Falls Church News-Press 3-16-2023

Page 1

March 16 - 22, 2023

F.C. Schools Unveil 2 New Electric Buses

On a windy, sunny morn ing this Tuesday, a large con tingent gathered at Oak Street Elementary School to see the unveiling of the first two elec tric school buses for Falls Church City Schools. Attendees included City Council and School Board members, as well as a large group of Oak Street Elementary students who cut the ribbon to celebrate the arrival of the buses.

Remarks were made by Falls Church City Public Schools

(FCCPS) Superintendent Peter Noonan, F.C. School Board vice chair Tate Gould, Caley Edgerly, president and CEO of Sonny Merryman, the firm involved in the transaction, Josh Eakle, general manager of Dominion Energy and F.C. Schools transportation director Regina Anderson. State Del. Marcus Simon and Falls Church Mayor David Tarter were among those

The diversity of the region and its interests were on full display at the Town Hall for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Falls Church) at Poe Middle School in Annandale this past Monday

Spring Home & Garden Issue

FCNP’s Spring Home & Garden issue is here! Read articles about how to make your home environmentally-friendly, ways to spruce up one’s backyard entertainment and the importance of home professionals.

See Pages 9-18

– as were the Congressman’s depth of knowledge on a variety of subjects.

About two hundred showed up for Beyer’s first Town Hall of the 118th Congress, with questions and concerns ranging from international politics to a (very well-played) plug for an



Constituents from various countries of origin including Afghanistan, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, China, Taiwan, and more expressed concerns about a variety of international issues, from helping family escape the Taliban in Afghanistan to

assisting Ukraine in a way that doesn’t spark war with China or Russia. An activist asked how to intervene in the detention of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in China, and how to save them from the ethnocide, if

The City of Falls Church’s Independent, Locally-Owned Newspaper of Record, Serving N. Virginia Falls Church, Virginia • www.fcnp.com • Free Founded 1991 • Vol. XXXIII No 5 News Briefs..............................................2 Comment..........................................6,7,20 Editorial 6 Crime Report...........................................20 News & Notes....................................22,23 School News 24 Calendar 26,27 Classifieds...............................................28 Business News.......................................31 Continued on Page 4 Index Inside This Week Key Environmental Dev elopment Hailed
FCCPS CELEBRATED the arrival of electric buses at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Falls Church City Public School Kylee Toland Falls Church News-Press Brian Reach Falls Church News-Press


Falls Church NEWS BRIEFS

Target to Close F.C. Store, 1 of 4 ‘Underperforming’ In U.S.

Target is closing its underperforming location on S. Washington St. in the City of Falls Church, it was widely reported yesterday. According to the online Insider news site, “The company cited declining foot traffic as its primary reason for the closures and said most store employees would be offered positions at other locations.”

Three other announced closures are on H Street in D.C., Baltimore and Minneapolis. The announcement came as Walmart announced the closing of eight retail locations across the U.S.

On the other hand, according to the report, Target is still in overall expansion mode, with new major stores of 120,000 square feet along with more of the small locations planned.

Grand Larceny Suspects Sought by F.C. Police

City of Falls Church Police have issued a request for help in identifying grand larceny suspects. On Friday, March 10 at about 1:45 p.m., the suspects entered Tri State Jewelers at 110 W Broad St.

Two male suspects kept the employees occupied while three female suspects walked around the store. While the employees were distracted, one female, wearing a purple dress with a white checkered design and a blue head scarf, crawled to the back room and stole approximately $500,000 worth of jewelry.

Henderson Middle Schooler C-SPAN Documentary Winner

The C-SPAN television network announced yesterday that Sesh Sudarshan, a student at Falls Church’s Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, will receive a $1,500 second prize award from the network for his documentary that will be aired on C-SPAN on April 9 at 6:50 a.m. ET and throughout that day.

Sesh Sudarshan’s documentary submission is called, “E Pluribus Unum: Who Gets Represented in America,” about expanding federal religious holidays.

Challenger Assails Commonwealth Attorney

An ABC documentary on a 24-yearold murder case in Arlington broad -

cast March 10 has triggered accusations of poor prosecutorial judgment repeated by a candidate in the coming June Democratic primary for commonwealth’s attorney.

Challenger Josh Katcher, a longtime prosecutor who has previously raised objections to the performance of incumbent Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, issued an attack following ABC’s “20/20” documentary that examined conflicting evidence in the case involving the longunsolved 1998 murder of Arlington librarian Andrea Cincotta in her Colonial Village condo.

“The current commonwealth’s attorney’s judgment continues to be questioned, this time by her decision to bring a homicide case to trial based entirely on the testimony of a violent convicted criminal who had a clear motive to lie,” said Katcher.

But Dehghani-Tafti has parried, telling the News-Press in an email that “an acquittal is not a failed trial but an example of the system working as it should. When someone is killed, and we have evidence we believe is credible, it’s our job to stand up for them and the community to fight for justice. It’s our job to do that for the victim’s family too. We took it to the community in the form of a special (investigative) grand jury; the special grand jury indicted both Leonard and Johnson. Leonard pleaded guilty to first degree murder and received a life sentence. His many, consistent statements implicated Mr. Johnson. And we took Mr. Johnson’s case to the community in the form of a trial. It was a tough case, and those are precisely the cases that should go to trial. I accept the jury’s verdict.”

Asked to comment on the criticisms of Arlington police, spokeswoman Ashley Savage said, “From the onset of the investigation, the Police Department has remained committed to pursuing justice on behalf of Andrea Cincotta and her family. A grand jury heard the facts of the case and returned indictments. The court proceedings are the official release of information and we’ll defer to the court records for additional information presented in this case.” —

March 18th, 2023 from 12:00 - 2:00 pm Please call or email to reserve your spot, space is limited for this free event! Mathnasium of Falls Church 703-573-MATH (6284) mathnasium.com/fallschurch 6674 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church, VA 22042

in attendance.

The speakers took turns explaining how the new electric buses will ensure the safety of both students and the environment. The final speaker was fifth grade student Henry Tiedelman, who spoke to the pros of using electric school buses compared to gasfueled.

The two Jouley-brand electric buses feature specialized battery packaging, production of zero emissions, lower mechanical maintenance costs and quiet operations, among other things making it easier for students to communicate with drivers.

FCCPS was awarded $530,000 by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to help support the purchase of the two new electric school buses. The funding comes from Virginia’s

F.C. School Board Gives Preliminary OK to Collective Bargaining

$93.6 million allocation to the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust, which supports initiatives to reduce air pollution. Dominion Energy funded the installation of the related Proterra charging infrastructure.

The Thomas Jouley buses are environmentally efficient, noise pollution-free, and fossil fuel-free. They can seat up to 77 students and travel approximately 135 miles on a three-hour charge. An electric bus reduces operation and maintenance costs for schools by 60 percent. Replacing one diesel bus with an electric bus is equivalent to removing five cars from the road.

Aside from reducing maintenance costs and emissions, the new buses’ batteries will be able to store and inject electric energy into the local power grid during periods of high demand when the buses are not needed for student transportation.

Following Virginia legislation passed in May 2021, the Falls Church City Public Schools’ elected school board unanimously gave a preliminary OK to a measure that would permit collective bargaining between it and school employees, following the implementation of similar measures in Arlington and Fairfax County.

Collective bargaining is described by the School Board as a negotiation process between FCCPS and a group of employees represented by a bargaining agent, such as a union, to establish employment terms and conditions.

The resolution preliminarily OK’d Tuesday states, “The board has determined that enabling collective bargaining by employees under the terms of this resolution will serve

its interest in promoting orderly and constructive relationships between the board and its employees subject, however, to the supreme responsibility of the board to provide the best free and fair public education to students within its legal responsibility to do so.

“The Board has determined that the policies set forth above may be accomplished by (1) granting to Board employees the right to organize and choose freely their representatives; (2)

permitting the Superintendent/ FCCPS administration, acting in the interest of the Board, to negotiate and bargain in good faith with Exclusive Bargaining Representatives representing Board employees and to enter into written agreements evidencing the result of such bargaining; and (3) establishing procedures to provide for the protection of the rights of the Board, Board employees, students, and larger community served by the Board.

Schools Welcome 2 Electrical Buses
Continued from Page 1 PRIMARY: JUNE 20 • Protecting our children from guns and fentanyl • Protecting the rights of our LGBTQ+ loved ones • Protecting reproductive freedom • Advancing pedestrian and bike safety • Keeping public dollars in public schools I am a Progressive Democrat running to represent the true values of Falls Church: The 24-year incumbent Senator in our new district, Chap Petersen, has failed to support our core Democratic values in the past with votes on guns, unfair support of landlords over renters, and disregard for women and LGBTQ+ communities. I NEED YOU to bring progressive action to the legislature in our new 37th District! Please visit www.ErikaYalowitz.com to learn more and to join me in supporting this campaign! Paid for and authorized by Erika for Virginia
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Rep. Beyer Fields Wide Range of Issues at Town Hall

Continued from Page 1

not genocide, currently taking place. A student challenged President Biden’s recent statements regarding moving semiconductor production to the U.S., explaining that Taiwan’s independence from China could be undermined by such a move.

Domestically, the effect of data centers on communities and housing, recent bank failures, raising the minimum wage, the cost of medication for seniors, and the Inflation reduction act was discussed. A local mother asked about universal Pre-K efforts (to which Beyer added that the average current cost for daycare in Northern Virginia for one child is $35,000 per year).

Despite the diverse range of topics, Beyer easily addressed every question asked, and his staff frequently moved to exchange contact information with those needing personal assistance, including a veteran struggling to communicate with the IRS.

The recent breakthrough on fusion energy and its implications were raised by a particularly knowledgeable local high school stu-

dent, who then mentioned he had applied for an internship with the Congressman’s office (and got a very quick “thumbs’ up” from the campaign person responsible for their selection).

Another student asked what the Congressman was doing to protect LGBTQ+ students in schools, after

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin issued 2022 Model Policies specifically attacking trans students, forcing them to use the wrong bathrooms and pronouns, excluding them from sports, and requiring faculty to “out” them to parents.

Beyer responded that this was a recommendation that schools would follow in theory, but added that all Northern Virginia schools rejected the recommendations, and Republican attempts to codify the changes into law failed in the recent legislative session, “so there’s not much that I can do, we have complained, I have been part of meetings with Governor Youngkin saying that this does not reflect my values and shouldn’t reflect his values.”

“The number of transgender kids in America is less than one percent, and yet somehow [in right-wing rhetoric] they’re the source of all our

problems, and if we just got mean enough to them, and made them feel bad enough about themselves… as you probably know, 80 percent have considered suicide, 80 percent of these kids, because they feel so differentiated from everyone around them, and they feel so unwelcome.”

“I think that what the Governor did was among the least compassionate and least loving things that I’ve seen a leader do ever.”

A voter named Kathy showed up to thank the Congressman for his efforts towards proportional voting (where instead of just voting for a candidate, voters can rank choices), what she referred to as the “Wonky Fair Representation Act,” saying it took courage and expressing hope that Beyer would continue to push for the reform. “I am an independent… so I feel like I have no voice, and what you’re doing is not just a step in the right direction, it’s really a leap.”

Beyer responded by briefly explaining the act to the audience. “The postcard version of the wonky Fair Rep Act is multi-member districts. You don’t just vote for one congressman or person, you vote for three, and you rank them 1-2-3,

Congressional districts around the country are strongly polarized. “So

many districts are not competitive, including the one that I represent… tion, and that’s true with all the Republican districts in Virginia too. The primary is the fight.” He continued that our current single-candidate system “means you end up with [candidates] that run to the extreme rather than the center. When you have ranked choice voting, people run to the center.”

