Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

prenny-fcnpSadly, it’s happened again. An attack on public safety officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ended with three officers dead and others fighting for their lives in the hospital. Once again, Fairfax County Police Chief Ed Roessler conducted a department-wide conference call to make certain that all Fairfax County officers, and their families, have the information and knowledge they need to stay safe while delivering the services our community expects and demands. While there may be no credible threat to Fairfax County at this time, our officers must remain vigilant, for our safety and theirs.

These tragic events are occurring just as preparations for the annual National Night Out are underway. National Night Out, which will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 2, provides an opportunity for neighbors to gather in their communities, get to know each other better, and reinforce community efforts to combat crime. Each year, dozens of Mason District neighborhoods sponsor some sort of evening event – an ice cream social, a potluck or picnic, maybe hot dogs or dessert. Police officers make the rounds, talk to residents, and participate in the fun. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together, support our police department, and vice versa.

Each police station commander in Fairfax County also conducts a monthly Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting, open to all, to present information about public safety programs and activities at the station. Helpful and informative question and answer sessions with the Captain are high points of every meeting. The Mason District Police Station CAC meeting is held on the first Tuesday of each month (except August which is National Night Out), at 7 p.m. at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Log on to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/jobs/citizenadvisorycommittee.htm for information about other police district CAC meetings for your area.

Negotiations for a permanent location for the new Bailey’s Community Shelter have resulted in a signed contract for purchase of commercial property at 5914 Seminary Road. The existing shelter is proposed to be relocated temporarily on county-owned property behind the Lincolnia Senior Center. The future permanent site is anticipated to open in late 2020.

A recent sewer blockage caused damage to some residences in the Culmore area, but the spill was contained very quickly and no raw sewage made it to any water bodies. The cause of the spill, however, was due to something easily correctable. Fats, oils, and grease (known as FOG in wastewater lingo) poured down the drain can clog sewer pipes and cause messy, smelly, and expensive backups that can damage structures and the environment. When enough FOG accumulates to clog a pipe, whatever else is behind the clog will find the easiest way out, often through a floor drain or a commode. Yuck! To avoid such a mess, simply pour cooled grease into a used food can, add an absorbent such as paper towel, or simply place in the refrigerator to solidify. You can add grease until full, then discard the can and its contents in the trash for the next pick-up. Quick, easy, and responsible!


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