Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

pennymugStandard time descended on us last weekend. In addition to setting our clocks back (and those little lamp timers, too), the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reminded us to change the batteries in our home smoke alarms.  How many times have you read about fire deaths and the article indicated “no working smoke detectors” in the home?

Working smoke alarms can save lives. I changed the batteries in my flashlights, too. Some of them had gotten pretty dim, and you’ll never know when you’ll need a flashlight in a pinch.


Mason District resident and business owner Elizabeth E. Novak was selected to receive the prestigious Top 100 Minority Business Enterprise Award on November 15. Novak, or Libby as she is known, is president of Environmental Waste Specialists, Inc. (EWSI), was chosen from 1400 nominations in the mid-Atlantic region. EWSI is a woman-owned small business that provides transportation and disposal of hazardous waste, asbestos, lead, and soils. Selection for the award is based on outstanding achievement in four key areas: entrepreneurship, client satisfaction, professionalism, and community contributions. EWSI has 15 years of service and in region, and is headquartered in western Fairfax County. The awards ceremony will take place at the Inn and Conference Center at University of Maryland’s University College. Libby Novak has represented Mason District on the Fairfax County Small Business Commission since 2005. Congratulations, Libby!

Two opportunities for focused input into county programs will be available to Mason District and Fairfax County residents later this month. On Saturday, November 14, the last of this year’s Community Dialogues about the FY 2011 budget process will be held at the George Mason Regional Library, 7001 Little River Turnpike in Annandale, from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. These facilitated discussions have occurred around the county this fall, and provide valuable two-way dialogue as another difficult budget year approaches. The dialogue held at Woodson High School was very well attended, so be sure to log on to the county Web site, www.fairfaxcounty.gov, for registration information.

Fairfax County Park Authority Director John Dargle will host the 8th monthly Listening Forum about park programs and facilities on Thursday, November 19, at 7 p.m. in Rooms 4 and 5 at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. These forums give park users the opportunity to talk in person with the director, to share ideas in a time of economic constraint. No registration is necessary, but this advance notice gives you time to put the forum on your calendar.

Veterans Day, November 11, is a time for reflection on the sacrifices, and successes, of our armed forces across the globe. As we lose members of the greatest generation who fought in World War II, their places are being filled by young men and women who served, and continue to serve, in Iraq and Afghanistan. These youthful veterans, some with horrific and incapacitating wounds, inspire us with their willingness to serve, their dedication to their fellow soldiers, and their fight to recover some semblance of life as it was before they went overseas. They join a long line of patriots before them who served in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and in numerous other locations in defense of freedom. All our veterans deserve a big THANK YOU on this Veterans Day.


  • Penny Gross

    Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at mason@fairfaxcounty.gov