Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church


Now that winter is nearly over, and Daylight Savings Time will begin at 2 a.m. this Sunday, March 13, springtime activities are beginning to bloom like the daffodils in local flower beds. Here are some upcoming activities for busy calendars:

• Mason District School Board member Sandy Evans and I will cohost a town meeting focused on how our community can help troubled teens and student discipline issues on Saturday, March 19, from 1 until 3 p.m., at the Little Theatre at Falls Church High School, 7521 Jaguar Trail in Falls Church. The topic of student discipline has been highlighted in several widely-discussed news reports recently. In February, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and I cosponsored an initiative calling on the school system to partner with the county in working to find solutions for troubled students and their families. Supervisor Hudgins, School Board Member Evans, and I will be joined by At-Large School Board Member Tina Hone and 38th District Delegate Kaye Kory at the town meeting, and the public is invited to attend and share their thoughts about these important issues.

• The Mason District Budget Town Meeting will be held on Monday, March 28, at 7 p.m. at Bren Mar Elementary School, 6344 Beryl Road in the Alexandria portion of Mason District. Fairfax County Executive Anthony Griffin will make a presentation about his proposed FY 2012 budget, and a question and answer session will follow. The meeting is open to all Mason District residents.

• One of the most popular events at the Mason District Governmental Center each year is the free tax preparation help sponsored by my office and AARP volunteers. Walk-in service is available on Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. You must bring last year’s tax return, a photo ID, and your Social Security card. All returns are filed electronically. The Mason District Governmental Center is located at 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, where there is plenty of free parking.

• Also at the Mason District Governmental Center is a new art show by local artist Susan LaMont, called The Sky Series. The fifteen oil paintings, Susan notes, “play a bit with the inherent abstract possibilities, superimposing cloud formations as positive design elements against the negative space of the open sky.” The Sky Series may be viewed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. The arts program at the Mason District Governmental Center provides gallery/display space for local artists, including photographers, fiber artists, quilters, and more. For more information about how to show your work, contact Linda Bufano in my office at 703/256-7717, or send an email to mason@fairfaxcounty.gov.

• Outdoor art is featured at Green Spring Gardens until April 29. High school artist Mary Zilberfarb paints in bright, vibrant colors that swirl, blend and contrast, and can be displayed outdoors. Mary gives her canvases several coats of spray polyurethane, front and back, that protects and lengthens the time a canvas will survive on a patio wall or fenced deck. For the first time, says Green Spring art curator Dorothy Norpel, art will be exhibited in the park’s greenhouse, “encouraging people to think of new ways to incorporate art into their gardens and outdoor living.” Mary’s paintings range from $25 to $35, making them affordable for fledgling collectors.


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