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February 16 – 22, 2017

Fa lls   Chur c h, V i r g i ni a • ww w. fc np. c om • Fr ee

Fou n d ed 1991 • Vol. X X V I No. 52

Falls Church • Tysons Corner • Merrifield • McLean • North Arlington • Bailey’s Crossroads

Inside This Week F.C. Assessments Up 3.6% Overall

Single family home values grew by an average of 3.2 percent in the last year, but townhouses by only 1.43 and residential condos by only 0.93 percent, the City of Falls Church announced Tuesday. See News Briefs, page 9

School Board Delays Final Budget

With explosive enrollment growth this year, the School Board is confronted with asking for significantly more than its $1.7 million constraint, and it put off until next Tuesday its final decisions on what its ask to the general government will be.

F.C. Council Resolves to Form New Economic Group for Campus Site Role: Finding How to Maximize $ to Offset New School Costs

by Nicholas F. Benton

Falls Church News-Press

See page 5

Frank Bruni: Trump Deserves Flynn

Michael Flynn’s fall was foreordained, predictable by anyone with the time, patience and fundamental seriousness to take an unblinking look at his past, brimming as it was with accusations of shoddy stewardship and instances of rashness. See page 14

Mustang Girls Win Conference 35 Title

The George Mason High School girls basketball teams claimed its second consecutive Conference 35 crown, the first time the school has pulled that off since winning five straight from 2009-2013. See Sports, page 19


Editorial..................6 Letters................6, 8 News & Notes.10–11 Comment........ 14–17 Sports..................19 Calendar........20–21

Food & Dining......23 Classified Ads......27 Comics, Sudoku & Crossword ..........29 Critter Corner.......30

A NEW PLAQUE honoring the role slaves played in building the historic Falls Church Episcopal church was unveiled last Saturday, Feb. 11, during a dedication ceremony. (Photo: Shaun van Steyn)

Historic Falls Church Honors ‘Enslaved People’ With Plaque

by Nicholas F. Benton

Falls Church News-Press

In a solemn ceremony held in the context of Black History Month in Falls Church Saturday afternoon, scores of citizens and church members participated in the dedication of a new plaque embedded into the brick walkway at the entrance to the historic Falls Church Episcopal honoring “enslaved persons.” The plaque’s words, “With gratitude and repentance we honor the enslaved people whose skill and labor helped build The Falls Church,” summed up the combined themes of recognition and

repentance for the role of the slaves who did the manual labor to build the historic brick building in the mid-1700s. The Rev. John Ohmer led a brief dedication ceremony. His prayer intoned, “Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done, remembering especially on this day the evil of slavery: for our past and current blindness to human need and suffering, our indifference to injustice and cruelty, our exploitation of other people, our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us: for those things done and left undone.” His dedication was preceded

by remarks from Falls Church’s Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation founders Nikki Graves and Edwin B. Henderson, and an oral history presentation with members of the foundation and others dressed in the garb of the 18th century and Civil War telling the story of the founding of the church (George Washington was a vestryman of the Alexandria church which built the Falls Church as a mission extension) and of John Read, who was buried on the church grounds after being singled out for execution by Confederate forces for his role in educating slaves in the waning days of the Civil War.

The Falls Church City Council was able to move beyond some apparently stubborn differences on what kind and extent of economic development should be on the 39-acre George Mason High School campus site when it voted unanimously Monday night to adopt a resolution to create a working group to explore the subject. Mayor David Tarter was the most adamant among his colleagues in insisting that no artificial parameters be set around options for economic development if and when the new working group elicits ideas from the development community on the highest and best uses they can devise for the site. He ran afoul of some colleagues by suggesting the 10 acres of the site not be limited to the conversations to date placing them at the intersection of W. Broad and Haycock Road. “The question of location (of the economic development part) bears discussion,” he said, noting that developer interests would be the best to explore the question of “what is the most advantageous location.” Others on the Council, such as Karen Oliver, protested, saying that insofar as all the deliberations to date on how to proceed on the site have assumed the W. Broad and Haycock corner for the development component, it should remain that way going forward. But Tarter persisted, in the context of emphatic comments by Councilman Phil Duncan, who

Continued on Page 11

PAGE 2 | FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017


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fter many months of planning and construction, our beautiful senior living residence at 700 West Broad Street is now open. Please join us for an open house to celebrate this milestone. Meet our team, mingle with families and guests, take a personalized tour and enjoy refreshments. The Kensington is a tastefully elegant assisted living and memory care community that we designed and built to meet the unique needs of seniors. Then, we sought out the most talented and kindhearted team we could find. We trained them to deliver care and service that reflect our continual commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of older adults who need daily lifestyle assistance or who require support as they cope with memory loss. We are excited to share our comprehensive spectrum of care and our passion for making a difference. Come introduce yourself and tell us about your family. A warm welcome awaits!

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PAGE 4 | FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017


‘We Support the Girls’ Event Pushes for Erin’s Law Passage BY SAM TABACHNIK


When Caitlyn Knittig was nine years old, she was sexually assaulted. At the time, she had no idea what sexual assault was. They didn’t teach it in school. It didn’t come up in conversation. Now the survivor has made it her mission to make sure that other children won’t suffer the same fate. Knittig told her inspiring story last Saturday at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington as part of the first-ever community event for We Support the Girls, a nonprofit organization in Falls Church dedicated to supporting victims of sexual assault, increasing community awareness and advocating for better education on the topic. U.S. Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., who represents the 8th District of Virginia that includes the City of Falls Church, gave the keynote speech and the event was moderated by Peggy Fox, reporter

and anchor from WUSA News Channel 9. Falls Church City Mayor David Tarter was one of many community members in attendance. Speaking alongside panelists who included sexual abuse advocates, mental health professionals and nonprofit leaders from around the area, Knittig detailed the dire need for child sexual abuse education at an early age. “I waited three days before I was brought in and questioned,” the high school sophomore told the audience. “After about an hour or two talking to a detective, I finally went out and told her what had happened to me. But I really didn’t know what happened to me. It’s hard to explain what happened when you don’t know.” We Support the Girls was launched in October 2015 by Falls Church resident Rob Hof as a way to show support after two young girls were sexually assaulted by prominent local community member, Michael Gardner. (While Knittig was one of three

girls to accuse Gardner of sexual abuse in 2011, at the trial in 2012, the jury did not come back with a verdict on her accusation and the judge ruled a hung jury. In a subsequent trial in 2014, Gardner pleaded guilty to all counts in two unrelated child sex abuse cases.) With all the attention on Gardner during 51 months of trials, investigations and retrials, Hof believed that the girls needed the community to show them that they did the right thing in coming forward. So Hof and others made hundreds of red signs for Falls Church residents to put on their lawns to display their support. Fifteen months later, We Support the Girls has moved from a cohort of supportive City residents to a grassroots organization pushing for new legislation on sexual abuse education, while building a community that understands the signs, symptoms and prevention techniques.

Continued on Page 30

CAITLYN KNITTIG SPEAKS at the We Support the Girls Community event at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington last Saturday. (P����: E��� S���������)



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F.C. School Board Delays Final Budget to Next Week BY NICHOLAS F. BENTON


With confirmation from Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields on the release of the new real estate assessments for the City used to craft the budget Tuesday, the School Board learned that it will be constrained by the same $1.7 million budget increase it was allotted, inclusive of City, state and federal funds estimates, in December. The assessed real estate value growth of 3.6 percent being in line with earlier forecasts (see News Briefs, page 9), the $1.7 million allotment is based on keeping the real estate tax rate of $1.315 per $100 in assessed values even with the current year. But with the explosive enrollment growth this year, the 6.4 percent growth being well ahead of projections, the School Board is confronted with asking for significantly more than the $1.7 million constraint, and it put off until next Tuesday its final decisions on

what its ask to the general government will be. Meanwhile, Interim School Superintendent Dr. Robert Schiller and new School Board chair Lawrence Webb were due to present the budget options, after the NewsPress was due to go to press last night, to a joint meeting of the City’s three PTA/PTSA (parent-teacher and parent-teacher-student) groups. Whatever final budget product the School Board adopts next Tuesday, state law provides that the dollar value of that budget must be adopted without modification by City Manager Wyatt Shields in the crafting of his recommended overall city/school operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Once he’s made his recommendation, the City Council will determine the final parameters of the budget by late April, with whatever program or funding cuts and tax rate modifications it will decide upon. The fact that this is a City Council (and School Board) elec-

tion year will be a relevant factor, as well. The tension between the City’s and schools’ operational needs and the need to keep the tax rate reasonable has been with the City every year of its over 70-year history, and will be even more acutely true this year. Last year, the Council cut $912,000 of the school board’s request, and a lot of pain ensued for the schools. But that was in the context of a 3.5 percent enrollment growth. With the enrollment growth almost doubled this year, the programmatic needs of the schools are even greater. But in the delineation of funding options for the school budget, the combination of fixed cost commitments, such as retirement and health insurance premium costs, and mandates, mostly related to special education programs, staying within the $2.7 million has left the schools with only $1,149,400 for new expenditures.

Continued on Page 30




FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017 | PAGE 5





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PAGE 6 | FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017

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3 Moving Parts Of New School

There remain three major moving parts as all hands are on deck to commandeer a successful outcome for development of the 36-acre high school campus property. We remain, as we have since Day One of this newspaper almost 26 years ago, hopeful of and committed to outcomes that will be optimum for the quality public education of all the youth under the City’s care. To this end, with respect to the current project, we are becoming more optimistic that the sound-minded City Council, School Board and their respective administrations will craft a path forward to bring a willing community along to pass the coming November bond referendum. It requires resolve. There is no need for any undue delays. If tight schedules are followed, the requisite work can all be achieved in time for referendum language to be submitted to the courts by late July. The citizens of Falls Church have never failed to support bond referenda reasonably and thoughtfully created. There is little doubt that a preponderance of voting citizens in this community support quality public education, and in this case, there is a compelling argument for dedicating the tax resources for an all-new high school to be built in a single stage that would be completed by 2021. But at this stage, the voting public needs to see an open and reasoned deliberation among all the parties involved to strike the proper balance between the three principal factors remaining in play. The three factors are, as Interim Superintendent Dr. Robert Schiller reiterated to the School Board Tuesday night, these: 1. commitment to single-stage construction of a new high school with a capacity expandable to 1,500 students, 2. achieved at a reasonable cost to taxpayers by including limiting its size to essentials, and 3. with provision for optimal economic development of up to 10 acres of the site to benefit the community but also to significantly mitigate the cost of the new school to taxpayers. When Schiller came up with a dramatic alternative last week to cut the new school cost from $117 million to $60 million, we perceived a marked favorable shift in public response to the whole idea. While going all the way with Schiller’s plan may not be the best approach entirely, it makes its point. A public commitment to seriously shave costs adds to the likelihood of public support, given we’re talking serious money here. So does the commitment to economic development. If there’s a perceived serious commitment to mitigate taxpayers’ costs that way, then taxpayers are more likely to weigh in with their fair share. So far, some of the biggest obstacles are related to athletic programs. In one case, proponents of competitive sports want to add to the cost with as many as three new gyms. In the other, economic development potentials may be constrained by putting the athletic fields off limits. But it would be tragic if insisting on these caused the overall effort to fail.


Removing Gyms from School Plan is Just Common Sense Editor, Three gyms for the new high school? Is that a misprint? I know of no better example of the out-of-control school lobby in Falls Church than this proposal that apparently survived for some time before interim School Superintendent Schiller questioned it. While you describe his proposal to use the existing gyms as “brilliant,” most would call it plain common sense. Having gone

to an Ohio 1,600 student high school that was top-rated both academically and athletically, I can vouch that our one gym for the school was quite adequate. Most city planners say that land areas near subway stations should be developed very intensively because such sites provide substantial tax revenues and cut automobile use for those who can live and/or work near the Metro location. I doubt that the school


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The News-Press is delivered to every household and many businesses in the City of Falls Church (22046), and to many homes and businesses (but not all) in the adjacent 22041, 22042, 22043, 22044 and 22205 zip codes. Its total circulation of 15,000 per issue is greater than any other newspaper in the distribution area, including dailies. For complete advertising information, call us or check out our web site.

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proponents have fully considered how to maximize the development potential at the site in question. For example, why couldn’t commercial development be done on the air rights above the school buildings? If this runs counter to the enabling agreement mandating that a high percentage of the site be used for education, why not either renegotiate this provision or seek other educational institutions to fill the space above the Falls Church school buildings? A little more thinking outside the box would go a long way towards keeping our taxes level or, even better, reducing them. James E. Schoenberger Falls Church

City’s FCC-TV Guidelines Are Too Restrictive Editor, Who runs Falls Church City? Most people figure that their elected officials make the policy and City staff implements the policy. Citizens involved with Falls Church Cable TV, or FCC-TV, could tell you a different story. FCC-TV is a Public-EducationGovernment station. The City guidelines are far too restrictive. The operating agreement signed

Continued on Page 8



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FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017 | PAGE 7

Give Little City’s Trees the Respect They Deserve B� K���� L. J����

City trees are tough – they withstand a lot of abuse and generously provide residents with beauty and shade. There are countless benefits to an urban forest. According to the EPA, trees can: • increase property values and “curb appeal” • produce oxygen, clean the air and reduce global warming • reduce flooding, runoff and water pollution • increase revenues and pedestrian appeal in shopping districts; and • provide a “traffic calming” effect by reducing the speed of drivers A 2011 paper by Reed College economists found that walkability, in the form of nearby businesses, raises a Portland home’s value by about $3,500 in a treeless neighborhood, but $22,000 in a tree-lined one. Intuitively this makes sense. Most of us do not want to stroll or hang out in a concrete jungle. Walkability has become a key factor when estimating property values . According to the American Planning Association (APA) “Green infrastructure evokes the interconnectedness of nature and people in urban areas.” APA also notes that residents living in attractive outdoor settings met and socialized with their neighbors, formed social ties, felt safer and less stressed. This is a vision that all Little City citizens can appreciate. And this vision must not fade away during the City’s plans

to build and commercialize. Commercial and environmental objectives are not mutually exclusive. With careful and thoughtful planning and dialogue between city planners, the tree commission, real estate developers, and citizens – a win/win is possible.