Art and Frame Of Falls Church Is Expanding

In its 22nd year, this popular City business is growing and moving to a new location in April. Artist studios and small business office spaces are available for rent at 307 E. Annandale Road, a Gateway location into the City of Falls Church. Studio/office spaces range from 102 to 910 square feet. Floor to ceiling windows in every space and plenty of onsite parking!

Contact Tom Gittins at: artandframefc@gmail.com For more details and to arrange to see the remaining available spaces.

Falls Church Little League Program Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Since its inception in 1948, the Falls Church Kiwanis Little League program has been an integral part of our local community, and this year the organization celebrates its 75th anniversary. On the morning of Saturday, March 25th, there will be a celebration held at Westgate Elementary School prior to the Kiwanis’ opening day, complete with a parade, food truck, and FCKLL alum Craig Day set to throw out the first pitch.

The Kiwanis are the oldest Little League organization in the state of Virginia, and approximately 20,000 children have been members throughout its history. Currently, about 600 boys and girls between ages 4 and 13 play for various single, double, and triple A-level Kiwani teams, who compete in District 4 – described by FCKLL president Sean Mullin as one of the hardest districts to play in – at the regional and state levels.

Like most youth league sports programs, FCKLL is not just about winning on the field. More impor-

tantly, it’s a way to help bring the community together, and a way to teach young children life lessons through baseball such as confidence, self-esteem, character, and teamwork. The organization is always looking for ways to improve its experience, too – for instance, this year the schedule has been coordinated so that teams of different age groups will have their games played in succession at the same venues as often as possible. “We want kids to be able to not only play their own games, but also watch their friends play,” said Mullin.

There’s no telling how much the Kiwanis have meant to Falls Church residents for the past three quarters of a century. Take David Quinn, whose mother served on the FCKLL board while he played from 1980-82, and now finds himself as a manager of one of the AAA-level teams, which his son is a player on. “This, to me, is an example of the community Falls Church can be,” Quinn says. “There’s many people who come and go, but others who’ve been here for generations.”

Faces of Falls Church

Larry Mendenhall, whose two now grown-up children are both FCKLL alums, credits the league for helping his children find a passion in baseball. “The team gave our sons the opportunity to discover a talent they carried with them for many years, from tee ball all the way through college,” Mendenhall claims. His wife Kathryn, meanwhile, describes Little League as a “tradition” in Falls Church – “The values and spirit of FCKLL exemplify our community… when spring registration opens up, I still feel the excitement.”

Day, a member of the Eastern American Little League championship-winning team in 1972, still holds special memories in his heart for his time with FCKLL. The program was much smaller in his day, with only about a dozen children in his age group, and Day claims that they would frequently spend time together off the field and that he still keeps in touch with several of the connections he made. “It brought people together that didn’t know each other,” Day said via a phone interview last week.

“It made Falls Church a more shared community.”

As part of the anniversary festivities, the league will be creating a “digital memory book” in which members and their families of past and present can contribute by posting photos of their experiences. “We want it to be a time capsule, from the beginning

until now, where everyone can share their memories together,” says Erika Toman, FCKLL’s Communications and PR leader.

Congratulations to the Falls Church Kiwanis Little League program on 75 years of excellence as one of our community’s most storied pastimes, and here’s to many more.

On February 24 — 25, Meridian High School junior Isabella Villano and their father Peter raced in the annual Memphremagog Winter Swimming Festival, held in Newport, Vermont. Swimmers raced without wetsuits in two 25m lanes and participated in various events up to a 200m distance. Water temperatures this year hovered around 30 degrees F, with a windchill of -10F. This was Peter’s third time completing the race and Isabella’s first. They trained through winter off the Delaware coast and their backyard ice tub.

To nominate someone for Faces please email us at Ktoland@fcnp.com. To be considered for Faces someone must be a member of the community and have done something you feel they should be recoginozed for. Falls Church News-Press reserves the right to use it’s discretion when it comes to who will be featured.

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PICTURED IS FALLS CHURCH LITTLE LEAGUE from 1972 (Photo: courtesy Craig Day)

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An Adopted American Creed

Adopted from Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899) as seen displayed on the desk of Garson Kanin (1912-1999)

To love justice, to long for the right, to love mercy, to pity the suffering, to assist the weak, to forget wrongs and remember benefits, to love the truth, to be sincere, to utter honest words, to love liberty, to wage relentless war against slavery in all its forms, to love family and friend, to make a happy home, to love the beautiful in art, in nature, to cultivate the mind, to be familiar with the mighty thoughts that genius has expressed, the noble deeds of all the world; to cultivate courage and cheerfulness, to make others happy, to fill life with the splendor of generous acts, the warmth of loving words; to discard error, to destroy prejudice, to receive new truths with gladness, to cultivate hope, to see the calm beyond the storm, the dawn beyond the night, to do the best that can be done and then be resigned. This is the religion of reason, the creed of science. This satisfies the brain and the heart.

Letter to E ditor

Thank You Falls Church Health Care

Editor, There is so much I love about Falls Church. And on the eve of the annual Abortion Provider Appreciation Day I wanted to give a special shout out to something I think makes Falls Church truly great: we are home to one

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Mail or drop off

Letters to the Editor, c/o Falls Church News-Press, 105 N. Virginia Ave., #310, Falls Church, VA 22046

of this country’s incredible independent abortion clinics — Falls Church Health Care Center. Today and every day I’m so grateful to the providers at the clinic for providing patients reproductive health care, including abortion care, with dignity. The clinic is a point of pride for our community and I’m so grateful for all they do!

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The Falls Church

‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ Latest Version Hailed N������� F.



I watched the Oscars last Sunday night mainly to see how the latest iteration of “All Quiet on the Western Front” would do. The fourth film version of the 1928 novel, written as a soldier’s memoir, by Erich Maria Remarque, is the product of German producer Malte Grunnert and won Oscars in four categories, being nominated for eight total, after earlier sweeping the British Oscars, the BAFTAs, with best picture and in many other categories.

Enhanced by its Oscar award winning cinematography, production design and original score, the film is the best of the four made over the years, beginning with the original version in 1930 made only a year after the book was released, with Remarque’s assistance, as a silent film at first that won Best Picture that year. The minute the Nazis came to power in Germany, it was summarily banned in all its forms.

This year’s profoundly moving version takes minor liberties with the book but is enhanced by its haunting score, led by an often repeated, very loud and ominous three-note taunt that underscores the horrific nature of the war and its consequences on those who had to fight it.

That, and the Oscar-winning cinematography and production design, make it a more than worthy Oscar triumph, the best of a series of films based on that novel, and of others made in the last decade that all set out to document the absolutely horrific conditions of that war.

World War I was called The Great War and The War to End All Wars in its time, even if the estimated 11 million casualties were far eclipsed by the up to 200 million estimated lost in World War 2 that began 11 years later and was the direct outgrowth of the first.

Combined, those two wars fought mostly on the soil of modern Europe by the best and brightest that civilization had achieved up to that point, has profoundly scarred our civilization, and we

have not to this day recovered.

Viewed together, as they should be, the two wars and the so-called “Long Weekend” in between assaulted Western civilization from 1914 to 1945, up to a time when many among us, myself included, began our lives.

In the last decade, roughly the 100 years since the onset of it all, solid cinematic works about World War I preceded this latest version, those by Steven Spielburg (“The War Horse,” 2011), Peter Jackson (“They Shall Not Grow Old,” 2018) using mostly enhanced actual footage from that war, and Sam Mendes (“1917,” 2019) based on his grandfather’s factual accounts of the war.

But “All Quiet on the Western Front” remains the unrivaled classic, because it, both the novel and the latest film version, is an untarnished display of the process by which a bunch a bright-eyed schoolboys got recruited into the nightmare by their elders, who pump them up with thoughts of glory and honor as a collective “Iron Fist of Germany.” “How sweet and fitting it is to die for the Fatherland,” a fiery-eyed classroom teacher insists to his wideeyed students, all of whom soon enlist with absolutely no idea what is in store for them.

From Page 11 of the book, “Kantorek gave us long lectures until the whole of our class went, under his shepherding, to the district commandant and volunteered. I can see him now, as he used to glare at us through his spectacles and say in a moving voice, ‘Won’t you join up, comrade?”

A promo for the book read: “This is the testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I. These young men become enthusiastic soldiers, but their world of duty, culture and progress breaks into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches.

“Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds to a single vow: to fight against the hatred that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another, if only he can come out of the war alive.”

The leaders of the war are shown as driven by hate, and the soldiers by empathy toward one another in their struggle to stay alive.

Back in the ‘60s, my friends’ parents who were active in Arlington politics lamented “the Byrd Machine.” But as a teen I held only a vague notion of why political attitudes in Northern Virginia differed from those I’d sensed about Richmond.

On March 9, Alexandriabased radio reporter Michael Lee Pope brought some clarity; he spoke to the Arlington Historical Society about his new book “The Byrd Machine: The Rise and Fall of a Conservative Political Organization.”

That famous movement built by Winchester, Va., businessman-legislator Harry Flood Byrd flourished from the 1920s-1960s, Pope observed, and retains a “zombie”-like influence on our elections today. But you have to understand that the “Dixiecrats,” or southern Democrats, are far more rightwing and segregationist than their northern party-mates.

Harry F. Byrd (1887-1966), a state senator, governor and U.S. Senator, traced his ancestry to 17th-century Gov. William Byrd. But he was raised in “genteel poverty” in the Shenandoah Valley by a father (Richard) who was a Virginia House Speaker, newspaper owner and apple orchard entrepreneur. Pope stressed that Virginia’s tight spending policy of “pay as you go” (don’t borrow) is traceable to Harry Byrd’s struggling to maintain his father’s Winchester Star by rationing newsprint to keep ahead of competitors. The son would parlay the apple

largest. Young Byrd spotted a coming need for new roads in rural Virginia, becoming president of the Valley Turnpike Co. That put him in touch with rural voters who sympathized with “pay as you go.” He became chair of the Virginia Democratic Party.

Byrd had plenty of models for machines. Pope mentioned Tweed in New York City, Pendergast in Kansas City and Curley in Boston before sketching Byrd’s Virginia predecessors William Mahone and Thomas Staples Martin.

What a political organization did, Pope said, was move with “an iron fist and velvet glove” to control power levers via a network that controlled patronage appointments of judges, sheriffs, clerks, education supervisors, assessors and welfare supervisors. In Virginia, that combined with hostility toward black voters—the “purifying” of the electorate driven home via newly installed Confederate statues. Byrd’s allies included Gov. Claude Swanson (namesake for an Arlington middle school). When Swanson in 1933 was appointed Navy Secretary, his U.S. Senate seat was given to Harry Byrd, who would occupy it until the mid1960s (followed by son Harry Jr.).

Democratic presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson all felt the Byrd’s sting, whose rare intraparty opposition came in the 1950s from “Young Turk” Alexandria lawyer Armistead Boothe.

Byrd’s agenda was advanced by protégé governors Bill Tuck and Lindsay Almond. Tuck curbed trade

unions (think “right to work” laws), and Almond executed “massive ordered school desegregation with racist rhetoric.

Byrd’s modern legacy, Pope concluded, includes “the short ballot”— Virginia is unusual in that statewide it elects only the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, while the governor fills key positions like secretary of the commonwealth and public instruction superintendent. Also, the tradition of low-turnout elections and the legislative balancing act required to enact spending preserved Byrd’s low priority for public education.

