Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church


The date for the long-awaited special election for the Mason District School Board seat was announced last Friday by the Fairfax County Circuit Court. The special election to choose a successor to Kaye Kory will be on Tuesday, March 2, 2010, at all regular polling places in Mason District, from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.

All registered voters in Mason District are eligible to vote. Information about voting in person or absentee will be available on the Fairfax County Electoral Board Web site, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/eb, or call 703/324-4700.

The Mason District School Board seat has been vacant only since January 12, when incumbent L. Kaye Kory officially submitted her resignation after winning election to the Virginia House of Delegates last November. Speculation about when the resignation would be submitted had been swirling for weeks, and the local Democratic and Republican committees had endorsed candidates, anticipating a special election as early as mid-January. School Board positions are classified as non-partisan in Virginia, but most candidates run with a party endorsement. Democrat Sandy Evans will face Republican Samantha Rucker in the March 2 contest. Sandy is a former journalist and PTA president who has been active on school issues since her children, now in college, were young. She lives in the Falls Church area of Mason District. Samantha Rucker is a lawyer in the State Attorney General’s office, and lives in Annandale.

A potpourri of other activities in Mason District includes the good news that the Higher Horizons Head Start program, based at the Bailey’s Community Center, is a recipient of Early Head Start expansion funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The federal stimulus money was announced by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine in December, and will provide services to an additional 76 pregnant women, infants, and young children under age three. Early Head Start services will provide both home-based and center-based options; 20 new jobs will be created. Higher Horizons is a private non-profit provider of early childhood services since 1963, and its programs have enabled thousands of Mason District children to enter school fully ready to learn and succeed. For additional information, log on to www.higherhorizons.org.

Congratulations to Master Police Officer Chip Conner, who was selected as the 2009 Mason District Station Officer of the Year. Officer Conner is well-known by Mason District residents as a premier Crime Prevention Officer, who works with Neighborhood Watch and civic organizations to address concerns in the community. Chip joined the Fairfax County Police Department in 1982, and came to the Mason Station in 1991 as a patrol officer. The Ed Smith Award, named in memory of a long-time volunteer with the Mason Station’s Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC), will be presented to Officer Conner on Tuesday, February 2, at 7:30 p.m. during the monthly CAC meeting.

Did your holidays bring you new electronic gifts? And now you need to get rid of the obsolete ones? The Fairfax County Division of Solid Waste Collection and Recycling will host monthly “Electric Sundays” for residents to recycle televisions, computers, monitors and peripheral electronic devices such as printers, scanners, speakers, keyboards, mice (the non-furry kind!) and external drives. Residents also may recycle their fluorescent and CFL bulbs at these events. It’s very easy, and faster than ordering a drive-thru burger! Electric Sundays will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 28, April 25, May 23, June 27, August 22, September 26, and November 21 at the I-66 Transfer Station, 4618 West Ox Road in Fairfax, and on Sunday, March 28, July 25, and October 24 at the I-95 Landfill Complex, 9850 Furnace Road in Lorton. The e-waste recycling program is a free service for Fairfax County residents in cooperation with Covanta Energy, Inc., the operator of the county’s waste-to-energy facility.

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