Past Crosspointe News
Past Crosspointe News
(4/19/2002) The Washington Post has an article about the changing demographics of the area and how it affects local business:
(4/19/2002) The Washington Post has an article about the ongoing budget battle in Fairfax County:
(2/26/2001) The Potomac News has an article about upcoming changes to the traffic and parking changes in Occoquan:
(10/27/2001) The Washington Post has an article about how the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will be seeking cash proffers which may affect future development in the Crosspointe area: Fairfax Eyes "Cash Proffers' by Builders
(8/19/2001) The Washington Post has the following article about developments in Occoquan and Route 123:
Old Towns Full of Color, Short on Parking: Revival Brings Visitors, Traffic, Security Woes
By Chris L. Jenkins, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, August 19, 2001; Page C01
The dream goes something like this: Small ferries shuttling happy visitors several times a day to Old Town Occoquan for lunch and antiquing.
The dream might become a necessity. The boats have become a proposed solution to a problem few anticipated. Occoquan has become so inundated with sightseers, diners and shoppers that officials are considering plans to encourage people to come by water because street parking has been overwhelmed by demand.
We "have a problem that's only going to get worse," Mayor Patricia M. Conway said, referring to the expected loss of 92 spaces when the Route 123 bridge is expanded. "How are you going to build a parking lot when you don't have any more space?"
The redevelopment of small cities and towns such as Occoquan signaled the rebirth of some of the region's oldest downtowns and provided an alternative to suburban malls. But as such communities attract more visitors to their quaint streetscapes, officials, merchants and shoppers are beset with the problems of their success.
From Manassas to Hagerstown, Md., main and side streets are jammed with cars, soaring commercial real estate prices have forced smaller businesses to move or close, and store owners are worried about vandalism and theft. Solutions are a long way off because of modest municipal budgets.
"Fifteen or 20 years ago, people were arguing about the relevance of these communities," said McDuffie Nichols, a senior program manager at the National Main Street Community program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, based in the District. "Now we're trying to figure out how to accommodate the success."
The parking stress in many of these towns takes hold after dark and on weekends. That's when the crush is fiercest, as shoppers squeeze past each other on brick-lined streets and wait in line at restaurants and for service at dozens of antiques stores. In Hagerstown, merchants have complained about the dearth of parking for their employees. Retailers bicker with one other in Occoquan about whether store owners should be able to park in front of their businesses, taking up valuable spots that some say should be left for customers. In Manassas, midday parking tickets have become the bane of visitors as well as downtown workers.
"Quaint isn't always so quaint anymore," said Thomas W. Paradis, a professor of geography at Northern Arizona University who has studied small towns.
Of course, 10 years ago, such complaints were seldom heard. Many such cities across the region were ghost towns. Many had lost stores to strip malls and never recovered; others were ravaged by bad luck.
In Manassas, few stores occupied the city's main street, and a fabled opera house was left dusty and in disrepair. Haymarket's wink of a downtown consisted of a variety store, several small antiques shops and a pockmarked Main Street. The few stores in Salisbury and Westminster in Maryland closed by dusk. In the mid-1970s, a hurricane that destroyed a handful of Occoquan shops left the downtown decimated.
Now all that appears to be a distant memory. Manassas has seen meal tax receipts increase 54 percent over three years, according to city records. Where a biker bar stood, a bistro has taken its place; a jewelry store that left in 1990 returned several years later. Use of the city visitors center has gone from 6,000 people in 1994 to more than 36,000 last year.
The number of businesses in Occoquan has ballooned to 130 shops and restaurants. Haymarket just spent nearly $1 million putting finishing touches on cast-iron lamps and a refurbished town hall.
But for shoppers, what really matters is the convenience that brought them downtown in the first place.
"You just never really expect to have to spend a lot of time parking when you come to a place like this -- that's what makes it a little frustrating," said Tammy Rosen, of the District, who has shopped in Occoquan for several years.
Urban planners and experts say small cities have neglected the consequences of their grand schemes. In other cases, they say, limited money was available for renovation, so parking and security became afterthoughts.
"They don't have the foresight or the money to deal with the problems that naturally come with the development," said Stephen Roulac, an urban planner and president of the Roulac Group, a consulting firm in San Francisco that works with main street communities.
A handful of jurisdictions, including Fairfax City, Frederick and Leesburg, have built parking garages to ease congestion. But several have found that their efforts are not enough. Frederick, which attracts 650,000 tourists annually, recently finished a third garage and is contemplating a fourth. Leesburg is considering building a second.
"It's a sign of success," said Richard Griffin, executive director of Greater Frederick Development Corp., a nonprofit that advocates for the city's downtown. "But you have to manage and stay on top of that success. We wanted to grow, so we had to make sure that we kept up with that growth."
But most places are finding that solutions are not easy. Not only is there little space, there's often little money. Hagerstown, like Occoquan, finds its historic district blocked in several directions by homes and other impediments. Haymarket, a town of about 900, exhausted all its grant money on the original renovations. Manassas and Occoquan each estimate that they need about $2 million to build a parking garage.
Aesthetics are also at stake, as many renovated downtowns are fashioned after Colonial and antebellum periods. Occoquan officials and residents take pride that their town of 720 still looks like it did in the 18th century. Parking garages can ruin that feel.
"There weren't any parking garages in the 1700s," said Mayor Conway, of Occoquan. "If you want to keep the authenticity and consistency of the town, you have to hide your parking facilities. That can limit your options."
The growing pains go beyond parking. Now that there is something to steal, many store owners worry about security.
"I think vandalism is something that we're definitely going to have to keep our eye on as we become more and more successful," said Mike Frost, owner of Orsini & Frost Clocksmiths and a member of the Manassas Old Town Business Association.
In some small towns, there is fierce competition as store owners jockey for position on busier streets. In Manassas, rents have increased 50 percent to 100 percent, forcing Frost's antique clocks shop to relocate.
"It's good for the city to have all this success," said Frost, who moved his store a block from Manassas's business center. "But it makes it difficult for a small-business owner to survive."
(5/4/2001) The following article came from The Washington Post
Reston Center Director Takes Burke Job
Ed Grillo will be the new executive director of the Burke Centre Conservancy homeowners association, a planned community in Burke.
Grillo has been executive director of the Reston Community Center since 1997 but has said he will step down May 12 to head the Burke organization conservancy, which oversees the planned community in Burke. He is credited in part for renovating the Reston community center building at Hunter Woods and moving the center into a second facility at Lake Anne. He was a 29-year veteran of the Air Force, overseeing community projects such as youth centers and libraries.
