Local Commentary

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

In childhood, a parental warning at this time of year was the threat of a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking if you didn’t behave. Now that most furnaces are gas, oil, or electric, there probably are fewer people who would still recognize a lump of coal, but it’s a good motif nonetheless. So let’s review the year and figure out who’s on the list for a lump of coal in their stocking, and who deserves a present.

  • Great big presents to the citizen volunteers who served on the Mason District Area Plan Review Task Force. These dedicated volunteers spent dozens of hours reviewing proposed nominations for changes to the Comprehensive Plan for Fairfax County. Ultimately, about 11 of the 46 proposals made it through the public process to change plan language for future land use in Mason District.
  • Another present to the Urban Land Institute panel that conducted an intense look at Bailey’s Crossroads earlier this month, and discussed their findings to a standing room only breakfast meeting at the Mason District Governmental Center. The ULI experts noted that Bailey’s Crossroads is well-positioned to become a significant urban center in the next couple of decades.
  • Lumps of coal to those members of the Virginia General Assembly who continue to refuse to address Northern Virginia’s transportation needs. Transportation (mass transit and roads) ranked highest on a recent survey of issues for county residents.
  • A present also to the voters of Mason District and Fairfax County who over-whelmingly supported the Public Safety Bond and the interim Park Bond on the ballot in November. Publicly-supported bonds provide local governments with the ability to develop capital projects that will serve residents now and for future generations, while maintaining the county’s AAA bond rating.
  • A lump of coal to drivers who insist on speeding in our neighborhoods. They often are the same drivers who fail to stop at neighborhood stop signs, too. Just slo-o-o-w down!
  • A lump of coal to some of those same drivers who run red lights. Slipping through on yellow is understandable. Swerving around the car in front of you after the light has changed to red is just plain crazy!
  • A present to all the church congregations who volunteered their facilities for use as hypothermia centers for homeless persons this winter, offering warm meals and a safe place to sleep for those less fortunate. We can forgo a lump of coal to the Health Department which almost shut down this good volunteer effort by invoking the Health Code for church kitchens. The problems were worked out at the last minute, so no coal needed here.
  • Finally, a gaily-wrapped “Thank You” to all our community volunteers: civic association members, Neighborhood Watch patrollers, PTA participants, youth sports coaches, etc. We couldn’t do what we do in Mason District and Fairfax County without you!