Falls Church News-Press 5-2-2024

Page 1

With neighboring jurisdictions facing real estate tax rate increases in their budgets for the coming fiscal year, the City of Falls Church is emerging as an important exception. Not only will the City Council here lower the tax rate, not by the penny recommended by the City Manager, but by 2 cents from $1.23 per $100 of assessed valuation to $1.21. The added penny cut would come half from the Cityside, and half from the schools.

The Council spent a lengthy meeting this Monday night dealing with those prospects, and will so again when it comes for a final work session this coming Monday when the FY2025 budget (for the period of July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025) will likely be wrapped up pending a final adoption at the Council’s

A Dramatic New Skyline

part of the Liberty Academy’s online statement of purpose.

schools recruiting top players from outside their districts.

Former Falls Church Mayor Brian O’Connor this week joined the protest of other prominent F.C. citizens against the participation of the Rev. Jerry Falwell-spawned private Liberty Christian Academy of Lynchburg in the otherwise solely public school association of the Virginia High School League. Specifically, the complaint is based on the addition of discriminatory language against LGBTQ individuals that is now

The Liberty women’s basketball team won the Class 3 title game held in Richmond March 8 over the Meridian High School team from Falls Church, prevailing in the closing seconds in a 44-43 comeback win to complete a 27-0 season. The team was led by a star player from Southern California who is slated to play for the Falwell-founded Liberty University’s team next year in apparent violation of VHSL rules against participating high

This week, O’Connor notified the News-Press that in response to the Lippman initiative, he contacted the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to weigh in supporting the complaint. He wrote the ACLU as follows:

“I have put this on my professional letterhead so that you will know that I am an attorney, licensed in Virginia and the District of Columbia. I am a long time ACLU member. I was asked to contact the

ACLU. This request was by Harold Lippman, president of the community organization in Falls Church City, citizens for a better city. Mr. Lippman was chairman of the Falls Church school board, and vice Mayor of the city of Falls Church, among other acts of public service.

“The Meridian High School girls basketball team was in a Virginia High School League championship game. Their opponent was the Liberty Christian Academy.

The City of Falls Church’s Independent, Locally-Owned Newspaper of Record, Serving N. Virginia F alls C hur C h , V irginia • www FC np C om • F ree F ounded 1991 • V ol . XXX i V n o . 12 Continued on Page 4 Fmr. Mayor O’Connor Joins Liberty Academy Protest As Arlington, Fairfax Both Face 2¢, 3¢ Rate Hikes Continued on Page 4
by 2¢ May 2 - 8, 2024 FALLS CHURCH MAYOR Letty Hardi stood in front of the dramatic new West Falls skyline that now abuts Meridian H.S. (behind camera here), before seeing the MHS play “Frankenstein” with her family. Hardi pointed to the skyline, then the school, saying “this... has paid for this!” (News-Press Photo)
F.C. Council Looks to Cut Tax Rate
by Nicholas F. Benton Falls Church News-Press Summer Arts & Entertainment Pages 11-20 Preview

Two great local non-profit organizations have joined forces!


Approximately 10,000 Books - All Genres

The Falls Church Area Branch of American Association of University Women for years have raised funds for scholarships for young women to advance their education. https://fallschurcharea-va.aauw.net/

The Falls Church Village Society has held Attic Treasures for over 40 years. Donate household items and clothing Thursday until 8pm at the backdoor of the Community Center. Support local projects and green reuse by shopping. www.VPIS.org


Friday May 3, 9 am-8 pm Saturday May 4, 9 am-3 pm

Falls Church Community Center Gym - 223 Little Falls St.


Davis Documentary Showing Sunday at Meridian H.S.

Falls Church’s sibling team of Rebecca and Pete Davis (Mason, now Meridian, High School Classes of ‘01 and ‘08) have completed a documentary, “Join or Die,” on community in America, the loneliness epidemic, and Robert Putnam’s famed “Bowling Alone” research on the decline of American community participation over the past decades.

On Sunday, May 5, at 2 p.m. at the Meridian High auditorium, the Falls Church premiere of the film will be screened free to the public.

“Join or Die” is a film about why you should join a club — and why the fate of America depends on it. This feature documentary follows the half-century story of America’s civic unraveling through the journey of legendary Harvard social scientist Robert Putnam, whose groundbreaking “Bowling Alone” research into America’s decades-long decline in community connections could hold the answers to our democracy’s present crisis.

Influential fans and scholars — from Hillary Clinton, Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to Eddie Glaude Jr., Raj Chetty, and Priya Parker — as well as inspiring groups building community in neighborhoods across the country, join Putnam as he explores three urgent civic questions: What makes democracy work? Why is American democracy in crisis? And, most importantly… What can we do about it?

F.C. Participating in Building Safety Month

Throughout May, the City of Falls Church will participate in the 44th annual Building Safety Month, a worldwide campaign presented by the International Code Council, its members, and partners to promote building safety. This year’s “Mission Possible” campaign encourages people to get involved in all aspects of building safety. The campaign also connects building codes, our personal safety, and the important work done by building safety professionals in our communities.

This year’s campaign addresses how building safety impacts everyone on a personal, local, and global level.

The City of Falls Church Building Safety Team includes four staff members, John Russell, JD Martin, Dilraj Sidhu, and John Freeman, who have all achieved the International Code Council’s Master Code Professional (MCP) designation, the highest level of Code Council certification and the “gold standard” for demonstrating proficiency in the code profession.

N.Va. Chamber Announces First DE&I Advisory Board

The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce this week announced its first ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Board of Advisors.

The board includes,  Deb Gandy (cochairman), Managing Director, Chevy Chase

Trust, Stephanie Turner (co-chairman), Vice President, Diversity & Chief Sustainability Officer, MITRE, Kathy Albarado, President & CEO, Helios HR, Stephanie Berkowitz, President and CEO, Northern Virginia Family Service, Kristina Bouweiri, President and CEO, Reston Limousine, Karla Bruce, Chief Equity Officer, Office of the County Executive, Fairfax County Government, Jim Dyke, Senior Advisor, McGuireWoods Consulting, Kathryn Falk, Vice President, Northern Virginia, Cox Communications, Luanne Gutermuth, Founder, Good Spirit Farm, Cecilia Hodges, Regional President, Greater Washington and Virginia, M&T Bank, Victor Hoskins, President and CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, Jermaine Johnson, Regional President, Greater Washington and Virginia, PNC Bank, Edward Kane, Jr., Transformation Lead, Venture Philanthropy Partners, Patricia N. Mathews, President and CEO, Northern Virginia Health Foundation, Matt McQueen, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications and Engagement Officer, Peraton, Derrick N. Perkins, Senior Vice President Market Executive, Bank of America, Richard Pineda, President and CEO, CALIBRE, Scott Price, Regional Policy Director, Dominion, Monica Schmude, President, Virginia, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, KayAnn Schoeneman, President, Curley Company, Inc., Gregory Washington, President, George Mason University, John A. Allen, Region Bank President, Wells Fargo, Lance Collins, Inaugural Vice President and Executive Director, Innovation Campus, Virginia Tech, Molly Fogarty, Senior VP Corporate and Government Affairs, Nestlé USA, Kelly Schlageter, SVP, Marketing and Communications, CNSI, Eileen Ellsworth, President and CEO, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

Fairfax Education Unions Seek Bargaining Rights

Fairfax Education Unions (FEU), an alliance between Fairfax County’s two preeminent education unions, Fairfax Education Association and Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT), filed Wednesday for two bargaining unit elections and demanded recognition from Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

FCPS workers overwhelmingly signed union authorization cards and a petition urging accreditation of the union. FEU’s collective bargaining campaign is taking place in the ninth largest school district in the country and is the largest public sector bargaining campaign in generations (27,500 workers in two separate bargaining units).

FEA President Leslie Houston issued the following remarks, “Today is a day of triumph for Fairfax County educators, a day where our unity roars like thunder, powered by an unyielding passion and an ironclad determination. Together, we stand shoulder to shoulder, a formidable force, committed to amplifying the voices of every single champion tirelessly advocating for the success of our students.”

AAUW Book Sale
Attic Treasures Bazaar
Voted best shopping center in the
Contact: sjohnson@fcnp.com Advertising
hot bowl of pho at Eden Center.
DMV! Coming May 9thIssue

May 12 business meeting. However, the current 5-2 split on the Council may mean there may wind up being two competing ordinance proposals the Council will have to choose from.

Meanwhile, by contrast, both behemoth neighbors to F.C. City, Arlington and Fairfax counties, are facing the necessity of rate increases, even with deep cuts in numerous important programs. Arlington adopted a budget with a 2 cent rate increase that will add an average of $430 to the average homeowner’s annual tax bill and the Fairfax County board of supervisors yesterday voted a 3 cent rate increase that will add about $450 to the average tax bill. In the Fairfax case, that is being achieved by a significant cut in the request by the Fairfax Schools and by not meeting the request for salary increases by county employees.

The Falls Church budget, on the other hand, is slated to provide the

full School Board request (minus the half-penny) and that includes 6 percent wage and salary hikes for school and City employees, alike, and with the 2 cent cut in the real estate rate will limit increases, in the context of robust overall increases in property valuations, on the average tax bill to $176. Overall, the City will lower its real estate tax rate from $1.365 three years ago to $1.21 with more cuts to come based on projections for continued growth.

The City’s recent decades’ aggressive push for commercial economic development is credited with its current ability to so strongly mitigate residential real estate tax rates.

However, as this Monday’s meeting (which did not adjourn until well after midnight) demonstrated, not everyone is happy with where the Council appears it will take the proposed F.C. budget, as shortfalls in commitments to environmental goals and support for the arts will apparently remain, to the chagrin of many who spoke during the public

petition period.

Key members of a number of City-based arts and culture organizations petitioned the Council for more funding of arts and humanities grants, with Laura Hull, founder of Creative Cauldron, the City’s most important theater arts and education non-profit organization, noting that “since 2016, the critical grants funding that helps arts and culture flourish has only increased by 7 percent, while the average inflation over that period has been over 30 percent.”

“For the last four years, during the most challenging period for the arts weathering the devastating effects of the pandemic followed by a period of high inflation, this funding has remained flat,” she said. “In essence, that means that funding has actually decreased at a time when arts and culture organizations are also experiencing increased costs for goods, services and labor, and when the number of worthy grant applicants is increasing.”

Other speakers on this subject

Monday included Joe Wetzel of F.C. Arts, Katherine Stewart of the Cherry Hill House, Ed Henderson of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation and Keith Thurston of the Art Space and this weekend’s VPIS Attic Treasures sale at the Community Center. All are members of the City’s Arts and Humanities Council.

Henderson struck the best chord when he reminded Council members that, with the City’s population growing, “You depend on us to create things to do!”

However, in the subsequent hours of deliberations by the Council, the issue of arts and humanities funding came up only in passing by Council member Justine Underhill.

The issue of an increased role of the City in sustaining its weekly newspaper of record, the Falls Church News-Press, was not addressed, except that Council member Erin Flynn suggested cutting the $15,000 City Manager Wyatt Shields has designated for monthly ad buys there.

You may know that Liberty is the offspring of Jerry Falwell.

“In 2015 Liberty Christian Academy sued the Virginia high school league, which is made up of only public schools. Apparently, the pressure of the lawsuit made VHSL create an exception and this private school was admitted.

“We believe the Academy’s statement of opposition to LGBT rights was not publicly stated in 2015 at the time of admission to VHSL.

“Attached is a copy of Mr. Lippman’s Letter to the Editor which he also published to the Virginia High School League as a complaint. I also attach an editorial commenting on this matter by the editor of the Falls Church News-Press, Mr. Nicholas Benton and a news article published by the Falls Church News-Press dated 18 April 2024.

“Thank you for your attention in this matter and for your continuing work for civil rights in the United States which are under constant threat. Eternal vigilance is required, unfortunately. Brian O’Connor.”

O’Connor was mayor of Falls Church in the early 1990s and was quoted in the editorial of the first-ever edition of the NewsPress in March 1991 endorsing Thomas Jefferson’s insistence on the vital role of a free and independent press in a democracy.

O’Connor has remained a community activist in Falls Church ever since, though working largely behind the scenes while his law practice has continued to flourish.

Flynn joined others advocating against budget savings that would eliminate the addition of two additional hours on weekends for the Mary Riley Styles Public Library. At that point, however, Council member Christine Lian reminded her colleagues that their focus on the $138 million budget was shrinking to matters involving a total of less than $64,000.

In that context, Shields noted this is the 10th straight year that the City has had no growth in basic supplies added onto existing programs.

The issue of preparing for a potential added Metro funding burden of up to $1 million, if it is not restored in the state budget against the wishes of Gov. Youngkin when the state legislature reconvenes in an effort to complete an annual budget on May 13, will be addressed if need be by dipping into the Northern Virginia Transportation Trust Fund, Deputy City Manager Cindy Mester stated.

Meanwhile, Lippman told the NewsPress that his letter of complaint to the VHSL has been acknowledged, though no indications of follow-on actions have been forthcoming to date.

He reiterated his concern that while the 2015 action by the VHSL board of directors to admit Liberty Academy into the VHSL competitions was hastily taken in reaction to a threatened lawsuit from Liberty, at that time there was nothing on Liberty’s public website or other documents indicating the practice of explicit discrimination against any class of persons, per se.

The added language now on the Liberty website (it’s unclear when it was added) reads, “As a Christian ministry birthed by the Thomas Road Baptist Church… LCA adheres to Biblical teaching regarding homosexual practices and transgender lifestyles. LCA does not employ teachers nor does it admit or retain students who are engaged in homosexual or bi-sexual practices or have a transgender or transsexual lifestyle.”

That statement is at odds with the Virginia Human Rights Act, the law of the commonwealth, which states that “it is the policy of the Commonwealth to safeguard all individuals within the Commonwealth from unlawful discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status or disability” in employment and “places of public accommodation, including educational institutions and real estate transactions.”

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 4 | MAY 2 - 8, 2024 Arlington; Fairfax Hike Tax Rates, F.C. Looks to 2¢ Cut ACLU Notified by
Mayor Continued from Page 1 Continued from Page 1 The SMILE you want. The attention you deserve. Currently accepting new patients 703.532.3300 | ww w.doughertyDDS.com 200 Little Falls Street #506, Falls Church VA 22046 Bestoffc.com Winner

No Antisemitism Tolerable In Current Campus Protests

Permit me to associate myself with a couple items in The Washington Post this week, the first being the editorial in the April 30 edition that insists in the context of the campus demonstrations growing across the U.S. there must be “zero tolerance for antisemitism,” and the other being the column the same day by Ruth Marcus that gets graphic in its description of Sheryl Sandberg’s documentary, “Screams Before Silence,” about the violence committed by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 and since.

The documentary, Marcus notes, is “about how rape and gender violence were deployed as weapons of war. About breasts cut from bodies. About nails driven into a woman’s vagina.”

As campuses across the U.S. are now convulsing in increasingly strident student demonstrations against the intolerable conditions being foisted on thousands of innocent Palestinians in Gaza now, it is troubling that shouts of an angry antisemitism and of support for Hamas are getting louder.

It must not be overlooked that this is coming as NBC News reported Tuesday night of U.S. intelligence assessments that Moscow is in the middle of the domestic situation in the U.S. hoping to influence yet another presidential election here, and more. Right now, the goal, according to the report, is to sew chaos in the U.S. and, in particular, to deflect attention away from its invasion of Ukraine.

Surely, there are a lot of the old Russian prejudices coming to the fore in the demonstrations being fueled in the U.S. now, the ancient ones of a lethal antisemitism and hatred of any independence of or autonomy for women.

But while these things smack of attitudes in old imperial Russia, the kind that many scholars think are really driving the psyche of Putin, lest we are sucked into the usual game of dissecting and bifurcating reality, it has to be added that the very same attitudes

are dominant in a wider circle of humanity, namely to include the male chauvinist sentiments that still prevail in a lot of our own country and especially as they are perceived as the fundamental rights of big sections of our white elites.

Indeed, evangelical so-called Christianity in the U.S. has been fueled by this sentiment for the last century and more here, and has played an obvious role in the wretched assaults on basic women’s rights and their bodies since the overturning of Roe V. Wade occurred last year.

The divisive pro-Moscow elements in the U.S. that are working to inflame the college-aged generation now hope to build a left flank against Biden in the 2024 presidential election to dissemble his base and produce another victory for their preferred candidate Trump.

