Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

prenny-fcnpSummer appears to be winding down, as last minute beach trips are squeezed into the schedule, at the same time that backpacks and school clothes dominate shopping lists. Last week’s Stuart High School Resource Fair was a tremendous success, welcoming more than 4,000 students and their families to a broad range of activities, as well as distribution of school supplies to get a head start with school preparation. Sponsored by Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, and a host of other county agencies and non-profit organizations, the Resource Fair focuses on a high school pyramid and its feeder schools, both elementary and middle. This year’s event was built on two very successful previous events at Annandale High School, also in Mason District.

Principals and teachers from both Bailey’s Elementary Schools, Beech Tree, Belvedere, Glen Forest, Parklawn, and Sleepy Hollow, plus Glasgow Middle School, joined Stuart principal Penny Gros (that’s correct – the principal’s name is the same as mine, minus one “s”) in putting their best foot forward to greet new and returning students and their parents. Each school had a booth in one gym where school information, and free school supplies, were distributed. The Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club helped organize a classroom full of hairdressers who provided free haircuts to dozens of students. It looked a lot easier to give the boys buzz cuts; the girls’ styles took a bit longer, but everyone exercised patience and good humor. Another gym was full of non-profit and school-related organizations, who provide the community services that everyone can enjoy. INOVA Health Systems gave good nutrition tips to visitors. Their plastic samples of proper serving sizes truly looked good enough to eat! Some families took advantage of free health screenings provided in cool vans in the parking lot. Check-ups and immunizations were very popular and, of course, are required for admission to classes in Fairfax County.

Parking in residential areas continues to be a challenge for many neighborhoods. Some parking tips: it is illegal to park within 10 feet of a driveway on either side. It is a violation to park within 30 feet of a stop sign or 20 from an intersection. It is a violation to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. It is a violation to park on the opposite, (or “wrong”) side of the street; you must park with right (passenger side) wheels to the curb. A stop sign means STOP. All forward motion of the vehicle should cease before starting to move again. The speed limit in most neighborhoods is 25 mph, unless otherwise posted. Passing on the right also is prohibited. Police may issue a ticket for any of these safety violations. A little caution might save you a lot of money.


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