Reston Community Center's current deputy director, Tom Ward, will temporarily replace Grillo until the community center board chooses a replacement. Leila Gordon, the performing arts director, will be the interim deputy director.
(5/4/2001) The following article came form The Springfield Times:
Supervisor's office, police and fire departments to add space and remodel
(12/15/2000) The following article came from the Springfield Times:
Move would pay for area transportation and education projects
A one-cent increase in the sales tax for Northern Virginia would generate the money needed to pay for school and transportation projects, according to a proposal presented to county board members Monday by Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R-Springfield).
Saying that the state would probably not come up with the money to pay for Fairfax County's expected needs in those areas and pointing to Virginia's relatively low tax rate, McConnell said a one-penny hike in the sales tax would produce more than $2 billion for the Northern Virginia region in about 10 years. "This comes out of total frustration in delays with so many unfinished roads in my area," she told her fellow board members. "I do not think in my wildest dreams the state is going to give us this much money."
Here are some of the projects McConnell says the area gets for a one penny tax increase for the next 10 years:
- 16 new schools (11 elementary, 3.5 middle, 2 high)
- Renovation of 22 other schools
- Widen Fairfax County Parkway to 6 to 8 lanes and add 27 grade-separated interchanges
- Widen routes 7 and 28
- Build the Tri-county Parkway
- A $100 million contribution to the Dulles Rail project
Her proposal, which she suggests should be adopted by a referendum, would include a sunshine clause that ends the tax in 10 years unless reaffirmed by the public.
It would also be regional, not a statewide tax. McConnell said a sales tax makes sense because tourists and passers-through pay in addition to residents.
While many of the board members commended her work in identifying needed funds, they also had worries. "My concern is, and will remain, that we not let the state off the hook," said Supervisor Gerald Connolly (D-Providence). McConnell said she agreed that the state should not be let off easy, "but I again have to deal with reality and I don't think we're going to see that kind of increase from the state."
"Let's face it," she added, "we're outvoted down there." Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn (R-Dranesville) said he didn't think the proposal would expedite projects without some kind of public\private partnership, but McConnell adamantly disagreed. She said her numbers indicated that wasn't the case and she also said bringing more local control back would give the county an opportunity to take advantage of its assets.
"One other thing I think is important is we control the projects," McConnell said, adding that Fairfax County has an valuable asset in its Department of Transportation director Ho Chang, a former employee of the Virginia Department of Transportation. Supervisor Dana Kauffman (D-Lee) said he liked the idea of starting the discussion at the local level, and noted that the "public referendum aspect of this is critical."
He suggested offering public information meetings early on to answer residents' questions. The Monday proposal was the first time McConnell presented it to board members. She said she kept it from the other members so they would not have to suffer any criticism it incurs.
(12/15/2000) The following article about a new church in our area came from the Washington Post:
Move Is Church's Latest Mission By William Branigin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 7, 2000
Gazing out from the front entrance of the church he built nearly 30 years ago, Pastor Bud Calvert recalls a bucolic scene: There, on a corner where a bank now stands, was another church that dated from the mid-1800s. Behind it, woods stretched back from Braddock Road as far as the eye could see. The historic old church was transported intact to a new location long ago, and the surrounding woods have given way to a shopping center and some homes. Braddock Road, two lanes when Calvert arrived, long ago became a busy four-lane thoroughfare. Now Calvert's Fairfax Baptist Temple is moving, too. The congregation has outgrown its five-acre site overlooking Twinbrook Shopping Center and, starting this week, is relocating to a bigger complex on the Fairfax County Parkway. Also moving is the temple's private academy, which has nearly 300 students in kindergarten through grade 12.
The move reflects the dynamic growth and the changing demographics of Fairfax County. The Braddock Road site has been purchased by a Korean church, which will move in once Fairfax Baptist Temple moves out. For its part, the temple needs more room for its increasingly diverse flock, which includes 200 Latinos who attend Sunday Spanish-language services under a separate ministry run by Calvert's son, Troy, 33. A fluent speaker of Spanish who studied to be a missionary in Latin America, Troy Calvert started his ministry a decade ago by preaching to 15 Mexicans he found living in a house on Braddock Road.
The temple also hosts an Arabic ministry, holds a Sunday school class in Portuguese and counts a half-dozen Korean American families among about 1,000 members who attend English-language services. Fliers inviting people to join the fundamentalist church are printed in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Arabic and French. "Our diversity is our strength," said Bud Calvert, 57. "It's been a blessing. The mission field comes to us instead of us having to go to the mission field." Even so, Fairfax Baptist Temple continues to devote considerable attention to missionary work abroad. In the past 30 years, the church has given about $6 million to overseas missions and now supports more than 300 missionaries in almost 90 countries, Calvert said. "The sun never sets on our ministry here," he added, rattling off a list of African, Asian, European and Latin American countries to which the temple has sent missions.
Since he started his independent Baptist ministry three decades ago in an apartment in Annandale, Calvert has seen his congregation grow steadily. The church on Braddock Road was built in 1973, and classes started there three years later, with 44 students. A larger building was built behind the church in 1979 to accommodate the growing membership. The temple began planning to move in the late 1980s when a developer who attended the church, Mark Edwards, bought a 28-acre property for $3 million and donated it as the site for the new facility. The new $8 million complex, located at the Fairfax County Parkway and Burke Lake Road, was funded by gifts, a bank loan and the sale of the Braddock Road property for $3.2 million. It boasts 54,000 square feet of space, nearly double the size of the current facility.
The school, which has had to turn away students for lack of space, will be able to increase its enrollment to about 350, Calvert said. Instead of playing soccer on a parking lot, as they do now, students at the new site will have a field for outdoor sports and, as of next year, a gymnasium. Calvert plans to preach his first sermon at the new site this Sunday, and school is scheduled to resume Tuesday after a break for the move. While the congregation looks forward to roomier, more modern facilities, Calvert said the move from Braddock Road is not without regret. "We're leaving part of our heart here," he said.
(11/21/2000) The following article about our cable services came from the Fairfax Journal:County Board slams Cox for cable service
Fairfax County has issued a reminder that Virginia voters are required to provide identification or sign an ``Affirmation of Identity" at the polls, following legislation adopted this year by the Virginia General Assembly.
Acceptable forms of identification are: a Virginia Voter Information Card; Virginia driver's license or special identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles; valid United States passport; military ID card; any federal, state or local government-issued ID card; employer-issued photo ID card; or a Social Security card.
A voter who fails to bring acceptable identification to the polls may still vote after signing, under oath, an ``Affirmation of Identity," which is the voter's certification in writing that the name and address information provided to the election officials at the polling place is correct.