“Despite economic, environmental and societal bene�its, our trees are not getting the respect they deserve.” Imagine a Little City which is charming, inviting, and green. A place where you find yourself strolling and relaxing. You may not even know why you find it so pleasant… but there you are anyway, whether it is dining, shopping or meeting with your friends and neighbors. What if the entire stretch of Broad Street could be this inviting? Developers, property owners, city business owners, and residents could all be singing kumbaya together while admiring the green, both leaves and dollars. Despite economic, environmental and societal benefits, our trees are not getting the respect they deserve. Damage to the urban forest costs the City in allocation of financial and staff resources, and

reduces these big benefits. Over the past several months the City of Fall Church Tree Commission has noted the following damages: • tree stress due to urination (usually from dogs) • tacking and nailing flyers and posters to tree trunks, or cutting into bark to remove posters (note that even a large tree can suffer damage since cuts into tree bark can introduce a myriad of pests and disease) • car related damage (primarily when cars accidently back into trees while parking) • pedestrians walking in tree pits (contributes to soil compaction and root damage over time). What can city planners do? Encourage the use of raised beds (such as bull nose tile) or other means to create a protected root zone ‘(PRZ)’ around city trees. Also consider carefully the long-term consequences of not allowing adequate set backs for new buildings. Once a building is established – it will be there for perhaps one hundred years. If new buildings along the main street were set back at least 25 feet – it would encourage healthier trees and adequate pedestrian space for all. This is a long term economic win – because it encourages commerce, outdoor dining, and increased property values. What can property owners do? Take care of trees in front of your property. The City’s arborist manages city-owned trees and the risks associated with them, includ-

ing irrigation and treatment. However there are many property owners that manage their own trees. Either way, attention is required. Is the tree stressed, diseased, dehydrated? Early interdiction can save the tree. What can pedestrians do? Avoid walking on tree beds. Many of the Little City’s trees have defined and slightly elevated beds which are bordered by bullnose tile. These raised tiles have been very helpful in defining tree space and discouraging pedestrians from treading on sensitive tree roots. Unfortunately the Little City has also selected flush pavers and tree beds for newer developments. This design is less effective for discouraging pedestrian encroachment. What can dog walkers do? While people can mitigate most of the above damages by modifying their pedestrian and motorist behavior… what do you do about Fido? Almost everyone is aware of pooper-scooper laws and Falls Church residents are seen dutifully carrying their poop bags. However, is it possible to train your dog to unload in a gutter? The answer is yes, you can “curb your pet.” That’s where you’re supposed to do it anyway, according to laws in many large cities such as New York. Finally, we should all be vigilant. Our Little City is growing and developing and hopefully our urban forest will grow along with us. If you see any damage to trees, please report to the City’s arborist Kate Reich;; 703248-5183.

Q������� �� ��� W��� Should the F.C. School Board keep within the City Council’s guidance for its budget? • Yes • No

Last Week’s Question:

Do you support the latest proposal for a $60 million new high school?

• Not sure

Log on to to cast your vote

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[WRITE FOR THE PRESS] The News-Press welcomes readers to send in submissions in the form of Letters to the Editor

& Guest Commentaries. Letters to the Editor should be no more than 350 words and writers are limited to one appearance every four weeks. Guest Commentaries should be no more than 800 words and writers are limited to one appearance every four months. Because of space constraints, not all submissions will be published. All submissions to the News-Press should be original, unpublished content. We reserve the right to edit submissions for length, grammar and accuracy. All submissions should include writer’s name, address, phone and e-mail address if available.

Email: | Mail: Letters to the Editor, Falls Church News-Press, 200 Little Falls St., #508, Falls Church 22046 | Fax: 703.340.0347


PAGE 8 | FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017

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TO LETTERS THE EDITOR Continued from Page 6 by the Citizen Board, the City and the Schools, clearly authorizes three equal parties: The public through the citizen board, the schools and the City. Have we citizens been systematically, covertly, eclipsed by the bureaucratic overreach of the City? Are we at the point of authentic censorship by City staff? I was present when the citizen board appealed to the City Council. Mayor Tarter was clear when he directed both parties to reach a fair solution. Instead, the City doubled-down on control. The City created a months-long “process” to investigate the situation. The Citizen Board recently purchased over $125,000 for equipment now being used primarily by George Mason High School students enrolled in videography classes. The City Manager and City Council member Phil Duncan went to a citizen board meeting and the City Manager demanded control of all citizen-purchased equipment, including the new equipment being used by students, plus the citizen board’s checking account. There is no more time for meetings and “process,” which delay and intimidate citizens’ access to their own equipment. 1) Citizens are now effectively deprived of “public access” of

their own station. 2) The City seems to want to control all programming on our station. 3) The City does not cooperate with the citizen board. Let’s adapt to new civility and hope that we, together, can face our future as equal partners. Bigger ideas than these petty matters are calling us to do better. Let’s address our real challenges as one Falls Church City, to create our time in this great place, to regroom ourselves for true reflection of the creativity and freedom we love, for all. Dorothea Potter Teipel Falls Church

[ LETTERS ] Send us a letter and let us know what you think. Email Fax 703-342-0347 Mail or drop off Letters to the Editor, c/o Falls Church News-Press, 200 Little Falls Street #508, Falls Church, VA 22046

7 0 3 . 9 9 2 . 9 8 6 8 | w w w. T h e K e n s i n g t o n F a l l s C h u rc h . c o m 7 0 0 We s t B ro a d S t re e t , F a l l s C h u rc h , VA 2 2 0 4 6

For immediate consideration or more details, email or call 703-992-9868.

(A) Go ask your mother. (B) Because I said so. (C) We’ll see. There are no perfect answers in parenting.



Fa l l s C h u r c h

NEWS BRIEFS F.C. Assessments Rise an Overall Average 3.6% Single family home values grew by an average of 3.2 percent in the last year, but townhouses by only 1.43 and residential condos by only 0.93 percent, the City of Falls Church announced Tuesday. Individual property owners are scheduled to receive their annual assessment adjustments later this month in the mail. The City’s modest increase in residential values was offset by a 5.91 percent growth in commercial property values and by a 6.74 percent growth in multi-family property values in the summary provided by the City. New construction valued at $83.8 million accounted for 59 percent of the increase in overall assessed values, the City said. On the commercial side, construction accounted for $56.4 million of that total. Overall, values rose by 3.6 percent. By comparison, in Fairfax Co., where 2017 assessments were also released Tuesday, residential real estate assessments are up an average of only 0.68 percent. That average includes a 1.10 percent increase for single family homes, a 1.37 percent increase for townhouses and a 0.32 percent decrease for condos. Falls Church assessments were compiled and reported by City Assessor Ryan Davis, and the City statement added that “as set forth in the Virginia Constitution, real estate is assessed at 100 percent of fair market value,” and the City assessor’s office calculates property values annually “using mass appraisal techniques that are standard in the industry.” All properties in the City taken together added up to a 3.6 percent growth, or $4.008 billion.

Suspect in Rape of Falls Church Girl Arrested

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Dominion Power’s Slow Response Investigated Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields told the F.C. City Council Monday that an investigation into the delayed response by Dominion Power to a fire that broke out behind the Bowl America during the powerful wind storm Sunday night will occur. The fire, reported to the City Council by Bernie Baroukh, was sparked by a transformer malfunction at 11:15 p.m. Sunday. While F.C. Fire Marshall Tom Polera remained on the scene for Dominion Power to arrive, it was not until after 3 a.m. that it did. “That’s unacceptable,” said City Councilman Dan Sze. “They have smart meters in every installation in the City.” Another fire that broke out at the Oakwood Cemetery was addressed right away, Shields reported, and the storm knocked out power to homes throughout the City, and a tree was downed at the intersection of Lincoln and Great Falls.

Auto Decal Winner Announced The second annual art contest sponsored by the F.C. Treasurer Jody Acosta culminated in an award of $750 to George Mason High School tenth grader Annika Britten at Monday’s F.C. City Council meeting. Second place went to Sedona Decint, third place went to Clara Mattou and fourth place to Jack Sykes. A total of 20 entries this year was paired to four finalists and 784 votes were cast online, Acosta said.

F.C. Adopts Senior Cottage Ordinance By a 6-1 vote (Mayor Tarter dissenting), the Falls Church City Council gave final approval to an ordinance establishing the ground rules for permitting construction, under a “special exception” process, of new senior age-restricted (55 or 62 and up, depending) cottage unit clusters in low-density residential neighborhoods, each unit a maximum 1,000 square feet on its ground level. Council member Karen Oliver called the idea, “An exciting possibility for a new type of housing stock in the City.” Councilman Phil Duncan said, “It sets the City up as an innovator.”




A man suspected of raping a 15-year-old girl from Falls Church last July was apprehended by police during a regional gang task force operation early Monday morning. Fairfax County Police report that Ronald Fabricio Herrera Contreras was taken into custody during a Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force operation in Prince William County when a Fairfax Co. detective recognized Contreras. The 18-year-old suspect was wanted on suspicion of rape, abduction with the intent to defile, gang participation and assault and battery. According to police, last August, a 15-year- Ronald Fabricio old Falls Church girl told a family case worker that Contreras had Herrera Contreras. raped her in July.

FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017 | PAGE 9

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PAGE 10 | FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017



• • • • • •

Wills & Trusts Special Needs Planning Medicaid Planning Guardianships Probate Trustee or Agent Services

Planning For All Ages & All Needs

U.S. SENATOR TIM KAINE poses with members of the Latino healthcare community after a roundtable discussion at NoVaSalud in Falls Church last Friday. (P����: N���-P����)

Kaine Holds F.C. Roundtable on Future of Affordable Care BY SAM TABACHNIK


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With the future of the Affordable Care Act hanging in the balance, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat from Virginia, held a roundtable discussion at a health center in Falls Church on Friday to learn more about how a repeal of the signature healthcare law would affect Virginia’s sizable Latino community. The senator’s visit to Nova Salud, a Latino-focused HIV/AIDS testing, prevention and outreach center, was part of an ongoing effort to engage with stakeholders across the state on how Democrats are fighting to protect the law, while listening to stories about what a repeal would mean for Virginians. While Republicans seem to have backed off their initial plans to repeal the ACA immediately and without replacement, communities around the state are anxious about what the future might hold. “People are very, very worried,” Kaine said. “They’re very worried about it because they’re seeing on TV that Obamacare will be repealed but they don’t really know the details. They worry that they have health insurance now and it’s going to be taken away from them tomorrow.” Latinos are especially concerned because they have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the health act. According to a New York Times analysis, Latinos accounted for nearly a third of the increase in adults with insurance from 2013–14. The 7.2 percent

increase in coverage was the single largest share of any racial or ethnic group, far greater than its 17 percent share of the population. Before the ACA, approximately one in three Latinos was uninsured, the highest rate of any racial group. That number has since gone down to roughly one in four. One quarter of the 20 million people who became insured through the new exchanges were Latino. “That number is still too high,” Kaine said, regarding the group’s uninsured rate, “but to go backwards would be a disaster.” The senator, who alternated between English and Spanish during the roundtable, opened with a short status report on the state of the ACA imbroglio before each of the attendees got a chance to to discuss issues pertinent to their organization and community. For Marlene Alvarez, the effects of a full repeal could be catastrophic. Ten years ago, Alvarez was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She had no insurance. Luckily, a friend brought her to the Arlington Free Clinic where she was able to receive pro bono treatment. Before the ACA, it would have been virtually impossible for someone like Alvarez to get insurance with a pre-existing condition like breast cancer. But under Obamacare, insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions. Alvarez and her husband, a diabetic, now both have insurance. They realize, however, that they dodged a bullet in the past and could be in trouble in the future

if insurance companies can once again deny coverage. “If I had insurance, they could have caught the cancer much earlier,” said Alvarez, now an eligibility specialist at the Arlington Free Clinic. “I’m lucky; I could have died.” Even with all the uncertainty surrounding the law, Kaine and other members of the roundtable did express some optimism regarding the future of the ACA. “I am trying to convey it’s moving in somewhat of a good direction,” the senator said. “But we are not there yet.” Fabian Sandoval, CEO and Research Director at the Emerson Clinical Research Institute, believes a full repeal of the law would be impossible at this point. “Now that this pandora’s box of health care has been opened, there’s no way to shut it down,” Sandoval said. “There’s no way the government can take it away; they’d have to replace it with something. And it’s going to take them a long time to replace it.” But many Latinos in the area remain worried. Hugo Delgado, Executive Director of Nova Salud, has been getting calls by the dozens in the recent weeks. Is my healthcare going to go away? If it goes away, what will they do next? Will they come after me and my migratory status? Delgado remains hopeful. He tells anxious community members that we will just have to wait and see. Ultimately, however, “we still we have a lot of questions,” he said, “and we don’t have the answers.”



FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017 | PAGE 11

Economic Development Gets Its Own Campus Work Group Continued from Page 1

intoned, “It is absolutely essential that we tap the maximum potential from economic development, and we need experts to tell us.” At the Falls Church School Board meeting the next night, Interim Superintendent Dr. Robert Schiller reiterated his core point, that the success of the project, including the ability to win sufficient community support to pass a hefty bond referendum this November, depends on the effective balancing of three factors: the preponderance of support for a single-phase construction of a new school (deriving from the community meeting of Feb. 4), the role and extent of economic development on the site as a mitigating factor in the cost of that construction, and the price point for that construction the commu-

nity will support. The balancing of these three factors was due to be the main topic at another meeting of the Campus Process Working Group set for this morning, Feb. 16, at 9 a.m. in the school board offices. In this context, Tom Johnson, president of the Mason High Athletic Boosters, spoke to the School Board Tuesday to address what he called the “sub-standard indoor athletic facilities” currently available, and the need for “a real high school competition gym” better than the 1,000 seating capacity new gym that was built at the lower level of the Henderson Middle School just a decade ago. The existing gym, he said, has a floor that provides for the minimum allowable length for a basketball court of 90 feet, compared to the optimum length of 94 feet. This was in response to

pants, with affordability being the other main concern. So, the affordability component asked the question of the economic development of a portion of the site, up to 10 acres of it allowed under the terms of the deal with Fairfax County that swapped the City’s water system in exchange for the annexation of the 39 acres by the City and cash. Despite his own misgivings about the merits of a working group on the economic development portion, Shields presented his draft of a resolution establishing one, and to better draw from outside expertise, a line affirming the group’s ability to issue a “request for information” from the development community was added into its wording. The scope of the group in the resolution that passed unanimously is to “develop market based ranges of commercial uses and densities and a range of land values and tax yields for the site, as well as to “consider the relative merits of land sale versus land lease.” The resolution established “the working group is not a deci-

Schiller’s proposal from last week that by keeping the three existing gyms on the campus site, the cost of construction of a new high school facility could be reduced from $117 million to between $60 and $70 million. At this Monday’s Council meeting, City Manager Wyatt Shields suggested the issue of economic development on the campus site be framed by the question of “What do 10 acres of development need to produce to best offset the cost of the new high school? The density required of development should be defined from that point of view.” Shields had briefed the Council on the some 200 citizens who showed up for the Feb. 4 town hall meeting on how to proceed on the site, noting that a one-step build of a new high school was preferred by a “preponderance” of partici-

sion making body but will prepare information to be used in the land use decision of the Planning Commission and City Council,” and established that the group be composed of two members each from the Planning Commission, the Economic Development Authority, the City Council and School Board. The resolution language states that the Council and School Board “are interested in the potential of economic development on a portion of the existing George Mason High School site to generate revenue to help mitigate school facility costs and to create useful and attractive commercial uses that will interact safely and effectively with the campus.” Implied in Mayor Tarter’s insistence that the location of the economic development portion not be predetermined was that some developers, rather than waiting five years for that spot to become available, might covet the immediate development of a portion of the site closer to the West Falls Church Metro station where an athletic field is currently located.

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February Networking Mixer

Tuesday, February 28th 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Hosted by The Arc of Northern Virginia 2755 Hartland Road, Falls Church, VA 22043

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PAGE 12 | FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017




Community News & Notes League of Women Voters to Screen Doc. on Mar. 19 The League of Women Voters of Falls Church will host a screening and panel discussion on the documentary “Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes” on Sunday, March 19 at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of George Mason High School. The film explores the corrupting influence of money in politics and what voters can do to take their power back. The film was directed by John Ennis, and picks up from where his previous film, “Free for All,” an investigation of election fraud in Ohio, left off. Following the movie, a panel of experts will discuss the film, which features interviews with Robert Reich, Lawrence Lessig, Marianne Williamson, Jack Abramoff, Bob Edgar and

many others. Doors for the event will open at 2:30 p.m. and refreshments will follow the screening and panel discussion. Tickets are $35 for adults and $10 for students if purchased by March 18, and $40 at the door on the day of the event. Tickets can be purchased at A portion of the adult ticket price is tax-deductible and will support the Falls Church League’s non-partisan work to register new voters, promote voter turnout and inform voters about the positions of candidates seeking election. For more information about the work of the League, go to For more information about the film, go to For questions, contact Sara Fitzgerald:

Vehicle Decal Winner Announced At Monday’s City Council Meeting, the winners of the 2017-2018 Vehicle Decal Design Contest were announced. 1st Place: “Historic Past – Promising Future” by Annika Britton, 10th Grade at George Mason High School (GMHS) 2nd Place: “The Colorful City” by Sedona Decint, 11th Grade at GMHS 3rd Place: “Gateway” by Clara Matton, 11th Grade at GMHS 4th Place: “The Little Church” by Jack Sykes, 9th Grade at GMHS Ms. Britton included an essay with her winning design: “My design is a representation of many of the City’s iconic landmarks wrapped around

DECAL WINNER ANNIKA BRITTON displays her design in the City Council chambers. In attendence were (from left) Council Members Letty Hardi, Karen Oliver, Mayor David Tarter, “If I Were a Mayor” Contest Winner student Liv Scappa, Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly, Council Members Phil Duncan and Dan Sze. (Photo: Gary Mester)

the nickname of the City. Some of these important structures include the historic Falls Church, for which the City is named. Another is the Tinner Hill arch, which is an important civil rights monument and symbol of unity. Others include the State Theatre, our Community Center, and the Cherry Hill farmhouse, and the City’s more recent development is also captured. Falls Church is a wonderful place to call home, and our streets are lined with many prominent reminders of our historic past and our promising future.” Twenty area high school students submitted designs to the City of Falls Church Treasurer. A citizen panel chose the top four designs that best reflected the City community. Online voting for the top four finalists was open to the public from

January 9 through February 9. Cash prizes were awarded at the Council meeting: First Place $750, Second Place $500, Third Place $250 and Fourth Place $150.

F.C. Resident Subject of New Baseball Documentary The 1996-97 quest of a lifelong baseball fan to find a new favorite major league team to support has been documented in an entertaining 18-minute home video, “The Free Agent Fan,” by filmmaker Andrew M. Volpe. It is now available for free public viewing. Volpe’s video is dedicated to his father, Michael Volpe, a Falls Church resident. When the senior Volpe’s favorite baseball team suddenly traded his favorite player, he declared

ANNIKA BRITTON’S DECAL up close. Some of the structures depicted include the historic Falls Church, the Tinner Hill arch, the State Theatre, the Community Center, and the Cherry Hill farmhouse (Photo: City of Falls Church)

Send Us Your News & Notes!

The News-Press is always on the lookout for photos & items for Community News & Notes, School News & Notes and other sections of the paper. If you graduate, get married, get engaged, get an award, start a club, eat a club, tie your shoes, have a birthday, have a party, host an event or anything else you think is worth being mentioned in the News-Press, write it up and send it to us! If you have a photo, even better! Because of the amount of submissions we receive, we cannot guarantee all submissions will be published, but we’ll try our best!

Community News & Notes: | School News & Notes: Mail: News & Notes, Falls Church News-Press, 200 Little Falls St. #508, Falls Church, VA 22046


himself a “free agent fan” and went shopping for a new team. What followed was the equivalent of a six-month fantasy camp. Michael Volpe visited a number of major and minor league ballparks. He met with officials from the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins, Durham Bulls and others. The senior Volpe’s actions captured the attention of national media, who followed his quest for months. His saga was featured in national publications including Sports Illustrated, the Washington Post, the New York Times and USA Today. The elder Volpe eventually chose both a major and minor league team to whom he pledged his loyalty. Now at the 20th anniversary of his father’s journey, Andrew M. Volpe’s video contains a narration of how the Free Agent Fan phenomena occurred, interspersed with videos of major media interviews, print articles and original animation. The Free Agent Fan film is available for free viewing online on Vimeo at vimeo. com/203733937.

Free March Tai Chi Open House in F.C. Fresh off of their 2017 Lunar New Year Performance, Sun & Moon Taiji One will be hosting a free Tai Chi class on Saturday, March 4 from 7:50 – 8:50 a.m. for those who are interested in learning Tai Chi. The event will take place at the Falls Church location (Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do, Falls Plaza Shopping Center, 1136 West Broad Street, Falls Church). To reserve space for the class, an RSVP is required by calling 301-512-5071 or via e-mail at SunAndMoonTaijiOne@gmail. com to reserve a spot.

George Mason High Mulch Sale Underway The George Mason High School Athletic Boosters Association is sponsoring a spring mulch sale through Wednesday, March 15, with delivery of mulch on Saturday, March 25. For the 24th year, student-athletes will donate time on March 25 to load and deliver mulch to homes throughout Falls Church. This is the Athletic Boosters’ largest fundraiser and proceeds are used to provide student scholarships, end-of-season and Hall of Fame banquets, banners that hang in the Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School gym, as well as big ticket items, including the baseball/softball field lights, speakers in the gym and stadium, and equipment purchases. The high quality, shredded hard-bark mulch comes in three-cubic-foot bags, which sell for $5 each. Order forms are available at the Falls Church Community Center at 223 Little Falls Street, Mary Riley Styles Public Library at 120 N. Virginia Avenue, and all Falls Church City Public Schools offices. The Athletic Boosters recommend that those who purchase mulch make a note when ordering of where they want mulch to be placed on delivery day. For more information, or to place an order, visit or contact Surbhi Ashton at

Quinn’s to Host AfricanAmerican Artists Auction Quinn’s Auction Galleries will offer fine art from the inventory and personal collection of Merton D. Simpson (1928-2013) as the highlight of their Feb. 18 African-American Artists Auction.

LO CA L Not only a visionary collector and dealer of African and tribal arts, Simpson was also a prolific and celebrated abstract expressionist, creating thousands of artworks in his lifetime. A native of South Carolina, Simpson overcame both childhood illness and segregation on the path to becoming a respected, widely collected artist. From the 1950s until his passing in 2013, Simpson operated a New York gallery. There, he showcased his own work plus that of his friends and contemporaries — including Beauford Delaney, Norman Lewis, Hale Woodruff, and John Biggers — and other established and aspiring New York artists. In 2016, Quinn’s Auction Galleries was appointed to auction the artist’s estate holdings. The Feb. 18 auction will be the first to feature exclusively the Simpson collection’s fine artworks, following two sales of Simpson’s ethnographic art collection. The auction features more than 40 works by Merton D. Simpson plus additional art by John Biggers, Catti, Norman Lewis, Felrath Hines, Beauford Delaney, Nancy Flanagan, and others. The Feb. 18, 2017 auction will start at 11 a.m. at Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information, including gallery preview times, visit Tel. 703-532-5632, email info@

Northern Virginians Upbeat About Transportation Northern Virginians are strikingly more positive about the region’s performance in improving the region’s trans-

FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017 | PAGE 13

THE GEORGE MASON HIGH SCHOOL Swim teams headed to the state meet at the Christiansburg Aquatics Center, outside Blacksburg, on Wednesday. There are eight girls and 11 boys accounting for nine individual entries for the girls and 20 individual entries for the boys, and many relay entries for both teams. Above, with his coach, is senior Justin Britton, who earned male swimmer of the year at the region meet (P����: A�� A����/FCCPS) portation infrastructure than they were just over a year ago. A survey conducted in December 2016 for the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) found that 68 percent of Northern Virginians believe the region is doing a “good job” with the maintenance and quality of transportation infrastructure — up significantly from 43 percent who felt positive about the performance in an October 2015 survey. The positive finding is particularly notable because Northern Virginians continue

to view gridlock as by far the most impactful factor on their quality of life: 33 percent identified “reducing traffic congestion and improving transportation options,” followed by affordable housing at 18 percent, jobs at 12 percent and crime at 8 percent. Residents also view the current performance of the transportation network as mediocre, rating it a six on a 10-point scale. Additional details about the survey are at the NVTA TransAction webpage:


PAGE 14 | FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017


Bonhoeffer, Benedict or Ford

How should one resist the Trump administration? Well, that depends on what kind of threat Donald Trump represents. It could be that the primary Trump threat is authoritarianism. It is hard to imagine America turning into full fascism, but it is possible to see it sliding into the sort of “repressive kleptocracy” that David Frum describes in the current Atlantic — like the regimes that now run Hungary, the Philippines, Venezuela and Poland. In such a regime, democratic rights are slowly eroded. Government critics are harassed. Federal contracts go to politically connected autocrats. Congress, the media and the judiciary bend their knee to the vengeful strongman. If that’s the threat, then Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the model for the resistance. Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor who NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE became an anti-Nazi dissident. Between 1933 and his capture in 1943, he condemned the Reich, protested the persecution of the Jews, organized underground seminaries and joined the German resistance. In the face of fascism, he wrote, it was not enough to simply “bandage the victims under the wheels of injustice, but jam a spoke into the wheel itself.” If we are in a Bonhoeffer moment, then aggressive nonviolent action makes sense: marching in the streets, blocking traffic, disrupting town halls, vehement rhetoric to mobilize mass opposition. On the other hand, it could be that the primary threat is stagnation and corruption. In this scenario, the Trump administration doesn’t create an authoritarian regime, but national politics turns into a vicious muck of tweet and countertweet, scandal and pseudoscandal, partisan attack and counterattack. If that’s the threat, St. Benedict is the model for resistance. Benedict was a young Umbrian man who was sent to study in Rome after the fall of the empire. Disgusted by the corruption all around, he fled to the wilderness and founded monastic communities across Europe. If Rome was going to sink into barbarism, then Benedictines could lead healthy lives and construct new forms of community far from the decaying center. If we are in a Benedict moment, the smart thing to do is to ignore the degradation in Washington and make contributions at the state and local levels. Karlyn Bowman of the American Enterprise Institute notices that some of the interns in her think tank are thinking along Benedictine lines. In years past they were angling for career tracks that would land them in Washington, but now they are angling to go back to the places they came from. The third possibility is that the primary threat in the Trump era is a combination of incompetence and anarchy. It could be that Trump is a chaotic clown incapable of conducting coherent policy. It could be that his staff members are a bunch of inexperienced second-raters. Already the White House is back stabbing and dysfunctional. The National Security Council is in turmoil. Mussolini supposedly made the trains run on time, but this group couldn’t manage fascism in a phone booth. It could be that Trumpism contains the seeds of its own destruction. The administration could be swallowed by some corruption scandal that destroys all credibility. Trump could flake out in the midst of some foreign policy crisis and the national security apparatus could have to flat out disobey him. If the current reign of ineptitude continues, Republicans will eventually peel away. The Civil Service will begin to ignore the sloppy White House edicts. The national security apparatus will decide that to prevent a slide to global disorder, it has to run itself. In this scenario, the crucial question is how to replace and repair. The model for the resistance is Gerald Ford: a decent, modest, experienced public servant who believed in the institutions of government, who restored faith in government, who had a plan to bind the nation’s wounds and restored normalcy and competence. Personally, I don’t think we’re at a Bonhoeffer moment or a Benedict moment. I think we’re approaching a Ford moment. If the first three weeks are any guide, this administration will not sustain itself for a full term. We’ll need a Ford, or rather a generation of Fords, to restore effective governance. When this country was born, several of the founders wanted to feature Moses on the Great Seal of the United States. They didn’t want to do it because he liberated his people from tyranny. That was the easy part. They wanted to do it because he bound his people to law. Now and after Trump, the great project is rebinding: rebinding the social fabric, rebinding the government to its people, and most of all, rebinding the heaping piles of wreckage that Trump will leave in his wake in Washington. Somebody will have to restore the party structures, rebuild Congress, revive a demoralized Civil Service. These tasks aren’t magic. They are for experienced professionals. The baby boomer establishment polarized politics, lost touch with the voters and paved the way for Trump. We need a new establishment, one that works again.


