) the packing stations and trained their peers in the packing process. The MEH GIVE Day Ambassadors would like to shout out 8th grade English teacher Ross Mandel, the school GIVE Day sponsor; the nearly 20 teachers and administrators who volunteered either to get pied or have their hair redone by students to raise money for GIVE Day; and the many community members whose financial support made this packing day possible.

Operation EarthWatch Open for Students

All elementary students are invited to participate in Operation EarthWatch. This month’s theme is

Recycle and Reuse. Complete all five activity sheets (November to March) to receive a free T-shirt and certificate and be eligible to march with other EarthWatchers in the Memorial Day Parade.

Local Students Selected for District Honor Band

In December, MEH and MHS Band students prepared a rigorous

set of audition materials in hopes of being admitted into their respective District Honor Band middle and high school ensembles. Students competed against the other top students in our regional district, including Alexandria City and Fairfax County Public Schools. Hear these hard working musicians in concert on Saturday, February 4th, at Hayfield Secondary School, at 2 p.m. as they prepare and showcase a full concert program in mere days.

PAGE 14 | JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM
News & Notes SCHOOLS
THE ELEMENTARY GIVE DAY CLUB hosted almost 350 attendees who came to assemble 2,147 power packs. The community donated several hundred pounds of canned goods. (Photo: FCCPS Photos)

Brave Spaces: How LGBTQ+ Bars Support Community

Is there an LGBTQ+ community beyond drinking? This was the question posed at a panel event last Thursday at Busboys and Poets, which brought together a selection of DC’s LGBTQ+ bar owners and event promoters to discuss the unique role that bars and clubs have played in LGBTQ+ history and culture.

The panel, curated by organizer Paul Marengo, consisted of five prominent individuals within DC’s LGBTQ+ community including bar owners Ed Bailey (Number Nine, Trade) and David Perruzza (Pitchers, A League of Her Own), Ebone Bell (editor and owner of Tagg Magazine), Phoenix Rise event promoter Corey Fisher, and Kurt Graves (DJ TWiN). Initially intended to be separated into two panels – first the bar owners, then the event promoters – the group combined to discuss the historical role LGBTQ+ spaces have played in the development of the community, and how event promoters have increasingly been moving LGBTQ+ events to typically “straight” spaces.

Perruzza noted that the group was gathered the day after Dustin Michael Schaad, whose drag persona Ba’Naka was a staple of DC’s LGBTQ+ nightlife, passed away after years battling illness. He was 36 years old.

The event also comes during a time when many LGBTQ+ spaces have disappeared, particularly those that serve LGBTQ+ communities of color, lesbians, and trans folk.

“Clubs usually disappear because of real estate,” remarked Bailey, saying that bars “can’t compete” with DC’s hot housing market. Bailey owned Town Danceboutique, the biggest LGBTQ+ club in the region during its time, which closed in 2019, and is now an apartment building.

Described among the group as a key challenge when holding LGBTQ+ events in typically “straight” spaces was staff competency. Bailey recalled bringing in his own security and bar staff whenever he held events.

Graves, whose events often take place at “straight” venues, said events were being pushed out of LGBTQ+ spaces due to capacity and inventory limitations. He also mentioned experiencing security and service concerns when in unprepared venues.

“Look at suicide rates, mental health… we need in-per-

son spaces…” said Fisher, who described LGBTQ+ spaces as “brave spaces” instead of “safe spaces,” “…we’re still vulnerable in our spaces. We still get attacked.”

“There’s this trope that we don’t need gay bars anymore,” Fisher added. Fisher described a community that, especially after

three years of pandemic-related social disruption, needs the community gay bars provide more than ever.

“It’s usually white men saying that,” chimed in Perruzza, whose bar A League of Her Own (ALOHO) is currently the only permanent LGBTQ+ establishment for lesbians in the District, “others have more hesitation about straight spaces.”

Ultimately, the group agreed that LGBTQ+ spaces are still extremely important to the community and, indeed, serve as an incubator for it. Bailey finished with a call for black and brown LGBTQ+ folks to take a chance on opening a bar in the District, claiming he would help them get started. “The community need is not going away.”

The Civil Reach: Local and State Political Highlights

Last Wednesday marked the beginning of the 2023 General Assembly legislative session in Richmond, which kicks off in a year where every seat in both chambers will be up for election in November – including many newly drawn districts – in addition to numerous local contests. The 52-48 Republican majority in the House and the 22-17 Democratic majority in the Senate are already sparring off, with much news to report on in just the first week.