For information, contact the Fairfax County Electoral Board at (703) 222-0776. REMEMBER TO VOTE! CHOICE OR LOSE!
(11/5/2000) One of our readers has reported that a class action suit against manufacturers of water heaters installed in parts of the area has come to a conclusion. If you had a water heater installed between 1993 and 1999, you might be covered. These heaters have a defective part called a dip tube which if it fails can do major damage to a homes plumbing system. The settlement will provide a certificate which can be used to make the repair which costs approximately $200. The court has set up a web site at www.diptubesettlement.com which gives all the information and a claim form.
(10/31/2000) The Lee District Planning Committee of Fairfax County, VA will be meeting on November 6 to discuss a proposed EXPO Design Center in Kingstowne in place of the movie theatre. This page, sponsored by EXPO Design Center, has been created to provide our community with information on the design center. To see their new site about their proposed store in Kingstowne, go to: Expo Design Centers
(11/1/2000) The following is a story from the Fairfax Journal.
Officials of Fannie Mae, the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages, announced yesterday the company will invest $10 billion to help 75,000 families find affordable housing in Northern Virginia, stretching from the Potomac River to the West Virginia line.
Through the program, called ``House Northern Virginia," the company and its lender-partners will host community development, multi-family housing and finance projects to serve low- to moderate-income families. The program and Fannie Mae's new Northern Virginia Partnership Office are slated to be opened in Arlington in several months.
The program will serve 17 Virginia counties, including Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William, and the area's cities, among them Fairfax, Alexandria, Falls Church and Manassas.
``Northern Virginia faces a variety of unique needs ranging from the high cost of home ownership and an aging housing stock to preserving the affordability of rental housing and serving a diverse market," said Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer.
The partnership office will work hand-in-hand with Realtors, nonprofit groups and local governments to target specific needs in the region, he said.
First-time homeowners, as well as multicultural and recent immigrants are among those who will benefit, officials said. Getting homes in rural areas, keeping affordable units on the market and bringing commuters back to the region to live are some of the issues they hope to solve
(9/22/2000) The following is a story that was featured in the Washington Post.
A group of south Fairfax County parents renewed its push for a new high school for the community this week by taking the 12-mile journey children must travel every day through four high school attendance zones to get to Hayfield Secondary. Organizers of the parents' caravan said they hoped it would help convince school officials of the need to build a new south county high school--and build it sooner than tentative plans call for.
The parents' organization, known as the Hayfield Pyramid Solutions Group, hopes to influence school officials as they develop the school system's new Capital Improvement Program (CIP) this fall. The CIP spells out the construction timetable for major building projects and determines which projects will be funded through various bond referendums.
The estimated 80-vehicle caravan started its trek about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, following a school bus as it picked up its first student in the South Run Oaks subdivision in Fairfax Station and made its way through the Lake Braddock, West Springfield, Lee and Edison high school attendance zones before reaching its final destination of Hayfield.
The trip typically takes about 40 minutes--providing there are no major rush-hour traffic snags along the route, which includes the busy Fairfax County Parkway. On this rainy morning, it took nearly an hour. Last year, many parents complained that their children were often late getting to Hayfield, which is on Telegraph Road in the Alexandria section of the county.
The parents' group estimates that more than 1,800 south-county middle and high school students are bused to Hayfield. All the other middle and high schools in southern Fairfax are either at or over capacity, so moving students to those schools is not an option at this point.
"Our kids get up very early because the buses have to leave early so they can beat the commuter traffic," said Liz Bradsher, the group's president. "It has become a logistical nightmare for parents. If a child misses the bus . . . you're talking about an hour turnaround time to get them to school. It's a very difficult situation for families."
The parents say it's time for them to have their own neighborhood high school. They say they feel disconnected from Hayfield because it is so far away for students bused there from the Springfield and Mount Vernon magisterial districts. The distance also discourages many parents from getting involved in school activities.
"We have no community school," said Bradsher, who has two children who attend Silverbrook Elementary. "Without a community school, many things suffer--they're suffering now."
Bradsher and the other parents also contend that development and the ensuing population growth in the southern part of the county warrant a new school.
School Board members Isis Castro (Mount Vernon) and Catherine Belter (Springfield) support the parents' effort. "What they're asking for is what everybody wants: a community school," Castro said. "I'm very supportive of the idea."
The parents' group has proposed building the school on the site where the Lorton Correctional Complex sits. U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III has been working to have the land turned over to the county on an accelerated schedule.
Based on earlier projections, school district planners have said that a new high school in southern Fairfax will not be needed until after 2005, and it has tentatively been scheduled for completion in 2008. The Hayfield parents' group wants to see that date moved up to 2004.
"We're not saying our need is any greater than theirs," group member Berry Brady said, referring to projects that have higher priority in the CIP. "We're saying our schools are overcrowded, too, and we want a new school."
Gary Chevalier, director of the school system's Office of Facilities Planning Services, agreed that southern Fairfax is growing rapidly. But he said he and his staff want to reexamine enrollment and development projections before deciding whether to recommend moving the project up on the timetable.
Over the summer, he and his office worked with the parents group--as well as county planning and zoning officials and developers--to look at the numbers.
"We just want to make sure everyone is on same page, working with the same data," said Belter, who proposed that the three groups work together.
Chevalier's office will present its recommendations for the new 2001 CIP to the School Board in December.
Supporters of a new school in southern Fairfax said their wishes have nothing to do with the quality of education their children are receiving at Hayfield, as some critics have alleged.
"Contrary to what some have said, I have not had any of the people say negative things about educational program of Hayfield," Belter said. "This has nothing to do with the quality of education at Hayfield."
(8/14/2000) The Pohick Regional Library in Burke will be closed Monday, Aug. 28, through Monday, Sept. 4, for a $40,000 renovation that will add two new public service desks, signage, interior painting and computer wiring conduits to the library's concrete floor. Many of the
county libraries were built before computers were in use, and so are not ready for extensive computer wiring, library spokeswoman Lois Kirkpatrick said. The new floor trenches will improve wiring capacity for public and staff computers.
The Friends of the Pohick Regional Library contributed half of the money for the project.
The library's book drop can still be used during the closure.
(8/14/2000) The following is an article by Dusty Smith of the Springfield Times concerning the ban on parking RVs and boats:Communities all across the county gained a new right at the Board of Supervisors' last meeting of the summer session--the ability to ban recreational vehicle parking on public roads within their communities. Residents of Manchester Lakes in Lee District have been seeking a way to ban parking by such large vehicles for years, not simply because they are community eyesores, but because they pose a safety hazard for drivers, they say.
