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News Briefs

February 7 – 13, 2008

Sen. Webb Calls for Infrastructure Investment

Virginia U.S. Sen. James Webb issued a statement yesterday saying “investment in our nation’s roadways, transit systems and water systems…is the strongest tonic for economic stimulation.” His comments were made in the context of the debate on an economic stimulus package, currently underway in Congress. The package, he stated, should be “aimed at easing the hardships that less fortunate Americans are now experiencing” including, “funding for a heating assistance program for low-income households, an immediate, refundable rebate for low- and middle-income families, and federal assistance to the state to assist them in financing Medicaid.” But, he reiterated, investing in infrastructure is key because it “will address one of the major concerns of a potential recession: job creation.” He cited estimates that every $1 billion invested in infrastructure creates 47,500 jobs.

 

F.C. Attorney Wins Termination of Proposed Debarment

Falls Church Attorney Janine S. Benton, Esq., was notified by the U.S. Department of the Army last week that proposed actions to debar her client, Robert A. Raggio of Babylon, New York, had been terminated. The case involving U.S. government contracts for services in Iraq drew major media attention. Raggio and his company, Reviewer Management Services, Ltd., were accused of an alleged conflict of interest and a violation of government ethics regulations. Represented by Attorney Benton, Raggio was notified by a letter from an Army Legal Services Agency official on Jan. 31 that, “Based upon the oral presentation and supporting materials submitted for my review…I have determined that you and your company are presently responsible government contractors.” It added, “Effective immediately, proposed debarments of both you and Reviewer Management Services, Ltd., are terminated.” It then stated, “Your name has been removed from the General Services Administration’s Excluded Parties List System,” and, “All restrictions placed upon you in accordance with Section 9.405 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation have been removed.”

 

 F.C. Olympic Hopeful Makes Skeleton Team

Falls Church’s 26-year-old Tom Abbey, an assistant track coach and trainer at Vantage Fitness, leaves Sunday for a second two week training session at Lake Placid, New York, having succeeded in his bid to enter into the Olympic Development Program in hopes of earning a spot on the U.S. skeleton racing team for the 2010 Olympics. As a member of the program, he gets to train, eat and live for free while at the Olympic Training Center at Lake Placid. However, he still needs financial support to purchase a sled, shoes and steel runners, and to make up for lost wages at home for the routine one-to-two week periods he will be spending in training. It is common for Olympic hopefuls to be helped with contributions made by check to the USBSF Athlete Training Fund. The individual athlete’s name cannot appear anywhere on the check, but it can be accompanied by a note specifying that the contribution is to aid Skeleton Athlete Tom Abbey. They can be mailed to Tom Abbey, c/o Vantage Fitness, 402 W. Broad St., Falls Church, Va. 22046, or brought by in person.

 

Sexual Assault Tuesday in Falls Church

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7:45 p.m., a 29-year-old Falls Church-area woman was abducted and assaulted near Lee Highway and George Mason Road. The victim was walking on Lee Highway on the sidewalk and talking on her cell phone when she was attacked. The suspect, approximately 5 ft. 8 in., 200 pounds and wearing a black mask, grabbed her and touched her inappropriately. He fled the scene and she was not injured. Fairfax Police are working the case with the possibility it is connected to a series of attacks with similar characteristics and suspect description. City of Falls Church Police have also increased uniform patrols in targeted areas and times of day.