Local Commentary

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

The horrific tragedy that befell the Virginia Tech community is not yet three months old, but some wonderful young people are putting their energies into active remembrance and support. One of the slain Tech students was Mary Read, a 2006 Annandale High School graduate who was finishing her freshman year at Tech when she was killed. Several of her friends have planned a potluck and silent auction on Sunday, July 22, to raise funds for the Mary Read Scholarship at Annandale High School and the Hokie Spirit Fund. The potluck starts at 2 p.m. and the silent auction will run from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Broyhill Crest Recreation Club in Annandale, at the end of Early Street (from Gallows Road, turn onto Oliver Avenue, then left onto Murray Lane and left again onto Early Street). A $4 donation entry fee is requested. For more information about the event or how to donate to the fund, contact Virginia Burk at vwburk@wm.edu.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Board Chairman Gerry Connolly was honored recently with the Tom Bradley Leadership Award by the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC). The award, the highest given by NARC, is named for Tom Bradley, who served as Mayor of Los Angeles for 20 years, and was presented to Chairman Connolly by NARC President John Thompson of Texas. The nomination for the award described Chairman Connolly as “perhaps the region’s most respected elected official and one whose opinion is ought on a wide range of issues because of his analytical skills, his ability to find a path that leads to consensus, and his leadership on tough issues, including transportation and homeland security. Chairman Connolly has led the National Capitol Region Emergency Preparedness Council at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), and played an instrumental role in the push for a dedicated source of funding for mass transit in the region. Connolly chaired the COG Board of Directors in 2000, and also was the recipient that year of the Elizabeth and David Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award, the highest award bestowed on elected officials in the Washington region. In 2006, Connolly was named Outstanding Local Official in the United States by the American Public Transit Association.  

At Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Chairman Connolly announced an exciting environmental initiative that has been in development for several months. Fair-fax County is partnering with the Sierra Club, King County in Washington State, and a select group of other counties around the nation in advocating for the “Cool Counties” climate stabilization initiative. The “Cool Counties” initiative is based on criteria already being used successfully in Fairfax County to address energy efficiency, renewable energy, land use, transportation, education and outreach, and water conservation. Counties will be asked to sign the U.S. Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration that will be introduced on Monday at the National Association of Counties’ annual conference, held this year in Richmond, Virginia.  Fairfax County is the first signatory to the declaration.


  • Penny Gross

    Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov