News Briefs: April 27th – May 3rd

F.C. Councilman Duncan is Inova Awaiting Lung Transplant

Revered Falls Church City Council member Phil Duncan is in Inova Hospital awaiting a lung transplant, he reported to friends and associates yesterday.
Duncan was able to attend Monday’s City Council meeting via virtual connection from his hospital room, maintaining, he said, his perfect attendance record.
Duncan relayed the following: “In a visit Tuesday 4/25 with Dr. Shambhu Aryal, Medical Director for the Inova Lung Transplant Program, I was informed that I’m officially on Inova’s eligibility list for a lung transplant. Now I wait for lungs that can be transplanted into me. How long the wait, I don’t know.
“In the meantime, I remain hospitalized at Inova Fairfax Hospital. They’re limiting my exposure to germs from the outside world, and putting me through some “pre-hab” exercises with heavy supplemental oxygen, in anticipation of the major thoracic surgery ahead. Smart and kind people are taking care of me at Inova. I have a strong support network in my family and community. Thanks to all. Wish me luck.”

Warner Addresses No. Va. Realtors, Urges Incentives to Boost Housing

Virginia’s U.S. Senator Mark Warner, now chair of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, which means he always knows a lot more than he can tell us about, spoke to a packed house at the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) headquarters Monday and underscored the urgent need to address the housing shortage in the region and the nation, saying that “there has got to be a lot more creativity than before,” while standing staunchly against “discrimination in any form” as “bad for business” and insisting that getting supply chains reopened represents a “national imperative.”

He noted that opening opportunities for home ownership is key, as it is the way for access to wealth. The regulatory process is “way too burdensome” in this context, he insisted. “We can’t just have a nation of renters,” he added. “There need to be incentives for first time home buyers, such as both employer and employee tax credits, and tuition assistance.” In this context, he was adamant that it is time for the Fed to “take a pause” on rising interest rates. 

New F.C. City Attorney Begins Service at Council Meeting

The newly-appointed City of Falls Church City Attorney, Sally Gillette Hankins, took her place at her first public meeting of the Falls Church City Council Monday since being appointed last month. She replaces Carol McCoskrie, who retired last fall, and an interim, Brian J. Lubkeman.

F.C. City-Hired Research Outfit Conducting Survey

According to F.C. City Hall, Probolsky Research is calling, texting, and emailing a select number of City residents to ask about community satisfaction. The City of Falls Church’s public information office says the City hired this national firm to conduct an accurate and statistically valid survey which will help City staff and officials understand the concerns and opinions of our community, and help inform City programs and initiatives.

The survey is invitation only — that is, only a random sample of City residents will be phoned or get an email or text invitation to complete the survey. The research firm will contact residents over the next few weeks, and a final report is due at the end of May.

The survey takes about 15 to 25 minutes to complete. Most online survey participants will receive the survey invitation via email or text containing a unique, one-time link that will expire after the survey is completed. The survey is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

F.C. Council Mulls Uses of Contingency $

As the Falls Church City Council moves closer to adopting its $118 million Fiscal Year 2024 budget next month, it took under consideration at its meeting this Monday plans for use of its $80,000 along with anticipated surpluses from the current year with options to increase its allocation for affordable housing by $70,000 over its current $120,000 number, to use $65,000 for improvement of the West Broad and Spring Street intersection, to use $60,000 to add weekend Mary Riley Styles library hours, to add $50,000 for real estate tax relief, $50,000 for a Tinner Hill civil rights history gateway, $95,000 for holiday lights, $50,000 for additional grants for nonprofits, $50,000 for a tree inventory and an undetermined amount for environmental sustainability.

The City staff recommendation is to use the $80.000 contingency for pavings and crosswalks.

F.C. Council Approves Proposed Election Location Modifications

By a unanimous vote Monday, the Falls Church City Council adopted changes recommended by the F.C. Voters Registrar and the City Elections Board to adjust the boundaries of its three City voting wards to rebalance the registered voter populations in each ward and to relocate the polling place for Ward 2 from Falls Green condos to the Community Center.

The other polling places will remain the same, also at the Community Center for Ward 2 and Oak Street Elementary for Ward 1. An earlier suggestion to move the Ward 2 polling place to Meridian High School was changed.

The Power Outage April 21 Knocked Out 1,200 F.C. Homes

The brief but powerful storm that broke over Northern Virginia last Saturday, April 21, took out power to 1,200 of the 6,000 F.C. addresses mostly for a couple hours, but for 340 it lasted from 2 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday, and that included City Hall, it was reported.