Falls Church News Briefs: June 11 – 17, 2009

Tinner Hill Blues Festival Readies Launch

Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation organizers have declared their second annual Tinner Hill Blues Festival ready for launch with a forecast of a sunny weekend, with a dizzying array of music, art and special events that commences at noon Friday and doesn’t end until Sunday night, all in the City of Falls Church.

Music begins Friday with noon concerts at George Mason Square, The Marketplace at the Spectrum and at Pearson Square. At 5 p.m. there is an opening reception at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center featuring the art of Rik Freeman. At 8 p.m. there is a benefit concert featuring Chuck Brown at the State Theatre. On Saturday, there is music at the F.C. Farmer’s Market, and book readings at 10, 12 and 2 p.m. at the M.S. Styles Public Library. At 10 a.m. there is a panel discussion at the Cherry Hill Farmhouse, at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. there are showings of a documentary about the late blues legend, John Jackson, at the Community Center, from 1 to 8 p.m. there are a succession of performers in Cherry Hill Park, with a children’s program in the Cherry Hill Pavilion. At 2:30 p.m. winners of the “Dear Editor” student essay contest will be introduced, and at 8 p.m. another concert will be held at the State Theatre. On Sunday, a musical brunch will be held at the Bangkok Blues Café, and a closing music and art show will be at the Shreve McGonegal showroom. All info can be found at



Smithsonian Exhibit Set for Eden Center June 20-Aug. 31

“Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon” is the title of a Smithsonian exhibit that will be on display in the City of Falls Church’s Eden Center this summer, it was officially announced this Monday. The exhibit will be housed at the now-vacant former home of the National Warehouse Liquidators, and will run from June 20 to August 31. The Eden Center’s owner, Capital Commercial Properties, officially announced the exhibit Monday. The exhibit has been on a national tour since September 2007 and its stop here will be the sixth on a 10-city trek. It includes 93 panels with text and photographs, two videos and 14 life-size contour cut outs. It is produced by the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Program, and recounts a journey more than 30 years in the making.


F.C. Council Postpones Vote on Meals Tax Hike

Hearing from local restaurant owners and the F.C. Chamber of Commerce, the Falls Church City Council delayed its plans to remove a discount incentive the City has traditionally offered establishments that pay their meals tax bills to the City on time. The move was included in the calculations for the coming fiscal year budget, expected to add about $40,000 to the City’s $70 million annual budget. But when the Council was told that restaurateurs in the City are struggling in the bad economy and to consider the incentive an offset for what credit card companies charge restaurants to accept the meals tax payments from customers. F.C. Commissioner of the Revenue Tom Clinton told the Council that, if the incentive is not eliminated, the $40,000 could be made up by meals tax revenues from new restaurants expected to open in the coming year. David and Rebecca Tax, F.C. residents and co-owners of Clare and Don’s, Mike’s Deli and Lazy Sundae in the City, spoke against removing the incentive, and the views of Colm Dillon, owner of Ireland’s Four Provinces, were expressed through a proxy.


F.C. Resident is Victim of Carjacking at Banneker Park

Arlington County Police are continuing the search for the perpetrator of a carjacking that occurred on the fringes of the City of Falls Church last Wednesday, June 3, at 2:30 p.m. The victim was a Falls Church resident who escaped the car when the carjacker stopped the convertible at an intersection. The carjacking took place at the intersection of N. Van Buren and 18th Street North, next to the Benjamin Banneker Park. The victim escaped three blocks later and fled to the La Cote D’Or restaurant. The car was later recovered in Prince George’s County.


May 30 Police Response Was to ‘Sophisticated Hoax’

Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields reported Monday that the massive multi-jurisdictional police response to a call threatening a hostage taking and murder, which shut down S. West Street in Falls Church on Saturday afternoon, May 30, was to a “sophisticated hoax,” it was determined. Shields praised the cooperation of all the neighbors in the area where police, including Fairfax SWAT units, went door to door in the area around S. West and Kennedy St. An anonymous call came through the Crime Solvers line that police were not able to precisely trace. A second call from the same source an hour and a half later declared the first call to be a hoax.


F.C. Receives Top Bid of $550,000 for Lee Street Home

The City of Falls Church received six bids in its effort to sell its property at 215 S. Lee Street, and the top bid of $550,000 matched the appraised value of the residential home, City Manager Wyatt Shields told the F.C. City Council Monday. The City Council will have a public hearing and preliminary vote to authorize the sale on June 22. The City purchased the home in November 2007 to provide an access point to Hamlett Park from Lee Street, and to allow for the completion of a pedestrian/bike trail through the Hamlett Park that would run from West Broad Street to the trail that parallels Tripps Run adjacent to the Jefferson Elementary School. With the sale of the property, the City will retain a street access easement and a small portion at the rear of the property to complete the walking trail. Funds from the sale of the property are calculated toward the balancing of the City operational budget for the coming fiscal year.