News Briefs

July 12 – 18, 2007

Tysons Tunnel Advocates “Reach Out to F.C.” at State Theatre

“We’re holding this meeting here to reach out to the City of Falls Church because it will be affected hugely by this development,” said Scott Monett, president of said during opening remarks of a public forum at the State Theatre, Tuesday night. The non-profit group is dedicated to rallying public support for their desire to have the extension of the Metro rail line through Tysons Corner built underground, instead of over-ground as now planned. The over-ground plan “would create major traffic congestion affecting Falls Church residents,” Monett said. The group’s objections to the over-ground plan, spelled out at the meeting, include the impact of construction on the traffic corridors running through Tysons, environmental damage, noise pollution and aesthetic reasons. Monett said that, according to his research, the cost of building underground would be about the same as an elevated rail when taking into account the massive traffic disruption and business displacement that the construction of an elevated rail would cause. Five major engineering firms have been retained by to devise plans for what an undergrounded system would involve.


Shields: Cooling Assistance Available for Elderly, Low Income

Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields announced Monday that the current heat wave can be mitigated for senior citizens and low income families by a federally-funded “cooling assistance” program operating out of the City’s Housing and Human Services Department. The program can assist in covering the high cost of cooling homes, providing air conditioning and other cooling equipment and in the repair of existing equipment. Inquiries should be directed to (703) 248-5005.


Peppe Named F.C. School Board Vice Chair

Ron Peppe was selected as the new vice chair of the Falls Church School Board at its organizational meeting at the outset of the new fiscal year last week. Craig Cheney was re-elected chair of the board. Peppe replaces Kathy Chandler in the position. Chandler, who has also been a former chair, will remain on the board. Peppe completed his first year on the board last week. Prior to moving to Falls Church in 2004, he served for severalyears on the Frederick County (Maryland) school board, including time served as its president. He is also a past president of the George Mason High School PTSA. Cheney has been on the school board since 2004.


Virginia’s First 2007 Case of West Nile Virus Reported

Fairfax County Health officials yesterday reported the first human case of West Nile Virus this year in Virginia. The case involves a 72-year-old resident from the Springfield District. Tests were confirmed Tuesday. Last year, a total of three cases were reported in the county. Humans contract the virus most often from the bite of an infected mosquito. Most do not get sick, but some suffer a mild flu-like illness. In a few people, mostly over 50, the virus can cause serious illnesses such as encephalitis and meningitis.