Byrd recently fell into disfavor in Richmond — his statue in 2021 was removed from the statehouse. Pope speculated there could be a new name for the Harry Flood Byrd Highway (Route 7) that runs from Alexandria through Fairfax, Loudoun and Clarke counties. ***

Arlington’s “wars” over the senior citizen’s love for pickleball made the “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” March 7.

The comedian cited reporting by Arlington-based Axios on the clash, though Arlnow gets credit for breaking the story of neighbors’ complaints about the noise of popping balls at the Walter Reed Community Center.

The comic’s setup: “Arlington County wants to build nine new pickleball courts, but homeowners in the area hate the idea so much that they’ve started distributing flyers that accuse pickleball players of hijacking tennis and basketball courts, bullying children, and urinating in public.”

The proper place for public urination, Colbert corrected, is “aqua-robics.”

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to Improve One’s House

When looking into improving and/or renovating one’s house, there are many factors to be considered, such as design and cost. However, thinking of “environmentally-friendly” ways for improvement/renovation can also be important for homeowners.

Whether on the inside or outside, there are various ways homeowners can implement sustainable solutions that not only benefit their house, but also the planet.

In recent years, the use of solar panels has become a morerecognized way to provide power to one’s house. These panels have cells that absorb photons from the sunlight, which creates an electric field and causes electricity to flow. According to an article by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, solar panels are built to “work in all climates” and can be placed on one’s roof; preferably southfacing with a slope of “15 and 40 degrees.”

One common concern about installing solar panels is the cost, which can be about $12,000, according to a March 9th article by Consumer Affairs. However, these panels can save homeowners $1,500 a year on electricity compared to standard electric power.

For homeowners who may want to add more windows to enjoy the spring sun, doublepane windows can reduce the amount of escaped heat up to 50 percent. Also referred to as “insulated window glazing,” double-pane windows can help keep cold air out in the winter and heat out in the summer.

To add an extra environmentally-friendly touch to doublepane windows, one can also use sustainable frames, such as composite wood products and fiberglass, to give a better thermal performance.

Repainting one’s walls or choosing a new wallpaper is a standard improvement a homeowner considers when thinking about home renovations. Luckily, there are businesses that offer eco-friendly paints

and wallpapers, such as Backdrop, Clare Paint and Spoonflower. The advantages of using eco-friendly paint and wallpapers are the lower levels of VOCs — volatile organic compounds emitted as gasses from certain solids and liquids — and reduces indoor air pollution pro-

duced by toxins from some standard paints/wallpapers.

If a homeowner is considering the best lighting options for their house, LED light bulbs are the more energy efficient option. According to an article by Ledlightplanet. com, good quality LED bulbs can

“last more than 30 times longer” than other light bulbs.

Another advantage of using LED bulbs is that they “generally” produce a low level of carbon dioxide gas compared to

Continued on Page 14

PAGE 10 | MARCH 16 - 22, 2023
Environmentally-Friendly Ways
A RAIN GARDEN is one of many ways someone can improve their homes environmentally, as it can save water by using repurposed rainfall to nourish plants. (P����: R���G������.���) COMING SOON! 3br/2ba Cape Cod in Falls Church City 2br/2ba townhouse in Fairlington 3br/3.5ba townhouse in South Riding 5br/3ba expanded rambler in Poplar Heights 4br/3ba Expanded Cape Cod rental in FCC avail July 1st Matt Earman Real Estate Sales Associate (703)328-4563 COMINGSOON 7405 Storm Ct - Falls Church - New Construction OpenSat&Sun1-4pm OpenSat2-4pm 222 Connery Terrace - Leesburg, VA Cozy 3BR/2.5BA Brick Cape Cod w/ welcoming front porch & separate garage in quiet neighborhood, awaiting new owner to renovate/update. Offered at $775,000. Also Open Thursday 4-6pm 3BR/2.5BA Townhouse in Greenway Farms. Spacious Primary Suite w/ extra loft sitting area/office. Deck overlooks wooded area. Offered at $519,500 Scheduled Completion April 2023 - 5BR/5BA Modern Farmhouse w/ elegance throughout plus fully finished basement. Offered at $1,645,000 COMINGSOON 513 W Broad St #601 - Falls Church City Stunning 2br/2.5ba + den condo in The Byron w/ 1,825 sq ft of living space. Beautifully updated, and centrally located on the quiet side of the building overlooking Howard Herman park trail with two separate balconies, and gorgeous sunset views. Also includes two assigned parking spots and a separate storage unit. 2827 Meadow Ln - Falls Church UnderContract Amazing Modern Farmhouse on 2+ acre lot featuring 4 Bedroom 4.5 Bathrooms, and over 5,000 sq ft of living space. Offered at $1,200,000. (Represented Buyers) 38011 Touchstone Farm - Purcellville Falls Church City Grant Program: Ask about our $5,000 closing cost Grant Program for Falls Church City School Employees and City Employees Chris Earman Member NVAR Multi-Million Dollar Sales Club Residential Top Producer (703) 628-4541 | Chris@EarmanRealEstate.com Your Local Falls Church Realtor • 703-760-8880 • Falls Church/McLean If you are looking to Buy, Sell, or Rent in 2023 please call Chris or Matt for a no obligation consultation. Spring is budding... It's Garden Time!! BY KYLEE TOLAND FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS
Going Green:

Creating a Home: How Professionals Mold a Community

When making a decision about selling, buying, building and/or renovating a house, one of the first steps should be whether or not a “professional” should be hired. Home professionals can help with much more than just sales and building.

Real estate agents, contractors, architects and home builders can play a big role in achieving one’s wants and needs in finding/building a house. For those who cannot decide whether to hire someone or do the work themselves, there can be various reasons why hiring a professional can help one enjoy the place they call “home.”

Buying/selling a house can come with a lot of questions and concerns. When is the best time to buy/sell, what the real estate market looks like at the moment and which areas are better-suited for a buyer can be some of the many thoughts one has during the process. Luckily, most real estate agents can answer these questions, as well as provide expertise on other aspects of the buying/ selling process.

One thing that real estate agents can do for a seller is place one’s house on multiple listing services (MLS). According to an article by travelers.com, selling one’s home on their own will require them to spend money up front in order to get a listing viewed by potential buyers.

Working with an agent automatically provides access to the MLS, which can be used by agents to search for the most up-to-date listings. MLS can also help a buyer search for what they are looking for in a house, based on their price, floor and neighborhood preferences.

A more personal expertise a real estate agent can give to a client is their knowledge of the area they work within. This can mean a lot to a person, especially a buyer, when it comes to finding a house that is in the “right” area for them. According to an article by Key Inspection Services, LLC, a real estate agent can come in handy when one has specifics on what kind of neighborhood they want to live in, the quality of the schools, crime rate in that area and any pending commercial developments.

After deciding to have one’s

house “improved” with various projects, hiring a general contractor can help with the supervising of a renovation or remodeling. A contractor can help secure work permits and hiring/scheduling subcontractors such as electricians and plumbers.

Hiring a contractor brings a client “peace of mind,” according to a 2022 article by Forbes magazine, as most of these professionals work with those who are “licensed and insured.” An “experienced” general contractor will most likely know how to comply with all local codes, which means that all necessary permits will be procured and will pass a future home inspection.

To nail down the design a homeowner wants/needs, hiring an architect can help a person put their preferences into reality. According to an article by Vanguard Studio, an architect can get a greater understanding of one’s needs by “exploring” a homeowner’s lifestyle and use of their current house to draw up construction plans that address both the owner’s desires and the structural requirements.

Architects can also draw up a

design that can prove to be a profitable investment, as a good design can add extra value to one’s house and have a greater resale value when the time comes to sell.

Building a house can be tough, especially if one has specific preferences and/or needs for their “dream” home. Hiring a professional can allow a person to plan what they want without the risk of damage or injury.

In most cases, a homeowner can implement their own floor plan and settle down at a location of their choice when hiring a professional builder. According to an article by

Liongate Builders, any “reliable builder” will get the blueprint approved before moving ahead with a project. Whatever a person’s needs are, whether they be for presentable or personal reasons, a builder will be able to illustrate a layout that can appeal to a homeowner.

As for location, a professional can help a client find and buy a “suitable” location to build a house. If one has concerns about having a house built in a certain area, a home builder can help find a plot in a region with reputable school districts, access to employment opportunities and more.

SPRING HOME & GARDEN MARCH 16 - 22, 2023 | PAGE 13 FCNP.COM | FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS UNDER CONTRACT! UNDER CONTRACT! UNDER CONTRACT! Realtor, NVAR Platinum Producer 703-298-9495 alisonmiller@kw.com 105 W. Broad Street Falls Church, VA 22046 Each O ce is Independently Owned and Operated Thanks for your con dence and your business! Beacon Crest Terrace, Ashburn Representing SellersMultiple o ers in only 2 days! Lees Mill Road, Warrenton Representing Buyers. Brand new construction Scoured two counties on foot to nd buyers' dream home! Montour Drive, Falls Church Representing SellersMultiple o ers in only 2 days! The Spring market is o like a rocket and we're short on inventory! If you want to sell but don't know where to start let's talk. You Deserve an Agent Who Can Get You Everything You Deserve When Selling Your Home Strategic home preparation Optimal market positioning Skilled negotiations Leveraging multiple-offer scenarios First-rate marketing We know how to maximize your net return with: Ken Trotter, J.D., Realtor® Falls Church Expert Silver Line Group, CEO 703 606 1122 Info@silverlinehouses.com SilverLineHouses.com Thinking about selling a home? Please reach out to us to maximize your net return. HBCGroupKW.com pam@hbcgroupkw.com 703.371.9343 Pam Micciche Broker: 703.636.7300 | 6820 Elm St. | McLean, VA 22101 Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated. We LIVE Here. We WORK Here. We GIVE BACK Here. Your Agent For Life! Thinking about selling? Call me today! Our team is ready to position your home for the market.

Inside and Out, Homeowners Can ‘Go Green’ With Their Houses

incandescent lights. This is due to the material used to create these LED lights not being able to produce carbon dioxide gas compared to other lights.

Installing low-flow appliances, such as a shower head or toilet, can significantly reduce water use. According to a June 2022 article in House Beautiful magazine, standard toilets use up to seven gallons of water per flush, while low-flow toilets only use 1.6 gallons. Low-flow shower heads also decrease water consumption by “at least 40 percent.”

Growing a garden can be a fun way for a homeowner to spruce up the outside of their house, as well as be environmentally friendly. Gardening with native plants — a plant that occurred naturally in a particular region without human introduction — can require less maintenance and water. They help the environment the most when planted in places that match their growing requirements.

their house environmentally friendly. (P����: R���G������.���)

If one is unsure what to plant, resources such as Native Plant Landscape Design Corp in Falls Church can help a homeowner decide what native plants to choose based on the climate of their region.

To help care for one’s garden and backyard, the use of a rain barrel or garden can save water


by using repurposed rainfall to nourish plants instead. According to the same House Beautiful cle, rainwater contains more of the nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide plants flourish with.

Recently, the Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) announced grants to city resi-

Continued It'sTimetoLoveYourBathroomAgain!

dents for rain barrel and garden projects to reduce potentiallydamaging stormwater. VPIS Board Member Jeffrey Peterson said rain barrels and gardens can prevent pollution in local

from Page 10
streams and reduce flooding in the area. He also said a homeowner can have an “improved” landscape with these projects as it causes less water ponding in one’s own backyard. YourVisionOurExpertise 1224WestBroadStFallsChurch,VA22046 703.748.0700


Get Your Backyard Ready for Springtime Entertaining

Despite the sudden return of brisk and windy weather (and even the occasional flurry) over the past week, the official start of Spring is coming this Monday, and many of us, including this writer, are very excited to enjoy the outdoors. To add to the excitement, after three years, the pandemic emergency declaration is expiring – prompting the return of concerts, festivals, and social activities

that have been sorely missed. While returning to these activities, many are noticing the effect of inflation on the cost of entertainment. With many seeking ways to socialize without breaking the bank – or excluding friends on a budget – 2023 is shaping up to be the year of backyard entertainment. We visited the residents with two fantastic backyards in greater Falls Church for inspiration on how to maximize the use of your backyard, for entertaining and beyond.

