News Briefs: August 3 – 9

News-Press Book Can Now Be Pre-Ordered on Amazon

Author Charlie Clark’s new book, slated for release in mid-October, can now be preordered on The book, entitled, “The Life and Times of the Falls Church News-Press,” is 160 pages and is being published by the History Press. It is for sale as a paperback with the preorder guaranteed price of $24.99.

Yard Waste Stickers Not Needed in Coming Week

According to an announcement from the Falls Church City Hall, yard waste stickers will not be needed on properly-bundled brush for this week’s and the  August 9 collections. 

Properly preparing and bundling brush for the collection involves the following: brush must be cut in five-foot lengths with no individual branch or trunk larger than six inches in diameter; brush must be securely tied with cord or twine that is strong enough to hold the material together; brush may be neatly stacked in a container, 30 gallons or less in size, labeled “brush;” each bundle or container must not exceed 50 pounds or be too large or bulky to be loaded safely by one person into the collection vehicle; brush must be placed at the curb by 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday (or after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday); brush must be stacked at the curb, avoiding sidewalks and storm drain openings wherever possible, and not in the gutter; brush may also be placed in paper yard debris bags.

Christopher Fay to Retire from Homestretch After 17 Years

Homestretch, a Falls Church-based non-profit organization dedicated to empowering homeless families and survivors of domestic violence in Virginia to become self-sufficient, announced the retirement of long-time executive director Christopher Fay after 17 years at the helm of the organization.

To lead the organization as the new executive director, Homestretch has appointed experienced non-profit leader Barfonce Baldwin, who will continue the decades of Homestretch success and progress in providing life-changing services for homeless families in the DMV region.

Under Fay’s leadership, Homestretch has earned numerous awards for its outstanding track record of equipping families with the skills, knowledge and hope to escape poverty and homelessness. Fay is noted for focusing Homestretch on achieving consistently successful long-term outcomes for the families it serves, as proven by rigorous outcome studies of Homestretch graduates to ensure long-term success.

Baldwin has a wealth of experience leading successful nonprofit organizations with a focus on homelessness and domestic violence, including most recently serving as regional executive director for the Tahirih Justice Center.

 In retirement, Fay plans to write and speak about Homestretch, and return to his prior livelihood of illustrating children’s books.

Virginia Hospital Center Draws Complaints from Neighbors

Mysterious yellow signs appeared last month in Arlington at N. George Mason Dr. stating that the County Board and Virginia Hospital Center were “Unfair to Neighborhood.” After inquiries on Nextdoor, High View Park resident Tanya Graham explained that the dispute involves construction of the hospital’s new high-rise Outpatient Pavilion and its construction crews’ compliance with the site plan.

The hospital didn’t respond to News-Press calls, but a statement from the county says it is “closely monitoring” the situation and that staff have responded to residents’ concerns via email. “Zoning Division staff have attended all community meetings held between the neighbors and VHC,” Communications and Engagement Specialist Elise Cleva told the News-Press. “All lighting in the VHC parking garage is now in compliance with the site plan conditions, with all non-emergency lighting in the garage now set to motion detection. All non-emergency lighting in the VHC outpatient building, which is still under construction, will be on motion detection prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. The site is still an active construction site, with a plan in place for removing construction-related garbage. The county is ensuring compliance with site plan conditions and other regulations and is assisting where needed. Arlington County notes the responsiveness of VHC to community concerns.” –Charlie Clark

Conversion of New Tysons High Rise to Residential OK’d

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has agreed to let a planned office building near the Spring Hill Metro Station become an apartment high-rise instead.

At a public hearing on July 25, the board unanimously approved American Real Estate Partners’ City House proposal, a move that both the county and developer hope will catalyze change in a largely dormant part of Tysons.

The proposed project sits on part of the 31.5-acre Spring Hill Station Demonstration Project approved in 2011.  City House will bring a 410,000 square foot high-rise residential building with up to 410 multifamily units.

Exclusive Rapid Bus Lanes Set for Rt. 7 in Tysons

Whenever Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) gets widened, the new lanes from International Drive in Tysons down to the West Falls Church Metro station area will be reserved exclusively for a future bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Fairfax Now has reported.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a comprehensive plan amendment last Tuesday (July 25) incorporating the BRT into the county’s vision for Route 7 and International Drive, a move that enables county staff to pursue funding.

The Tysons portion of the Route 7 BRT — which is intended to provide faster, more direct service than a traditional local bus route — is part of a regional system that the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission has been planning for a decade now.

Its Falls Church segment runs on Rt. 7  to go from 7 Corners down Roosevelt Ave. to the East Falls Church Metro, then up Rt.29 to Rt. 7 heading west. The comprehensive plan recommends expanding Leesburg Pike from four to six lanes between Haycock and the Capital Beltway (I-495) and from six to eight lanes between the Beltway and Route 123. Funds have already been secured to design the Beltway to Route 123 segment.