Falls Church News Briefs

News Briefs for the week of April 24 – April 30, 2008.


 Virginia NOW Clarifies Endorsement of Byrne

Reacting to 11th Congressional District candidate Gerry Connolly’s use of the logo of the National Organization of Women (NOW) in a mailing last week, Marj Singer, president of Virginia NOW issued a statement yesterday confirming that the national NOW political action committee has endorsed Connolly’s rival, former U.S. Rep. Leslie Byrne. Connolly, Byrne, Doug Denneny and Lori Alexander are vying for the Democratic nomination for the 11th District seat, which is being vacated by Rep. Tom Davis. The primary is June 10. In her statement, Singer said NOW endorsed Byrne “because she has championed women’s rights for decades.” On the other hand, she said, Connolly’s use of NOW’s logo in a new mailing “is disrespectful to Virginians who have fought for women’s rights and misleading to voters,” adding Virginia NOW members “have no recollection of Connolly being publicly engaged in the women’s rights movement in Northern Virginia.”

Benefit for “Sister City” Kokolopori on May 1

With a goal of raising $15,000 for a clinic in the Kokolopori region in the central rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Kokolopori-Falls Church Sister City Partnership will hold a benefit reception on Thursday, May 1, at The Atrium at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Va. The money raised will pay the next year of the clinic doctor’s salary and provide urgently-needed medicines, equipment and mid-wife training. The reception will include a Congolese band and a West African buffet supper. Attendees are asked to contribute $50 or more. For more information, or to RSVP, contact

F.C. Education Foundation Gets Big Banquet Boost

Over 200 attended the annual banquet of the non-profit Falls Church Education Foundation last Friday, and over $75,000 was raised. Four special programs were highlighted: 1. A “Forever Young” campaign to raise funds to name a classroom in honor of the FCEF’s first president, Bob Young of The Young Group, 2. A $5,000 contribution from the News-Press’ Nicholas Benton to extend the FCEF’s wildly-successful “Diversity Affirmation Education Fund” (DAEF) sponsorship of “Challenge Days” at George Mason High to also include the Henderson Middle School (an initial gift by Benton three years ago launched the DAEF), 3. A fundraising campaign for the FCEF in honor of former F.C. Treasurer Bob Morrison, launched by his wife as a surprise birthday gift last month, and, 4. The Bob Wilden After-School Computer Training Project for disadvantaged middle school youth in F.C. By chance, the mother of one of the students in the program featured in a short video was present at the event as an employee of the Westin Hotel. She met Wildon after the banquet to express her appreciation and the two had their photo taken together. Dr. Gregory Howard Williams, president of the City College of New York and a former George Mason High teacher, was the keynote speaker and Colm Dillon, owner of the popular Ireland’s Four Provinces restaurant in F.C. was an effective auctioneer.

‘Hanson’ Plans Benefit Walk in Falls Church

Prior to their concert at the State Theatre next Thursday, May 1, the three brothers making up the musical group Hanson will do a one-mile walking tour around Falls Church with fans and supporters to raise money and consciousness for fighting AIDS and poverty in Africa. Famous for their hit, “Mmmmbop,” 11 years ago, the brothers – Isaac, Taylor and Zac – are now in their 20s and continuing to tour and record. A trip to Africa last year inspired the theme of their current “The Walk Tour” of concerts, each with a fundraising trek through neighborhoods around venues in dozens of cities. On May 1, their walking tour will commence from the State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church, at 3 p.m.

News-Press Hailed as a “Best” by City Paper

In its first “Best of D.C.” edition in 15 years, the widely-circulated Washington City Paper this week named the Falls Church News-Press the “Best Remnant of the Liberal Media.” It was one of many categories selected by the paper’s editors, in addition to the results of reader polls. “The phrase, ‘the liberal media’ might be a big lie outside of Falls Church. But not inside. Since 1991, publisher Nicholas F. Benton has made sure his Falls Church News-Press has afflicted the comfortable within the wealthy and historically-conservative city’s borders,” the five-paragraph explanation began.

Over 100 Celebrate New ‘Priest in Charge’

Comments by the Rev. Peter Lee, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, highlighted a ceremony to install the Rev. Michael Pipkin as the “priest in charge” for the congregation of “continuing Episcopalians” who remained aligned with the Episcopal Church after a majority of fellow parishioners at the Falls Church Episcopal voted to defect in 2006. While the defectors now call their church The Falls Church Anglican, the “continuing Episcopalians” have now organized under the title, Falls Church Episcopal Church. Over 100 attended Sunday’s ceremony, including the Bishop Lee, who in his remarks stressed that Episcopalians are “a church of inclusion, not exclusion.”