Now, there is a lot more to the demonstrations than just outside influences. I support the idea of the International Court of Justice in the Hague in considering that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should be indicted for crimes against humanity for the atrocities he’s permitted in Gaza. Netanyahu and Trump are two peas in a pod, from what I can see.

I observed a man of the cloth preaching in D.C. last weekend who espoused an uncritical support for the student demonstrators, and who drew loud applause from a largely white liberal audience. But he did not tell them that he is also opposed to a peaceful solution to that crisis, as he shared with me afterwards, by rejecting a two-state solution.

Alas, if you oppose that pathway to peace, then what do you favor instead? Do you favor the elevation of one side over the other, then?

But as one whose political education following college, in my case seminary, was introduced in Berkeley by the student anti-war movement of the late 1960s, I admit that I felt old objecting to the views of this fiery young preacher. I must have seemed to him like the old establishment types I was protesting against back then, I thought. However, I’m not like them at all.

As the best of my generation brings the lessons of all that to this current situation, we must not make the mistake of uncritically backing this latest round of young activism.

A Penny for Your Thoughts News of Greater Falls Church

Springtime is budget time for most local jurisdictions in Virginia. The annual exercise usually includes community meetings and public hearings so that elected officials can hear directly from their constituents about the local services most important to them. Virginia’s unique, and antique tax structure restricts localities’ sources of revenue, so property taxes provide the majority of funds that localities use to fund public education and numerous local services – public safety, human services, parks, libraries, Metro, Fairfax Connector bus, and much more. Unlike federal and state governments, localities in Virginia do not access income for their revenues, so local budgets must rely on the real estate tax and a laundry list of other fees and taxes.

For comparison, the real estate tax in Fairfax County provides 66 percent of the budget; sales taxes, license taxes, and utility fees account for 11 percent, and the unloved personal property (car) tax brings in 14 percent. Revenue from Virginia and the federal government makes up only three percent of the $5 Billion county budget. For every dollar Fairfax County taxpayers send to Richmond, the

return is about 25 cents, a sensitive subject when local and state officials discuss budgets. State funding for public education has not changed since 2008, so there is a 16-year-gap that needs to be rectified. A Joint Legislative and Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) report about school funding, commissioned by the General Assembly, was released in 2023 and confirmed that, in Fairfax County alone, the Commonwealth is shorting the county by $1,900 per student. For the county’s 185,000 students, the state “owes” the county more than $350 million per year. (In a later calculation, the school system indicated the debt could be more than $500 million if all educational services provided to Fairfax students were included.) If the Commonwealth stepped up to fund their commitments, county taxpayers could see as much as an 11-cent reduction in the tax rate, but the proposed state budget falls far short.

Local budgets are proposed by county executives and managers who spend months developing proposals which are considered, amended, and adopted by elected governing bodies. Eagerly awaited usually is the proposed tax rate. Will it be increased or

City of Falls Church CRIME REPORT

Week of April 22 — 28, 2024

Driving on Suspended License, N Virginia Ave/Great Falls St, Apr 22, 5:24 PM, a male, 35, of Fairfax County, was arrested for Driving on Suspended License.

Driving on Suspended License, Wilson Blvd, Apr 22, 7:56 PM, a male, 39, of Maryland, was arrested for Driving on Suspended License.

Domestic Simple Assault, Chanel Ter, Apr 22, 9:31 PM, a male, 30, of the City of Falls Church, was arrested for Domestic Simple Assault.

Commercial Burglary, Wilson Blvd, Apr 24, 3:33 AM, unknown suspects smashed a glass door to gain access to a business, and stole items of value. Investigation is ongoing.

Reckless Driving, E Broad St, Apr 24, 11:07 AM, a male, 59, of Pennsylvania, was arrested for Reckless Driving.

Driving on Suspended License, E Broad St, Apr 24, 1:54 PM, a male, 38, of Arlington, was arrested for Driving on Suspended License.

No Valid Operator’s License, W Broad St, Apr 24, 5:27 PM, a female, 37, of Fairfax County, was arrested for No Valid Operator’s License.

Other Jurisdiction Warrant Service, Little Falls St, Apr 24, 7:04 PM, a male, 24, of Fairfax County, was arrested on 20 outstanding warrants from various jurisdictions.

Domestic Simple Assault, S Maple Ave, Apr 25, 12:29 AM, victim reported being assaulted by a known party.

Embezzlement, W Broad St, Apr 25, 4:37 PM, victim reported a known party

decreased? The Commonwealth requires localities to advertise a proposed tax rate in advance of public hearings; the final adopted rate can be lower than the proposed rate but cannot be higher. Most jurisdictions advertise a rate that allows for some flexibility for decisionmaking, especially if the public hearings identify issues that may need new or extra funding. Flexibility is a wise aspect of governance, as it gives elected officials an opportunity to weigh the pros and cons of the budget and make better, balanced decisions. Adopting an annual budget is the primary responsibility of local officials and reflects the priorities of the community. That’s the way it should work. In a small rural county, after the county administrator presented the budget proposal and a recommended tax rate, a newly-elected supervisor made a surprise motion to reduce the proposed tax rate increases by half, which passed by a vote of 3 to 2. Faced with the premature action by the board, the county administrator had no choice but to make drastic cuts to rebalance the proposed budget. The other supervisors realized, too late, that they now had no flexibility to make decisions about the budget. They had boxed themselves in with an early and rash decision, before any discussion with the community and each other. A rookie mistake, perhaps, but also a good lesson about the importance of governance over political expediency and social media clicks.

embezzling money from the victim’s business. Investigation is ongoing.

Fraud – Identity Theft, Sherrow Ave, Apr 25, 4:53 PM, victims reported an unknown individual used their identities and attempted to take out a mortgage against their home.


8, 2024

Since 1991, an award-winning LGBT-owned general Interest community newspaper.

Vol. XXXIV, No. 12

May 2 - 8, 2024

• City of Falls Church ‘Business of the Year’ 1991 & 2001 • • Certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia to Publish Official Legal Notices • • Member, Virginia Press Association •

Nicholas F. Benton Owner & Editor-In-Chief nfbenton@fcnp.com

Nick Gatz Managing Editor ngatz@fcnp.com

Sue Johnson Advertising Sales sjohnson@fcnp.com

Brian Reach News Reporter Breach@fcnp.com IN MEMORY Charlie Clark Columnist

Ted White Copy Editor Julio Idrobo Circulation Manager delivery@fcnp.com

To Contact the News-Press

phone: 703-532-3267

fax: 703-342-0347

email: fcnp@fcnp.com

display advertising sjohnson@fcnp.com 703-587-1282 classified & Legal ads classads@fcnp.com letters to the editor letters@fcnp.com News & Notes newsandnotes@fcnp.com Obituaries obits@fcnp.com subscriptions distribution & delivery delivery@fcnp.com


Affordable Housing & The Arts

If the Falls Church City Council can find that extra penny to cut the real estate tax rate for its FY25 budget by 2 cents — in a regional climate where the collapse of commercial real estate, in particular, is thrusting rate hike burdens on property owners all around it — then such will surely be fine feathers for their caps. Note that in recent years, the tax rate in Falls Church has shrunk from $1.365 per $100 of assessed valuation to what could become $1.21, with prospects for more, maybe a lot more, in coming years.

So, in the inflationary environment we’re now in, while tax bills will on average climb by the mid-$400s in Arlington and Fairfax, they will go up by a lot less than half that in F.C. That’s a savings of more than $300 per household. On top of that, Falls Church will pay full value for its world class school system and for its valued employees, while its neighbors struggle with underpaying on both accounts.

We’re just beginning to reap dividends from the two-decades’ long effort here to generate economic development along the thin commercial corridors of this tiny 2.2 square miles. In that context, we’re going to see development continue to occur and more people moving in. Now at almost 15,000, the population of this little oasis will climb toward 20,000 and will sail beyond that in the coming years.

All this is to the good in our view. It means more patrons for local businesses, including restaurants. The Little City is now attracting some truly fine restaurants and becoming a destination for the really big bucks that are swirling around the wider region. The Pre-K to 12 school system is world class, and the quality of life infrastructure and amenities here really can’t be beat, especially with the focus on improving sidewalks, intersections and parks by the Council now.

It leaves two things that need attention: affordable housing and support for arts. On the first front, this is reflective of a national crisis and there’s going to need to be help from the federal government to really make a dent. There shouldn’t be a single “homeless” or “unhoused” person in our country. The right to a roof over one’s head needs to be seen like basic health care and food. This is an absurd injustice in our culture right now and while taking it on at the local level does produce important results, it will not be until there is a national mobilization that we can expect the kind of change that we need.

The second front is the arts and humanities, and this F.C. Council budget is coming in woefully short in its commitment to those. The Creative Cauldron is about to move into an amazing new space adjacent to the coming Whole Foods. It and other like efforts need citizen help provided through their taxes (see the page 1 story, this edition).


1. Keep the news clean and fair.

2. Play no favorites, never mix business and editorial policy.

3. Do not let the news columns reflect editorial content.

4. Publish the news that is public property without fear or favor of friend or foe.

5. Accept no charity and ask no favors.

6. Give ‘value received’ for every dollar you take in.

7. Make the paper show a profit if you can, but above all keep it clean, fearless and fair.

FCCPS Announces First ‘Chief of Schools’

Last Friday, Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS) announced the appointment of Dr. Dustin Wright as the inaugural Chief of Schools. In an FCCPS press release, it was stated that this new position within the district “reflects the schools’ commitment to further elevating educational excellence across all levels. Dr. Wright, a distinguished educator and administrator, brings a wealth of experience and a visionary approach to this pivotal role.”

The Chief of Schools is described as a strategic addition to the FCCPS leadership team “designed to bridge the gap between administration and classroom, ensuring that educational policies and initiatives are seamlessly integrated and effectively implemented across all schools.” Dr. Wright will oversee all school principals and academic leaders, ensuring consistency and quality in educational programs and services.

Dr. Wright brings vast experience in educational leadership to FCCPS. He has been a principal at both Elementary and Middle School levels and, most recently, served as the Executive Director of Strategy and Planning for the Fairfax County Public Schools. His expertise in spearheading strategic planning processes and overseeing technology integration initiatives aligns perfectly with FCCPS’s goals to enhance

student learning outcomes and prepare all students for success beyond their school years.

Dr. Wright holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from George Mason University. He has received several awards, including the Virginia State PTA Principal of the Year Award, showcasing his dedication and impact in educational leadership. His approach to education emphasizes innovation, community engagement, and datadriven decision-making, which are crucial for driving FCCPS’s mission forward.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Dustin Wright as our first Chief of Schools,” said Dr. Peter Noonan, Superintendent of FCCPS. “His dynamic leadership will be instrumental in strengthening FCCPS and ensuring that every student in our district receives the best possible education.”

Dr. Wright is eager to take on his new role, stating, “It is an honor to lead as the first Chief of Schools at FCCPS. I am committed to collaborating with our community and leveraging my experiences to enhance our educational practices and outcomes. Our goal is to set a benchmark in educational excellence that resonates not just within Virginia but nationally.”

The FCCPS press release also said the FCCPS community and School Board are looking forward to Dr. Wright’s leadership and igniting ongoing growth and innovation, fostering an environment of continuous improvement.

6 | MAY 2 -
The Falls Church News-Press is published weekly on Thursdays and is distributed free of charge throughout the City of Falls Church and the Greater Falls Church area. Offices are at 105 N. Virginia Ave.., #310, Falls Church, VA 22046. Reproduction of this publication in whole or part is prohibited except with the written permission of the publisher. ©2024 Benton Communications Inc. The News-Press is printed on recycled paper.
Visit us at fcnp.com

Analysis: Church Report Sheds Light on 1990s Sex Abuse Claims

Multiple decades late has come a new report that adds a critical layer to earlier reports of many Falls Church youth who at the time, in the 1990s, attested to a divisive and toxic role played by the then white, right-wing, evangelical leadership (since gone) of the then over 2,000-member Falls Church Episcopal Church and its Cornerstone teen program, which attracted from 300 to 500 youth at its height from within the small, close-knit teen community in the City of Falls Church, population a the time barely 10,000.

This spring the leadership of the Falls Church Anglican Church, which arose out of its congregation’s noisy defection from the Falls Church Episcopal Church almost 20 years ago — after the Episcopal Church allowed a gay man in New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, to be ordained as bishop — has begun to come clean with the release of an 86-page report by an independent legal firm whose six-month investigation centered on interviews with scores of former Cornerstone participants. The report is filled with documentation of alleged sexual abuse perpetrated on many Falls Church teenage boys by youth minister Jeffrey T. Taylor for much of the 1990s. Taylor had founded and led the youth group known as Cornerstone, which gained wide popularity among teens in Falls Church for a good portion of that decade.

The report, entitled “Report on the Independent Investigation of Allegations of Sexual Abuse by a Staff Member of The Falls Church Between May 1990 and January 2002,” was authored by Edward Lee Isler of Isler Dare P.C.

Ironically, though it was not widely known at the time, Taylor’s group was apparently centered on advancing a national initiative among youth launched by white, rightwing evangelical churches called the “Purity” movement, advocating total abstinence from sex before marriage. While the bulk of the focus of that movement was on young women, as documented in Linda Kay Klein’s 2016 book “Pure, Inside the Evangelical

Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free,” in Taylor’s case the focus was on teenage boys who, as the Isler report documents, frequently became the subject of Taylor’s interest in their habits of masturbation (as the Isner report put it, Taylor “was known, in part, for his focus on disciplining young men on the sexual challenges that young men face with lust and sexual desire”).

The F.C. Anglican congregation commissioned the report last year as ordered by the bishop of the Mid-Atlantic region of its denomination and following renewed pressure from at least one family of an alleged victim of Taylor’s. Last month it was released to current and former members of the church and its youth program. Copies of it have since been forwarded to the News-Press from multiple anonymous sources.

As compelling as the Isler report’s evidence, based on scores of interviews of alleged victims, appears to be of its broad interpretation of sexual abuse, the report also documents that it is matched by the church’s efforts to look the other way and cover up the evidence, especially when it began to come to light in 2007.

While, at that time, a former participant in Cornerstone told Reverend John Yates that he had been subjected to “overt sexual abuse” by Taylor, “no formal investigation was undertaken at that time, meaning there was no structured effort to systematically reach out to other Cornerstone participants.”

In 2007, the bulk of the membership of the F.C. Episcopal, having defected a year earlier, was continuing to occupy the historic church grounds in downtown F.C. under the leadership of Yates. Having led the defection himself, in a reaction against the national Episcopal Church’s election of an openlygay priest to become a bishop, Yates, who was responsible for the hiring and ongoing role of Taylor in the church from 1991 to 2002, was formally defrocked by the Episcopal Church, but led the defectors under a new Anglican church denomination, and they held onto the church property until finally being forced by court order to leave in

2012. The congregation, under his leadership, then acquired property on Route 50 about a mile outside of Falls Church and constructed a new church there.

Then in 2019, as the Isler report documents, Yates, who had left the leadership of the Anglican congregation in 2019, was approached by “the parents whose two sons had participated in the Cornerstone program” who “reached out to Rev. Yates to express that before their eldest son had unexpectedly passed away, he informed them that he had been sexually abused by Taylor.” While Yates informed the church leadership of the allegations, again no investigation or attempt to reach out to other former Cornerstone participants occurred. It was not until the Bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic of the Anglican Church in North America became aware of the allegations in 2023 that he directed the Falls Church Anglican church to undertake the investigation resulting in the Isner report.

The executive summary of the report noted it found, based on 94 interviews with 82 witnesses, including 34 former Cornerstone participants, 19 parents and 20 current or former church clergy, staff or volunteers, ample evidence of Taylor’s engaging in what it called “conduct that was inappropriate and would fall within the definitions of sexual grooming or sexual abuse, especially when read in the context of the relationship and standing of Taylor and the male students in his ministry, with three incidents of that abuse being significantly more overt than the others.”

The Isler report stopped short of claiming that the behavior of Taylor was criminal in nature. It cited numerous definitions of what constitutes “sexual abuse,” including a broad one by Dan Allender in his book, “The Wounded Heart,” which states that “sexual abuse is any contact or interaction (visual, verbal or psychological) between a child/ adolescent and an adult when the child/adolescent is being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or any other person.” The Isner report cites definitions which distinguish

between “overt sexual abuse” and “covert sexual abuse,” and “sexual grooming.”

Most of the cases included in the report involved matters subsumed under categories in the Isler report: One-on-One Time With Male Students, Preference for Male Students, Discussions About Masturbation With Male Students, Discussions About Penis Size, Discussions About Sex, Comments About the Physical Appearance of Male Students, Attempts to Induce Male Students to Share Private Information, Other Sexualized Conversations of Conduct, Acts of Physical Contact by Taylor With Male Students, and finally Allegations of Overt Sexual Abuse at the Church. The latter involved three incidents that might have involved drugging.

The immediate reaction to the report by many of the young men who participated in Taylor’s ministry, who have subsequently posted on social media in the last weeks, has been strong, using language such as “nauseating,” “utterly disgusting,” and “simply the antithesis of the image of loving caring pastoral care,” while being equally critical of the church leadership’s failure to act.

One commentary by Talley Cross posted on the Patheos website and entitled, “The Jeff Taylor Scandal: Bad Theology and Sexual Abuse Collide,” notes that in addition to the accounts of abuse, Taylor inflicted a damaging burden on them in the form of preaching and advocating a negative view of sex overall commensurate with what was a fad among rightwing evangelicals in that era known as the “Purity Movement.”

“Taylor’s most egregious act was the alleged overt and covert sexual abuse of these boys, as described in the investigator’s report, …but there are many wrongs in this tragedy, and one of them is the untruths Taylor apparently told about the ‘sin’ of masturbation, untruths than continue to plague the evangelical church,” Cross wrote, and he cited the Klein book.

Indeed, others have reported over the years of the toxic impact of the Cornerstone youth program, including a commentary that Taylor authored published in the News-Press in the summer of 1991 following the

tragic car accident that resulted in the death Mary Lee Tatum, a popular family life teacher at the George Mason (now Meridian) High School.

Also, a loud protest was unleashed at the high school in 1992 following the decision of the student editorial board of the school newspaper, The Lasso , to publish an advertisement by SMYAL (Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League) that led to a public forum in the Council chambers at City Hall and threats against the faculty adviser to the school paper, popular English teacher Michael Hoover.

Hoover, who wrote a weekly column in the News-Press in that era, said he was dismayed by the growing number of his students who dedicated their English literature homework assignment to “testimonials” about evangelical religious beliefs, and Jewish parents expressed concern that their children were being recruited into Cornerstone. It was particularly ironic, given the nature of the allegations in the Isner report, that same-sex attraction and behavior issues were singled out for intense criticism in the Cornerstone group at the time even as Taylor was engaging in what the report cites as many cases of his alleged sexual abuse of teenage young men. Moreover, there is no shortage of irony that it was a samesex issue, the election of an openly-gay priest to standing as a bishop, which led Rev. Yates to conduct the defection of the large majority of his church membership in 2006 out of the Episcopal Church.

While all these developments have rocked the small Falls Church community for decades, its resilience has prevailed. Those faithful who did not go along with the defection of 2006 persisted during six long years when the defectors illegally occupied the historic Falls Church property, being welcomed to worship and conduct their ministries by the nearby Falls Church Presbyterian Church, and since reclaiming their property, those “continuing Episcopalians” have grown their ranks, now thriving under the ministry of an openly-gay rector, the Rev. Burl Salmon.

.COM MAY 2 - 8, 2024 | PAGE 7


Community News & Notes

F.C.’s Tamara Keith Wins Correspondents’ Award

Longtime Falls Church resident Tamara Keith, White House correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) was presented a broadcast award at last weekend’s White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCA) for her coverage of President Biden’s trip to Israel in the week following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack last fall.

A former president of the WHCA, Keith’s “gripping audio report,” the judges’ notes stated, “expertly took listeners behind the scenes on the 31-hour trip to Tel Aviv, preparing her audience for the president’s statement to America later that night. Soundrich and textured, and written on Air Force One while en route back to the United States — Keith’s story lays out Biden’s thinking and brings listeners on the trip along with her and onto Air Force One to hear the president himself announce breaking news. And Keith’s quick work as part of the White House press pool to share her audio also speaks volumes of her professionalism and of her dedication not only to her employer but also to her colleagues in the White House Correspondents Association and to Washington journalism.”

Family Drag Lunch Returns, More Protests Expected

On May 11, Evita Peroxide will once again host Miss Evita’s Family Drag Lunch at Clare and Don’s Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St., Falls Church), with doors opening at 11:30 a.m. and the show beginning at 12:00 p.m.

“Let your imagination soar with... dancing, special guests, and so much fun!” an advertisement reads on the Clare and Don’s website (clareanddons.com).

Evita Peroxide, the young up-and-coming local Drag Queen who has held multiple Drag events at the Shack (and beyond) over the past two years — including a popular monthly Drag Bingo and show — started the event this year.

When the first installment of the now-monthly Family Drag Lunch was held in February, four

or five hateful protesters, all white males, demonstrated across the street, wearing distinct red sashes and holding signs reading “Drag Queen Story Time = Childhood’s End,” “Praying Reparation for Drag Queen Story Hour,” and “Honk to Protect Our Children.”

In March the group grew to nearly a dozen, with hand-made signs reading “Honk for Chastity, Stop Drag,” “Bio 101, XY=Male, XX=Female,” and large professionally printed banners, one condemning abortion and one promoting The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP), a Christian Nationalist organization that calls itself “an organization of lay Catholic Americans concerned about the moral crisis shaking the remnants of Christian civilization” on its website.

At the top of the TFP website’s home page, a feature banner links to the most recent article added to their “Fighting the Culture War” section: “The White Nationalism Scare: Is it a Real Threat or a Social(ist) Construct?”

Last month, a bomb threat forced the temporary evacuation of Freddie’s Beach Bar in Arlington, the only gay-themed establishment in Northern Virginia. Freddie’s, a small purple and pink restaurant and bar with Barbie dolls lining the walls, was hosting a Drag Story Hour. A bomb sniffing dog from the Pentagon was called in response, clearing the building before families were allowed to reenter. Outside that venue, protesters continued to shout at patrons.

“Clare and Don’s and Evita Peroxide need your help! Come on out and show your support... to help shield our youth attending Miss Evita’s Family Drag Lunch,” said Miss Evita in a statement to the News-Press, continuing that “lately Miss Evita has been facing very hateful protesters on her drag lunch, trying to spread messages of hate to families that attend [the show]. Volunteer and bring your most colorful umbrellas or sheets to help keep our youth safe while they attend this fabulous event.” Shack owner Dave Tax, undeterred by the protests, expressed unwavering support for the show and the LGBTQ+ community.

F.C. RESIDENT AND NPR correspondent Tamara Keith greeted President Joe Biden after receiving the broadcast award at last weekend’s White House Correspondents Dinner. (Photo: WHCA/Mike Theiler) LAST WEEK THE F.C. JUNIOR LEAGUE of Northern Virginia launched three local period pantries containing free feminine hygiene products in Bailey’s Crossroads, Springfield, and Sterling. (Photo: Courtesy JLNV)

Christ Crossman Invites

F.C. to ‘Feeds the World’

On May 5 from 1:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m., Christ Crossman UMC will host the “Falls Church Feeds the World” event, opening their doors to the community to make a difference in the world together, with a goal of packing 10,000 dehydrated meals for Rise Against Hunger to ship to people around the globe suffering from hunger.

Event coordinator Monti Board says volunteers are needed, and participation is free and open to all. To register as an event volunteer or make a donation visit tinyurl.com/FCNP0524cc. For more information, contact Board at office@christcrossman.org or 703-532-4026.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival Returns Week of June 26

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Folklife Festival returns June 26 — July 1 this year. This year’s theme, “Indigenous Voices of the Americas,” honors 20 years since the NMAI’s opening and celebrates Indigenous creative expression. Featuring more than 250 participants from 60 Indigenous communities in ten countries, the festival is co-presented by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the NMAI, and the National Park Service.

At the festival, Indigenous artists and makers, professional chefs and home cooks, musicians, dancers, athletes, and storytellers will demonstrate multigenerational traditions as well as new, innovative approaches to cultural expression. Follow #2024Folklife to learn more about the festival on social media.

U.S. Army Brass Quintet Holds Free Concert May 4

The U.S. Army Brass Quintet has gained a reputation as one of the most highly respected and sought after groups of its kind, and they will be performing at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (3022 Woodlawn Ave., Falls Church) on Saturday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m. Appropriately for “May the Fourth,” the Quintet has promised to include Star Wars music in the program. All are welcome to enjoy this exceptional ensemble in a free concert being offered in appreciation of the service and sacrifice of our military members and their families. A reception will follow.

RSVP or learn more at facebook. com/events/1344482512895651.

AAUW and VPIS Thank Donors

Both the AAUW Used Book

Sale and VPIS Attic Treasures

Sale benefitted this year from collector donations that will make this year’s sales extraordinary.

From a $1,000 first edition of Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca” to a trove of musical instrument treasures and a collection of art books from a local art legend.

The sale takes place at the F.C. Community Center on Friday, May 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (9:00 a.m. early entry with fee) and Saturday, May 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and will provide extraordinary treasure hunting for bibliophiles to antique hounds alike, including a jewelry and accessory sale.

An extensive art book collection comes from the estate of the late Eileen Hecht Levy, F.C. grand artist-in-residence and frequent contributor to the News-Press

AAUW book sale co-chair

Sarah John said donations enable the organization “to raise scholarship funds each year to support the higher education dreams of so many rising seniors.”

Foxes Music donated violins and guitars to the sale, making it a destination for those musically inclined. The sale also benefitted from the generosity of two separate first edition collectors who contributed more than 100 first edition mysteries and thrillers, many of them signed.

Former U.S. Rep. Jim Moran Honored by Kiwanis Club

On April 25, the Kiwanis Club of S. Arlington presented Jim Moran the inaugural “Legendary Service Award” for his work supporting social-safety-net efforts during his years in local and federal office, at a luncheon event held at Busboys & Poets in Shirlington.

The luncheon included a freeform discussion with civic leaders on issues ranging from national affairs to the challenges facing youth in modern society.

“We want a community that reaches out [to youth], but a lot of it comes down to the parents,” Moran said at the event. “There’s only so much a community can do,” he continued, while noting that we have a terrific, progressive community with great schools.

Moran served as mayor of Alexandria before representing the 8th District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 24 years. During his service, he supported expanded efforts to provide safety and security for youth.

In addition to the awards presentation, it was a chance for prospective members to test-drive the organization, learn about its mission and meet current members.


FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN Jim Moran poses with some of the attendees at the April 25 Kiwanis Club of Arlington luncheon at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington. (Courtesy Photo) HOOP DANCER Laine Jensen performs in the Potomac Atrium during the Folklife Festival, which returns to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in June. (Photo: Ernest Amoroso) IT WAS A RAINY DAY at Blenheim, but the Victorian Suffragists were out there for seven hours teaching history about the fight for women’s voting rights on Fairfax Histree Day. (Photo: Gary Mester)


As the dust clears on Governor Youngkin’s record number of vetoes, Virginia still does not have a budget. Two weeks ago, the General Assembly went back to Richmond for the annual reconvened session. During the session, we reviewed the Governor’s vetoes and amendments to bills. One bill that has drawn much attention is Sen. Hashmi’s Right to Contraception Act. As originally written, the bill would have prohibited Virginia from restricting access to contraceptives; however, Governor Youngkin sent back an amended version of the bill that significantly weakened its provisions. I am a strong supporter of protecting access to contraceptives, and I opposed the Governor’s amendments. During the reconvened session, the Senate decided to return the original bill to the Governor’s desk, and he will now need to decide whether to sign or veto the original bill. Regarding the budget, due to Youngkin’s record number of

amendments and vetoes, leadership in the House and the Senate decided that it would be better to start over on the budget. Therefore, we have been called to a special session on May 13th where we will review and approve a new budget.

One budget issue that I have taken particular concern with is funding for WMATA. In the budget that passed the Senate and House earlier this year, it was agreed that the Commonwealth would fund an additional $150 million for Metro over the next 2 years and lift the 3 percent cap on additional Metro funding. This is to keep up with rising costs due to inflation, postpandemic ridership changes, and the loss of pandemic-era funding. However, in the budget that Governor Youngkin returned to the General Assembly, he replaced the additional dedicated funding with a ~$130 million dollar transfer from the NVTC. This would take away money from other projects around the region and delay them,

while shifting more of the funding onto Northern Virginia localities. I oppose shifting even more of the funding onto localities and believe that the Commonwealth should fully fund Metro. Metro is crucial to Northern Virginia’s economy, and we cannot regress on the recent improvements in service that we have seen. To continue my support for Metro and transportation, I have been appointed to one of the open seats on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

On a different note, last weekend, I held my first annual Eid celebration in the City of Fairfax. It was a wonderful event where people of all faiths and backgrounds came together to learn more about Ramadan and Eid while sharing a delicious dinner. I hope to continue this tradition in the years to come, and I want to thank everyone from Falls Church who attended. I will be back with another update after our special session to provide an update on the budget.

Senator Saddam Salim’s Richmond Report *Includes product and labor; bathtub, shower or walk-in tub and wall surround. This promotion cannot be combined with any other offer. Other restrictions may apply. This offer expires 6/30/24. Each dealership is independently owned and operated. **Third party financing is available for those customers who qualify. See your dealer for details. ©2024 BCI Acrylic, Inc. The Bath or Shower You’ve Always Wanted IN AS LITTLE AS A DAY (844) 945-1631 CALL NOW OFFER EXPIRES 6/30/24 $1000 OFF* No Payments & No Interest For 18 Months AND Call 844-947-1479 to schedule your free quote! CALL NOW 877.460.5348 YOUR BATHROOM. YOUR WAY. IN AS LITTLE AS ONE DAY SPECIAL OFFER Waiving All Installation Costs Add’l terms apply. Offer subject to change and vary by dealer. Expires 6/30/2024. 2010%% OFF OFF Your Entire Purchase*Seniors + Military ++ We o er financing that fits your budget!1 Say “NO” to Cleaning Out Your Gutters. Protect Your Home With LeafFilter. LET THE PROS HANDLE IT!™ + See Representative for full warranty details. *One coupon per household. No obligation estimate valid for 1 year. 1Subject to credit approval. Call for details AR #0366920922, CA #1035795, CT #HIC.0649905, FL #CBC056678, IA #C127230, ID #RCE-51604, LA #559544, MA #176447, MD #MHIC148329, MI # 2102212986, #262000022, #262000403, #2106212946, MN #IR731804, MT #226192, ND 47304, NE #50145-22, NJ #13VH09953900, NM #408693, NV #86990, NY #H-19114 H-52229, OR #218294, PA #PA069383, RI #GC-41354, TN #7656, UT #10783658-5501, VA #2705169445, WA #LEAFFNW822JZ, WV #WV056912 1-877-614-6667 CALL TODAY FOR A FREE INSPECTION! Visit us online fcnp.com

Pages 12-20

MAY 2 - 8, 2024 | PAGE 11 FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM Summer Preview
Arts & Entertainment


‘Legally Blonde:’ Delights at Marshall High School

George C. Marshall High School Statesmen Theatre is currently presenting “Legally Blonde: The Musical!” Based on the popular Reese Witherspoon film of a similar name, the story follows the adventures of Elle Woods. Elle, a blonde sorority queen, is discarded by her ambitious boyfriend on the grounds that she would not be a suitable mate for one such as he, an aspiring law student and future politician. Naïve but determined, Elle passes the LSAT and enters Harvard Law School in order to win back her boyfriend. Yet she begins the process of self-discovery along the way.

The Marshall High School production successfully recreates the humor that made the movie a success, capturing Elle’s iconic quirks: pink outfits, her small dog Bruiser, and her single-minded desire to follow her ex-boyfriend for the sake of love.

Sophia Welch, the lead in last year’s Marshall High School production of “Xanadu,” is especially good, playing Elle with exuberance in both word and song. This is manifested in her songs “Omigod You Guys” as well as “Serious,” the latter in duet with Keegan Rhyu as her soon-to-be former boyfriend, Werner. “The Harvard Variations” is a catchy tune performed well by Aaron (Hong-An Pho), Sundeep (Shahrad Valizadeh), Enid (Zoe Mazur), and the Harvard Ensemble. “Blood in the Water” (comparing lawyers to sharks!) is performed in a more 1940s-style by Omar Falki, who plays Professor Callahan; this reviewer found his statement of “Read your Thomas Hobbes!” to be particularly amusing. “Bend and Snap,” by the Salon Ensemble, is

also a fun musical number.