(8/14/2000) The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gave the nod for the Friends of Fairfax Station to build a small 218-foot addition to the museum that will house a new heating and air conditioning unit, as well as provide much-needed storage space.
The museum's current air conditioning and heating systems are inadequate in the extremes of winter and summer, so the improvements will allow for visitors to comfortably use the museum in all types of weather, Friends of Fairfax Station President Joan Rogers said.
"We've really come into our own in the last few years," Rogers said. "It's been quite a process" to work through the county planning process without a lawyer and as volunteers, she said.
The museum was a Southern Railway depot that had been the primary train stop for the county during the first half of the 20th century. The depot was the last operating railroad station in the county and closed in 1973, after which residents lobbied for its preservation.
It was moved up from the rail line and reconstructed on its current 5-acre site off Fairfax Station Road in the early 1980s.
"Now our museum is the center of the community," Rogers said.
The museum has the firm support of the county board.
"I'm very happy to move for the approval of this item," Supervisor Elaine McConnell (D-Springfield) said in her motion.
"We all look forward to be being back with you," board Chairman Kate Hanley (D) said to Rogers after the unanimous vote. "Thank you."
Under the museum's new permit, the hours of operation during the week for use as a meeting hall were extended two hours and the maximum number of people allowed on site at one time was doubled from 50 to 100 to reflect its increasing use.
Meetings can be held an average of four times a week and go from 5 p.m. to midnight, according to its new permit.
(7/18/2000) There will be a Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on 8/7/2000 on the Parking Issue and proposals to ban or limit the parking of boats, RVs, etc.
(6/4/2000) There will be a meeting of the West Springfield Civic Association on Wednesday, JUN 7 at 7:45 p.m. at West Springfield High School. It will be a discussion of the vitalization of the Springfield area. For more info, call (703) 451-0572.
(5/27/2000) There will be a public hearing on Wednesday, May 31 at 8:15 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center. The purpose of this meeting is for the County Planning Commission to consider the application of Centex homes to develop 28.71 acres of land on the south side of Hooes Road and Beechwood Drive. In order to make this happen, the Planning Commission will have to change the zoning from R-1 to R-2 designation. Centex will be calling the project Presidential Hill and it will include 55 single family homes and 8 affordable housing units.
(5/27/2000) VDOT has funded the replacement for the Hooes Road bridge to accommodate heavier traffic in the near future.
(4/19/2000) Fairfax and Prince William counties have reached a new agreement to continue their refuse exchange first initiated in October 1993. The new agreement allows Prince William County to send refuse to the Fairfax County Waste-to-Energy facility in Lorton, while Fairfax County
delivers yard waste to the Prince William County yard waste facilities. The agreement also allows Fairfax County to deliver refuse to the Prince William County landfill during maintenance or emergency
situations at the Fairfax Waste-to-Energy facility. As part of the agreement, the counties share other similar facilities as needed. This type of cooperation allows both counties to continue programs if their equipment requires maintenance or repair. Prince William County sets fees for disposing of yard waste, while Fairfax County sets fees for disposal of solid waste. Prince William County is charged the same fee for its use of the Fairfax Waste-to-Energy facility as Fairfax pays to use the Prince William landfill. These fee charges are reconciled twice a year. Either county can terminate the agreement with 90 days' notice. Since 1993, Prince William County has diverted 140,000 tons of
refuse to the Fairfax Waste-to-Energy facility. Fairfax County has delivered 185,000 tons of yard waste to Prince William County's compost facilities and 44,000 tons of trash to the landfill when its
Waste-to-Energy facility was not operating. For details about the program or Fairfax County's solid waste disposal operations, contact the Division of Solid Waste Disposal and Resource Recovery at (703) 324-5230 or visit the Web site at www.co.fairfax.va.us/gov/dpw/disposal.
(4/15/2000) The Fairfax County office of the Virginia Department of Forestry is offering free seedlings during April for community groups organizing planting projects. The seedlings are offered in support of Virginia's commitment to establishing 610 miles of riparian forest buffer along streams draining into the Chesapeake Bay by the year 2010. Riparian buffers are stands of trees and shrubs along waterways, which benefit the environment in numerous ways. For information on obtaining seedlings, or on how community groups can be part of the riparian buffer planting project, call (703) 324-1480. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District is giving away loblolly pine seedlings to nonprofit groups for mass planting projects in Fairfax County. Groups must order at least 100, but no more than 400. The seedlings are to be used for wildlife habitats, reforestation projects, erosion control, windbreaks and other conservation needs. Seedlings may be planted on public grounds or right-of-ways, with permission, or on private areas such as community and common grounds. Seedlings are not intended for distribution to individuals or for planting on an individual's property. To order the free seedlings, call (703) 324-1460 and provide: a brief description of the proposed project; name, address and phone number of a contact person; and the number of trees needed. Distribution will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26 at Annandale High School.
(4/6/2000) As a public service announcement, we at DITT~Inc ask you, our neighbors to participate in the 2000 Census. Make sure we get what we deserve from our government! If you have not received a form yet due to your new address, please call 1-800-471-9424 and the Census Bureau will send you a form. According to the Washington Post, the whole town of Occoquan did not receive their census forms because the local post office did not provide home delivery despite the fact that Mayor Patricia Conway meticulously provide the Census Bureau with everyone's address. So, she and several town officials personally dropped them off at the residents houses throughout the whole town. We appauled such dedication. Make yourself count!
(4/6/2000) Fairfax County will conduct two public meetings to receive residents' comments on proposed bus changes in Springfield and Lorton. The adjustments affect Fairfax Connector routes 204, 303 and 383. Following approval by the Board of Supervisors, implementation of the changes is scheduled for this summer. The meetings are set for 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, APR 8 at Key Middle School, 6402 Franconia Road, Springfield, and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, APR 9, at Lorton Community Library, 9520 Richmond Highway, Lorton. For information on the proposed bus route changes, contact the Department of Transportation at (703) 324-1172 or TTY (703) 324-1102, or visit the Web site at www.fairfaxconnector.com. Comments may also be provided by phone or in writing by April 21. Mail comments to: ATTN: Comments for Service Change Proposals, Fairfax County Department of Transportation, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 1034, Fairfax, Va. 22035, or call the Department of Transportation. For current Fairfax Connector route and schedule information, call the Information Center at (703) 339-7200, TTY (703) 339-1608.
(4/1/2000) VDOT has approved the installation of a traffic signal at the Rolling Valley Mall Park and Ride lot entering Old Keene Mill Road. It will require a reconfiguration of the internal traffic patterns within the lot. I will continue to work to design a new circulation plan. In addition to addressing vehicle flow, bus and pedestrian circulation will be analyzed. Completion of the preliminary plan is expected in the early Fall.