David Brooks

Trump Deserves Flynn Donald Trump’s zeal for extreme vetting has one glaring exception, one gaping blind spot: his own administration. If you’re a bedraggled sixth-grader from a beleaguered country where the Quran is a popular text, he will stop you at our border. If you’re a retired lieutenant general who hallucinates an Islamic terrorist behind every last garden shrub in America, he will welcome you to the White House. Michael Flynn’s fall was foreordained, predictable by anyone with the time, patience and fundamental seriousness to take an unblinking look at his past, brimming as it was with accusations of shoddy stewardship and NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE instances of rashness. This is a man who once claimed that Arabic signs along the Mexican border pointed terrorists toward the United States — and who never provided any corroboration of that. I learned of this particular bit of hysteria when it was being discussed one night on Anderson Cooper’s show on CNN. The Trump apologist Kayleigh McEnany was asked for her reaction. She said that no one could prove that there weren’t such signs. Trump sold himself to Americans the way almost everyone who tries to make the transition from the private sector to public service does. Supposedly, he knew how to manage in a way that government bureaucrats don’t, because he was from a realm of ultimate accountability. But I can’t imagine any levelheaded chief executive having the most delicate of conversations about his enterprise out in the open, as Trump did at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night, discussing North Korea’s missile launch. And the cornerstone of management is the assembling of a team that’s competent and trustworthy. Trump put his together in a cavalier fashion, enchanted by people who were high on energy even if they were low on sanity, decency, discretion, humility or some combination of the above. And so we got Flynn, Stephen Miller and others whose stridency makes for a good show — Trump relishes a good show — but is a recipe for precisely the kind of recklessness that did in Flynn, who played footsie with the Russians and then lied about it. With this president there’s a surfeit of provocation and a dearth of due diligence. Where was the vetting, extreme or otherwise, of Mick Mulvaney, the congressman tapped for the Office

Frank Bruni

of Management and Budget? Oops: He had a nanny for whom he’d failed to pay more than $15,000 in taxes. Where was the vetting, extreme or otherwise, of Steve Mnuchin, just confirmed as treasury secretary? Oops: He had all this offshore wealth and nearly $100 million worth of real-estate assets that he initially failed to mention in financial disclosure forms. Where was the vetting — or, more to the point, the preparation — of Betsy DeVos, our new education secretary, who waltzed into her confirmation hearing and theorized that the greatest pedagogical threat to America’s schoolchildren was toothy, furry and fond of salmon. There have been so many embarrassments with so many nominees that a few who’d be in the foreground of the news otherwise have been spared the derision they deserve. Andrew Puzder, for instance. He’s up for labor secretary, and his confirmation hearing has been delayed four times as he deals with a tangle of financial interests that are only the half of it. Puzder runs the fast-food chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. and has spoken dreamily of how much he’d like to install robots in place of human workers — you know, the kind the labor department is supposed to protect. In a memo to Hardee’s managers, he wrote, “No more people behind the counter unless they have all their teeth.” He’s cuddly, this one. Randy, too. He took great pride in a Carl’s Jr. ad campaign in which models in bikinis wrapped their lips around fleshy, gooey cheeseburgers, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “food porn.” One ad had a woman whose bare breasts were obscured by melons. Oh, the wit! Say what you will about DeVos, she never suggested that geometry be taught by Chippendales dancers doing things with protractors that Pythagoras never envisioned. Nor did she spout anything along the lines of Puzder’s responses when he was asked about the prospect of joining Trump’s cabinet. He speculated that it would be “the most fun you could have with your clothes on.” I like to think that years from now, we’ll be so far past this messy and terrifying moment that we’ll look back wistfully at the parlor games it gave us, chief among them Who’s Your Nightmare Nominee? I’ve been in groups that passed many apocalyptic hours this way, though the conversation did grow redundant: Flynn, DeVos, Rick Perry, Flynn, Ben Carson, Flynn, Flynn, Flynn. Well, the Flynn nightmare is over. It lasted all of 24 days. It wouldn’t have lasted one if our president cared about the most important kinds of vetting.



How the Russians Own Trump

The ongoing Russian intervention into the U.S. presidential election and White House operations goes way beyond just telephone communications, and it’s journalistic digging that has the best shot at rooting it out. “A district judge cannot make immigration law for the United States, cannot give foreign nationals and foreign countries rights they do not have, and cannot prevent the president of the United States from suspending the admission of refugees from Syria.” So intoned the stone-faced, dead-eyed senior Trump adviser Steven Miller on “Meet the Press” last Sunday. It was recited in the form of a stiffarmed diktat, with special emphasis on the word, “cannot,” each time. We’ve getting used to seeing in the last four FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS weeks this kind of defiance from Trump and his minions to any check or balance, including from the courts, the legislature, the legitimate media and the intelligence community, to autocratic presidential fiat. While, of course, this is a fiction in the real world, as Trump is finding out, it is the kind of rhetoric that feeds the addled perceptions of his “true believers,” and the important question is whether the ranks of those are growing or dwindling as a result of everything going on. It’s evident that it’s been the likes of Miller – who appeared on no less than four talk shows last Sunday and was rewarded for his effort with a singular pat on the forehead by Trump – and Steve Bannon who’ve been driving the Trump White House. These “alternative right” figures are pulled from the “lunatic fringes” beyond the pale of democratic political normalcy to put anti-democratic radicalism in charge of the country. Why would Donald Trump, a career business mogul, do this? Known as “Easy-D” most of his adult life because he never cared about anything but an easy buck and easy pleasures, why is Trump such a hard core ideological radical now? The answer lies in Moscow. This operational behavior of the Trump White House is in the classic mode of the centuries-old oligarchic Russian autocracy now headed by Putin. They would be more subtle, with a hollow deference to democratic institutions, but frankly, they don’t know any other way. This goes back to the early 1970s, when under Nixon, the Russians (then Soviets) were invited to invade the socio-cultural corridors of the U.S. to help quell, in the eyes of Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover, the ferment of the civil rights and anti-war movements. What a deal, they thought! Smash the “left” (what remained of it) and with it any residual vitality of the trade unions, smash independent inner city political machines (that is, by having the Russian mafia muscle out the older brands), and provide a new, robust phalanx of formerly leftist but re-purposed right wing cults to become the cutting edge of a new popular radicalism. Trump was swept into this in the 1970s by his new Russian mafia masters, who used the threat of blackmail to offer him fame and fortune in exchange for his influence in corridors of power. He sold his soul, and quasi-friends like Roy Cohn had no choice but to go along. Trump has been a malleable stooge since. (The definitive work of investigative journalism documenting all this at the time was by the late Village Voice writer Robert I. Friedman in his Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America. A close friend of a close friend of mine, Friedman reported that the FBI told him a red mafia hit had been put out on him, and he died mysteriously soon after in 2000 at age 51. I wrote more about this in my October 19, 2016 column published just prior to the November election, “Trump’s Role in a Russian Coup.”) Getting to the bottom of this in the many ongoing and pending investigations will reveal that too much of the entire nation capitulated to a Russian brand of authoritarianism long before this past few months. The implications of this for serious reflections on our culture will be more profound and important, in the long run, than kicking out Trump and his immediate Russian controllers.

Nicholas F. Benton

 Nicholas Benton may be emailed at

FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017 | PAGE 15

Ignorance is Strength

When I travel to Asia, I’m fairly often met at the airport by someone holding a sign reading “Mr. Paul.” Why? In much of Asia, names are given family first, personal second — at home, the prime minister of Japan is referred to as Abe Shinzo. And the mistake is completely forgivable when it’s made by a taxi driver picking up a professor. It’s not so forgivable, however, if the president of the United States makes the same mistake when welcoming the leader of one of our most important economic and security partners. But there it was: Donald NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE Trump referring to Abe as, yes, Prime Minister Shinzo. Abe did not, as far as we know, respond by calling his host President Donald. Trivial? Well, it would be if it were an isolated instance. But it isn’t. What we’ve seen instead over the past three weeks is an awesome display of raw ignorance on every front. Worse, there’s no hint that either the White House or its allies in Congress see this as a problem. They appear to believe that expertise, or even basic familiarity with a subject, is for wimps; ignorance is strength. We see this on legal matters: In a widely quoted analysis, the legal expert Benjamin Wittes described the infamous executive order on refugees as “malevolence tempered by incompetence,” and noted that the order reads “as if it was not reviewed by competent counsel at all” — which is a good way to lose in court. We see it on national security matters, where the president continues to rely on a chief adviser who, suspicious closeness to the Kremlin aside, appears to get his strategic information from right-wing conspiracy theorists. We see it on education, where the hearings for Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, revealed her to be completely ignorant about even the most elementary issues. We see it on diplomacy. How hard is it to ask someone from the State Department to make sure that the White House gets foreign leaders’ names right? Too hard, apparently: Before the Abe flub, the official agenda for the state visit by Theresa May, the British prime minister, repeatedly misspelled her name. And on economics — well, there’s nobody home. The Council of Economic Advisers, which is supposed to provide technical expertise, has been demoted from Cabinet rank, but that hardly matters, since

Paul Krugman

nobody has been nominated to serve. Remember all that talk about a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan? If you do, please remind the White House, which hasn’t offered even a ghost of a concrete proposal. But let me not be too hard on the Tweeter-inchief: disdain for expertise is general in his party. For example, the most influential Republican economists aren’t serious academics with a conservative bent, of whom there are many; they’re known hacks who literally can’t get a number right. Or consider the current GOP panic over health care. Many in the party seem shocked to learn that repealing any major part of Obamacare will cause tens of millions to lose insurance. Anyone who studied the issue could have told them years ago how the pieces of health reform fit together, and why. In fact, many of us did, repeatedly. But competent analysis wasn’t wanted. And that is, of course, the point. Competent lawyers might tell you that your Muslim ban is unconstitutional; competent scientists that climate change is real; competent economists that tax cuts don’t pay for themselves; competent voting experts that there weren’t millions of illegal ballots; competent diplomats that the Iran deal makes sense, and Putin is not your friend. So competence must be excluded. At this point, someone is bound to say, “If they’re so dumb, how come they won?” Part of the answer is that disdain for experts — sorry, “so-called” experts — resonates with an important part of the electorate. Bigotry wasn’t the only dark force at work in the election; so was anti-intellectualism, hostility toward “elites” who claim that opinions should be based on careful study and thought. Also, campaigning is very different from governing. This is especially true when the news media spend far more time obsessing over your opponent’s pseudo-scandals than they do on all actual policy issues combined. But now things have gotten real, and all indications are that the people in charge have no idea what they’re doing, on any front. In some ways this cluelessness may be a good thing: malevolence may indeed be tempered by incompetence. It’s not just the court defeat over immigration; Republican ignorance has turned what was supposed to be a blitzkrieg against Obamacare into a quagmire, to the great benefit of millions. And Trump’s imploding job approval might help slow the march to autocracy. But meanwhile, who’s in charge? Crises happen, and we have an intellectual vacuum at the top. Be afraid, be very afraid.