Whether your backyard is deep or wide, large or small, it is important to think of social spaces in ‘zones,’ where a reasonable number of people can converse, sit, stand, and move around comfortably. “It was important to us that when a lot of people are over, they can still have a meaningful conversation with people,” said Rick Bennett, whose backyard is separated into areas for lounging and watching tv, sitting for an outdoor meal, cooking on the grill, composting and planting, sitting around a fire pit, relaxing in the hot tub, and (for his canines and their guests) relieving themselves, “a group of five or six people that strike up a conversation are a lot more likely to connect.”

Bennett regularly hosts gatherings, from weekly “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” watch parties with a handful of friends, to an annual Christmas party with well over 100 guests. “It’s hard to get gay folks living in D.C. to venture across the river,” Bennett added, when asked about hosting events for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. (of which he is a member), “but when you’re setup for a great time, they figure it out.” For any LGBTQ+ readers unfamiliar with Falls Church, it is literally six stops away on the Orange and Silver Lines – come visit!

When considering seating, the elements and the comfort of your guests are important, but be honest with yourself about upkeep. If you aren’t going to move the cushions inside every time it rains, pick something waterproof (and if you forget, be sure to drain the cushions on their side before allowing a guest to sit). Consider a storage bench to put things in when not in use, and ensure any seating around a fire pit can withstand falling embers. Though better than a wet cushion, nobody likes sitting on a cold, hard chair – so be sure to have some individual seat cushions handy. Also keep in mind that “the pollening” is coming soon – consider covering any surfaces guests (or their clothes) will come in contact with.

Outdoor lighting is an excellent way to create a welcoming, comfortable evening space. Consider energy-saving smart LEDs that connect to your home’s WiFi and virtual assistants, and take some time to set up the brightness and color levels for “scenes.” Guests will be thrilled when you tell your watch to “set the backyard to party” and your space bursts to life. If working with what you have, put those holiday lights to use, pop

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Get Your Backyard Ready for Springtime Entertaining

Continued from Page 16

some fairy lights into jars, or put some candles (safely) to use.

For Matt Quinn, his wife Katie Moore, and their daughter Karys, the backyard is more

than a place to entertain –which they do regularly, including an annual Pig Roast every fall – it’s also a source of sustenance and education. In 2017 they fully gutted the yard and installed five 8’x4’ planters along one side – and a variety

of fruit trees on the other. Their kitchen’s bay window is currently serving as a greenhouse until the cold snap breaks and it’s safe to plant seedlings outside. During the growing season, the family enjoys an abundance of food from the yard

– including a variety of homemade hot sauces, which they learned to make together during the pandemic. “This is a great way to do things together as a family,” said Quinn, “we love our yard.”

Whether hosting a small or

large gathering, or just enjoying yourself or your family, creating a beautiful and inviting atmosphere in your backyard is a great way to enjoy beautiful weather (which will hopefully return soon), and a cost-effective way to entertain.

HOT TUBS ENGLOSURES allow folks to enjoy the hot water even during windy or extremely cold nights. (Photo: Brian Reach) BACKYARD SPACES are versatile spaces that are fantastic places to wine, dine, socialize, and enjoy nature. (Photo: Brian Reach)

One of Virginia’s most popular yet mistreated landscape plants is the beautiful crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica, L. fauriei, and L. indica with L. fauriei or L. speciosa hybrids ). They are loved for their long summer bloom period and range of flower colors. Added to their beautiful flowers are interesting seed heads, lustrous green leaves that change to bright fall colors, and subtle-to-stunning multi-colored bark. It is a plant with true four-season interest and appeal.

Crapemyrtles are low-maintenance and easy to grow. All they need are sunny locations and soil with moderate moisture and fertility. They generally require a minimum amount of pruning when

well-maintained and properly chosen to fit the space where they are planted. A misconception that crapemyrtles need to be severely cut back in late winter or early spring in order to flower well in summer has led to the unhealthy practice of “topping” these plants — cutting stems back at an arbitrarily chosen height.

Never Top a tree!

Even a Crapemyrtle

Topping crapemyrtles, a practice nicknamed “Crape Murder,” is harmful in many ways. It is regarded as an unacceptable practice by trained horticulturists and arborists. Research shows that stem decay significantly increases when topping cuts are made, and that more dead branches also occur within the canopy.

Relocation Sale!

Topping crapemyrtles results in numerous fast-growing shoots originating from the “topping knuckle” that forms on the top of the cut stems. The natural shape and structural strength of the plant is ruined. Topping can greatly reduce the number of bloom days, because only one main flower cluster is borne on the end shoots instead of many smaller flower clusters with staggered bloom times. The new shoots are soft and poorly attached. They often break because they cannot support the single large bloom on the end of the shoot. The soft shoots are also more susceptible to pest problems (especially aphids). The damaged tree may also produce large numbers of ugly basal suckers.

Prune Your Crapemyrtle Correctly

The correct way to prune a crape myrtle involves enhancing its natural form. Crapemyrtles naturally grow as small upright or vase-shaped trees with multiple trunks. Because crapemyrtles are summer-blooming trees, producing flowers from new wood or current season stems, the proper time to prune is late winter or early spring prior to new growth. Removing dead, diseased, broken, crossing, and rubbing branches early in the tree’s life avoids the need for yearly pruning.

Starting at ground level, follow the trunks upward to where they begin to branch, focusing on the interior of the tree rather than the outer edges. To remove a branch, follow it back to where it joins a larger branch or trunk. Notice the swollen branch collar at the point where the two branches join. Using a pruning saw or loppers, remove the branch by cutting just above the branch collar, not quite flush with the trunk. If the branch was removed correctly, the branch collar left behind will extend out no more than half an inch

from the trunk. Clean up the interior of the tree by cutting off small twiggy branches that grow from the main trunks. This is best done using hand pruners. You can also remove seed pods and trim off the ends of branches that are less than pencil-sized in diameter.

Crapemyrtles that have previously been topped can, to an extent, be “untopped.” Select two or three of the stronger shoots on each “topping knuckle” and prune the others off. Then prune back the selected shoots above outward facing buds to begin to develop a new branch pattern. The plant will never again have its true or natural crapemyrtle form, but it can be improved.

A helpful online resource is the Virginia Tech publication, “Pruning Crapemyrtles” (VCE 430451) by Bonnie Appleton and colleagues, which details the damage caused by topping and describes correct pruning techniques at www.pubs. ext.vt.edu.

For techniques to prune back the height of a crapemyrtle that is interfering with power lines or other risks, see hort.ifas.ufl.edu.

Proper pruning techniques will ensure an abundance of blooms, as well as a healthy plant for many years to come. And keep you from being a Crape Murderer!

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A Penny for Your Thoughts News of Greater Falls Church

More than 60 people attended last week’s Mason District Budget Town Meeting, a far cry from last year’s attendance of fewer than a dozen. In both meetings, however, residents came to complain about the burden that the real estate tax places on them, especially in the continuing “hot” housing market. Although it appears that the market may be cooling as home mortgage interest rates are almost twice what they were in 2021, the 2023 assessments include the market sales for neighborhood comparables in 2022. If you bought a house in Fairfax County in 2022, your purchase price essentially becomes the market value for assessment purposes. The Virginia Constitution requires that properties be assessed every year, and those assessments must be at fair market value.

About half of residential properties in Mason District had an assessment increase of up to 10 percent; in some neighborhoods, including properties on larger lots and waterfront properties in Lake Barcroft, increased up to 15 percent. The increases were helped by home sales that exceeded both the assessment (which usually lags market value by five to 15 percent) and the asking price.

The mean residential assessment change for Mason District was 6.34 percent, the smallest change of all nine magisterial districts.

Mason District accounts for 8.49

percent of the total taxable base in Fairfax County; Dranesville (which includes Great Falls) accounts for 16.34 percent of the total taxable base.

Some of the criticisms expressed at the budget town meeting are not unfounded. The hot housing market has affected the assessments for 90 percent of the residential properties in Fairfax County and, since the real property tax is the primary source of county revenues allowed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the burden rests squarely on property owners. Repeated attempts to diversify the tax base for counties largely have been unsuccessful.

In a county with a population of 1.2 million, needed services are extensive; meeting those needs with available revenues is the challenge faced by county leaders. The Board of Supervisors has flexibility to reduce County Executive Hill’s recommendation of a $1.11 tax rate, and I anticipate that most Board members will support a reduction in the rate. Residents who wish to file an administrative appeal to their assessment must do so by April 3, 2023. Find more information about how to appeal an assessment at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ taxes.

Reactions to a proposal to increase the salary of Board members have been intense, as they are each time a salary increase

City of Falls Church


Week of March 6 - 12, 2023

Shoplifting, W Broad St, March 8, 8:30 PM, unknown suspect took items of value without paying. Suspect described as a male, 5`11”, 240 lbs, wearing black pants, black jacket, black shoes, black hat, and a black facial mask.

Driving Under the Influence/Refusal/Dest. of Property, S Washington St, March 9, 1:08 PM, a male, 44, of Falls Church, VA was arrested for Driving under the Influence, Refusal and Destruction of Property.

Urinating In Public, W Broad St, March 9, 6 PM, a male, 64, of Falls Church, VA, was issued a summons for Urinating in Public.

Drunk in Public, W Broad St, March 10, 12:04 PM, a male, 60, of no fixed address, was arrested for Drunk in Public.

is broached. Decades ago, the Virginia General Assembly established the public process that county boards must use to determine their own salaries, and it is set up to create a lot of angst among the voters. Boards may only increase salaries for the next board, not the current one, and only in an election year, in a narrow window between January 1 and April 15, after conducting a public hearing. Although considered a part-time position, Board members can spend an average of 40 to 60 hours a week, including evenings and weekends, fulfilling their responsibilities to the 120,000 or so constituents in each district. In the past 32 years, the Board’s salary has been increased only five times, essentially establishing eight-year pay freezes that no other county employee has experienced. Addressing Board salaries by the same market rate adjustment used for county employees each year would remove any political shenanigans and address the issue in a more professional manner. The public hearing about the proposed salary increase is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. at the Board Auditorium, 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax.

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

Delegate Marcus Simon’s Richmond Report

When the Virginia General Assembly meets next January, it will be a much different body than the one that adjourned last month. In addition to the retirement of giants like Senator Dick Saslaw and Delegate Ken Plum, dozens of other members are not seeking reelection, are running for a different office, or are paired with another incumbent in a seat that only one of them can represent next year.

It’s mathematically certain that at least 30 or close to a full third of the 100 member House of Delegates will be brand new members when they take the oath in January of 2024.

Why such a major shift? Some of it is just timing. Saslaw and Plum are both in their 80s, plus Senate Finance Chair Janet Howell had always planned for this to be her final term. A much larger portion of the turnover is a result of the redistricting fiasco brought on by the ill-considered Constitutional Amendment which left the task to a bi-partisan, bi-cameral hybrid legislative/citizen commission.

Despite my every effort to offer a palatable compromise to the GOP members, the Commission deadlocked, meaning the Supreme Court of Virginia and their two special masters took over. The Special Masters looked at the General Assembly’s legal criteria establishing guidelines for drafting their new map and did not find any authority to consider incumbent addresses or to avoid incumbent pairs when creating new districts.

Grand Larceny, W Broad St, March 10, 1:50 PM, five men and four women entered a jewelry store and distracted the owner while an accomplice took items from an open safe. Items valued at $500,000.

Driving Under the Influence, S Washington St, March 11, 1:35 AM, a male, 28, of Temple Hills, MD, was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, 2nd Offense.

As a result, nearly half the House and Senate members initially found themselves paired with another incumbent. Some of those pairings resolved themselves when one incumbent moved to an adjacent district. Others involved members of the House running for Senate, either to avoid an incumbent pairing or because the newly created Senate Districts appear more favorable than their new House Districts. In some cases, a paired incumbent elected not to run at all.

Some people may not be bothered by the massive loss of experience and institutional knowledge this round of redistricting has wrought. I can understand those who might argue that turnover and fresh faces are a feature rather than a bug of redistricting reform.

However, we’re often told that the real goal of redistricting reform is to reduce the political polariza-

tion plaguing state houses caused by gerrymandering — the practice of drawing odd shaped and seemingly illogical districts crossing various city and county lines, dividing communities of interest in order to gain political advantage for the party in charge.

If you banned the practice, we were promised, the districts would naturally be less partisan and politicians running in them would once again be incentivized to tailor a message to appeal to centrist voters.

Only that’s not what happened.

Even if you think the large amount of turnover is a good thing, the new faces will almost all be coming from even more politically polarized districts than the ones these experienced legislators are vacating.

By packing us all into nice, geometrically pretty districts, we’ve created 46 or 47 safely Democratic districts where you can win without a single Republican or independent vote, and about 42 or 43 on the Republican side. This leaves maybe 10 -12 competitive seats up for grabs in November.

Senator Howell said in an interview with the Richmond Times Dispatch that she “does not look back on her 32-year legislative career with many regrets, but one of them was her vote on the 2021 redistricting.” She goes on to say she “didn’t see the long-term implications” and that she “never bought the idea that incumbency doesn’t mean anything.”

One thing is clear. Those of us that return will have a much heavier load than usual to carry. In addition to having to work with the political neophyte who currently occupies the Governor’s mansion, we’ll have 30+ brand new Delegates with differing levels of experience and knowledge of the legislative process.

We will need our delegates and senators to not be afraid to be a bit partisan, to fight for our shared progressive values that got us the majority in 2019 and hopefully again later this year. That’s what won those elections and enabled us to pass legislation that made the Commonwealth more inclusive, our communities safer, voting more accessible, and criminal justice more attainable. We best represent our districts when we speak out against injustices and lift up policies that truly make a difference in our constituents’ lives.

 Simon may be emailed at DelMSimon@house.virginia.gov

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St. Patrick’s Day In The Area: How Locals Can Celebrate

More than Irish eyes will be smiling Friday, March 17, to mark the feast day of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who arrived on the Emerald Isle about 432 CE bringing Christianity to the nation which prides itself on everything green, from the countryside to the shamrocks to its speciality drinks.

The day is usually recognized as the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death which many local venues will commemorate with Irish dishes, Irish coffees and drinks, dancing, children’s events and would you believe a politician has even seized March 17 for a big soiree (and you’re invited!)?

Traditional meals of Shepherd’s pie, Reuben rolls, corned beef and cabbage, and Guinness stew will be available at various sites, including desserts like Guinness floats, chocolate Guinness cake, Irish soda bread, Irish coffee with Baileys

whipped cream, Baileys brownies, and whiskey ice cream.

(Guinness is Ireland’s national drink, a dry stout.)

At the bars you’ll find Irish car bombs (Irish stout, Irish whiskey, and Irish cream), Irish mules (Irish whiskey, lime, and ginger beer) Buena Vista Irish coffee (sugar, coffee, Irish whiskey, heavy cream), cold brew Irish coffees and more.

Right in our midst, the Little City can claim an Irish landmark with Ireland’s Four Provinces where celebrants can party all day long at the corner of Washington Street and West Broad beginning with a “K’eggs” breakfast (8 to 10 a.m.). With required reservations for seatings until 10 p.m, you may stay for the threecourse lunch and/or dinner with music galore. 105 W. Broad Street, ph. 703-534-8999.

Across the street is the Dogwood Tavern at 132 West Broad which will party all day, too, with traditional Irish foods, drinks and live music until 1:30

a.m. (the next day is Saturday). Basketball fans will find TVs screening March Madness. Ph. 703-237-8333.

Not far away is the Solace Outpost at 444 West Broad Street, with sports TVs and specials planned for Friday night. Ph. 571-378-1469.

Further along West Broad is St. James Catholic Church at North Spring Street which hosts its Friday Lenten Fish Fry from 5 - 8 p.m. Ph. 703-532-8815.

On Pimmit Drive, Mark’s Pub will be having a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Smoked ribs, brisket and pork, as well as roasted corned beef and homemade cakes will be on the menu, with live music by Liz Taylor and The Husbands.

The VFW Post 9274 at 7118 Shreve Road is having a St. Paddy’s party beginning at 5 p.m. with corned beef and cabbage for $10 with extra green for jello shots and a raffle. Ph. 703 241-9274 or 703-639-7535.

Kilted men are promised on stage when Skinny Wallace

starts playing at 8:30 p.m. Friday at JV’s. Cover, $10. Shartel and Hume Duo begin the music at 4 p.m. 6666 Arlington Boulevard, ph. 703-241-9504. For those who may desire a more elegant ambiance, head for Wildfire at Tysons Galleria where green of $34.95 will get you a St. Patrick’s Day plate of corned beef and cabbage and chocolate stout cake beginning Thursday after 3 p.m. and all day Friday. 2002 International Drive, ph. 703-442-9110.

Another Tysons spot celebrating St. Patrick’s is Shipgarten at 7581 Colshire Drive which will hold a three-day extravaganza starting Friday with “live leprechauns,’’ corn hole, giant Jenga, and cup pong games, green eggs and kegs, corned beef hash, a beer festival on Saturday, and on Sunday, a kids festival, moon bounce, face painting, jungle gym, crafts and scavenger hunt. Four sets of live music start Friday at 2 p.m. with a DJ ending at 2 a.m. Saturday’s music plays 12:30-7:30 p.m. Ph. 703-241-9274.

If corned beef hash and cabbage are not your thing or your children’s, how about some green slim worms and green snow?

Children ages 5 - 12 may explore these and other appealing works of nature at “leprechaun science,” sponsored by Fairfax County’s Park Authority at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Annandale Community Park, 7701 Royce St., from 4:30 - 5:30 pm. or 7 - 8 p.m. Friday. Price, $10. Register online or call 703-941-1065 to confirm dates and times.

The Park Authority will also present “Saint Patrick’s Day Experiments & Fun” at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Road from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, March 18 for children ages 6 - 10. $16, each. Register online.

Younger children, ages 3 to 6, can sing Irish songs, dance, enjoy musical props and themed sensory play at St. Patrick’s

Continued on Page 29

�� Attend the largest annual political event in Northern Virginia this Friday March 17th, for Congressman Connolly’s 29th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Fête!

�� This gala celebration will have plenty of live music, speakers, a full Irish dinner, drinks, games and fellowship!

�� Ernst Cultural Center - Northern VA Community College - Annandale Campus 8333 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA 22003

Gerry Connolly’s 29th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Fete FRIDAY, MARCH
You Don’t Have to Be Irish to Celebrate This Green Letter Day!
7:00 pm TO 9:30 pm
for and authorized by Gerry Connolly for Congress We smoke our ribs, brisket and pork. We slow roast our corned beef for reubens. Enjoy our homemade specials and cakes. Outdoor seating. ww w.markspub-fcva.com 703-356-3822 2190 Pimmit Dr. Falls Church, VA 22043
Guinness $5.00 Jameson
$3.00 Patty
Homemade is our Business Live Music! St. Patrick’s Day
Purchase Tickets or Donate by going to the website: https://actblue.com/donate/23fete Paid

Community News Notes

Potential Start Times At F.C. Schools Shared For Feedback

Community feedback is being collected on potential new start times for Falls Church City Public Schools. If approved, the school district says the new start times wouldn’t start until the 2024-2025 school year.

The School Board is considering start time changes due to research suggesting high school students are not getting enough sleep with early starts, which may impact health and academic performance.

If the changes are approved, Jessie Thackrey Preschool would start and end 20 minutes earlier, from 7:55 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and Meridian High School would start and end 25 minutes later, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. The secondary campus late bus would run 25 minutes later at 5 p.m.

For Mt. Daniel Elementary, FCCPS must account for an agreement with Fairfax County

that the school not start before 8:50 a.m. and must end by 4 p.m. Under the proposal, Mt. Daniel Elementary and Oak Street Elementary times would shift to 10 minutes later — 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The community is invited to share feedback with the School Board by March 31 by emailing schoolboard@fccps.org.

Saint Patrick’s Episcopal to Host Benefit Concert

Join Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church for a concert by local professional musicians while helping earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. All proceeds go to the relief.

Donations can be designated to Direct Relief, American Red Cross, or Episcopal Relief & Development. By donating through St. Patrick’s church, personal information will be protected from further solicitation. If one chooses to donate with a check directly to the

charity of one’s choice, the check will be forwarded to the charity, and personal information will be subject to the limited policies of that charity.

If one is not able to attend the concert, but would like to make donations, please send a check payable to “Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church” with a memo designating the charity. Donations made without a designation will be divided evenly between the three charities listed above. Information on each charity may be found at the charity web site, and evaluations at charitynavigator.org.

For questions or more information, please email at marikohiller@gmail.com.

F.C. Resident to Bike the U.S. for MS

Recently retired Falls Church resident, Ken Sims, is participating in this year’s Bike the US for MS. He is riding the Northern

Tier route from Bar Harbor, Maine to Seattle, Washington. The cyclists embarking on this trip want to raise awareness and funds to support research in finding a cure for MS and to support those living with the disease. To support or participate in all or a portion of the trip, go to biketheusforms.org for more information.

Fairfax County Schools Offer

Virtual Mental Health Services

Fairfax County Public Schools has partnered with Hazel Health, giving some 61,000 students access to the service, according to the county’s contract with the group. WTOP obtained the contract via a Freedom of Information Act request.

The service costs $15 per student per year, according to the contract. It will cost more than $686,000 for the first nine months. School board officials allocated $500,000 in the fiscal year 2023 budget for the service.

A pilot program was expected to launch by the beginning of January but was delayed. Access to Hazel Health’s services is expected to be available later this spring, although an exact date hasn’t yet been released.

Representatives Needed for Boards & Commissions

All high school students are invited to apply to become a Citizens for a Better City (CBC) Youth Representative to one of Falls Church City’s Boards, Commissions, or Community Organizations. This position will provide them with CAS hours and a chance to learn about and engage with city government.

All Falls Church City High school-aged students are eligible to apply, including high school-aged homeschooled and private school students. The selection process focuses on their interest and commitment.

Applications are available now online at the CBC Youth Representatives Website at youth-

resident, Ken Sims, is participating in this year’s Bike the US for MS. He is riding the Northern Tier route from
PAGE 22 | MARCH 16 - 22, 2023
HARVEY’S KICKED OFF their one year anniversary with a party for all ages. Many attendess came dressed as unicorns with colorful clothing and horns. Cotton candy, face painting, caricuture-drawing and a happy hour menu were all enjoyed by adults and children alike. (Photo: Kylee Toland)

repsinitiative.net and in the MHS Guidance Department.