(4/1/2000) The Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department is well on its way toward a full recovery after their station was damaged by fire over a year ago. All of the apparatus that was damaged or destroyed has been replaced and the familiar yellow units are back on the streets. The career staff and volunteers are now operating out of a temporary structure that the County provided. The replacement station is in the design phase and the Department is working to raise funds to outfit the new facility. Tax deductible contributions can be sent to the Burke VFRD at PO Box 11189. Burke, VA 22009. Contact Bob Mizer, President of the Department at 415-9607 if you would like to assist the volunteers or have questions.
(3/10/2000) In an article by Robert White in the Fairfax Journal, two Northern Virginia legislators are pushing the federal government to ease traffic congestion by getting more federal employees to take mass transit or work from home. U.S. Rep. James P. Moran Jr., D-8th District, has asked the Defense Department to proceed with a program offering subsidies to its Washington, D.C., area employees to get to work via bus or subway. "All federal agencies in the Washington area should act aggressively to encourage the use of mass transit by federal workers," Moran wrote in a March 1 letter to Defense Secretary William Cohen. The federal government is the largest employer in the region, with the Defense Department having the most local employees, Moran noted. The Pentagon told Congress earlier last month that it does not have money available to offer the subsidies, although it is trying to develop a program allowing employees to use pre-tax earnings to pay for mass transit fares. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-10th District, yesterday continued his push to expand the federal government's telecommuting programs and making more federal employees eligible for reduced mass-transit fares. About 20 percent of the region's 350,000 federal workers are currently eligible for the reduced fares. President Clinton has not signed an executive order expanding those benefits, so Wolf yesterday brought the fight to the House Appropriations Committee, successfully attaching the provision to a supplemental spending bill. The legislation moves to the full House next week. "This is too important to our region," Wolf said in an interview yesterday morning. "For every car you take off the road, you enable the traffic situation to get better." Last week, Wolf introduced legislation establishing a $500 annual tax credit for private or public sector employees who telework - work from home or at a satellite office - at least 75 days per year. A new study by George Mason University in Fairfax concluded that for every 1 percent of the regional workforce that does not commute to the office, there is a corresponding 3 percent decrease in traffic delays.
(2/13/2000) The following is the status of the new faire stations in the area:
Burke Fire & Rescue Station Reconstruct the station located at Burke and Old Burke Lake Roads. The previous building was condemned after a fire in January 1997. Construction of the new station will begin in December 1999, with an anticipated completion date of February 2001.
Crosspointe Station. Property has not been purchased; however, the planned location is in the area of Ox Road in the southern portion of the County. Design and construction funding is deferred until Fiscal Year 2002.
Fairfax Centre Station Legato Road and Lee Highway. Design funding will be available in Fiscal Year 2004. Construction funding has been deferred until after Fiscal Year 2006.
(2/12/2000) According to the Fairfax Journal, the Fairfax County Park Authority voted unanimously this week to revoke a policy that allowed Board of Supervisors and Park Authority members to bring three guests along when they golf for free at the county's public courses. The policy, adopted Jan. 12 by the 12-member board, came under fierce opposition from anti-tax activists and county supervisors, who said it was an inappropriate perk. Supervisors and Park Authority members will still be allowed to bring one guest along for a free 18 holes of golf. The Park Authority plans to review its entire benefits policy, which permits about 100 current and former public officials and more than 500 parks employees to use nearly all Fairfax recreation facilities free of charge.
(2/12/2000) According to an article in the Fairfax Journal, The Fairfax County School Board last night adopted its proposed $1.4 billion budget for fiscal 2001, with $84 million in spending not funded by the county and state.
The budget will be considered by the county Board of Supervisors, which will decide in April how much the school system will get in county revenues next year. If sufficient funding is not available to pay for all the proposed items, the School Board will have to make adjustments to the final budget, scheduled to come to a vote in May.
The adopted budget is an increase of 9 percent over last year's approved budget and requires a 15 percent increase in fund transfers from the county, 9 percent more than supervisors have said they could give.
School officials said the spending increases are needed to pay for unprecedented growth in enrollment and to give all school employees a 5 percent raise as a cost-of-living adjustment. The budget contains $7.5 million in new programs and programs expansion; $22 million in technology initiatives and $30 million to maintain current class sizes.
The School Board also approved the additional spending proposed last week by School Superintendent Daniel Domenech. They include $20.4 million to fund an extra 2 percent pay raise for employees; $3 million in bonuses for teachers and staff in the 20 Project Excel schools; and $227,000 to place more parent liaisons and extend their service in schools with a large number of students in the system's English as a Second Language program.
Domenech has called on the state for a larger share of education funding. The school district will not know how much it will get until the General Assembly appropriates it from state revenues before it adjourns in March.
Fairfax County schools could get about $7 million in state funds under a budget amendment that would give a 2.4 percent boost in teacher salaries, said Judy Singleton, government relations director for county schools. School officials had hoped to get up to $17 million under a proposed 6 percent increase earlier. Singleton said she hopes Fairfax County will get a favorable distribution in technology funding under several proposed bills. The School Board last night defeated two budget amendments introduced by members Tessie Wilson, Braddock District; and Gary Reese, Sully District, that would give additional pay raises to instructional assistants as well give retired teachers the same medical coverage active teachers if they are committed to work at least 25 days a year as substitute teachers.
(2/9/2000) During a meeting of the Manchester Lakes Master Association, was announced that legislation has been introduced by Senator Linda Puller and Delegate Tom Bolvin on the Parking Issues that face Fairfax County. Manchester Lakes has had concern on the issue since last June, and our newly elected officials have introduced legislation House Bill 1466 by Delegate Bolvin and Senate Bill 474 by Senator Puller. In essence if enacted would eliminate the parking of boats, and other types of recreational vehicles on residential streets in the Fairfax County! It will be going before the General Assembly this session.
(11/21/99) The general fees for homeowners in Burke Centre will increase by 9.5 percent next year to offset the increasing costs of maintaining the aging community. Board of Trustees members said there would be a $400,000 shortfall in the organization's 2000 budget without an increase, and said the 9.5 percent was a step in the right direction. Board members said the additional funds are necessary to meet the rising costs of providing services to residents. "The good news is we have an accounting system and we know what the numbers are," Craig Musick, president of the Burke Centre Conservancy, said last week. "The bad news is we know what the numbers are."
