Falls Church News-Briefs: December 10 – 16, 2009

F.C. Schools ‘Mixed Result’ on Substance Abuse Survey

Results of the 2009-2010 PRIDE Survey for the Falls Church City Public Schools indicate that student alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use in grades 6-12 is below the national average, the numbers “still indicate widespread use among high school students,” the F.C. City Schools reported this week.

Among 573 high school students (grades 9-12) surveyed, according to the statement, 26.3 percent engaged in tobacco use daily, weekly or monthly (compared to the national average of 35.9 percent), while 45.6 percent use alcohol in the same frequency (compared to 56.5 percent nationally), and 21.8 percent use marijuana (to 26 percent nationally). It was noted the numbers have dropped about 14 percent in all categories in the last three years.


Webb Reacts to Obama Afghanistan Policy

Virginia U.S. Senator Jim Webb issued a statement on President Obama’s revised Afghanistan policy this week, urging that the administration “put an operational framework in place for our responsible withdrawal,” while at the same time it should “clarify to the American public and Congress how it defines success and how we reach and endpoint.” Webb said that U.S. Strategy “must proceed based on the following realities:  (1) the fragility of the Afghan government, (2) whether building a national army of a considerable scale is achievable, (3) whether an increased U.S. Military presence will ultimately have a positive effect in the country, or whether we will be seen as an occupying force; and (4) the linkage of events in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”


F.C.’s BalletNova Sells Out ‘Nutcracker’ Run

The Falls Church-based BalletNova Center for Dance reported near sell-outs at its six performances of “The Nutcracker” holiday ballet last weekend at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre in Arlington. Formerly the Center Dance Company and Arlington Center for Dance, BalletNova has operated since July 2008 out of spacious 20,000-square foot state-of-the-art facilities in the Bailey’s Crossroads area. Its “Nutcracker” performances were highlighted by the guest appearance of Connor Walsh, a native of Fairfax, who is now the principal dancer with the Houston Ballet. As the cavalier, he partnered with BalletNova dancer Ellen Overstreet in the sugar plum fairy role. The organization’s next event is a Nutcracker Tea on Dec. 20 at the Westin Gateway in Arlington. New classes for all ages commence in early February.


Fairfax County Touts ‘Winter Preparedness’ Site

Fairfax County officials released a statement yesterday urging citizens to be prepared for winter weather conditions, and to consult its web site ( for tips and information relating to cold weather, wind chill, hypothermia, being trapped in a home or car, and other matters. The state’s Department of Emergency Preparedness’ web site is also a source for the public.


‘News-Press Live’ Guest Appearance Monday

The bi-monthly “Falls Church News-Press Live” TV show on Falls Church Cable TV prior to the City Council meeting this Monday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m. will feature Barbara Cram, chief organizer of F.C.’s New Year’s Eve Watch Night celebration.


Development News: Foster’s Grille, Chipotle & the Former Syms Site

Sources have told the News-Press that the Foster’s Grille slated to open in The Spectrum has been put on indefinite hold while the franchise seeks a new franchisee. In more restaurant news, the FCNP has heard that Chipotle is considering a move into the Broaddale Shopping Center on W. Broad Street. The News-Press has also learned that a “high end” fitness center is on the verge of moving into the former F.C. location of Syms.

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