Falls Church News Briefs

F.C. School Board Adopts $39.7 Million Budget

The Falls Church School Board Tuesday night approved a $39.7 million budget for Fiscal Year 2010, coming in lower than the previous year’s number for the first time in the 60-year history of the system

, that will now be forwarded to the F.C. City Council for funding during its budget deliberations that begin next month. The budget is the same amount as proposed by Superintendent Dr. Lois Berlin last month, at a figure $400,000 below last year, but reduced her proposed “step” salary increase to half a step for eligible system employees. It includes an increase in the system’s subsidy for low-income day care families by $30,000 and provides lunch at no cost for students who qualify for reduced-price lunch under federal income guidelines. There are no layoffs in the budget, keeping the employee level the same as last year, when eight full-time equivalent positions were eliminated. The Council will vote on the final FY10 budget in late April.

Busy Friday Night Set in City of Falls Church

This Friday, Feb. 27, promises to be a very busy evening on in the City of Falls Church, as two of the community’s major non-profit cultural groups are holding major events. The Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation is holding its annual basketball game at the F.C. Community Center, honoring Black History Month, and the Falls Church Arts is holding a reception in the Don Beyer Volvo showroom to launch its annual art show and sale. Both events begin at 7 p.m. The Tinner Hill event features the highly-entertaining Harlem Magic Masters, coming for the third straight year to compete against a team of local Falls Church adult celebrities and teenage talents. The program for the Tinner Hill event begins earlier with a panel discussion from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Senior Room at the Community Center on the history and role of basketball among African Americans in the U.S. During halftime of the game, a presentation of Student Athlete of the Year awards will be made. In the Art Show, 68 local artists will be represented in a show that will continue after Friday’s reception for the following two weekends at the unfinished Arts Space of Falls Church at Pearson Square, 410 S. Maple St.

F.C. Council Eases Commercial Uses at Pearson Square

Grudgingly acknowledging the realities of the current economy, the Falls Church City Council unanimously OK’d a request by owners of the Pearson Square mixed use development on S. Maple St. to ease the allowed uses of its commercial storefront space, which are currently vacant. The request, which came from Robert Ruffatto, managing director of the Chicago-based Transwestern Investment Co., came with a silver lining, namely, his report that 90 percent of the 230 rental units in the building have been leased. Despite the economy, “Falls Church is a very desirable location,” he reported, indicating the 90 percent level is much higher than could be expected for such a project elsewhere in the region. He said a children’s “gymboree” and other potential tenants may occupy the storefront spaces with the easing of the City’s restraints on allowed uses. Earlier, the Council had approved shifting the residential units at the project from for-sale condominiums to rentals.

Reward Offered for Info on News-Press Box Thefts

The Falls Church News-Press is offering a reward for information leading to the apprehension of persons responsible for a pattern of criminal thefts of boxes owned by the News-Press from some Northern Virginia distribution sites. Fairfax Police have been notified of the thefts and the perpetrators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The theft is not only of News-Press property, but also of property in the form of paid advertisements appearing in the News-Press purchased by small businesses. Informants can call the News-Press at 703-532-3267.

Falls Church News-Press Completes 18 Years

With this edition of the Falls Church News-Press, 18 years of consecutive weekly publication are completed. Over that span, since March 1991, 926 editions of the News-Press have been compiled, printed and distributed, assisting local businesses with effective, affordable advertising, and for residents, chronicling the events, generating and shaping a sense of the community that is Falls Church and its Eastern Fairfax County and North Arlington environs.

Sen. Webb Speaks in Falls Church Next Friday

Sen. James Webb will move from his home in one section of Falls Church to a speaking engagement in another area of Falls Church next Friday, Mar. 6, when he is slated to speak to the monthly breakfast meeting of the Northern Virginia Democratic Business Council at 8 a.m. at the Fairview Park Marriott Hotel.