Falls Church News Briefs: October 8 – 14, 2009

F.C. Council Gives Preliminary OK to Towing Restrictions

Energetic talks involving City of Falls Church officials, commercial property owners, representatives of local towing companies, citizens and the City’s Towing Advisory Board followed the preliminary, “first reading” approval by the Falls Church City Council last week of a new ordinance to constrain involuntary so-called “predatory towing” practices.

The matter is slated to come back to the Council for revisions and final approval on Oct. 26. According to City officials, among the ideas generating the widest support so far involves the use of chalk on tires of vehicles whose operators are suspected of violating parking restrictions. By chalking the tires, towing operators can legitimately tow a car that has remained unmoved after a specified amount of time. Representatives from area towing companies argued at last week’s Council meeting that lowering the charge to release a towed car would make doing business in Falls Church uncompetitive, and cause towing operators to restrict their activities to surrounding jurisdictions.




Comedian/Filmmaker Malkoff Visits F.C.

The comedian and independent film maker Mark Malkoff, known nationally for long visits to IKEA stores and on air flights, stopped in the City of Falls Church Wednesday morning to receive a “Key to the City” from Mayor Robin Gardner. In exchange, he helped to plant a tree in a short exchange that was filmed for his latest cinematic effort, a four-week effort to receive as many “Keys to the City” as possible.


Falls Church’s Chef Tennille Eliminated on ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

After progressing to the “final four” among chef contestants on the Fox television reality show, “Hell’s Kitchen” last week, in last night’s episode, Falls Church Chef Tennille Middleton was finally eliminated from the competition. In a departure from form, the show’s host, Chef Ramsey, offered Middleton words of praise and encouragement as she left the show, after she’d out-competed 13 of the 17 original contestants before her departure. There now remain only three contestants as the show enters the final weeks of this season. Middleton is the chief chef at Falls Church’s Sweetwater Tavern on Gallows Road.


Campaign Volunteer Assaulted By Political Sign Thief

A campaign volunteer for the re-election of Democratic State Del. Chuck Caputo in Fairfax County has filed a police report after being physically assaulted by a man who she discovered was removing Caputo for Delegate signs from a county intersection last weekend. According to the account, the man struck the volunteer in the face and left after she asked him why he and some others were removing the signs. Information on the incident is being sought by Fairfax Police. Caputo’s Republican challenger is Jim LeMunyon.


Disability Group Calls for Apology from McDonnell

The Northern Virginia-based “DisAbility Votes” political action committee issued a statement this week denouncing the recent mimicking of stuttering by a high-profile supporter of GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Bob Donnell, and is calling on McDonnell to apologize. McDonnell supporter Sheila Johnson, the wealthy co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, mocked Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds’ speaking style at a Sept. 25 event.


F.C.’s VanSteyn in ‘Capitalism’ Film Credits

Falls Church’s Simon VanSteyn, the former director of the F.C. Film Festival, is included in the closing credits in the just-released Michael Moore’s latest film, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” now in area theatres. VanSteyn worked with film crews in some candid shots for the movie.