November 26 - December 2, 2009 Founded 1991 • Vo l . XI X N o . 39
Falls Church, Vi r g i n i a • w w w . fc n p . c o m • Free
Falls Church • Tysons Corner • Merrifield • McLean • North Arlington • Bailey’s Crossroads
Inside This Week F.C. OK’s Its Priorities For Richmond
Opposing guns in public buildings, protection from sexual orientation discrimination on the job and getting greater control of photo red light matters are the F.C. Council’s legislative priorities for Richmond in 2010. See News Briefs, page 7
No Stove? No Oven? No Problem!
Preliminary OK by 4-3 Vote to Move Elections to November THANKSGIVING PERSPECTIVE
Falls Church nutritionist Dominique Hoffman prepares a raw food feast for the D.C. Vegetarian Society’s annual Thanksgiving celebration.
F.C. Council Has Long Emotional Debate Monday
See page 22
by Nicholas F. Benton
Falls Church News-Press
David Brooks: The Values Question
It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when talking about health care reform. But, like all great public issues, the health care debate is fundamentally a debate about values. See page 12
Disney’s ‘Old Dogs’ Comes to Theaters
John Travolta and Robin Williams play business partners trying to seal a big deal with Japan, when they’re saddled with baby-sitting 6-year-old twins. Also starring Seth Green, Bernie Mac and Kelly Preston. See page 26
Editorial..................2 Letters................2, 8 Community News & Notes..............10-11 Comment........12-15 Business News & Notes...................16 Sports.............18-19 Calendar.........24-25 Roger Ebert....26-28
Restaurant Spotlight ............................30 Comics, Sodoku & Crossword...........33 Business & Services Directory..............34 Classified Ads......35 Critter Corner.......36 Business Listing..37 City Focus......38-39
EACH YEAR, THE AMERICAN INDIAN SOCIETY of Washington, D.C., shown here at its Mother’s Day pow wow, gathers for a potluck dinner at the Burgundy Community Center in Alexandria. Society president Michael Nephew of Falls Church recently sat down with the News-Press to talk American Indian education in public schools, Thanksgiving traditions and what his community is still waiting for from President Obama. See page 9. (Photo: Courtesy Kathlyn Dorn)
By a 4-3 vote taken at 11:15 p.m. following a lengthy debate Monday night, the Falls Church City Council took the first step toward moving the City’s municipal elections from May to November. The vote affirmed the preliminary “first reading” of an ordinance that is now slated to come back for a final approval on Dec. 14. Issues like when the switch would occur, in 2010 or a later year, and if it would be contingent on a public referendum or other parameters, await final resolution when the Council takes up the matter for a second vote next month. But the matter pitted two strong forces of civic involvement against each other, and despite a lopsided citizen sentiment expressed against the change at the meeting, Mayor Robin Gardner, Vice Mayor Hal Lippman and Councilmen Dan Sze and Dan Maller remained unswayed, and voted for the epochal change. Voting records showing the average turnout of Falls Church voters in November is more than twice as high as the average turnout in May remained the compelling factor in the majority vote. Since 2000, the average turnout in May has been 27.9 percent, and in November it has been 63.3 Continued on Page 4
November 26 - December 2, 2009
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Vol. XIX, No. 39 November 26 - December 2, 2009 • City of Falls Church ‘Business of the Year’ 1991 & 2001 • • Certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia to Publish Official Legal Notices • • Member, Virginia Press Association •
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In the latest great debate now underway in the City of Falls Church, whether its municipal elections should continue to be held in May or be moved to November, there is only one decisive factor. A graphic in last week’s News-Press showed that, on average, the Falls Church voter turnout for May elections over the last decade is 27.9 percent, and for November elections is 63.3 percent. This is not a marginal difference. This is well over two-to-one. It shows there can be no doubt that holding elections in November will optimize voter participation. Notwithstanding all the calls for delays, studies and added public input made at this Monday’s City Council meeting by many friends and admirable people, this one glaring statistic speaks volumes. It was out of respect for it that four members of the City Council gave a preliminary OK to an ordinance to move the election to November. Both sides on the issue were eloquent and made their best arguments at Monday’s Council meeting. We found those of Mayor Robin Gardner and Vice Mayor Hal Lippman on balance the most compelling. On top of all that was said, we would add the following: To argue that citizens who do not vote in May don’t care about local issues, or will blithely vote a party line in November, is presumptuous. All citizens pay local taxes, encounter conditions in their neighborhoods and schools, and are as such impacted by decisions taken by their local elected officials. Also, Falls Church is packed full of exemplary citizens. Often in November elections, over 80 percent of the electorate, one of the highest percentages in the U.S., shows up to vote. The City has the second highest percentage of college graduates among its adults in the U.S., and one of the highest per capita income levels. Falls Church citizens show no evidence of being unconcerned or uneducated voters. On the contrary, it is an insult to them to assume that since they don’t vote in May, they should not be provided a more convenient option. What occurred Monday night was a protest by a portion of the small group of citizens that have been able to wield disproportionate influence over events in Falls Church by, among other things, their ability to influence low-turnout May elections. They may be the best intentioned, but they cannot justify actions to restrict voter turnout. We cannot accept the convoluted argument that acting to more than double voter turnout will “disenfranchise voters,” as some asserted. Also, what is there to study? The turnout records speak for themselves. As for a public referendum, any would be tainted according to whether held in a high or low-turnout election. The public referendum on this matter, in our view, has already been held many times, and calculated by the turnout at every general election. In this case, the results are overwhelming that our citizens prefer to vote in November.
Letters to the Editor
‘No Compelling Reason’ To Move Election Date Editor,
There is no compelling reason to change the election calendar precipitously. We’re told state law permits the Council to do it, without a vote by the electorate. Even so, that does not make it ethically supportable or in the best interest of democratic government. It’s said that piggybacking local elections onto general elections would increase voter participation.
However worthy the goal, that is not necessarily true. Those who care enough to participate in local elections will vote, whenever the election. Those who traditionally don’t bother are apt to skip local races on a general election ballot. You don’t “enfranchise” citizens who are eligible to vote but choose not to, merely by changing the election date. We’re admonished that opposi-
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www.FCNP.com tion to the change is: (a) “political;” and (b) driven by “highlymotivated special interests.” Of course opposition to the proposal is “political.” So is a position in favor. Elections are, by definition, political. “Political” is not inherently a slur; however, it is often an epithet against critics of the prevailing wisdom. And those “special interests? Who they are is a matter of opinion – one man’s “special interest” is another’s principled conviction. Resort to canards and name-calling obscures the issues and cheapens the debate. The disadvantages of a precipitous change are substantial and make a compelling case for caution. Combining local and general elections would dilute our ability
to focus on local issues without national issues intruding. It would inject partisan politics into our broadly inclusive tradition of nonpartisan elections. From the standpoint of democratic government, it would be divisive and unwise for the Council to make the change immediately, by ordinance; they could thus extend their own terms of office and taint the change with the stain of self-dealing. If reconsideration of the election schedule is warranted, it should be done by referendum so public debate on the merits can occur. Contrary to last week’s editorial, proceeding judiciously does More Letters on Page 8
November 26 - December 2, 2009
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
F.C. Council Begins to Move City Elections to November Continued from Page 1
percent. A state law passed in 2000 permits localities to change the date of their local elections from May to November by passing an ordinance, and since then, 15 Virginia cities and 22 towns have made the switch from May to November. Even though November is often the date for partisan elections, state law prohibits party affiliations from being attached on the ballot to candidates for city or town offices. In January 2001, the Falls Church League of Women Voters provided a â€œVoter Service Reportâ€? on the pros and cons of moving Falls Church municipal elections from May to November, but the matter did not come up for serious consideration by the Falls Church City Council until this fall, when Councilmen Lawrence Webb and
Dan Sze moved the issue to the front burner. But in Mondayâ€™s 4-3 vote, Webb switched allegiance to those opposed to the ordinance for changing the date. Heâ€™d offered an alternative ordinance that called for a public referendum on the subject next year that failed, 4-21, prior to the big vote. In addition to those who voted â€œyesâ€? on the first reading of the ordinance, Webb and Councilman Nader Baroukh said theyâ€™d consider moving the election date, but only after more study and public input. Still, Baroukh questioned whether holding a municipal election in November could be truly non-partisan while other partisan races will be contested on the ballot. With all the activists in Falls Church, Baroukh noted, he questioned whether they will campaign for their partisan favorite and then
have to come around to knock on the same doors later to campaign for a non-partisan local candidate. Still, at a report presented in an earlier work session, other jurisdictions that made the switch reported high levels of success and voter satisfaction. Mayor Gardner said that while she â€œis not weddedâ€? to making the transition in 2010, she worried that a citizen-initiated referendum could â€œhijackâ€? the process, putting it on the ballot in an election guaranteed to have a very low voter turnout. Overall, she said, â€œthe numbers (comparing May to November turnouts) are very clear.â€? She added, â€œSmall groups dominate in May elections.â€? On the other hand, she added, â€œFolks who donâ€™t turn out in May also care,â€? and â€œwe have to make it easier for people.â€? She noted that partisanship could also over-
If the F.C. Council moves the municipal election month, when should the change take effect? â€˘ 2010
â€˘ Donâ€™t know
Vote on-line at www.FCNP.com Last Weekâ€™s Question: Should Falls Church install green roof bus shelters on N. Washington Street?
The FCNP On-Line polls are surveys, not scientific polls.
take May elections, and not only November ones, but that hasnâ€™t happened. The mayor â€œoutflankedâ€? the large contingent of known community activists who showed up at the Council chambers to oppose the switch by running an informal poll of City residents on her Facebook
page. Reading the results, Gardner found that non-traditionally-activist friends of hers were almost unanimous in their preference for the election to be held in November. Since most City residents work outside the City, predominantly in Washington, D.C., it is not convenient for them to make it out to
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Falls Church for a May election, it was noted, whereas everyone is used to voting on the first Tuesday of November. Also, since there is a turnover of 50 percent of City residents every five years, and the constant influx of new residents who don’t come with sufficient knowledge of when local elections are held, whereas they all are accustomed to voting in November. But the main argument against voting to change the date came from those who, in various ways, objected to the process, appealing for more time to decide. This view was expressed by a range of citizen activists, beginning with Ellen Salsbury, president of the Falls Church chapter of the League of Women Voters, who said the matter “needs to be explored in the League way.” The controversy it has caused “is reason enough to slow down the process.” John Lawrence called it “a rush to judgment,” Michael Navatni said it is causing the Council to lose its
focus on the budget, Gordon Theiss said it is “too fast, too late, with not enough citizen input,” Marty Meserve said to “slow down,” worried that “questions and suspicions” exist in a context where “perception is as strong a force as reality,” Kieran Sharpe said that voter turnout is not the only indicator to consider, and Peter Behr said that questions like “why the May turnout is not higher” need to be explored first. Only Bob Loftun-Thune stood up to speak in favor of the switch, saying, “It is the right thing to do.” Baroukh began the discussion among Council members by calling the ordinance “a rush to judgment.” The decision belongs to the citizens, he said, “not to four members of the Council.” He said “the timing is just wrong,” and “insensitive to citizens.” It will “disenfranchise voters,” he said. Webb said he favored “giving most people the opportunity to vote,” but said he was concerned about providing enough time to
work it through. Still, he concluded, “It is all about increasing voter participation in Falls Church.” Sze said it is a matter of pitting fact, as in the voter turnout statistics comparing May to November, over speculation. Lippman said “it is important to act now, or nothing will change.” Now, he said, “small groups exert disproportionate influence” on Falls Church elections. He stressed that the November turnout is “two times or even more” than in May. “That’s it,” he said. He cited the case in 1995 when a small minority of citizens “rolled” the City Council on the renovation of the Community Center, with the result that it became “far less than it should have been,” and that one sitting Council member who served then told him “it was the one vote he regrets most.” Councilman Dave Snyder asserted that “public opinion is overwhelmingly against” the switch, calling November elections “partisan election dates” that would
FALLS CHURCH COUNCILMAN Dan Maller (2nd from left) unveiled an unwieldy graph of City election return data at Monday’s Council meeting. (Photo: News-Press) blunt “accountability Falls Church style.” He said it would “disenfranchise” voters by having the effect of limiting who can run for office. Maller noted that “national elections have nothing to do with what’s good for Falls Church,” adding that “raw emotion” in the debate “needs to be managed better.” He said, “I am not afraid to
take a tentative step forward.” Lippman contrasted the City’s “silent majority” to the “small group of people interested, motivated and involved,” who are “the same cast of characters every time.” He added, “They are in control of things where they are,” and prefer therefore “to keep things the way they are.”
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
50 YEARS OF CBC: 1ST OF A 3-PART SERIES
Citizens for a Better City: A History Citizens for a Better City has been at the center of local political life in Falls Church for a half century. This article, first of three, is excerpted from a history of the organization prepared for CBC’s 50th anniversary celebration. It is based on an earlier CBC history by the late Wayne Dexter, updated by a CBC History Committee: Betty Blystone, Pete Behr, Carol DeLong, Sally Phillips, Edie Smolinski and Ed Strait. Falls Church, a quiet crossroads village of 2,576 in 1940, was notable mainly for its historic Falls Church and the two major highways that intersect at its heart. Though English settlement began in 1699, it was not incorporated as a town until 1875. At the beginning of World War II, the town was in Fairfax County and its schools were part of the Fairfax County system. The county was controlled politically by the then-dominant Byrd organization. Burgeoning population – it almost tripled during the 1940s – placed heavy burdens on the town’s schools, streets and roads, drainage, garbage collection, and other city services. Newcomers drawn to the city during the war generally demanded higher quality educational and municipal services than was customary in rural Virginia. They were willing to pay the taxes and float the bonds necessary to finance them. This was strongly opposed by many of the native residents long used to low taxes, minimum services, and pay-as-you-go fiscal policies. Along with better schools, the new residents felt an equally compelling need for more control over the city’s future growth than was possible under a town form of government. Many had come to Falls Church because of its “village atmosphere.” They were resolved to keep it that way. These two motives - better schools and more control over the community’s destiny - were major drivers behind the successful effort to obtain city status from the Virginia General Assembly in 1948. But Falls Church was badly short-changed by the court settlement that divided school facilities between Fairfax County and the new city.
The city was left with no high new council majority rejected a better municipal administration school; old, inadequate elemen- school board request for a bond would band together on an ad tary schools, and a rapidly rising issue for expansion of the high hoc basis to win an election. school population. It had no city school, despite a petition signed Once in power, they would let hall, library, recreation center, by 1,200 residents. The council the organization wither away and virtually no park land, and a then replaced members of the as a result, lose the next election. water system dependent on wells school board who had recom- An editorial in the Washington within the city. mended the bond issue. Post pinpointed the difficulty. Following incorporation as A group of citizens, many of “The lesson is clear. Hard a city Falls Church remained whom had been active in city work built a good school syslimited to its current land area politics since the time when tem in Falls Church, but political of 2.2 square apathy brought miles, much neglect of the of it already at the group of citizens described vigilance occupied by polls necessary homes and themselves as representing “all to insure its conbusinesses. tinuation.” areas of the city and a broad range Two attempts Taking that to annex addilesson to heart, of views” united by a determination “to CBC leaders tional land were rejected bring back good municipal government to called a meeting by the courts. of the members The city’s Falls Church.” on November first elect16, 1959, and ed council created a permaapproved a bond issue for a new Falls Church was still a town, nent organization styled Citizens high school and for renovation of launched a nonpartisan campaign for a Better City with a formal Madison and Jefferson schools. in February, 1959 to elect can- structure and bylaws. This was Land for George Mason Junior- didates in the June council elec- the founding date of the CBC Senior high school and the Mt. tion. They described themselves that continues until today. Daniel elementary school was as representing “all areas of the CBC’s efforts brought nationpurchased in the county, since city and a broad range of views suitable land in the city was not Republican and Democrat, liberavailable. al and conservative, government Opposition to these actions workers and private business,” was immediate, vigorous, and united by a determination “to persistent, however. The school bring back good municipal govprojects proceeded, but the oppo- ernment to Falls Church.” The nents won control of the council group, calling itself Citizens for a and at one point, all but one Better Council, was the forerunof the appointed school board ner of the present Citizens for a members resigned to protest Better City. council actions. This conflict was The group charged that “our resolved when supporters of the schools – once a major attracschool board regained control of tion of this community and a council in 1953. source of justified pride – are Zoning ranked alongside the now being driven into mediocrischools as a subject of political ty.” The statement cited delayed battles. In the early 1950s, some construction, crowding, lowerproperty owners sought to rezone ing of standards, reductions in a narrow band of land on both budgets, and teacher pay scales sides of West Broad Street for below area standards commercial development. The CBC also stressed zoning Planning Commission rejected for public interest, open debate the proposal but was reversed by on major matters of policy, and the council in 1952. As the plan- appointments to city boards and ning commission had predicted, commissions of qualified perthe strip zoning of West Broad sons. An overwhelming victory Street effectively prevented block in the council election capped the zoning which could have permit- campaign. ted creation of a more desirable It was now apparent that the central business district and more school crises reflected the ephemsensible traffic management. eral nature of the political efforts A second school crisis erupted of supporters of the system durin the late 1950s. Those criti- ing the first decade of the city’s cal of the system regained con- existence. Citizens favoring good trol of the council in 1957. The schools, low density zoning, and
al attention to Falls Church in 1962 when the city received an All-American City award from Look magazine and the National Municipal League because “It got better government and better schools through nonpartisan political action.” CBC stands on a foundation of principles and policies set by its founders in a time of political struggles that gripped the entire city. CBC is committed to: • open, non-partisan nominating conventions to select candidates for local office • high quality schools and services, supported by equitable taxation at the lowest possible rates • development policies seeking business growth compatible with the city’s neighborhoods • protection of the city’s natural endowments. CBC presents no political platform on particular issues. Indeed, the City Council and School Board representatives elected with CBC support have had to find their own answers to constantly evolving challenges posed by growth, transportation congestion, growing school populations and pressures on tax revenues. Next week: Political battles over the decades
November 26 - December 2, 2009
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A 16-year-old male was assaulted by a group of suspects around 8:24 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23, in the 4100 block of Medford Drive near Baileyâ€™s Crossroads. The victim was approached and assaulted by approximately eight individuals. Preliminary investigation reveals the victim was attacked with a baseball bat and a knife. The victim was able to get away and call Fairfax County police. He was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with wounds to the head and upper body. A patrol officer responding to the call was able to quickly identify and detain five individuals who may have been involved in this incident. Further investigation led to the arrest of three more suspects. Preliminary indications suggest the assault may have been gang related. Petitions for malicious wounding by mob and gang participation were issued for five 15-year-olds, one 16-year-old and two 17-year-olds, all of them male, Fairfax Police reported.
Moran Knee Surgery Called â€˜Successâ€™ Rep. Jim Moran, whose 8th U.S. Congressional District includes the City of Falls Church, had successful total knee replacement surgery on both knees yesterday at the Anderson Orthopedic Clinic at the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. The surgery was conducted by specialist Dr. C. Anderson Engh. Rep. Moranâ€™s recovery period is expected to last 6-8 weeks. He will be recovering at home on bed rest during this time. Given the difficult recovery associated with a double knee replacement, he is not expected to be able to make votes on the floor of the House during the month of December. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the congressman has requested well-wishers to make donations to their local food pantry or homeless shelter.
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Fairfax Co. Crime 3Q Numbers Down Fairfax County Police reported yesterday that for the third straight quarter, crime numbers are down in the county. The third quarter report indicated the â€œoverall index crimeâ€? decreased by almost two percent during the first nine months of 2009, compared to the same period of 2008. Categories with the biggest percentage drops are aggravated assault (293 to 145), robbery (327 to 291), murder (12 to 10) and motor vehicle theft (1,005 to 852), while numbers for burglary and larceny remained virtually unchanged.
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F.C. OKâ€™s Its Priorities for Richmond The Falls Church City Council adopted unanimously an agenda of legislative priorities it will ask its state legislators to introduce in Richmond for the January 2010 session. The three priorities are 1. Opposition to guns in public buildings, 2. Protection of persons in employment positions from discrimination based on sexual orientation, 3. Putting localities in greater control of decisions on photo red light locations and related matters.
Tinner Hill Group Named â€˜Rising Starâ€™ Falls Churchâ€™s Tinner Hill Foundation has won a â€œRising Starâ€? honorable mention from the Virginians for the Arts, as part of the announcement of the groupâ€™s â€œArts Build Communitiesâ€? awards. The awards recognize arts organizations that best demonstrate the ability to enhance the community, lift our spirits, and build a better quality of life. Organization President Peter Fields said, â€œThe awards showcase the ways the arts contribute to the overall quality of life in Virginia communities.â€? The â€œShining Star Awardâ€? went to the Barter Theatre in Abingdon and the â€œRising Starâ€? award went to The Prizery in South Boston.
GMHS Grad Bob Anderson on â€˜Daily Showâ€™ Bob Anderson, a 1991 graduate of Falls Churchâ€™s George Mason High School, appeared on Comedy Central TVâ€™s popular â€œThe Daily Showâ€? last Thursday, playing guitar opposite Andrew McMan as part of the group, â€œJackâ€™s Mannequin.â€?
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not aim at “killing” the proposal; it respects the democratic process. Anyway, doesn’t the Council have more pressing budgetary problems on its plate right now? Changing the election date won’t resolve them. Linda S. Neighborgall Falls Church
School’s Role In F.C. Property Values is Clear Editor, Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you, Mr. Sommerfield (News-Press Letter to the Editor: “Schools Not Primary Economic Driver”) for giving an auto dealer’s family a good chuckle! Mr. Sommerfield placed the Falls Church City school system dead last on his list for the City Council’s budget consideration. In the mid 1980’s we purchased a five bedroom restored Victorian ‘just two houses’ outside of the City with access to metro, work and shopping. Within a year our eldest child approached school age and we discovered the significance of “just two houses outside” of historic Falls Church. Seeking a strong, small public school system we walked across the street to learn more about the City schools. Our friendlyyes, welcoming!- Falls Church City neighbors suggested we pay tuition at Mt. Daniel elementary school in the City. Now if you want to see a gem of a public school, please stop in and visit Mt. Daniel. We were sold. Our big home was sold too! In its place we purchased a small unrestored three bedroom colonial for twice the price in Falls Church City. Mr. Sommerfield, please ask any realtor in the metro area about the City schools and home sales. We certainly understand the challenges facing our City. We also know that the City Manager and Council will work together to make City schools a top priority. In fact we are an historic Urban Education Village, as well as an arts community in a Tree City USA with excellent city services, kind neighbors –and this quirky award winning “free” (thank you Nick and FCC business community!) newspaper. From our kitchen window we
November 26 - December 2, 2009
see that yellow school bus pulling up for the next generation of students. Educating our children is no laughing matter. The Beyer Family Falls Church
Farmer’s Market Patrons Have Extra Parking Editor,
I’m writing to provide important information about parking for the Falls Church Farmers Market and to request the assistance and cooperation of Market patrons. Over the last 20+ years, the number of vendors and visitors to the Market have grown substantially. With more visitors come more cars to an area with very limited parking. The City and the Farmers Market patrons have benefited greatly over the years from the generosity of management at the 313 Park Avenue office building which has allowed Market visitors and library patrons to park in the office building parking lot, although signs have been posted for years clearly stating that parking is for office building visitors only and not for the Farmers Market or the library. The lot at 313 Park Avenue is not a City lot; it’s privately owned. The building is open for office visits on Saturdays and parking is needed for visitors to that building. Unfortunately, because of the Market’s success, visitors to the office building have at times been unable to find parking which cannot continue. A solution must be found assuring there is adequate parking for the building’s visitors. One possible solution is to close the lot to anyone not actually visiting the building. Clearly that option would have a significantly negative impact on the Farmers Market. The good news is that, although some offices in the building are open on Saturdays and need parking, the building management has agreed for a trial period to continue to allow limited parking for the Market, provided City staff monitors the lot and advises patrons when it is full. If visitors to the office building continue to have trouble finding a place to park in the lot at 313 Park, the ability for Farmers Market patrons to park in the lot will be lost. I encourage patrons to do the following: • check first for available parking spaces in the parking lot behind the Community Center • look for available parking along Park Avenue, Little Falls
and Great Falls Streets • follow the direction of parking lot monitors at 313 Park Avenue • walk or ride your bike to the market. Howard Herman Market Manager & General Manager, City of Falls Church Community Services Division
Cyclist Hails Courtesy Many Drivers Show Editor, I read with dismay C. Fawsett’s letter last week noting that cyclists and runners often fail to respect the stop sign where the bike trail crosses Great Falls Street. The discourtesy the writer experienced after encountering the runners was indeed unpleasant. As a user of the bike trail (mostly riding tandem with my husband on Sunday afternoons), I encounter road crossings on a regular basis. Within the two-mile stretch of trail in Falls Church alone, there are eight crossings at grade; six occur within a mile of
each other. Getting up a vigorous cadence on the bike – and feeling the exhilaration of movement and exercise – are some of the joys I derive from biking; slamming to a stop every 300 or so yards is one of the prices I have to pay. Therefore, I truly appreciate the great kindness that many drivers in Falls Church and elsewhere show to cyclists and runners at these crossings. In my experience, most trail users slow down as they approach the crossings and then check the oncoming cars; often (but not always), the drivers will yield to the trail users and let them cross. The drivers’ reward? Smiles, nods and friendly waves – as well as the simple satisfaction of doing a small kindness for strangers. When I drive along Great Falls Street (and Washington Street, Little Falls Street, Oak Street, Spring Street, West Street, Grove Avenue and Shreve Road), I pause at each of those trail crossings, just in case I can do a small kindness for a runner or cyclist. Perhaps I arrive at my destination 10 or even 20 seconds later, but the trail users’ gratitude and my feeling of connection linger far longer.
I am a resident of the City of Falls Church; such friendliness to our trail-using visitors is an important part of our community welcome. I encourage drivers from within and outside the city to consider these opportunities for kindness the next time their paths cross those of a cyclist or runner. Carol Ann Siciliano Falls Church
[ TALK TO US ] The deadline for Letters to the Editor is 5 p.m. Monday each week. Letters should be 350 words or less. All letters printed become property of the Falls Church News-Press and may be edited for clarity and length. Email email@example.com Mail or drop off Letters to the Editor, c/o Falls Church News-Press, 450 West Broad St. #321, Falls Church, VA 22046 Please include full name, address and telephone number with your letter.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
Local American Indians Call for Formal Apology by Natalie Bedell
Falls Church News-Press
While families across the U.S. gather around their household tables this Thanksgiving, local members of the American Indian Society of Washington, D.C. will be meeting up with their own family — each other, for a potluck dinner at the Burgundy Community Center in Alexandria. But, according to Michael Nephew of Falls Church, their table talk will be less about a pilgrim story of the past and more about catching up with one another. Nephew, who serves as the organization’s president, saw the American Indian Society (AIS) as an opportunity for American Indians to get together with their brothers and sisters in the community when he moved to the area from New York years ago. He is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, as well as being part of Seneca and Cayuga. Nephew first heard the story of Thanksgiving when he was a young boy, but said he “ironically heard very little” about Native American Indian history during his highschool years.
He said the biggest misconception about how Thanksgiving is taught in public schools is the “fighting that occurred shortly afterwards between [the settlers] and Native Americans often goes unmentioned.” The holiday story traditionally taught in classrooms is a happy one of pilgrims who were befriended by the Natives, taught to hunt and gather and showed their gratitude with a shared meal. However, Nephew recalled a slightly different version of the feel-good tale, one of bloodshed and greed. “[The settlers] were biting the hand that fed them,” said Nephew, referring to various wars that took place soon following 1621, during which many Natives were killed by colonists. One thing Nephew believes can heal the wounds of political and social distrust between modern-day American Indians and the U.S. government is a formal expression of remorse from the latter. “I think there needs to be an apology,” said Nephew, citing the Canadian government’s apology to its indigenous tribes in 1998. Nephew said he wouldn’t be able to show anyone the land where
Members of the American Indian Society (AIS) of Washington, D.C. celebrate Mother’s Day with a pow wow. (Photo: Courtesy
Kathlyn Dorn/ Inset Photo: News-Press)
he played as a kid even if he wanted to. “People don’t think [the government] is taking away Natives’ land today, but yes, it has happened. And it’s happened in our lifetime,” said Nephew. And what about those who believe they shouldn’t have to apologize for something they didn’t personally do? “Well, it might have been their parents, especially in this area, where so many parents were involved with the government at that time. It’s not as far back as some may think,” said Nephew. AIS Treasurer Mary Sunbeam agreed, challenging President Obama to a second Thanksgiving — to which tribal chiefs are invited to the White House for a peaceoffering meal. “We have not been healed. No president has come forward. We’re not asking for money or retribution,” said Sunbeam, who added that “these kinds of forgiveness need to happen” and that American Indians are looking for it to come from “power sources who’ve been too lax.” On Nov. 5, President Obama held the first annual White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior. Invited were leaders from each of the federally recognized tribes in the U.S., as Obama signed a memorandum directing “every Cabinet agency to give a detailed plan within 90 days of how ... to improve tribal consultation.” A formal apology was not issued. “At some point, [the U.S. government] needs to say, ‘This is what happened. It wasn’t a good thing for our country. It wasn’t a good thing for the tribal people,’ and to heal the pain where there’s no closure, just open wounds,” said Sunbeam, a member of the Cherokee Nation of the Appalachian tribe. Aside from her AIS duties, Sunbeam serves as the president
of Positive Education, Inc., designing and presenting courses on Native American Indian cultures to schools, businesses and religious organizations. She said the only Native American education she’s heard of public-school students having are brief mentions during the second and sixth grade, but that “most teachers are not trained in college to teach Native American history.” “Thank goodness they will call on people like me to teach these things. Even today’s immigrants coming to the U.S. will ask me if I am a real Indian because they’ve been told we’re all dead,” said
the U.S. citizenry test. As far as Thanksgiving, Sunbeam and Nephew agreed that the holiday’s theme is a bit novel, given that expressing thanks is a culturally embedded part of their everyday lives and not just a oneday event. “What came to be known as the first Thanksgiving was the idea of sharing food for people in need. It wasn’t a kindness thing; it was something you just do. It wasn’t religious, though it became so later on,” said Sunbeam, who added that “giving thanks to God, the great source, for weather to produce a harvest was always part of her culture” growing up. She recalled being taunted her peers in Half of all American Indians by grade school for live in urban or rural once bringing a communities. We’re your dandelion sandwich to school. electrical engineers, doctors and “Nowadays, people go to lawyers.” GNC and buy dandelion root, — Michael Nephew on today’s American Indian. the weed in their yard they find a nuisance. But Sunbeam. when I was a kid, I was taught it She said the blame, however, was nature’s product for organs doesn’t fall solely on government- after the winter time when your run school systems, but equally body gets sluggish,” said Sunbeam, in the laps of American Indians. who garnered more than a few Sunbeam added that, unlike the chuckles as a little girl with green NAACP, the American Indian com- stuff in her teeth. Taking the high munity has not had enough advo- road even then, she said she looked cacy for more extensive education. at it as “their ignorance, and I tried “We can’t say it’s the govern- to educate them.” ment’s fault. Where are we? We Nephew recalled being looked don’t have enough activism in our to in high school from his peers as a own culture,” said Sunbeam, who historical fact checker. Still offering hopes to change that through her up the facts today, he works alongown curriculum. Her work has been side other AIS leaders, to speak at acknowledged by the American government agencies and private Association of Community schools about his culture’s historiColleges with a Northern Virginia cal footprint. Community College Model As far as Sunbeam’s message to Program Award. open ears she encounters, she said, As far as an organization com- “Save money on the self-help books. parable to the NAACP, Nephew We all have a belly button. We’re all noted the Association is racially one human race. I’m working on categorized, whereas “the tribal getting that message across.” government is a political entity.” There are 564 federally recog“Part of the reason why there nized tribes in the U.S. To this isn’t something like [the NAACP] day, neither Virginia, Maryland nor for American Indians is people Washington, D.C. have federally from each tribe have to make sure recognized tribes, leaving people their particular tribe survives as within those tribes ineligible for opposed to recognizing all Natives federal funds ranging from health and trying to lend support to other care to housing assistance. tribes,” said Nephew. Both Rep. Jim Moran and Sen. Still, Sunbeam believes U.S. Jim Webb sponsored legislation this politics play a critical role in Native year granting federal recognition American history teachings, or lack to six Virginia Indian tribes, which thereof, in today’s schools. was OK’d by the House in June. “The bottom line is education is As of Oct. 22, the Indian Tribes political,” said Sunbeam, who sug- of Virginia Federal Recognition gested the U.S. government incor- Act of 2009 passed in the Senate porate Native American history into Committee on Indian Affairs.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
F.C. Hosts Thanksgiving Dinner of 1863 The City of Falls Church invites all those interested to join costumed reenactors portraying Falls Church residents of 1863 as they hold a Civil War Thanksgiving dinner and entertain friends and soldiers. “Abraham Lincoln” will lead the evening with a reading of the Gettysburg Address, including Honest Abe’s proclamation of a National Day of Thanks. The supper will be held at the
Cherry Hill Farmhouse (312 Park Ave., Falls Church) on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. There is no fee to attend, but donations will be accepted. For more information or to request accommodations, call 703-248-5171.
Federation, Inc., the largest professional chefs organization in the United States. Baxter is a culinary arts instructor at Stafford County Public Schools and a member of the ACF Nationals Capital Chefs Association.
Vienna Chef Earns Culinary Educator Certification
Gov. Kaine Declares Winter Preparedness Week
Denise D. Baxter of Vienna has earned the Certified Secondary Culinary Educator designation from the American Culinary
Gov. Tim Kaine is reminding Virginia citizens of the havoc winter can cause to home and business life, and has thus declared the
week of Nov. 29 – Dec. 5 Winter Preparedness Week. This signifies a time to get ready for the cold season ahead and to ensure the safety of Virginians. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management suggests residents and visitors arm themselves with an emergency kit, a plan and safety information. For a list of area events, supply kits pick up areas and information on H1N1, visit www.readyvirginia.gov. For information on severe weather conditions and driving instructions, call 703-996-2223 or visit www.weather.gov/lwx. Santa Strolls Through the Streets of Vienna Santa is arriving early for Vienna’s annual Street Stroll to greet children at the Historic Freeman Store (131 Church St. NE, Vienna). Mayor Jane Seeman will light the Holiday Tree and various local musical groups will perform throughout the evening. The event will take place Monday, Nov. 30 from 6 – 9 p.m. For more information, call 703938-5187. McLean’s Holiday Homes Tour Inspires Celebration
FALLS CHURCH PRESBYTERIAN’S confirmation class prepared the Falls Church Winter Shelter for its Dec. 1 opening. Class members include Nina Kusterbeck (left to right), Erica Schneider, David Link, Eric Link, Anna Carlson, Jamie VanValkenburg, Max Verhagen, Andrew Skomra, Vincent Camacho, Owen Miller, Shayne Ensign and Adam Barth. (Photo: Courtesy Ronald Brousseau)
The Women’s Club of McLean is hosting its 43rd Annual Holiday Homes Tour & Marketplace, a fundraiser
that features three expansive and unusual homes. Each one will be innovatively ornamented for the holidays, meant to inspire onlookers wishing to decorate their own surroundings. The tour will begin at Trinity United Methodist Church (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean) on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of and may be purchased at Mesmeralda’s Gifts of McLean, Karin’s Florist of Vienna, Stifel & Capra of Falls Church and Great Dogs of Great Falls. To purchase tickets through the mail, send a check to The Woman’s Club of McLean, Attn: Holiday Homes, P.O. Box 7282, McLean, VA 22106. For more information, visit www.mcleanwc.org. Holistic Mom’s Network Holds Monthly Meeting The Holistic Mom’s Network of Northern Virginia invites those interested to its general monthly meeting, themed “Winter Potluck and Social.” The group asks that attendees bring a healthy, labeled dish to share. Drinks and paper products will be provided. The dinner meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Fairfax Church of Christ (3901 Rugby Rd., Fairfax). For more information, call 703631-2100.
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
Library Connects Parents With Newborns The Patrick Henry Library (101 E. Maple Ave., Vienna) is offering a Rock-a-bye Baby connection class to parents and their newborns. The morning event will be filled with rhyme, story and song. Children must be between 1 – 12 months old. The class will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. For more information, call 703938-0405. Vienna’s World War II Exposition Opens Historic Vienna’s exhibit dedicated to the veterans of World War II, their families and loved ones has opened. The exhibit tells the war histories of Vienna residents. Onlookers have a chance to see the roles people played during a pivotal time in history. The exhibit will be available for viewing during museum hours, Wednesday – Saturday, noon – 4 p.m. and Sundays, 1 – 5 p.m. For more events and information, visit www.historicviennainc. org. Annual Holiday Parade in McLean Marches On Welcoming the holiday season with open arms, businesses and residents of McLean will march in the McLean WinterFest Holiday Parade. The Reindog Pageant, a canine costume contest, will launch festivities, held in the parking lot of McLean Baptist Church (1367 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean) at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6. The day will continue with a march from the SunTrust Bank (1301 Chain
Bridge Rd., McLean) at 4 p.m., followed by a lighting ceremony of the McLean Holiday Tree. Free visits with Santa, prizes, food and live music will also take place. For more information, visit www.mcleanwinterfest.org or call 703-917-0611. Nature Center Promotes Tiny Tot Program Gulf Branch Nature Center is hosting its winter Tiny Tot program, giving parents and their toddlers the opportunity to interact one-on-one while discovering the wonders of nature. This themed and educational program will engage children with hands-on learning, song, craft, finger plays and mini-hikes. The next outing is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. Registration is $5 per child. For more information and to register, call 703-228-4747. Senior Center Hosts Tree Decorating Party Culpepper Garden Senior Center (2100 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington) invites all to help in ornamenting three holiday trees during a Tree Decorating Party. There will be apple cider and sweets. The party is a free event and will be held Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information, call 703228-4403. Baby Geniuses Begin with Chess Club School-aged children of Falls Church have formed a Chess Club and are inviting all peers to flex their developing mental power at a club meeting. Ages 6 – 12 are invited to learn chess, or if they
FALLS CHURCH CITY Treasurer Cathy Kaye (second from left) was the recipient of the Wayne and Jane Dexter Award for outstanding contribution to the Falls Church community, presented at Sunday’s 50th anniversary celebration of F.C. Citizens for a Better City (CBC) at the Community Center. Other winners of the award lined up to congratulate Kaye (to her right, left to right) Ed Strait, Lou Olom, Betty Blystone and Brian O’Connor. Edie Smolinski presented the award. (Photo: News-Press) already know the game, help others. The meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 3:30 – 5 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Library (6101 Knollwood Dr., Falls Church). For more information, call 703820-8774. Library Film Odyssey Sails To France The Patrick Henry Film Series is extending a hand to all area adults for French comedic murder mystery film “8 Women” by Catherine Deneuva. Feel free to bring a protein, as popcorn and drinks will be supplied. The free viewing will be held in the Patrick Henry Library Meeting Room (101 E. Maple Ave., Vienna) on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. For more information, call 703938-0405.
CITIZENS FOR A BETTER City (CBC) president Deb Gardner (left) is shown with the award she presented to Falls Church NewsPress Owner Nicholas F. Benton at Sunday’s 50th anniversary meeting of the CBC. Benton and the News-Press were honored by the CBC for their service since the paper’s founding in 1991. (Photo:
November 26 - December 2, 2009
The Values Question It’s easy to get lost in the weeds when talking about health care reform. But, like all great public issues, the health care debate is fundamentally a debate about values. It’s a debate about what kind of country we want America to be. During the first many decades of this nation’s existence, the United States was a wide-open, dynamic country with a rapidly expanding economy. It was also a country that tolerated a large amount of cruelty and pain – poor people living in misery, workers suffering NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE from exploitation. Over the years, Americans decided they wanted a little more safety and security. This is what happens as nations grow wealthier; they use money to buy civilization. Occasionally, our ancestors found themselves in a sweet spot. They could pass legislation that brought security but without a cost to vitality. But adults know that this situation is rare. In the real world, there’s usually a trade-off. The unregulated market wants to direct capital to the productive and the young. Welfare policies usually direct resources to the vulnerable and the elderly. Most social welfare legislation, even successful legislation, siphons money from the former to the latter. Early in this health care reform process, many of us thought we were in that magical sweet spot. We could extend coverage to the uninsured but also improve the system overall to lower costs. That is, we thought it would be possible to reduce the suffering of the vulnerable while simultaneously squeezing money out of the wasteful system and freeing it up for more productive uses. That’s what the management gurus call a win-win. It hasn’t worked out that way. The bills before Congress would almost certainly ease the anxiety of the uninsured, those who watch with terror as their child or spouse grows ill, who face bankruptcy and ruin. And the bills would probably do it without damaging the care the rest of us receive. In every place where reforms have been tried – from Massachusetts to Switzerland – people come to cherish their new benefits. The new plans become politically untouchable. But, alas, there would be trade-offs. Instead of reducing costs, the bills in Congress would probably raise them. They would mean that more of the nation’s wealth would be siphoned off from productive uses and shifted into a still wasteful health care system.
The authors of these bills have tried to foster efficiencies. The Senate bill would initiate several interesting experiments designed to make the system more effective – giving doctors incentives to collaborate, rewarding hospitals that provide quality care at lower cost. It’s possible that some of these experiments will bloom into potent systemic reforms. But the general view among independent health care economists is that these changes will not fundamentally bend the cost curve. The system after reform will look as it does today, only bigger and more expensive. As Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of the Harvard Medical School, wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, “In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it.” Rather than pushing all of the new costs onto future generations, as past governments have done, the Democrats have admirably agreed to raise taxes. Over the next generation, the tax increases in the various bills could funnel trillions of dollars from the general economy into the medical system. Moreover, the current estimates almost certainly understate the share of the nation’s wealth that will have to be shifted. In these bills, the present Congress pledges that future Congresses will impose painful measures to cut Medicare payments and impose efficiencies. Future Congresses rarely live up to these pledges. Somebody screams “Rationing!” and there is a bipartisan rush to kill even the most tepid costsaving measure. After all, if the current Congress, with pride of authorship, couldn’t reduce costs, why should we expect that future Congresses will? The bottom line is that we face a brutal choice. Reform would make us a more decent society, but also a less vibrant one. It would ease the anxiety of millions at the cost of future growth. It would heal a wound in the social fabric while piling another expensive and untouchable promise on top of the many such promises we’ve already made. America would be a less youthful, ragged and unforgiving nation, and a more middle-aged, civilized and sedate one. We all have to decide what we want at this moment in history, vitality or security. We can debate this or that provision, but where we come down will depend on that moral preference. Don’t get stupefied by technical details. This debate is about values.
Signs of Hope DETROIT – I came to Detroit and its environs, the seat of America’s glorious industrial past, to see if I could get a glimpse of the future. Is the economic, social and physical deterioration that has caused so much misery in the Motor City a sign of what’s in store for larger and larger segments of the United States? Or are there new New York Times Service industries waiting in the wings – some of them right here in the Detroit metropolitan area – with new jobs and bright new prospects for whole new generations of American dreamers? I found real reason to hope when a gentleman named Stan Ovshinsky took me on a tour of a remarkably quiet and pristine manufacturing plant in Auburn Hills, which is about 30 miles north of Detroit and is home to Chrysler’s headquarters. What is being
produced in the plant is potentially revolutionary. A machine about the length of a football field runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, turning out mile after mile after mile of thin, flexible solar energy material, from which solar panels can be sliced and shaped. You want new industry in the United States, with astonishing technological advances, new mass production techniques and jobs, jobs, jobs? Try energy. Ovshinsky knows as much or more about the development and production of alternative energy as anyone on the planet. He developed the technology and designed the production method that made it possible to produce solar material “by the mile.” When he proposed the idea years ago, based on the science of amorphous materials, which he invented, he was ridiculed. But the thin-film photovoltaic solar panel was just Continued on Page 36
The Phantom Menace A funny thing happened on the way to a new New Deal. A year ago, the only thing we had to fear was fear itself; today, the reigning doctrine in Washington appears to be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” What happened? To be sure, “centrists” in the Senate have hobbled efforts to rescue the economy. But the evidence suggests that in addition to facing political opposition, President Barack Obama and his inner circle have been intimidated by scare stories from Wall Street. Consider the contrast between what Obama’s advisers were saying on the eve of his inauguration, and what he himself is saying now. In December 2008 Lawrence Summers, soon to become the administration’s highest-ranking economist, called for decisive action. “Many experts,” he warned, “believe that NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE unemployment could reach 10 percent by the end of next year.” In the face of that prospect, he continued, “doing too little poses a greater threat than doing too much.” Ten months later unemployment reached 10.2 percent, suggesting that despite his warning the administration hadn’t done enough to create jobs. You might have expected, then, a determination to do more. But in a recent interview with Fox News, the president sounded diffident and nervous about his economic policy. He spoke vaguely about possible tax incentives for job creation. But “it is important, though, to recognize,” he went on, “that if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.” What? Huh? Most economists I talk to believe that the big risk to recovery comes from the inadequacy of government efforts: The stimulus was too small, and it will fade out next year, while high unemployment is undermining both consumer and business confidence. Now, it’s politically difficult for the Obama administration to enact a full-scale second stimulus. Still, he should be trying to push through as much aid to the economy as possible. And remember, Obama has the bully pulpit; it’s his job to persuade America to do what needs to be done. Instead, however, Obama is lending his voice to those who say that we can’t create more jobs. And a report on Politico.com suggests that deficit reduction, not job creation, will be the centerpiece of his first State of the Union address. What happened? It took me a while to puzzle this out. But the concerns Obama expressed become comprehensible if you suppose that he’s getting his views, directly or indirectly, from Wall Street. Ever since the Great Recession began, economic analysts at some (not all) major Wall Street firms have warned that efforts to fight the slump will produce even worse economic evils. In particular, they say, never mind the current ability of the U.S. government to borrow long term at remarkably low interest rates – any day now, budget deficits will lead to a collapse in investor confidence, and rates will soar. And it’s this latter claim that Obama echoed in that Fox News interview. Is he right to be worried? Well, spikes in long-term interest rates have happened in the past, most famously in 1994. But in 1994 the U.S. economy was adding 300,000 jobs a month, and the Fed was steadily raising short-term rates. It’s hard to see why anything similar should happen now, with the economy still bleeding jobs and the Fed showing no desire to raise rates anytime soon. A better model, I’d argue, is Japan in the 1990s, which ran persistent large budget deficits, but also had a persistently depressed economy – and saw long-term interest rates fall almost steadily. There’s a good chance that officials are being terrorized by a phantom menace – a threat that exists only in their minds. And shouldn’t we consider the source? As far as I can tell, the analysts now warning about soaring interest rates tend to be the same people who insisted, months after the Great Recession began, that the biggest threat facing the economy was inflation. And let’s not forget that Wall Street – which somehow failed to recognize the biggest housing bubble in history – has a less than stellar record at predicting market behavior.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
The UCC’s New President Whither the role of religion and spirituality in the current roiling cultural soup that is America today? The Obama grass roots revolution of progressive values and the faith-infused notion of “hope,” and the pushback from the still-solid religious right are at odds in an economy where one out of six are unemployed or underemployed, when a third of homeowners are sacked with mortgages that cost more than the value of their homes, and a third of households have at least one person residing within it that is out of work. It is a social context that makes a little clearer the options that are out there regarding the public’s yearning for overarching meaning and institutional bonding. They are broken into two basic camps when it comes to churches, synagogues and mosques. Falls church news-press At the risk of oversimplification, it can be asserted that, on the one hand, there are the institutions that appeal to duty, obedience and exclusion, and, on the other hand, there are those that are grounded in notions of community, connectivity and inclusion. In anxious and insecure times, both offer elements that appear appealing. The former type, often demanding obedience to special knowledge bound up in sacred books or traditions, because of such demands, deny the validity of the latter type, altogether. The latter types, on the other hand, are open to and often attract refugees from the former who come to find them stifling. Also, the latter tend to attract more open-minded, questioning people who are looking to connect with something that is responsive to their spiritual needs and desire for community. As a major representative of the latter type, the mainstream 1.2-million member Protestant denomination known as the United Church of Christ (UCC) made big headlines outside the religion pages of the major news media the last few years for the stand of its National Synod in unqualified support for gay marriage and later for being the denomination of choice of President Barack Obama. The Obama story, of course, wound up centered on his provocative Chicago-based UCC minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose colorful comments made amid fiery sermons were carefully divined out of context and blown up on the national media platform by Obama’s political enemies. But in the context of Obama’s historic victory last fall, and in the ongoing push for genuine health care reform and other progressive causes, combined with the ongoing economic crisis, the UCC is now enjoying a revival of its own. This comes in the context of the installation of a new national president of the UCC, the Rev. Geoffrey Black, last summer. The Rev. Black embodies the primary focus and thrust of the UCC in his own person: as an African-American, he was invited into the predominantly-Anglo UCC in the mid-1970s to serve as a pastor despite the fact he was, at the time, a member of a different denomination. The welcoming of minorities of all types, and despite the religious traditions they come from, if any, is at the heart of the UCC’s mission. The denomination took on major TV networks recently that refused to run its commercials suggesting that gay couples, for example, who are not welcome in some other churches, are welcome in the UCC. The Rev. Black was in Washington, D.C. this week to meet leaders of the denomination’s efforts in the nation’s capital, and an exclusive interview with him on Capital Hill was offered to this writer. During a lengthy conversation, he underscored the UCC’s appeal to refugees of other theologically and socially-more unbending religious institutions, and to the “un-churched” who come looking for a spiritual connection and community. Real community is especially in short supply in the current society, he noted, and the appeal of the UCC and its members can be found in their non-judgmental, open and affirming dispositions that acknowledge and touch the spiritual dimension connecting persons to not only a congregation, but to the spiritual grounding of all creation. “We offer inclusion, hospitality and welcome to a public that may or may not know who we are yet, but if it did, would want to participate,” he said.
Nicholas F. Benton
Nicholas Benton may be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advice From Grandma President Barack Obama’s visit to China this week inevitably invites comparisons between the world’s two leading powers. You know what they say: Britain owned the 19th century, America owned the 20th century, and, it’s all but certain that China will own the 21st century. Maybe, but I’m not ready to cede the 21st century to China just yet. Why not? It has to do with the fact that we are moving into a hyperintegrated world in which all aspects of production – raw materials, design, manufacturing, distribution, fulfillment, financing and branding – have become commodities that can be accessed from anywhere by anyone. But there are still two really important things that NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE can’t be commoditized. Fortunately, America still has one of them: imagination. What your citizens imagine now matters more than ever because they can act on their own imaginations farther, faster, deeper and cheaper than ever before – as individuals. In such a world, societies that can nurture people with the ability to imagine and spin off new ideas will thrive. The Apple iPod may be made in China, but it was dreamed up in America, and that’s where most of the profits go. America – with its open, free, no-limits, immigrant-friendly society – is still the world’s greatest dream machine. Who would cede a century in which imagination will have such a high value to an authoritarian society that controls its Internet and jails political prisoners? Remember what Grandma used to say: Never cede a century to a country that censors Google. But while our culture of imagination is still vibrant, the other critical factor that still differentiates countries today – and is not a commodity – is good governance, which can harness creativity. And that we may be losing. I am talking about the ability of a society’s leaders to think long term, address their problems with the optimal legislation and attract capable people into government. What I increasingly fear today is that America is only able to produce “suboptimal” responses to its biggest problems – education, debt, financial regulation, health care, energy and environment. Why? Because at least six things have come together to fracture our public space and paralyze our ability to forge optimal solutions: 1) Money in politics has become so pervasive that lawmakers have to spend most of their time raising it, selling their souls to those who have it or defending
Thomas L. Friedman
themselves from the smallest interest groups with deep pockets that can trump the national interest; 2) The gerrymandering of political districts means politicians of each party can now choose their own voters and never have to appeal to the center; 3) The cable TV culture encourages shouting and segregating people into their own political echo chambers; 4) A permanent presidential campaign leaves little time for governing; 5) The Internet, which, at its best, provides a check on elites and establishments and opens the way for new voices and, which, at its worst provides a home for every extreme view and spawns digital lynch mobs from across the political spectrum that attack anyone who departs from their specific orthodoxy; and 6) A U.S. business community that has become so globalized that it only comes to Washington to lobby for its own narrow interests; it rarely speaks out anymore in defense of national issues like health care, education and open markets. These six factors are pushing our system, which was designed to have divided powers and to force compromises, into the realm of paralysis. To get anything big done now, we have to generate so many compromises – couched in 1,000-plus-page bills – with so many different interest groups that the solutions are totally suboptimal. We just get the sum of all interest groups. The miniversion of this is California, which, as others have noted, is becoming America’s biggest “failed state.” Californians had hoped they could overcome their dysfunctional system by electing an outsider, a former movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He would slay the system, like the Terminator. But he couldn’t. Obama was elected for similar reasons. People had hoped that his unique story, personality and speaking skills could bring the country together, overcome paralysis and deliver nation-building at home. A lot of the disappointment settling in among Obama voters today is prompted by their dawning realization that maybe, like Arnold, he can’t. China’s leaders, using authoritarian means, still can. They don’t have to always settle for suboptimal. So what do we do? The standard answer is that we need better leaders. The real answer is that we need better citizens. We need citizens who will convey to their leaders that they are ready to sacrifice, even pay, yes, higher taxes, and will not punish politicians who ask them to do the hard things. Otherwise, folks, we’re in trouble. A great power that can only produce suboptimal responses to its biggest challenges will, in time, fade from being a great power – no matter how much imagination it generates. Grandma said that, too.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
The Pope Problem It is time to admit that the gay community has a gigantic Pope problem. Under the leadership of Benedict XVI, the Vatican has become an implacable foe of liberalism, modernity and basic rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Rome has eagerly jumped with both feet into America’s culture wars and is working on a global scale to punish or purge ideological dissenters within the church. This aggressive activism presents a formidable new front in the fight for parity – one with considerable political clout and financial resources. Last week, a coalition of totalitarian religious activists and radical clerics joined forces to unveil the “Manhattan Declaration” at Washington’s National Press Club. This rambling manifesto, written by former Watergate felon Chuck Colson, called for “Christians” to disobey laws they didn’t fancy and nything to ignore civil rights laws that protected GLBT people from discrimination. It was ut traight a dishonest document filled with historical revisionism that promoted theocracy, By Wayne Besen encouraged anarchy and supported the dissolution of the rule of law. It falsely portrayed right wing Christians as victims, even as they pledged to work tirelessly to deny equality to those who would not adhere to their sectarian church rules. An extreme manifesto of such breathtaking cynicism and insincerity is no surprise coming from what passes for “leaders” in today’s evangelical circles. It was striking, however, that more than 15 key American Catholic leaders signed on to the “Manhattan Declaration”. Signatories included heavyweights such as Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC. This was clearly a call to arms and a powerful signal that the Roman Catholic Church is taking the gloves off to fight political battles in America. This hands-on involvement from Rome has passed the “trend” stage and appears to be official policy. Consider the significant involvement the Catholic Church had in stripping marriage rights away from GLBT couples in a Maine referendum held earlier this month. In the same manner, on June 11, the Washington, DC Archdiocese threatened to abandon the homeless and quit charity work in the District if it had to comply with anti-discrimination laws. Catholic Charities had the audacity to believe it was entitled to collect $8.2 million in tax dollars meant to serve all DC residents, and then still get to handpick whom it deems worthy of assistance. Catholic involvement with archconservative politics is growing by the day. In May, Catholic groups tried to stop President Barack Obama from speaking at a Notre Dame commencement ceremony because of his pro-choice position. Earlier this month, Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin put the clamp on Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), banning the lawmaker from communion because he is pro-choice. This was reminiscent of The St. Louis Archbishop refusing to give communion to John Kerry during his presidential campaign. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has suddenly begun to steer GLBT Catholics to 12-step programs that promise to “cure” homosexuality or support them in a lifelong celibacy. The Catholic Diocese in Sioux Falls, South Dakota urged its 128-thousand members to oppose an attempt to bring legalizing embryonic stem cell research to a public referendum. In fighting back, we must remember that the Vatican is launching these attacks from a position of weakness. It has yet to recover its moral authority from public exposure of rampant child sexual abuse scandals that cost the Church billions of dollars in legal settlements. The Vatican appears to be acutely aware it is losing its worldwide market share. It is basically defunct in the Middle East, where the religion began, and on life-support in Western Europe, where it once prospered. In Africa, Rome competes with Islam and Anglicanism for a shrinking slice of the pie. South America, one of its few remaining strongholds, is losing Roman Catholics to evangelical faiths by the millions. Instead of competing against the conservative evangelical brand, Pope Benedict has decided to embrace it, shaping a conspicuously political Catholicism that embraces extremism and drives out dissenters. The Vatican has become so doctrinaire that it recently launched an invasive probe into the lives of America’s 60,000 nuns to enforce anachronistic rules. Fortunately, Benedict is a cold, unsympathetic figure and the majority of American Catholics often ignore his edicts. The strategy for the GLBT community should be to stand up to Rome and help mobilize mainstream Catholics to fight back against an authoritarian Pontiff who is hell-bent on making the Catholic Church as unpopular and unappealing as His Holiness.
