Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church


This is high school graduation week in Fairfax County, as thousands of students complete their secondary education and embark on the next phases of their lives. Congratulations to all our graduates, and to their parents, too!

One outstanding Mason District resident, Fahim-Faraaz Syed, was honored last week with a Celebrate Fairfax Community Spirit Scholarship. Fahim-Faraaz volunteers at the Aarondale Assisted Living facility on Backlick Road, near his home in Edsall Park. An internship at George Washington University for research in nanotechnology and microbiology reinforced his plan to study chemistry at GWU. The scholarship winners were honored at a brunch held during last week’s Celebrate Fairfax! event.

Longtime Parklawn principal Susan Akroyd was honored at a school brunch on Saturday. Ms. Akroyd is retiring after 26 years as Parklawn principal, and 41 years as an educator. The cafeteria was packed with current and former students, teachers, and parents, who watched a delightful slide show of Susan’s activities at Parklawn. Her sunny disposition and positive outlook has been a boon to the Parklawn community for a quarter-century, and she built a firm foundation at Parklawn for her successor. Thanks, Susan, for your commitment to our kids, and best wishes for a long and happy retirement.

The opening weeks of Spotlight by Starlight, the free summer concert series at Mason District and Ossian Hall Parks, have been blessed with good weather and delightful performances. The series continues with 7:30 p.m. concerts on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings at Mason District Park, and 7:30 p.m. concerts at Ossian Hall Park on Saturdays. The Saturday morning children’s shows begin on June 28, at 10:00 a.m. Admission and parking are free; just come as you are.

A special event, Music in the Park and Art Exhibit, sponsored by pianist and Annandale native Robert Brockway, will be held at the Newton Edwards Amphitheatre in Mason District Park this Saturday evening, June 21, from 7 – 9 p.m. Classical piano and cello selections by Brahms, Chopin, and Beethoven will be performed by students and guest artists Ben Escobar, Margaret Bui and Hyodun Jun, and Rob Meltzer, topped off by classical and jazz selections by Mr. Brockway. For more information, email Mr. Brockway at [email protected]

Now for something not so light-hearted: Last week, an elderly constituent reported a telephone call from someone who said that her grandson had been in a car accident, was arrested, and needed several thousand dollars sent to him immediately. The caller had the name of her bank, and the name of a grocery store near her home where she was directed to go to wire the money. Fortunately, my constituent had the presence of mind to call her grandson, and the police, who determined it was all a scam! Please do not get taken in. Do not respond to any requests – for money, for credit card numbers, for any personal information – from unsolicited callers. These scam artists prey especially on the elderly. Call the police non-emergency number – 703-691-2131 if anyone tries to contact you in this manner.


 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at [email protected]