PAGE 16 | FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017


A Penny for Your Thoughts

Delegate Marcus Simon’s

News of Greater Falls Church By Supervisor Penny Gross

Budget season has begun! Fairfax County Executive Edward L. Long, Jr. released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018 on Valentine’s Day. While there were few surprises, there also wasn’t much “love” in this proposed budget. Real property values remain relatively flat, with residential equalization increasing only .68 percent, with non-residential commercial values a little less anemic at 1.85 percent. In Virginia, local sources of revenue are controlled or capped by the Virginia General Assembly, and the reliance on property taxes as the primary source of local revenue hasn’t changed much since Thomas Jefferson was governor of Virginia. Mr. Long’s proposed budget does not increase the current tax rate of $1.13 per $100 of assessed value, recommends little in new or expanded programs, and eliminates another 13 staff positions. Since 2009, 753 existing positions have been eliminated. In the proposed budget, the average annual tax bill would increase by $40.69. Public education is a board priority, and the proposed budget recommends a transfer of $2.17 billion for school operations and debt service, or a 2.41 percent increase from last year’s budget. The Fairfax County School Board’s request is for an additional $61 million (equates to an additional 2.5 cents on the real estate tax rate) so school funding will continue to be a discussion topic, especially since the level of federal funding support for education is questionable at this time. Fairfax County receives about $32 million in federal program dollars for social services aid, just 0.08 percent of the General Fund budget. It is a small, but important segment of annual General Fund revenue, but the new administration’s

Richmond Report

budget approach creates uncertainties for local and state government budgets, too. As Board Chairman Sharon Bulova recently noted, “we’re sort of adopting a budget this year blindfolded.” She added that we don’t yet know what we might lose in federal funding and what we will need to pick up locally, if anything. Unfunded challenges in the proposed budget are many, as county needs are greater than available resources. Local revenues cannot support the significant needs for Metro operations and capital anticipated in the next year; some recommendations of the Police Policies Ad Hoc Commission regarding police span of control positions and the second tranche of funding for Diversion First are unfunded; and the Market Rate Adjustment (MRA) in the employee compensation plan, adopted in 2014, is not funded. The Mason District Budget Town Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 9, at 7 p.m., at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. County Executive Long will discuss his proposed budget, followed by a question and answer session. Public hearings about the budget will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 4, 5, and 6, at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax. To sign up to speak, contact the Clerk to the Board’s Office by calling 703-324-3151; TTY 711, on-line at speaker_bos.htm, or by e-mail at clerktothebos@  Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at



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Last week was as busy a week as we are going to have during this year’s 45-day short session. On Sunday, we got our first look at the House Appropriations Committee’s amendments to the Governor’s budget. On Monday and Tuesday, we debated and voted on hundreds of bills and resolutions at the crossover deadline. On Wednesday, floor amendments to the budget were due at noon and on Thursday we debated and voted on the budget. Each year the General Assembly establishes a deadline, near the halfway point of the session, for each house to complete work on its own bills, vote on them, pass them, and send them to other body for consideration. This year at the crossover deadline we debated and voted on a total of 192 bills. Here are some of the highlights. Women’s Health We passed HB 2267 allowing women to receive up to a 12-month supply of their birth control as prescribed by a doctor, over the objections of Delegate Bob Marshall of Prince William. Criminal Justice We passed HB 2064 which precludes a person who has previously been convicted of any violent felony from being eligible for first offender status for assault and battery against a family or household member, unless all parties agree. One of many bills aimed at addressing the growing opioid abuse crisis in much of Virginia, HB 1453, expands the category of state officials able to train individuals on the administration of naloxone for use in opioid overdose reversal. Finally, SB 816 would increase the grand larceny threshold from $200 to $500, meaning fewer acts of petty theft would be charged as a felony. We’ll see how that bill fares in the House of Delegates, where many are still hostile to that idea. Veterans Both houses passed language for a Constitutional Amendment to create a property tax exemption for surviving spouses of disabled veterans, even if they move. That bill will have to pass again in identical form next year and then be approved by the voters in a referendum before it can take effect. My Virginia Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act was folded into HB 1537. It allows

any member of the United States Armed Forces or Virginia National Guard (or their spouses or dependents living with them) to terminate contracts for certain services if they receive military orders to relocate for a period of service of at least 90 days. Redistricting Reform Several bills were introduced in the House of Delegates this year to reform how Virginia conducts redistricting, the process of redrawing electoral district boundaries. The bills, which were lumped together in committee and killed on a single voice vote, would have taken legislators out of the redistricting process, created an independent redistricting commission and constitutionally banned partisan influence in redistricting. Budget Update At the end of the day on Thursday, I was one of only two NO votes to the House of Delegates’ budget plan. Here’s why. Reviewing the budget amendments, I found several that were objectionable, including: Eliminating $4.5 million the Governor had requested to identify gaps in Virginia’s community mental health system where people with mental illness were getting lost. Eliminating $6 million in purely federal funds to provide long term contraception to poor families in Virginia. Republicans put language back in the budget to prohibit home healthcare workers from working more than 40 hours in a week and earning overtime pay. Language which stops the Governor from expanding Medicaid if (as many of us expect) it isn’t replaced as part of the ongoing effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Removes $4.2 million the Governor is seeking to improve mental health treatment in prisons and jails. Republicans killed every Democratic effort to amend the budget, including a floor amendment I introduced with Delegate Jennifer Boysko to require equal pay between the male Clerk of the House of Delegates and the female Clerk of the Senate.  Delegate Simon represents the 53rd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. He may be emailed at DelMSimon@house.


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Our Man in Arlington By Charlie Clark

Olympic champion swimmer Tom Dolan spent his Arlington youth so “ultra-competitive,” he would challenge you to a milkdrinking contest. His “complete disdain for losing was greater than the joy of winning,” he recalled. The two-time gold medalist who set a world record at age 18 spoke to fans and boyhood influencers Feb. 8 at the Better Sports Club, beside a display of 1990s clippings and his Sports Illustrated cover. But the 41-year-old Dolan now shares hard-earned wisdom on competition’s limits. As a boy doing his first strokes at Washington Golf and Country Club, Dolan “hated to lose, but I didn’t know how to handle it when I did,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t lose again, but I won’t make the same mistakes.” The Dolan family had a rule: you could do anything you wanted, but you did it for at least a year. “I stunk at the clarinet when I was 10,” Tom said, but he stuck it out. A turning point came at a swim meet when his father watched from the bleachers alongside famed Washington Redskin lineman Russ Grimm. Frustrated at his performance, Dolan threw his goggles and swim cap. His father was chafing to dash down to reprimand him, but Grimm said, “No, let him figure it out.”

FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017 | PAGE 17

(Last week’s audience included that father, attorney Bill Dolan, also a storyteller. He regaled me about his encounter with the late pro-baseball player George McQuinn. The older Dolan played on McQuinn’s Sporting Goods team in the 1950s and was once surprised to get tips on playing first base from the man himself.) At Yorktown High School, Tom Dolan made many lifelong friends, he said, but he often had to make the “tough choice” to skip a party and get up at 4 a.m. on a freezing morning to swim laps. “It was a fair trade-off,” he said. “The key is loving what you do.” At the University of Michigan, where he set his first world record at 18, Dolan “learned competing for someone other than myself, for the team,” he said. “Swimming is a selfish sport, egomaniacal,” he said. “When the team wins but I played bad, I’m supposed to be happy?” At college he also first appreciated the support he’d received from home folks now in “this room.” He teased the Better Sports Club by noting that the trophy it awarded him as 1994’s Arlington athlete of the year is his tallest. Dolan never lacked for confidence when sizing up opposing swimmers — despite a recurring challenge from asthma. But in winning in the NCAA, he saw that “when I swim well, others do well too.”

At the Olympics (Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000), where Dolan owned the men’s 400meter individual medley, he truly grasped “the power of a team,” he said. He learned to “lead by example and take responsibility to train as a professional” seven hours a day for what boils down to four-plus minutes every four years. “There’s no greater honor than being in the Olympics where you’re representing, family, friends, community and country.” But now that he’s married and the father of three, ultra-competitive Dolan runs his Swim School in Dulles, Va., to stress water safety and educating parents. “Whether you’re good or bad at it, you have to love what you do every day.” *** Found, tucked inside a wall during an Arlington home remodeling: yellowed newspapers detailing the stock market crash of October 1929. Dave and Mona Rook of North Quantico St. at 22nd Road, after tearing into a plumbing chase, pulled out copies of the Sunday Star and the Washington Herald Finance, “put there either to wrap pipes or for posterity,” Dave told me. Sample headlines: “Market crash compared to drop of 1907. Senate to sift crash. Reserve takes actions. Bankers save market when panic stops. Security ‘indigestions’ blamed for collapse. U.S. Treasury calm in spite of day’s crash.”

C i t y o f Fa l l s C h u r c h


Do you: (A) Weep softly.

Week of February 6 – 12, 2017

(B) Create a diversion.

Larceny from Building, 112 N. West St. (Mike’s Lazy Sundae) On Feb. 7, a laptop computer was reported stolen.

(C) Hire a tutor. For yourself.

Larceny from Vehicle, 6763 Wilson Blvd. R1 (Planet Fitness) On Feb. 7, an unknown suspect broke a car window and stole the victim’s bag. Vandalism to Vehicle, 6763 Wilson Blvd. R1 (Planet Fitness) On Feb. 7, an unknown suspect smashed two car windows. Narcotics Violation, 300 block E. Broad St. On Feb. 8, an officer conducted a traffic stop for a motor vehicle violation. The driver, a male, 24, of Annandale, was arrested and released on summons for Possession of Marijuana. Narcotics Violation, 205 Hillwood Ave. (Marriott TownSuites) On Feb.10, a male, 25, of Falls Church, was arrested and released on summons from Possession of Marijuana.

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Save a life. Don’t Drive HoMe buzzeD. BUZZED DRIVING IS DRUNK DRIVING.

Smoking Violation, 6795 Wilson Blvd. #2 (Eden Center) On Feb. 10, a male, 42, of Arlington, was cited for Smoking In a Non-Designated Area.





PAGE 18 | FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017


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@ FCNP For the Best Updates on Falls Church, D.C. and Northern Virginia

M.E. HENDERSON STUDENTS preparing for next week’s opening of Willy Wonka Jr. had their �irst complete tech rehearsal Monday. More rehearsals will follow before opening night on Thursday, February 23 From left, Gillian Murphy as Wonka, Henry Boland as Charlie, and Josh Reitinger as Grandpa Joe. (P����: C���� S��) March 1. A parent information by the academy’s award-winning session will be offered at Jessie culinary program, classroom Mason Senior Externships Thackrey on February 22nd at tours, and teacher presentations. Seek Volunteer Opps 7 p.m. Completion of the form, High school students can take George Mason High School which can be found at, elective classes at one of the seniors will have the opportuni- will secure a space in the lottery six high school academies. High school students from Marshall, ty to participate in a nine-day selection. McLean, Madison, Langley, externship from Monday, June 5 Oakton, Falls Church, and Stuart – Thursday, June 15. The goal is Marshall Academy Hosts attend Marshall Academy for to help graduating seniors expe- Open House Tonight one or more electives. rience working in a real-world For more information, visit career, volunteer project or other The school will host its annuarea of interest. This unique learn- al academy open house for pro- or ing opportunity allows seniors to spective students from 6 – 7:30 contact Niki Rosett-Haubner at work with various mentors and p.m. The program will include a Nicole.RosettHaubner@fcps. organizations to: complimentary dinner prepared edu. • Experience a professional or volunteer work environment • Relate college and career aspirations to relevant work or volunteer experiences • Give back to the George Mason and Falls Church community To offer a proposal hosting an extern, visit

Thackrey Preschool Interest Application Time Falls Church City Public Schools are now accepting interest applications for tuition placements at Jessie Thackrey Preschool for the 2017-2018 school year. Tuition for new students in the program will be $7,000 and $6,000 for returning students. Interest applications will be accepted through Tuesday, February 28, and a lottery selection will take place on

Thomas Jefferson Elementary teachers had their first Wellness Day on Monday. Teachers were pampered with back massages, hand massages/treatments, yoga and more. (PHOTO: FCCPS)



FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017 | PAGE 19

didn’t come easily. Clarke County was smart with the ball in its hands and stingy on defense. It resulted in the Eagles building an early 5-0 lead until Mason broke through with a 7-0 run to end the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Mustangs clamped down defen-

sively and were more efficient offensively, leading to an 18-9 halftime edge. However, Clarke County would not go quietly. Soon after the half, the Eagles quickly pumped in eight points to get within striking distance at 20-17. The Mustangs responded with a 3-pointer and drive to the hoop from sophomore guard Maddie LaCroix, increasing their lead to 27-21 by the end the third. Solid defense, coupled with big buckets from juniors Nicole Bloomgarden, Kaylee Hirsch and Jenna Short, helped Mason secure the win. The Mustangs handled the visiting Rams during Saturday’s opening round. An 18-6 lead by the end of the first quarter grew after Mason began jumping Strasburg’s passing lanes. A collection of runouts led to a 30-14 halftime advantage. In the third quarter, Mason widened their margin. Junior guard Linnea Skotte’s 3-pointer and sophomore forward Raquel Dodd’s three-point play highlighted a 15-7 period for the Mustangs. By the fourth, Mason geared down offensively but stayed tough on defense to bring the game to its final tally. For head coach Michael Gilroy and the Mustangs, a season’s worth of effort now rides on the outcome of Friday’s regional playoff game. “It’s win or go home from here on out. That Friday game is going to be the game of the year,” Gilroy said. “I’m glad we had a dogfight [against Clarke County] to make us remember that we gotta work on some things.” Mason hosts Staunton-based Robert E. Lee High School this Friday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. for their regional opener.

Mason ahead 34-31, but Central answered with a three to stay even. The Falcons added five more points to go up 39-36 with under a minute remaining, until Smith answered with a straightaway three to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, sophomore guard Max Ashton started hitting from downtown alongside his classmate. He tallied eight of his 10 points in overtime with 3-pointers from both corners, and a triple from Smith sandwiched in between carried the Mustangs to victory. “Those sophomores just [have] ice water in their veins,” head coach Chris Capannola said. “No fear.” With the Conference 35 title on the line, Mason came up just short

against Madison County. An 11-6 lead in the first quarter devolved into a 22-15 Mountaineer advantage by halftime, as the Mustangs endured an extended second quarter scoring drought. Mason came on strong in the third quarter thanks to contributions from senior forward Dustin Green and junior guard Biruk Teshome but remained 10 points down entering the final frame. A furious rally in the fourth brought the Mustangs within two. A Madison County offensive rebound with under 20 seconds to play, however, sealed the game. The Mustangs host Stuarts Draft High School in the opening round of the 2A East region tournament at 6 p.m. on Friday.

