News Briefs

November 8 – 14, 2007

F.C. School Scrubs for MRSA Postpone Events

Falls Church Recreation and Parks indoor sports league games scheduled for the gym facilities at George Mason High School and Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School last weekend were postponed to allow for a thorough scrub of those facilities in response to heightened concerns about contagious MRSA staph infections. Two confirmed reports of students at GMHS contracting the infection were reported last week, and there is word of a third case this week, called into the schools by a parent whose infected youth was at home. Last week, when it was learned after Mason’s Homecoming game last month that a player on the Rappahannock High football team had been infected, the entire Mason team went in for check-ups. All came out OK. Falls Church Schools Superintendent Dr. Lois Berlin sent all students home with a note last week spelling out basic hygienic means of avoiding the infection, such as frequent washing of hands and common-use surfaces. “It is important for everyone to know that schools are not the only places where people can become infected,” said FCCPS spokesman Karen Acar. “We are being pro-active in our education and hygienic efforts, and urge people to do likewise in whatever settings they find themselves.” She said that in all cases where students here have contracted the infection, “they are recovering under a physicians care.”


F.C. Council Sets Transportation Priorities

Facing a deadline this Friday to present a list of transportation improvement priorities to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, the Falls Church City Council gave preliminary approval to a list of projects eligible to receive funding as a result of the authority’s new taxing authority. The list includes a municipal parking garage feasibility study, roadbed condition assessment, roadbed reconstruction, road paving, trail improvements, sidewalk construction, repair and replacement, pedestrian and traffic calming improvements, Washington Street streetscape, Broad Street streetscape, bicycle route improvements, bus shelters and mandated City contributions to Metro. Although the deadline for filing the priorities is this Friday, the Council will endorse them retroactively with a vote at its meeting Monday.


F.C. Mulls Bond to Pay Share of Aqueduct Upgrade

The F.C. City Council is mulling the issuance of a $9 million bond to pay its share of federally-mandated Washington Aqueduct environmental upgrades. City Manager Wyatt Shields has recommended the Council approve the issue as general obligation, rather than revenue bonds, because they can bear a lower interest rate. However, they would be backed by all City revenues rather than only water fund revenues. Even with this, the City is nowhere near approaching its legal limit for assuming debt obligations, Chief Financial Officer John Tuohy reported.