News Briefs

December 7 – 13, 2006

F.C. Dad Has Fingers Crossed for Sunday’s “Amazing Race” Final

Tim O’Connor, a Falls Church City Schools employee at Mt. Daniel Elementary and a resident of Falls Church since 1999, will have his fingers crossed especially tightly this Sunday night, as CBS-TV airs the finale of its reality show, “The Amazing Race.” His 27-year-old son, James, and his long-time friend make up one of the two teams in the finals, chasing a $1 million reward. James, who grew up in California and chose not to come east with his parents, is a model in Hollywood. He and friend Tyler actually completed the “Amazing Race” last June, but if he utters a single word to anyone about the outcome, he forfeits any winnings. So dad Tim honestly doesn’t know. James is due to visit here for the holidays later this month, and he hasn’t tipped off whether he’s arriving via Lear Jet or Greyhound Bus yet.


Parents Tabbed for Views of F.C. Underage Drinking

In a statement released from the Falls Church City Schools yesterday, the system’s student services coordinator, Judy Becker, reacted strongly to PRIDE Survey results of proportionately high use of tobacco, alcohol and marijuana by George Mason High School students here by tabbing parents. “A phrase I am hearing more frequently from parents is that their students ‘work hard, party hard,’ and as long as grades are high and there is no legal involvement, their drinking is acceptable,” she is quoted saying. A survey of 549 Mason students shows that 59.7% used alcohol, 32.2% used marijuana and 39.6% tobacco during the past year and that 32.9% say they use alcohol, 20% marijuana and 23.9% tobacco on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. While the numbers for tobacco and alcohol are roughly even with the national average, the use of marijuana is considerably higher (32.2% compared to the national average of 25.3%). The FCCPS statement noted that surveys show Falls Church middle schooler use to be “far below the national average.”


F.C. Farmers’ Market Open Year-Round

In a correction of earlier erroneous reports, Falls Church’s Department of Recreation and Parks sent out an announcement this week confirming that the popular Saturday morning farmers’ market in the City Hall parking lot is now open year-round and does not shut down, as in the past, over the winter. Both farmers and customers come from miles around to partake of the unique event. It has been around for years, but only recently was extended to a full-year operation.


Area High Schools Do Their Thing at Disneyworld

Falls Church High School’s string orchestra strutted its stuff last Friday at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, entertaining an international audience during “Disney Magic Music Days.” Another area school is sending students there Dec. 14-15, when a group from the Marshall Academy attends a Disney Youth Education Series program on “Leadership Excellence.”


Rotary Citrus Sale’s Last Weekend Coming Up

Fresh fruit from Florida will be on sale for one more weekend in downtown Falls Church as part of the Rotary Club’s annual fundraising efforts. The sale will be on the Falls Church City-owned lot, site of the Two Sisters Coffee Shop, at 255 W. Broad St., next to the Post Office. The fruit will be available for sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Good deals on navel oranges, red grapefruits and tangelos.


News-Press Announces 17th Annual Holiday Party

The Falls Church News-Press extended an invitation to all its friends this week to its 17th annual Holiday Party to be held Monday, Dec. 18, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at its usual location, the meeting hall of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, 222 N. Washington St., next to the State Theatre. This year’s event will again be catered by Ledo Pizza and a troupe of George Mason High School musicians will provide live entertainment.


Paul Reagan Named Webb Chief of Staff

Senator-elect James Webb has selected a familiar face to Northern Virginians, Paul J. Reagan, as his chief of staff. Reagan served from 1996-2001 as chief of staff to Rep. Jim Moran before becoming communications director for Gov. Mark Warner. His Capitol Hill career dates back to 1982. Falls Church’s Leslie Byrne was named last month to Webb’s transition team.