Campaign Targets Falls Church LGBTQ+ Services

Last Thursday Karl Frisch, who represents the Providence District on the Fairfax County School Board, announced his

re-election bid, becoming the first candidate to officially qualify for the November ballot after turning in the requisite paperwork and signatures. The race for the seat made headlines again this week after Jeff Hoffman, a hopeful opponent from the right, posted a recording to Twitter of him calling into the Falls Church based Inova Pride Clinic, which opened last year and provides culturallycompetent healthcare to our LGBTQ+ neighbors. Hoffman pretended to be a parent of a transgender child, then suggested connections between the Clinic, Fairfax County Public Schools, and FCPS Pride. “It is abhorrent when lies and deception are in politics,” said Robert Rigby, Jr., Co-President of FCPS Pride, “especially when it targets our most vulnerable.” FCPS Pride, a membership organization consisting of LGBTQ+ and allied FCPS employees, parents, and adult

family members of students, is regularly invoked by rightwing activists, likely in part due to the organization’s ability to mobilize counter-protest during years of attempts to pressure the school system to resist change.

Democrats Kill Bill To Repeal “Clean Cars” Law

In Richmond, Senate Democrats galvanized their narrow majority in opposition to a bill to repeal HB1965, a 2021 bill that amended the Code of Virginia to require 8 percent of automaker production to be electric or hybrid starting 2024 (then increase each year) and adopt California’s vehicle emissions standards. “Despite some GOP legislators’ confusion over whether Virginia can develop its own emissions standards (it can’t), the Senate Democrats’ ‘brick wall’ held firm and rejected attempts to

repeal the Virginia Clean Cars Act that will set us on a path to 100 percent zero-emissions new vehicle sales by 2035,” explained Cindy Cunningham, Chair of the Falls Church

LOCAL JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 15 FCNP.COM | FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS
DAVID PERRUZZA (LEFT), owner of Pitchers/ALOHO, poses with Ba’Naka, drag persona of Dustin Michael Schaad. Schaad, a staple of DC’s gay community, passed away last Wednesday at the age of 36 (Photo: David Perruzza) City Democratic Committee (FCCDC), “This is incredibly important for addressing our climate crisis, since over half of our CO2 emissions come from transportation.” KARL FRISCH, FAIRFAX COUNTY School Board member representing the Providence District, became the first candidate officially qualified for the ballot this November in an announcement last week. (Photo: Jessica Wallach)

Community News & Notes

VALEAP, based in Richmond VA, is helping to set up similar programs in other states. To learn more about VALEAP visit them at http://valeap.org.

GMRWC, through its fundraising efforts, has made significant donations throughout the years to 501(c)3 charities. The focus is on small or new organizations that would benefit the most from the donation while efficiently serving the needs of the community. For more information visit the club’s website www.gmrwc.net.

New Vehicle Charging Fees Coming Soon

Starting February 1, 2023, the City will implement a new fee structure for its electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. This new fee structure is intended to encourage EV use (first hour free), recoup costs to the City (per kWh charge after the first hour), and increase turnover to make stations available to other users (move vehicle fee after charging is complete).

Access to the charging stations will require the SemaConnect app, which can be downloaded to your smartphone (iOS or Google).

Local Barbershop Announces Reality Show Preview

The red-carpet event will be held at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack on the evening of January 21st, starting at 8 p.m. with Thomas Harvey of Harvey’s Restaurant to emcee. There will be lots of food, drinks, surprises and shenanigans throughout the evening, and one won’t want to miss this great event. There is no strict dress code but dressing up is encouraged.

Recipients Announced for F.C. Arts and Humanities Grants

City Council recently approved the recommendations from the Arts and Humanities Grant committee to allocate $44,000 in funding for Arts and Humanities grants for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. The City will apply for an additional $4,500 of funding through a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Four proposals were received for Project Grants for a total of $17,300. Four proposals were received for Operational Grants for a total of $29,829.

Recipients include Creative Cauldron, Falls Church Arts, Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, The CATCH Foundation and Washington Sinfonietta.

City Council Back in Session for 2023

Charities Receive Donations from McLean Women’s Club

In service to the local community, the Greater McLean Republican Women’s Club (GMRWC) presented Virginia Law Enforcement Assistance Program (VALEAP) $1,000 on January 12 as this year’s major charitable beneficiary. In

addition, the club contributed $1,000 among several other local charities: Final Salute, Insight Memory Care, Jill’s House and Youth for Tomorrow.

VALEAP was founded in 2008 in the aftermath of the VA Tech mass shooting and the tragic killing and wounding of Fairfax County Police Officers at Sully Station. VALEAP’s

mission includes critical incident stress management, crisis intervention such as suicide prevention, support to law enforcement individuals in line-ofduty deaths, and mass-casualty incident responses. These services are provided through the Post Critical Incident Seminar (PCIS), Critical Incident Stress Management, and training.

