2024-07-13 8:36 AM

News & Notes: March 30th – April 5th

Middle School Uses Vertical Farming to Feed Families

Tucked behind Luther Jackson Middle School, plastic towers are bursting with green spinach and lettuce leaves that will soon be donated to the school’s food pantry. Next to the tower sits a large circular water tank that will house about fifty tilapia fish. The complex ecosystem, known as hydroponics, will allow the fish waste to nourish the plants as the plants filter the fish’s water. The project has been in the works for two years and is now coming to life. 

To begin the process, students placed seeds in coconut based plugs and waited for them to begin sprouting. Next, they inserted the seedlings into plastic towers lined with wicking fibers. Below sits a trough of water which is pumped to nozzles above. Water continuously drips down through the towers, hydrating the plants, and back into the trough to be recirculated. The system uses no dirt and only about two gallons of water a month, which is significantly less space and water used in traditional farming methods.

Students started the project two years ago with beta testing plants and a small fish tank. 

Eighth Biennial F.C. Home & Garden Tour to be Held Soon

The eighth biennial Falls Church Home & Garden Tour will be held on Sunday, April 16, 2023, 1— 5 p.m. This wonderful community event will feature self-guided tours through 11 unique homes and gardens in the beautiful and diverse “Little City.” Proceeds from the event provide critical support for Falls Church City Public Schools (Pre-K through Grade 12) through the Falls Church Education Foundation. The last tour, held in October 2021, raised over $20,000 through ticket sales and sponsorships. 

Tickets to the 2023 tour are available to purchase online at fcedf.org for $30/ticket through Friday, April 14 and in person for $35/ticket on Saturday, April 15 and Sunday, April 16.

Despite the rain, the Falls Church Kiwani’s Little League celebrated it’s 75th anniversary with an Opening Day parade and ceremony. Local leaders, Little League alums, current players and more were in attendance to celebrate the anniversary (Photo: Erika Toman)

F.C.’s Kevin Brown Helps Lead USA Blind Soccer to Victories

With just over five years until the team makes its Paralympic Games debut in Los Angeles, the USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team dipped its toes into the international competition waters with a pair of friendlies against its neighbor to the north, Canada. The matches were held March 19 and 20 at the Salt Creek Soccer Arena in Chula Vista, Calif., with the U.S. prevailing by scores of 1-0 and 3-0.

The opening friendly was a tight affair with the teams battling through a scoreless first half but the American side getting the majority of scoring opportunities. The U.S. team used the momentum from the opening night’s victory to defeat Canada, 3-0, the following night. 

The USA Blind Soccer Men’s National Team is led by Head Coach Katie Smith (Columbus, Ohio), and Assistant Coaches Fil Wilkinson (Mooresville, N.C.) and Ryan Lazaroe (Slidell, La.). Joining Arellano and Beckman on the roster for the friendlies with Canada were Antoine Craig (Richmond, Va.) and Kevin Brown (Falls Church, Va.). 

Celebrating the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival’s arrival in Washington DC last weekend were (l to r) Shaun, Cameron and Simon VanSteyn. (Courtesy Photo)

“Synchrony” Named People’s Choice at F.C. Arts’ Show

Daniel Horowitz’s photograph “Synchrony” has received the Falls Church Arts’ People’s Choice Award. The prize is sponsored by DuBro Architects + Builders, 429 S. Maple Avenue, Falls Church, VA 22046.

Horowitz’s piece, which is available at Falls Church Arts for $450, is a 15” x 31” photograph. Horowitz says about his piece, “This is an image obtained from Key Bridge of the Georgetown Varsity Lightweight crew just before they passed under the bridge — a fleeting moment in the early morning light that illustrates their extraordinary coordination, as perfectly paired circles of water recede into the distance. My inspiration came from the photographs of Muybridge and Edgerton of brief instants, imperceptible to the eye, that expose some underlying natural reality.”

The piece was chosen by the visitors to Falls Church Arts as the People’s Choice award winner. The theme for this exhibit is Texture. The show runs through April 16.

Ruth Rodgers Receives “Spirit of Falls Church” Award

Longtime Falls Church resident Ruth Rodgers received the “Spirit of Falls Church” award from the Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) at the annual Board dinner.

The “Spirit of Falls Church” award recognizes a lifetime of contributions to multiple spheres of the community that has enriched the quality of life in Falls Church.   