Week of November 17 - 23, 2009 Larceny from Vehicle, 100 blk E Broad St, between November 11, 4:30 PM and November 12, 6:45 PM, a catalytic converter was cut from the body of a truck by an unknown suspect. Victim also reported that about a month earlier the same vehicle had been spray painted with lettered graffiti. Possession of Untaxed Cigarettes, 6795-20 Wilson Blvd, (Pho Bien Restaurant), November 17, 1:36 PM, a female, 29, of Annandale, and owner of the restaurant was issued a summons for possession of untaxd cigarettes. Possession of Untaxed Cigarettes, 6763-12 Wilson Blvd, (Café Window), November 17, 2:58 PM, a female, 36, of Springfield, and owner of the restaurant was issued a summons for possession of untaxed
cigarettes. Drunk in Public, 1100 blk W Broad St, November 11, 7:08 PM. A male, 47, of no fixed address, was arrested for being drunk in public. Destruction of Property, 1400 blk S West St, between November 16, 5:30 PM and November 17, 5:30 PM, unknown suspect(s) used a pellet or BB gun to shoot out a small vent window of an unoccupied vehicle. Driving under the Influence, 800 blk S Washington St, November 18, 2:51 AM, a male, 29, of the City of Falls Church, was arrested for driving under the influence. Larceny – Theft from Building, 800 blk W Broad St, October 31, unknown suspect(s) stole a saxophone. Aggravated Assault, 100 blk
Tinner’s Hill, November 18, 9:24 PM, a male, 62, of Falls Church was charged with malicious wounding and with being drunk in public. Drunk in Public, 100 blk Tinner’s Hill, November 18, 8:43 PM, a male, 42, of Falls Church was arrested for being drunk in public. Vandalism to Vehicle, 1100 blk Lincoln Ave, between November 18, 10:19 PM and November 19, 7:19 AM, unknown suspect(s) broke the passenger side window of a locked van. Nothing was taken and the vehicle was still locked. Destruction of Property, 900 blk Ellison St, November 19, 11:37 PM, a vehicle had four windows broken out and all four tires slashed. A suspect was identified. Simple Assault, 1000 blk W Broad St, November 19, 6:00 PM, victim reported that he was assaulted while walking home with his girlfriend. A male, 22, of Falls Church was arrested for assault. Drunk in Public, 6700 Wilson Blvd (Eden Center), November 20, 4:29 PM, a male, 54, of no fixed address, was arrested for being drunk in public. Liquor Law Violations, 6700 blk Wilson Blvd (Eden Center), November 22, 1:47 AM, a male, 20, of Burke, was arrested for underage possession of alcohol. Driving under the Influence, 100 blk N Washington St, November 22, 11: 43 PM, a male, 25, of Annandale was arrested for driving under the influence.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
A Penny for Your Thoughts
News of Greater Falls Church By Supervisor Penny Gross
Happy Thanksgiving! Our traditional American Thanksgiving signals the beginning of the holiday season, and brings tens of thousands of families and friends together, in large venues and in small ones, to share joy, remembrance, and lots of food. For more than we know, however, today may be pretty bleak, with little to eat and even less to celebrate. These are tough times for local food banks and pantries, which are experiencing double and triple demands for help this year, and existing stocks of food are rapidly depleted. They need our help. Local faith communities, like the Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA), St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Culmore United Methodist Church, and Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque, all run food pantries. Perhaps your own place of worship conducts food drives. On a regional basis, Food for Others, 2938 Prosperity Avenue in Merrifield (info@foodforothers), and the Federation of Virginia Food banks in Lorton (telephone 703/541-3063), provide help throughout Northern Virginia. Many grocery stores also have donation coupons available at the cash register. Just tear one off and have that amount added to your grocery bill – an easy donation. Food banks need our help year-round. The holidays are a good time to share, and start a beneficial habit for the New Year. Everyone is thankful for loving families, good health, job success, a nice home. Here are some other ideas to remember at Thanksgiving time: • Thanks to the voters who turned out earlier this month for statewide elections. Regardless of the outcome (for which some of us are not very thankful), the elections proved once again that our democratic system works, and voters may select their candidate without fear of retribution or intimidation. • Thanks to Fairfax County Health Department staff who are working 24/7 to address the H1N1 pandemic, including inoculating thousands of children at massive clinics. Availability of the vaccine through
the federal government is causing some delay, but staff are working through the barriers to ensure that we maintain a healthy community. • Thanks for the understanding and outreach so ingrained in our Mason District and Fairfax County community. We are a very diverse area, and the interactions between and among cultures are worthy of celebration. We still have a way to go, but many communities around the nation are envious of the quality of life and respect evident here. • Thanks to all the volunteers who shoulder tasks to improve their neighborhoods. Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova often describes Fairfax County residents as very “engaged.” And she’s right. Whether working with children and youth, with homeless persons, with senior citizens, on environmental projects, or social services, to name just a few, volunteers are crucial to maintaining and improving our quality of life. • And, finally, thanks to our public safety employees, who are well-trained experts in helping us through some of the most difficult times in life. When you call 911 for help, it’s not just the equipment with lights and sirens that responds. The network of care depends on the calltaker who fields the initial phone call, the dispatcher who determines what kind of response is needed, the fire or police personnel who arrive to face whatever crisis might be underway. And the network also depends on public works staff, who respond through 911 to water and sewer emergencies, often the messiest of all! As we sit down to our traditional dinners today, let’s keep in mind how fortunate we are to live, and thrive, in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Our Man in Arlington
But it is the magnificent music that drives the production: “Make Believe,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” “Why Do I Love You?” “Bill,” “You Are Love,” and of course the iconic “Ol’Man River.” For this hopeless romantic, it is a four hankie show. The cast is excellent. Will Gartshore and Stephanie Waters lead as the star-crossed lovers Gaylord Ravenal (“You Are Love”) and Magnolia (“Why Do I Love You”). Harry Winter is a great Cap’n Andy and narrator of the story. Terry Burnell plays the tragic Julie (“Bill”). And, of course, VaShawn McIlwain as Joe sings a wonderful “Ol’ Man River.” Sandy Bainum (Ellie) and Bobby Smith (Frank) play a peppy song and dance team with verve (“Goodbye My Lady Love” and “Life Upon the Wicked Stage”). The rest of the cast is excellent, too, as is the fourteen-piece orchestra. Some of Washington’s theater critics, most notably Peter Marks of the Washington Post, gave “Showboat” mediocre reviews, based primarily, I think, on trying to cram such a large show in such a small space. These were the views of professional critics, though, and do not reflect the great enthusiasm of the audience the night we were in the theater. For us, the show was magic. It is excellent holiday entertainment for you and your family.
For the Barton’s, holiday time is also theater time. We like to go to the theater year round, but the holiday season turns us to positive, upbeat theater and, preferably musicals. We jumped the gun this season by taking in Signature’s production of “Showboat” during its opening week. There is no doubt about it; this is the one for you this holiday season! “Showboat” is a blockbuster of a musical – large cast and orchestra and sprawling over a forty-year time span. It centers around one of the great Mississippi River Showboats in the first act, with Chicago and Greenville, Mississippi being the focal points in the second act. Yet it all fits on a spare stage set with no showboat (but a balcony which passes for the main deck of the boat when necessary). The focal point, as it should be, is all in the music and the drama. It works very well in Signature’s intimate MAX Theater, which brings in the audience as part of the production. The story is a familiar one to most of us. Centering on the performers and crew of the Cotton Blossom, we have racial tensions, love, both requited and unrequited, comedy and tragedy. Edna Ferber’s novel tells a great story.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at email@example.com.
Richard Barton may be e-mailed at rbarton@ towervillas.com.
Delegate Jim Scott’s
Richmond Report More budget pain In the past few years, we have seen election campaigns based on decrying county and state budget deficits. In Virginia, our constitution prohibits unbalanced budgets. If state and local governments have insufficient revenues to pay the bills, they must increase revenues or make expenditure reductions to ensure that balance is maintained. In my experience, state and local governments have done just that. If revenues fall below expectations, expenses are cut. While employment in Virginia has fared better than in many other states, we have seen unemployment increase even though the recession is technically “over.” Our fiscal conservatism is one of the foundations of our reputation as the best managed state, the most business friendly state and the state where a child is most likely to be successful when he/she grows up. In the past several months, Governor Kaine has maintained Virginia’s standards – and its AAA Bond rating – by reducing agency budgets without proposing any tax increases. That has been possible largely because of Federal stimulus funding. But that funding will cease in the next fiscal year. Last week I attended the House Appropriations Committee’s annual “retreat” held in Richmond. The staff presented a very thorough and pessimistic view of our fiscal situation. Below are some of their conclusions: “All ‘low-hanging fruit’ have been picked” “Standard option of level funding or freezing programs not sufficient to close the gap”
“Sustainable reductions to ongoing costs will have to be made” So far Federal stimulus funding has allowed the state to limit reductions in public education funding. That aid will cease before the end of the next fiscal year. With no revenue increases, teachers and state employees are unlikely to see increases. And state funding for support personnel such as central office staff, finance, human resource, attendance, health, social workers, guidance support, and other operation and maintained personnel will be curtailed. Public safety and prison costs will have to be limited as well. Since Virginia has one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation and since our prison system is therefore so expensive, we will have to find ways of cutting operating expenses and providing alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders that have proved successful here and elsewhere. Finally, we must remember that our transportation system remains woefully underfunded. While the HOT lanes and Dulles rail projects are moving forward, maintenance has suffered and key intersection improvements are in jeopardy or suspended. Without additional revenue, we will only see further decline. After November’s election results, I see little likelihood of additional revenue in the near future. Delegate Scott represents the 53rd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. He may be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
News Butz-Wilbern, Ltd. has moved from McLean into Suite 400 of “The Flower Building” at 800 W. Broad Street in Falls Church. The architectural and planning firm designed the building which is the first LEED Certified Gold building in Falls Church. It addresses a state-of-the-art envelope and unique aesthetic goals. Key elements include a green roof, recycled content, high efficiency mechanical systems, cool coating on parking deck, xeriscaping, and multi-modal transportation connections. The firm was founded in 1989 by Sam Butz and Jack Wilbern, as a professional architectural and planning firm dedicated to providing effective, efficient and exceptional design services to individual, corporate, and developer clients. The firm, which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, also designed the Read Building located at 402 W. Broad Street. Both Falls Church buildings were designed for The Young Group. For more information, visit www.butzwilbern.com. Café Nessma has opened its Hookah Bar next door to the restaurant in the West End Shopping Center at 1079 W Broad Street in Falls Church. The Lebanese restaurant, owned and operated by Johara Choukri and her husband Saad Masri, was the Falls Church News-Press “Restaurant Spotlight of the Week” April 22, 2009 and the 2nd place winner of the 2009 Taste of Falls Church. The restaurant is open daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, call 571-641-3111.
PAID POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT
NOTICE OF FALLS CHURCH CITY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS The Falls Church City Democratic Committee hereby announces that it will hold an unassembled caucus between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday December 12, 2009 on the second floor of the Falls Church Community Center for the purpose of electing members to the Falls Church City Democratic Committee. The caucus will elect no more than four (4) members from each of the five (5) wards of Falls Church City. An additional ten (10) at-large members will also be elected. There are 30 total memberships available on the committee.
Any person wishing to seek election as a member of the committee must file with Betty Coll, Chair of the Falls Church City Democratic Committee, 315 N. Virginia Avenue, Falls Church, VA 22046 no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, December 7, 2009. A voluntary administrative fee of $10.00 (which may be waived) will be charged at the time of filing for those wishing to be elected members of the committee. A fully completed form must be presented by the deadline. Forms are available from the Chair (info below).
PEASE NOTE: The caucus shall be cancelled without further public notice if membership is uncontested. In such event, all qualified applicants shall be appointed automatically under the rules of the committee.
There is no charge for those wishing to attend and vote at the caucus. Any person attending the caucus, before participating in that caucus, shall sign a standardized Caucus Participation Form stating that he or she is a Democrat, does not intend to support any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic nominee in the ensuing general election, believes in the principles of the Democratic Party, and is a registered voter in such precinct or county or city. Caucus Participation Forms must be filled out at the caucus prior to voting. The caucus will conclude promptly at 4:00 p.m. at which time the doors will be closed and no person may complete a form or vote after that time with the exception of those persons in line at 4:00 p.m.
For further information, please contact Betty Coll, Falls Church City Democratic Committee at (703) 7256025 or via email at FCCDCBlue@aol.com. Immediately following adjournment of the caucus, a meeting of the committee will be convened to elect officers. Authorized and paid for by the Falls Church City Democratic Committee
Dogma Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique is raising funds to buy a ballistic vest for Falls Church City Police dog Thor. Thor was donated to the Falls Church City police by Jefferson One/The Young Group, developers of Washington Market, The Read Building, and “The Flower Building” and owners of several other properties in Falls Church. Cash, change and checks (made out to Dogma) can be dropped by Dogma at 2445 N. Harrison Street, Arlington. Over the summer, Dogma ran a similar fundraising campaign to purchase a vest for Fany, the Falls Church City Sheriff’s Department dog. Dogma is an independently owned and operated retailer of healthy products for both dogs and dog lovers. For more information, visit www.dogmabakery.com. Mattie’s Flower Box in Falls Church has closed. The local florist was located in the West End Plaza at 1071 W. Broad Street. The phone number has been disconnected. Tysons Pharmacy has opened in the Tysons Station plaza at 7508 Leesburg Pike. The new pharmacy, which is offering a 20% discount to celebrate its grand opening, is a designated center for the H1N1 vaccine. For more information, call 703-992-7083.
Events Occasions, Inc., a full-service event and meeting management company and tour operator, has partnered with area vendors to host a holiday open house at 1757 Golf Club in Sterling on Wednesday, Dec. 16 from 6 – 9 p.m. The event, designed for corporations, associations and nonprofits, will be one-stop shopping for event services. Participating vendors include Weirding Word® Editorial and Design Services, 1757 Golf Club, Celebrations Catering, Alpine Portable Restrooms, Digitized Logos, Inc., Minuteman Press, Healing Design, Feast in a Basket, Metropolitan Parking & Transportation, Inc., Burgundy Blue Jazz Band and Picture This. Attendees will sample savory fare from some of the area’s best caterers, and enjoy an elegant evening filled with the joy of the holiday season. 1757 Golf Club is located at 45120 Waxpool Road in Sterling. For more information or to register for the free event, visit www.occasionsinc.com. FIRSTfriday of Falls Church events will take place in a number of local businesses throughout the day on Friday, Dec. 4. For information about art exhibits, performances, dining specials, and other special offers, visit www.firstfridayoffallschurch.com. The Business News & Notes section is compiled by Sally Cole, Executive Director of Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce. She may be e-mailed at email@example.com.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
THE PEAK OIL CRISIS
Business Cycles & Paradigm Shifts Day after day we hear that the recession is over. The President says it; his Cabinet Secretaries and spokesmen say it; the newspapers repeat it again and again in nearly every business story; and finally the talking heads on the cable networks solemnly intone every few minutes that the recession is over – except for possibly some lagging employment problems. Among the wonders of the 21st Century is that we now have the internet so we are no longer dependent on the words of our political leaders, the newspapers, the magazines, radio, or television. It is all out there in cyberspace for those with access to the net and the initiative to look. For those who don’t have the time to research the nuances of the global economy, there are dozens or more likely hundreds out there ready to enlighten us for a fee or sometimes for free as to alternative interpretations of current events. One, of course, has to be careful as to which of the many unknown commentators out there one chooses to believe. However, given enough time and experience with alternative interpretations of publicly available information, one can come up with a set of observer/ interpreters that not only disagree vehemently with the mainstream’s conventional interpretations, but more importantly tell you why in a believable fashion. By definition, these alternative interpreters are not only saying our current recession is not over, they are literally screaming that we have a long ways to go. They warn not to be fooled by manipulated and poorly portrayed government statistics. They note that much of what the government really has to say each week is being ignored as business writers clutch at straws in an effort to reassure us that all will be well. The heart of the alternative message is that real un-/underemployment is probably double the 10 percent we hear about; the GDP and every other form of economic activity is falling, not growing; and that home foreclosures will continue to grow and house values will continue to
tumble until they reach the longterm trend. If all this sounds overly pessimistic, then note that last week the giant French investment bank Société Générale warned its customers to prepare for a possible “global economic collapse” over the next two years. Now that is really scary! The problem, of course, is that 99 percent of us including two U.S. administrations think or at least say we are witnessing a periodic slowdown in the business cycle. As we all know, this unhappy situation was brought on by too
the resources to maintain and grow the standard of living of the 6.5 billion of us are being used up at a prodigious pace. Another resource is the ability of the world’s atmosphere to hold increasing amounts of carbon. At the minute the polls tell us that two-thirds of Americans have lost interest in whether or not our great-grandchildren can survive a six degree centigrade increase in the earth’s average temperature. In the last year, we seem to have become more concerned about not having our taxes or energy prices increased. As a civilization we can only deal with one crisis at a time. If we have to prioritize our paradigm shift problems, it would seem that at the minute the financial/economic crisis is winning. Many are starting to wonder whether America and the world for that matter can stand another 12 months of trillion dollar deficits, negative interest rates, massive trade imbalances, money printing and borrowing. The oil depletion problem that we talk about here is still another 24 to 48 months away from becoming a full-blown crisis. Unless of course the Chinese figure out how to convert their current financial bubble into real economic growth and begin sopping up the world’s oil at an even faster rate, then we could see an oil-price induced crisis develop much more quickly. Should there be a real global economic collapse in our immediate future, the oil depletion problem might just get lost in the debris along with much else. There is probably not much any of us, or our elected leaders, can really do about all this, except perhaps to try and understand what is happening. The forces behind our paradigm shift grew up over decades and are unlikely to be solved or even mitigated in a noticeable fashion in years. Someday, maybe months, maybe years, maybe decades from now there will be a great awakening when a critical mass of us recognize the real nature of our problems and start to search for and implement effective solutions. Until that time things are only going to get worse and worse.
e are witnessing the
opening years of a
massive paradigm shift. much lending of every imaginable description, leveraging, and speculating on the part of our financial institutions that over the years had talked their way out of adequate government regulation. What very few as yet appreciate is that in reality we are witnessing the opening years of a massive paradigm shift that that will bring about some of the most profound changes in our civilization since the beginning of the industrial revolution. The current faux “recovery” is nothing more than an artifact of the trillions of borrowed and printed dollars that have been injected into parts of the U.S. and global economy creating the very temporary illusion that all will soon be well. The forces moving this paradigm shift are well known to many. First we have trillions and trillions of debt. So much that it will take a very, very long time to make our financial system solvent. Transferring the debt to the U.S. government does not solve the situation. These deficit-financed government bailouts may hold off the day of reckoning for months or maybe even a couple of years, but it will come. Second we have the depletion of much of the world’s natural resources. From oil, to minerals, to fresh water, to soil,
November 26 - December 2, 2009
Arenas’ Needed Ego Check There are government-owned When they swapped the No. mountains in the Nevada des- 5 draft pick for Randy Foye and sert that are less radioactive than Mike Miller, the Wizards made the Washington Wizards’ locker a clear declaration that they were room right now. As reported by playing to win immediately. If the Washington Post’s Michael they don’t win now, investing all Lee on Monday, center Brendan that money in Arenas by way of Haywood said that “ego” was his maximum contract is going to blame for the Wizards’ woes. to look awfully foolish, which Gilbert Arenas, whose ego has will reflect rather poorly on both been known to, at times, swell player and team. roughly the size of Guam, folWhen constructing a roster lowed up Haywood’s comments under the NBA salary cap, there by blaming “hidis really just one den agendas” for cardinal sin: Don’t the team’s troubles. Picking Splinters give the wrong playBy Moreover, Arenas’s er a max-contract. solution, should the Bet on the wrong Mike Hume Wiz not right themhorse and there is selves soon, is to never enough finanstart chucking shots and trying to cial flexibility to recover by addtake the game over by himself. ing more premium talent. Right Haywood may find himself in now, it looks like that’s precisely a precarious situation, since he what the Wizards have done with has a track record of locker room Arenas. issues, as former sparring partWashington is playing for a ner Etan Thomas will certainly present that looks like something tell you. In contrast, fans have from Cormac McCarthy’s postalways fallen head over heels for apocalyptic novel “The Road.” Arenas, whose forays into social The Wiz have an aging roster, a media like Twitter and blogging, dearth of young talent, no draft combined with his knack for big pick from last season and a plethshots, have endeared him to the ora of performance problems. District. But in this apparent dis- Right now, there’s little to look pute, Haywood’s remarks seem the forward to. most on the money. And it’s pretty Had the Wizards gone in a difclear they’re directed at Arenas, or ferent direction with “Agent Seven rather, Agent Zero, Hibachi, or any Zeros” and passed on him, this of the other nicknames Gilbert has team could have netted the young coined for himself. point guard it needs in the past Volatile chemistry will abso- draft (Brandon Jennings? Jonny lutely short-circuit this season for Flynn?), consoled itself with a Washington. Why? Because despite rebuilding year this season with what GM Ernie Grunfeld may a likely lottery pick and added think, this team does not have the another star to complement Caron raw talent to hang with teams like Butler through free agency. That the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic wouldn’t be such a bad future to and Cleveland Cavaliers. More to peer into. the point, Arenas does not have the Instead fans are left to watch same raw talent as the league’s elite this franchise gasp through a series players. At least not any more. of death throes that could last 82 Arenas has yet to show he’s games. That contrast in scenarios the same elite player that domi- could bring Arenas’s popularity nated games before his 93 dif- crashing to the ground along with ferent knee surgeries. And let’s the team’s downward spiral. face it, after missing most of the Arenas is a player whose quirky past two seasons because of knee nature, showmanship and awareoperations and setbacks, it would ness as a sheer entertainer make be ludicrous to think he could be him easy to love. But between the same player. If the Wizards his contract and his comments are going to make this work, they on Monday, his performances on need to click as a team. In order to the court had best start equaling do that, Arenas has to stop think- his performances off of it. Or else ing he’s the same star as several that love he often feels from fans years ago. And he has to do that could fade awfully fast. because this year success is their Mike Hume may be e-mailed at only option. firstname.lastname@example.org.