Earlier this month on social media, The Neighborhood Barbershop announced a red carpet release party for the reel they’ve been cooking up with Torasu Productions, also of Falls Church. The reel was created to bring to life an idea the barbers had to create a reality show based on their exploits and interests. In order to sell the show to a network, the gang had to create an eye-catching 5 minute video to showcase what they bring to the table. Before sending the “sizzle reel” off to various networks, the crew at the shop wanted to share it with their friends, family, and neighbors here in the Little City, as without all their loyal patrons and friends, this wouldn’t have been possible in the first place.

City Council is back in session, and they hit the ground running with a library tour, regular meeting, and work session all in one night. There are a number of good topics to share – affordable housing, outdoor dining and parking requirements, and the quarterly work plan review which covers the latest on transportation and infrastructure projects that many anxiously await.

Here are two admin PSA’s City Council wants locals to know about:

While new year’s resolutions are still top of mind, consider adding civic volunteerism to the 2023 goals. They have vacancies on their boards and commissions – including Rec and Parks and Transportation.

News-Press
on the MLK Jr. Day event at The Falls Church Episcopal on the subject of restorative justice initiatives were (left to right), the church’s senior rector Burl Salmon, the Virginia Episcopal Diocese canon for racial justice J. Lee Hill, the F.C. Episcopal’s Amy Marshak, a former Commonwealth Attorney Parisa
PAGE 16 | JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 LOCAL FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM
EARLIER THIS MONTH on social media, The Neighborhood Barbershop announced a red carpet release party for the reel they’ve been cooking up with Torasu Productions, also of Falls Church. Before sending the “sizzle reel” off to various networks, the crew at the shop wanted to share it with their friends, family, and neighbors here in the Little City. The red-carpet event will be held at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack on the evening of January 21st, starting at 8 p.m. (Photo: Robin Fader)

ingfallschurch@gmail.com or attend our monthly Open Meeting, Monday, January 23, 6:30 — 7:45pm at the Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Upstairs Conference Room.

ASO Celebrates Strings with an American Premiere

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will present a program entitled “Banner” on Saturday, February 11, 2023 (7:30 p.m.) at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center and Sunday, February 12, 2023 (3:00 p.m.) at the George Washington Masonic Memorial.

The Thalea String Quartet brings their signature vibrancy and emotional commitment to dynamic performances that reflect the past, present, and the future of the string quartet repertoire while celebrating diverse musical traditions from around the world. Fueled by the belief that chamber music is a powerful force for building community and human connection, the Thalea String Quartet has performed across North America, Europe, and China. Christopher Whitley (violin) is originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Kumiko Sakamoto (violin) is from Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada; Lauren Spaulding (viola) is from

San Antonio, Texas; and Alex Cox (cello) is from West Palm Beach, Florida.

Adult prices for single tickets start at $20, and all tickets for youth are priced at $5, making ASO concerts affordable for families. Military, senior and group discounts are also available in select sections. Seating is very limited at the George Washington Masonic Memorial and is almost sold out, so book your tickets early. Visit www.alexsym.org or call (703) 548-0885 for more information.

Beth Cartland Wins Top Award at ColorLove Opening

ColorLove” – an all-media show that invites viewers to feast on brilliant, bold, and beautiful color, opened on Saturday, January 14, at Falls Church Arts to a standing-room crowd of seventy-five artists, members, and guests who braved the cold to attend the event. Juror Sharon Malley introduced the Juror’s Choice Award that went to Beth Cartland for her mixed media work titled, “Purple Stairs Carry You Far.”

Malley also announced several honorable mentions, including:

“Thinking,” a mixed media

LOCAL

piece by Yemonja Smalls.

“Unconditional,” a watercolor by Asia Anderson.

“Fall Cover,” a digital photo on acrylic by Stephanie Lamore.

Fairfax Radiology Consultants Welcomes Pankaj Kaushal

Pankaj Kaushal, M.D. has joined Fairfax Radiology Consultants, PLLC (FRC).

Kaushal comes to FRC from Radiology Associates of Richmond in Fredericksburg, VA, where he worked as a vascular and interventional radiologist. Kaushal is certified in general diagnostic and interventional radiology. Additionally, he has training and experience in vascular radiology.

Kaushal holds a master’s Doctor of Medicine degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. He served an interventional fellowship at Rush University Medical Center, and a resident fellowship at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital and University of Maryland Medical Center. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on multisystemic approaches to health care from the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD.