This year marks the first full year the 6,000-home community's governing body, the Conservancy, has used an improved accounting system after a controversy erupted last year over the accuracy of its financial recordkeeping. The board fired the organization's financial director in May 1998 after inconsistencies were found in the records. General assessments for Burke Centre residents will go up by $5.94 to $68.42 per quarter. Forty-two percent of Burke Centre's $3.5 million budget comes from general assessments, and 32 percent comes from neighborhood assessments. The year 2000 budget is $3,846,817, up 4.41 percent from the 1999 budget.
Interest on conservancy investments account for 7 percent of revenues, and pool fees, which accounted for 8 percent last year, will increase next year for the first time in five years. The budget increase last Wednesday did not draw much public criticism at the meeting. Several of the 25 residents in attendance said the board needs to provide more information to residents earlier in the process.
A larger group of residents attended the meeting to speak against a proposed "tot-lot" they said would ruin the serenity of the Ponds neighborhood. On the budget process, resident Ed Beck said, "One of the critical problems that I see is that until tonight, or at least not until last week... this draft budget wasn't out in the community."
"No one had any idea what this raise was going to be," he said.
Burke Cove resident Kay Bedsole echoed his concerns that more community involvement is necessary, even though in previous years the community has historically been apathetic. When public meetings were held on the budget in past years, "at times we were lucky to get 30 people... sometimes we'd get just the board plus six," she said.
Board trustees met with their neighborhoods a week before the budget meeting to get input.
Trustees cited higher costs for labor, health insurance and tree removal as the top contributors to the assessment increase. Trustee John Murray said the rise in assessments is a step toward balancing revenues with expenses.
"The actual number to put us back on track is 25 percent," he said. But that amount of increase would not have been palatable to the community, he said.
A 1 percent increase translates to $14,000 in new revenue for the conservancy, he said.
To help reduce the increase, the board elected to reduce the amount of funds put into capital reserves because that fund-which now stands at 70 percent of the amount to cover replacement of conservancy assets-is favorable, Trustee Mark Gazillo said.
One point that drew questions from residents was the cost of health insurance for the conservancy's 35 employees. These costs will rise by 22 percent, from $105,000 to $130,000 next year. Executive Director Sharon Goodrich said the total cost of insurance depends on the number of employees and the type of benefits they receive, family or single.
Goodrich said the board looked at five insurance companies, and added that each year a 15 percent increase in health insurance costs has been typical. "One of our problems here is our salaries are not competitive" with outside jobs and health insurance is a way to draw potential employees, Goodrich said. Burke Centre has a lot of infrastructure that needs to be replaced, Goodrich and trustees said.
A third of all the community's paths need to be replaced, bridges need repairs and $108,000 has been spent on tree removal alone.
"This is an aging community, it's 20 years old now," said Trustee Chris Taube. "We're seeing the open space needing attention... that 10 years ago
(9/19/99) Fairfax County is holding a series of meetings for County residents to comment on the proposed Northern Virginia 2020 Transportation Plan developed by the Northern Virginia Transportation Coordinating Council (TCC). The 2020 Transportation Plan is a comprehensive 20-year study that: identifies bus, rail
transit, roadway and non-motorized transportation needs; suggests improvements to increase mobility and reduce congestion; and updates the previous 2010 plan. The 2020 Transportation Plan has evaluated short, medium, and long-term transportation needs in Northern Virginia, and has recommended specific improvements that should be
All local jurisdictions in Northern Virginia will be holding public information meetings between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15, 1999. Once the TCC completes its evaluation of the comments provided by citizens, additional work will be conducted to establish transportation priorities and identify possible funding methods. Your input now is important as the TCC makes these decisions. The meeting for the Kingstowne area will be on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 1999 at 7:00 p.m. in the Mount Vernon District Government Center at 2511 Parkers Lane, Alexandria.
(4/23/99) According to the Fairfax Journal, Cox Communications Inc.'s planned $1.4 billion acquisition of Media General Cable should have little impact on Media General's 240,000 subscribers in Fairfax County, the cable system's chairman said. "Cox is a company that has a philosophy a lot like
ours," said Media General Cable CEO Thomas E. Waldrop. "They have a strong commitment to their employees, customer support and community outreach."
Atlanta-based Cox, a leading cable television and telecommunications provider, serves 450,000 customers in southeastern Virginia and Roanoke and 3.8 million nationwide. In addition to its holdings in Fairfax, Media General Cable has about 20,000 subscribers in Fredericksburg.
Cox has pledged to retain the cable system's 500 employees in Northern Virginia, said Waldrop, who expects to remain as CEO of the new company.
(4/23/99) According to the Burke Times, Congressmen from Northern Virginia are working this week to clear away road blocks put up by a federal judge, effectively stalling work to replace the deteriorating Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
In a ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin in Washington, D.C., said a more detailed environmental review must be done before work can continue on replacing the region's main Potomac River crossing.
In addition, Sporkin said the Federal Highway Administration did not adequately consider a smaller 10-lane alternative, which was pushed by a group of local activists who filed suit against the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Originally designed to carry 75,000 vehicles a day, the bridge now handles nearly 200,000 cars and trucks a day. Highway officials say the bridge can last another five years under current conditions.
A new 12-lane bridge is slated to be built directly south of the current crossing. If it's not replaced before then, officials say a heavy truck ban will have to be enforced in order to prolong use of the existing bridge.
That prospect alarms local leaders, who said truck traffic would have to be rerouted to Interstate 395, Route 1 or the American Legion Bridge via the Beltway. It's not yet clear whether Sporkin's ruling will be appealed. Federal officials
are looking at whether the additional studies would take just as long as an appeal. In the meantime, design work will continue on the new bridge, according to John Undeland, spokesman for the bridge project. The court
order only stops construction, but the planned timetable has little flexibility, he added. "We're under a tight schedule, and any delay makes it difficult to meet our goals to replace the bridge before it structurally fails," Undeland said.
Fairfax supervisors are worried about the added wear and tear such a ban would put on the Beltway. "The material effects of a truck ban is that traffic backs up almost to the Mixing Bowl, and that worries me," said Supervisor
Dana Kauffman (D-Lee). The prospect of having more truck traffic roll through Old Town Alexandria via Route 1 doesn't appeal to Mayor Kerry Donley (D) either.
(4/15/99) There will be a new Hard Times Cafe opening soon at the Springfield Plaza.
(4/15/99) VDOT will open an Springfield Interchange Information Store at the Springfield Mall on 1 MAY 99.
(4/15/99) Starting today, the northbound HOV lanes on I-95 starting at the Springfield Interchange are closed due to construction.