CONFERENCE 35 CHAMPIONS, the George Mason Mustangs girls basketball team won its second consecutive conference title Tuesday. (Photo: Carol Sly)

Mason Girls Repeat as Conference Champs Mustangs Top Clarke in Conference 35 Final, Host Robert E. Lee in Regional Opener Friday by Matt Delaney

Falls Church News-Press

A strong start to 2017 continued as George Mason High School’s varsity girls basketball team stormed through the Conference 35 tournament, beating Strasburg High School, 52-32, in the opening round and Clarke

County High School, 39-27, in the final. Mason (20-4) claimed its second consecutive Conference 35 crown, the first time the school has pulled that off since winning five straight from 2009-2013. The Mustangs also earned home court advantage throughout the 2A East region tournament’s first three

contests. “Feels pretty awesome; feels like all our hard work definitely paid off,” senior guard Sarah Lubnow. “I know it’s biased for me to say but I think we work harder than any other team every single day. We deserve this; we earned it.” The fruits of Mason’s labor

Runners-Up in Conference Tourney, Mustang Boys Move on to Regionals by Matt Delaney

Falls Church News-Press

George Mason High School’s varsity boys basketball team performed up to par in the Conference 35 tournament this past week, notching a 53-45 overtime win over Central High School on Saturday night before falling to Madison County High School, 43-39, on Tuesday. The Mustangs’ (16-8) 1-1 record in the tournament earned

the team a No. 2 seed and a home game in the opening round of the 2A East region tournament that tips this weekend. A bit of unaccounted fight from Central and fright from Mason made Saturday’s home Conference 35 game a tense bout. The Mustangs came out uncharacteristically cold on offense and tentative on defense, allowing an inspired Central squad to control the game. An early 10-6 Mason lead midway through the first

quarter turned into a 25-14 Falcon advantage by the half. “It was all in our heads,” sophomore forward Hollman Smith said. “Our team scored four points in the second quarter — not like us at all. They got in our heads on defense, too, so all around we started slow.” Mason erased the deficit with a 16-point third quarter, entering the the fourth with a 30-29 lead. Smith’s trip to the line and a bucket on the next possession pushed


PAGE 20 | FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017

Community Events THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Preschool Storytime. Songs, movement and stories for ages 18-36 months. Drop-in at the youth services room. Mary Riley Styles Public Library (120 N. Virginia Ave., Falls Church). 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. 703-2485034. High School Book Club. A discussion group for teens grade 9-12. The group will discuss The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo. Mary Riley Styles Public Library conference room (120 N. Virginia Ave., Falls Church). 7 – 8 p.m. Book-Discussion-Groups. 703248-5034.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 F.C. Farmers Market. Vendors offer fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, baked goods, plants and wine. City Hall parking lot. (300 Park Ave., Falls Church). Free. 9 a.m. – noon. 703-248-5077. African-American Artists’ Auction. Quinn’s Auction Galleries will conduct an auction of important AfricanAmerican art from the collection of the late Merton

D. Simpson. An artist and Manhattan gallerist, Mr. Simpson was a founding member of Harlem’s influential Spiral Group, a pioneering collective. Quinn’s Auction Galleries (360 S Washington St, Falls Church). 11 a.m. The Uncle Devin Show at the Library. A live, interactive musical experience for children by renowned drummer Devin Walker. The show cultivates the minds of children through percussion instruments and is a dynamic cross between Fat Albert and Schoolhouse Rock. Fun for the whole family. No registration required. Mary Riley Styles Public Library youth services room (120 N. Virginia Ave., Falls Church). 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. 703-248-5034.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20 Holiday Closure: Presidents Day. City Hall and most government offices and services will be closed. Mary Riley Styles Public Library and the Courts will also be closed. The Falls Church Community Center will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.



Send community event submissions to the News-Press by e-mail at calendar@fcnp. com; fax 703-342-0347; or by regular mail to 200 Little Falls St., #508, Falls Church, VA 22046. Please include any photos or artwork with submissions. Deadline is Monday at noon for each week’s edition.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21 1-on-1 Computer & Internet Tutoring. Learn how to download eBooks and eMagazines, search the internet, customize email, use social media, word process, and much more. Free personalized session. By appointment. Mary Riley Styles Public Library conference room (120 N. Virginia Ave., Falls Church). 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 703248-5035. Chamber of Commerce Networking Luncheon. Moira Lethbridge of Lethbridge & Associates LLC will present “Stop Firefigh�ng: 5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Business Success.” The Italian Cafe (97161 Lee Highway, Falls Church). Tickets with reserva�ons for members are $27; for nonmembers $32. An addi�onal $5 is charged for walk-ins. 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Paws to Read. Children can come and read with a canine companion. Readers grades K-5th. Registra�on Required. Register at the Youth Services Desk by phone 703-248-5034 or in person. Registra�on not accepted via email. Mary Riley Styles Public Library youth services room (120

N. Virginia Ave., Falls Church). 5 – 6 p.m. 703-248-5035.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Local Market Runners Club. Every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. runners meet for 3-plus mile runs. All levels welcome. Complimentary coffee and snack a�er. Run begins at The Local Market (246 W Broad St, Falls Church). Free. 9 a.m. HandyMom101: Tile it! Moss Building and Design will present their free “Tile It!” workshop. A�endees will learn the ins and outs of �ling and have the opportunity to ask ques�ons and seek advice regarding all things home-improvement. Registra�on required. For more info or to reserve a spot, call 703-248-5035 (TTY 711). Mary Riley Styles Public Library conference room (120 N. Virginia Ave., Falls Church). 7 – 8:30 p.m. 703-248-5035. Spiritualism in Today’s World. Join the Reverend Awilda Abaza for her ongoing series of classes designed to help you deepen your understanding of Modern Spiritualism. Center for Spiritual Enlightenment (222 N. Washington Street, Falls Church). 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Theater Fine Arts FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17


Blues in the Night. Celebrate Black History Month with the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation and experience the Tony Awardnominated musical “Blues in the Night,” directed by Creative Cauldron’s Artistic Associate, Matt Conner. The musical features 26 hot and torchy numbers that tell of the sweet, sexy and sorrowful experiences three women have with the men who have done them wrong. The interweaving stories are defined through songs from Bessie Smith to Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and more. The special event includes a dessert reception before the show and post-show discussion. Creative Cauldron (410 S Maple Ave., Falls Church). $50. 7 p.m.

“Company.” A 1970 musical comedy based on a book by George Furth with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The plot revolves around Bobby, the five married couples who are his best friends, and his three girlfriends. Unlike most book musicals, “Company” was among the first musicals to deal with adult themes and rela�onships. As Sondheim puts it, “Broadway theater has been for many years supported by upper-middle-class people with upper-middle-class problems. These people really want to escape that world when they go to the theatre, and then here we are with ‘Company’ talking about how we’re going to bring it right back in their faces.” Shows through Feb. 19. McLean Community Center, Alden Theatre (Address: 1234 Ingleside Ave, McLean). $23 – $25. 8 p.m.,

“George Washington’s Boy.” The Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation hosts this original play, written by Hollywood actor and writer Ted Lange. Based on historical fact, Lange portrays the fight for freedom, the Declaration of Independence, and the first presidency of the United States from the viewpoint of one of George Washington’s closest confidants, ironically, his enslaved manservant, Billy Lee. Billy Lee served his master throughout these monumental times and was privy to the innermost thoughts and actions of Washington. Tickets include the staged reading by nine actors and a reception with Lange after the performance. Proceeds will benefit the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation. The Falls Church Episcopal Church (166 East Broad Street, Falls Church). 7:30 p.m. $25.



FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017 | PAGE 21


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16 T�� W������. Clare and Don’s Beach Shack. (130 North Washington St., Falls Church). 6 p.m. 703-532-9283 J����� S������. Dogwood Tavern (132 W. Broad St., Falls Church). 9:30 p.m. 703-237-8333. T����������’�. JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). 8:30 p.m. 703-241-9504 S����. Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Rd. Vienna). 8 p.m. $25 – $28 p.m. 703-255-1900. F��� E���������. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $20. 7:30 p.m. 703-255-1566.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17 D�� ��� C����. Clare and Don’s Beach Shack. (130 North Washington St., Falls Church). 6 p.m. 703-532-9283 A��� G������. The Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria). 7:30 p.m. $65. 703-549-7500 A����� L��. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $25 – $28. 8 p.m. 703-255-1566. T����������. Iota Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington). $5. 8:30 p.m. 703-522-8340 T��� – T�� U������� F�������� M�� T������. The State Theatre (220 N. Washington St., Falls Church). $20. 9 p.m. 703-237-0300

N������ M��. Dogwood Tavern (132 W. Broad St., Falls Church). 10 p.m. 703-237-8333. L��� �� ��� S������, T�� P��������� ��� D��� C������ S���. JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). 9 p.m. 703-241-9504

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 E� M����� V���� S����� F���� S�������. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $15. 12:30 p.m. 703-255-1566. J��� R������� ��� S���� H���� S���. JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). 4 p.m. 703-241-9504 106.7 T�� F�� LIVE. The State Theatre (220 N. Washington St., Falls Church). $25 – $40. 6 p.m. 703-237-0300 A����� A�����. Clare and Don’s Beach Shack. (130 North Washington St., Falls Church). 6 p.m. 703-532-9283 S���� F������. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $20 – $25. 6:30 p.m. 703-255-1566. 1964: T�� T������. Wolf Trap (1645 Trap Rd. Vienna). $38 – $42. 8 p.m. 703-255-1900. T�� B������. JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). 9 p.m. 703-241-9504 T�� L��� B����. Jammin’ Java (227

Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $18 – $25. 9:30 p.m. 703-255-1566. H��� ��� H�����. Dogwood Tavern (132 W. Broad St., Falls Church). 10 p.m. 703-237-8333.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19 J��� A���� B���. JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). 4 p.m. 703-241-9504 A��� G������. The Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria). $65. 7:30 p.m.. 703-549-7500 K��� T���� R��������� ��� M���. JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). 8 p.m. 703241-9504 T�� D������� ��� S���������. Galaxy Hut (2711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington). $5. 9 p.m.


and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington). 8 p.m. 703-522-8340 W�������� ��� N���� K����. Galaxy Hut (2711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington). $5. 9 p.m

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21 A� E������ ���� J��� D��. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $20 – $22. 7:30 p.m. 703255-1566. I��� J�� ��������� �� G����� S�������. Iota Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington). 8 p.m. 703-522-8340 D���� B��� ��� ��� C���. JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). 8:30 p.m. 703-2419504.


G-N��� P������: I������ L���������� E������-F��� B���. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $12 – $20. 7:30 p.m. 703255-1566. M���� P�����. The Birchmere (3701 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria). $39.50. 7:30 p.m.. 703-549-7500 W��� B���� J��. JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). 8:30 p.m. 703-241-9504 T�� B������� B���. Iota Club

J����� J��� L���� S����: N���� B��� �� F����� + P������� T�� M��� + KROBOPL + W���������. Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Ave. E, Vienna). $10 – $18. 7 p.m. 703255-1566. C����� E����� ��� ��� J�. H��� E����� D���� B����. JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church). 8 p.m. 703-2419504. O��� M�� ������ �� A��� P����. Iota Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington). 8 p.m. 703-5228340

P������� A����... Saturday, February 25 - 7th Annual Barleywine Fes�val - Join the Mad Fox Brewing Company (444 West Broad Street, Falls Church) for the mid-Atlan�c’s largest Barleywine event. Sample more than 30 special and limited edi�on barleywines from around the region and across the country at the two-day event. Tuesday, February 28 - Coffee Club at Edward Jones - Hosted by financial advisor Kevin McFarland, all are welcome at Edward Jones (513 W. Broad Street, Suite 110-B) in Falls Church for a 9 a.m. discussion on current events, the economy and inves�ng in a relaxed, informal se�ng. Saturday, March 4 - The Struggle Is Real: Mental Health Issues and the Mission of the Church - Church members, pastors, small group leaders, counselors, mental health advocates, coaches, crisis responders, chaplains and more come together at Columbia Bap�st Church (103 West Columbia St., Falls Church) to have a new conversa�on about mental health issues.

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.

Email: | Fax: 703-342-0347; Attn: FCNP Calendar Mail: Falls Church News-Press, Attn: Calendar, 200 Little Falls St., #508, Falls Church, VA 22046

PAGE 22 | JANUARY 16 – 22, 2017

THIRD BLOCK THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE class, with Mr. Scharff lecturing about religious knowledge. (P����: K��� K�������)


Yeah, yeah, everyone hates IB. Let’s rant about it in every single class and complain about their adherence to rubrics and grades while telling us to take risks. Heck, I even wrote a piece last year complaining about the IB society. But hold onto your hats everyone, because for once, I have something positive to say. Actually, a lot of positive things to say. (This is the part where 90 percent of the senior IB candidates stop reading this because they are scarred from how messed up their extended essay timeline was.) The largest part of the diploma is

the classes, which I absolutely love. I am a pretty average IB student taking three higher level and three standard level courses and the course load is extremely manageable. Granted, I am not taking Physics or HL Math because those simply aren’t areas I enjoy or excel in. When you take the courses you really love, which IB allows you to do through a variety of science and arts options, there is not a heavy course load because it isn’t a “load” at all. And now you’re thinking, ‘Geez, will this girl stop being such a hippie for a second. Of course she doesn’t have a bunch of homework every night because she’s not taking Physics.’ To all of you thinking that, actu-

LO CA L ally I do have significant homework and assignments. IB just taught me that the time to do homework due Monday and Tuesday is on my Saturday mornings and how to make the most of quiet corners in volleyball tournaments that have hidden outlets. Unless you have a scheduled event on a Saturday morning, I can pretty much guarantee you’re either sleeping or doing nothing crucial. Do some homework. It makes Monday suck a lot less. I’m unsure if the CAS (Community Action Service) or Extended Essay requirement is neglected more. Regardless, CAS can be a pain in the butt and my reflections have not been touched in roughly three months. (Sorry, Mrs. Planas.) IB is really big on reflections, which I find utterly tedious and pointless but what isn’t pointless is the thing I’m actually reflecting on. An IB student doesn’t sit at home playing video games when not doing homework, because they have 150 hours to complete of CAS. (Yes, I know that once you’re done with your CAS and homework or probably before any of that is done, you’re playing video games.) Despite these reflections making me despise the 17th of every month, the best memories of high school are doing CAS activities, whether that was tutoring, playing volleyball, or writing for this paper. This diploma made every single one of its candidates well