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 17
JUROR’S CHOICE AWARD for the Falls Church Art’s new all-media show “Colorlove” went to Beth Cartland for her mixed media work titled, “Purple Stairs Carry You Far.” Juror Sharon Malley introduced the award to Cartland, as well as the several honorable mentions. (Photo Courtesy: Susan Hillson) SPEAKING AT THE monthly luncheon of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, Matt Quinn of the Quinn Auction House showed off a copper alloy plaque from Benin palace, a 16th century piece recovered during the Benin Expedition of 1897, from an ex collection of The British Museum with a value far above a million, Quinn says. (News-Press Photo) A TEAM OF 23 VOLUNTEERS including the loading and apartment furnishing teams pictured above prepared an apartment for a family from Afghanistan on Saturday, January 14. Now a team of five Support Team members will work with the family to support their transition to life in the U.S. (Photo: Paul Boesen)

18 | JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023

THIS WEEK AROUND FALLS CHURCH

THURSDAY JANUARY 19

District Trivia

Every Thursday Night. Bring friends and show off trivia chops. Clare and Don's Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St, Falls Church), 7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Brandon Showell

Brandon Showell will perform original music and covers spanning from R&B to Pop. This event will feature a live band, food and drinks, art, and a great vibe to get your weekend started early. WHINO (4238 Wilson Blvd, Second Floor, Arlington, VA), 10:00 p.m. — 12:00 a.m.

The Del McCoury Band

The Del McCoury Band performs. Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA), 8:00 p.m.

Jenny Langer & Jonathan Sloane

Jenny Langer & Jonathan Sloane perform. Settle Down Easy Brewing (2822 Fallfax Dr, Falls Church), 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

Trivia Night

Every Tuesday and Thursday. Gift cards to first and second place. Solace Outpost (444 W. Broad St, Falls Church), 7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Town Hall with Rep. Abigail Spanberger

Hosted by InsideNova. Learn about Spanberger's plans for the 118th Congress and her position on issues important to Northern Virginians in a town hall format. Registration Required at insidenova.com. Virtual Meeting (pre-register at bit.ly/3w9d9MC), 8:00 p.m.

Air Force Band with Chelsey Green

Air Force Band Guest Artist Series. Join the Concert Band for the kick off of this year's Guest Artist Series featuring violin and viola playing, Billboard-charting artist Chelsey Green. Free and open to the public; pre-register at usairforceband.com. Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center (4915 Netherton Dr., Alexandria, VA), 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY JANUARY 20

Irits

Irits performs. Clare and Don's Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St, Falls Church), 5:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

Trio Caliente

Trio Caliente performs as part of the Passport to the World of Music event. Featuring some of the most talented and diverse musicians in the metro area and beyond, this annual series, now in its 13th year, is one of the most popular events of the Creative Cauldron season. Creative Cauldron (410 S Maple Ave, Falls Church), 7:30 p.m.

Ride the Cyclone

In Ride the Cyclone, the lives of six teen chamber choir singers are cut short in a freak roller coaster accident. Stuck in the afterlife, a mechanical fortuneteller gives them a chance to sing their way back to earth. This quirky, edgy cult musical is part comedy, part tragedy, wholly enchanting, and will make you feel great about being alive! Kreeger Theater at Arena Stage (1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC), 8:00 p.m.

Daniel Gallagher

Daniel Gallagher playing. Dogwood Tavern (132 W. Broad St, Falls Church), 9:30 p.m. — close

Boozy Bonsai Workshop

Join PlantHouse for a highly requested bonsai workshop! Guests will pot a 4" juniper bonsai tree and have the opportunity to add decorative rocks to the completed product! The workshop includes pruning sheers and Bonsai education. Bonsai trees are known as low-maintenance plants, making them a great option to add to your collection. PlantHouse (921 N. St Asaph St., Alexandria, VA), 6:30 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

SATURDAY JANUARY 21

Greek and Freak

Greek and Freak perform. Clare and Don's Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St, Falls Church), 6:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Rose Moraes

Rose Moraes performs as part of the Passport to the World of Music event, now in its 17th year. Curated by Ken Avis and Lynn Veronneau from the WAMMIE award-winning jazz samba group Veronneau, the concert series offers musical styles for every taste: latin, jazz, blues, folk and world music. Creative Cauldron (410 S Maple Ave, Falls Church), 7:30 p.m.

Wicked Jezabel

Wicked Jezabel - Davi's "Alaskasation" Birthday Party. JV's Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church), 4:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.

Pajama Party BINGOAT

BINGOAT: Bingo + Goats! Join for bingo with the herd of goats from Walnut Creek Farm in the community center. Faith Lutheran Church (3313 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, VA), 3:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.

Alex Perez

Bachata Salsa Reggaeton Latin Mix

International Saturdays: Bachata Salsa Reggaeton Latin Mix. Bachata Classes for beginners at 8:15 p.m., then intermediate classes at 9:15, no partner needed. Dance instructor Steph Metzger leads with music by DJ Heavy and JeffCarr. The Salsa Room Tysons (8453 Tyco Rd., McLean, VA), 8:00 p.m.

