Falls Church News Briefs

Democratic Primary Election is Tuesday; Only 1 Race on Ballot

The only race on the ballot next Tuesday in Falls Church is the Democratic Primary election for the 8th District U.S. House of Representatives, with veteran incumbent Donald S. Beyer Jr. running against first-time candidate Victoria Virasingh. While mail-in and absentee voting has been underway in the last month, it is Tuesday, June 21, that is the official day of regular voting, and polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the City of Falls Church’s three polling places.

The Republican in that race, Karina Lipsman, noted for her call for top Biden health official Anthony Fauci to be jailed, was chosen at a party convention last month and will be on the November ballot.

Beyer ‘Assault Weapons Excise Tax’ Bill Introduced in Congress

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer’s bill, reported in last week’s News-Press, was formally introduced in the U.S. House this past Tuesday with 36 Democratic co-sponsors. A 1,000 percent excise tax on semiautomatic rifles such as AR-15s could, if passed, bypass a Senate filibuster.

He said he’s hoping it will be deemed eligible for inclusion in a budget reconciliation package, meaning it could pass the Senate with a simple majority,
The tax would not apply retroactively or to government buyers. AR-15 style guns now range in price from $500 to more than $2,000. A 1,000 percent tax would increase the price tenfold.

U.S. Dept. of Education Sends $1.5 Million to Uvalde School District

This week, the U.S. Department of Education furthered the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government response to the tragic mass shooting at Robb Elementary School by disbursing a $1.5 million School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) grant to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD). The proactive release of grant funds reflects the extraordinary and immediate needs facing UCISD and follows Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s visit to the district on May 31 and June 1, 2022.

Project SERV funds are authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and may be used for activities that help restore a sense of safety and security for the district’s students, teachers, staff, and families, and that address specific needs of those individuals directly affected by the shooting.

Such activities include mental health services for staff and students, and overtime pay for teachers, counselors, and security staff, and may take place over the summer in the form of additional summer programming.

Secretary Cardona initiated the emergency funding through a letter to the district superintendent that outlines key assurances around the federal funding. In the days following the tragedy, Secretary Cardona and other Department staff communicated with UCISD leadership and their Texas Education Agency colleagues and pledged to support recovery efforts in the district and community with a range of technical assistance, including direct access to Department personnel and partners who have helped other communities respond to and recover from acts of school violence.

“No community should have to experience a tragedy like this alone. While in Texas, I saw the Uvalde community come together in deep and meaningful ways to support one another and all the families who lost loved ones; and it is our turn to support them,” said Secretary Cardona. “In the hours and days since that tragic day, we have committed to providing the Uvalde community with every available resource they may require from the Department. Today’s release of these emergency funds is an initial step that will be followed by technical assistance and on-the-ground supports in the months and years to come.”

Metro Announces Fall Travel Alternatives to Blue & Yellow Lines

WMATA has announced travel alternatives to help customers prepare for major Blue and Yellow Metrorail line construction this fall. Starting Saturday, Sept. 10, Metro will begin work to connect the future Potomac Yard Station with the mainline rail system and to rehabilitate the Yellow Line tunnel and bridge between Pentagon and L’Enfant Plaza stations. The projects will impact Blue and Yellow line service in two phases over eight months, and free shuttle bus service will be available for customers throughout the duration.