Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

Now that we are truly into Spring, with attendant blossoms and warmer weather, local celebrations and outdoor activities are on many calendars. The past weekend was full of such events, and the coming weekend continues the trend.

The Annandale Clean-up on Saturday drew Boy Scout Troop 150 and members of the Korean American Association of Washington, as well as the county’s Community Labor Force, into downtown Annandale to collect trash and litter along Little River Turnpike and Columbia Pike. By afternoon, dozens of bright orange bags at George Mason Regional Library were awaiting disposal by the Virginia Department of Transportation. The Annandale Clean-up is organized by Helen Winter, a longtime resident who also serves on the Clean Fairfax Council.

On Saturday, April 20, the Culmore Clean-up will start at 9 a.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Library in Falls Church. For more than a decade, volunteers in Bailey’s Crossroads spend the morning fanning out over local streets, maps and trash bags in hand, to clean up and beautify the area. At noon, everyone gathers at the library for a free lunch, provided this time by Pollo Campero, the City Diner, and Coca-Cola. This year, the Culmore Clean-up is sponsored by the above merchants, as well as Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, Euro-Market Mobil, Radley Acura, Safeway, and the Rotary Club of Bailey’s Crossroads. You still can volunteer; just show up at the library a little before the kick-off at 9 a.m. Thanks to the Bailey’s Beautification Alliance and many county and community organizations for coordinating the clean-up.

Congratulations to the Montessori School of Northern Virginia (MSNV), which celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala event last weekend. MSNV is one of 10 original Montessori schools in the nation, founded in 1962. Those early years saw the small school operating in a church basement, and then at the Jefferson Fire Station. Now housed permanently in two Mason District locations, on Pacific Lane in Annandale, and Valley Brook Drive in Falls Church, MSNV introduces more than 225 children and their families to lifelong learning and environmental stewardship.

Congratulations also to Rose Chu, longtime Mason District representative on the Fairfax County Health Care Advisory Board (HCAB). Rose was recognized with a Citation of Merit by the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations. In her professional life, Rose is a health policy analyst at the Department of Health and Human Services, and Fairfax County is fortunate to have her extraordinary expertise on HCAB for the past quarter century. Other honorees at the event included former Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Kate Hanley, and Planning Commission Chairman Pete Murphy, who was named the Citizen of the Year.

Amidst these celebrations was a solemn event, the Holocaust Commemoration at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia in Mason District. The annual observance features the reading of hundreds of names of people who died in the Holocaust. Each time I am asked to read a page of the names, dates, and places of birth and murder, I am reminded of the horror of the Holocaust, and its true human toll. We must never forget!