Falls Church News Briefs

F.C. Council Authorizes Appeal of Water Ruling

Following a lengthy closed session Tuesday night, the Falls Church City Council formally authorized City Attorney John Foster to appeal the ruling by Fairfax Circuit Court Judge R. Terrence Ney released last week that prohibits the City from taking an annual “return on investment” of $2.2 million from its water fund.

The Council also authorized settlement efforts on the remaining counts in the suit that are slated to be heard early next month, including one by the Fairfax Water Authority that seeks $20 million in punitive damages from Falls Church. A statement from City Hall yesterday confirmed that “the City respectfully disagrees with the judge’s ruling” and “will fight vigorously to protect its legal interests.” There is a motion for a Jan. 27 hearing to clarify the judge’s ruling. In the closed session, the Council did not discuss the impact on the current or next fiscal year’s budgets of Judge Ney’s ruling as that is a matter which must, by law, be discussed only in public sessions.


Fairfax County Unit Deployed to Haiti After Quake

“Virginia Task Force 1,” composed of 72 members of Fairfax County’s Urban Search and Rescue unit, headed to Haiti yesterday to help rescue efforts among people trapped in the rubble caused by Tuesday’s massive earthquake. Six search and rescue dogs joined physicians, paramedics, structural engineers and search and technical rescue personnel, along with 48 tons of rescue equipment, relief supplies and enough resources to sustain the unit for two weeks. Rebecca Gustafson, spokesperson for the U.S. Agency for International Development, rode with the unit, which debarked from Dulles Airport late yesterday morning.


F.C. Council: A Preliminary OK for Senior Housing

At 12:12 a.m. Tuesday morning, the Falls Church City Council, four hours and 42 minutes after convening Monday night, gave a 6-1 preliminary approval for special exceptions permitting the development of a 66-unit senior affordable housing project, known as the Wilden Building, at 350 S. Washington St. With the vote, the Council has complied with a tight time line for the project to qualify for state tax credits and $4 million in federal stimulus funds to construct a new building at the downtown site. Councilman Nader Baroukh cast the only negative vote. However, Council members indicated that a number of outstanding issues need to be resolved, especially pertaining to easement and other issues with immediate neighbors to the site, in order for a final approval to be granted next month.


Falls Church’s Bren Herrera in ‘Idol’ TV Spot

Entertainer Bren Herrera, 29, who spent her youth in Falls Church, made a surprise cameo appearance on a “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!” TV spot aired on the season premiere of “American Idol” Tuesday night. Her video submission was chosen to be included in the ad. Her’s is also the voice-over in the ad. Viewers will be able to vote for their favorite submission on the ad until April 30 by visiting


‘Young Dems’ Said Key to Marsden Upset Victory

The narrow upset victory Tuesday of Democrat Dave Marsden in a special election to fill the 37th District state senate seat vacated by the November election of Republican Ken Cuccinelli as attorney general was due in large part to a major mobilization by the Virginia Young Democrats organization. The group made over 14,000 “voter contacts” in the Fairfax County district, according to the organization’s executive director Toby Quaranta, in a race where the margin of victory for Marsden was under 350 votes. The district had been controlled by the GOP for eight years prior to Tuesday’s vote.


F.C. Schools Honored By State School Board

The Virginia Board of Education has presented its Excellence Awards to two Falls Church City schools, George Mason High and Thomas Jefferson Elementary. According to the announcement from the Falls Church School Board, “The honor is awarded to schools that meet all state and federal accountability benchmarks for at least two years.”


Herrity’s Hat in Ring to Run Vs. Connolly

Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity made it official yesterday by announcing he will seek the GOP nomination to run against incumbent Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly in Virginia’s 11th District in November. Herrity will face off against the 2008 GOP nominee Keith Fimian in what will probably be a June primary.


Safeway on Arlington Blvd. to Be Renovated

The Safeway grocery store at 6118 Arlington Blvd., adjacent the Target store, has closed for redevelopment and will reopen by the end of 2010 expanded from 43,259 to 58,554 square feet with a pharmacy, full-service deli, bakery, floral center, Starbucks coffee and more.


Pizza Restaurant on S. Maple Begins Construction

The gourmet pizza restaurant, Pizzeria Orso, that has been promised for years on the ground floor of the new Tax Analysts building on S. Maple has finally begun construction, Tax Analysts’ Chris Bergen reported to the Falls Church City Council this Monday.



Mad Fox Brew Pub Chooses F.C. Contractor

Mad Fox Brew Pub, preparing to open its Falls Church location in the 400 block of W. Broad St., announced it had selected the bid from Falls Church-based UniWest for construction at its site. The move is another step toward the much-anticipated opening of the business. Owners announced they’ve also contracted for a brewing system from Premier Stainless System based in San Marcos, Calif., the same company that built the entire Blue Mountain Brewery in Alton, Va. Delivery of the brewery component is expected in 14 to 16 weeks.