Local Commentary

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

Has spring finally arrived? Sunny weather early this week portends eagerly-sought relief from a winter that seemed to hang on too long. Mason District homes are simply gorgeous during azalea time, and the bright sunshine seems to make the colors more vivid, even in shady corners. The sunny weather encourages yard work, and garden center parking lots are full with homeowners searching for just the right plants in just the right colors to enhance their home environment.

Now is a good time to incorporate eco-friendly practices in the garden. Rain barrels can be attached to downspouts to collect rain water that can then be used in the garden or for household chores, saving water and money. Rain barrels slow down stormwater, decreasing erosion in our streams, and limiting runoff pollution. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring several workshops (June 2, 9, 11, and 16) where residents can learn to “Build Your Own Rain Barrel.” The workshop most convenient for Mason District residents will be held on Saturday, June 16 from 9 until 11:30 a.m. at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, 7701 Royce Street in Annandale (next to Annandale Community Park on Hummer Road). Cost is $35 per barrel for materials and supplies. Registration is required; the deadline is May 30. For more information, or to register, call 703/324-1423.

Two community events this Saturday are quickly becoming local traditions. The Culmore Cleanup will be held from 9 a.m. until noon. Staging area for the cleanup is the Woodrow Wilson Library at the corner of Glen Carlyn and Knollwood Drives. Volunteers are encouraged to work with neighbors and help rid our streets of litter. The same morning, the Annandale Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the 3rd Annual Bed Race to benefit Special Olympics. Teams will race hospital beds along John Marr Drive, begin-ning at 10 a.m. The Bed Race accompanies the Family Fun Fair all week long on the K-Mart Shopping Center parking lot in downtown Annandale. Come out, have some fun, and support our community.

Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the shooting that took the lives of Detective Vicky Armel and Master Police Officer Michael Garbarino at the Sully Police Station in Fairfax County. At Monday’s meeting, the Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation declaring the week of May 13 through 19 as Police Week in Fairfax County, and designated May 15 as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day. Law enforcement personnel serve the public by safeguarding life and property, protecting against violence and disorder, defending innocent against deception, and the weak against oppression. Six police officers and sheriff’s deputies have made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the community they served: George A. Malcolm, Karen Bassford, “Sandy” Gideonse, Tommy Bernal, Vicky Armel, and Michael Garbarino. May their sacrifice never be forgotten.