The color pink almost becomes a character as well. The sets are executed in shades of pink, including staircases, windows, and even a dressing room in Elle’s favorite color. More broadly, the sets are excellent; a dinner scene at a restaurant is very effective in underscoring the romance of the piece. Set painters Han Nguyen, Angelica Capito, Izel Alaydrus, Lily Lin, and Jessica Luo come in for high praise, in addition to the set construction crew composed of the sixth- and eighth-period theater tech classes. Ahmad Matty’s choreography of the student dancers is very enthusiastic, particularly in “Omigod You Guys” which opens the show.

The production also marks a bittersweet moment for the director, Bernie DeLeo. Mr. DeLeo is famous for his innovative and thought-provoking productions at Marshall; “Legally Blonde” will be his swan song at George Marshall. He tells the Falls Church News-Press: “For the past three years, I’ve done shows the kids had never heard of (‘Working,’ ‘A Year with Frog and Toad,’ and ‘Xanadu’), and they really lobbied me hard to do something they had heard of.” Happily, “Legally Bonde” is not only wellknown, but also a sure crowd pleaser with its humor and its story of a person who exceeds the expectations of those who surround her.

This Marshall High School Statesmen Theatre production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical!” runs through May 4, 2024, at George C. Marshall High School, 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia 22043. For more information, please visit: statesmentheatre.org

Sophia Welch in Elle Woods pink, with other aspiring lawyers. (Photo: Bill DeVinney )

The Spotlight Theatre Company at Falls Church High School is currently presenting an impressively loyal production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night Dream” with students reciting what seems to be nearly every line of the play.

By this full airing of the comedy, the four plots of this intricate play are given full justice. There is the love narrative between Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius, which results in a debacle through the inadvertent mischief of the prancing Puck, who casts a floral medicinal spell on the wrong lover’s eye—a demonstration of Shakespeare’s line from the play that “the course of true love never did run smooth.” The second plot takes us to the world of the fairies, involving a conflict between King Oberon and Queen Titania over the possession of the “changeling child.” Then there is Nick Bottom, the overly zealous actor in a group of rustic performers and the only mortal who breeches into the world of the supernatural, unwittingly becoming part of King Oberon’s scheme to distract

Night’s Dream’ Enchants Crowd at FCHS

Titania. There is a final plot which involves a play-within-a-play: a comic performance of the tragedy of “Pyramus and Thisbe” from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.”

Director Beth De Marco, who incorporates a Shakespeare play into her “Theatre 1” curriculum every year, is to be highly praised for guiding student actors into the world of Shakespearean classics. “I think students can digest the language quite easily,” says director De Marco, as the student actors show a solid grasp of the Shakespearean language by bringing out the physical humor of the work to match the spoken lines. She also notes of student performers’ reactions to preparing for the play: “Students really related to ‘Midsummer’s’ themes of what happens when parents (and others) meddle in their relationships.”

Alejandro Espinoza Leiva, who plays the rustic “actor” Snout, feels like “speaking the original language deepens your character.” He also feels like Shakespeare is “easier to understand when it’s read or performed aloud.” Stage manager Ali Lieberman comments that “Shakespeare’s language gets the actors more immersed in the story,

as opposed to our modern-day language that loses something in the translation.”

Though the production is loyal to the original work, the production nonetheless adds its own interpretation to one scene in particular: “We staged a scene at the beginning of the play to show Oberon’s jealousy of Titania’s attention to the changeling child. We also embraced the challenge of the text when Theseus says to Hippolyta ‘I won thee doing thee injuries’ by staging a battle scene where the Amazons take over Theseus’ army and the two fall in love while admiring each other’s skill.” The chaos between the lovers was enacted excellently by Penny Mollen (who plays Hermia), Max Purtill (who plays Lysander), Lam Vu (who plays Demetrius), and Sasha Wendell (who plays Helena). Actress Dara Kearney as Titania, Queen of the Fairies, brings her lines to life nicely, and Ellie Whitfield is lively and entertaining as the mischievous Puck.

The beautiful sets create the idyllic midsummer atmosphere with a rotating set of garden arches embellished with floral green nature, a large mushroom, and the “beams of

the watery moon” displayed in the background. Speaking of water, parent volunteer Carrie Wendell notes an especially fun part of the production: “The students have constructed an actual (filled) pond for the stage for Helena to be pushed into!” Costumes are outstanding period costumes, mostly suggesting Elizabethan fashion. Roller-skating fairies and winged butterflies imbued the production with both modern and classical/romantic elements.

“Perchance you wonder at this show,” to quote Shakespeare, the play is being performed on May 2 at 7:00 p.m., May 4 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m., and May 5 at 3:00 p.m. — sure entertainment for those looking for a beginning to a “glimmering light” summer atmosphere with the added realm of “elf and fairy sprite.” For further information, please visit: Spotlight Theatre Company (fchsdrama.org)

Rides Games Shows Food FUN Wares PLUS Join us for an entire weekend of all-day family entertainment, eats, crafts and wildly fun attractions in downtown Vienna, VA! Also, pop into BrewFest Beer Garden for a quick beer or wine, or two! MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND May 25-27, 2024 NEXT TO TOWN GREEN! BROUGHT TO YOU BY
LEFT TO RIGHT: Lam Vu as Demetrius, Sasha Wendell as Helena, Penny Mollen as Hermia, and Max Purtill as Lysander. (Photo: Christine Child)


2024 Summer Events Roundup

Flora and Fauna: Thriving or Threatened

4/20- 6/9

Falls Church Arts Gallery

700-B W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA



11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sat-Sun

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

An all-media exhibit, “Flora and Fauna: Thriving or Threatened” features works that celebrate the beauty and diversity of the natural world, or explore the challenges it faces.

Friday Morning Music Club: Avanti Orchestra


Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center 7995 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD fmmc.org

7:30 p.m.

Conductor Chi-Yuan Lin and cellist Brannon Cho will perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major. In addition, Avanti will play Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and the rhythmic masterpiece Strum by recent Grammy-winning composer Jessie Montgomery.

Around the World Embassy Tour


Participating Embassies Throughout Washington, DC tinyurl.com/FCNP0524et

10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Over 60 embassies in D.C. open to the public for this annual event, now in its 17th year. Participants can travel the world as they experience the food, art, dance, fashion, and music of different countries. For a list of participating embassies, visit tinyurl.com/FCNP0524et.

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ

Festival 5/11

Prince William County Fairgrounds 10624 Dumfries Rd. Mannassas, VA tinyurl.com/FCNP0524bb

2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

This affair will offer up all those pleasures that true Southerners live by: Beer, Bourbon, Barbecue, Boots, Bacon, Biscuits, Bluegrass, and smoked Beasts! Enjoy a great day of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’, cigar smokin’ and barbecue eatin’.

Pinewood Derby 5/16

Harvey’s 513 W Broad St STE 130, Falls Church, VA 22046 harveysva.com

5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Join Harvey’s for a fun evening of Pinewood Derby races. $10 entry fee to compete. Bring your own car (any modifications allowed as long as it fits on the track), or purchase a car kit from Harvey’s now through May 10. Free to attend. Entry fee and 10 percent of day’s sales benefits the Village Preservation & Improvement Society.

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin

5/16 - 6/9

Creative Cauldron

410 S. Maple Ave. #116 Falls Church, VA creativecauldron.org

In a humorous and pointed coming-of-age story spanning the sixties through the nineties, Viveca Stantona a black girl from sunny Southern California blithely sails through the confusing worlds of racism, sexism and Broadway showbiz until she’s forced to face the devastating effect self-denial has had on her life.


2024 Summer Events Roundup

Vienna 100 Church St. NW Vienna, VA


10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church 3149 Glen Carlyn Rd. Falls Church VA tinyurl.com/FCNP0424sk

11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

ViVa! Vienna! celebrates the unity and strength of the Vienna community and honors Memorial day. With artisan booths, retail vendors, groups and organizations, food vendors, rides, live entertainment, and more. St. Katherine’s Greek Festival 5/31- 6/2

Studios at 307

307 E. Annandale Rd.


11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Save the date! Art for sale. Shop local artists including Dave Curtis, Stuart Hindle, Amanda Wood, and Maureen Minard. Open to the public.

The St. Katherine’s Greek Festival is back, with homemade Greek food and pastries, authentic Greek dancing, and live Greek music. Free to attend. Sunday hours 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Open Studio & Summer Market 6/1

Tinner Hill Music Festival


Cherry Hill Park 312 Park Ave. Falls


11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The 30th Annual Tinner Hill Music Festival is the premier charity event that celebrates & honors the local African American legacy, with culturally rich live music and arts grouped into interactive villages for eating, learning, playing (children), drinking (adults), relaxing, and exploring the arts.

6/10 - 6/21

Creative Cauldron 410 S. Maple Ave. Falls Church, VA


You’re invited to the fiesta! Come set aglow a lantern in the during the Yi Peng Latern Festival, spray colored water at your friends for Holi and enjoy performances and more at the Acropolis during Greece’s August Moon Festival. The final festival performance will culminate with art inspired by the celebration, drama written pieces by the campers, and custom worldly dances from the party.

6/15 - 7/14 M-Z: 7/20 - 8/18


Annual event open to FCA member artists with last names beginning with A-L. Participation in the show is a benefit of membership, so no entry fee is required. Submission deadline Sunday, May 19.

FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 16 | MAY 2 - 8, 2024 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 307 E. Annandale Rd Falls Church, VA Open Studio & Summer Market Saturday June 1st 11 AM - 4 PM Studios at 307 studiosat307.com Save The Date SHOP LOCAL Amanda Wood Dave Curtis Maureen Minard Stuart Hindle Art For Sale! ViVa! Vienna!
5/25- 5/27 Downtown
Church VA.
Camp: Celebraciones!
FCA All Member Show: A-L
Falls Church Arts Gallery 700-B W. Broad St. Falls Church VA. T-F 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sa-Su 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

2024 Summer Events Roundup

Gay Men’s Chorus of DC: Portraits


Kennedy Center

2700 F St. NW Washington, DC

5:00 p.m.


World premiere! Through visual art, music, and dance, “Portraits” represents the vibrant spectrum of sexual, gender, racial, ethnic, and cultural identities in a nine-movement commission combining the work of nine visual artists, nine composers and nine choreographers, sung by the Chorus and featuring 17th Street Dance, an ensemble of the Chorus.

Camp: Stories of the Little People

6/24 — 7/3

Creative Cauldron

410 S. Maple Ave. #116 Falls Church, VA


Honey, I’ve shrunk the campers! Come explore worldly myths of little people such as the fairly-like Maori, the Makiwisug who reward kindness, the mischievous Irish Leprechaun protecting their gold at all costs. These tiny stories are sure to cause big excitement in the final performance. One week option available 6/29-7/3. Ages 5-14.

2024 Folklife Festival

6/26 — 7/1

National Mall

4th St. & Independence Ave SW Washington, DC


Join a special Smithsonian Folklife Festival program, “Indigenous Voices of the Americas,” honoring the twentieth anniversary of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, and celebrates Indigenous creative expression across the Western Hemisphere. Featuring more than 250 participants representing 60 Indigenous nations in ten countries.

Friday Morning Music Club

classical music since 1886— and not just on Fridays! Free and open to the public!

The Avanti Orchestra of the FMMC presents its nal concert of the season.

Saturday, May 4, 7:30 p.m.

Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center 7995 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Conductor Chi-Yuan Lin and cellist Brannon Cho will perform Haydn’s  Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major. In addition, Avanti will play Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and the rhythmic masterpiece Strum by recent Grammy-winning composer Jessie Montgomery.

thanks to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative O ce in the United States (TECRO) for their support of

and music

Camp: Laughs and LOL’s

7/8 — 7/19

Creative Cauldron

410 S. Maple Ave. #116

Falls Church, VA


Comedy has been a universal language for decades and in this zany session campers will learn the art of comedy and clowning. Laugh your way through exploring the greats of stand up, clowning, miming, jesters, jokesters and all-around funny people! Whether it’s el Bobo from Spain, Pierrot from France, Contrary from the Plains Native American Tribes, or the comic antics of a Punch and Judy puppet show, these clowns will have you LOL-ing, ROTFL-ing, and HAHA-ing all day long.

7/20 - 8/18

T-F 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sa-Su 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. fallschurcharts.org

Annual event open to FCA member artists with last names beginning with M-Z. Participation in the show is a benefit of membership, so no entry fee is required. Submission deadline Sunday, June 23.

For more information, visit: fmmc.org/calendar
See fmmc.org
more informationon our other
in May.
this concert.
lovers are invited to join FMMC.
FCA All Member Show: M-Z
Falls Church Arts Gallery
Falls Church
700-B W.


‘The 39 Steps’ is Delightful! Hilarious! Ridiculous!

These are some of the adjectives that pop up when I think about “The 39 Steps,” the newest production of the Vienna Theater Company, onstage at Vienna’s Community Center through Sunday afternoon.

It’s solid entertainment which kept me laughing practically from beginning to end, starring magnificent actors who obviously love their work.

Without a doubt, the lead character and the only one without multiple roles (there are approximately 150 in the original!) is Hannay (Joe Gallagher) who takes charge and even when he’s not speaking but pausing to decide whether or not he should open a door, moving backand-forth and expressing doubt, I laughed non-stop. He reminded me of Peter Sellers, for those who are old enough to remember him.

One of the funniest scenes involves a train ride when the cops and suspected murderer jump off the train and hang on the side for dear life.

And the sheep blockade! The sheep!

And who needs to understand all the Scottish yarn? Kevin Lukacs is a master Scotsman whose delivery gets louder and louder, easy enough to hear, but to translate all the gibberish? Not necessary to enjoy this comedy of crime.

You’ll swear there are more than only five actors, but their characters and getup are all so different, they bring off multiple personalities with seeming ease. Kim Paul and Haydn Dollery are clowns who make merry amusements on this crazy romp through London, Edinburgh, and the Scottish Highlands in the 1930s.

Katie Boone (who also doubles as stage manager) and her son Nicholas have done an outstanding job directing the play whether it’s over a fence or through a window, while the actors dash from place to place to escape the police who are hot on the trail of a suspected murderer.

It was an astonishing feat for the several minutes the “victim” Jessie Duggan (who triples in multiple roles) lay lifeless, sideways and overturned in a chair.

Nicholas Boone’s visual backdrops easily underscore the moment, minimizing the need for many props which, small in number, are more

than adequate for the rapidly changing scenes. (Claire L. Tse was the properties designer and set dresser.)

Other members of the production team are Eric Storck, producer; Charlie Boone, assistant stage manager; Ari McSherry, lighting; Adrienne Gammons, set designer; Adam Parker, sound; and Michelle Harris, costumes.

But what are the “39 Steps”? You must see it to find out! And remember to say “thank yoooouuu” on your way out.

The story is based on Patrick Barlow’s 2005 re-adaptation of a 1996 play by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon who based their play on the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. In 2008 “39 Steps” received four Tony Award nominations and won two for Best Lighting and Best Sound.

This is the last weekend for “39 Steps” which is presented through May 5, 2024, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m., Sunday. $16. Vienna Community Center Auditorium, 120 Cherry St. Vienna, VA 22180. About two hours with one 15-minute intermission. Suitable for ages 5 and up. No adult language. Snacks available for purchase.

VIENNA THEATER Company Puts on ‘The 39 Steps’ (Photos: Claire Tse)

Members of the audience leaped to their feet to applaud and cheer the performance of “Frankenstein” when it ended Friday night at Meridian High School.

What a show it was! A horror story within a horror story, infused with murders and mayhem as told in the semi-fictional tale about Mary Shelley who, at age 18 in 1816, began writing her frightening tale of Victor Frankenstein’s creation of a monster.

Abby Berg amazingly plays the dual roles of Shelley who magically transitions into the monster in the play, crawling on all fours and screaming often in anguish when she’s an actor within her own story. Her intensity and drama were powerful.

Mary Shelley’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft (Samantha Grooms) was a philosopher and women’s rights advocate in real life, who opened the play with a visit to her daughter’s home where there was a party underway downstairs, hosted by Mary Shelley’s husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley (Dante De Sio).

While his wife mourned the

death of their infant daughter upstairs, Perry enjoyed himself, surrounded by many women (the “partiers”) who made snide remarks about his absent wife.

Mary is beside herself, screaming her agony and resistance to her mother and husband.

It turns out that her mother is actually a ghost who inhabits her daughter’s mind, encouraging her to keep writing her masterpiece. Later, it’s revealed the party is another fiction in Mary Shelley’s mind.