Application Deadline is Wednesday, April 10th, interviews are Thursday, April 27th, Friday, April 28th, Saturday, April 29th and Monday, May 1st. Announcement of selected students is the second week in May and swearing in at a city council meeting will be the fourth week in May.

Pop Up Events Coming Soon for East End Small Area Plan

The Planning Department will host pop up events for the East End Small Area Plan at the Eden Center.

Pop up event schedule: Saturday, March 18, 2023 - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, March 22, 2023 - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, March 29, 2023 - 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, April 22, 2023 - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The pop up events will contain interactive activity boards and an opportunity to provide feedback to East End Planning staff. Interpreters will accompany staff at these pop up events, and materials will be provided in Vietnamese and English.

FCCPS School Board to Host Office Hours

FCCPS School Board Chair Laura Downs and Vice-Chair Tate Gould will be holding “office hours” at Plaka Grill (1216 W Broad Street) on Tuesday, March 21 from 6:00 — 8:00 pm. Parents, students, teachers, staff, and community members may drop by (no registration required) to

ask questions and offer feedback in a casual environment. As this will not be a private setting, community members who prefer to have a private exchange with the School Board can locate members’ email addresses at: fccps.org/page/school-board.

Grants for Projects to Manage Stormwater in F.C. City

The Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) announces 2023 grants to City of Falls Church residents for projects to reduce stormwater runoff. Grants are available for projects to install rain gardens or conservation landscapes and for purchase of rain barrels to store rain water.

The grants are part of the RainSmart Program implemented by VPIS with support from the City of Falls Church. The Program is intended to help City of Falls Church residents implement practices, such as rain barrels and rain gardens, that help rainwater soak into the ground on-site to prevent flooding and protect water quality locally and in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Program also includes public information and outreach programs to promote stormwater management.

For more information about the RainSmart Program and for rain barrel and rain garden applications, go to: vpis. org/environment/rainsmartprogram/. If one has questions about the RainSmart

Program, send an email to RainSmartFallsChurch@gmail. com.

Mathnasium Hosts Pi Day Party

On Saturday, March 18th from 12:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m., Mathnasium of Falls Church will be hosting a Pi Day Party. The event will include food, games, activities, rewards and a raffle. Please call to reserve a spot, as space is limited for this free event.

Shepherd’s Center Seeks Additional Volunteer Drivers

Shepherd’s Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church (SCMAFC), an all-volunteer organization, is seeking additional volunteers to support its mission of providing free transportation to seniors for medical and dental appointments or run errands to grocery stores and pharmacies.

The total number of rides provided in 2022 is expected to exceed 2,500, but to fully respond to recent increases in the number of requests, there is a need for more volunteers to join the current team of 60 volunteer drivers.

For volunteers there is no minimum commitment. Volunteers are free to choose how often and when they drive.

For detailed information or to apply, please visit the

Center’s website https://scmafc. org/volunteer or call (703) 5062199 and leave a message.

Share Input on Richmond Highway

Community Charm is an initiative focused on integrating artwork into Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stations to reflect the history, identity, and character of the neighborhoods surrounding each station area. FCDOT’s project team is working with students from local schools and community centers to develop artwork to inspire the design for the windscreen area.

Please attend an Open House and stop in any time between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29th at the Mount Vernon High School cafeteria. One can view the designs, speak with project staff and share your input.

Fiesta del Sol Comes to the McLean Community Center

McLean Community Center (MCC) will open its doors for the Fiesta del Sol Latin American and Caribbean Festival at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 25. Residents and neighboring communities will experience a welcoming and festive atmosphere with flavors of Latin American and Caribbean Island cultures through live music, art and craft exhibitors, dance les -

sons/demonstrations and great food. Admission is free. Tickets for food and beverages will be sold onsite. Patrons must be 21 years old or older to purchase alcoholic beverages. MCC is located at 1234 Ingleside Ave. In honor of Women’s History Month, all festival proceeds will benefit The Institute for Building Agency, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and nonpartisan organization founded and led by women of color.

Tinner Hill Hosts 2nd Workshop on Difficult Convos

Historical Roots of American Racism is the theme for the second of five workshops in our series entitled Difficult Conversations about Race.

The facilitator, Michelle Zamperetti, will be assisted by Kathryn Dame. Both professionals are residents of Falls Church. Rich Scott will provide music to complement each theme of the workshops. The format will be role-playing interaction, small-group discussions, and plenary feedback sessions.

Workshops are FREE and open to anyone wishing to participate. Registration is required and seating is limited.

The workshop will be held in Memorial Hall, Falls Church Presbyterian Church, 225 East Broad Street, Falls Church, VA 22046 on Saturday, March 18th from 2:00 — 4:00 p.m.

CITY COUNCILMAN Phil Duncan (front row, left) renewed his attendance at the weekly luncheon at Anthony’s Restaurant this Monday following a week in the hospital. With him were (l. to r.) Ken Feltman, Tom Clinton, Hal Lippman and Nick Benton. (Photo: Jody Acosta) INTERNATIONAL
NIGHT will be on Saturday, March 18th at Meridian High School from 5:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m. Last year was the first year that this event came back in “full force.” For this year’s event, Welcoming Falls Church needs community members willing to host country tables, bring dishes to share and fill various roles at the event. (Photo: Gwendolyn Osborn)

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MHS Wind Ensemble Earns Superior Rating

The Meridian High School Wind Ensemble performed for District X Assessment with schools from Fairfax County and Alexandria City last Friday night at West Potomac High School at 7:45 pm for four adjudicators from across the country. After performing a challenging program, the ensemble received Superior or I ratings and a standing ovation. The Superior rating included a stage performance and sight reading performances where the group performed music they had never seen before. The program included an opening Spanish march, Amparito Roca, followed by Persistence and Havendance. The preparation for this results from numerous after-school rehearsals with an intense focus on

MHS Seeking Reviewers for Project Showcase

Meridian High School is seeking reviewers for the Middle Years Programme (MYP) Personal Project Showcase on Monday, March 13, from 10:00 —11:30 a.m. Reviewers will visit 10-15 students and discuss their personal projects, providing feedback. Sophomore students have been working on this project for several months and are excited to share their work.

Help Out the Track and Field Team

The Meridian Track & Field Team is excited to host two home meets this year. One is on Wednesday, March 29th, and the other is on Wednesday, April 12th.

and they need volunteers to help with timing, running field events, and concessions. They will provide all necessary materials for all volunteer positions. Sign up to help at signupgenius.com.

MHS Student Auditions for VA State Band

Nate Hill has successfully auditioned for the highly prestigious Virginia State Band event to be held at the Richmond Convention Center on April 27 - 29. Virginia State Band consists of the top auditioned musicians from 16 districts. Nate is a sophomore bass clarinetist and the pianist for MHS Jazz.

Seeks Advertisers for Print Copies


run newspaper at Meridian High School. They are currently fundraising for the spring magazine and seek advertisers. The magazine will be distributed around Falls Church and at Meridian High School in early April. The money from the advertisements helps to buy print copies. This also helps fundraise for future print editions (they would like to publish a newspaper in the spring). Please reach out to eic.lasso@gmail. com if interested in purchasing an advertisement or to provide a donation.

Live Jazz & Rock Bands at Mustang Alley

Join MHS for music, mocktails, appetizers, and dance lessons as the MEH and MHS jazz ensembles and rock bands take the stage in the MEH cafeteria. This exciting new event will feature recently recorded pieces from Nashville, including the MHS


Jazz and Rock Bands. This event includes free swing dance instruction. Listen to the MEH jazz band rock out. No admission; donations are welcome to support the music programs.

All Are Welcome to International Night

International Night occurs this Saturday, March 18th, from 5 - 7 p.m. at Meridian High School. Come on an adventure around the world, learn about other countries & cultures represented in our community, and enjoy international cuisine, activities, and beautiful performances. Students from MEH and Meridian High School are welcome to attend and help make this event a success by volunteering, as are parents or guardians.

THIS FALL, MHS introduced plans for sustainability, which included developing sustainability-focused experiences. (P����: N����� J����)
A hot bowl of pho at Eden Center. Voted best shopping center in the DMV!
THE MHS Wind Ensemble performed for District X Assessment on Friday, March 3rd at West Potomac High School for four adjudicators from across the country. After performing a challenging program, the ensemble received Superior or I ratings and a standing ovation. (P����: M���J� W���)

‘The Cherry Orchard’

“The cherry trees are in flower, but it is chilly in the garden.” This is not a description of Washington during this season’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, but rather the opening stage directions to Anton Chekhov’s 1904 play “The Cherry Orchard.” The drama deals with a well-to-do Russian family which owns an enormous cherry orchard, but due to the absence and spendthrift ways of Lubov Ranevsky, current owner of the cherry orchard, the orchard seems doomed. Despite a plan which will possibly save the cherry orchard by a seemingly friendly merchant named Lopakhin, the family is too dead set in its ways and estranged from a changing world to take effective action. There is also the suggestion that the short-lived cherry-tree blossoms represent the quick passing of life itself, for “time does go,” says Lopakhin.

While many area high schools present musicals as an extra-curricular activity, Trinity School at Meadow View in Falls Church produces a play as part of its core curriculum. The play is usually based on a close reading and deep dis-

cussions of a great work of literature. This year’s production, “The Cherry Orchard,” directed by Trinity teachers Patty Whelpley and James Clancy, was performed this past weekend at Westover Baptist Church by the entire tweflth grade. Students also write reflection journals as they spend months learning and rehearsing their parts. Gabriel Ortner, who played the merchant Lopakhin as well as choreographed waltzes of his fellow students in the play, said: “In performing ‘The Cherry Orchard,’ we experienced firsthand how awkward Lopakhin’s proposal to save the cherry orchard must have been, how resistant to change the elderly butler Fiers was, and how indecisive landowner Lubov and her brother Gaev were. These insights could never have been gotten [if we had] merely read the play several times and discussed it. Moreover, performing it also gave us a much better sense as to what Russian humor and culture was like in the early nineteen-hundreds.”

In addition to Mr. Ortner’s performance as Lopakhin, Annabel Betoni portrayed cherry orchard owner Lubov, Erik Fagerstrom her brother Leonid Gaev, and P.J. Coady

the butler Fiers. The young actors enacted their roles dynamically, and the hours spent in school working on the play paid off in well-delivered lines. Sets were fairly simple, but the period costumes were finely done, sometimes bordering on ornate; this worked well to highlight the characters and conversations over the staging.

Mrs. Whelpley explains this year’s choice of “The Cherry Orchard:” “We picked ‘The Cherry Orchard’ because it is one of the great classics in Russian drama. Since all twelvegrade students at the school read Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ and ‘The Brothers Karamazov,’ we knew they would really connect with the Russian characters and the problems with the aristocracy and the emancipation of serfs in the play. We often try to choose the classics that expand upon our curriculum.”

While Chekhov intended “The Cherry Orchard” as a comedy, it is often presented with great seriousness. Indeed, this was so even in Chekhov’s day, to the playwright’s great

annoyance. The Trinity production focused on bringing out the humor of the play, often with lines delivered with proper irony or sarcasm. The audience responded well to the humorous approach, which made a play much more approachable which many of us (including this writer) read in school or college in a very serious vein.

The performance of a school play

as part of the school’s core curriculum is a very laudable goal— it makes the world of the play come alive for the students as much as for the audience. If “The Cherry Orchard” is any indication, this approach is used with great success at Trinity School at Meadow View in Falls Church. We eagerly await to see what Trinity’s eleventh- and twelfth-grade classes will present next school year.

