F.C. News Briefs: April 16 – 22, 2009

Connolly, Hull Blast Va. GOP’s Stimulus Rejection

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly led an entourage of fellow Democratic state legislators, including Del. Bob Hull of Falls Church, at a rally in Alexandria Monday to “declare outrage”at the vote by Virginia’s House Republicans last week to reject $125 million in federal stimulus funds for enhanced unemployment benefits for out-of-work Virginians.

To qualify for the stimulus funding, Gov. Tim Kaine called for amending Virginia unemployment insurance law at last week’s so-called “Veto Session” of the legislature in Richmond. It would expand coverage to include unemployed workers looking for part-time jobs and state-approved job training courses. But House Republicans led the opposition to the proposal, and it fell in the House of Delegates, 53-46, despite all Democrats voting for it. With Virginia’s unemployment trust fund depleted, “accepting the funds would have kept the trust fund solvent for several more months and saved employers from higher taxes,” Hull said. “It would have been good for business as well as persons unemployed through no fault of their own.” In some areas of rural Virginia, the unemployment rate has soared above 12 percent.

Teen Murder Victim Lived in Falls Church

A 19-year-old woman stabbed to death in Herndon Sunday resided with friends in the City of Falls Church for six months prior to the fatal incident, a local resident has reported. Siobhan Russell, estranged from her parents who reside in the region, was staying at the home of Michael Johnson and his children. She was “good friends” with Johnson’s daughter, and often helped look after a son who is a student at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. Her 17-year-old boyfriend has been charged with murder in the stabbing, which reportedly occurred during an argument at the boyfriend’s home in Herndon. He is expected to be tried as an adult.

Dems Qualify 7 for Statewide Primary Ballot

The Democratic Party of Virginia officially announced yesterday that seven Democrats have qualified as candidates for the party’s nomination for three statewide positions, and will appear on the June 9 primary ballot. The formal certification of the candidates was announced by the party, as all successfully submitted a minimum of 10,000 petition signatures, including at least 400 in each of the state’s 11 congressional districts, to the State Board of Elections by April 10. For governor, on the ballot will be Terry R. McAuliffe, Brian J. Moran and R. Creigh Deeds, listed in that order. For lieutenant governor will be Jody M. Wagner, A. Michael Signer and Jon I. Bowerbank, listed in that order. State Del. Steve Shannon of Fairfax County was certified as the only Democratic candidate for attorney general, and will square off in November against the winner of a three-way Republican contest that will be decided at the GOP State Convention in Richmond May 29-30. For the GOP, Attorney General Bob McDonnell is uncontested for governor, while Bill Bolling and Patrick Muldoon face off for lieutenant governor, and John Brownlee, Ken Cuccinelli and Dave Foster vie for attorney general.

Local Photographer Featured in Goodwyn House Talk

Falls Church photographer Shaun VanSteyn, whose photo works are currently on display through May 23 at the Goodwyn House in Bailey’s Crossroads, will give a talk and be honored at a reception this Sunday, April 19, at 4 p.m. VanSteyn’s talk is entitled, “Look,” with a focus on paying attention to things that are commonly overlooked in one’s surroundings. The Goodwyn House is at 3440 S. Jefferson St. in Bailey’s Crossroads.