News Briefs for October 12 – 18
Maller Reports Lawsuit Vs. F.C. Dismissed
Falls Church City Councilman Dan Maller reported at Tuesday’s Council meeting that the lawsuit he filed against, among others, the City of F.C., itself, was summarily dismissed at the Arlington Circuit Court last week. The lawsuit sought redress for the decision by the City’s zoning administrator to permit construction of large homes on sub-standard lots in the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue. “Unfortunately, we are left with little guidance by the decision,” Maller said. “But I will continue to fight offensive and thoughtless development. I will fight to take the city back from realtors, developers and lawyers who have led the onslaught.”
3 Citizens Blast F.C. Council Action Vs. “Marriage Amendment”
Three Falls Church residents sat together and took turns at the microphone during the petition period at Tuesday’s Falls Church City Council meeting urging the Council to rescind its unanimous vote taken at its last meeting to oppose Question 1 on the November 8 ballot, the so-called “Marriage Amendment.” They claimed that the amendment would not restrict any rights, but grant extra rights to a special class. They also said it would have no impact beyond the narrow area of “gay marriage” and that a ban on gay marriage is needed in the Virginia Constitution to prevent “activist judges” from overturning existing Virginia law. “We had very sound grounds for taking our position,” responded Vice Mayor Lindy Hockenberry. “This is not simply about gay marriage but equal rights for all citizens.” Councilmember David Chavern added, “I feel we did the right thing, and feel more so tonight than ever.” David Snyder, Hal Lippman and Mayor Robin Gardner also defended the Council stand and Gardner urged the public to read all three paragraphs of the proposed amendment before voting.
T. J. Elementary Fields to Close Until Spring
Falls Church’s Acting City Manager Wyatt Shields reported Tuesday that the athletic fields at the Thomas Jefferson Elementary School will close for extensive upgrading and repairs. The fields will be off limits until March. Also, Shields reported that a dedication ceremony for the new turf at the George Mason High School football field will be held on Nov. 3. Also Tuesday, the City Council approved $130,627 for installation of a new carpet at the Mary Riley Styles Public Library and $122,300 for foundation repair and other work at City Hall.
Allen, Webb Secure New Endorsements
U.S. Senate candidates George Allen, the incumbent, and James Webb, the challenger, in a neck-and-neck race with under a month to go before the election, each received organization endorsements yesterday. Allen, a Republican, won support from the National Federation of Independent Business, a Washington, D.C.-based small business group. He received word of the endorsement from a group of NFIB small business owners in Richmond. Also in Richmond, Democratic challenger Webb won the endorsement of the usually non-partisan Richmond Crusade of Voters, founded in 1956 to increase the influence of African Americans in the political process. “We feel strongly about Mr. Webb’s vision and candidacy,” said Crusade President Melvin Law yesterday. On the other hand, he added, “If you believe Sen. Allen is the right guy to further the agenda of minorities, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.”
Whitman-Walker to Stay Open in N.Va. in 2007
At a press conference in Arlington yesterday, Donald Blanchon, chief executive officer of the Whitman-Walker Clinic announced plans to keep the clinic’s Northern Virginia operations open through 2007 and beyond. In 2005, the clinic experienced a financial crisis that nearly led to the closing of its Northern Virginia site. A task force was formed and the State of Virginia and several local governments pledged funds to keep it open through the end of 2006. But Blanchon announced yesterday that the clinic will remain active beyond that deadline. The non-profit clinic offers primary medical and dental care, mental health and addictions counseling and treatment, HIV education, prevention and testing, legal services, case management and a food bank. It is committed to meeting the life needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and people living with HIV/AIDS.