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Falls Church News Briefs

Gov. Kaine Weighs In on 11th District Dem Primary

 Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine threw his support to Fairfax County Board Chair Gerry Connolly Tuesday, balancing the endorsement U.S. Senator Jim Webb gave last month to Connolly’s rival, Former Rep. Leslie Byrne. Connolly and Byrne appear to be the front runners in a hot, four-way race to win the Democratic nomination in a June 10 primary for the 11th District U.S. Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Tom Davis in the fall.. Connolly hailed Kaine’s endorsement yesterday, saying, “I am very honored. The governor and I have been comrades in arms in a lot of battles in the General Assembly. It’s a common sense, results-oriented coalition that we’ve always put together.” In his statement, Kaine said Connolly has his “enthusiastic support,” citing Connolly’s “passion and integrity” and “deep sense of commitment to all he undertakes.

GMHS Ranked 3rd in Region on ‘Challenge Index’

 Falls Church’s George Mason High School was ranked third in the D.C. Metro region, and 58th nationally out of over 27,000 public high schools, on Newsweek magazine’s latest annual Challenge Index, developed by education writer Jay Mathews. Arlington’s Woodlawn High led the region, ranked 16th, followed by Langley High, ranked 55th. Other Virginia schools in the top 100 were Woodson, Yorktown, Lake Braddock and McLean. The index ranks the number of IB and AP tests against the size of the schools’ graduating classes, and also factors in economic factors such as the number of subsidized school lunches provided.

 

GMHS’ Atkeson Wins ‘Dear Editor’ Award Again 

For the second straight year, George Mason High School student Sam Atkeson took first place in the annual E. B. Henderson “Dear Editor” letter writing contest leading into the 15th Annual Tinner Hill Blues Festival set for June 14. Atkeson’s was one of scores of entries received from more than a dozen Northern Virginia schools. The competition honors the work of civil rights pioneer E. B. Henderson who as a resident of Falls Church in the early 20th century not only founded the first rural chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., but also wrote and had printed over 3,000 letters to the editor in newspapers nationwide. Atkeson won a $1,000 prize for his top finish. Luther Jackson Middle School student Jacqueline Harrell won second place ($500) and George Mason’s Synneva Elthon won third place ($300). Other winners, each getting $50, were: 4th Place—Lori Pandit, Luther Jackson; 5th Place – Elie Silverman, GMHS; 6th Place – Hailey Johnson, Thomas Jefferson High; 7th Place – Adrea Jackson, Thomas Jefferson High; 8th Place – Nithya Murali, Carlson Middle School; 9th Place – Elsie Poon, GMHS; 10th Place – Nikki Pangilinan, Thomas Jefferson High. The Tinner Hill Festival will be held in Cherry Hill Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The “Dear Editor” winners will be introduced and receive their awards at that time.

 

Former F.C. School Board Member Dies 

Janice M. Eklund, 57, member of the City of Falls Church School Board from 1994 to 1998 and its vice chair two years, died after a lengthy illness on May 6 at her home in Annandale. A memorial service is scheduled June 7 at the Falls Church Presbyterian Church. A complete obituary report will appear in next week’s News-Press.

 

GMHS “Spring Concert” Set Thursday, May 29 

As another school year begins to wind down at Falls Church’s George Mason High School, one last gala production will be held in the school auditorium. It’s the annual Spring Concert, set for Thursday, May 29 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and the concert will reprise the efforts of the concert and symphonic bands, the jazz ensemble, sax quarter and percussion ensembles. Among the graduating seniors are several who will be featured in solo performances, including Yusof Becker, Adam Gann, Seth Ensign, Morgan Moscati, Emily Perry, Nathan Ward and Jeff Williams.

 

Baroukh Reiterates F.C. Council Bid Was Independent 

Nader Baroukh, elected to the Falls Church City Council in the May 6 municipal election, issued a statement Tuesday to clarify the independent nature of his campaign. He disputed the language in a News-Press article last week which said that former Vice Mayor Sam Mabry “spearheaded pro-referendum and non-CBC candidate efforts.” Baroukh stated, “I ran as an independent. No one particular person ‘spearheaded’ my campaign. My campaign was based on a grassroots effort and was successful due to the hard work of numerous volunteers.” News-Press Editor Nicholas Benton, who authored the piece, apologized for the word choice, saying that while Mabry “spearheaded” the pro-referendum effort, he “supported” the non-CBC candidate efforts.

 

Fairfax County Hits New High in Recycling 

Fairfax County’s “2007 Recycling Rate Report,” prepared by the Solid Waste Management Program, marks a new high point in recycling. According to the report, the residents and business of Fairfax County combined to recycle 38 percent of all the waste generated by the county during 2007, an increase of three percent from the previous year.