Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

Spring finally is here, bringing with it a potpourri of interesting items for discussion and consideration. If potpourri brings to mind sweet or spicy smelling dried flowers and herbs, take a deep breath. This potpourri uses the American Heritage Dictionary’s first definition: a combination of various incongruous elements – all of which have been piling up on my desk, waiting for some springtime air.

· The annual spring clothing sale at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church will be held this Saturday, March 28, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Men’s, women’s, and children’s used clothing will be sold for 50 cents for each piece. According to sale organizer Dee Dee Payne, anything not sold by 12:30 p.m. will be free! This annual event helps many members of the community find low cost or free clothing. St. Alban’s is located at 6800 Columbia Pike in Annandale.

· A dog found in the Lincolnia area of Mason District has tested positive for rabies. The white with brown spots female Chihuahua, which was not wearing a collar, was captured after it attacked another dog. The injured dog will be euthanized, and the Chihuahua is deceased. This incident reinforces the importance of keeping pets vaccinated against rabies, avoiding stray animals, and reporting all animal bites to your local animal control agency. Additional information about rabies can be found at www.cdc.gov/rabies.

· The Emerald Ash Borer, a wood-infesting insect that destroys valuable and beautiful ash trees, has been identified in Fairfax County, including in the Bailey’s Crossroads area. Once a tree has been attacked by the Emerald Ash Borer, it is likely to die after a year or two. To stop the spread of this voracious metallic green beetle, do not transport firewood out of the area. If you are a camper, resist the urge to “bring some firewood from home.” You can find more information at www.emeraldashborer.info, or www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/environmental/pests.htm.

· Fairfax County is one of the safest communities of its size in the entire nation. With eight police districts patrolled by nearly 1400 sworn officers, Fairfax County’s annual cost for police service is about $210 per resident, a figure most would agree is a real bargain. At the Mason Station area, which includes a majority of the Mason magisterial district and the Mantua area of Providence District, officers responded to nearly 35,000 calls for service in 2008. Robberies decreased dramatically overall, and there was just one pedestrian fatality in Mason in all of 2008, a testament to the extra effort by police to educate pedestrians and drivers alike about safe crossings. Traffic safety campaigns and sobriety checkpoints screened thousands of vehicles and resulted in nearly 9000 tickets issued for various infractions and violations. Mason police officers remind everyone: When we pull you over, it’s for your own good. I hope you are not the next driver to be pulled over!