Local Commentary

A Penny For Your Thoughts: The News of Greater Falls Church

Thanksgiving offers an opportunity to reflect and give thanks for many things. Faith, freedom, family, and food may top the list on Thursday, but a quick look around the community reveals a number of other items that deserve a thank you.

** Thank you to the voters who supported the Park Bond and Public Safety Bond Referendums on the ballot earlier this month. The bond funding will support the purchase of more open space and development of trails, as well as upgrading police stations to today’s enhanced security requirements.

** Thank you to the Fairfax County Park Authority for the new synthetic turf field at Mason District Park. The state-of-the-art tournament field will provide extra playing time since rainwater drains off almost automatically, allowing team play shortly after the rain ceases. By the way, renovations on the parking lot adjacent to the field will be completed shortly.

** Thank you to the J.E.B. Stuart Interact Club whose members spent last Saturday delivering Thanksgiving meals to 75 families in the Bailey’s Crossroads area. The club worked with local service clubs who provided the food baskets.

** Thank you to the Fairfax County Police Department, especially the officers of the Mason District Station, who spearheaded an intense gang initiative last Friday night in the Culmore and Willston areas. Interdiction and suppression of gang activity has been a highlight of the police department’s effort to reduce gang activity in the county. Police Chief Dave Rohrer noted that nearly a dozen similar actions have been coordinated throughout the county in recent months, resulting in a number of arrests and convictions.

** Thank you to the many park volunteers who were honored last weekend at the Elly Doyle Park Service Awards event. Among the honorees was Russell Slater, a volunteer at Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale, and Gloria Ronk, a Master Gardener at Green Spring Gardens Park. Also recognized was Carolyn Williams, who leads weekly birder walks at Hidden Oaks.

** Thank you to all the firefighters and EMS personnel who conducted open houses at county fire stations in October. Their “Watch What You Heat” slogan is well worth remembering during this busy holiday season. Flashing red lights belong on holiday decorations, not on fire equipment in front of your house!

** Thank you to all our community volunteers – PTAs, civic and homeowner associations, beautification and neighborhood clean-up crews, Neighborhood Watch patrollers, Girl Scout and Boy Scout leaders, Little League and soccer coaches (and all the other sports as well), library volunteers, and all those who help make Fairfax County a great place to live, work, play, worship, and raise a family. It’s a wonderful partnership!



  • Penny Gross

    Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov