News

Falls Church News Briefs

Rep. Beyer to Introduce Bill To Heavily Tax Weapons Sales

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, who represents Falls Church, issued a statement Tuesday announcing his intent to introduce legislation not requiring a supermajority vote that would “reduce the flow of weapons of war into American communities.”

In a statement, he said the following: “For years I have called for action to prevent mass shootings. I support and will continue to vote for common sense reforms to prevent gun violence – but these measures inevitably run aground on Senate Republican filibusters.

“So, this week I am proposing a new idea: a bill to reduce the flow of weapons of war into American communities using a legislative mechanism designed to be compliant with budget reconciliation, which means it could pass into law with a simple 50-vote majority in the Senate.

“This legislation would apply a 1000 percent excise tax on manufacturers, producers, or importers of assault weapons, defined using legislative language drawn from the Assault Weapons Ban Act of 2021, which I cosponsor. It would also apply to high capacity magazines.”

Affordable Housing Group Uses Amazon $ to Adds to Tysons Proposal

Using a $55 million investment from Amazon, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) nonprofit has submitted a new plan to Fairfax County for its large scale affordable housing project in the planned redevelopment of a strip of car dealerships on the west side of Spring Hill Road.

After getting the county’s approval in January for a 175-unit, nine-story residential building at 1592 Spring Hill Road, APAH wants now to increase that up to 225 units and 20 stories in height in order to match a second tower that it can now construct, thanks to a $55 million investment from Amazon.

The two buildings combined will deliver 516 units, all aimed at people earning 60 percent or less of the area’s median income, according to the application, which the county received on last week.

“This important project addresses a key objective for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors by providing significant affordable housing opportunities within close proximity to Metro,” wrote Scott Adams on APAH’s behalf in a statement of justification.

F.C. Resident Shapiro Resigns From Georgetown Law Post

On Thursday, Ilya Shapiro of Falls Church, a former Cato Institute figure and unsuccessful candidate for the School Board here, announced he was cleared to take the job for which he was hired at the Georgetown University’s Center for the Constitution.

This came months after he was suspended pending a campus investigation into a series of controversial tweets he made last year questioning the Biden administration’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Last week, he was cleared to take his new job as a senior lecturer and executive director at the center.

But the reinstatement was not a full vote of confidence. Under fire for writing that President Biden would nominate a “lesser black woman” for the Supreme Court, he was cleared on a technicality, namely, that he was not yet employed by the university when he posted the tweets.

That turned out not to be enough. On Monday, Shapiro announced that he was stepping down. Both announcements, of staying in his job and leaving his job, were made in The Wall Street Journal opinion section. “I would have to be constantly walking on eggshells,” he said in an interview Monday.

NVTC Approves Program Of 7 Projects for I-66

The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission approved a Program of Projects for I-66 consisting of seven projects that move more people and create viable, effective transportation options at their monthly meeting last week. The projects in Arlington County, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Manassas Park and for the benefit of OmniRide include:

Two rail capital improvements that would leverage a total of over $160 million in other federal,

Commonwealth, regional and local funds and provide decades of benefit to corridor commuters,

Continuations of three established commuter bus services funded in prior funding rounds, all of which are experiencing rebounding ridership and two of which will provide faster and more reliable travel once the I-66 Outside the Beltway Express Lanes open later this year,

A commuter incentive campaign to bolster ridership on commuter bus routes from Prince William County into Arlington and D.C. by temporarily reducing fares in the first 10 months that the new I-66 Outside the Beltway Express Lanes are open,

A critical one-mile segment of the planned Outside the Beltway I-66 Trail that will provide a safe, comfortable means for cyclists and pedestrians to access the Vienna Metrorail Station.