Trinity School at Meadow View Performs
GABRIEL ORTNER, Matthew Luisi, Annabel Betoni, and Erik Fagerstrom in Trinity School’s Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard.” (P����: T������ S����� �� M����� V���)
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Arts and Humanities Council Meeting

Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting

Budget and Finance Committee Meeting

Mathnasium Pi Day Party

Youth Leadership Program Applications Now Open

All Falls Church High School students (including private and home-schooled) are encouraged to apply for the Citizens for a Better City (CBC) 20232024 Youth Representative Initiative. This program pairs up students with non-partisan Boards, Commissions, and civic groups in Falls Church, providing them with a meaningful voice and civic engagement. Students are non-voting and do not participate in closed sessions. This initiative ties in with the GMHS IB CAS project. Online or in the student's school counseling office (bit. ly/FCNP0323CBC)., All Day

Blue Dreams

This immersive video installation is inspired by the intricate workings of microbial networks in the deep sea and beyond. From abstract imagery to stunning undersea video footage and computer modeling, it offers a glimpse into the interconnections and resilience of our planet’s smallest yet most vital living systems. National Academy of Sciences, East Gallery (2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC), 9:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.

Arts & Humanities Council of Falls Church meeting. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Dogwood A-B, Falls Church), 9:30 a.m. — 11:00 a.m.

Human Services Advisory Council Meeting

Falls Church Human Services Advisory Council meeting. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Laurel Room, Falls Church), 6:30 p.m. — 7:30 p.m.

Environmental Film

Festival Opening Night

Start the DC Environmental Film Festival off with a screening of Deep Rising, an environmental documentary narrated by Jason Momoa. The DCEFF takes place through March 26 at various locations around The District. Details and tickets available at dceff.eventive. org/schedule. Naval Heritage Center (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC), 7:00 p.m. — 9:30 p.m.

Envir. Sustainability Council Meeting

Falls Church Environmental Sustainability Council and Energy Transition Subcommittee Meeting. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Dogwood A-B, Falls Church), 7:30 p.m. — 9:30 p.m.

Monthly Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) meeting. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Council Chambers/Court Room, Falls Church), 7:30 p.m.



St. Patrick's Day

Wear green and check out F.C.'s festivities! Live music, Irish beer and spirit specials at Mark's Pub (2190 Pimmit Dr.). Beer and food specials at Settle Down Easy Brewing Co (2822 Fallfax Dr.). Half Pint Harry performs at Clare and Don's Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St.). Live music and traditional Irish fare, cocktail and drink specials at Dogwood Tavern (300 Park Ave.). The McGrath Morgan Irish Dancers perform at Solace Outpost Brewing Co (444 W. Broad St.). Ireland's 4p's (105 W. Broad St.) opens at 8 a.m. with “K'Eggs” breakfast, followed by a day of Irish favorites and live music. Wear a kilt (or not) to JV's Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd.) for Skinny Wallace's Saint Patty Party. Enjoy green beer at Hot N Juicy Crawfish (116 W. Broad St.). Buy a “Lucky Pint Glass” all week for a free first pour of Irish-inspired beer at Audacious Aleworks Brewery (110 E. Fairfax St.). All day long.

Falls Church City Council Budget and Finance Committee meeting. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Oak Room, Falls Church), 9:00 a.m. — 10:30 a.m.

The Snow Queen

Enjoy Hans Christian Andersen’s longest and most highly acclaimed tale that has inspired numerous films and adaptations from TheLion,theWitch,andthe Wardrobe to Disney’s Frozen! This classic tale of bravery and friendship follows the journey of young Gerda as she attempts to rescue her best friend Kai from the clutches of the Snow Queen. With the help of some unique friends and little magic Gerda is determined to break the Snow Queen’s spell and melt the ice that has taken hold of Kai’s heart before he is lost to her forever!

Creative Cauldron (410 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church), 7:30 p.m.

Pacific Overtures

In 1853, after 200 years of stability, Japan faces an American expedition determined to open the “floating kingdom” to trade. The isolationist island’s reckoning with the unwelcome western influence is brilliantly illuminated through a kaleidoscope of stories about sailors, samurai, “someone in a tree” and two friends who choose radically different paths. Signature Theatre (3200 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA), 8:00 p.m.


First Eden Center Pop Up

The City of Falls Church is hosting a series of four pop ups at the Eden Center to further engage with the community on the East End Small Area Plan (SAP). The City welcomes anyone who is interested to stop by to learn more about the plan and give feedback or suggestions! The East End SAP team will be accompanied by a Vietnamese interpreter and all materials will be available in both English and Vietnamese. Eden Center (6751-6799 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church), 11:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.

Free event for parents and kids, including food, games, activities, raffles and rewards. Mathnasium of Falls Church (6674 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church), 12:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m.

Film Screening: Prey

Naru, a skilled warrior of the Comanche Nation, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly evolved Predators to land on Earth. Followed by a discussion with guest speakers Amber Midthunder (Fort Peck Assiniboine) and Jhane Myers (Comanche/Blackfeet). The National Museum of the American Indian (Fourth St. & Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC), 2:00 p.m. — 4:30 p.m.

Workshop: Historical Roots of American Racism

Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation presents their second workshop of 2023, Historical Roots of American Racism, an interactive workshop to develop conversation skills including active listening, compassionate confrontation, and clarifying complex terms. Falls Church Presbyterian Church (225 E. Broad St., Falls Church), 2:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.

Principe Y Principe

Based on the children’s book King and King by Linda Haan and Stern, Príncipe y Príncipe captures the charm of fairy tales at their finest. When a Queen calls together all the unmarried princesses in the land to meet her son, he must discover which will be his true love. But it may not be a princess he’s searching for… A funny, sweet, and heartwarming celebration of love in all forms. Gala Theatre (3333 14th St. NW, Washington, DC), 3:00 p.m.

Makin' Cake

Dasha Kelly Hamilton slices into American history to explore race, culture and class in a refreshing and fun way. Storytelling in layers and filled with “Aha!” moments and poignant vignettes, digital media, and an onstage baker, this show serves up an experience and conversation about equity in America. The Alden Theatre (1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, VA), 6:00 p.m. — 7:30 p.m.

A WARRIOR FIGHTS TO PROTECT her tribe in "Prey," screening at The National Museum of the American Indian this weekend. (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)
PAGE 26 | MARCH 16 - 22, 2023 THURSDAY MARCH 16


Comedian Chris Gethard

Chris Gethard is a comedian, actor, and author who’s been doing comedy stuff for over twenty years. Union Stage (740 Water St. NW, Washington, DC), 7:00 p.m.

Lowell Lieberman

Join the National Chamber Ensemble (NCE) and the world renowned pianist and composerfor an evening of original music and one of Brahams' most beloved works. Marymount University Ballston Center Auditorium (2807 N. Glebe Rd., 2nd Floor, Arlington, VA), 7:30 p.m.


Experience the power, grace, and joy that KODO’s athletic percussionists bring to the stage in their much-anticipated 40th anniversary performance: Tsuzumi. GMU Center for the Arts (4373 Mason Pond Dr., Fairfax, VA), 8:00 p.m.


St. Pat's Family Festival

St. Patrick's Family Festival

Hosted by Merida, Darth Vader and Princess Tiana! Shipgarten (6579 Colshire Dr., Tysons, VA), 1:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.


A family and community struggle when a police officer kills a teenager in the D.C. premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s acclaimed new opera. Eisenhower Theater (2700 F St. NW, Washington, DC), 2:00 p.m.

Voices of the Americas

Sounds of the Americas are in full bloom from Brazil to the streets of New York City. Join Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center musicians on this inspired musical journey. The Barns at Wolf Trap (1635 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA), 3:00 p.m.

Live at Mustang Alley: Swing Time Afternoon

Featuring the Meridian High School Jazz and Guitar Ensembles, Live at Mustang Alley presents: Swing Time Afternoon! Free swing dance

demo, light snacks and mocktails. Meridian High School (121 Mustang Alley, Falls Church), 3:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.

Vladimir Mollov

The Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society presents virtuoso accordionist Vladimir Mollov in concert. A donation of $8 is requested. For more information, see washingtonaccordions. org, email peter@musicisforever.com, or call 703-919-5701.

Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church (3435 Sleepy Hollow Rd., Falls Church), 4:00 p.m.

Sunrise Sunset Drag Bingo

Join “Hostess with the Mostess” Evita Peroxide and a wonderful cast of artists/entertainers for an entertaining evening of bingo and performances! Reservation recommended in advance at bit. ly/fcnp0223db. Clare and Don's Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St., Falls Church), 6:00 p.m.



Daytime Art Critique Group

Join artists in a monthly discussion and critique group. Questions to info@fallschurcharts. org. Falls Church Arts (700-B W. Broad St, Falls Church), 12:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m.

City Council Work Session

Council Members discuss legislation and policy issues; the public is invited but not generally invited to speak. Watch at fallschurchva.gov/CouncilMeetings or FCCTV. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Dogwood A-B, Falls Church), 7:30 p.m. — 11:00 p.m.



Chamber Luncheon and Richmond Report

This month's presentation will be from Del. Marcus Simon and Sen. Chap Petersen with

the Annual Richmond Report, an overview of the recent legislative session. There will be time for questions. Italian Café (7161 Langston Blvd., Falls Church), 11:30 a.m. — 1:15 p.m.

Government Operations Committee Meeting

Falls Church Government Operations Committee meeting. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Oak Room, Falls Church), 3:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.

FCCPS 'Office Hours'

School Board Chair Laura Downs and Vice-Chair Tate Gould invite community members to drop by (no registration required) to ask questions and offer feedback in a casual environment. Those who prefer a private exchange can locate member email addresses online. Plaka Grill (1216 W. Broad St., Falls Church), 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.


River Run Festival

Spanning World Water Day (March 22) through Earth Day (April 22. A dynamic festival celebrating the world’s rivers, the cultures they have spawned, and their role as life-sustaining and art-inspiring arteries that course through our planet. The Reach at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St. NW, Washington, DC), All Day

Ask the Council Session

The public is welcome to attend this session to meet with Council members and ask questions in an informal setting. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Oak Room, Falls Church), 9:00 a.m. — 10:00 a.m.

Second Eden Center Pop Up

See Saturday event for details. Eden Center (67516799 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church), 1:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m.

FCCPS Superintendent Meet and Greet

FCCPS Superintendent Dr. Peter

Noonan hosts a Meet and Greet for parents, guardians, students, teachers, staff, and community members to drop by. Pizzeria Orso (400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church), 5:00 p.m. — 6:00 p.m.

Comedy School Showcase

The DC Improv Comedy School is proud to present a stand-up class graduation showcase featuring Malissa Magiera, Mel B.,

After preparing and polishing their sets for a month, students perform for a live in-person audience. Check out this showcase and enjoy a memorable time for everyone involved. DC Improv (1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC), 7:30 p.m.

Kate Elizabeth, Brandon Shapiro, Lisa Jones, Cee, Brittany Pouliot, Stephanie Hamlett, Lisa Fitzpatrick, David Schor, Ilana Fogelman, Nikolaj Hagen, and Megan Miller. CELEBRATE THE WORLD'S RIVERS at the immersive River Run festival at the Kennedy Center. (Pictured: "River Island" by Edwin Fontanez)


The following was given first reading at the February 27, 2023 City Council meeting. A public hearing, second reading, and final City Council action is scheduled for Monday, March 13, 2023 at 7:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard.



The proposed ordinance would amend the FY2023 budget to appropriate new revenues and change appropriations for some capital projects.