In truth, “Frankenstein” was first published anonymously in 1818 without an author’s name since women writers then were scorned. The second edition came out in 1821 in Paris with the addition of Mary Shelley’s name.

As director/producer (and all things theatrical at Meridian), Shawn Northrip writes in program notes that he spent years searching for works to utilize the many talents of the females in Meridian’s theater program, something for female actors besides “just love” roles.

He found it in Danielle Mohlman’s version of

“Frankenstein” which Meridian presented. It met the goals!

The stars portrayed their characters with intensity and deep feelings, rooted in the story.

On a skeleton scaffolding which stretched almost to the ceiling the monster climbed and crawled her way to unbeknownst victims, all the while stealthily making moves to spread grief and unhappiness. “I exist only to cause pain,” it says. A special filter which created haunting depth amplified the monster’s voice two or threefold.

Northrip’s directing led to phenomenal performances. There was not one disappointment by any of the many actors.

Spectacular showmanship by Hugo Ratheau who appears as Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, must be singled out for his passion, appearing to become a monster himself, bending and swaying from one side of the stage to the other, forcefully spewing his words.

His sidekick, Henry Clerval (Alex Fulgham) handled his role with confidence.

In a beige tutu, Olivia Pierre added needed grace to the pro-

duction with periodic brief ballets. A different dance had Ms. Berg as the monster and Madame DeLacey (Izzy Baskins) performing in a threesome with a door, which the humans weave up and down, unseen by each other. (Daria Butler was choreographer.)

Everyone was dressed in black, greys and slivers of white (costuming by Meridian student Sophie O’Hara) whose silhouettes against mostly pale backdrops heightened the eerie environment which (with Meridian student Naomi Lewis’s lighting) contributed to the overall mood of danger and anxiety. (This show was recommended for mature teens on up.)

Sometimes pastel colors lightened the visuals with large floor to ceiling impressionistic paintings, backdrops of scenes ranging from a cemetery to an elegant mansion and Swiss mountain range (Mary Shelley began conceiving her tale in Geneva) and more. These opposites contrasted beautifully with the somber dark shades and actors’ silhouettes.

Other actors were Alexis West, Ben Kline, Abigail Fred, Jack Disantis, Julia Wolf, Carmen Ortiz

and Augie Reitmeyer.

Adding much enjoyment and visuals in typical “crowd behavior” were “partiers,” Aggie Linforth, Aila Balsano, Annika Wolf, Devin Cook and Eliana Pizzirusso.

Also Eudora Neal, Jack Kreul, JP Tysse, Katarina Villasmil, Lauren Lewin, Luis Gabriel de Carvalho Bastos and Mia Schatz with more partiers, Rayne Hammerschmidt, Sebastian Robertson, Stephanie Hastings and Will Albaugh.

Sound operators Ashe Stoner, Tyler Jones and Jocelynn Johnson were busy all night with the wind and bats, the throbbing of a heartbeat, thunder, and more designed by (applause!) Carlos Ortiz who also composed the music, all students.

Other production team members included Meridian students Bella Villano, Emily Marrow and Millie Beaudry, stage managers; Sean Cunniffe, projections designer; Colleen Carpenter, props designer; Ben Barwig and Carson Ramey, video and film; Paxton Hebblethwaite and Tabby Hermann, makeup.

Jamie Sample directed technicals on this night to remember.

MAY 2 - 8, 2024 | PAGE 19 FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Meridian’s ‘Frankenstein’ A Horror Story Within A Horror Story
Home of the Visual Arts Flora and Fauna Exhibit until June 9, 2024 Falls Church Arts 700B W Broad Street Falls Church, VA 22046 An all-volunteer non-profit Art Classes Available See website
Stalking Wolf Crowned Cranes Lotus Progression by Al Kratchman by Sandra Lewin by Gini Moore


‘Flora and Fauna’ Latest Show at Falls Church Arts Gallery

Spring is here, and the great outdoors and exuberant moods of springtime are celebrated at Falls Church Arts Gallery’s latest exhibit of artworks in many media. This new show, “Flora and Fauna: Thriving or Threatened,” takes us through many landscapes, various lands and diverse artistic styles.

In her acrylic painting “The Moon and the Moon Flower,” artist Maria Brito captures the grace and innocence of both the beautiful plant depicted and a memory of her childhood in her stellar work. When she was a child, the artist’s mother would invite her and her siblings to see these flowers magically open at night outside their home. Just as the artist describes, these vines (depicted in exquisite detail) are a fascinating version of the more common morning glory vine, which opens at night. A long and narrow vertical canvas helps to further the mystical “glory” the artist hopes to convey, with a full moon high above.

In the photograph “A Wetland Autumn” by Renée Ruggles, we see a perfectly lateral mirroring of trees

and their reflection below in the water. This reflection is so idyllically crafted that, at first glance, it is difficult for the viewer to distinguish whether the top or bottom is the reflection. This vision of autumn colors consists of northern hardwood swamp trees seen in the background and is contrasted by spike-like stumps viewed in the foreground, where perhaps beavers have felled some of the trees. The beautiful vibrant oranges, yellows, and greens play upon the water below in soft and fluttering ripples. Moving from autumn to spring: The cherry blossoms of Washington, D.C., are now no more, but we may return briefly to their ephemeral beauty via Claudine Edelblute’s acrylic “Elation.” As for many a viewer, these blossoms bring the artist a great sense of calm and peace, for in this beautiful work, every detail is carefully and yet ever so gently noted by a delicate acrylic brushstroke reminiscent of the blossoms themselves. At the center left of the work, our eyes are drawn to a cup-like blossom which is truly a well-chosen centerpiece for this work with its beautiful juxtaposition of light and shadow, texture

and translucence. Just above and below we note that the artist has even captured the sun, with its dainty highlights on the tops of the branches from which the blossoms hang like ornaments strung by an ineffable presence. The true magic of this work is that it includes both the realistic experience and romantic majesty that walking amongst flowering cherry trees evokes.

In the fascinating “Polyphemus Moth” by Suzanne Updike, the artist uses the very unique process of making a reduction linocut to make a beautiful and intricate visualization of a most beautiful insect. This process takes a single linoleum block and creates every color of the print from it by starting with the first color etched into the block and then proceeding to several more, ever further reducing the block with each color of the work printed—thus the term “reduction.” Although the beautiful block printing at hand may seem like something out of an Audubon Society “field guide,” the artist is careful to remind us in her description of the work that there is a connection here to the literature of classical antiquity: “The Polyphemus moth is named after the cyclops

in Greek mythology,” nemesis of Odysseus as the famous Greek hero of the Trojan War attempted to return to his kingdom of Ithaca.

The Japanese classic “The Tale of Geni” speaks of the “noble crane that soars on high,” yet Sandra Lewin’s acrylic painting “Crowned Cranes” of that title, while acknowledging an Asian influence, indeed “incorporating muted bamboo shoots and a red sun,” shows two cranes very much “grounded” and connected to the earth. Gerda Lane’s oil painting “Lavender in Provence” also takes us to far-away climes to “the countryside in the south of France [which] inspired the painting.” Finally, be sure also to enjoy “Dahlia,” the yellow oil on panel with blue highlights by Dane Hamlin.

The current exhibit runs through June 9 at Falls Church Arts Gallery, 700-B West Broad St. (Rte. 7), Falls Church, Virginia 22046. We recommend a visit to the gallery in the near future to see these and other “Flora and Fauna” and extol in these beautiful “thriving” natural images as well as reflect on how nature is also, at the same time, delicate and threatened.

The Moon and the Moon Flower by Maria, Brito. (Photo: Falls Church Arts)
MAY 2 - 8, 2024 | PAGE 21 FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM To Advertise In this Section: Contact: sjohnson@fcnp.com Coming May 23rd Falls Church, Virginia Memorial Day Parade Program 2024



Homestretch Benefit Breakfast

Annual benefit breakfast for Homestretch, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization empowering homeless famlies with children living in Virginia to attain permanent housing and self-sufficiency, which oversees and maintains 39 single-family residences with a team of trained human services professionals. The program will feature inspirational stories of courage and resilience. Free registration at tinyurl.com/FCNP0424hs.

Ovations Pavilion at Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Rd., Vienna, VA), 8:00 a.m. — 9:00 a.m.

Cat Happy Hour

Come with or without a cat and get ready to socialize and raise a glass with fellow cat lovers!

Cats must be wearing a collar, harness and leash or in a backpack, carrier, or stroller. Free to attend. Rustico-Ballston (4075 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA), 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.


Attic Treasures Bazaar and Book Sale

The F.C. branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Village Preservation and

Improvement Society (VPIS) join together to offer two days of book and treasure hunting. Saturday hours 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Huge selection of books, including specialty and collectible; book dealers and collectors may purchase a $10 pass to enter one hour early on Friday. Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St., Kenneth R. Burnett Bldg., Falls Church), 10:00 a.m. — 8:00 p.m.

Flora & Fauna: Thriving

& Threatened

FCA exhibit "Flora and Fauna: Thriving and Threatened," an all-media exhibit of works that celebrate the beauty and diversity of the natural world — or explore the challenges it faces. Free to view. On display in the FCA gallery

Tuesdays — Sundays weekly through June 9; view or purchase works online at fallschurcharts.org. Falls Church

Arts (700-B W. Broad St., Falls Church), 11:00 a.m. — 6:00 p.m.

LGBTQ+ Youth MH and Acceptance


A free event dedicated to promoting children's mental health and fostering a culture of acceptance. Come learn about various resources, programs, and organizations that support the well-being of our LGBTQ+ youth. While directed towards youth ages 13-18, this event is a great opportunity for parents, educators, and community members to gain valuable insights and foster allyship. There will be food, giveaways, panel discussion, and various mental wellness activities. Organized by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board. James Lee Community Center (2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church), 12:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.

Legally Blonde: The Musical

Omigod, you guys! Experience the power of pink with Statesmen Theatre’s production of the smash-hit "Legally Blonde: The Musical," based on the blockbuster 2001 movie, which tells the transformational story of sorority girl Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, sexism, snobbery and scandal in her pursuit to win back her ex by getting accepted into Harvard Law School. Friday and Saturday. Tickets at statesmentheatre.org. George C. Marshall High School (7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church), 7:30 p.m.


Falls Church Farmers Market

Shop the award winning market every Saturday, yearround! City Hall Parking Lot (300 Park Ave., Falls Church), 8:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.

Stop the Hate Love Fest

Last month a bogus bomb threat disrupted the familyoriented Family Fun Storytime Brunch. This month, members of the community are asked to come to storytime brunch, or come to provide a colorful and peaceful counterprotest to those shouting hate at children. Freddie's suggests attendees dress in their favorite rainbow/hippie outfit. A portion of proceeds will benefit local LGBTQIA+ charities. Freddie's Beach Bar (555 S. 23rd St., Arlinton, VA), 11:00 a.m.

BSTD May the 4th Storytelling Show

Better Said Than Done (BSTD) emcee Jessica Robinson hosts seven local storytellers for "Rebel Alliance: Stories of Empires and Rebellion." This storytelling show is in-person only. $15 tickets at tinyurl.com/FCNP0524cd. Clare and Don's Beach Shack (130 N. Washington St., Falls Church), 6:00 p.m.

Bran Ganz: A Chopin Recital

Pianist, scholar, internationally celebrated pianist, and devoted champion of Frédéric Chopin, Brian Ganz performs an evening of Chopin at the Center for the Arts. Tickets at cfa.calendar.gmu.edu. GMU Center for the Arts (4373 Mason Pond Dr., Fairfax, VA), 8:00 p.m.



Irina Muresanu Violin Recital

Irina Muresanu performs "Four Strings around the World," including works by Paganini, Bach, Kreisler, Piazzola, and more. Free to attend ($20 donations appreciated to defray costs); wine and cheese reception follows the concert. St. Patrick's Episcopal Church (3241 Brush Dr., Falls Church), 4:00 p.m.

PAGE 22 | MAY 2 - 8, 2024
FOLLOW THE STORY of America's civic unraveling with Robert Putnam (pictured meeting Pope Francis), at a free screening of documentary "Join or Die" at Meridian H.S. Sunday. (Courtesy Photo)



Join or Die Documentary Premiere

"Join or Die" is a film about why you should join a club, and why the fate of America depends on it. In this feature documentary co-directed by a sister-brother team from F.C., follow the half-century story of America's civic unraveling through the journey of legendary Harvard social scientist Robert Putnam, whose groundbreaking "Bowling Alone" research into America's decades-long decline in community connections could hold the answers to our democracy's present crisis. Q&A immediately following the screening. Free to attend. Meridian High School (121 Mustang Alley, Falls Church), 4:30 p.m.

McLean Interfaith Choir Concert

7th annual interfaith concert featuring singers from various faith traditions in the McLean area. This year's event begins with a volunteer fair to connect with local service organizations, followed by the concert at 7:00. Refreshments and mingling after concert. Free admission, with food mantry donations requested. Lewinsville Presbyterian Church (1724 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, VA), 6:30 p.m.



Special Education Advisory Meeting

Special Education Advisory Committee (Sped) meets. Meridian High School (121 Mustang Alley, Falls Church), 6:30 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

Evening Art Critique Group

Bring a piece of art for feedback from a community of artists. Free and open to all levels; meets the first Monday every month. Falls Church Arts (700-B W. Broad St., Falls Church), 7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

City Council Work Session

This work session includes a budget mark up. City Council Work Sessions are held the first and third Monday of the month, with the exception of August and December when only one meeting is held. These meetings are open to the public and are conducted to allow Council Members to discuss upcoming legi City Hall (300 Park Ave., Dogwood A-B, Falls Church), 7:30 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.



FCCPS Special Meeting: Student Recognitions

Special FCCPS School Board meeting on the topic of student recognitions. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Council Chambers/Court Room, Falls Church), 6:00 p.m. — 7:30 p.m.

School Board Office Hours

Parents, students, teachers, staff, and community members may drop by (no registration required) to ask questions and offer feedback in a casual environment. This is not a private setting. Community members who prefer to have a private exchange should contact members via email to set up a meeting. Panjshir Restaurant (114 W. Fairfax St., Falls Church), 6:00 p.m. — 8:00 p.m.

Economic Development Authority Meeting

Economic Development Authority meets. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Dogwood A-B, Falls Church), 7:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.


Solid Waste Mgmt. Plan Adv. Cmte. Meeting

Solid Waste Management Plan

Advisory Committee (SWMPAC) meets. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Oak Room, Falls Church), 11:30 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.

Citizens Transportation Adv. Cmte. Meeting

Citizens Advisory Committee on Transportation meets. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Dogwood A-B, Falls Church), 7:00 p.m.

Recreation and Parks Adv. Board Meeting

Advisory Board of Recreation and Parks meets. Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls St., Second Floor Art Room, Falls Church), 7:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Architectural Advisory Board Meeting

Architectural Advisory Board meets. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Council Chambers/Court Room, Falls Church), 7:30 p.m. — 10:30 p.m.


Committee Meeting

Appointments Committee meets. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Oak Room, Falls Church), 8:00 p.m. — 9:30 p.m.


Networking Breakfast

Stop by for an informal gathering to meet fellow Chamber members. No agenda and no cost other than the cost of your breakfast. The Original Pancake House (7395 Lee Hwy., Falls Church), 8:00 a.m. — 9:00 a.m.

Retirement Board Quarterly Meeting

Quarterly meeting of the Retirement Board. City Hall (300 Park Ave., Dogwood A-B, Falls Church), 6:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m.

Board of Zoning

Appeals Meeting

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

Want us to include your event in next week's Calendar? Email your event title, description, date(s) and time(s) to calendar@fcnp.com by noon every Tuesday! Space is limited; submission does not guarantee inclusion. Press releases, pictures from past events, or other community news should be sent to newsandnotes@fcnp.com.

To guarantee your event is included, purchase a premium calendar listing ($25) by emailing calendar@fcnp.com, or email ads@fcnp.com to ask about purchasing an ad to maximize your exposure!