Is the IB Diploma Right for You? BY FERNANDA MOLINA THE LASSO

George Mason High school has been a national leader and innovator in establishing the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Recently, the Falls Church City Public School District (FCCPS) has been the first Virginia school district to be recognized as a full-IB school system. Out of the hundreds of thousands of schools in the Americas, only 3,380 offer this program (approximated to be around 1 percent), and these schools have some of the highest graduation and college attendance rates in the country. However, the arduous requirements of the program have caused many students and administrators to rethink the merits of IB. Despite the challenging workload and number of tests students must complete to receive credit, the IB diploma develops strong academic, social, and emotional characteristics in students. “The IB diploma allows students to become very well-rounded," GM’s IB Coordinator Mr. Dan Coast said. “An IB education isn’t about just learning facts and figures

and how much we can cram in your brains over two years, it is about teaching kids ways to think.” “I like the IB Diploma because even though I am required to do a class in a certain group, I can pick which classes I want to take and the level it is at,” junior Meghan Murphy said. “The classes are… certainly challenging but not impossible, so the IB is a very good fit for me as a student. It also allows for creativity but has enough stability and guidelines to keep me grounded.” However, she also believed that the IB Diploma had its cons. “I dislike the IB Diploma because of the setbacks of having an international grading system,” Murphy said. “Although there are benefits to having assessments graded by outside professors and having a universal exam, it is hard for all students to do well on the exams because they are not created specifically for that student’s’ school.” Despite the educational merits, the IB program is known to be particularly exclusive, considering relatively few students are able to succeed in it (since last year 43 out of approximately 187 seniors

received IB diplomas). “Any student really has the intellect to be successful in IB. The trick, and why some students have not been successful is time management… I’ve had IB Diploma candidates that were three sport athletes,” Coast said. When asked to elaborate on student athletes’ success rates in the IB program, Coast stated that 29 students out of the 43 who received an IB Diploma were athletes. Another concern with the IB diploma is the amount of money it costs to run, compared to the number of students who are able to succeed in it. According to Coast, the annual fee for the school to be an authorized IB school is $11,370. One time registration exam fee for each IB student costs $168, with an additional $116 for each exam. That is relatively a high number for only 43 students to be able to succeed in it out of about 187 seniors. In addition, research suggests that IB students are more likely than their peers to complete an undergraduate degree and pursue graduate work. They are also stronger on leadership skills, tutoring students, working with univer-

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM The Official Student Newspaper of George Mason High School

The Falls Church News-Press has partnered with George Mason High School’s award-winning newspaper, The Lasso, to bring its readers some of the top articles appearing in the student-run digital paper. The Lasso can be found online at rounded and gave them a chance to excel in classes they actually enjoy. And if you weren’t busy complaining about your FOA or IOP, you would see that when we go to college next year, we will be so much better equipped and be able to enjoy other aspects of college aside from the classroom. (Hi, Mr. Scharff. I know you’re reading this and you probably are grumbling that I just talked about a purpose of high school being to prepare us for college. That’s not totally what I mean by that. I mean that because we have been exposed to so much rigor in high school, our next avenue of learning will be more enjoyable because we won’t be tearing our hair out from the hours of studying required because we will know how to handle it.) What I’ve noticed is that students just love to hate IB. It’s something we can all relate to and it’s an effective way to derail a class because even teachers can participate. Maybe it’s nerdy to

love IB but this is Mason. This school is full of nerds anyway. (And now you’re like ‘OK, well she just called me a nerd but she’s the nerd talking about how she loves IB. Why am I still reading?’) I’m hoping that just once, you stop and appreciate all of the opportunities that IB has given to us. Because of IB, I found out what course I want to major in. (Shoutout to Mr. P. You’re the real MVP.) Because I took HL World History, I learned to embrace my family history and not shy away from it. Because I had to take Theory of Knowledge (TOK), I learned that when I go for the grade, I’m no longer going for the knowledge. And no, that’s not really a TOK subject, but that’s what IB has done time and time again. It has taught me lessons that weren’t even in the curriculum and those are the ones I will keep for the rest of my life. (Sappy ending to a sappy article declaring my love for IB. What

sity faculty on research projects, and taking part in community service. However the most important benefit of the IB Diploma is that it prepares you for college and its rigorous course expectations. “[It] also allows them to expose themselves to collegiate level thoughts and work prior to going off to college,” Coast said. “It is a two year program… so we have [students] for two years to scaffold them to what a college experience entails and what is expected of them by college professors.” With the IB diploma, you can earn college credit if you receive a minimum of 24, an average of four (C’s) on the IB exams taken at the end of the course. Not to mention how much applicants can stand out when colleges see IB courses on their transcript. “[In] some [overseas] schools, you can’t get into [certain colleges] without an IB diploma or some equivalent that is offered in Europe,” Coast said. “Here in America, there are schools who recognize that these students are going above and beyond and it certainly is a feather in their cap when they go through the admissions process. College credits are based on exam scores, whether you are talking about IB or AP.” Some students also wonder if taking AP courses is bet-

ter than receiving an IB diploma. According to junior Jack West, it is better to sacrifice the IB Diploma to take a combination of classes that would make his studying at Mason enjoyable. “I only take one AP Course (AP Statistics). I have 3 IB HL’s and 3 IB SL’s but I chose not to do the diploma even though I had everything but a CAS Project and [Theory of Knowledge],” said senior Jack West. “I chose to ditch the IB Diploma because at Mason it is extremely limiting on a student’s course selection.” Coast believes that IB education is superior in directing critical writing and thinking skills into the curriculum more than AP does. Last year, 43 students (out of 50 IB diploma candidates), received the IB diploma, causing GMHS to hit the worldwide average of 80 percent success. “[IB diploma candidates] learn how to read better, to think critically, to write better, and they are taking those skills to college to be more successful” said Coast. Overall, even though the IB program is a rigorous one with a plethora of requirements and can be stressful, it is at the same time beneficial. However, if it does not allow you to study what you want to or limits your course selection, then it might not be the best fit for you.


2 F.C. Restaurants Closed Today In Show of Immigrant Support

At least two Falls Church restaurants will be closed today, Thursday, Feb. 16, as part of “A Day Without Immigrants” protest. Both Clare & Don’s Beach Shack and Bangkok Golden will be taking place in the nationwide campaign responding to President Donald Trump and his administration’s crackdown on illegal immigrants, extreme vetting and other immigration policies. The campaign urges immigrants to not

FO O D &D I NI NG News-Press Announces Dates For 2017 F.C. Restaurant Week

show up for work, open up businesses, shop, eat out and even send children to school on Thursday. The Falls Church businesses are just two of a larger group of restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area and around the country that will be closed today. In a message on its Facebook page, Bangkok Golden said “We’re one big family at Bangkok Golden & Thip Khao and in solidarity with our staff and friends, we’ll be closed tomorrow and join A Day Without Immigrants. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your support and kindness.“ Clare and Don’s echoed the sentiments with a message on its own page reading “We rely on immigrants in order to maintain the consistency and quality we have built our reputation on. We will be closed all day tomorrow Thursday, February 16th. Thank you for your patience and we will see you Friday!” Clare & Don’s Beach Shack 130 North Washington Street | Falls Church Bangkok Golden 6395 Seven Corners Center | Falls Church

What’s “Pho” Dinner?

$20 will get you a delicious and healthy dinner for two at any of Eden Center’s 25 restaurants.

You’ll have to eat it to belie-viet!

Today, the Falls Church News-Press announced dates for its 2017 celebration of all things tasty in and around The Little City, also known as Falls Church Restaurant Week. The fifth annual culinary event will kick off Monday, March 27 and run through Sunday, April 2. The seven-day highlight of the Falls Church-area dining scene will feature an assortment of the best food the Little City has to offer with participants serving dining specials including three-course prix fixe meals, meal deals, special dishes and more. As part of Falls Church Restaurant Week, the News-Press will once again publish a special food and dining edition of the paper featuring all the week’s restaurant specials along with Falls Church dining features, stories and more. The special food issue of the paper will publish on Thursday, March 23. The first batch of 2017 Falls Church Restaurant Week participants includes Art’s Tavern, Cafe Kindred, Dogfish Head Ale House, Dogwood Tavern, Hot N Juicy Crawfish, Idylwood Grill, La Côte d’Or Café, Lil City Creamery, Plaka Grill, Present Restaurant, Sfizi Cafe, Takumi and Taco Bamba. More participationg restaurants will be added weekly and an updated list can be found at

FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017 | PAGE 23

Falls Church’s Zpizza Closes, Pizza Bonus Opens in its Place

Zpizza has closed in the City of Falls Church and in its place, Pizza Bonus has popped up. The pizza joint replacing a pizza joint is operating in the same location in the West End Plaza shopping center and offers much of the same variety of items including pizza, of course, plus sandwiches, pasta, salads, wings but now adds a Mediterranean Meze platter, a couple of potato side dishes and some desserts. Pizza Bonus is open for takeout and delivery starting at 11 a.m., Monday through Sunday, until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Pizza Bonus 1051 West Broad Street | Falls Church – Jody Fellows

Northern Virginia’s Favorite Brewpub Award-winning handcrafted beer with a menu to match, appealing to craft beer aficionados and foodies alike. Upscale, but informal, always family-friendly.

7th Annual Barleywine Festival February 25 & 26, 2017 The Mid-Atlantic’s Largest Barleywine Event! Taste over 30 special and limited edition barleywines from around the region and across the country.


PAGE 24 | FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017




FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017 | PAGE 25

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PAGE 26 | FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017


It’s Thursday. Do You Know Where Your News-Press Is?


7-Eleven (Annandale Road) * Applebee’s (Broad Street) * Argia’s Restaurant *Art & Frame * BB&T Bank (Broad Street) * Board of Education Building (803 W. Broad Street) * Bowl America * The Broadway * Browns Hardware * Burke and Herbert Bank (Broad Street) * The Byron * Cafe Kindred * Center for Multicultural Human Services * Chef Express * City Sunoco * Clare & Don’s Beach Shack * Clay Café Studios * CVS (Broad Street locations) * Curves * DK Nails & Spa * East Falls Church Metro * Eistein Bros Bagels * Elevation Burger * Fairfax Auto Parts * Falls Church Animal Hospital * Falls Church City Hall Lobby & West Wing * Falls Church City Public Utilities * Falls Church Community Center * Falls Church Education Foundation * Falls Church News-Press (200 Little Falls Street, Suite 506) * Famous Dave’s * Falls Church Police Station * FedEx Kinko’s * Five Rings Fitness * Flippin’ Pizza * George Mason High School * Harris Teeter * Indian Spices * Local Market * Mary Riley Styles Library * Mount Daniel School * Halalco Supermarket * Hillwood Cleaners * Inns of Virginia * Jhoon Rhee * La Caraquena * Mad Fox * The Madison * Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School * Mike's Deli * McDonald’s * Moby Dick * Northgate Apartments Lobby * Oakwood Apartments * Panera * Panera Bread Building Lobby * Park Towers Condos * Pearson Square Apartments * Pho 88 * PNC Bank (Broad Street) * Point of View * Professional Building (313 Park Avenue) * Quick Copy * Red White & Bleu * Reed Building * ReMax Louise Molton office * Robeks Juice (Broad Street) * Roosevelt Towers * Sfizi Café * Sislers Stone * Smokey’s Garage * Spectrum Cleaners * Starbucks * Stratford Motor Lodge * Subway (Broad Street) * Sunrise Retirement Home * Suntrust Bank * Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt * Tax Analysts * The Locker Room * Thomas Jefferson Elementary School * Towne Place Suites * Tutti Frutti * Unity Club * UVA/VT Northern Virginia Center * US Post Office * Vantage Fitness * Virginia Auto Repair * West Broad Apartments * West Falls Church Metro * The Westlee * Zinga Frozen Yogurt


El Tio Restaurant * Galleria Florist * Rite Aid * Safeway * Silver Diner * Super A Market * Timberlane Condominium Bus Stop * Victor’s Grill * Wendy’s (Lee Highway)


Bentley’s Restaurant * Bill Page Honda * Gold’s Gym * Providence Recreation Center * Sanz School * Thomas Jefferson Library


Barnes & Noble * Master’s Touch * UPS Store * US Post Office * Willston Multi-Cultural Center *


Goodwin House * Munson Hill Towers * Panera * Rite Aid * Sunoco (Leesburg Pike) * US Post Office * Woodrow Wilson Library 8


Idylwood Towers * Ledo Pizza * Peet's Coffee * Pet Supplies Plus


Long & Foster Realtors * Ballston Common Mall * Ballston Metro * Cassatt’s Kiwi Café & Gallery * Clarendon Metro * Courthouse Metro * CVS (Lee Highway) * Grand Hunan * Joe’s Pizza * Linda’s Café * Metro Diner * Pete’s Barber Shop * Rosslyn Metro * Safeway (N. Harrison) * US Post Office (Courthouse) * Virginia Hospital Center * Virginia Square-GMU Metro * Westover Market * Wilson Boulevard & George Mason Drive Bus Stop




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C L AS S I F I E DS For Sale FOR RENT 333 SF OFFICE space Falls Church, (lower level), $675 month full service. Two separate offices divided by wall with door; front office is 14’ x ’12 and back office is 15’ x 11’ and has above ground window. New carpet; and will paint to suit. Very nice, well maintained building with onsite management. Centrally located near I-66, 495, East and West Falls Church Metro, minutes from Tyson’s Corner, Arlington, Fairfax and Washington, D.C. Walk to restaurants, shops, State Theater and City Hall. Please contact Nick Kidwell at 703-409-3076

HOUSE FOR SALE 5729 Norton Road Alexandria Virginia 22303 $472,740 Phone: 202-742-7290 or 703-582-7150 Senate Realty Corporation 909 U Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 FAIR HOUSING & EQUAL OPPORTUNITY REALTOR

Help Wanted VP, Preconstruction (HITT Contract-

ing Inc., Falls Church, VA): Leads, devs, & mngs the ops & implem of estab preconstr standards & processes for dept staff & will proactively mng the coord, fabrication & onsite exec during preconstr project phases. Min Reqs: MA/MS (for equiv deg accept) in Arch., CM, CEg or rel fld & 7 yrs exp in rel occ in project mngmnt or estimation role working w/in complex commercial projects; or, BA/BS in same flds & 9 yrs rel progressive exp. Pre-or post-master’s deg exp accept. Must possess Leeds Accredited Professional Certification. Mail res. to Sarah Kane, HITT Contracting Inc., 2900 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church, VA 22042 w/ ref. to Job Code: HCJK17.

