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Falls Church City News Briefs




F.C. Police Investigate Kaiser Identity Theft

City of Falls Church officials confirmed yesterday that City police are investigating a case of identity theft by a former employee at the Kaiser Permanente Clinic on N. Washington St. According to a correspondence from Kaiser to its members and patients who may have been the victims of the theft, the former employee stole some names, dates of birth, last four digits of social security numbers, and copied credit card or other financial information without authorization.

The information may have been taken from appointment check in and co-payment collection processes at the Falls Church Center between Jan. 1, 2007 and May 1, 2008. Hyun June Lee, the City of Falls Church’s Public Information Director, urged persons to check their credit card statements to see if any unauthorized charges have occurred. She said that Kaiser confirmed that all considered at risk for the theft have already been notified by Kaiser by mail.

F.C. Community Center Closed Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Cleaning, painting and other maintenance needs will require the closing of the Falls Church Community Center for one week leading up to Labor Day this month. The center will be closed to all activities, drop-in recreational use, room rentals, and other normally-scheduled functions from Aug. 25 to Sept. 1. However, employees will continue to staff the front desk, answer phones and complete sports and class registrations, and entering facility reservations. The center will be completely closed on Sunday, Aug. 31, and Monday, Sept. 1, Labor Day.

Expanded Shoulder Hours on I-66 Begin Aug. 25

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced this week that the hours of operation for the I-66 shoulder lanes between I-495 and Route 50 will be extended one hour in the morning and another hour in the afternoon beginning Monday, Aug. 25. The new hours will be, on weekdays, from 5:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. eastbound, and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. westbound. The section of I-66 in question carries more traffic than any other section of I-66, VDOT reported, up to 196,000 vehicles on an average weekday. VDOT said it conducted a comprehensive safety study of the corridor and found no significant difference in crashes when the shoulders are open. The shoulders will also be opened during traffic incidents or when there is planned road work. HOV-2 hours will remain the same, 5:30 to 9 a.m. eastbound and 3 to 7 p.m. westbound.

Connolly Hosts Convention-Watch Party on Aug. 27

Democratic U.S. Congressional candidate Gerry Connolly, currently chair of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, announced this week he’s hosting a party at the Sign of the Whale in Falls Church’s Loehmann’s Plaza on Wednesday, Aug. 27, to watch the Democratic National Convention on television. On that date, the vice presidential candidate choice of Barack Obama, who has yet to be named, is scheduled to deliver his or her speech.

Community Newspapers ‘Holding Own’ in Downturn

The Tribune Newspapers yesterday reported a 15% advertising revenue downturn in the second quarter of 2008, compared to the year before, in line with the dismal performance of other major urban dailies and chains. But community newspapers remain “the sweet spot” in the industry, according to a report from the Suburban Newspapers of America (SNA). A review of first quarter financial data collected by the SNA, community newspapers experienced a downturn of only 2.4% compared to the first quarter of 2007. Hundreds of daily and weekly community newspapers, representing nearly 14.5 million in circulation with annual revenues of over $2 billion, participate in the SNA financial reporting group. “Community newspapers are doing well because they provide much needed hyper-local news and advertising,” said SNA President Nancy Lane. “Advertisers, especially at the community level, are reaching an engaged audience that no other medium can effectively serve.”