MCLEAN H.S. SENIOR Chris Russo (left photo) joined senior Sean Fitzgerald (left, second photo) to sign on to Division I college baseball teams. Fitzgerald stands next to McLean High’s student activities director, Tom Herman. (Photo: Courtesy Jim Patrick)
Next Up for MHS Baseball Stars: NCAA Division I Play McLean High School’s Athletics witnessed two more of its star athletes signing on early to major college teams for this coming year. Both seniors Sean Fitzgerald and Chris Russo earned their honors on the baseball field during their tenure on the McLean High School’s (MHS) varsity baseball team. Fitzgerald has signed on to attend Notre Dame to play for the NCAA Division I team. As a Highlander, Fitzgerald made the second team on the AllLiberty District team as a utility player. He made it on the first
team during the spring of 2008 and 2009. Fitzgerald was also named to the second team for the AllNorthern Region in 2008, and followed up on the distinction with a place on the first team in 2009 as a pitcher. He finished last season with the added honors of Liberty District Pitcher of the Year, an All-State honorable mention and as a pitcher on the first team for the All-Met. On top of his honors outside McLean’s halls, Fitzgerald will also go down as the all-time career leader in wins, 19, entering his senior year.
Russo, who is signing on for Virginia Military Institute’s Division I baseball team, garnered an honorable mention for the AllLiberty District in 2008 as a utility player. In 2009, Russo earned first team All-Liberty District as a second baseman, and an honorable mention for the All-Northern Region. Fitzgerald and Russo join fellow McLean seniors Hanna Longwell (lacrosse, Colgate University) and Lauren McColgan (softball, George Mason University) in signing for Division I teams nationwide.
McLean Highlanders Take High Honors In All-District, Fall to Lee in Regionals Coming out of a tough season for the Highlanders, with six wins and five losses, players from the McLean High School varsity football team received top honors for All-District. First team honors went to Bill Dvorkin (G), Jonathan Fremerman (TE), Riley Beiro (RB), Karl Meyer (P), Drew Hunt (K), Anthony Maestri (DL) and Cameron Payne (DB). Second team honorees included Maestri again, who was
named as a center; Andre Newman (G); Joe Smith (DE); Tim Ferry (LB); Chase Mills (DB); and Kiley Beiro (KR). The Highlanders also earned several honorable mentions: Sebastian Chavez (OT), Will Hecht (QB), Jimmy Ludwick (RB), Brandt Dawson (DE), Scotty Lafoon (DL), Bobby Ludwick (LB), Thomas Overby (LB) and Will Burleson (DB). The 2009 season marked a
comeback for the Highlanders, with a tight 35-34 win over Langley High earlier in November. The win put the Highlanders in play in the Northern Region quarterfinals, where the number seven-ranked McLean team faced number-two seed Lee High on Nov. 14. Despite leading 9-0 in the first quarter, and Beiro making two touchdowns for the evening, Lancers overpowered Highlanders by the third quarter.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
STUART DANCERS TAKE BRONZE
THE J.E.B. STUART DANCE TEAM placed third in the Hip Hop category at the United Dance Association’s championship competition last week, held at Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax. It was the team’s second consecutive year at the competition. The girls placed second last year in Hip Hop. This time round, the girls performed both hip hop and jazz routines. The team also took on new team members this year, along with a new head coach, Betsy Finch. The girls will be competing with the same two dances at their last competition of the season on Sunday, Dec. 5. (Photo: Courtesy Alissa Wunder)
Area High School Sports Roundup Area High Schools Gear Up For New Basketball Season The George Mason High School varsity girls basketball team played their first scrimmage of the season against McLean on Tuesday, with results too late for press. The Lady Mustangs, looking to defend their state title this season, will play J.E.B. Stuart in a scrimmage game this Saturday, Nov. 28 at Stuart. The game will begin at noon. Next up, the Mason girls play Falls Church High on Thursday, Dec. 2 in a home game held at the adjacent Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School. The game begins at 7 p.m. The Mason boys team won’t begin their season till next Friday, Dec. 3, when the team travels to Loudoun County. Falls Church High School’s varsity boys basketball played George C. Marshall High last Monday, and is taking on Dominion High in a scrimmage on
Monday, Nov. 30, in a home game at 7:45 p.m. Falls Church High’s girls team is playing West Potomac High in a home scrimmage at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, before traveling to Mason’s court the next day. Marshall High’s boys team will challenge Stafford High this Saturday, Nov. 28, in an away scrimmage that begins at 4 p.m. The boys welcome Oakton High to a home game battle on Thursday, Dec. 2, which starts at 7:30 p.m. The McLean Highlanders’ boys team took on Oakton last Monday in a scrimmage, and is preparing for a home game against Centreville High this Monday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Highlanders will face off against Centreville on Nov. 30, as well, in an away game that begins at 7 p.m. J.E.B. Stuart’s boys basketball team will host Lee High on Monday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. for its final scrimmage.
Wrestling Teams Take to the Mats In Prep for Season After several weeks of practice, the George Mason High School varsity wrestling team held its first home scrimmage last Tuesday. The team has 25 members this year, with 10 returning, including five seniors. The boys will hold several more practices this week before traveling to Falls Church High School on Thursday, Dec. 2, for their first meet of the season. The meet begins at 5 p.m. Potomac High will also be participating. George C. Marshall’s varsity wrestling team faced off against West Springfield High and Herndon High in a scrimmage meet last Wednesday. The Statesmen have one more scrimmage next Wednesday, Dec. 1, at Yorktown High at 7 p.m. They begin their season with a home meet against Fairfax High on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m.
@ FCNP For the Best Updates on Falls Church, D.C. and Northern Virginia
November 26 - December 2, 2009
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
Langley H.S. Theatre Leaves for N.Y. Trip Langley High School’s Theatre Arts field trip to New York will leave on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5 a.m. from the school’s grounds and return on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 5 a.m. Students and chaperones are asked to dress warmly and arrive to the school parking lot no later than 4:45 a.m. Peter Pan Flies into George C. Marshall H.S. The theatre group of George C. Marshall High School is launching its fall production of “Peter Pan: A Musical.” Theatre director Trena WeissNull has incorporated over 63 pieces of music, song, dance and magic with the Neverland set. The show stays true to the Broadway play and includes complex props and involved
performances from the Marshall cast and crew. This family-friendly production opens next Friday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. at the George C. Marshall auditorium (7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church) and will run the weekends of Dec. 4 – 6 and Dec. 11 – 12. Those interested in attending may purchase tickets at the door for $5 per student and $7 per adult. For more information, call 703-714-5400. Local Schools Place High In Smithsonian Challenge Representatives from St. Ann School of Arlington and Grace Lutheran School of Falls Church placed second and third at the Cabot Creamery Cooperative’s “Big Bonus Bash” at the Smithsonian Institution held on Saturday, Nov. 14.
Seventh and eighth graders crafted original works, displays and messages that help communicate why calcium should matter to their peers. The winners earned between $100 – $500 in prizes for their schools.
To participate stop by Barnes & Noble (6260 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church) on Friday, Dec. 4 from 6 – 9 p.m. Those who are unable to attend but would still like to help the school should quote voucher number 501270 at any Barnes & Noble store in the country during the week of Dec. 4 – 11 and purchases will be credited to Mary Ellen Henderson. For more information, call Kathy McCleary at 703-5327066 or e-mail kathymccleary@ cox.net.
Mary Ellen Henderson M.S. PTA Hosts Book Fair Night
Langley H.S. Hosts Financial Aid Night
The Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) invites all to get their holiday shopping out of the way while supporting a local school. The PTA’s Book Fair Night will raise funds through book purchases while students perform holiday songs and stories throughout the evening. The fundraiser will be topped off with free coffee and home baked goodies.
The Student Services Office of Langley High School will be hosting a Financial Aid Night for all Fairfax County residents to help students and parents troubled over college financial aid. The evening will help explain FASFA forms and information, scholarships, grants and loans. The evening of fiscal education will be held Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Langley High School auditorium (6520
Georgetown Pike, McLean). For more information, call 703-2872700. Capitals Hockey Schools At Luther Jackson M.S. Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich, defenseman Jeff Schultz and assistant coach Dean Evason visited Luther Jackson Middle School in Falls Church to host the Capitals Hockey School presented by Chevy Chase Bank on Wednesday, Nov. 18. The trio began the session fielding questions from students in the middle school’s gym before directing a floor hockey clinic with the 150 seventh grade students. The clinic instructed students about puck handling, passing and shooting, before hosting a skills competition and scrimmage. The program concluded with the Capitals donating a set of floor hockey equipment to the school. This is the third consecutive year the Capitals have conducted the program.
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
Straight from the Garden
Raw Treats for the Table
F.C. Nutritionist Prepares Raw Food Feast for the D.C. Vegetarian Society’s Annual Thanksgiving
by Dean Edwards
Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”
Keeping away from the oven this Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a raw deal for individuals looking for a sumptuous meal. In fact, a raw food diet, consisting of vegetables and fruits prepared with no cooking or baking at all, might be just the ticket to make this Thanksgiving a unique dining experience. For the approximately 200 to 300 attendees at this year’s annual “Life-Affirming Thanksgiving Celebration,” hosted by the Vegetarian Society of D.C. at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda this Thanksgiving, Falls Church’s professional chef and self-educated nutritionist Dominique Hoffman, will be offering a completely raw food menu. It is the first year a raw food diet will be available at the celebration. In raw food cuisine, food is prepared by using techniques like dehydrating fruits and vegetables with salt, or binding with juices and nuts, rather than using traditional stovetop and oven methods. “The flavors of raw food meals are much stronger than when the meal has been cooked,” said Hoffman, who studied in 2004 at the Ecole de Boulangerie et Patisserie in Paris, France.
While Hoffman’s usual preparations are not focused on raw food, she said it was a welcome challenge to prepare a completely raw food menu for the celebration. “With raw food, you have to be very creative. You need to use less of certain ingredients than you would in a cooked meal,” she said. “For example, in a cooked dish, you might add three or four cloves of garlic, where in a raw recipe, it would only need one at most.” For the Vegetarian Society’s feast, Hoffman said she’s preparing a minestrone-like lentil soup for the appetizer, a kale salad, stuffed zucchini for the main dish and a mango parfait for dessert. In lieu of cooking the zucchini, Hoffman said she uses kosher salt to bring out the squash’s flavor and make the flesh tender. Hoffman’s unique menu will appear alongside contributions from other area chefs, including the usual turkey-substitutes. Despite her formal training in preparing pastries, Hoffman said her upbringing emphasized the importance of fresh produce on the plate. “I was brought up with a Mediterranean diet, and my family did not eat much meat at all,” said Hoffman, who added she’s been cooking herself since she was eight. “My mother would go to the
A SCENE FROM 2007’s Vegetarian Society of D.C.’s (VSDC) annual Thanksgiving celebration. (Photo: Courtesy VSDC)
offman’s Zizania Web site (www.zizania.biz) provides some quick and tasty recipes cooks at home can whip up in time for their Thanksgiving Day celebrations:
► 3 cups cauliflower ► 1/2 c . pine nuts ► 1/2 tbsp. fresh thyme ► 1/4 c. lemon juice ► 2 cloves garlic
► 1/4 c. water ► sea salt ► olive oil ► black pepper
Instructions Add all ingredients in a blender, except oil, salt and pepper. Puree to desired consistency. Pour into a mixing bowl and add oil, salt and pepper. Stir well before serving.
“Zeggnog” DOMINIQUE HOFFMAN, the Falls Church nutritionist behind part of this year’s vegetarian fest held in Bethesda. (Photo: Huguette Roe)
market everyday to buy fresh vegetables and fruit, and prepare two or three meals. “We didn’t call the diet vegetarian or vegan,” Hoffman explained. “It was simply our diet, which happened to avoid meat.” After a career in sales spanning decades, Hoffman began her own company, Zizania, in 2008. Zizania’s services provide nutritional coaching for individuals throughout the D.C. Metro area looking to improve their diets and, for many, to eliminate medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. “So much of our diet in the United States – overly processed foods, milk, cheese, meats – contribute to diseases like diabetes that, if a person changes their diet, can be reversed through cutting the fat and sugars,” Hoffman said. Her primary goal in preparing wholesome, plant-based diets is to “help educate people on healthy living,” Hoffman said. She added, “For many people, it’s like coming out of a fog, when you realize that this is the first time in human history that we consume so much processed foods. “People are stressed out and don’t think they have the time for healthier eating,” she said. “I help put the solution on their lap.”
► 1 can regular coconut milk ► 1/4 cup raw sugar ► 1 1/2 c. soy milk ► 1/2 c. water ► 2 tsp. vanilla extract ► 3/4 c. amber rum
► 2 tsp. ground cinnamon ► 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg ► pinch of salt
Instructions 1. In a blender, pour coconut milk and soy milk and run on a very low setting for 5 minutes to mix liquids well. Pour blend into a mixing bowl, but reserve 1/2 cup in another small bowl. 2. Add spices and vanilla to small bowl and stir until well blended. Pour mixture from small bowl into the larger mixing bowl. Add rum and salt. 3. Stir well, cover and leave in the refrigerator overnight to allow flavors to deepen. Serve cold, decorated with a thin wedge of orange.
10-Minute Cashew Bars ► 1 cup raw cashews ► 1 c. raisins ► 1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger ► 2 tbsp. honey ► 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
Instructions 1. Grind all ingredients together, except for honey, in food processor until fairly fine, but so that the mixture retains some texture. Add in honey and process till well blended. 2. Press mix about 3/4-inch thick onto a square pan and refrigerate for at least an hour. Cut into 2-inch squares. Makes 8 – 12 bars.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
The Essential Photo Portrait 2.0, at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center (8230 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, Md.). The event runs through Dec. 5. The gallery is open Monday – Saturday, noon – 6 p.m., and on Sunday by appointment. For more information, call 301-608-9101 or visit www.pyramidatlanticartcenter.org. Pyramid Atlantic runs a firstrate printing and paper-making studio. However, it’s also participating in regional photography events with this six-person show of photo portraits. Four of the six photographers here are working with egalitarian attitudes towards their subjects. Chan Chao is well known around town for the various portrait series he’s shot over the past 20 or so years. Chao’s current series is of Peruvian women prison inmates. The strangest thing about Chan’s images here are their complete normalcy. Lacking uniforms, Peruvian prisoners wear street clothes. “Sofia & Mayra” are two half-sisters arrested for drug smuggling. One shows a bare midriff, while the other wears skin tight blue jeans. The pair look like a couple of Hispanic 20-something girls on the street in Los Angeles. It’s hard to vilify people who look so much like ourselves, and as such, we’re more inclined to ask what life path lead them to this? Joshua Yospyn shoots posed portraits of people he finds around town, deliberately cropping out the faces from the nose up. While the subjects are obviously individuals, we tend to read them as stereotypes, thereby drawing attention to how we classify and view people merely based on body language and their dress. Matt Dunn also focuses on fashion, often seeing it as a form of personal or professional uniform. His image of a frail female Park Ranger nearing retirement age seems especially humorous when we note the book she has in
hand – The Witches of Eastwick. Similarly, a Shaw neighborhood kid named Jamal poses in his basketball T-shirt. Looking about as pure and innocent as any 12year-old boy possibly could, we’re taken with the notion that life will all too soon harden and twist his view of the world around him. Paul Vinet celebrates the working class in his large-scale triptych image titled “Wedding at Cana.” A cook, waitress and janitor are all floated against a gold ormolu background that recalls centuriesold religious icon paintings. Husband and wife team Nicholas and Sheila Pye present two nude images of Sheila standing with a thin mud slurry dripping off her face. It’s part of their continuing fictitious series about the decay of a relationship. Victoria F. Gaitán provides the show stealer here. At roughly 6by-12 feet, the monumental scale of Gaitán’s triptych head shot demands and holds the viewer’s attention. Of course, the brownish black substance flowing out of the subject’s mouth has a good bit to do with that as well. The three images show a young, attractive platinum blond woman staring back at the viewer without the faintest hint of emotion. There’s nowhere to hide when you make a face six feet tall. We’re left hanging with absolutely no clue as to what is going on here nor her role in it. The first image has her staring back at us. She blinks in the second and resumes the dispassionate stare down in the third, resulting in an expanded, even cinematic, sense of time and action. With the passing of time, the subject’s inaction becomes a form of willful action. We can’t determine if the rather vile substance flowing out of her mouth was ingested, or expelled. Is it the result of a chocoholic’s frenzied binge? Or perhaps the symptom of a perforated ulcer or some other medical disaster? Similarly, we can’t say if this is something that she has done
VICTORIA GAITAN’s TRIPTYCH, on display at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. to herself, or something that has been done to her. Despite an overwhelming supply of fairly disgusting graphic punch, we’re left with virtually no real information. The one, and possibly only thing we can ascertain for sure, is that this is one strong, self-assured young lady. It’s the sort of inner strength we’re naturally attracted to, and as such the viewer is
simultaneously left both repulsed, and attracted to Gaitán’s image of her. Leaving the viewer unable to resolve the tension between the two states. If the source of this oozing mess is something that’s been done to her, she is defiantly giving her victimizer zero pleasure from her pain. If this is something she’s done to herself, she is com-
pletely at ease with it, and has zero intention of making any apology for her actions. Either way, the psychological balance of power is irrevocably tipped in her favor. The Northern Virginia Art Beat is compiled by Kevin Mellema. See www.fcnp.com for photos and more. To e-mail submissions, send them to email@example.com.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
Community Events FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27 Thanksgiving Weekend Art and Craft Showcase. Three Falls Church residents will join more than 80 local artisans of the Northern Virginia Handcrafters Guild at the 27th annual Thanksgiving Weekend Art and Craft Showcase. Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry St. SE, Vienna). $3. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The showcase will carry on into Saturday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 29 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 703-569-1118.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 Civil War Thanksgiving Reenactment. The City of Falls Church invites the public to an 1863 Civil War Thanksgiving. Reenactors will dress up as Falls Church residents during the Civil War era and host a holiday meal. Cherry Hill Farmhouse (312 Park Ave., Falls Church). Free. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 703-248-5171.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30 Vienna Street Stroll. Children are invited to greet Santa at Vienna’s annual Street Stroll. Mayor Jane
Seeman will light the holiday tree and local musical groups will also perform. Historic Freeman Store (131 Church St. NE, Vienna). Free. 6 – 9 p.m. 703-938-5187.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1 DuPont Holiday Day Trip. The McLean Community Center (MCC) invites the public to an excursion to the Longwood Gardens. Visitors can expect spectacular Christmas displays of fresh ﬂowers, wreaths, trees and lights. A café lunch will be provided. Participants are asked to arrive at the MCC (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean) at 6:45 a.m. The tour returns at 7 p.m. $128 for McLean residents, $138 for non-residents. 703-790-0123. Tree Decorating Party. The Culpepper Garden Senior Center is asking for helping hands to decorate three trees. There will be apple cider and cookies. RSVP by Friday, Nov. 27. Culpepper Garden Senior Center (4435 N. Pershing Dr., Arlington). Free. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 703-2284403. Community Service Workshop. Falls Church Sew and Go invites
Send community event submissions to the News-Press by e-mail at calendar@fcnp. com; fax 703-532-3396; or by regular mail to 450 West Broad Street #321, Falls Church, VA 22046. Please include any photos or artwork with submissions. Deadline is Monday at noon for each week’s edition.
the public to a community service workshop to sew pillowcases for children hospitalized in Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children’s medical facilities. G Street Fabrics Store (6250 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). Free. 6 – 8:45 p.m. 703-256-5610. Boy Scout Troop Open House. Boy Scout Troop 349 will host an open house for boys ages 11 – 17 and their parents interested in joining the scouting program. The boys will meet at the American Legion (400 N. Oak St., Falls Church). 7 – 8:30 p.m. 571-225-5120.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2 Bird Walk. Experienced and beginning birders are encouraged to join members of the Northern Virginia Bird Club for an informal walk in search of wintering birds. Long Branch Nature Center (625 S. Carlin Springs Rd., Arlington). Free. 9:30 a.m. – noon. Registration is required. 703-228-6535 or registration.arlingtonva.us. ‘Feeding Frenzy: Snakes.’ Families are invited to learn about snakes and their eating habits. Long Branch
Nature Center (625 S. Carlin Springs Rd., Arlington). $1. 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Registration is required. 703-2286535 or registration.arlingtonva.us. ‘Winter Traditions.’ The Claude Moore Colonial Farm will host “Winter Traditions,” a workshop that will explore the customs of 18th-century Wassail and Christmas celebrations. Festivities will include singing, dancing, storytelling and more. Claude Moore Colonial Farm (6310 Georgetown Pike, McLean). $3 for members, $5 for nonmembers. 6 – 8 p.m. Reservations are required. 703-442-7557 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ‘Mealtimes and Picky Eaters.’ Parenting Playgroups of Falls Church invites parents to “Mealtimes and Picky Eaters,” a workshop with Dr. Rene Hackney, who will address the problem of picky eaters at the dinner table so families can relax and enjoy mealtimes. The workshop will cover nutrition guidelines, serving sizes per age, choking hazards and more. Parenting Playgroups Center (246 W. Broad St., Falls Church). $30 for single participants, $20 for spouses. 7 – 9 p.m. 703-237-0733.