(4/9/99) Starting last week, the Springfield Metro Center now takes credit cards (including Visa, Mastercard, and Discovercard) at its machines labeled "Passes/Passcards." By the end of the summer, all Metro stations will take them.
(4/9/99) The Burke area will get a new 49 house development off Burke Lake Road next to the Blue Ridge Cluster. The single family houses will be situated along a new road called Brookfield Drive that will curve around and intersect an extended Wilmington Drive, and both streets will end in courts. The developer has promised to preserve existing mature trees along the perimeter of many of the new house properties, and maintain vegetation in the open spaces, as per county and residential community concerns.
(4/9/99) Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is now building a new preschool on Old Keane Road in Springfield. It is expected to be ready for opening in November. It will include two new playgrounds and three pods with four rooms each.
(4/3/99) The beginning stages of construction on the Springfield Interchange will be visible next week. The far right lane on northbound I-95 south of Route 644 will be closed the night of Monday, 5 APR 99, so that concrete barriers can be placed along the shoulder.
(4/3/99) As a means to reduce congestion around the Springfield Interchange, Fairfax County has approved a new bus system which will connect the Metro Station, the Springfield Mall, the Springfield Hilton, the Springfield Plaza, and the Brookfield Palza starting this fall for at least a year. The project will include four 20 passenger buses that will run on weekdays. it will run every 24 minutes in each direction during the morning and evening rush hours, and every 30 minutes from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Most of the funding of for the project is coming from a federal grant of $650,000 and a county match of $180,000. The service will start in this fall.
(4/3/99) GOV Gilmore has approved $104,000,000 in bonds for road improvements including Route 1 in prince William County, Lee Highway in Fairfax City, Route 123 between Burke and Occoquan. In addition, the Governor sign a bill which will send $30,000,000 in lottery proceeds to the Fairfax County Public Schools.
(4/3/99) Supervisors Kauffman and Hyland introduced a plan to provide rabies vaccine pellets for wild animals in the southeast corner of Fairfax County at parks and large dumpsters. Supposedly, the pellets do not pose a risk to domesticated animals or humans. This is in reaction to a number of attacks by rabid animals in the last few years in the area.
(3/25/99) The Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority has approved the move of the local Greyhound bus terminal from Spring Garden Drive to the Franconia-Springfield Metro Center. Bus service starting in June will be available for the following places: Dulles Airport, Richmond, Charolettesville, Winchester, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC. Starting on 16 MAY 99, two Amtrak trains will be stopping daily at the Metro Center.
(3/25/99) 30 emergency call boxes will be added to the garage at the Metro Center as an added safety feature.
(3/24/99) There is a new church being built in our area. The Fairfax Baptist Temple & Academy is being built at the intersection of the Fairfax County Parkway and the Burke Lake Road.
(3/24/99) Olympus Gym is opening a new fitness center at the intersection of Route 123 and the Fairfax County Parkway.
(3/18/99) VDOT will be holding 2 public hearings on the proposed design changes to Route 123 (Ox Road). The first one is at the William Halley Elementary School on Monday, 22 MAR 99. The second one is at the Rockledge Elementary School on Wednesday, 24 MAR 99. At both events, there will be a prehearing plan review from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and a formal presentation at 7:00 p.m. For more information, call (703) 383-VDOT. This will be a chance to review and discuss plans to review and discuss plans to widen Route 123 from Occoquan to 2.7 miles south of the Norfolk Southern Railway Company (Burke Lake Road).
(3/18/99) The Burke Historical Society dedicated a mini-museum on 13 MAR 99 at the location of Burke train station and the original Burke United Methodist Church at 9415 Old Burke Lake Road. The station was also the location of a Confederate in the Civil War led by J.E.B. Stuart. The museum contains many artifacts and books on the history of Burke.
(3/14/99) Both the Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax Station and the Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton are now open for the season!
(3/14/99) Attention drivers! Local police departments in the area will be participating in the state-wide Operation Clean & Sober program. The operation is aimed at cracking down on aggressive driving and traffic violations which may endanger other drivers. This operation will go on 15-21 MAR 99.
(3/14/99) On Sunday, 7 MAR 99, a 17 year old boy approached a 12 year old boy at the basketball court in 8800 block of LaGrange Street in Lorton and robbed him at gunpoint for a stick of gum. The youth walked away and tossed the handgun near a tree. The victim went home and contacted the police. The 17 year old was then taken into custody without incident. A police dog located the gun in a search of the area. The youth was charged with robbery and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He is being held in the juvenile detention pending a hearing.
(3/4/99) Under a proposal by the Fried Company, a 23 acre tract of land a mile east of the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station which has been in the Walker Family since 1860 will undergo the following developments:
A one room schoolhouse that was originally built in 1884 will be restored. It used to be the area school for African-American children in the days of segration.
A set of office buildings, a hotel, a gas station, and two restaurants. This project will be known as the Metro Park.
(3/4/99) The Inova Health medical office complex will have its groundbreaking this spring on10.5 acres at the northeast corner of the Franconia-Springfield Parkway and the railroad tracks. It will be adjacent to the metro park site.. The facility will include an ambulatory surgical center, a 24-hour emergency room, and an after hours pediatric clinic. The Fried Company has assured neighbors that Lewin Drive and Acro Lane will not be used by commercial vehicles.
(3/4/99) The Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. has requested an indefinite postponement of an informal conference being held by the Virginia Health Commissioner on why the proposed Springfield Hospital should be approved anyhow. this appears to place further doubt on the future of the project.
(3/4/99) Fairfax County Police are looking for a man who robbed the First Virginia Bank branch at 7000 Bland Street in Springfield at about 9:30 a.m. on 27 FEB 99. Police said a white man in his late 40s or early 50s entered the bank and approached a teller and demanded cash. The man fled on foot after the teller relinquished an undisclosed sum. The Police described the robber as 5 feet, 5 inches tall with a thin build, gray mustache, wearing a dark knit cap, sunglasses, gray sweatshirt and navy sweatpants.
(2/27/99) TGI Friday's is building a new restaurant next to Pier One at the Springfield Commons shopping center.
(2/19/99) The principal at White Oak Elementary School, Saudra Wolstenholme, resigned after a series of disputes with faculty and parents at the school.
(2/12/99) The Virginia General Assembly has passed legislation to provide $300,000,000 to improve roads in the Northern Virginia area. The funds will be targeted for improvements for U.S. Routes 1 and 15 and state Routes 7 and 123.
(2/12/99) Police are investigating a stabbing of an inmate at the prison in Lorton. The 23-year-old was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with a collapsed lung after being found by a guard, police said.