YOUR EVENT HERE! Send Us Your Calendar Events!
SCHOLAR, INTERNATIONALLY celebrated pianist, and devoted champion of Chopin, Brian Ganz, performs an evening of Chopin at GMU's Center for the Arts this Saturday. (Photo: Jay Mallin Photos)

STUDENTS TURNED recyclables into art in Mrs. Flajser’s class at Mount Daniel Elementary last month while learning the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. (Photo:

Notes PAGE 24 | MAY 2 - 8, 2024
Meg Flajser) IDEAVENTIONS Academy’s Griffin and Abram team won second place in the SeaPerch aquatic robotics contest in April. (Courtesy Photo) THREE MERIDIAN musicians earned spots in the All Virginia State Band at a VMEA event in Richmond last month. (Photo: Mary Jo West)
Check out more School News & Notes pictures and stories online at fcnp.com FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM
FIFTH GRADERS from Oak Street Elementary address City Council after receiving first place at the Virginia Odyssey of the Mind competition, qualifying for the World Finals later this month. (News-Press Photo)

Mustang Athletics

This Week’s FCKLL Report

The second half of the Little League season is proving to be a gripping showdown, with team TBD (coached by Chris McCormack, sponsored by Evergreene Homes) showcasing their resilience as they rallied from behind to seize victory from the Clouds (coached by Anthony Verdi Jr., sponsored by RPJ Advisors) in a 10-7 triumph. The Clouds wasted no time in making their presence known, striking early in the top of the first inning when James Owen’s solid single set the stage for the Clouds’ offensive surge, with Will James capitalizing on a walk to notch the first run of the game.

As the Clouds extended their lead with two more runs in the top of the third, courtesy of Anthony Verdi III and Owen’s RBI groundouts, TBD found themselves trailing by as many as five runs. However, in a dramatic turn of events, TBD mounted an impressive comeback in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kirin Hsu’s clutch double drove in two crucial runs, igniting the TBD and narrowing the gap. Teddy Marx’s well-executed sacrifice bunt, which scored a run further fueled TBD’s resurgence, propelling them into the lead at 7-5.

The Clouds, however, were not to be outdone. Owen’s pivotal double in the top of the fifth inning leveled the playing field once again, setting the stage for a nail-biting finish. But it was TBD who had the final say, as they reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with Lucas Berthiaume and Masaki Kasumi each delivering crucial RBI doubles.

Pitching proved to be pivotal in this tightly contested match, with TBD’s Matthew Miller and Theodore Jones showcasing their prowess on the mound. Miller’s stellar performance earned him the win, surrendering only one hit and striking out four over 2 and twothirds innings, while Jones held his own, conceding just two hits while striking out four. Kellan McCormack closed out the game for TBD with two strikeouts to his name.

For the Clouds, James Owen’s standout performance both at the plate and on the mound was commendable. Owen, the Clouds’ pitcher, allowed only one hit while striking out five over two innings, showcasing his multifaceted talent.

With an impressive 11 hits amassed throughout the game, including standout performances from Miller, Hsu, Kasumi, and

Carter Moore, TBD proved that they were a force to be reckoned with. Despite the Clouds’ valiant effort, which included a strong presence at the plate with seven walks accumulated during the game, TBD’s resilience ultimately prevailed, securing a well-deserved victory and displaying why they were the first half champion.

FCKLL Majors Season Standings

( as of April 15 )

Expos • 5-4

(Sponsored by Load Side Electric)

Commandos • 3-6

(Sponsored by NDI Custom Homes)

TBD • 7-2

(Sponsored by RPI Advisors)

Little City Legends • 5-4

(Sponsored by Kirk’s Army)

We Show Speed • 5-4 (sponsored by Beyer Volvo)

Clouds • 2-7

(Sponsored by Evergreene Homes)

Kirin Hsu, Matthew Miller, Masaki Kasumi. (photo: Sam McCormack) Girls Lax had three games, winning the first two over Fauquier and James Monroe and then suffering their first loss of the season to Western Albemarle. (Photo: Katie Rosenbusch) Mustangs Girls Soccer picks up win at home. Miller’s Hat Trick Leads to 3-0 Victory Over Warren County (Photo: Art Binkowski) Meridian GIVE Day Club - First Annual Pickleball Tournament Despite the weather there were still 29 teams who particiapted! AN Ballers came out on top as the the tournament champions who won in a close game against Team 13! (Photo: FCCPS)

Class of 2024 Youth Reps Look Back On Their Experiences

Since its establishment in 2014, CBC’s landmark Youth Representative Program has provided our City’s high school students with a unique opportunity to: learn about local government and civic engagement first-hand; practice and grow their leadership skills; and contribute to the work of City Boards and Commissions and other community organizations. Over this ten-year span more than 200 George Mason/Meridian High School students have served on 25 Boards and Commissions and other civic organizations including, aside from those cited below, the: Economic Development Authority, Arts and Humanities Council, Library Board of Trustees, Citizens Advisory Committee on Transportation, Electoral Board, Urban Forestry Commission, League of Women Voters, Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation Social Justice Committee, Creative Cauldron, Women’s History Group, Falls Church Homeless Shelter, and Village Preservation and Improvement Society. The Class of 2024 Youth Reps were appointed for two-year, renewable terms and in some cases served for three years.

In anticipation of their graduation, this year’s Senior Youth Reps were invited to reflect on their experiences with the board, commission, or civic organization on which they served. In developing their responses they were asked to identify key concepts or ideas they were struck by, describe how they’ve shared what they learned, discuss their body’s role and impact, and describe what surprised them most during their service. The Youth Reps that responded were: Katherine Holt, Joy Wilson, Liz Rotherham, Grayson Kusic, Ariana Lehrer, Mathew Downs, Maya Dycaico, Caroline Carmody, Megan Carpenter, Annaliese Baron, Carter Williams, Tommy Wotka, Sean Lewin, Joseph Cobucci, Isabella Villank, Jack Loper, Ivy Anderson, and Joseph Ziayee. Highlights of their answers, in their own words, are provided below.

Environmental Sustainability Council Member

“The [ESC] is certainly making Falls Church a better place for citizens, and the environment. Coming to meetings I’ve seen proposals shared about new sustainability initiatives such as promoting electric vehicles, incentivizing citizens through tax breaks, and adding in renewable energy sources like

solar panels…. Various [Councilsponsored] activities that were being discussed at the meetings…may help citizens to get involved.

“By being an IB Environmental Science student at Meridian, I thought it was really interesting to learn about different sustainability strategies and apply them to the meetings and also vice versa. I’ve been able to connect ideas from the classroom to my civic engagement and also bring in new ideas I heard from meetings into the classroom…. My engagement has also spurred interesting dinner conversations with my family, as we’ve discussed ways in which we can make a difference in our home.”

Human Services Advisory Council Member

“One key concept that I have learned through my involvement with the HSAC is the importance of finding ways to give back to your community. Through this experience, I was able to have a direct influence on providing support to Falls Church citizens in need by participating in the planning of the… City’s Human Services budget for the fiscal years of 2023 and 2024. In addition, this planning provided me with valuable insights into budgeting, financial analysis, and the [Council’s] decision-making processes….concepts [that] are crucial for effective governance and sustainable community development.”

Architectural Advisory Board Member

“What surprised me the most during this experience is the passion I’ve developed for architecture…. Over my past 3 years on the Board I’ve fallen in love with the realwork design process similar to the one I love in [my] Meridian Design [class]. This interest led me to apply to UVA for their architecture program and…I got in. Without this board I wouldn’t have been able to see how a class I love was used in the real world and helped out the future. I would have never thought 3 years ago I would apply to college for architecture….”

Human Services Advisory Council Member

“Some key ideas…I will take with me and have for the rest of my life are the ability to be open-minded and the ability to plan in an organized and precise way. In HSAC we have to be open-minded to better understand all points of view, and best serve all people in need in an equal and just manner. I will use these skills of open-mindedness and sympathy throughout my life, whether it be in a personal, political, or general


Falls Church Education Foundation Board Member

“During my involvement with FCEF, the thing that has surprised me the most is the sheer passion of those involved. I was amazed by the extreme devotion and true desire of the members to make the schools a better place and to make the community come together over a common cause. Witnessing this level of commitment and dedication was truly inspiring, and it showed me the power of individuals coming together for a greater good. I feel privileged to be a part of such an amazing organization and to work alongside such passionate and dedicated people.”

Housing Commission Member

“My family, and many of my friends, have lived in Falls Church for most, if not all, of their lives. This was one of my driving factors in joining this Commission in the first place. I felt that I had a responsibility to voice the desires of dedicated citizens in our community…. During the meetings, I have learned about how the city’s developments are planned, and the statistics that guide them.... One specific statistic I found, and shared, was that households falling at or below 120 percent AMI (Average Median Income) were eligible for affordable housing benefits. This was honestly very surprising for myself and my friends. I never considered just how unbalanced Falls Church City was with regard to economic status.”

Welcoming Falls Church Board


“What surprised me most during my involvement with WFC is the level of devotion from the members…. Prior to my involvement, I didn’t realize how much attention and time WFC’s projects required, and how many different components cooperated to ensure the success of the initiatives.”

Lions Club Member

“My time with the Lions Club highlighted the importance of community when working together to accomplish goals. As a civic organization formed from volunteers working together to organize events, there is a lot of communication and collaboration necessary in order to realize the events…. [In addition] my involvement…exemplified the importance of community and forming bonds with the townspeople, with the majority of events planned by the Club occurring every year and becoming traditions.”

Falls Church City Democratic Committee Member

“During my time with the FCCDC, I learned a lot of ways I could [grow]…. For example, I learned the importance of speaking up in group meetings; it can be very easy to stay silent and just listen, but once I did speak up, it became easier and easier to make contributions to the discussion [and present a younger person’s viewpoint]…. Additionally, I learned the importance of networking with new people….[and] some interesting things about local political groups and processes, which I have been able to share with friends

and family….to educate [them] on the important choices which have appeared on each ballot…[and] urge [them] to vote….”

Recreation and Parks Advisory Board Member

“[I’ve been] surprised [by]…how long each park project takes….projects can take a decade to complete. I didn’t realize all the steps involved, like planning, talking to the community, and dealing with regulations. Each step takes time, and sometimes there are unexpected delays. Community members, the Board, and other officials need to agree, and acquiring the funds can take time. Witnessing the hard work and discussions needed to develop Falls Church parks has made me realize how much effort goes into them and makes me appreciative of all of our outdoor spaces.”

Environmental Sustainability Council Member

“…one of the most important things I’ve learned from being on [the ESC]…is working with others no matter the difference in opinion[s]…. During our meetings, many people will voice different perspectives on the same topic, and sometimes there is disagreement and difficulty coming to a consensus. But this has taught me that there’s no reason to put barriers between someone who thinks differently than you, it is just…[an] opportunity to learn another perspective and view things differently. I will take this with me as I get older because it will make me [a] more open-minded person, and a better collaborator and leader.”

Class of 2024 CBC Youth Reps. (Photo: Josh Singer)

The LGBTQ+ Reach

UMC Comes to Jesus on LGBTQ+ Inclusion

According to Pew Research, there are 155 million Americans who identify as Protestant (84.7 million evangelical, 49 million mainline, 21.7 million historically Black Protestant), by far the largest religious group in the U.S., followed by atheists/agnostics/none/unsure with 78.3 million, then Roman Catholicism with 69 million, then Mormon with 5.3 million.

Just six percent of the U.S. population — 20 million people in total — follow all other religions combined.

Claiming over 5.4 million members across 29,746 churches, and weekly attendance over 3.1 million, the United Methodist Church is the largest mainline Protestant and second largest Protestant denomination in the country, second only to the Southern Baptist Convention — which boasts over 13.6 million members and 3.6 million in weekly attendance.

This year marks the UMC’s biannual General Conference, which began on April 23 in Charlotte, NC and concludes tomorrow, May 3. This year has seen a sea-change in LGBTQ+ acceptance, with several proposals to eliminate anti-LGBTQ+ language from the church’s Social Principles and Book of Discipline passing by such strong margins that, for those with fewer than 10 votes against, they qualify to be fast-tracked to ratification, included on the “consent calendar” for bulk approval with other strongly supported items.

This writer attended Christ Crossman UMC on Sunday, where a guest sermon was delivered by congregation member Samantha Perez, a Transgender woman who serves as the congregation’s delegate to the Conference. Perez spoke to the News-Press on Wednesday before this issue went to print to provide us with the most up-to-date information on this watershed moment for the church.

The ‘Three R’s’ of LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Perez says the legislative changes proposed in this year’s Conference regard the “Three R’s” of LGBTQ+ inclusion: Regionalization, Repeal, and Revision.

“Regionalization allows regions of the UMC to alter portions of the Book of Discipline to fit their context. This would allow the U.S. to use more explicitly affirming language,” than more conservative countries like those in Africa, Perez said, adding that “it would also solve a lot of logistical issues that have arisen as the church has become more global.”

Regionalization changes were largely passed on a 2/3 majority, now only needing to be ratified by local conferences later this year.

Repeal focuses on removing harmful language and policies from the Book of Discipline and Social Principles, including bans on LGBTQ+ clergy, same-sex marriage, restrictions for funding of LGBTQ+ related outreach, and more.

Revision includes a large overhaul of the UMC Social Principles, as well as a decentralization of the U.S. So far a number of changes have been approved, with many more likely to come in the final days of the Conference.

Church Disaffiliation Period: Over

The Conferences subcommittee bundled

and rejected all disaffiliation petitions and voted, 20 for vs. two against, to repeal the portion of the Book of Discipline allowing the disaffiliation of local churches over more inclusive LGBTQ+ policies, ending a temporary five-year period that has seen the church lose nearly 8,000 congregations and two million members — roughly 25 percent of the greater UMC.

Famous ‘Incompatible’ Phrase: Removed

Revised Social Principles passed in committee with no amendments and 75 percent approval. This includes removing the phrase “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching,” which was adopted in 1972.

UMC LGBTQ+ Funding: Restored

The Financial Administration committee voted, 56 for vs. eight against, to remove the funding ban preventing church support for any organizations that “promote the acceptance of homosexuality,” which will allow UMC participation in efforts like curbing LGBTQ+ suicide, particularly among Trans youth.

UMC LGBTQ+ Clergy and Bishops: Yes

The Faith and Order committee voted, 43 for vs. nine against, to remove from the Book of Discipline its prohibition of LGBTQ+ clergy: “While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.” Instead of becoming effective in January 2025, the committee made the proposed measure effective at the close of the Conference.

UMC Same-Sex Wedding Penalties: Gone

Also included in the LGBTQ+ clergy vote was language dictating that clergy and churches may no longer be disciplined for performing same-sex weddings:

“The superintendent shall not penalize any clergy for performing, or refraining from performing, a same-sex marriage service. 14. The superintendent shall neither require any local church to hold or prohibit a local church from holding a same-sex marriage service on property owned by a local church.”

These measures were all approved in a 69251 plenary vote by delegates.

Expected late Wednesday was a floor debate on removing the UMC’s ban on same-sex weddings, required after passing through committee with only 55 percent approval. Still, Perez says “the overwhelming margins the other changes are passing with gives me plenty of hope that we’ll get good news.”

This is Huge. Take a Moment.

As a United Methodist, it’s heartwarming to see a unified UMC affirming LGBTQ+ dignity. Let’s hope that more and more see the beauty in welcoming and affirming their neighbors, and choose acceptance and unity over divisive, paranoid, outdated, self-righteous, hate-motivated tribalism.

Falls Church Business News & Notes

Rumble Ribbon Cutting

The community is invited to join Rumble Boxing Falls Church this afternoon for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The Falls Church Chamber will be joined by members of City Council and the owners for the 6:00 p.m. ceremony in Founders Row followed by a reception and tour. The event kicks off the Grand Opening Weekend, May 2 — 5. Rumble is offering a free class for first timers, refreshments, raffles, exclusive grand opening specials and a semi-annual retail sale.

Ellie Bird Makes Another List

The New York Times has published the list of the 25 best restaurants in the Washington, DC area and Ellie Bird landed the 5th top spot for 2023. Their critic noted the Vietnamese French onion soup, cacio elote, and Rachel’s Chocolate Cake as well as the brunch. Only two others in Northern Virginia made the list: Bostan in Herndon, and Mama Chang in Fairfax.

IRS Resources for National Small Business Week

In support of National Small Business Week, the IRS is promoting their resources to help business owners meet their tax responsibilities. These are accessed through the website at irs.gov/newsroom/small-business-week. The Tax Center is dedicated to small and self-employed businesses with resources and guidance on topics that include Starting a Small Business, Business Structures, and Form 1099-K. The Small Business Administration recognizes the hard work, ingenuity and dedication of small businesses and their contributions to the economy with National Small Business Week.

Transportation Funding Support Needed

The City submitted its Signal Prioritization Project for regional funding consideration as part of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority’s (NVTA) Fiscal Year 2024 to 2029 Six Year Program.

