News Briefs: March 9th – 15th

F.C. Councilman Duncan Undergoing Tests in Hospital

Phil Duncan, the second term Falls Church City Councilman, has confirmed that he’s at the Fairfax Inova Hospital this week undergoing a battery of tests. In response to an inquiry from the News-Press, he wrote this:

“I’m a patient at Inova Fairfax Hospital. I was admitted to the hospital on Friday by my pulmonologist in Inova’s Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant center. This week I’m continuing a series of tests that the IALDT team uses to determine care options.

“I’m grateful to those who helped facilitate my call-in participation in Monday’s City Council meeting, and to all who have expressed concern and support.”

Little City Gift Card Program a Big Success

At the Tuesday meeting of the Falls Church Economic Development Authority, City economic specialist Becky Witsman reported that a whopping $450,000 in purchases from Falls Church businesses were attributed to the Little City Gift Card program run through the recent holiday season.

The program utilized federal funds provided to stimulate recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown and that 3,200 cards were purchased as a result.

F.C. Presses Ahead With New Outdoor Dining Options

With the temporary measures designed amid the Covid-19 pandemic to enable local restaurants to offer outdoor dining options due to expire at the end of March, the Falls Church City Council is pressing ahead with plans to authorize new options that will have the effect of keeping the outdoor dining program in place for the 13 restaurants that have received the temporary OKs and any others that may sign up to participate.

Following a Planning Commission hearing and recommendation vote on March 15, the Council is slated to vote the new terms into existence on March 27, the same day the temporary terms are set to expire.

F.C.’s Bazaz Smith Joins Cyber Alliance Team

Falls Church resident Komal Bazaz Smith is joining the Global Cyber Alliance as its chief business officer, it was announced this week.

 Bazaz Smith will lead GCA’s efforts to strengthen communities to tackle cybersecurity issues together and drive lasting change, according to Phil Reitinger, also a F.C. resident and former School Board member who is president and CEO of GCA. “She will expand GCA’s partnerships, steer GCA’s communications, and bring in resources so that GCA can better enable a secure and trustworthy Internet for everyone.”

Bazaz Smith is currently Project Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP) Programs, implemented by DAI Global LLC, where she has held various positions since 2015. She brings over 22 years of passion and professional expertise encouraging social innovation, tackling poverty relief, and addressing sustainability to GCA.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Areas Studies, Spanish, Markets and  Management from Duke University and a Masters’ Degree in International Commerce and Finance from Georgetown University. Since 2015 she has been an adjunct professor at the American University’s Graduate School of International Service and is contributing author of “No Reward Without Risk: Addressing the Economic Impacts of Misinformation and Other Digital Harms on MSMEs.”

The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) is an international, cross-sector effort dedicated to eradicating cyber risk and improving our connected world.

3 Named to Environmental Sustainability Council

Appointments made by the F.C. City Council this week included three to the City’s Environmental Sustainability Council. Chris Behr, John Ferris and Jon Ward were all appointed by a unanimous vote of the Council, and Brendan Kelly was also appointed to the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board.