Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News from Greater Falls Church




Quilts have long inspired the artistic talents in many people who sew. In colonial days, a handmade quilt provided warmth on a cold winter’s night. Through the years, many quilts have attained heirloom status, passed down from one generation to another. Not too long ago, the quilts and quilters of Gees Bend, Alabama, created a sensation with their complex design and simple artistry. Those same quilts, and others, have been featured on United States postage stamps.

So it was with great delight that I welcomed a gorgeous exhibit of quilts from Quilters Unlimited to the Art in the Mason District Governmental Center program. More than a dozen quilts, large and small, using modern or old-fashioned techniques, grace the walls of my office. There are nature quilts and geometric ones; floral quilts and “mixed media” quilts using beads and ribbons as accents. Perhaps my favorite is also the largest quilt: Desert Kaleidoscope, a masterpiece of deep red, gold and blue. By reversing every other brightly-printed swatch in the circle, the quilt appears to change color slightly, just as a child’s kaleidoscope would. The quilt show, which is sponsored jointly by the Arts Council of Fairfax County and my office, can be viewed at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Voter registration cards were mailed this month to every active voter in Fairfax County. The new cards contain updated information about polling places (yours may have changed), congressional districts and Virginia General Assembly districts. The new card also contains a unique voter identification number, replacing the use of Social Security numbers as identifiers. If the information on your new Fairfax County voter registration card is not correct, please fill out the back of the card with the updated information and mail it to the Electoral Board, or call 703-222-0776 well before Election Day (which is November 4).

Have you ever noticed someone parking in an accessible parking space reserved for the disabled without a hanging placard or license plate with a wheelchair symbol? And have you ever hoped a ticket could be issued? At Monday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board approved an increase to the fine for parking in an accessible space reserved for disabled drivers. The previous fine was $250; effective last Tuesday, the fine doubles to $500. Nearly 600 citations were issued in Fairfax County last year to drivers who parked in accessible spaces without the proper documentation. Perhaps the new fine will deter violators and keep accessible parking available for those with legitimate health or disability conditions. Coincidentally, the 18th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is Saturday, July 26. ADA is comprehensive civil rights legislation at the federal level that protects the rights of people with disabilities.