Theater Fine Arts FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27
‘It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show.’ Directed by Eddie Page, this holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast that follows George Bailey, who considers ending his life on Christmas Eve. Aldersgate Church Community Theatre (1301 Collingwood Rd., Alexandria). $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12. 8 p.m. Also shows on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. 703660-2611.
‘Pay What You Can Night’ with Joe Recca. In an eﬀort to allow everyone to experience a night of stand-up comedy, the DC Improv Club presents “Pay What You Can Night” with comedian Joe Recca. DC Improv Comedy Club (1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.). $15. 8 p.m. 202-296-7008.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 ‘August: Osage County.’ Estelle Parsons stars as the matriarch of the Westons, an extended clan approaching meltdown in this dark comedy. The Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theatre (2700 F St. NW, Washington, D.C.). Starting at $25. 1:30 p.m. Also shows at 7:30 p.m. 202-467-4600. ‘A Chanticleer Christmas.’ Chanticleer combines Medieval and Renaissance music with American spirituals, 13th-century motets and beloved Christmas carols in an enchanting holiday concert. George Mason University’s Center for the Arts (4400 University Dr., Fairfax). Starting at $24. 8 p.m. 888-945-2468. ‘The Fantasticks.’ Set in an abandoned amusement park, this passionate musical presents a twist on the classic story of boy
meets girl that bears the message, “We cannot know joy without knowing pain.” Lincoln Theatre (1215 U St. NW, Washington, D.C.). Starting at $27. 2 p.m. Also shows at 8 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1 at noon and Wednesday, Nov. 2 at noon. 202-488-3300.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2
‘Striking 12.’ This unique hybrid of musical theatre and live concert follows a grumpy fellow who decides to isolate himself from the world on New Year’s Eve until he is visited by a brilliantly bright salesgirl who promises to cure him of his winter worries. The musical comedy will be performed by pop-rock trio GrooveLily. Arena Stage (1800 S. Bell St., Arlington). Starting at $28. 7:30 p.m. 202-488-3300.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
live_music&nightlife THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26 Z��� 7. With DJ Christine Moritz. 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C.). $25. 9 p.m. 202-265-0930.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27 S���� R�������� ��� T�� C�����������. With Bluedog. Bangkok Blues (926 W. Broad St., Falls Church). $7. 7 p.m. 703-534-0095. S���� H���� � ��� T�����. With Bradley Rhodes. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $12 or $20 for both shows. 7 p.m. & 10 p.m. 703-255-1566. T�� N���������. With Bobby Radcliﬀ. The State Theatre (220 N. Washington St., Falls Church). $13 in advance, $16 day of. 7 p.m. 703-2375717. T�� S����� S����. With Dry Branch Fire Squad. The Birchmere (3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria). $29.50. 7:30 p.m. 703-549-7500. Also shows on Saturday, Nov. 28. T�� G��������. Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Rd., Vienna). $16. 8 p.m. 703-2378333 or 1-877-965-3872. T�� M������� G����. With Final Fantasy. 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C.). $20. 8 p.m. 202265-0930.
M��� S����� ��� T�� B������ S���. Iota Club and Café (2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington). $15. 9 p.m. 703522-8340. M������ P������ B���. O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd., Arlington). Free. 9:30 p.m. 703-8120939. M������� A���. Dogwood Tavern (132 W. Broad St., Falls Church). Free. 10 p.m. 703-237-8333.
Trap (1645 Trap Rd., Vienna). $25. 7:30 p.m. 1-877-965-3872. T��� M���� B� G�����. Ages 14 and over. 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C.). $25. 8 p.m. 202265-0930. C�������� A������� B�� B���. With Kinobe and Soul Beat Africa. Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.). $15. 9 p.m. 202-667-4490. I��� T����. With Citizen. Iota Club and Café (2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington). $10. 9:30 p.m. 703-522-8340.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28
Blvd., Arlington). $10. 8 p.m. 703522-8340.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30 E����� A�����. 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C.). $20. 7 p.m. 202-265-0930. M���� D����. With Alpha Rev. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $12. 8 p.m. 703-255-1566.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1
H��������� B���. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $8. 11 a.m. 703-255-1566.
S���� H����. Dogwood Tavern (132 W. Broad St., Falls Church). Free. 10 p.m. 703-237-8333.
J��� R�����. With The Low Anthem. 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW, Washington, D.C.). $20. 7 p.m. 202-265-0930.
B��� W��� B� B���. With I Saw a Ghost, Used Up, What a Night! and Light Up the Sky. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $10 in advance, $13 day of. 5:30 p.m. 703255-1566.
S��� D����� T����� S����. With Viking, Young Enough, CJMilli and The Grenade. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $5. 10:30 p.m. 703255-1566.
S����. With Magneta Lane. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $15. 8 p.m. 703-255-1566.
S��� G������. Clare and Don’s Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St., Falls Church). Free. 7 p.m. 703-532-9283. V����� S������ ��� V����� V�������. With Mercury in Summer and Billy Thompson Band. Bangkok Blues (926 W. Broad St., Falls Church). $7. 7 p.m. 703-534-0095. J��� E����. A performance of classic and jazz American piano music. Wolf
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29 A S���� �� U������. With I am the Kaleidoscope, The Scoons, Box Robots and Angry Bear Face. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $10 in advance, $13 day of. 6 p.m. 703255-1566. B���� W������� ��� T�� S������. With Tom O’Connor, Molly Hagen. Iota Club and Café (2832 Wilson
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2 OTC F���. Bangkok Blues (926 W. Broad St., Falls Church). $5. 7:30 p.m. 703-534-0095. B����� W�������. With Adam Levy and Amber Rubarth. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $10. 8 p.m. 703-255-1566. D������ S�����. With Bottle Up & Go and New Rock Church of Fire. Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.). $10. 8:30 p.m. 202-667-4490.
P������� A����... Saturday, Dec. 5 – ‘Cider and Cookies.’ The Naval Enlisted Reserve Association (NERA) will host a “Cider and Cookies” open house to collect toys and canned goods for the local food shelter. NERA (6703 Farragut Ave., Falls Church). Admission cost will be a new unwrapped toy or canned food. 2 – 4 p.m. 703-534-1329.
ne of my favorite things about the Thanksgiving holiday, in addition to the food, football and more food, is the return to Falls Church by former residents from all over. Whether it’s college kids home on break or Mason High alums back visiting family-– it’s a veritable all-class reunion throughout the streets of F.C. Because, let’s face it, once a Falls Churcher, always a Falls Churcher. Whether you were one of the kids who couldn’t wait to graduate so you could move out of the City, or one who’s still living in your parent’s house today, Falls Church holds a special place in all those who have called it home. So, go ahead, stop by Ireland’s Four P’s or Dogwood Tavern this holiday weekend. You won’t have to look far to see a group of former Mustangs throwin’ ‘em back, laughing and reminiscing about the days growing up in ‘ol F.C., even if they were ones who couldn’t wait to get out.
Saturday, Dec. 5 – F.C. Holiday Craft Show. The City of Falls Church invites the public to its 17th Annual Juried Holiday Craft Show. More than 60 vendors will gather to sell unique handmade items and baked goods. Children are invited to a breakfast with Santa and a craft corner among other activities. Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St., Falls Church). $1 for adults, free for children under 12. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 703-248-5077.
C������� S���������� 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.
What: Thanksgiving Weekend in Falls Church When: Thursday, November 26 - 28
Fax: 703-342-0347; Attn: FCNP Calendar Mail: 450 West Broad Street, #321, Falls Church, VA 22046
November 26 - December 2, 2009
BLOOD-SPURTING GOOD TIME.”
Roger Ebert’s Movie Review
BILL BREGOLI, WSYR-RADIO
by Roger Ebert
THE GREATEST NINJA MOVIE OF ALL TIME!” SCOTT HUTCHESON, WEAREMOVIEGEEKS.COM
“A STUNNING BLAZE OF
UNSTOPPABLE ACTION.” CAPONE, AINTITCOOL.COM
PETER SCIRETTA, SLASHFILM.COM
Universal Press Syndicate
“Old Dogs” is stupefyingly dimwitted. What were John Travolta and Robin Williams THINKING of? Apparently, their agents weren’t perceptive enough to smell the screenplay in its advanced state of decomposition, but wasn’t there a loyal young intern in the office to catch them at the elevator and whisper, “You’ve paid too many dues to get involved with such crap at this stage in your careers.” Williams and Travolta play business partners trying to float a big deal with Japan. Meanwhile, they’re saddled with baby-sitting 6-year-old twins. Be sure your seat belt is visible on the outside of your blanket; you will be awakened for breakfast when this flight is about to land. The film makes a big business meeting with Japanese investors a study in laugh-avoidance. The Japanese line up on one side of a table in a Las Vegas Japanese res-
Charlie . ................ John Travolta Dan .................... Robin Williams Craig ........................ Seth Green Vicki ......................Kelly Preston Barry.......................... Matt Dillon Jenna ....................... Rita Wilson Amanda ................ Lori Loughlin Emily ............. Ella Bleu Travolta Zach ................ Conner Rayburn Jimmy Lunchbox ...... Bernie Mac
taurant, and Travolta, Williams, their partner Seth Green and a translator are on the other. Travolta tries to warm them up with the funny story of how Williams just got divorced twice in the last 24 hours. The Japanese sit stony-faced. So do we. Then Travolta gets to his big finish, and the Japanese break into helpless laughter. My theory: Since almost all Japanese businessmen in Vegas speak English, they’ve been playing a practical joke. This film seems to have lingered in post-production while
“PHENOMENAL!” Shawn Edwards, FOX-TV
“★★★★” Dan Kois, THE WASHINGTON POST
Walt Disney Studios presents a film directed by Walt Becker. Screenplay by David Diamond and Davis Weissman. Running time: 88 minutes. MPAA rating: PG (for some mild rude humor).
editors struggled desperately to inject laugh cues. It obviously knows no one will find it funny without being ordered to. How else to explain reaction shots of a dog responding to laugh lines? Or the painfully obvious use of music as glaring as a yellow highlighter to point out comedy? Example: Rita Wilson gets her hand slammed by a car trunk, and the sound track breaks into “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Another clue is when characters break into bad sitcom dialogue. After the Old Boys end up at camp with their young charges, a muscular counselor (Matt Dillon) asks them, “You girls ready to play a little Ultimate Frisbee?” Williams: “I think so, Mr. Testosterone.” Another clue: “Funny moments” repeated in case we missed them. Example: Robin Williams test-drives a buckledon, back-mounted device that allows him to fly. It loses power and he drops into a pond. Wow, that was funny! Wait! AB Here85it is Dolev 0:40: 2/22/02 again! Same drop, new angle! Twice as funny! Oh, no! A third drop! Ohmigod! Wait – wait – a FOURTH time? Usher, quick! Bring me oxygen! Seth Green is not a tall man. But hell, he’s only 3 inches shorter than Robin Williams.
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M O R E. For more information about the importance of arts education, please contact
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
In this movie, you’d think he was Danny DeVito. He ends up wrapped in the arms of a gorilla. Never mind why. Doesn’t matter. First Law of Movie Gorillas: Guy in a gorilla suit is never funny, unless the joke is on him. To save himself from the enormous beast, Green sings a soothing lullaby. The gorilla dozes off peacefully. Hey, that’s good! That’s very good! Green gently
tries to extricate himself from the gorilla’s embrace. Nothing doing! Green desperately starts crooning again. Just think. If the gorilla wakes up, Green will be crushed to death! Man, oh, man! The release of “Old Dogs” was delayed from April until now because of the death of another of its co-stars, Bernie Mac. I can think of another way they might have respected his memory.
“IF YOU GO TO MOVIES TO BE INSPIRED AND FEEL WONDERFUL , ‘THE BLIND SIDE’ WILL MAKE YOU VERY HAPPY.” – Gene Shalit, TODAY
“This is the
of Sandra Bullock’s career.” – Pete Hammond,
“BOTH FUNNY AND UPLIFTING,
“A TRUE STORY THAT’S SO GOOD, IT SEEMS LIKE FICTION.” – Jim Ferguson, ABC-TV
‘The Blind Side’ is truly one of the best films of the year.” – Phil Boatwright,
ing. Not Army policy, the veteran explains. You’ll lose it if you let yourself care. With Samantha Morton as a new widow and Steve Buscemi as a father whose grief turns to anger. Directed by Oren Moverman, himself a combat veteran in the Israeli army. Rating: Three and a half stars.
Mini Movie Reviews OPENING IN THEATERS
HE ROAD (Drama, R, 119 minutes). Evokes the images and the characters of Cormac McCarthy’s novel, but lacks the core of emotional feeling. The film is a sincere attempt to relate the story of a man and his son trekking westward across a devastated future America, but the strength of the novel isn’t in the action; it’s in McCarthy’s prose, which evokes so much more than it says. With Viggo Mortensen as the father, Kodi Smit-McPhee as his son and Charlize Theron in flashbacks
as the wife and mother in years before the unexplained apocalypse. An honorable attempt, but McCarthy is daunting to film. Rating: Three and a half stars..
HE MESSENGER (Drama, R, 107 minutes). Two Army officers draw the hard duty of notifying the next of kin of a death in combat. Woody Harrelson plays the old hand at breaking the news. Ben Foster plays the new man, wounded in combat in Iraq. He has a tendency to care about the people he’s inform-
NEW ON VIDEO & DVD
ERMINATOR: SALVATION (Sci-fi action, PG, 115 m., 2009). Roughly 90 percent of the running time is occupied by action sequences, chase sequences, motorcycle sequences, plow truck sequences, helicopter sequences, fighter plane sequences, towering android sequences and fistfights. It gives you all the pleasure of a video game without the bother of having to play it. With Christian Bale, Moon
Continued on Page 28
“ THE PERFECT HOLIDAY ANIMATED COMEDY.” Jim Ferguson, KGUN (ABC) Tucson
“THE MVP OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON!”
– Megan Basham,
ALCON ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS A GILCO-NETTER PRODUCTION A JOHN LEE HANCOCK FILM EXECUTIVE SANDRA BULLOCK “THE BLIND SIDE” TIM MCGRAW QUINTONPRODUCED AARON AND KATHY BATES PRODUCERS YOLANDA T. COCHRAN STEVENBASEDP. WEGNER PRODUCERS MOLLY SMITH TIMOTHY M. BOURNE ERWIN STOFF ON BY GIL NETTER ANDREW A. KOSOVE BRODERICK JOHNSON THE BOOK THE BLIND SIDE: EVOLUTION OF A GAME BY MICHAEL LEWIS WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JOHN LEE HANCOCK MOBILE USERS: For Showtimes, Text Message BLIND and Your ZIP CODE to 43KIX (43549)
TRIDIRECTORSTAROF PICTURES PRESENTS ANEXECUTIVEILION ANIMATION STUDIOS PRODUCTION “PLANET 51” IN ASSOCIATION WITH HANDMADE FILMS INTERNATIONAL CASTINGBY RUTHWRITTENLAMBERT, CSA AND PRODUCED ROBERT McGEE, CSA COMPOSER JAMES BRETT EDITEDBY ALEX RODRÍGUEZ BY JOE STILLMAN TECHNOLOGY GONZALO RUEDA PRODUCERS JUAN ANTONIO PÉREZ RAMÍREZ MICHAEL RYAN PETER GRAVES ALBI E HECHT AND JOSÉ A. RODRÍGUEZ BY I GNACIO PÉREZ DOLSET AND GUY COLLINS CO-DIRECTED DIRECTED BY JAVI ER ABAD AND MARCOS MARTÍNEZ BY JORGE BLANCO
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
Mini Reviews Continued from Page 27 Bloodgood. Rating: Two stars.
IGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN (Comedy, PG, 105 m., 2009). Larry the socalled maintenance man (Ben Stiller) returns to the museum to comfort his buddies from the 2006 movie who are being retired and shipped off in packing crates to an eternity of confinement in the National Archives. Like ectoplasm from a medium, this is the visible extrusion of a marketing campaign. With Robin Williams, Amy Adams, Christopher Guest, many more. Rating: One and a half stars.
succeeds. Rating: Three stars.
OUR CHRISTMASES (Comedy, PG-13, 82 m., 2008). Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon get trapped having to visit the households of their four divorced parents, which are so dysfunctional, this feels more like a Thanksgiving picture, where the families are always miserable. Rating: Two stars.
deeper, more thoughtful, in a comedy with thoughtful undertones about a show biz superstar told he has weeks to live. Writer-director Judd Apatow joins him with fine supporting work by Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann, avoids more than a few obvious cliches, and deals not just with mortality but with the cutthroat world of stand-up comedians. Eric Bana plays an outsize Aussie heavy, and look for Torsten Voges as a peculiarly chilling doctor. Rating: Three and a half stars.
UNNY PEOPLE (Comedy/ drama, R, 146 m., 2009). This is a different Adam Sandler,
getically vulgar comedy. Contains a lot of laughs and has studied Political Correctness only enough to make a list of groups to offend. It involves a failing car dealer (James Brolin) who calls in a hired gun (Jeremy Piven) and his team to move goods
Walk-In Clinic 920 West Broad Street Falls Church 703-538-1505
HE GOODS: LIVE HARD, SELL HARD (Comedy, R, 90 m., 2009). A cheerfully, ener-
STUFF YOURSELF FULL OF COMEDY! “ RIOTOUSLY FUNNY!” “HILARIOUS!” Pete Hammond, BOXOFFICE MAGAZINE
(c) 2009 The Ebert Co.
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF “ WILD HOGS”
APER HEART (Comedy, PG, 88 m., 2009). Quasi-documentary about comedian Charlyne Yi and her tour of America to ask people for their insights into true love -an emotion she doesn’t understand. Along the way she meets and falls in love with the actor Michael Cera (“Juno”), and the intriguing question is, when does reality end and the scripting begin? Sweet, funny and deceptive. Rating: Three stars.
off the lot over the Fourth of July. With David Koechner, Kathryn Hahn, Ving Rhames, Ed Helms and Charles Napier. Rating: Three stars.
Weekdays (except Tue) ---> 9 am to 8 pm Saturday ---> 10 am to 6 pm Closed
---> Tue & Sun
No appointment Necessary Most Insurances Accepted
Lisa Stanley, CBS RADIO
BEYOND FANTASTIC. THE BEST ANIMATED FILM OF THE YEAR, AND MAYBE THE BEST FILM, PERIOD. A MARVELOUS TOY BOX OF A MOVIE.
ENDLESSLY ENCHANTING! MAGICALLY ALIVE.