S. Washington St. and Hillwood Ave., and temporary construction easements along Hillwood Ave.

Public Notice PUBLIC NOTICE In accordance with VA 15.2-1720, the public is hereby notified that the City of Falls Church Police Department has recovered the following bicycles: COLOR




To claim any of these items, please provide proof of ownership to: City of Falls Church Police Department Property/Evidence Unit 300 Park Ave., G2 Falls Church, VA 22046 703-248-5060 (please call for appointment)

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING CITY COUNCIL CITY OF FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA T he ordinance referenced below was given first reading by the City Council on January 23, 2017; and second reading and public hearing are scheduled for Monday, February 27, 2017 at 7:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter as may be heard.

(TO17-02) ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE SALE TO NEAL C. NICHOLS OF APPROXIMATELY 7,588 SQUARE FEET OF CITY-OWNED RIGHT OF WAY FROM HILLWOOD AVENUE This ordinance ratifies an Agreement of Sale and approves the sale of a portion of right-of-way. The Agreement of Sale is for a portion of the Hillwood Ave. right-of-way adjacent to the property at 357 S. Washington St. As required by City Code, the Planning Commission has determined that the sale is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and recommends the sale. In exchange for the sale, the owner agrees to: pay the City $614,628; enter into an agreement to improve and maintain the property; and provide, at no cost to the City, access easements for future streetscape improvements along Annandale Rd., utility easements for the undergrounding of utilities along

All public hearings will be held in the Council Chambers, 300 Park Avenue, Falls Church, Virginia. For copies of legislation, contact the City Clerk’s office at (703-248-5014) or The City of Falls Church is committed to the letter and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation for any type of disability, call 703-248-5014 (TTY 711). CELESTE HEATH CITY CLERK


NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING CITY COUNCIL CITY OF FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA The Falls Church City Council will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter as may be heard, on Monday, February 27, 2017 to consider the following: (TR17-03) RESOLUTION TO AMEND THE 2005 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN TO REPLACE CHAPTER 1 “INTRODUCTION AND VISION” WITH “FALLS CHURCH 2040”

The ordinance referenced below was given first reading by the City Council on February 13, 2017; and second reading and public hearing are scheduled for Monday, February 27, 2017 at 7:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter as may be heard.

The City of Falls Church Comprehensive Plan serves as a guide for all aspects of planning and development. Chapter 1 of the Comprehensive Plan provides an overarching picture of what the City wants to be over the next 25 years. The Chapter was last updated in 2005. The updated Chapter, “Falls Church 2040”, will incorporate a vision statement for the City and will reflect community values and changes to the City and the region that have taken place since the last update.


More information regarding the update of Comprehensive Plan Chapter 1 and the public engagement process through which it was developed is available at www. or at the Development Services office in City Hall, 300 Park Ave., Falls Church.

This ordinance to would amend the FY2017 CIP to increase the appropriation for the GMHS/MEHMS School Campus Planning project by $200,000; appropriate $15,000 received as a voluntary concession from the Lincoln at Tinner Hill development to be used towards the bus shelter project; transfer $400,000 from the Bridges program to Non-Commercial Areas program; and deallocate $240,000 from the Downtown POA program and $160,000 from the W&OD Trail Improvement project because of a denied grant applications. All public hearings will be held in the Council Chambers, 300 Park Avenue, Falls Church, Virginia. For copies of legislation, contact the City Clerk’s office at (703-248-5014) or The City of Falls Church is committed to the letter and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation for any type of disability, call 703-248-5014 (TTY 711). CELESTE HEATH CITY CLERK

All public hearings will be held in the Council Chambers, 300 Park Avenue, Falls Church, Virginia. For copies of legislation, contact the City Clerk’s office at (703-248-5014) or The City of Falls Church is committed to the letter and spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation for any type of disability, call 703-248-5014 (TTY 711). CELESTE HEATH CITY CLERK

We are pledged to the letter andspirit 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 hereby 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) 367-9753.

PAGE 28 | FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017


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By David Levinson Wilk 1






6 14

17 20








35 40











46 50



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23 25


55 59

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© 2017 David Levinson Wilk

Across 1. ____ d'Or (Cannes award)

1. ____ d'Or (Cannes award) 6. "31 Days of Oscar" channel 9. "Good ____!" 13. Sherpa's tool 15. French "you" 16. "ER" actor Epps 17. Fromm and Segal 18. 12-mo. periods 19. Where Spirit landed in 2004 20. First lyric of the chorus of a #1 1975 hit (or how to solve the top right square) 23. $5 bills, slangily 24. Word before "Happy New Year!" 25. When to hear "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" 28. Relatives 31. Faulkner's "As I Lay ____" 35. Noises at a street protest 37. Actress Long of "Boyz N the Hood" 39. Anonymous John 40. Second lyric of the chorus of a #1 1975 hit (or how to solve the bottom left square) 44. Emily Dickinson's "Ended, ____ it begun" 45. Row 46. Washington and others 47. Toss about, as petals 50. Yule beverage 52. Where to learn anglais 53. Turn (up), as intensity 55. About 3/4 of a football field 57. Third lyric of the chorus of a

FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017 | PAGE 29


1. ____ Piper 2. Prefix with phobia 3. Film character who says "I'd just as soon kiss a Wookiee!" 4. Oscar-winning actress named after Shirley Temple 5. Early trial presentation 6. Texter's "ciao" 7. ____ curriculum 8. Botch 9. Surname of presidential hopefuls in 1968 and 2012 10. Tech debut of 1998 11. Have the nerve 12. Ballerinas 14. 90 degrees from sur 21. Vowelless interjection 22. & 25. Topmost points 26. Reach the Top 40, say 27. Giver's opposite 29. Emcee's delivery 30. Little issue to "pick" 32. "What did ____ deserve


6. "31 Days of Oscar" channel

this?" 33. "Catch-22," e.g. 34. Birds flying in a V formation 36. ____-mo replay 38. Sharpton and Roker 41. Actor McKellen 42. Forever and a day 43. Really let have it 48. Worries 49. One justification for the Iraq war, for short 51. Gun, in old mob slang 54. Blog entries 56. Aerated beverage 57. Mardi ____ 58. Make less difficult 59. "I did NOT see that coming" 60. Start and end of many a flight 61. Stuff in a backpack 62. Literary pal of Tom 63. It takes a toll: Abbr. 64. Smitten

#1 1975 hit (or how to solve the grid's circled squares) 64. Some savings, for short 65. "That's what ____ said!" 66. A suspect might appear in one 67. Cape Canaveral org. 68. Lean-____ (simple shelters) 69. Go on the offensive 70. 6-0, in tennis 71. Used a chair 72. Radiohead frontman Thom

9. "Good ____!"

Last Thursday’s Solution








Sudoku Level:













By The Mepham Group 4

13. Sherpa's tool 15. French "you" 16. "ER" actor Epps 17. Fromm and Segal 18. 12-mo. periods 19. Where Spirit landed in 2004 20. First lyric of the chorus of a #1 1975 hit (or how to solve the top right square)


23. $5 bills, slangily 24. Word before "Happy New Year!" 25. When to hear "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" 28. Relatives 31. Faulkner's "As I Lay ____"


Solution to last Sunday’s puzzle



© 2017 N.F. Benton



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

© 2017 The Mepham Group. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency. All rights reserved.


PAGE 30 | FEBRUARY 16 – 22, 2017


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20 � 10 Y���� A�� �� ��� N���-P���� Falls Church News-Press Vol. VI, No. 49 • February 20, 1997

School Board’s Reply The Falls Church School Board issued to the News-Press late Tuesday a brief three-paragraph statement that constitutes its response to the statement of Former Falls Church School Superintendent Patricia Dignan published in last week’s edition.

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. XVI, No. 50 • February 15, 2007

10 Year s Ago

Thr ow it up. Pour it up It now is the time for all go od cows to go the to aid

F.C. Episcopal Claims Lawsuit ‘Un-Christian’ A leading spokesman for the 11 Virginia Episcopal churches whose majorities of members voted to depart the larger denomination in December called the move last week by the national Episcopal body to sue for the control of the churches’ properties “un-Christian.”

Falls Church Native Dinah Moore Dies Dinah Kathleen Moore (40) of Wilmington, NC, lost her battle with mental illness on February 7, 2017. Dinah was born on May 6, 1976, in Fairfax Virginia, to Cricket Sherman Moore and Thomas Michael Moore. She attended George Mason Jr./Sr. High School in Falls Church, VA, and graduated from Northland College in Ashland, WI. She lived in several states, including Wyoming, Wisconsin, Virginia,

and North Carolina, collecting friends all over the country in the process. Dinah was always physically active, playing soccer, softball, kickball, and skiing. She loved the outdoors, hiking, and camping. She was the best aunt, always up for fish eye eating contests, Wallace & Gromit movies, and Nutella s’mores. She was an excellent cat mother to Simon, Bella, and Oliver. She is survived by her mother,

Cricket Moore, of Falls Church, VA, siblings Kim Moore, of Coral Gables, FL, Seth Moore of Grand Portage, MN, and Amy Moore (Mychal McCabe) of Santa Rosa, CA, and nieces and nephews: Laurel, Fiona, Kayle, Hannah, Cade, Axel, Tyner, and Cormac, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Services will be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

THIS PUP HERE WAS FOUND last Thursday in the 6700 block of Wilson Boulevard in Falls Church. According to Montgomery County Maryland Animal Services and Adoption, where he is currently being held, the dog is an unaltered male, white miniature poodle. Staff at the shelter think he is about eight years old. His ID with the shelter is Wilson with ID#A421708. More information can be found by calling Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center at (240) 773-5900. Just because you’re not famous doesn’t mean your pet can’t be! Send in your Critter Corner submissions to

Community Rallies for Sexual Abuse Victims School Board Continued from Page 4

This knowledgebase is crucial, said panelist Jennifer Alvaro, a mental health therapist with Arlington County Child and Family Services, because “sexual abuse is religiously democratic,” affecting rich and poor, white and black, immigrants and the disabled. “It’s extraordinarily common,” Alvaro said, citing statistics that one in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18. And the majority of these victims live alone with this pain. According to the non-profit Darkness to Light, an organization dedicated to ending child sexual abuse, 60 percent of victims will never tell anyone that they were abused.

One reason, said panelist Angela Rose, founder and CEO of Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE), is that victims of sexual abuse often deal with “profound feelings of selfblame and shame.” With Knittig’s experience and these eye-opening statistics in mind, We Support the Girls has made education a cornerstone of its mission. The organization has lobbied state lawmakers to pass Erin’s Law, a bill that would mandate all schools in Virginia, Pre-K through 12th grade, to provide age-appropriate child sexual abuse awareness and education. The law has already passed in 28 states but the Virginia bill recently died in committee in Richmond and will not reach the

(A) Go ask your mother. (B) Because I said so. (C) We’ll see. There are no perfect answers in parenting.

floor this legislative session. Jennifer Knittig, Caitlyn’s mother and one of the organization’s leaders, stressed the importance of this event in turning interested community members into active participants pushing for change — particularly with lobbying elected officials to pass Erin’s Law. “Community members want to know exactly what they can do, how they can get involved,” the elder Knittig said. “Because that’s the hard part. It’s like, ‘OK, now what? Now we had this event, which was wonderful, and we’re going to walk away and never go back?’ “I’m hoping we’ve given them tools to be involved and be engaged.” As Caitlyn Knittig finished her remarks and descended from the podium, the entire audience stood and applauded. She smiled. Until she spoke up, Knittig felt like a victim. “It’s when you move to help others,” she said, “you become a survivor.”

Continued from Page 5

The school board’s priority list to date absorbs all of that in a professional staff step increase ($680,600), a five percent support staff salary increase ($353,000), a three percent leadership and administration increase of three percent ($89,100), a renewed four-year lease of computers, including revenue proceeds from the sellback of the older computers (a net plus of over $300,000), an adjustment of all schools’ materials and supplies to FY15 levels and bringing Thomas Jefferson Elementary into parity with the levels at the other schools (a cost of $114,000), and increase in the contingency ($71,000), a 0.7 FTE (full time equivalent) bus driver ($29,350) and two new custodians to accommodate the more than 45,000 square feet of additional space added to the schools in recent years ($93,000). All other needs identified by

the principals of the five schools in the system in addition to these would require an increase above the $1.7 million allotment, and therefore an implied increase in the tax rate if adopted. Included in what the school board is inclined to adopt are programs that would total $400,700 and add a penny to the real estate tax rate. They include a 0.6 FTE world languages teacher for Mason High and Henderson Middle School, a 1.0 FTE Mt. Daniel kindergarten teacher, a 0.938 FTE Mt. Daniel kindergarten paraprofessional, a 1.0 FTE systemwide human resources director, a 0.5 FTE Thackrey Preschool administration support person and a 0.5 FTE Jefferson Elementary ESOL (English as a Second Language) teacher. Beyond that are almost 15 FTE positions that the principals have stated they need to keep pace with enrollment growth, including science, math and music teachers, guidance counselors and administrators. Those needs bring a combined price tag of $1,511,600, or another four cents on the tax rate.


FEBRUARY 16 - 22, 2017 | PAGE 31

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Falls Church News-Press 2-16-2017

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