Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church


Finally! A beautiful, three-day holiday, fall weekend brought folks out into the sunshine to spruce up their yards, take the dogs out for good long walks, and catch up with pleasant outdoor errands that suffered in last month’s dreary, rainy weather. One fellow even told me he got to use his telescope this week to look at the clear night sky.

It also is time for several community service projects that help improve the quality of our lives. Last Sunday, members of the Interfaith Communities for Dialogue (ICD) worked all afternoon to upgrade the playground and picnic area at the Willston Multicultural Center in Falls Church. Some of the staff who work with children in after-school and summer activities at the center participated, along with parents, and ICD volunteers. Funds for the work were provided by the peacemaking committee of John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale. Additional funds for the children’s enrichment program were provided by the social action committee of Congregation Olam Tikvah. Redwood stain for the picnic tables, paint for the trash cans, and new chains for the swings were provided by Fairfax County, and mulch for the playground was obtained from Merrifield Garden Center at a generous discount. Thanks to everyone who participated in this worthy community project.

The mission of ICD is to build community by promoting understanding, encouraging respect, and strengthening relationships within our culturally and religiously diverse neighbor-hoods. In addition to the faith communities mentioned above, ICD is supported by Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, Mount Pleasant Baptist, Peace Lutheran, St. Albans Episcopal, and St. Anthony’s Catholic churches. The Mustafa Center and Ravensworth Baptist Church also help further the goals of the group. ICD sponsors an annual summer picnic, book discussions, and fascinating multicultural and interfaith panels of speakers representing the three Abrahamic faiths. Watch for announcements of future events. The more we learn about different faiths, cultures, and traditions, the more we discover our similarities.

Tomorrow is the last day to dispose of unused or expired medications through Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout, hosted at all Fairfax County police stations this week. Clearing out unused or expired medications prevents accidental poisoning, drug abuse, and environmental pollution. Don’t flush your old medications; deposit them in the secure “toter” bins in the police station lobby now. Pills and liquids only, please – no pressurized canisters or needles.

Saturday is a busy day in Fairfax County. The annual CROP Walk to combat world hunger steps off this Saturday at 8:15 a.m. at Lake Accotink Park. This annual event, held rain or shine, raises money for local and international food distribution services. Saturday also is Open House Day for all Fairfax County Fire Stations, which will welcome visitors from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Fire safety demonstrations and the chance to explore the firehouse and equipment are highlights for this popular annual event for the whole family. See you at the fire house!


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