The Ultimate Doors: Tribute to the Doors

The Ultimate Doors playing. The State Theatre (220 N. Washington St, Falls Church), 8:30 p.m. — close

JLNV Recruiting Zoom Call

Learn more about becoming a member of the Junior League of Northern Virginia. New membership requirements will be discussed, along with what League membership looks like, and next steps. Virtual Meeting (jlnv.org/jlnv-recruiting-zoom-call-5), 7:00 p.m.

Sip Sip Saturday Wine Tasting

Visit one of Northern Virginia's only urban micro-wineries for this weekly event. Put your party pants on and join Woodlawn Press for a fun and relaxing wine tasting! Reserve your spot with free admission tickets available at eventbrite.com/e/ sip-sip-saturday-wine-tastingtickets-291992867527. Woodlawn Press Winery (8733B Cooper Rd., Alexandria, VA), 12:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

CALENDAR FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM
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Alex Perez playing. Dogwood Tavern (132 W. Broad St, Falls Church), 9:30 p.m. — close TRIO CALIENTE PERFORMS as part of the Passport to the World of Music event held by Creative Cauldron on Friday. (Photo courtesy of: Trio Caliente)

Neighborhood Barbershop Sneak Peek

Come see the “sizzle reel” of their reality show teaser before they send it off to various network. The red-carpet event will be held at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack on the evening of January 21st, starting at 8 p.m. with Thomas Harvey of Harvey’s Restaurant to emcee. Clare and Don's Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St, Falls Church), 8:00 p.m.

SUNDAY JANUARY 22

Fairfax Record Riot

A giant record store collection lands in Fairfax County, filling a room with over 40 tables of LPs, CDs, and 45s for sale. This event takes place four times per year. Vendors include Iris Records, Joe Hold Fast, Steve Krony, Craig Williams, Bill Cox, and Bobble Polsky. Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge (8421 Arlington Blvd, Fairfax, VA), 11:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m

Karma Yoga Agile Aging Yoga Series

Karma Yoga is offering a 90-minute experiential workshops introducing poses and movements for bone health and restricted mobility. In person and virtual. Visit https://karma.yoga for more info and to register.

Nutrition Coaching Workshop

4 week Nutrition Coaching sessions. More info and to register at balancedfemalefitness.com

Ice Skating at Cameron Run

Enjoy an hour gliding on the ice at Cameron Run Regional Park! Tickets available online

at eventbrite.com/e/2023-iceskating-at-cameron-run-tickets-443501875047. Cameron Run Regional Park (4001 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA), 11:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.

RAYMI

RAYMI performs as part of the Passport to the World of Music event, now in its 17th year. The concert series offers musical styles for every taste: latin, jazz, blues, folk and world music. Presented in a cozy club format. Creative Cauldron (410 S Maple Ave, Falls Church), 2:00 p.m

QuinTango

QuinTango performs as part of the Passport to the World of Music event, now in its 17th year. Presented in a cozy club format described by frequent performers as “one of the best listening venues in the DMV.” Creative Cauldron (410 S Maple Ave, Falls Church), 7:00 p.m

Marine Band Wind & Fire

Things heat up in the band’s second performance of the season: Sparks start flying with Handel’s "Overture to Music" from the Royal Fireworks, a new and evocative concerto for alto saxophone and tuba titled "Alpenglow" sends the temperature rising, and a "Poème du Feu" or “Poem of Fire” sets the first half of this performance ablaze. “Wind” themed pieces in the second half fan the flame, including a Sousa march inspired by the airplane, an aria sung to the “wind and waves” from Handel’s opera "Scipione" and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Michael Colgrass’ pillar in band literature, "Winds of Nagual." Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center (4915 Netherton Dr., Alexandria, VA), 2:00 p.m.

MONDAY JANUARY 23

City Council Meeting

The public is welcome to address the City Council on any topic during the public comment period; those interested in speaking can sign up at fallschurchva.gov/publiccomment. Meetings are recorded and can be viewed online at fallschurchva.gov/councilmeetings or on FCCTV. City Council Chambers (300 Park Ave, Falls Church), 7:30 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Welcoming Refugees Open Meeting

Learn about Welcoming Falls Church's efforts to build a community of neighbors and welcome refugees to Falls Church. All are welcome. Meets every fourth Monday of the month. Mary Riley Styles Public Library (120 N. Virginia Ave, Falls Church), 6:30 p.m. — 7:45 p.m

Jazz in January Rock Spring Recital Series

"Jazz in January" recital. Part of the "Rock Spring Recital Series," this concert features top local young adult jazz musicians. Admission is a free-will donation. Masks are required. Rock Spring Congregational Church (5010 Little Falls Rd., Arlington, VA), 3:00 p.m.

