Falls Church News Briefs

Planners Split Vote, 3-3, on Hotel Near St. James

At 12:15 a.m. Tuesday morning, members of the Falls Church Planning Commission completed voting on their recommendation to the City Council concerning a proposed Hilton Garden Inn in the 700 block of West Broad St., a half-block away from the St. James School. The vote was three for, three against a favorable recommendation, a tie that means no such recommendation will be forwarded. Again, the City Hall chambers were filled to overflowing with citizens who signed up to testify both for and against the project. The matter will now come back to the Council, which gave its preliminary approval to the required “special exceptions” in March. The Council is slated to hold a work session on May 19, and a public hearing and final vote on May 27. While everyone agreed that the safety and welfare of the children at St. James was a paramount concern, some St. James parents raised fears of dire danger posed by the hotel. “We all know what happens in hotels,” City resident Ken Blanco said, alleging that people go to them to do things “anonymously” and “secretly” and that they are havens for crime, prostitution, guns, drugs and “preying on vulnerable children.” However, developer Bob Young cited law enforcement experts who told him that the Hilton Garden Inn would “make the entire area safer and more secure for the community” and a National Center for Safe Routes to School “Walkability Checklist” that included “no warnings about hotels.” Issues of traffic, parking and pedestrian safety were also argued from both sides.


4 Say They’re Eager to Win 11th District Dem Nomination

The four Democrats vying to win the Democratic nomination in a June 10 primary to compete for Virginia’s 11th District Congressional seat vacated by Rep. Tom Davis in November appeared at an Annandale event Sunday, all eager to win voter support for the key election now just a month away. In order, Iraq War veteran Doug Denneny, physical therapist Lori Alexander, Former U.S. Rep. Leslie Byrne and Fairfax County Board Chair Gerry Connolly addressed scores attending a brunch hosted by the Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Club. All said they felt chances to elect a Democrat from the district, represented by the Republican Davis since 1994, were excellent, although not a “slam dunk,” despite Republican-controlled re-districting in 2002 aimed at making it more secure for the GOP. Byrne noted that she won 55% of the vote in the district when she ran for lieutenant governor in 2005, and Connolly said he won 59% in the district in his run for county board re-election in 2006. Denneny said he’s a “new generation Democrat,” touting progressive values and fiscal discipline. Alexander said she’s acutely aware of “discrimination on the basis of economic class,” while Byrne said she wants to make sure “there’s no war without end in Iraq.” Connolly said that, among other things, 10 years’ experience as a staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee qualifies him. 

Arrest Made in Stabbing Death of F.C. Teen

The fatal stabbing of a Harbi Adam, 18, a senior at J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, in the early hours of Sunday, April 27, has resulted in the arrest of a suspect, Fairfax County Police said Tuesday. The stabbing occurred during a fight between two groups and involved at least a dozen people, which police say was not gang related. Arrested and charged with murder Monday was Joshua S. Puryear, 21, of Manassas. He was apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Service in Southeast Washington. Police were called to the 3700 block of Powell Lane at 4 a.m. on the morning of April 27 and found two young men lying in the street. Both had been stabbed, and Adam died a short time later. The second victim, a 20-year-old from Annandale, remains in the hospital. 

F.C. Area Man Robbed While Sitting in Car

 Just after midnight on Saturday, May 3, a 31-year-old Falls Church-area man was robbed while sitting in his car and talking on this cellular phone. The incident occurred in the 3600 block of Barcroft View Terrace. Two men approached the victim’s car, according to Fairfax Police, one displaying a handgun, and demanded money. The man complied and the suspects fled toward Columbia Pike. The suspects were described as white or possible Middle Eastern men, 25 to 30 years, 5 ft. 7 in. tall and 140 pounds. Both wore dark clothing and black skull caps. Persons with information are urged to contact Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-8477.