Public comment is open through May 19 and the City would like residents to participate with their support for the project. Provide feedback on the City’s project (CFC-011) here. The City’s Signal Prioritization Project includes installing Transit Signal Priority (TSP) technology at up to seven intersections in the City. Transit Signal Priority will be installed along the future Route 7 BRT route within the City, which mirrors the current 28A bus route.

Hiring Opportunity

Companies are invited to participate in a free Virtual Networking & Hiring Fair featuring transitioning military, veterans, and military spouses. Hosted by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, HIRE VETS NOW, and Fort Belvoir, the Virtual Networking & Hiring Fair will be held on Thursday, May 9. Participants may interview military talent for jobs at all levels, entry-level to cleared, and for all industries. For more information, please contact Stefanie Shepley at sshepley@fceda.org

GDIT Accelerator Program

General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) has launched a new accelerator program designed to advance digital engineering, advanced simulation and modeling and security monitoring for government systems. The new program builds on GDIT’s digital engineering work for defense initiatives, including a digital infrastructure for the U.S. Space Force and a critical weapons system for the U.S. Air Force. The plan is to offer the Ember accelerator to customers in health care analytics, smart cities and cybersecurity sectors.

Northrop Contract

Northrop Grumman in Falls Church secured a $167.1 million contract modification from the U.S. Navy to supply four lot 6 full-rate production Ground-to-Air Task Oriented Radar systems.

 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.

Visit us online at FCNP.com
by Brian Reach Falls Church News-Press



The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) of the City of Falls Church, Virginia will hold a public hearing on May 9, 2024 at 7:30 PM in the Council Chambers, located at 300 Park Avenue, for consideration of the following items:

a. Appeal application A1648-24 by ComRef Pearson Square, LLC, applicant and owner, appealing the determination of the Zoning Administrator in enforcement of Section 48-90, regarding the termination of the existing condominium regime governed by the approved special exception for the property at 410 South Maple Street, RPC#52-312-201 of the Falls Church Real Property Records, zoned B-3, General Business district.

Public comment and questions may be submitted to zoning@fallschurchva.gov until 4:30 pm on May 9, 2024. Agenda and application materials will be available the week prior to the scheduled hearing at: http://www.fallschurchva.gov/BZA

Information on the above application is also available for review upon request to staff at zoning@fallschurchva.gov.



The following was given first reading at the April 29, 2024 City Council meeting. A public hearing and possible Recommendation to City Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, 2024 at 7:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard.


Affirmative Planning Commission action would recommend that City Council approve amendments to the City’s floodplain district boundaries of the Zoning Map to meet updated floodplain boundaries set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Floodplain Insurance Program (NFIP).

Following the Planning Commission’s Public Hearing and Recommendation, City Council action would add the following properties to the floodplain district on June 6, 2024: (51-116-041) 6936 N 26TH ST (51-117-002) 6947 N FOUR MILE RUN DR (51-116-042) 6935 N 26TH ST (51-116-018) 6933 N 26TH ST

(51-101-012) 214 W JEFFERSON ST (51-101-010) 114 W JEFFERSON ST (51-101-019) 537 N WASHINGTON ST (53-101-120) GRESHAM PL

(52-205-017) 402 TIMBER LN

(53-101-073) 500 E JEFFERSON ST (53-101-005) 507 E COLUMBIA (52-402-039) 219 W CAMERON RD (52-312-100) 410 S MAPLE AVE

(53-208-015) 408 VAN BUREN ST

Following the Planning Commission’s Public Hearing and Recommendation, City Council action would remove the following properties from the floodplain district on June 6, 2024: (52-106-007) 1013 KENNEDY ST

(52-608-030) 310 KENT ST

(52-608-029) 309 KENT ST (52-608-028) 308 KENT ST

(52-608-005) 600 RANDOLPH ST (52-206-025) 139 LEA CT

(52-206-054) 212 S OAK ST

(52-302-281) 146 REES PL

(52-602-020) 519 S SPRING ST

(52-602-019) 521 S SPRING ST

(52-302-276) 156 REES PL

(52-302-036) 211 S LEE ST (52-302-012) 422 SHERROW AVE

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 jtrainor@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).


On May 15, 2024, at 7:30 p.m., the City of Falls Church Planning Commission will hold a public hearing during their regularly scheduled meeting, in the Dogwood Room at City Hall, 300 Park Avenue, Falls Church Virginia 22046, on the following: (TR24-05) RESOLUTION TO AMEND CHAPTER 3 OF THE CITY OF FALLS CHURCH’S COMPREHENSIVE PLAN TO ADD: “THE TINNER HILL HISTORIC & CULTURAL DISTRICT”

Meeting agenda and materials will be available on the following page prior to the public meeting: http://www.fallschurchva.gov/PC. Information on the project can also be found at on the project webpage: http://fallschurchva. gov/TinnerHillDistrict

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 703-248-5040 (TTY 711).

Volunteers who live in the City of Falls Church are needed to serve on the boards and commissions listed below. Contact the City Clerk’s Office (703-248-5014, cityclerk@fallschurchva.gov, or www.fallschurchva.gov/BC) for an application form or more information. Positions advertised for more than one month may be filled during each subsequent month.

Malpa Inc, trading as Pulcinella Italian Host 1310 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean Va 22101 is applying to the Virginia ABC board for a Beer and Wine and mixed beverage and Specialty Liqueur License. Hassan Boussouf, Owner / Manager as Authorized Signatory. NOTE: Objections to the issuance of this license must be submitted to ABC no later than 30 days from the publishing date of the first of 2 required newspaper legal notice. Objections should be registered at www.abc.virginia.gov or 800-552-3200

Pho 85 LLC, trading as Pho 85, 2952 Chain Bridge Road Ste. D., Oakton Va. 22124 is applying to the Virginia ABC board for an On and Off Premises Beer and Wine License. Hieu Van Nguyen, Managing Member as Authorized Signatory. NOTE: Objections to the issuance of this license must be submitted to ABC no later than 30 days from the publishing date of the first of 2 required newspaper legal notice. Objections should be registered at www.abc. virginia.gov or 800-552-3200

54 Fair City Mall LLC, trading as 54 Restaurant Bar & Lounge, 9650 Main Street Unit 10, Fairfax, VA 22031 is applying to the Virginia ABC board for an On and Off Premises Beer and Wine License. Tien Ha Nguyen, Managing Member as Authorized Signatory. NOTE: Objections to the issuance of this license must be submitted to ABC no later than 30 days from the publishing date of the first of 2 required newspaper legal notice. Objections should be registered at www.abc.virginia.gov or 800-552-3200

GOT JAZZ? Develop your creative self in an established studio for Piano, Bass and Drums. www.PianoJazz.com 703-489-8704

Two gravesites w/vaults for sale. “Lilac” section of National Memorial Park Cemetery, Falls Church, VA. Current total price for both $8,995. Sale price $4,995. Call 703-431-9106 or paphipps@plexar.net


ATTN. AUCTIONEERS: Advertise your upcoming auctions statewide and in other states. Affordable Print and Digital Solutions reaching your target audiences. Call this paper or Landon Clark at Virginia Press Services 804-521-7576, landonc@vpa.net


Live Fish for stocking ponds. Many varieties available. Delivery to your pond or pickup available. Call Zetts Fish Farm & Hatchery for information 304-995-9202, Cell 304-820-6986.


Vinyl Replacement Windows Installed! Starting at $350 Call 804-739-8207 for More Details! Ronnie Jenkins II Windows, Siding, Roofing and Gutters! FREE Estimates! Call 804739-8207 for More Details! American Made Products!

Prepare for power outages today with a Generac Home Standby Generator. Act now to receive a FREE 7-Year warranty with qualifying purchase. Call 1-844-947-1479 today to schedule a free quote. It’s not just a generator. It’s a power move.

Replace your roof with the best looking and longest lasting material steel from Erie Metal Roofs! Three styles and multiple colors available. Guaranteed to last a lifetime! Limited Time Offer up to 50% off installation + Additional 10% off install (for military, health workers & 1st responders.) Call Erie Metal Roofs: 1-844-902-4611

Eliminate gutter cleaning forever! LeafFilter, the most advanced debris-blocking gutter protection. Schedule a FREE LeafFilter estimate today. 20% off Entire Purchase. Plus 10% Senior & Military Discounts. Call 1-877-614-6667

The bathroom of your dreams in as little as 1 day. Limited Time Offer - $1000 off or No Payments and No Interest for 18 months for customers who qualify. BCI Bath & Shower. Many options available. Quality materials & professional installation. Senior & Military Discounts Available. Call Today! 1-844-945-1631

Safe Step. North America’s #1 Walk-In Tub. Comprehensive lifetime warranty. Top-of-theline installation and service. Now featuring our FREE shower package and $1600 Off for a limited time! Call today! Financing available. Call Safe Step 1-877-591-9950 Jacuzzi Bath Remodel can install a new, custom bath or shower in as little as one day. For a limited time, waving ALL installation costs! (Additional terms apply. Subject to change and vary by dealer. (Offer ends 6/30/24.) Call 1-877-460-5348


DIVORCE-Uncontested, $475+$86 court cost. WILLS-$295.00. No court appearance. Estimated completion time twenty-one days. Hilton Oliver, Attorney (Facebook). 757-4900126. Se Habla Espanol. BBB Member. https:// hiltonoliverattorneyva.com.

Portable Oxygen Concentrator May Be Covered by Medicare! Reclaim independence and mobility with the compact design and longlasting battery of Inogen One. Free information kit! Call 888-608-4974

DENTAL INSURANCE from Physicians Mutual Insurance Company. Coverage for 350 plus procedures. Real dental

housing opportunity throughout the Commonwealth. We encourage and support advertising and marketing programs in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status or handicap. All real estate advertised herein is subject to Virginia’s fair housing law which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, elderliness, familial status or handicap or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.” This newspaper will not knowingly accept advertising for real estate that violates the fair housing law. Our readers are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis. For more information or to file a housing complaint call the Virginia Fair Housing Office at (804) 367-8530. Toll free call (888) 551-3247. For the hearing impaired call (804) 367-9753.

Architectural Advisory Board Aurora House Citizens’ Advisory Committee Board of Equalization Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Transportation City Employee Review Board Historical Commission Library Board of Trustees Public Utilities Commission Retirement Board Urban Forestry Commission Regional Boards/Commissions Continuum of Care Board Fairfax Area Commission on Aging Long Term Care Coordinating Council Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Commission Virginia Career Works Northern Region ABC NOTICE LANTERN HOUSE LLC, trading as Lantern House 1067 West Broad Street Falls Church VA 22046 is applying to the Virginia ABC board for a Mixed Beverage Restaurant License. ANH T TRAN Owner as Officer/Authorized Signatory. NOTE: Objections to the issuance of this license must be submitted to ABC no later than 30 days from the publishing date of the first of 2 required newspaper legal notice. Objections should be registered at www.abc. virginia.gov or 800-552-3200
insurance - NOT just a discount plan. Do not wait! Call now! Get your FREE Dental Information Kit with all the details! 1-888-550-3083 www.dental50plus. com/virginia #6258 Become a Published Author. We want to Read Your Book! Dorrance Publishing-Trusted by Authors Since 1920. Book manuscript submissions currently being reviewed. Comprehensive Services: Consultation, Production, Promotion and Distribution. Call for Your Free Author`s Guide 1-888-366-7596 or visit dorranceinfo.com/vapress FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 28 | MAY 2 - 8, 2024 fcnp.com clasads@fcnp.com fcnp.com CLASSIFIEDS Other ServiceS House Cleaning Service Avaliable 7 days a week Weekly - Bi Weekly - Monthly or One time Jobs Move out - Move in 28 years Experience • Good references • Free Estimates For Information Call Susy 703-901-0596 Doug's Handyman Service Interior/Exterior Repairs FREE Estimates Licensed, Bonded & Insured Call: 703-556-4276 www.fallschurchhandyman.com Gagnon’s Gutterworks CLEANING/INSTALLATION/REPAIR LICENSED & INSURED POWER WASHING WWW.GAGNONSGUTTERWORKS.COM New Gutter Installation, Gutter Cleaning and more Lawn Care Services Mowing, Weed Control, Seeding Power Washing - Whole House Roof Cleaning, Concrete, Siding and Decks Free Estimaes Licensed and Insured, ALL Work Guaraneed Senior Citizen Discount $5.00 O for First Time Customers (Mention This Ad) SERVING NORTHERN VIRGINIA TGGUTTERS@YAHOO.COM 703-716-0377 OR 571-421-3663 LAWN & LANDSCAPE SERVICE Call Gabriel - 703-546-6383 References • Free Estimates Complete Lawn and Landscaping Service Spring Cleanup, Flowers and Mulching Lawncare Service • Tree Sevice • Leaf Removal cleaning ServiceS handyman gutterwOrkS landScaping We are pledged to the letter and spirit of Virginia’s policy for achieving equal



In Case No. PUR-2021-00142, Virginia Electric and Power Company (“Dominion” or “Company”) sought, and received, approval from the State Corporation Commission (“Commission”) for: (i) construction of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial Project (“Project” or “CVOW Project”), to be located in a federal lease area beginning approximately 24 nautical miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and its related power export facilities; (ii) a certificate of public convenience and necessity (“CPCN”) for electric interconnection and transmission facilities associated with the Project; and (iii) a rate adjustment clause, designated Rider OSW, for the recovery of costs associated with the Project. As part of its approval, the Commission adopted certain consumer protections for the Project and directed Dominion to file annual Rider OSW update proceedings.

Thereafter, during its 2023 Session, the Virginia General Assembly enacted Chapter 510 (SB 1477) of the 2023 Virginia Acts of Assembly, which became effective on July 1, 2023 (“Chapter 510”). Among other things, Chapter 510 amended Code § 56 585.1:11 (“Section 1:11”) to authorize a Phase II Utility, such as Dominion, to establish an offshore wind affiliate for the purpose of securing a noncontrolling equity financing partner in a qualifying offshore wind project, subject to Commission approval. Chapter 510 also permits an offshore wind affiliate to construct, own, or operate a qualifying offshore wind project, or a portion thereof, and to operate as a public utility in association with the Phase II Utility.

As authorized by Section 1:11, on March 28, 2024, Dominion and OSW Project LLC (“ProjectCo”) (collectively, “Petitioners”) filed a petition (“Petition”) with the Commission in Case No. PUR-2024-00045, pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title 56 of the Code (“Affiliates Act”), Chapter 5 of Title 56 of the Code (“Utility Transfers Act”), Chapter 10.1 of Title 56 of the Code (“Utility Facilities Act”), and, to the extent the Commission deems necessary, Chapter 3 of Title 56 of the Code (“Securities Act”). In the Petition, the Petitioners seek: (i) approval to enter into proposed affiliate agreements (“Affiliate Agreements”) related to the CVOW Project (“Affiliates Act Request”); (ii) approval to transfer the CVOW Project’s assets from Dominion to ProjectCo, to assign certain permits, leases, contracts, and real estate interests associated with the Project to ProjectCo, and to amend the CPCN issued in Case No. PUR-2021-00142 (“Utility Transfers Act and Utility Facilities Act Requests”); (iii) authority for ProjectCo to issue ownership shares to the Company and its noncontrolling equity partner, Dunedin Member LLC (“Stonepeak Member”), should the Commission deem such authority to be necessary (“Securities Act Request”); and (iv) a finding that ProjectCo may furnish public utility service in association with Dominion pursuant to the Company’s existing CPCN (“Other Requests”).

Affiliates Act Request

The Petitioners are seeking approval to enter into proposed Affiliate Agreements. The Affiliate Agreements include a Limited Liability Company Agreement, a Project Management Agreement, a Rider OSW Servicing Agreement, a Renewable Energy Certificate Purchase and Sale Agreement, and a North Carolina Revenue Contract. The Affiliate Agreements are contracts that would, among other things, effectuate the transfer of the CVOW Project from Dominion to ProjectCo and facilitate financing of the Project. The Petitioners maintain that approval of the Affiliate Agreements would allow Dominion to maintain strong financial metrics without any incremental cost to customers.

Securities Act Request

If the Petition is approved, ProjectCo would issue ownership shares exclusively to Dominion and Stonepeak Member in a private transaction at the time of closing. As such, to the extent the Commission deems it necessary, the Petitioners seek authority for ProjectCo to issue these ownership shares to Dominion and Stonepeak Member, and to revise the ownership shares from time to time as may be required. The Petitioners state that the issuance of such ownership shares is necessary for ProjectCo to acquire the CVOW Property and carry out its functions under Section 1:11.