TUESDAY JANUARY 24

Solace Outpost Trivia Night

Every Tuesday and Thursday. Gift cards to first and second place. Solace Outpost (444 W. Broad St, Falls Church), 7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25

EVENTS, MUSIC, THEATRE & ART Calendar Submissions

Meet the Council Office Hours

Join the Falls Church City Council for "Meet the Council" office hours, a great informal way to interact with City leadership. Falls Church City Hall (300 Park Ave., Falls Church, VA), 9:00 a.m.

Harveys Fundraiser for Fighting Pretty

Harvey’s and Fighting Pretty are hosting a night of Woman owned Wineries with special food pairings. 10% of the sales from the day will be donated to Fighting Pretty. Harveys, 513 West Broad Street Falls Church 4:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.

Email: calendar@fcnp.com

Be sure to include time, location, cost of admission, contact person and any other pertinent information. Event listings will be edited for content and space limitations. Please include any photos or artwork with submissions. Deadline is Monday at noon for the current week’s edition.

CALENDAR FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 19

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT

FALLS CHURCH - Laura Elizabeth DeLima and Miguel Angel Rodriguez, of Pimmit Hills, Fairfax County, announce the birth of their daughter, Leila Rose Rodriguez DeLima, on January 13, 2023. Both mother and child are in good health. Born at Inova Fairfax Hospital at 11:20 a.m., little Leila Rose weighed in at 5 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 17.5 inches.

She is the first child of the happy family, the first grandchild of Henry and Linda DeLima of McLean, Virginia, and the fourth grandchild of Jose and Maria Rodriguez of Miami, Florida.

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A Penny for Your Thoughts News of Greater Falls Church

It should not be a surprise that providing for the nation’s defense plays a significant role in Virginia’s economy. Virginia ranks first in Department of Defense contracts as a percentage of state economy; first in percentage of female veterans, first in the number of veterans in the workforce per capita and, according to Wallethub, Virginia is the best state for military retirees (for the fourth year in a row). It doesn’t hurt that The Pentagon is located in Virginia, but the Commonwealth also is home to the National Guard Bureau, NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, and Norfolk Naval Station, the largest naval base in the world.

In 2022, defense spending accounted for nearly 875,000 jobs and more than $105 Billion is the total economic impact in Virginia. Almost half of those jobs are credited to Northern Virginia jurisdictions; military spending drives approximately 24 percent of the region’s economy. Only the Norfolk area has a larger percentage, at 39 percent. Active-duty military personnel at Fort Belvoir, Marine Corps Base Quantico, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, along with the Pentagon, often finish their careers here, and transition to civilian jobs in Northern Virginia’s private sector. Recruiting and retaining these well-trained and qualified workers is a goal for many Northern Virginia employers. A Tech and Cyber Networking Hiring

event is scheduled for January 31 at Capital One Hall in Tysons; the virtual component is scheduled for February 1, 2023.

Fort Belvoir is a strategic base for the United States Army and is the largest employer in Fairfax County, with nearly twice as many workers as The Pentagon. Military bases have co-existed with their surrounding communities for decades, with the base fence line demarcating a “stay out” philosophy. The military mission, understandably, is paramount for the bases, and must be enforced but, in recent years, cooperation and collaboration inside and outside the fence line has increased. In Northern Virginia, the Community, Military, and Federal Facility Partnership, coordinated by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, meets every other month, bringing base commanders, elected officials, local and state staff, and non-profit groups together to discuss issues affecting both “sides” of the fence.

Base commanders often have to manage challenges that usually face small town mayors rather than trained fighters. One Marine colonel revealed that he never thought his biggest challenge as a commander would be the availability of child care for his soldier families. Affordable housing, mental and behavioral health, and employment for military spouses, are similar inside and outside the fence line. Diversity, equity, and inclu-

City of Falls Church CRIME

Larceny from Vehicle, Greenwich St, January 9, between 5:30 and 7:15 PM, unknown suspect(s) took an item of value from a vehicle parked in a driveway.

Larceny- Shoplifting, W Broad St, January 10, 5:44 PM, two unknown suspects took items of value totaling approximately $3,300. Suspects described as a black male of large stature wearing a black hat and face mask and a white female wearing a scarf around her head.

sion (DEI) listening sessions and resilience assessments reveal similarities that face military and civilian organizations alike. Art therapy programs at The Workhouse in Lorton help veterans deal with PTSD, employment fairs held in military facilities welcome public and private employers and job seekers, mutual aid agreements allow county firefighters to respond to emergencies on base when needed, and Intergovernmental Service Agreements promote efficiencies and savings for both entities.