(2/12/99) A 17-year-old boy was shot while leaving a party in the 8500 block of Century Oak Court in the Newington area on 31 JAN 99. He was released from Inova Fairfax Hospital on 2 FEB 99. The homeowner told police that several uninvited guests showed up, and a fight had broken out. The victim was shot as he and five other guests were driving away from the party, police said. The shots came from a vehicle that was following them, police said.
(2/5/99) The Fairfax County School Board voted last week to put a proposal for a $45,000,000 secondary school in the South county area on the list of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). This is intended to relieve overcrowding at Hayfield Secondary School due to the rapid population growth in the area. Currently, there is an available site at the corner of Huntsman BLVD and the Fairfax County Parkway, known as the "Pohick Site." In addition, the School Board added $400,000 to the CIP budget to study building a new middle or secondary school in the area. The next required step towards getting the school built is to obtain funding in the form of a bond resolution. A bond recommendation will be presented to the School Board on 25 MAR 99, followed by a working session on 26 APR 99. There will be a combined meeting and vote on 29 APR 99. After that point, the bond proposal will go to the Board of Supervisors, which has the power to sell bonds.
School Superintendent Daniel Domenech and the School Board are hoping to obtain $30,000,000 in state funds over the next two years as a result of GOV Gilmore's proposal to channel state lottery funds into Virginia's public schools. More word on this development will be coming in March.
Interesting facts: According to the Springfield Connection, Fairfax County has only been receiving 4% of state education funds while the county has 14% of the state's student population. Fairfax County has the same number of students being educated in 550 trailers as Roanoke's County entire school population!
(2/5/99) The plans for the proposed Springfield Hospital became even more doubtful when the Arlington Health Foundation withdrew from its alliance with the Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. in order to keep its tax-exempt status. Columbia/HCA Healthcare has decline to comment if it intends to continue its plans to build the hospital by itself. It will have to make a decision before an informal conference at the Commonwealth's Health Commissioner's Office in Richmond on 30 MAR 99. This conference is expected to help the Commissioner which a final decision in choosing between the application of the two proposal by Columbia and Inova Health Systems (which has proposed building an urgent care center in Springfield).
(2/5/99) GOV. Gilmore has authorized a pilot program which will extend the hours that westbound commuters on I-66 can use the shoulder lanes. Starting on 1 Mar 99, drivers can use the shoulder lanes from the Beltway to Route 50 from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. for the next eight months. There is also a proposal to add a half an hour in the morning to the time when commuters can use the shoulder lanes. Currently, you can drive on them between 5:30 to 9:30 a.m.
(1/29/99) According to the Springfield Connection, Fairfax County Police are investigating an armed robbery at the CVS Pharmacy Store located at 5711 Burke Centre Parkway in Burke. The victim was not injured. According to Police, the suspect is a black male in his 20s, 6 feet tall, and weighing 170 pounds. He was wearing a red shirt and blue jeans at the time of the robbery. If he is seen, please call the Fairfax County Crime Slovers at (703) 691-8888.
(1/29/99) According to another report by the Springfield Connection, a man was seen exposing himself near the Huntsman Square on 16 JAN 99. Unfortunately, he ran off before he was caught. The suspect is white, 6 feet tall, 35-40 years old, weighs 180-185 pounds, with dark hair.
(1/26/99) Those residents wanting to run for a Burke Centre Trustee position or Cluster Committee opening can pick up election packets from the Conservancy office. Petitions for Trustee candidacy, as well as rose for Cluster Committee, due to the Conservancy office by 5 p.m. on 5 FEB 99. The Burke Centre election will be held on 6 MAR 99. Call (703) 978-2928 for information.
(1/26/99) According to the Burke Times, the beginning of the end of the DC Correctional Facility at Lorton began on 18 JAN 99 with the opening of Virginia's new maximum-security prison, Sussex II in Waverly. The new facility will receive all of Lorton's 1,300 prisoners during the next 15 weeks. The District of Columbia reimburses Virginia for using the extra prison space.
(1/22/99) According to a report by the Burke Connection, the Burke Fire Station on Old Burke Lake Road which was destroyed by a 1997 fire, will be rebuilt by October 2000.
(1/17/99) Gov. James Gilmore decided to include funding for four park and ride lots as part of the "Mixing Bowl" construction project. The lots will costs $4.7 million and will provide parking for 1,200 vehicles. It is hoped that these lots will help to reduce the congestion in the area during the construction project. This decision overrode the recommendations of VDOT's Chief Engineer. Fairfax County officials estimate that the lots will reduce traffic in the Mixing Bowl by 1,000-2,500 cars daily.
(1/17/99) Construction of the Greyhound Lines bus ticket office and waiting room at the Springfield-Franconia Metro station was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The 588 sq. ft. building will be located across an access road from the transportation center's parking garage and near an existing bus loading and Kiss-and-Ride area.
(1/17/99) The Citizens for Springfield Community Hospital are asking local residents to indicate their support for the hospital
by calling one of the following officials:
- Supervisor Dana Kauffman at (703) 971-6262
- Supervisor Elaine McConnell at (703) 451-8873
- Chairman Kate Hanley at (703) 324-2324
For more information on this issue, call (703) 912-6000 or see one of the articles below, dated 12/6/98.
(1/8/99) The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals has granted approval to the Springfield Golf and County Club to replace the clubhouse on Old Keane Mill Road. The new structure will be twice as large but the amount of parking will remain the same. The $5.3 million project should start this spring.
(1/8/99) At a recent forum at West Springfield High School, there was a massive debate concerning a proposed school on the 35-acre Pohick site at the intersection of Huntsman Blvd and the Fairfax County Parkway. Supporters railed against the current long commute to hayfield Secondary School, while opponents stated a new school will leave other facilities underutilized. According to the Springfield Connection, another factor is the uncertainty in the timing and scope of the development on the grounds of the Lorton correction facility.
(12/20/98) Construction has started along Route 123 to convert some of the land which belong to the Correctional Facility at Lorton to housing developments. Please be advised that there are barriers on the road itself and drive slowly around them.
(12/6/98) According to the Washington Post, the staff of the Virginia Department of Health Services have recommended
denying the application of the Columbia Arlington Healthcare System to build a 160-bed hospital in Springfield near the
Metro Station. This is the second recommendation against the proposed hospital. In October 1998, a panel of
Northern Virginia officials and others recommended against the application due to the belief that competition from the
hospital could hurt nearby medical facilities such as those which are already operated by INOVA in the area. However,
the Columbia Arlington Healthcare System contends that projected growth in the Springfield area indicates a need for a
new hospital. The final decision will be made by Acting Health Commissioner William R. Nelson in the next several
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