News Briefs

April 19 – 25, 2007

F.C. Chamber Finalist for Statewide Equality Award

The Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce received a special commendation at the 4th Annual Banquet of Equality Virginia attended by 1,400 including Gov. Tim Kaine in Richmond last Saturday. It was named one of three finalists for the Jay Gandy Community Award for “becoming the first business group in Virginia to go on record against the so-called ‘Marriage Amendment.’” In the program, Equality Virginia hailed “the Chamber’s leadership in opposing the proposed constitutional amendment as anti-business and its efforts to encourage its members and other business groups and local chambers to oppose the amendment.” Representing the Chamber there was its past president and board member who initiated its bold stand, the News-Press’ Nicholas F. Benton. Among those also present from the Falls Church area were State Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, State Sen. Jean Marie Devolities Davis and Rep. Tom Davis. The Chesapeake area’s Daily Press won the award.


Davis, Moran Bill Adds Clout to Local Tax Collection

Falls Church-area U.S. Congressmen Jim Moran and Tom Davis introduced legislation yesterday that, if passed, will allow local jurisdictions to collect past-due taxes by reducing the federal refunds of those who owe. The proposal builds on the Federal Offset program that already allows taxing authorities in 37 states to collect by attaching federal tax refunds. In 19 states now, local governments can submit unpaid tax claims to their state governments for action. Under the Davis-Moran legislation, localities would use the tool to collect tax debts, not traffic tickets, overdue library book fees or other assessments.


F.C.-Requested Affordable Housing Bill Signed in Richmond

State Del. Jim Scott, whose 53rd District includes the City of Falls Church, told the monthly luncheon of the Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce Tuesday that a bill specifically requested by F.C. Assistant City Manager Cindy Mester passed the state legislature and has been signed into law by Gov. Tim Kaine. The bill allows local jurisdictions to negotiate with banks engaged in mortgage lending to exchange offers to do business with the banks in exchange for reduced mortgage fees offered to employees of the jurisdiction.


‘Future of Merrifield’ Topic of April 24 Seminar

The future of the fast-growing Merrifield section of Fairfax County, just west of the City of Falls Church, will be the subject of the latest in a Providence District Seminar Series this Tuesday, April 24, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Rd. Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth is the sponsor of the seminar series. Developers with approved and pending rezoning applications will be on hand to answer questions about the home, restaurants, retail and amenities they plan to bring to the Merrifield area. County staff and members of the citizen task force that drafted the update to the Merrifield comprehensive plan will also be there to describe the planning process.


F.C. Council Prepared for Predatory Towing Constraints

This Monday, the Falls Church City Council will be prepared to vote on an ordinance to tighten regulation of non-consensual vehicle towing in accordance with new federal and state laws. It will establish new maximum towing fees and require forms of payment other than cash be accepted. Also, the City would be allowed to issue parking violations on private property upon owner request, in lieu of towing. A total of 14 new provisions to the existing towing regulations will be included. A $500 penalty for violations of the ordinance is included.


Correction: Gary Baise of Falls Church is Running

The News-Press incorrectly reported last week the name and location of residence of a man who has announced that he will challenge Fairfax County Board Chair Gerry Connolly. The correct information is that the person is Gary Baise, residing in the Falls Church section of Fairfax County. The News-Press apologizes for the error.