News Briefs

January 11 – 17, 2007

Episcopal Diocese Says It Won’t Extend “Standstill Period”

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in Richmond announced Tuesday that it will not extend a “cease-fire” or “standstill” period to delay action concerning control of church properties. A temporary moratorium was instituted when eight Virginia churches, including the Falls Church Episcopal Church, voted to leave the denomination in December. The 30-day “standstill period” is due to expire next Wednesday, and diocese spokesman Patrick Getlein said the diocese probably “will move to retain property at all the separated churches” once it does.


Mark Warner: “I Have a Lot More Campaigns in Me”

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, speaking to the monthly breakfast of the Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council at the Fairview Marriott last week, was peppered with questions about whether he might reconsider his recent decision not to run for the U.S. presidency in 2008. “I have a lot more campaigns in me,” he said, noting that his difficult decision not to run in October came after lining up the considerable funds, workers, volunteers and resources that would have made for a credible campaign launch. But he said the decision involved coping with the notion that he’d have to commit himself to the effort a full 100% for the rest of his life. “I don’t know if that was the right criteria by which to gauge my decision,” he said.


Housing Group Hits Wilden Challenge for $1 Million

At the initiation of a generous $500,000 challenge grant from Falls Church City resident Bob Wilden, named for his late wife Imogene Wilden, the Falls Church Housing Corporation will formally proclaim at its annual meeting next week that it successfully raised contributions to match the $500,000 by Dec. 31, thereby successfully completing a $1 million seed capital equity fund campaign. Large contributions from Atlantic Realty, the Virginia state legislature, as initiated by Del. Jim Scott, and the Falls Church City Council were key to the successful campaign. The annual meeting on Jan. 18 will complete 25 years of operation of the Housing Corporation, dedicated to acquiring and maintaining affordable housing in Falls Church. Wilden is vice president of the organization. According to FCHC executive director Carol Jackson, the Imogene Wilden Housing Legacy Seed Capital fund will be used “to leverage construction and acquisition of permanently affordable rental units in the Falls Church area.”


23 GMHS Students Receive IB Diplomas

At a special ceremony last week, 23 graduated seniors at George Mason High School in Falls Church received their official International Baccalaureate diplomas and commemorative medals. The medals were hung around their necks by the venerable Lou Olom, considered the father of the IB program at the school and were named in honor of Olom’s son, Jonathan L. Olom. The younger Olom graduated from GMHS and became an acclaimed criminal defense lawyer in Colorado until his untimely passing at age 34 in 1984. Lou Olom has presented the memorial medals to all IB graduates since 1996. IB diplomas last week went to Borna Aladeddini, James An, Jasmine Bailey, Ouda Baxter, Eric Brooks, Chelsea Caumont, Maya Cough-Schulze, Eric Dever, Elizabeth Elliott, Rebecca Engberg-Pedersen, Yulia Gornia, Benjamin Greenberg, Ryan Hinely, Alexandra Holachek, Ruhee Jaffer, Eleanor Kang, Victoria Molina, Emma O’Hara, Jessica Oxley, Christina Parson, Margaret Person and Emily Walden.


F.C. Council Gives Preliminary OK to Salary Hike

The Falls Church City Council preliminarily voted itself a salary hike Monday, although it will not go into effect until after the next Council election in 2008. If finally OK’d by a second vote on Jan. 22, it would mark the first hike since 1992. The Council currently earns 50% less than any other regional jurisdiction. The mayor in F.C. currently earns $3,600 and the Council $2,400 a year. The proposal would boost those to $9,800 for the mayor and $9,200 for the council, in line with other regional jurisdictions. Council Hal Lippman said it is hoped the hike will be an incentive for more citizens to seek positions, since last spring the election for all the Council posts was uncontested. Councilman David Snyder voted against the measure.


Death at Lee Square Apartments Apparent Suicide

Henry Andrew McGinnis III, 50, was found dead by Falls Church City Police and medics who were called to the scene at the Lee Square Apartments in the City of Falls Church at 8:12 a.m. yesterday. According to a police statement, the investigation continues but at this point it appears that it was a suicide. The family has been notified.