NGELS AND DEMONS (Thriller, PG-13, 138 m., 2009). Professor Tom Hanks is back on the trail again, racing through Rome against a ticking time bomb to save four kidnapped cardinals and reach a vial of anti-matter that could vaporize the Vatican. Meanwhile, intrigue within the College of Cardinals and evidence the previous pope was murdered. This kind of thriller requires us to accept the preposterous, and if we do, it promises to entertain. “Angels and Demons”
AN ADVENTURE IN
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
Shane Hines & The Trance Jammin’ Java 7 & 10 p.m. 227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna 703-255-1566 • jamminjava.com
The Nighthawks State Theatre 9 p.m. 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church 703-237-0300 • thestatetheatre.com
Idea Track Iota Club & Café 9:30 p.m. 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington 703-522-8340 • iotaclubandcafe.com
BY MIKE HUME
FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS
Though never a particularly enjoyable birthday for anyone, the Big 4-0 can be particularly cruel for musicians who have yet to leave a mark with their performing careers. In an industry dominated by youth, over-the-hill artists usually command little attention from record company executives eager to capitalize on younger demographics. It’s a sobering reality that resonated with 39-year-old Todd Wright earlier this year. For the last five years, Wright had stepped away from his artist side, last releasing an album with his band Getaway Car in 2004. Instead, he focused on writing for other musicians and working as a side musician for other groups, including local artist Luke Brindley. But as 40 approached, he decided to try to reignite his own work as an artist, he just needed a creative way to do it. Enter the 40x40 Project, a plan to write and record 40 songs, one per week, leading up to his 40th birthday. “40 x 40 is a musical midlife crisis,” Wright says. “I decided to try to embrace the fact that I’m turning 40, I tried to forget that it’s the kiss of death in the music industry, especially if you haven’t ‘made it yet,’ I’m going to flaunt it and pull off something of a marathon.” In addition to wanting to establish something of a legacy for his seven-year-old daughter, Wright is using the project as an opportunity to support a friend in need. “The day we launched, I received an e-mail from my friend about how they found out their second child was Type 1 diabetic, like their
first child was. I realized that while I sympathized with them, I’d never really done my part to help out,” said Wright, who has pledged to raise $100,000 for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). “Writing 40 songs in 40 weeks is a huge pain in the butt, but it doesn’t even compare with what a 10-year-old with Type 1 Diabetes does in a day.” After completing the songs, Wright uploads them every Wednesday to his site, Orangepopsongs.com, where listeners can download them for free, but are encouraged to donate to the charity in $10-50 increments. Additionally, Wright is putting the songs onto a collection of albums, with all proceeds going to the ADA. Currently in the ninth week of the process, Wright has already been forced to cope with various hurdles, including illness and a simultaneous visit by his girlfriend’s family two weeks ago. “Fortunately, I recorded the vocals right before I got really sick,” Wright said. “But you wonder how these quarterbacks go out and play when they get a fever because I couldn’t even pick up a guitar without wanting to die.” Battling weekly deadlines despite these obstacles, not to mention continuing his work with other artists and spending time with his daughter, Wright admits that the project will be the “hardest thing I’ve ever done.” And the degree of difficulty is about to increase. When he started, he planned on using a reservoir of songs he’d started during his earlier artistic days, but never completed. That reservoir is about to run dry, however, meaning he’ll be starting from scratch each week. “I’ve got a book for titles and little ideas, so
Scene Birchmere 7:30 p.m.
Staffers at the FCNP filled up on these goods this week:
3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria
Nicholas Benton— You May Be Right by Billy Joel
Jody Fellows— Superstition by Stevie Wonder
Natalie Bedell— Bad Things by Jace Everett
Dean Edwards— Can’t Help But Smiling by Devendra Banhart
(PHOTO: COURTESY BARBARA PARKER)
if I get a concept of a lyric I’ll sit down and just see what happens.” Despite the challenge, Wright is relishing the impact it’s had on him professionally and personally. “There was a time after Getaway Car that I didn’t write a song for myself in three to four years, but the inspiration lately has been great. I’ve been drawing a lot from being a father too. I didn’t have that when I was younger, back then you write about how angry and miserable you are. Now I don’t care about that stuff, and I don’t care about writing to impress a record label or try to make a million bucks and be a rock star, I’m writing honestly about real things in my life. It’s a very cathartic place to be. “I’ve really figured out the most kick-ass way to throw my own birthday party. At the end of this, we’ve got to have a show or something. It’s going to be such a relief to be 40 because of this thing.” • For more on the project, visit www.orangepopsongs.com. You can check out Wright live during his seventh annual Christmas showcase at Jammin’ Java. You can find Todd Wright on Twitter @orangepopsongs.
November 26 - December 2, 2009 yer s
7 Skyline Café
3821 S. George Mason Dr. Falls Church, VA • 703-820-0240
The First Name in Pancakes
F re e
370 West Broad St. Falls Church,VA 703-891-0148
Also weekdays: Free Wi-Fi at selected locations and a new Senior Menu!
7700 Wisconsin Ave. Bethesda, MD 301-986-0285
12224 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 301-468-0886
www.edencenter.com MANY OF WASHINGTON'S BEST RESTAURANTS WASHINGTONIAN MAGAZINE AND WASHINGTON POST REVIEWED
Authentic Afghan Cuisine 124 N. Washington St. Falls Church, VA By the intersections of Rt. 7 & 29 Free Parking in Rear
Lunch: 11 am-2:00 pm Dinner : 5 pm-10 pm • Sunday 5-10 •
Phone: (703) 536-4566 924 W. Broad Street Falls Church, VA 22046
Harvest Moon Restaurant & Lounge
703-573-6000 www.theharvestmoonrestaurant.com (Graham Center across from Loehmann’s Plaza) 7260 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church, VA 22042
Call for Reservations 105 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA 22046
des Célestins CA F È Tel: (703) 538-3033 Fax: (703) 573-0409
6876 Lee Highway Arlington, Virginia 22213
Your Ad Here! Call Nick G. to reserve your spot in the News-Press Dining Guide
Restaurant & Pub Tysons Station Shopping Center 7510 Leesburg Pike Falls Church, Va
Mon-Thurs: 11 am-10 pm Fri-Sat: 11 am - 11 pm Sun: Noon - 10 pm
3821 S. George Mason Dr.
rc h 7
Skyline Café in Falls Church is the place to dine for international food lovers looking for something new to tickle their palates. Located in a strip mall in Falls Church, this Ethiopian eatery isn’t afraid to serve up big, bold flavors at reasonable prices. Though the exterior of the restaurant is nothing special, the dining room has a clean, modern look. Dark wooden tables line the neutral-colored walls, which set the stage for colorful artwork. Music seems to play a big role in Ethiopian art, as each painting comes to life with free-flowing figures swaying back and forth and playing instruments. Equally mesmerizing are the Ethiopian melodies that reverberate throughout the café. Prepare to be charmed even further by the authentic Ethiopian cuisine. The wait staff is welcoming and informative, so newcomers need not worry; they don’t have to trek through the menu all alone. Diners might notice that Skyline doesn’t come equipped with utensils. That’s right; guests should come ready to get their hands dirty (in a good way, of course). Each combination comes with either a meat or vegetable medley served atop a large platter of injera, a traditional Ethiopian bread made out of teff flour and comparable to a thin, spongy pancake. Guests are expected to dig right in, using their hands to tear off pieces of the injera to scoop up the vegetables or meat. Before diving into the entrées, however, patrons should start the meal with a hefty Sambusa ($3), a handmade pastry shell stuffed with lentils, green peppers, garlic, onions and cumin. As far as the main dishes go, vegetarians can fill up with the Vegetable Combo ($10.50), a hearty combination of Missir Wot, a lentil stew with a spicy house sauce, Kik Alitcha, split peas served with onions, garlic and ginger, Gomen, chopped collard greens, Atkilt Wot, a vegetable stew of cabbage, carrots and potatoes and Shiro Wot, roasted chick peas with puréed onions and tomatoes in a hot berbere sauce. Meat options include the choice of chicken, beef or lamb. But beware; the chef doesn’t hold back the spice. Diners who can’t handle the heat can ask the waitress for a milder alternative. Beef eaters should try the Tibs ($11.95), fleshy cubes of lean, tender meat served with onions, tomatoes and green peppers and seasoned with Abesha spices. Another beef option is the Gored-Gored ($11.50), succulent prime rib cuts sautéed in house butter and hot sauces. For those in the mood for chicken, there’s the Doro Wot ($10.95), tender poultry marinated in lemon juice, sautéed in seasoned butter, a red pepper sauce, onion and garlic and served with hard-boiled eggs. Lastly, lamb lovers should sample the Yebeg Wat ($10.95), lamb infused with ginger root, cardamom, garlic and other exotic spices. Skyline Café is an excellent choice for foodies who want to expand their flavor horizons or friends who want to share a finger-licking meal. For guests who find it hard to pull themselves away, the restaurant also has a full bar and live Ethiopian music after hours, so feel free to stick around and enjoy the show over cocktails.
— SARAH CARTER
HOURS: Monday – Saturday, 10 – 2 a.m. Sunday, 11 – 2 a.m.
Dining Guide Find out how to appear here for only $50 a week! Ask about discounts for combining display & online advertising. Call Nick G. at 703-532-3267 for more info.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
he readers of Bethe esda Magazine 2008
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
Vodka Field Grows Even More Star Studded When it comes to vodka, celebrity connections pop up in any number of ways. The celebrity mags and cable TV gossip shows keep reporting on the likes of celebrities such as Donald Trump and Dan Aykroyd appearing around the country, pushing the particular vodkas in which they have a heavy financial stake. For Trump, it’s his own Trump brand – no surprise. For Aykroyd it’s Crystal Skull, sold in a bottle shaped like a transparent skull. Professional athletes are part of the parade, too. Football Hall of Famer John Elway has a stake in, and touts for, something called Nude Vodka. Veteran golfer Fuzzy Zoeller By William M. Dowd has Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka, Albany Times Union which he introduced over the summer. Then there is model/actress Elizabeth Hurley, who has been getting a lot of press from a recent UK interview in which she breathlessly revealed that now that she’s age 40 she has switched from coffee and wine to vodka as her beverage of choice to help maintain her famous figure. Even a film classic is getting into the act. Paramount Pictures and Iconic Brands are planning a spring 2010 launch of “The Godfather” Italian Organic Vodka, named for the series of films. “The celebrity niche in the drink sector these days is somewhat in vogue and lots of people are trying to do it,” said Richard DeCicco, CEO of Iconic Brands. “I think Paramount is realizing what a powerful brand ‘The Godfather’ is. The fact that (it) has been the No. 1 grossing movie of all time, there seemed to be a nice opportunity.” But these all are just efforts in search of a market. They’re certainly not up to the track record of a certain rapper/actor/producer/ clothing designer/entrepreneur of who you may have heard. He may not hit all demographic groups, but Sean Combs – a/k/a/ Puff Daddy, then P-Diddy, now just Diddy, unless I’ve missed a metamorphosis or two – connects with enough of them to help hike Ciroc vodka sales. The many-markets mogul began promoting the French vodka just two years ago this month, and sales already have increased by 400,000 cases in that period. Combs, widely believed to have received a share of the company in addition to major money for his efforts, will have more products to push before long. Mark Strachan, Ciroc marketing director, has revealed that two new flavors of the grape-based vodka will be introduced to the U.S. market in early 2010: coconut and red berry. Ciroc is co-owned by drinks giant Diageo, which among other brands owns Ketel One and Smirnoff vodkas.
Dowd on Drinks
William M. Dowd covers the adult beverage world online at BillDowd.com
Venture Capitalist Bad Beat Joe Lakob, a friend of mine from the San Francisco Bay Area, is one of the most successful and powerful venture capitalists in the world. Joe’s firm is like the U2 of VCs; they’ve enjoyed one smash investment hit after another for decades. Joe and his lovely girlfriend Nicole recently played in the Festa al Lago tournament, a $15,000 buy-in World Poker Tour event, at the Bellagio in Vegas. Since we’re friends, they naturally asked me for some advice. I laid out a strategy that was designed both to keep them in the tournament as long as possible and to actually give them a chance to win. I advised them to play the clas-
sic Phil Hellmuth-style poker. Play super-tight before the flop, throwing away hands like 8c-7c, 10d-9d, and Ah-4h for any raise. Never call a bet or a raise pre-flop unless they had a pocket pair. Come over the top with a weak holding about once per hour when they sensed weakness in their opponents. And finally, to slow-play any sets that they flopped. Joe took my advice to heart. Although it was sometimes boring and frustrating for him to play that style of poker, he made it through Day Two. On top of that, his timing was near perfect on all the moves he attempted. Every time he came over the top, his opponents laid down their hands. Going into Day Three, I sug-
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gested that Joe modify this strategy and come over the top more often, whenever he sensed any weakness at all. His reading skills were obviously finely tuned. That’s exactly the right time to take the over the top move to the next level. So, three hours into play, with the blinds at $1,500/$3,000 and a $300 ante, everyone folded to the small blind where Joe was sitting with the Ah-8h and $51,000 in chips. Joe opened for $9,000 and the player in the big blind called. The flop was Ad-10h-2h and Joe decided to move all-in for his remaining $42,000. It was a great flop for Joe – a pair of aces and the nut flush draw. After deliberating for a full minute, his opponent finally called for most of his chips. Joe was shocked to see that his opponent held Q-J and was drawing to an inside straight belly buster! How could someone call $42,000 with that type of hand? Joe was counting the chips in the pot when an offsuit king hit on the river. Talk about a bad beat! Let’s review the hand. I like Joe’s pre-flop raise out of the small blind with Ah-8h; it’s the standard play. I also like his opponent’s $6,000 call from the big blind with Q-J. Joe’s $42,000 all-in bet into a $20,000 pot was a mistake. His hand was too powerful to play that fast. He should have made a smaller bet, or even checked his hand, in order to induce a bluff. It was a reasonable situation for Joe to give his opponent a free card, hoping that his opponent would move all-in, or at least make a bluff at the pot. Alternatively, Joe could have made a smaller bet of $5,000 to $9,000 in an attempt to milk some extra chips out of his opponent. I absolutely hate the $42,000 call with Q-J. There’s just no good reason to call off almost all your chips on a belly buster draw. Play with patience and wait for a better spot. All in all, Joe Lakob played excellent poker. As for me, I went out on Day Two after losing two coin flips when my A-K lost to QQ for a $90,000 pot and my A-K lost to J-J for a $40,000 pot. © 2009 Card Shark Media. All rights reserved.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
crossword / 1
By David Levinson Wilk 7
51 55 58 63
© 2009 David Levinson Wilk
1. Forces out
ACROSS 1. Forces out 6. Some ESPN highlights, in short 9. Speed ____ 13. Menotti opera title character 14. Few and far between 16. Nautical leader? 17. Rhymester’s supermarket purchase #1 19. Where Pres. Obama’s mom was raised 20. Rhymester’s supermarket purchase #2 22. “... blackbirds, baked in ____” 25. Puzzled comments 26. Glossy alternative 27. Exodus mountain 29. Stops 31. New Hampshire senator who preceded Shaheen 33. City destroyed in Genesis 34. Name on a Chinese menu 35. Rhymester’s supermarket purchase #3 37. Tbsp. or tsp. 40. “... to fetch ____ of water” 41. More difficult to believe 43. Ends 46. She played Annie in “Annie Hall” 47. “Take this job and @#%@#!” 48. Prefix meaning “wrong” 51. Leaning 52. Rhymester’s supermarket purchase #4 56. Best Picture of 1958
57. Rhymester’s supermarket purchase #5 61. Tool for a duel 62. Japanese who won the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize 63. Residents in Anaheim’s “Little Gaza” neighborhood 64. Red states?: Abbr. 65. Round Table honorific 66. 1976 Sally Field TV movie
33. Choice of sizes: Abbr. 36. Square root of IX 37. Jai ____ 38. Actress Suvari 39. 36-Down: Sp. 40. States of cordiality 42. Public ____ 43. Hints 44. Supplies 45. Hauer of “Blade Runner” 48. Civvies Down 49. “What’s in ____ me?” 1. Doofus 50. Oink spot? 2. Tinseltown’s Thurman 53. “Treasure Island” monogram 3. Uncle ____ 54. Barnyard calls 4. He wrote “Beware of all enterprises 55. LAX guesstimates that require new clothes” 58. Terrif 5. Turn on an axis 59. “The X-Files” org. 6. Garbage 60. High fashion inits. 7. Edna and others Last Thursday’s Solution 8. B’way postings 9. Set one’s sights S B A R R O O W N E S H E S C L E D O U T 10. Flinches, e.g. H O H O O A M O U N T 11. Desert Storm reporter Peter O R U L P U P S T O P 12. Groups on horseback A M P U P O O S T E O 15. Paranormal ability M B A S G A G N E S S 18. “Get my point?” N E S T M O N I 21. “That steams me!” S U P O N T H E F E N C 22. Part of PDA: Abbr. T E N E T S E R A S 23. Name of 12 popes E L O R A A R I S S T 24. “I’m ____ mood to argue” W I E S T O C H A L P 28. ____ of (notwithstanding) H O G U P F O R R O E 29. Atty. General’s cabinet division U T E P A T R E F U N 30. Exchange words P A A R S W E A U T E S N O A O R T L S D 32. ____ Bator, Mongolia
D I S C L O S E
S T U D E N T
A R I S T A
B E T T Y S
6. Some ESPN highlights, in short 9. Speed ____ 13. Menotti opera title character 14. Few and far between 16. Nautical leader?
17. Rhymester's supermarket purchase #1 19. Where Pres. Obama's mom was raised 20. Rhymester's supermarket purchase #2 22. "... blackbirds, baked in ____" 25. Puzzled comments 26. Glossy alternative 27. Exodus mountain 29. Stops 31. New Hampshire senator who preceded Shaheen 33. City destroyed in Genesis 34. Name on a Chinese menu NICK KNACK
SOLUTION TO LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit, 1 to 9. For strategies on how to solve Sudoku, visit www.sudoku.org.uk
© 2009 N.F. Benton
© 2009 The Mepham Group. Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.
November 26 - December 2, 2009
Benton Potter & Murdock, PC
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5 Rooms deep cleaned only $110 â€˘ 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage We Clean the White House! Call Mike 703-978-2270
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In the City of Falls Church: 703-992-9255 In D.C.: 202-416-1660
Family Ophthalmology Exams, Glasses Prescription Medicare provider
400 S. Maple Avenue, Suite 210, Falls Church, VA 22046
John Karickhoff, M.D. Board Certified
313 Park Ave Falls Church (703) 536-2400
See all of the Falls Church listings as soon as they hit the market!
Long Term Care Insurance Allows you to live with dignity, keep more of what you've worked for.
RE/MAX Allegiance 5100 Leesburg Pike, Suite 200 Alexandria, VA 22302 mobile. 703-868-5999 office. 703-824-4800 ShaunMurphy@remax.net
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Home Improvement One of the Oldest Masonry Companies in NOVA Owned & Operated by The Cadle Family since the 1950s
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$125 for 3 months $200 for 6 months $325 for 1 year w/ 3 mo. , 6 mo. or 1 year print ad
All repairs, plumbing, drywall, â€˘doors, Drain Cleaning Commercial/Residential windows,â€˘rotted, wood, siding, gutters, lighting + more FREE estimates, insured Call Doug (703)556-4276
JOSEPH HOME IMPROVEMENT Drywall â€˘ Paint Exterior / Interior, Bath & Kitchen Remodeling, Basements, Handyman, Moving, Clean Garage, All kinds of hauling
Cell 703-507-5005 Tel 703-507-8300
N.G. PAINTING Residential & Commercial Interior & Exterior Painting Plastering & Drywall Repairs Wall Paper Removal Power Wash Clean Fully Licensed
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Local brick nâ€™ stone mason installing patios, walkways, steps, chimneys, etc. Specializing in repairs. Local references. Free Estimates.
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Specializing in custom firplaces, patios, walkways, walls, driveways. Small and large repairs. Free Estimates. Licensed and insured. Local Company.
