News Briefs

December 20-26, 2007

F.C. Water Tower Star Revived for New Year’s Eve

A 12-foot-tall metal star with sockets for colored lights was elevated onto the City of Falls Church’s water tower every holiday season from 1948 until the demolition of the water tower in 1979. This fall, Barbara Cram, chief organizer of this New Year’s Eve’s “Watch Night” in downtown Falls Church, went on a mission to find the long-lost star. With the help of F.C. Director of Operations Robert Goff, it was found in the hollows of a City storage building, and Cram has revived it to shine on once again. This New Year’s Eve, with the aid of a giant crane donated by Atlantic Realty, the lighted star will drop gradually, ala the ball in Times Square, as the midnight hour approaches, highlighting the evening’s wide array of festivities around the intersection of Route 29 and 7. The star was designed by local architect Victor Spector and built by Dixie Sheet Metal of Falls Church. It was first put in place by Don Frady, then director of Public Works, and his crew. The old water tower, which went up in 1931 following a drought, was reportedly a key landmark for airplanes landing at National Airport from the west. The 100 block of W. Broad Street will be closed to traffic beginning at 6 p.m. this New Year’s Eve for the popular Watch Night celebration.


‘Rookie of Year’ Webb to Gavel Pro-Forma Sessions

Named one of two “Rookies of the Year” by the Politico news organization this week, Virginia U.S. Senator Jim Webb will once again play a major role in preventing “recess appointments” by President Bush, gaveling in four of 11 pro forma sessions of the Senate between Dec. 21 and Jan. 18. Such moves to keep the Senate from going more than three days at any one time without convening, preventing the president from making appointments in its absence. “I strongly believe in the U.S. Senate’s constitutional oversight role,” Webb said. “Presidential nominations for important positions should be carefully considered and debated before the Senate to ensure the most qualified individuals are serving the American people.” Webb will cross the Potomac from his Arlington home to gavel the Senate into session Dec. 21, Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 11. In naming him a “Rookie of the Year,” Politico said, “The freshman Virginia Democrat, who opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, was seen early on as the leader of a new vanguard of populist, anti-war Democrats. Given plum posts on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees and tapped to give the response to President Bush’s State of the Union address just 19 days after he was sworn in, Webb quickly lived up to expectations, emerging this year as a leading Democratic voice in the Iraq war debate.”


Virginia Dems Certify 6 for Presidential Primary Ballot

Yesterday it was announced that six candidates for president of the U.S. were certified to appear on the Democratic Party presidential primary ballot on Feb. 12, 2008. Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama and Bill Richardson all turned in enough signatures to the Virginia State Board of Elections to qualify to run in the primary. Candidate Chris Dodd did not file with the State Board of Elections by the Dec. 14 deadline last Friday.