All public hearings will be held in the Council Chambers, 300 Park Avenue, Falls Church, Virginia. Remote participation information at www.fallschurchva. gov/publiccomment. Comments may also be sent to cityclerk@fallschurchva. gov. For copies of legislation, contact the City Clerk’s office at (703-248-5014) or cityclerk@fallschurchva.gov or visit www. fallschurchva.gov/councilmeetings. 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).



The following was given first reading at the February 13, 2023 City Council meeting. A public hearing, second reading, and final City Council action is scheduled for Monday, March 27, 2023 at 7:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard.









tion information at www.fallschurchva. gov/publiccomment. Comments may also be sent to cityclerk@fallschurchva.

gov. For copies of legislation, contact the City Clerk’s office at (703-248-5014) or cityclerk@fallschurchva.gov or visit www. fallschurchva.gov/councilmeetings. 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).



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The Weekly Diplomatic Reach St. Patrick’s Day In Nova

2023 Democrat Scorecard


The Virginia Progressive Legislative Action Network (VAPLAN) released its 2023 VAPLAN Virginia Legislators Progressive Scorecard, rating our elected officials on their level of support for progressive values across a variety of issues.

Scoring a nearly perfect score overall, and at the very top of the list, was our own Delegate Marcus Simon, who has represented the City of Falls Church for nearly ten years.

Redistricting has put Simon into the same district as Kaye Kory (D-Annandale), meaning the Little City will be choosing between the two well-established Democrats in June, unless one chooses to resign.

Idaho Attempts What West Virginia Failed

Folks in Idaho are trying to annex half of Oregon, in another sign that polarization has become fairly ridiculous. Most see this as a silly attempt, but it has gained some attention, though the slippery slope we could find ourselves on if it were to succeed make it almost certain to fail.

West Virginia similarly tried to “lure” conservative Virginia counties to the state in 2020.

First Woman Speaker Portrait

Unveiled in Richmond

Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax), in a tweet on Wednesday, expressed humility after unveiling, alongside her daughter, her portrait as Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.

“It was humbling to see my daughter Alana grab that piece of fabric and help me unveil the first but certainly NOT the last woman’s portrait on these walls.” said Filler-corn, the first female and first Jewish Speaker in

Virginia’s history who is resigning this year to pursue the Governorship.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Takes Instagram Break

In a true “you can’t make this stuff up” moment, antidrag, anti-trans Republican Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally is taking a break from social media after posting fire and heart emojis and cringeworthy comments on nearly-nude photos from a gay 20-year-old on Instagram.

At first, he said he “had no intention of stopping,” saying he was just being broadly encouraging of people online. McNally, who has been in office for 45 years, has since decided to make his account private. Bless his heart.

Florida is Raising an Army!?

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has asked the state legislature for just under one hundred million dollars towards a 1,500 troop Florida State Guard, just over one year after receiving ten million to raise 400 troops to revive the body, which was essentially replaced by the formation of the National Guard.

Democrats in Florida have criticized it as everything from a “vigilante militia” to a “secret police,” which the Governor has said would only “serve and protect” Floridians.

Unlike the National Guard, which the President controls, the Florida State Guard would answer to the Governor. Though seen as a stunt to many, any real-life consequences would likely be squarely aimed at immigrants and people of color. DeSantis is expected to run for President, however he has not yet announced.

Some Healthy Diplomacy

After some feedback regarding last week’s coverage of Tennessee’s ban on drag queens and life-saving healthcare for trans youth, I’d like to revisit some of the misinformation being spread around

conservative circles.

First (again, as it was explicitly stated last week), there is no “child mutilation” being debated. Nobody is advocating for kids to get sex changes.

There is one very important medication that has a critical impact on the quality of a trans teen’s life. These are hormone blockers, which “push pause” on puberty to defer medical procedure decisions to adulthood.

To further explain, puberty is irreversible, and has a major physiological effect on the body. A trans girl who is able to push pause won’t have to develop a deep voice or Adam’s apple; a trans boy won’t develop breasts that need to be surgically removed. These features are sources of stigma for trans folks that transition later in life.

To further belabor the point, any suggestion to force a trans person through the wrong puberty is suggesting actual lifelong physical harm.

Still, as I said last week, this isn’t about actual concerns. It isn’t about child safety. There isn’t an epidemic of trans folks stealing kids out of bathrooms, and there aren’t kids lined up for sex changes to catch a racy glimpse of their classmates.

There is no actual emergency. This is an age-old ritual of folks not letting go of other people’s business.

Also, drag queens and trans folks are not the same. Some drag queens are straight, cisgender men that are just really good at impersonation. Drag is a profession, not an identity. In addition, because most drag queens are cisgender males, their performances have far less exposed skin than most folks (because the padding will fall out remember, it’s an illusion).

Finally, sexuality and gender identity are not the same, and should not be conflated. Trans kids know they’re trans before they know all their words. Stop sexualizing trans.

Continued from Page 21

Sing and Play with “Ms. Katie” to honor all things Irish in a family style class of almost an hour on Friday (3:45 or 5:15 p.m.) or Saturday (9:30 or 11 a.m.)

$27 per child (babies free with registered sibling). Advanced registration required and more information at littlecirclesongs@ gmail.com. 115 E Fairfax St, Nicholson Hall at Falls Church Episcopal Church.

For those who like to dance, Crown Dance Studio, 2820 Dorr Avenue,Fairfax,VA, 22031 features “Royal Ritmo,” a St. Patrick’s Day special on Saturday, March 18 with a class

at 7 p.m. and social dancing until 2 a.m. Ph. 703-663-8363, crowndance2820@gmail.com.

And to top it off, be sure and stop by U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly’s annual St. Patrick’s Day fete where $50 will get you a Gerry handshake, drinks, a hearty meal and music at the Ernst Cultural Center, Northern Virginia Community College, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, 7 - 9:30 p.m. Email Ronell@gerryconnolly.com to reserve or call 703-375-9374. Since leprechauns may be running around Gerry’s bash, guests are advised to wear green to make them invisible to the little green men pinching those not wearing their favorite color.

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25 & 10 Years Ago in the News-Press

Falls Church News-Press Vol. VII, No. 52 • March 12, 1998

Holmes: City is ‘Getting a Bum Rap’ From Untrue Rumors of High Taxes

The City of Falls Church “is being given a bum rap on business taxes,” and when “the truth comes out,” the City may be able to offer newcomers a lower net tax than surrounding jurisdictions.

C ritter C orner

Falls Church News-Press

Vol. XXIII, No. 3 • March 14, 2013

1st Annual ‘Falls Church Restaurant Week’ Touts 31 Local Participants

The first ever F.C. Restaurant Week kicks off Monday and an impressive number of 31 local establishments are taking part. Diners from this area will have the opportunity to sample the best items on the menus.

In Memoriam: Jennifer Lynn Loi

With deep sorrow, the Loi family announces the passing of our courageous, loving, and adventurous wife and mother, Jennifer Lynn Loi (Moore). Jen passed peacefully on March 11, surrounded by her family, due to complications from metastatic breast cancer, a disease she bravely fought for 16 years. She had been a resident of Falls Church since 2016.

Jen was born in Walla Walla, WA to Richard and Marilyn Moore on June 9, 1967. She graduated in 1985 from DeSales Catholic High School in Walla Walla and the University of Puget Sound (UPS) in Tacoma, WA in 1989. She was an accomplished finance professional who started her career in Seattle’s burgeoning high-tech sector. She went on to serve in senior positions at startups, established firms, non-profits, and more recently in education.

She met her future husband, Jim, in 1990 when he was a young naval officer. Married in 1994, they shortly thereafter embarked on a two-decade plus international adventure when Jim joined the Foreign Service during which the couple were posted to Romania, South Africa, China, and Singapore. Along the way they welcomed their three amazing children, Caitlin, Mackenzie, and Noah. Throughout her long can-

cer battle Jennifer never allowed her illness to dictate her life choices and ambitions. She lived on four continents, traveled to an additional two, visited 32 countries and drove across the United States six times, hitting all but three states. Over half of that took place during her cancer years. Through her love of family and commitment to work and volunteerism Jennifer lived a life of purpose, always focused on making her patch of the world a better place. She leaves behind a rich legacy through the many women she mentored, her rich friendships, and her children.

Jennifer is survived by her husband, Jim Loi of Falls Church; children, Caitlin of New York, NY, Mackenzie of Falls Church,

VA, and Noah of Honolulu, HI; parents, Richard and Marilyn Moore of Coeur d’Alene, ID; and siblings, MaryAnn Merrill of Bellingham, WA, Stephen Moore of Post Falls, ID, Michael Moore of St. Maries, ID, and Meegan Moore of Melbourne, FL. She was predeceased by her brother, Rick Moore of St. Maries, ID. Family and friends are welcome to attend a memorial service at St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church on March 24 at 10:00 am and a celebration of life immediately thereafter at the family home. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (https://www.bcrf.org) or Goodwin House Hospice (https:// goodwinliving.org/giving/).

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Potential Increase to Assessments

The Foundation for Community Association Research released a new survey Monday reflecting increased expenses. “Rising Costs in Community Associations” reveals that 91 percent of community association managers, professionals, and homeowners’ surveys report seeing unexpected increases in expenses due to rising costs and inflation. In turn, residents living in condominiums, homeowners’ associations, and housing cooperatives could face increased assessments. The feedback comes from international community association board members, managers, and business partners, including accountants and service providers. When asked how they plan to address the unexpected costs, 73 percent of respondents report they plan to raise assessments, and 41 percent say they plan to reduce expenses, and 15 percent will lower their reserve funding contributions.

Sierra7 Hires Kemp

Susan Kemp has joined Falls Church-based Sierra7 as director of consulting and analytics. She will be responsible for expanding client relationships and providing continuous support for the Veterans Health Administration and assisting health care leaders improve business management. She looks forward to continued modernization and making organizational improvements. Kemp comes from Booz Allen Hamilton and was formerly a senior manager at Prometheus Federal Services.

Body Dynamics Open House

Body Dynamics Inc. is hosting an open house on Wednesday, March 22, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Light refreshments will be provided and new clients who attend the Open House and sign-up for services will receive 50 percent off their first fitness, massage, or nutrition session or 10 percent off their first PT session! Guests may sample everything from physical therapy to nutritional counseling and ask questions of the staff.

Jake’s Ice Cream is Expanding

Robin Rinearson, founder of Jake’s Ice Cream, is expanding the business by opening Jake’s Gourmet Popcorn in Seven Corners next to Michaels. Of the 25 employees at Jake’s Ice Cream, 21 have disabilities. The idea behind the popcorn business is to employ people with disabilities who may not be able to perform the ice cream parlor duties. She was inspired by the commercial popcorn makers in Chicago where she attended graduate school. She’s hiring employees and hopes to open in April.

Introduction to Schedule C and Business Recordkeeping

The Virginia SBDC is hosting a free session on tax planning and the importance of good recordkeeping next Thursday, March 23, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. During the presentation, there will be an overview of Schedule C and recordkeeping timeframes. Participants will learn how to calculate gross profit and gross income, how to calculate net profit or loss, how to identify and deduct expenses, how to document income and expenses, and discuss recordkeeping for your Schedule C. Anika Pompey, the local Senior Stakeholder with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the presenter. Once registered at https:// clients.virginiasbdc.org/workshop.aspx?ekey=900430015 the Zoom link will be emailed.

Malloy Joins BAE Leadership Team

BAE Systems, Inc. has named Lisa Malloy as Senior Vice President of Communications, reporting to President and CEO Tom Arseneault. She will lead the company’s external and internal communications and the community investment activities. She comes to BAE from Intel Corporation where she was the head of Global Government and Manufacturing Communications.

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

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Articles from Falls Church News-Press 3-16-2023

7 min read

Community News Notes