News Briefs

December 27, 2007 – January 2, 2008


150 Attend 18th News-Press Holiday Party

Once again this year, more than 150 friends of the Falls Church News-Press assembled for a warm, inviting and fun evening of levity and cheer at the annual News-Press Holiday Party on Dec. 17. Brass and jazz ensembles from George Mason High School provided live music while Ledo’s Pizza catered the food. The sign-in guest book was a veritable catalogue of local celebrities, including Falls Church Mayor Robin Gardner and her family, and Vice Mayor Lindy Hockenberry. Former U.S. Congressman Leslie Byrne was on hand, having announced her candidacy for another congressional run in the 11th District next year. Falls Church Council members Hal Lippman, David Snyder and Dan Maller signed in, as did City Manager Wyatt Shields and Assistant City Manager Cindy Mester. Former Mayor Brian O’Connor and former Vice Mayor Dr. Steve Rogers came. Chamber of Commerce board chair Gary LaPorta and executive director Sally Cole were there, along with Chamber board heavy Paul Barkley and former executive director Hap Day. City Treasurer Cathy Kaye and was on hand, along with former treasurer Bob Morrison, with Meredith. The Rev. Davies Kirkland of the Dulin United Methodist Church came, along with the Tinner Hill Foundation’s Ed and Nikki Graves Henderson, developers Adam Shulman of Atlantic Realty and Bob Young of the Young Group. Garrett Rambler of Vantage Fitness came, along with School Board member Kieran Sharpe, Planning Commissioner Melissa Teates, League of Women Voters honcho Bev Rausch, Falls Church Education Foundation’s Donna Englander, Falls Church Episcopal lay leader Robin Fetsch, acting talent Miles Butler with his family, Creative Cauldron’s Laura Hull and Eileen Levy, Housing Corporation chief Carol Jackson, City Clerk Kathy Buschow, Village Preservation and Improvement Society president Barry Buschow and former VPIS head Keith Thurston, and Historical Commission boss Ric Terman. Stacy Hennessey of Stacy’s Coffee with kids, Gay pioneers Lilli Vincenz and Nancy Davis came, as did Valli Swerdlow of the Metro D.C. chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. News-Press columnists Kevin Mellema and Richard Barton were there, with Mark Werblood, Rubin Rodriguez, Tom Devlin, Althea Johnston, Liz Day, Shaun Van Steyn, Julia Duin of the Washington Times and Veeka, Phil Duncan, Jonathan Harper and Gordon Phelps, Gordon Theisz, Patrice McKenney, Teddy Wiant, Ralph Perrino, Michael Ankuma, Karl Ensign and family, Karen Bune, Wanda Howard, Jeanna Spielman of Gannett Offset, Cindy Elkin of Diener and Associates, CPAs, Nathan Hamme, Deborah Thompson and many, many more. 

Del. Scott Introduces Housing Non-Discrimination Bill

As the Virginia State Legislature goes into session on Jan. 9 in Richmond, Falls Church area Delegate Jim Scott announced that he’s introduced a bill that would mandate non-discrimination in housing with respect to gay and lesbian citizens. Last legislative session, a law was passed and signed by Gov. Tim Kaine granting visitation rights in hospitals and other medical facilities for persons other than traditional spouses or close family. Scott’s bill has been introduced before, but he said he feels its chances of getting out of committee and onto the floor for a full vote and passage are improving.


Snyder Elected Chair of Regional Air Quality Board

Falls Church City Councilman David Snyder was elected chair last week of the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee, charged with coordinating the region’s air quality planning, as well as being named Second Vice Chair for Virginia of the Transportation Planning Board. That board must approve all federally-funded transit, highway and pedestrian/bicycle projects in the D.C. Metro region.


1 DWI Arrest Made in Rt. 50 Sobriety Check-Point

Fairfax County Police conducted a Sobriety Check Point near the intersection of Arlington Blvd. (Rt. 50) and Annandale Road. Between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 23, all motorists were stopped by police and checked to assure that their abilities to drive had not been impaired by alcohol or drugs. Out of 545 drivers stopped, one arrest was made for a DWI. Ten traffic summonses were issued for various minor offenses.