All work guaranteed. 703-496-7491
www.motternmasonry.com REMODELING & ADDITION, CERAMIC, TILE, FINISHED CARPENTRY, CROWN MOLDING, CHAIRS, DECK RAILS, STAIR, WINDOWS, DOORS, CONCRETE, SIDEWALKS, DRIVEWAYS, BRICK INSTALLED & REPAIRED
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Held at 111 Park Avenue Falls Church on Tuesday Evenings from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm Cost: $90 On-going monthly enrollment Enroll on-line at www.creativecauldron.org Or call 571-239-5288
November 26 - December 2, 2009
Announcements IMPROVED TECHNIQUE FOR CORRECTING HAMMERTOES Do your hammertoes
and curled toes cause corns and irritations that produce pain when you wear shoes? Traditionally, hammertoes were corrected by removing a part of the bone and inserting a pin into the toe. The recovery period was often long and painful. Now, Dr, Frank H. Tichauer corrects these pesky hammertoes using Minimal Incision Surgery (MIS) in his office. Patients are able to enjoy comfortable feet in record time. There are NO PINS, NO BONE REMOVALS and QUICK RECOVERY periods. For an appointment to see if this modern technique can help you, call Falls Church/Tysons Foot Care at 703532-FEET (3338).
12 BURIAL SITES at National Memorial Park. Discounted 50%. 8 sites in L Section; 4 sites in Masonic Section. 336-349-3405
We are pleged to the letter and spirit of Virginia’s policy for achieving equal housing opportunity throughout the Commonwealth. We encourage and support advertising and marketing programs in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status or handicap. All real estate advertised herein is subject to Virginia’s fair housing law which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status or handicap or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.” This newspaper will not knowingly accept advertising for real estate that violates the fair housing law. Our readers are herby informed that all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis. For more information or to file a housing complaint call the Virginia Fair Housing Office at (804) 367-8530. Toll free call (888) 551-3247. For the hearing impaired call (804) 3679753. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: www.fairhousing.vipnet.org
Services BRAD ROBEY, PAINTER and Pa-
perhanger; Long time resident of Falls Church and Arlington. Professional painter; paperhanger and carpentry services. Free Estimates: 703-560-5671
CHILD CARE Experienced childcare provider provides quality care for your infant in F.C. home. (703) 241-0605.
HOUSE CLEANING SERVICE Avail-
able 7 days a week. Week, biweekly, monthly or one time. Good references in Falls Church City. 10 years experience. For further information call me at 703-901-0596. Senior discount, Ask: Susy.
Visit Us Remember, @ NewOnline Classified www.fcnp.com Deadlines: Every Tuesday, 2 p.m.!
to construct a cellular telecommunications tower at North Sycamore Street (on ramp to I-66 East), Falls Church, Virginia 22205. AT&T is publishing this notice in accordance with Federal regulation 37CFR1.1301 et seq, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation 36 CFR 800. The project referenced as “Four Mile” will consist of the removal and replacement of an existing power transmission tower with a new 130 foot power transmission tower. Three antenna sectors are proposed. An underground trench will extend from the new power transmission pole to a proposed Verizon mesa span cabinet. A 30 amp disconnect, H-frame with meter and disconnect, and AT&T cabinets will be installed on an 11-foot by 11-foot concrete pad. Parties interested in submitting comments or questions regarding any potential effects of the proposed facility on Historic Properties may do so in writing by contacting Carolyn Mitchell, AT&T, at 7150 Standard Drive, Hanover, Maryland 21076 or c/o email@example.com.
SETTLE IRS TAXES For a fraction of what you owe
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UNCF helps thousands of deserving students. But we have to turn away thousands more. So please give to the United Negro College Fund. Your donation will make a difference. Visit uncf.org or call 1-800-332-8623.
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
BACK IN THE DAY laz y The dog. c k q u i fox sly p e d jum e r o v lazy the g . d o is Now time the all for o d g o to cows
15 s Yearo g A
to come aid the ir of there. pa stu is Now e the timall for o d g o to cows to come aid the ir of there. pa stu
10 & 15 YEARS AGO Falls Church News-Press Vol lV, No. 37 • December 1, 1994
It is no the timw e for g o all o cows d to go to the aid of the pa stu ir re. *** **
Falls Church News-Press Vol IX, No. 38 • December 2, 1999
10 Year s Ago
Thro w it up. Pour it up It now is the time for all go od cows to go to the aid
‘Council OKs Grad Center Site Plan, 5-1 - Transaction Approved To Transfer Whittier Property Over to City’
‘‘FINAL FOUR’ - BOUND - Mason Cagers Head to ‘Final Four’ & Defense of State Title’
“The City Council’s 5-1 vote Tuesday night to approve the conceptual site plan for the Northern Virginia Graduate Center clears the way for the City to become a co-applicant with the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech for a rezoning application which will be jointly filed within about a week. The Council also voted unanimously to authorize acceptance of the transfer of the 9.6 acre Whittier site from Fairfax...”
“In a game that was deadlocked with less than two minutes to play, the George Mason varsity girls’ basketball team beat West Point High School 47-41 Saturday at Manassas Park High School to advance to the state semifinal, to be played tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the Salem Civic Center in Salem. The defending state champion Mustangs will face a very strong Prince Edward County High School team...”
Bob Herbert Continued from Page 12
one of his revolutionary ideas. He invented the nickel metal hydride battery that is in virtually all hybrid vehicles on the road today. And when I pulled into the parking lot outside his office in Bloomfield Hills, he promptly installed me in the driver’s seat of a hydrogen hybrid prototype – a car in which the gasoline tank had been replaced with a safe solid-state hydrogen storage system invented by Ovshinsky. Within minutes, I was driving along a highway in a car that produced zero pollution. No carbon footprint whatsoever. How’s that for a wave of the future? The point is that these (and many more) brilliant, innovative technologies are here. They are real, tangible. They exist. What’s needed now is the will to develop policies that will vastly expand these advances and radically reduce their costs. The United States should be leading the world in the creation of whole new energy technologies and industries, instead of allowing the forces of the old carbon-based industries – coal, oil, gasoline-powered vehicles – to stand obstinately in the way of real progress. “Now,” Ovshinsky told me, “is when we have to build the new industries of the future.” He has always been driven by the desire to use science and technology to solve the real-world problems of real people, and that has meant creating employment and stopping the pollution of the planet. He and his late wife, Iris, formed a company (to become known as Energy Conversion Devices) in Detroit in 1960 with the idea of using their considerable talents, as he put it,
“to do good, to change the world.” After nearly a half-century of revolutionary innovations with the company, Ovshinsky retired two years ago to focus his attention on the difficult and time-consuming effort to make solar energy economically competitive with coal and oil. “I know solar energy can’t live up to its possibilities unless it’s a hell of lot cheaper,” he said. He believes he has assembled a team that, with sustained, intense work under his direction – and if sufficient funding can be secured – will bring the price of solar power below that of coal and oil within a few years. What’s weird is that this man, with such a stellar track record of innovation on products and processes crucial to the economic and environmental health of the U.S., gets such little attention and so
little support from American policymakers. In addition to his work with batteries, photovoltaics and hydrogen fuel cells, his inventions have helped open the door to flatscreen televisions, new forms of computer memory and on and on. So when Stan Ovshinsky tells us that we should be putting our chips on hybrid and electric vehicles, and that solar and hydrogen power can be the cornerstone of an industrial renaissance in the U.S. as well as a cleaner planet, we should be listening very, very closely. As oil defined the 20th century, new forms of energy will define the 21st. The U.S. has the opportunity, the intellectual resources and the expertise to lead the world in the development of clean energy. What we’ve lacked so far has been the courage, the will, to make it happen.
INDY LIKES TO REST his head where it is nice and warm, preferably somewhere on his owner’s bodies. Just like his namesake, Indiana Jones, this pooch is filled with energy. His owners, Jody Fellows, Managing Editor of the Falls Church News-Press, and Fellows’ fiancée Megan, sometimes have trouble keeping up with this lively lab mix. Allegedly, Indy literally jumps for joy when he goes outside, high up into the air. At about 3 years old, this rescue still acts like a puppy. The dog park is one of his favorite places, where he can run around for hours with his pals. When play time is over, Indy likes to sleep in bed with his parents. In fact, he often acts as Megan’s most favorite pillow.
Make Your Pet a Star! Snap a pic of your critter and email it to: CRITTERCORNER@FCNP.COM OR mail it to Critter Corner c/o Falls Church News-Press 450 W. Broad Street #321 Falls Church, Va 22046
VISIT US ONLINE
November 26 - December 2, 2009
Diener & Associates, CPA. . . . . . . . . 241-8807 Eric C. Johnson, CPA, PC . . . . . . . . 538-2394 Mark Sullivan, CPA . . . . . . . . . . . 571-214-4511 Hassans Accounting & Tax Services . 241-7771 Hahn & Associates, PC, CPAs . . . . . 533-3777
ANTIQUES & cOLLECTIBLES
Falls Church Antique Company . . . . 241-7074 Antique Annex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241-9642
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Mark F. Werblood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534-9300 Janine S. Benton, Esq. . . . . . . . . . . . .992-9255 Beyer Volvo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237-5000 Integrity Tire & Auto Repair . . . . . . . . 639-0700
Pressure Washing/Deck, Siding . . . . 980-0225 A-Cleaning Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 892-8648 Affordable Carpet Resoration . . . . . . 978-2270 Maid Brigade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 823-1922 Carpets, Ducts, Windows . . . . . . . . . 823-1922
health & FItness
Curves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 536-0140 Sacred Well Yoga and Healing . . . . . 989-8316 Human Touch Home Health . . . . . . . 531-0540 Joseph Home Improvement . . . . . . . 507-5005 Handyman Services . . . . . . . . . . 571-221-0574 Ram Home Improvement . . . . . . . . . 641-5892 Doug’s Handyman Services . . . . . . . 556-4276 Ambassador Home Improvements . 499-7095 FC Heating & Air Service . . . . . . . . . 534-0630 N.G. Painting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312-0032 Millennium, USA Painting . . . . . . . . . 409-8563 The Vinyl Touch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 793-3111
Fast-teks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496-7807 Carol S. Miller, LCSW . . . . . . . . . . . . 395-4980 Josette Millman, APRN . . . . . . . . . . . 855-0396 Dr. William Dougherty . . . . . . . . . . . . 532-3300 Dr. Nimisha V. Patel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 533-1733
lawn & garden
Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust Co. . . 519-1634 BB&T . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241-3505 TD Bank/www.TDBank.com . . . . . . . 237-2051 Acacia Federal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 506-8100 BCR Binders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534-9181 Jon Rizalvo, PAYCHEX . . . . . 698-6910 x27045 Dr. Solano, solanospine.com . . . . . . 536-4366
VA Outdoor Power Equipment . . . . . 207-2000 Ace Tool & Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . 532-5600 Point of View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237-6500
Fred Cruz, Agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 876-1666 State Farm Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . 237-5105 Morales Landscaping and Lawncare 502-3990 Sweet Garden Lawn Care . . . . . . . . . 627-7723 Gabriel Lawn Service . . . . . . . . . . . . 691-2351 Seven Brothers Landscaping . . . . . . 241-4990
Falls Church Florist, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . 533-1333 Art & Frame of Falls Church . . . . . . . 534-4202
Mottern Masonry Design . . . . . . . . . . 496-7491 Masonry Specialist LLC . . . . . . . . . . 443-2308 Jeff L. Cadle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 698-1390
Stifel & Capra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 407-0770
www.healthybyintention.com. . . . . . . 534-1321 Sheraton Premiere Women’s Massage 403-9328 Dr Gordon Theisz, Family Medicine . 533-7555 The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy . . . 536-4042 Academy of Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 938-8054 World Childrens Choir . . . . . . . . . . . 883-0920 Columbia Institute - Fine Arts . . . . . . 534-2508 Foxes Music Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 533-7393 John Karickhoff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 536-2400 Broad Street Pharmacy . . . . . . . . . . . .533-9013 Merelyn Kaye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .790-9090x218 www.helpfulmortgage.us . . . . . . . . . . 237-0222 Casey O’Neal - ReMax . . . . . . . . . . . 824-4196 Rosemary Hayes Jones . . . . . . . . . . .790-1990 Leslie Hutchison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .675-2188 The Young Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .356-8800 Shaun Murphy, Realtor . . . . . . . . . . 868-5999 www.TheJeffersonatBallston.com . . . 741-7562 Susan Fauber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395-8741 Tailor Lee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534-8886
All numbers have a ‘703’ prefix unless otherwise indicated.
To see your business here, call us at 703-532-3267, fax 703-342-0352 or E-Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org Check out our NEW Online Business Directory at www.FCNP.com
Make Your Pet a Star!
Just because you’re not famous doesn’t mean your pet can’t be! THIS
Snap a pic of your critter and email it to: CRITTERCORNER@FCNP.COM OR mail it to Critter Corner c/o Falls Church News-Press 450 W. Broad Street #321
Falls Church, Va 22046
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November 26 - December 2, 2009
for the week of November 26-December 2, 2009
Travel Back in Time at a Civil War Thanksgiving Reenactment Saturday, Nov. 28 Visitors are welcome to stop by Cherry Hill Farmhouse (312 Park Ave.) any time between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to see what an 1863 Civil War Thanksgiving was like in Falls Church. Spectators can watch costumed reenactors portray actual Falls Church residents from the Civil War era as they host the holiday meal and entertain friends and soldiers in the parlor. There will also be a reading of the Gettysburg Address and President Lincoln’s proclamation of a national day of thanksgiving. Admission is free. This event is sponsored by the Recreation & Parks Division and the Victorian Society of Falls Church. For more information, call 703-248-5171 (TTY 711).
Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule, Nov. 26-27 COMMUNITY CENTER CITY HALL DMV SELECT OFFICE MARY RILEY STYLES PUBLIC LIBRARY SCHOOLS SENIOR CENTER SHERIFF’S OFFICE GEORGE LOCAL TRANSIT REFUSE & RECYCLING COLLECTIONS
CLOSED Nov. 26 OPEN Nov. 27 CLOSED Nov. 26-27
NO SERVICE Nov. 26-27 NO PICKUPS Nov. 26-27 For information about collections, call 703-248-5081 (TTY 711).
Annual Holiday Craft Show, Dec. 5-6 Deck the halls this holiday season with special gifts from the 17th Annual Holiday Craft Show. More than 60 crafters will take over the Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St.) to sell unique handmade items and baked goods from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6. Admission is $1 for adults and 50 cents for children 12 and older; admission is free for children under age 12. Saturday Activities: Breakfast with Santa ($5)* 9-10:30 a.m. Videos with Santa ($10) 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The Great Zucchini ($5)* 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Craft Corner 2-4 p.m. Sunday Activities: Puppet Show ($5)* 1-1:30 p.m. Craft Corner 2-4 p.m. Face Painting 2-4 p.m. *Reservations and pre-payment required. Call 703-248-5077 (TTY 711) or register online at www.fallschurchva.gov. All other activities are free with admission.
The Cherry Hill Farmhouse (312 Park Ave.) will host a special Holiday Shoppe on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Volunteers will help children purchase and wrap inexpensive gifts ($5 and under) for friends and family. Call 703-2485171 (TTY 711) for more information. For more information and reservations, call 703-248-5077 (TTY 711).
Leaf Collection Schedule Reminder Residents who wish to have their loose leaves collected by the City are advised to rake leaves to the curb, but avoid gutters and sidewalks wherever possible. Nov. 30-Dec. 11 Areas north of Broad Street (Thursday and Friday refuse collection zones) Dec. 14-18 Areas south of Broad Street (Tuesday and Wednesday refuse collection zones) Properly prepared bundled brush, yard waste bags and special collections will continue throughout the leaf collection season. For more information, call the Operations Division at 703-248-5281 (TTY 711) or visit www.fallschurchva.gov.
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Questions or Comments?
City of Falls Church, Harry E. Wells Building 300 Park Avenue, Falls Church, VA 22046 703-248-5003 (TTY 711) The City of Falls Church is committed to the letter and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This document will be made available in alternate format upon request. Call 703-248-5003 (TTY 711).
November 26 - December 2, 2009
Mustang Scholastic Bowl Team on a Roll
To say the George Mason scholastic bowl team appears to be a squad on a mission would be an understatement. Undefeated through the first 5 meets so far this year, the Mustangs’ narrowest margin of victory has been 160 points; more than any other team has scored against them to date. In addition, the Mustangs rolled through the competition in the annual “It’s Academic” quiz show taping at NBC4 studios last Saturday, which will air on December 26th at 11:00 a.m. The team is currently averaging 316 points-per-game…more than 100 points higher than at this point during last year’s disappointing season. “Last year we finished second in the (Bull Run) district; the first time in the last 10 years that we haven’t won it,” Coach Jamie Scharff said. The Mustangs take their undefeated record to Madison County High School on December 7th.
Call for Curriculum Study Participants The Falls Church City Public Schools conducts regularly scheduled curriculum studies for each major program area. The science curriculum study will begin in January 2010. A parent from each of the four schools is asked to participate in this comprehensive review process. For an application to participate in the study visit www.fccps.org/sciencestudy or for more information contact the FCCPS Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment (703) 248-5607. The application deadline is December 15th.
Math Night at Mt. Daniel
FCC-TV Spotlight: Entertainment Unlimited
BIE Partner of the Week Marybeth Connelly
FCCPS Community Outreach Coordinator School involvement: Develops educational partnerships between Falls Church City Schools and the local business and non-profit community. Why Marybeth is a BIE partner: “The Business in Education Partnership provides opportunities for professionals in every career to share their expertise with Falls Church City students and teachers. We want to show students that the subjects they are learning in school are relevant to the rest of their lives.” For more information about sharing your expertise through the BIE Partnership, visit www.fccps.org or contact Marybeth Connelly at email@example.com.
Foundation Footnotes Reception and Auction at Quinn’s is on December 1st Everyone is invited to Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church for a reception and auction to benefit the Falls Church Education Foundation. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 1st at 7:00 p.m. If you are interested in donating an auction item contact Laura Nunley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-795-8667. Quinn’s is located at 431 N. Maple Avenue, Falls Church. The Falls Church Education Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. For information, visit www.fcedf.org or contact Donna Englander at email@example.com. School content published in The Schools Focus is written and edited by the Falls Church City Public Schools. For more information, contact the Falls Church City Public Schools Communications Office. Phone: (703) 248-5699 Fax: (703) 248-5613.
Students from Mount Daniel and Thomas Jefferson elementary schools show their parents how a “SmartBoard” works during a recent Math Night event at Mount Daniel. The screen, a cross between a computer monitor and blackboard, was purchased by the FCCPS Elementary PTA and is used for instruction in multiple elementary classrooms.
For Limited Time: Mustang Blend Coffee
Tune in to Falls Church Community Television (FCC-TV) to watch Entertainment Unlimited and dance into the holiday spirit with an Arlington Youth Dance Company performance of the timeless classic, “The Nutcracker.” This entertaining performance is sure to lighten your step and fill your visions of sugar plums. Entertainment Unlimited airs on FCC-TV at the following times: • Sundays at 8:00 p.m. FCC-TV airs on Cox channel 12, Verizon channel 35 and RCN channel 2. For a complete programming schedule, visit www.fcctv.net or call 703-248-5538.
The George Mason Music Department/Band Boosters has joined forces with local coffee roaster, Beanetics, to create a unique blend for Falls Church. The Mustang Blend has been crafted to bring music to your taste buds. One-pound bags, in whole bean or ground, are $13 and benefit the student musicians’ Spring Festival trip. To order, visit www.fccps.org/gmhscoffee or contact Susan Earman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to order: December 9th. Calendar for November 26-December 7, 2009
Testing 11/30 - 12/9 SOL Non-Writing (GM) November 26 – 27 Thanksgiving Break (Schools Closed / Day Care Closed) 30 7:00 p.m. School Board / City Council Joint Work Session (MEH) December 2 5:00 p.m. Mason @ Falls Church High (Wrestling) 6:00 p.m. TJ Art Show (Mary Riley Styles Library) 7:00 p.m. Financial Aid Night (GM) 7:00 p.m. Marshall @ Mason (G Basketball) 4 6:00 p.m. Mason @ Gar-Field High (G Basketball) 7 7:00 p.m. Special Education Advisory Committee (TJ) For more calendar information, visit www.fccps.org/calendar. (MD) Mt. Daniel School (TJ) Thomas Jefferson Elementary (MEH) Mary Ellen Henderson Middle (GM) George Mason High (CO) Central Office www.fccps.org - The official site for Falls Church City Public Schools news
November 26 - December 2, 2009
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