Falls Church City News Briefs

Sen. Webb Moves Back to Falls Church Home

U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.), wife Hong Le Webb and year-and-a-half-old daughter Georgia have moved back to their residence in the Lake Barcroft section of Falls Church, after a brief foray into Arlington. After being elected to the Senate in November 2006, the Webbs bought a four-bedroom townhouse in North Arlington with the idea that it would be closer to Webb’s new job. But, in the meantime, they held onto and renovated their six-bedroom Lake Barcroft home, originally built in 1955, adding a second story. Now, they’ve announced they will move back into their old neighborhood. Sen. Webb’s two older children were both graduates of the nearby J.E.B. Stuart High School.

New Offer Postpones Affordable Housing Vote

The Falls Church City Council has delayed until Aug. 11 its vote on the City Center South Apartments plan for 174 new affordable housing units because of a positive new development that promises to solve parking and other issues. A new player, Thomas Sawner, indicated his willingness to participate with the Falls Church Housing Corporation (FCHC) in the acquisition of an old office building at 360 S. Washington St., to demolish it and build a new combination parking and office structure. That structure would be adjacent the new City Center South Apartments building the FCHC is working with Homestretch, Inc., to put up, after demolishing two other older buildings at the site. In a financial trade-off, the FCHC would save enough from not having to build underground parking in order to share with Sawner in the construction of his parking and office structure. Insofar as the plan involves a considerable investment of City taxpayer dollars, the City Council was expected to decide on a financing plan for the newly configured project at a work session last night, prior to its vote on Aug. 11.

F.C. Council Revises Pension Investment Portfolio

The recent instability in the stock markets, which moved into a downward-trending “bear market” this month, caused some jitters on the Falls Church City Council Monday, as it was reminded that it was the primary fiduciary responsible for the City’s investment of its pension plan resources. The investment portfolio of the City of Falls Church’s pension plan, available to all City employees, was modified by a unanimous vote of the Council Monday in a move aimed at further diversifying stock components. Richard Parker, the City’s human resources director, brought the proposed changes to the Council, as recommended by the City’s Retirement Board. The board’s investment consultant, Howard H. Poll of Becker, Burke Associates advised that the pension funds be invested within new ranges, expanded to include mid cap stocks, infrastructure and international emerging markets. “Our fund has done very well in recent years,” Parker said, “although the market may be coming into some rough years. We are well-funded and will come through it fine.”

8,251 Haven’t Collected Stimulus Checks in Fairfax County

According to the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, 123,996 low-income seniors, veterans and people with disabilities in Virginia have yet to claim their economic stimulus payments from the federal government, and that includes 8,251 in Fairfax County owed $2,475,000 in unclaimed dollars. Residents have until Oct. 15 to file a tax return to receive a stimulus payment. The Community Tax Law Project is willing to provide free assistance at (804) 358-5855, or

News-Press Credited Nationally With Kaine Report

The Falls Church News-Press was credited by major national news organizations this week for breaking news of the first major indicator that Virginia Governor Tim Kaine is being seriously considered as Barack Obama’s running mate. The News-Press reported in last week’s edition that former Democratic National Committee chair and head of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Terry McAuliffe, strongly endorsed Kaine in a speech to the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. That was picked up, with attribution, by the Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe, along with major news web sites and blogs, including ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, New York Magazine, the Huffington Post, Buzzflash, Wonkette and Slate. Sunday, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama echoed what McAuliffe stated were the main criteria for selecting a running mate; namely, personal compatibility and the ability to work as a team. Five days after the News-Press story, The Washington Post did its own page one story about Kaine’s prospects this Tuesday, excluding any reference to McAuliffe’s speech.