Rodgers has been a leader serving in multiple organizations. She was a member and Treasurer of the Falls Church League of Women’s Voters. She has been a Board Member and Treasurer of Historic Falls Church Inc, non-profit for 27 years working for the preservation of historic buildings and homes in the City. She served as Treasurer for the Friends of Cherry Hill Farmhouse where she promoted expanded use of the farmhouse including supporting the afternoon teas. Ruth served on the City Architectural Advisory Board and later the Planning Commission for 16 years, including her years as Chair – and the City’s Zoning Task Force and the Stormwater Credit Task Force. She has been recognized in the Falls Church Women’s History Walk for her leadership in the community.  Ruth was the Executive Director of the Friends of the World War II Memorial on the national mall and continues as the Secretary-Treasurer. For VPIS, Ruth has served on the Board of Directors for 30 years, including President as well as Treasurer for the past eight years, working to protect the quality of community life.

GMHS high school alums traveled to see Rebecca and Peter Davis’ film “Join or Die” at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Pictured left to right is Karly Gould (‘01), Amanda Henneberg (‘01), Rebecca Davis (‘01), Peter Davis (‘08), Liz Gannon (‘01), Erica Singleton (‘01), Lindy Singleton (‘98). (Photo: Amanda henneberg)

Goodwin’s Margaret Gloria Awarded Employee of the Year

On Friday, March 24th, Goodwin Living announced that Dr. Margaret Gloria, MD, HMD, Medical Director of Goodwin Hospice, was among the honored recipients of the 2023 Healthcare Council Employee of the Year Award. Dr. Gloria was recognized at the Healthcare Council’s Annual Employee of the Year Awards and the Matthew F. McNulty Award Luncheon at the Congressional Country Club on March 9, 2023.

Presented annually, the Healthcare Council Employee of the Year Award is given to an individual employee of member organizations who each select someone with outstanding service during the prior year. 

As Medical Director of Goodwin Hospice, Dr. Gloria guides the care provided to patients served through Goodwin Hospice, provides oversight for physicians and advanced practitioners and gives strategic guidance to the Goodwin Living leadership on Covid-19, academic research and the clinical models that enhance care for the thousands of older adults served by Goodwin Living. In 2019, Dr. Gloria achieved the Hospice Medical Director Certification, a renowned accomplishment earned by only 1,100 physicians in the United States. In addition to her role at Goodwin Living, Dr. Gloria serves as an assistant clinical professor at George Washington University where she oversees palliative fellows and shares her expertise about hospice care and palliative medicine with medical students and residents who are interested in pursuing a career in end-of-life medical care. 

On saturday, March 25th, the F.C. VFW hosted an event with the Vietnamese American Society of the DMV to commemorate Vietnam War Veterans Day. The event ended with recognizing veterans from the U.S. and the republic of south Vietnam. (Photo: Dave Crance)

VPIS and AAUW Join Forces for Spring Event

Two long standing local organizations are joining forces to restart their activities following Covid shutdowns.  The Association of American University Women (AAUW) Falls Church Branch and the Village Preservation and Improvement Society (VPIS) historically had separate sale events in May of each year at the Falls Church Community Center.

The joint effort highlights the green benefits of their programs facilitating reuse and the reduction of waste in landfills.  Their  websites carry information about donations sought so they will be well stocked for their joint event on Friday and Saturday May 19 and 20th. 

MHS Student Raises Awareness in Tigray

Elbetel Kiros, a sophomore at Meridian High School, recently undertook an MYP assignment to pursue a personal project to raise awareness for the dire situation in Tigray — a region in northern Ethiopia — and advocate for her family and the victims of the conflict.

Tigray has been devastated by a genocidal war led by the Ethiopian government since November 2020. As a result of the ongoing conflict, innocent civilians are experiencing immense suffering, with limited access to food, water, electricity, telecommunications, healthcare, aid, and banking.

To combine her passion for advocacy with a newfound hobby of baking, Elbetel organized two bake sales at the F.C. Farmers Market on January 21 and February 11, 2023. Her baked goods featured a variety of global cultures, including Brazilian Brigadeiros, Tres Leches cake, and Chocolate Chip cookies. Elbetel collaborated with the Black Student Union Club and the International Club at Meridian to gain support and raise as much money as possible for the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Tigray.

Thanks to her dedication and hard work, Elbetel raised over $1,500, which was donated to El Shaddai Secondary School in Tigray, managed by her aunt Almaz Negash. The school provides vital education and support to thousands of displaced children living in poverty due to the conflict in Tigray.

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