Despite enormous investments in defense technology, the military mission depends on people, just as domestic success does. Keeping talented workers and maintaining a beneficial quality of life ensures sustainable missions, according to Tom Crabbs, Military Liaison for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. Crabbs presented the newest Virginia Military Factbook at a recent partnership meeting, and noted that the information in the factbook is locally driven, statesupported, and federally shared. More information about veterans and defense affairs in the Commonwealth can be found at www.vada.virginia.gov.

 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Delegate Marcus Simon’s

Richmond Report

January 11th marked the start of my 10th General Assembly Session. The day before the session, on January 10th, Holly Seibold and Aaron Rouse won in the 35th House District and the 7th Senate District seat, respectively. Aaron Rouse’s victory expands the Democratic majority in the Senate and assures a majority of Senators who favor protecting abortion access in the Commonwealth.

I started feeling bad last Monday and tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday morning before session started. Fortunately, we established procedures for remote participation in the House of Delegates. I was able to use Zoom for opening day and didn’t miss any votes on the Floor or in committee.

While I was out, I missed the kerfuffle that occurred outside my office over my Little Banned Book Library.

In response to the growing and disturbing number of books being targeted by far-right MAGA activists around the Country and here in Virginia, I set up the library outside my office to give folks an opportunity to see and borrow some of the books that are being taken out of circulation.

Although we’ve had a lot of positive feedback about the library, not everyone is a fan. One group of red-clad visitors was so upset by the library that they took to pulling books off the shelf and pressing the books up against my administrative assistant’s plexiglass protector.

days without having a separate license as a daycare provider.

Dyslexia is the most common of the language-based learning disabilities in the country. I’ve introduced a resolution designating October as Dyslexia Awareness Month. The resolution acknowledges educators specializing in effective teaching strategies and celebrates the many achievements of people with dyslexia.

This summer, I was approached by a constituent with a familiar and frustrating problem. She was drowning in different health forms and digging for different bits of information to enroll her children in various summer programs. So, at her request, I have introduced a resolution directing the Department of Health and the Department of Education to study the medical forms and information collected by children’s summer camps and similar programs.

Finally, two of my bills are “ripped from the headlines,” inspired by real newsworthy events. The first repeals the Code Section that allowed a Virginia Beach resident to sue books for being alleged to be obscene in an effort to prevent their sale at private bookstores. The Court held the statute unconstitutional, and I agree.

Larceny from Building, S Washington St, January 13, between 1:30 and 1:45 PM, unknown suspect took items of value totaling approximately $10,000. Suspect described as an adult black male approximately 5`10” wearing a black leather jacket. Last seen heading on foot towards Fairfax County.

Larceny from Building, Haycock Rd, January 15, 4 PM, victim reported that a lock on a storage unit had been broken on an unknown date and a Gray Cannondale and a Light Blue Bianchi bicycle were taken.

My 2023 legislative agenda is a combination of constituent requests, City of Falls Church agenda items, and bills to make Virginia a better and more just place to be a worker, parent, consumer, or someone who wants to be free to be themselves.

My first bill prohibits candidates from raiding their campaign funds for personal use. Campaign finance reform is an important issue and I’ll keep chipping away until this becomes law in Virginia.

I’ve also introduced a bill to amend the charter of the City of Falls Church at the request of Council to allow any resident over the age of 18 to participate on appointed boards and commissions.

Another bill requested by the City would allow public schools to provide childcare for students on non-instructional and early release

The second requires anyone who possesses a firearm in a residence, where children are present, to store it unloaded in a locked container and to store all ammunition in a separate locked container. This aims to prevent tragedies like the 6-year-old who recently took a gun to school and shot his teacher.

You may have read last month when the Governor introduced his budget that he included the money necessary to pay the costs of incarcerating women and their doctors for violating his proposed abortion ban. I’ve introduced a budget amendment to remove that language, and to assure that anyone who needs to terminate a pregnancy due to a severe fetal abnormality, but can’t afford it, can access Medicaid funds to do so.

And we’re just getting started!

 Delegate Simon represents the 53rd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. He may be emailed at DelMSimon@house.virginia.gov

JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 21 FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM
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Falls Church News-Press Vol. VII, No. 44 • January 15, 1998

Shaw Misses Council’s 2% Goal, Seeks 4.8% School Budget Hike

Superintendent of Schools Mary Ellen Shaw presented a “maintenance only” budget to the School Board last night that “rejects the lowest percentage increase in the last five years.”

Falls Church News-Press Vol. XXII, No. 47 • January 17, 2013

F.C. Council Backs Moran Gun Control Bill, Security Fence Around 2 Schools

FCCPS and City Council worked in part separately and in part in tandem to begin implementation of new security and gun control efforts, coming one month after the mass killings of children in Newtown, Connecticut..