Order Bifurcating Case

In an Order Bifurcating Case entered in both Case No. PUR-2024-00045 and the present proceeding, the Commission established separate dockets to consider the relief requested in the Petition. Specifically, the Commission determined that it would evaluate the Affiliates Act Requests and Securities Act Requests in the present docket, while all other matters, including but not limited to the Utility Transfers Act and Utility Facilities Act Requests and the Other Requests, would be evaluated in Case No. PUR-2024-00045. The Commission also noted in its Order Bifurcating Case that subsequent Orders would be filed in each docket providing additional details on future procedures, including opportunities for participation, in the respective cases.

Interested persons are encouraged to review Dominion’s Petition and supporting documents in full for details about these and other proposals. Interested persons are also encouraged to review the information in Case No. PUR-2024-00045 for more information on other matters related to the Petition.

The Commission entered an Order Extending Time for Review and Inviting Comments that, among other things, directed the Petitioners to provide notice to the public and provided interested persons an opportunity to comment on the Petition. The Commission extended the review period for the Securities Act Requests and Affiliates Act Requests until June 26, 2024.

To promote administrative efficiency and timely service of filings upon participants, the Commission has directed the electronic filing of testimony and pleadings, unless they contain confidential information, and required electronic service on parties to this proceeding. In accordance therewith, all pleadings, briefs, or other documents required to be served in this matter shall be submitted electronically to the extent authorized by 5 VAC 5-20-150, Copies and format, of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (“Rules of Practice”). Confidential and Extraordinarily Sensitive Information shall not be submitted electronically and should comply with 5 VAC 5-20-170, Confidential information, of the Rules of Practice. Any person seeking to hand deliver and physically file or submit any pleading or other document shall contact the Clerk’s Office Document Control Center at (804) 371-9838 to arrange the delivery.

Electronic copies of the public version of the Petition may be obtained by submitting a written request to counsel for the Petitioners, Vishwa B. Link, Esquire, McGuireWoods LLP, Gateway Plaza, 800 East Canal Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219, or vlink@mcguirewoods.com. Interested persons also may download unofficial copies of the public version of the Petition and other documents filed in this case from the Commission’s website: scc.virginia.gov/pages/Case-Information

On or before May 29, 2024, any interested person may submit comments on the Petition by following the instructions found on the Commission’s website: scc.virginia. gov/casecomments/Submit-Public-Comments. Those unable, as a practical matter, to submit comments electronically may file such comments by U.S. mail to the Clerk of the State Corporation Commission c/o Document Control Center, P.O. Box 2118, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2118. All such comments shall refer to Case No. PUR-2024-00053.

Any documents filed in paper form with the Office of the Clerk of the Commission in this docket may use both sides of the paper. In all other respects, except as modified by the Commission’s Order for Notice and Comment, all filings shall comply fully with the requirements of 5 VAC 5-20-150, Copies and format, of the Commission’s Rules of Practice.

The Petition and other documents filed in this case, the Commission’s Rules of Practice, and the Commission’s Order for Notice and Comment may be viewed on the Commission’s website at: scc.virginia.gov/pages/Case-Information




1945 in Wide Ruins, AZ, making her 78 years old at the time of her passing.

Amelia dedicated her career to public service, serving as a secretary for the U.S. Department of State and later retiring from the Planning Department for the City of Falls Church, VA. Her commitment to her work was evident in her professionalism and dedication throughout her years of service.

Amelia was preceded in death by her parents, Tom Terry and Betty Joe Terry. She is survived by her loving husband of 52 years, Marvin Gilbert Pelon; her

Racine Anderson passed peacefully in her sleep on April 18 in her Falls Church City home at the age of 86. Racine has been a resident of Falls Church since the late 1950s. Racine was preceded in death by her husband, Clark, and two of her daughters, Pamela Anderson Leary, and Denise Anderson

two daughters, Nicole Pelon and husband, Garland Wilson, and Brandi Pelon; her son, Matthew Pelon; and her grandchildren, Wynona Finen and Thomas Nattania.

A graveside service to honor and celebrate Amelia’s life will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at National Memorial Park, 7482 Lee Highway, Falls Church, VA 22042.

Twiford Funeral Homes, 405 E. Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC is serving the Pelon family. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.TwifordFH. com.

Brown. She leaves behind one daughter, Debra Anderson Gee. Racine had five grandchildren: Rachel Gee Toombs, Christine Gee Olavarria, Casey Leary Stultz, Andy Brown and Barrett Brown. Racine also had five great grandchildren. She worked for the FBI and the US Navy prior to retirement.

FLOOFS LOOKING for homes, like the puppy pictured here, will be abundant at the “Paws in the Park” pet adoption event, May 18 at Wolf Trap. (Photo: Woofies of Ashburn)

Just because you’re not famous doesn’t mean your pet can’t be! Please send in your Critter Corner submissions to crittercorner@

ritter C orner
Are you a Graphic Designer, looking for work? Send us your portfolio & Resume ngatz@fcnp.com
HAPPY Amelia Terry Pelon, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away peacefully on April 25, 2024 at Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City, NC. She was born on August
In Memoriam: Amelia Terry Pelon In Memoriam: Racine Anderson Don’t Get Stuck Without A/C This Summer! Schedule Soon & Save Up to $2000! Free Estimates and Second Opinions for New Heating and Cooling Systems Many Payment Options to choose from Service Available Seven Days a Week Licensed and Professional Technicians Cooling or Heating System Tune Up on a New Cooling and Heating System with our Buy Back Program! $49 SAVE UP TO $2000 Price valid for one working unit. Excludes oil fired systems. Valid at participating ARS® Network locations. Not valid for third party, new construction, or commercial customers, with any other offers, discounts, or on prior sales. Call service center for details. Coupon required at time of service. Void if copied or transferred and where prohibited. Any other use may constitute fraud. Cash value $.001. Offer expires 6/30/2024. License numbers available at americanresidential.com/licenses Savings requires purchase and installation of select complete heating and cooling system. Removal and disposal by Company of existing heating and cooling system required. Valid at participating ARS® Network locations. Not valid for third party, new construction, or commercial customers, with any other offers, discounts, or on prior sales. Call service center for details. Coupon required at time of service. Void if copied or transferred and where prohibited. Any other use may constitute fraud. Cash value $.001. Offer expires 6/30/2024. License numbers available at americanresidential.com/licenses Call today! (866) 293-4227

Where To Find The News-Press

• 24 Hour Fitness, 1000 E. Broad St.

• 450 W. Broad St. Lobby Building

• 7 Eleven (Box), 3019 Annandale Rd.

• 7 Eleven (Box), 201 S Washington St.

• Amazing Smiles, 444 W. Broad St. – D

• Arlington Hospital Center (Box), 1701 N. George Mason Dr.

• Anthony’s Restaurant, 3000 Annandale Rd.

• Arlington Hospital Center ER (inside), 1702 N. George Mason Dr.

• Bakeshop. E Fairfax St.

• Bill Page Toyota 2923 Annandale Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042

• Borek G Turkish Mom’s Cooking. 315 S Maple Ave.

• Bowl America, 140 S. Maple Ave.

• Box at Federal Credit Union, 1226 W. Broad St.

• Broad Falls Apartments, 809 W. Broad St.

• Brown’s Hardware, 100 W. Broad St.

• Burke & Herbert Bank, 225 W. St. Broad St.

• Bus Stop (Box), Lee Hwy. and Hollywood Rd.

• Café Kindred, 450 N. Washington St.

• Celebrity Deli – Graham Park Plaza, 7263A Arlington Blvd.

• Central Library. 1015 North Quincy Street.

• Cinthia’s Bakery, 5860 Columbia Pike.

• City Hall. 300 Park Ave.

• Clare & Don’s Beach Shack, 130 N. Washington St.

• Crumbl Cookies, 1106A W. Broad St.

• Cuates Grill 502 W. Broad #5t.

• CVS, 1150 W. Broad St.

• CVS (Box), 134 W. Broad St.

• CVS (Box), 6404 N Williamsburg Blvd.

• Dogwood Tavern, 132 W. Broad St.

• Dominion Hospital, 2960 Sleepy Hollow Rd.

• Dominion Wine and Beer, 107 Rowell Ct.

• Don Beyer Volvo, 1231 W. Broad St.

• East Falls Church Metro (Box), 2001 N. Sycamore St.

• El Tio Restaurant, 7630 Lee Hwy.

• Elevation Burger, 442 S. Washington St.

• Eaves Fairfax Towers, 2251 Pimmit Dr.

• Exxon Gas Station, 400 W. Broad St.

• Falls Church Arts Gallery, 700-B W. Broad St.

• Falls Church City Public Schools, 800 W. Broad St.

• Falls Church City Public Utilities, Gordon Rd.

• Falls Church Community Center, 223 Little Falls St.

• Falls Church News-Press, 105 N. Virginia Ave. Suite #310

• Falls Church News-Press, 105 N. Virginia Ave. Lobby

• Five Guys, 913 W. Broad St.

• Flippin’ Pizza, 800 W. Broad St.

• Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, 8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax

• Foxcraft Design Group, 110 Great Falls St.

• Giant Food, 1230 W. Broad St.

• Giant Food, Loehmann’s Plaza

• Goodwin House, 3440 South Jefferson St.

• Happy Tart. 410 S. Maple Ave.

• Harris Teeter, 301 W. Broad St.

• Harvey’s, 513 W. Broad St.

• Hillwood Cleaners, 165 Hillwood Ave.

• Hilton Garden Inn, 706 W. Broad St.

• Idylwood Towers Condominium, 2300 Pimmit Dr.

• Idylwood Towers Condominium, 2311 Pimmit Dr.

• Ireland’s Four Provinces, 105 W. Broad St.

• Islamic Center, Leesburg Pike and Rio Dr. Bus Stop

• Java Loco Coffee & Tea.

• Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do, 1136 W. Broad St.

• Lazy Mikes Deli, 7049 Leesburg Pike

• Ledo Pizza, 7510 Leesburg Pike

• Liberty Barbecue, 370 W. Broad St.

• Lil City Creamery, 114 W. Broad St.

• Lincoln. At Tinner Hill Apartments, 455 S. Maple Ave.

• Long & Foster Realtors, 4600 Cherry Hill Rd.

• Lost Dog & Cat Rescue, 6801 Wilson Blvd

• Madison Apartments, 600 N. Roosevelt Blvd.

• Mark’s Pub, 2190 Pimmit Dr.

• Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, 7130 Leesburg Pike

• Mary Riley St.yles Library, 120 N. Virginia Ave.

• Medical Building, 405 N. Washington St.

• Medical Building, 407 N. Washington St.

• Meridian High School, 121 Mustang Alley

• Merrill House Apartments, 210 E. Fairfax St.

• Metro Diner, 4711 Langston Blvd.

• Moby Dick House of Kabob, 444 W. Broad St.

• Modera Founders Row. 110 Founders Ave.

• Mom’s Organic Market, 8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax

• Multicultural Center. 701 W. Broad St.

• Munson Hill Apartments, 6729 Leesburg Pike

• N Virginia Av & W. Broad St. (Box), 105 N. Virginia Ave.

• N. Washington & E. Columbia St., 106 E. Columbia St.

• Northern Virginia Immigration Law, 180 S. Washington St.

• Northern Virginia Pediatric Associates, 107 N. Virginia Ave

• Northgate Apartments (lobby), 450 N. Washington St.

• Northside Social, 205 Park Ave.

• Falls Green Apartments, 501 N. Roosevelt Blvd.

• Park Towers Condos, 200 N. Maple Ave.

• Peach Tree Towers, 2042 Peach Orchard Dr.

• Pearson Square Apartments, 410 S. Maple Ave.

• Pete’s Barber Shop, 5847 Washington Blvd.

• Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, 7700 Leesburg Pike

• Pizzeria Orso (Tax Analyst building), 400 S. Maple Ave.

• PNC Bank, 402 W. Broad St.

• Point of View, 701 W. Broad St.

• Post. Office, 800 W. Broad St.

• Preservation Biscuit 102 E. Fairfax St.

• Professional Building, 313 Park Ave.

• Quick Copy, 417 W. Broad St.

• Rare Bird Coffee Roasters, 230 W. Broad St.

• Read Apartments, 402 W. Broad St.

• Rembrandt Assisted Living, 6669 Gouthier Rd.

• Roosevelt Towers, 500 N Roosevelt Blvd.

• S. Washington & W. Broad St. (Box) 101 W. Broad St.

• Safeway, 5101 Wilson Blvd.

• Safeway, 2500 N Harrison St.

• Safeway – Route 29, 7397 Langston Blvd.

• Sfizi Café, 800 W. Broad St.

• Silver Diner, 3200 Wilson Blvd.

• Sislers Stone, 7139 Lee Hwy.

• Smokey’s Garage, 1105 W. Broad St.

• Solace Outpost 444 W. Broad St.

• Sonic Car Wash, 1050 W. Broad St.

• The Spectrum, 444 W. Broad St.

• The Spectrum Cleaners, 444 W. Broad St.

• Starbucks, 244 W. Broad St.

• Sunrise of Falls Church, 330 N. Washington St.

• Super A Market, 2800 Graham Rd.

• Taco Rock, 116 W. Broad St.

• Target, 500 S Washington St.

• Target – Skyline Mall (Box), 5107 Leesburg Pike

• Tasty Dumpling, 112 W. Broad St.

• The Broadway Apt (in mailroom), 500 W. Broad St.

• The Byron Apartments, 513 W. Broad St.

• The Falls Church Episcopal, 115 E Fairfax St.,

• The Kensington Falls Church, 700 W. Broad St.

• The Neighborhood Barbershop, 417 W. Broad St. #103

• The Original Pancake House, 7395 Lee Hwy.

• The UPS St.ore, 1069 W. Broad St.

• Thomas Jefferson Library, 7415 Arlington Blvd.

• Towne Place Suites – Marriot, 205 Hillwood Ave.

• Unity Club, 116-B W. Broad St.

• UPS Store Seven Corners, 6312 Seven Corners Ctr.

• US Post Office, 2045 Wilson Blvd.

• Verso Founders Row, 105 Founders Row

• Westlee Condominium 2200 N. Westmoreland

• Wendy’s – Bus St.op, 7391 Langston Blvd.

• West Falls Church Metro (Box) 7040 Haycock Rd.

• Woodrow Wilson Community Library, 6101 Knollwood Dr.

• Yayla Bistro, 2201 N. Westmoreland

Interested in a subscription, please email us at delivery@fcnp.com or give us a call 703-532-3267
FALLS CHURCH NEWS-PRESS | FCNP.COM PAGE 32 | MAY 2 - 8, 2024 3BR/3.5BA Brick Tudor located in an idyllic setting in a quiet neighborhood, loaded w/ character & charm throughout. Updates/additions to Primary Bedroom Suite & spacious Kitchen give a perfect balance between the original and new areas of the Home! Cathedral ceilings in Living Room, Kitchen & main level Primary Bedroom suite. Hardwood Flooring, knotty pine walls, 2 wood burning fireplaces, and private courtyard patio. Only a mile to East Falls Church Metro Station. OPEN SAT 12-2pm & SUN 1-4pm. Offered at $1,275,000. Matt Earman (703) 328-4563 Matt@EarmanRealEstate.com Chris Earman Member NVAR Residential Top Producer Club Weichert, RealtorsChairman of the Board Club (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 2024 or 2025 please call Chris or Matt for a No Obligation consultation. Member: NVAR Residential Top Producer Club Weichert, RealtorsAmbassadors Club COMING SOON! 4BR/3BA Rambler * Falls Church City 4BR/2.5BA Farmhouse * Falls Church City 4BR/2.5BA Rambler * Alexandria 3BR/3BA in Fawn Lake * Spotsylvania SPRING is Heating Up!! UNDERCONTRACT OPENHOUSE 968 N Rochester St. * Falls Church City 201 Cleave Dr * Falls Church City Spacious Expanded/ Remodeled split level w/ Amazing "Entertainer's Dream" private backyard featuring a Tiered Tuscan Terrace, w/ rustic stone wall & beautiful water feature, plus large flat yard. 4BR/3.5BA home w/ multiple living areas. Less than a mile to EFC Metro Station. Offered at $1,395,000. First Time Buyers Ask about our $5,000 Grant Program Falls Church City Teachers & Employees 204 S West St * Falls Church City Congratulations to our first time homebuyers Andrea & Daniel on their new Home!! 9003 Mears St * Fairfax Congratulations Tony & Janice on the Sale of your Home!!

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.