I� M�������: S����� A. S�����

Samuel A. Stotts, a resident of the Falls Church City portion of the Tinner Hill Historic District for over 30 years, passed away suddenly on Jan 10, 2023. He was born Nov. 20, 1953 into a large, gregarious family and graduated from Fairfax High School. Sam and his wife, Rebecca (Becky) Tinner Stotts, both founding members of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, lived in the original home constructed by great grandparents, Charles and Mary Tinner in 1872. Their home was the first of nine homes that remain in the historic district, and still owned primarily by the Tinner family.

Sam served as an advisor to the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation Board of Directors and volunteered for decades at the Tinner Hill Music Festival, and the MLK Day March, as well as volunteering at the James Lee Community Center. He coached baseball for the Kiwanis Little league and also coached football for many years for children at the James Lee Community Center. He was a stellar member of the Falls Church City and James Lee community programs. He retired from Inova Fairfax Hospital after 35 years and with humor and grace added the role of 24 hour on call “Tour Guide and Welcome/Greeter” for the Tinner Hill Historic Site and District. He loved sharing historical information with visitors and

very few left the site without a warm greeting, a big smile or a friendly wave from Sam. An avid gardener, he helped establish the Monarch Butterfly Garden at the Tinner Hill Historic Site. He was quick to smile and his word was his bond. He often would bring attention to injustices in the community and worked quietly to see they were addressed. He and Becky, are the parents of two adult children, Samuel Stotts, Jr and Ebony Stotts and five grandchildren. Sam was a kind man of great integrity, whose word was his bond. He was always willing to help family, friends, and neighbors as well as strangers in any capacity. He never waited to be asked for help, he would just show up ready to work! After retirement Sam delighted neighborhood children and passersby by decorating the yard with huge inflatable displays for each holiday! He regularly shopped for treats for his wife Becky to pass out to neighborhood kids. He was adored by his grandchildren, and the family attended school activities, and sporting events together. Sam loved walking the grandkids to the school bus stop each morning. He always arrived early, wearing a big grin and preaching the virtues of being on time, sharing one of his favorite quotes:

“Five minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is unaccept-

able.”

Sam will be greatly missed by his many friends, family, community, organizations he served and the Little City he was such an important part of.

Final arrangements are being handled by Reese Funeral Professionals. The public may join the family at services for Samual A. Stotts, Sr. on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023

Viewing will begin at 10:00 am. Funeral will start at 12:00 noon at Community Church of God. 2500 Gallows Road, Dunn Loring, VA. Internment National Memorial Cemetery. 7482 Lee Hwy, Falls Church, VA 22042

A repast will be held immediately following services at the James Lee Community Center. 2855 Annandale Rd. Falls Church, VA 22042

LOCAL FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 22 | JANUARY 19 - 25,
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FOXES seem to be appearing everywhere in Northern Virginia recently, even in the little City! This foxy friend was spotted outside of La Migulena at Hillwood and South Washington. (Photo: Gary Mester)
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Falls Church Business News & Notes

e-Commerce Webinar for New and Current Businesses

The Virginia SPDC is hosting a virtual workshop on e-commerce and digital marketing for businesses on Tuesday, January 24, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. The session will cover available websites for online sales, costs, selection of suitable e-commerce platforms, how to set up and manage online storefronts or service portals, and more. The speaker, Cameron Nelson, has over 18 years of experience in technology and has helped Fortune 500 companies improve their digital marketing and e-commerce. The Zoom link will be shared upon registration at VirginiaSBDC.com. (https://clients.virginiasbdc.org/ workshop.aspx?ekey=900430002)

NetSPI Acquires nVisium

NetSPI, a leader in enterprise penetration testing and attack surface management, has acquired nVisium, known for security testing and delivering cloud and application pentesting to Fortune 500 companies including Carfax, 1Password and Deltek. NetSPI now has over 450 offensive security experts globally.

Chamber Mixer at Renovated Sonesta Simply Suites

Sonesta Simply Suites is hosting the Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce for the monthly mixer next Tuesday, January 24 at 5:30 pm. The hotel is newly renovated and will offer tours of the hotel amenity space and guest rooms. Members and guests are invited to attend the networking mixer.

Return to Office Report

The Kastle Back to Work Barometer report of January 9 reflects the highest occupancy rate in Houston at 43.9 percent with the peak day Wednesday, January 4 at 61.8 percent. The highest day of the week for the 10-city average was Tuesday – the first workday after New Year’s – at 46.9 percent, while the low was Friday at 15.9 percent occupancy. Recent data suggests the highest office occupancy is on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Fridays having the lowest. The Washington Metro data reflects an increase of 12.3 percent for the week.

 Business News & Notes is compiled by Elise Neil Bengtson, Executive Director of the Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce. She may be emailed at elise@fallschurchchamber.org.

BUSINESS FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM JANUARY 19 - 25, 2023 | PAGE 23
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