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Thursday, December 14, 2017

I-66 tolling is not causing more traffic on Route 7 or 50, VDOT claims

The new express lanes on I-66. [WTOP/Dave Dildine]
Express lane tolling on Interstate 66 inside the beltway has not had a negative impact on other roads in the Seven Corners area, says Amanda Baxter, special projects development manager at the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Since the tolls went into effect on Dec. 4, “drivers on parallel arterial roadways, including Routes 7, 29, and 50, experienced similar or improved travel times,” Baxter told the Bailey’s Crossroads Seven Corners Revitalization Corporation at the group’s Dec. 12 meeting.

Snow Day Camp offered at Audrey Moore RECenter

With more snow predicted, parents have an alternative to missing work on a snow day: The Fairfax County Park Authority is hosting Snow Day Camp for children ages four locations, including Audrey Moore RECenter in Annandale

Snow Day Camp will operate when Fairfax County Public Schools are closed two more school days in a row 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The cost is $65 per child.

It’s first come, first served, and there is a maximum of 30 children per site. Snow Day Camp will not be held when the Fairfax County government or Park Authority facilities are closed. It also won’t operate for single-day school closures, late openings, early dismissals, or on weekends.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Santa's Ride stops at Mason Crest Elementary School

Santa greets students at Mason Crest.
Santa Claus dropped in for a visit at Mason Crest Elementary School in Annandale Dec. 12, but arrived on a Harley rather than a sled.

Santa, along with Mrs. Claus, Frosty, and Rudolf, handed out candy canes to students in preschool through first grade, as their entourage – motor pool police officers from Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, and the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office – collected toys donated by the public for hospitalized children.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Coyote kills small dog

A small dog has been attacked and killed by a wild animal, most likely a coyote, in the Broyhill Crest neighborhood in Annandale.

Mary Trice let her dog, a seven-year-old male neutered Maltese named Rufus, outside for a bathroom break on Dec. 10, and he never returned.

She found his partially eaten body the next day in a wooded part of her backyard. A representative of the Falls Church Animal Shelter told her the predator was most likely a coyote.

“Rufus was a great dog in the sense he was very playful. He would be so excited when I got home, he would jump around,” Trice says. “He was the happiest dog in the world.”

Transforming Stuart HS to Justice HS will cost much less than previously estimated

FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand (left) talks to the public at a "community conversation" at Luther Jackson Middle School.
The cost of changing the name of JEB Stuart High School to Justice High School would cost $428,418, according to a plan to implement the name change submitted by Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand to the school board Dec. 11.

That is far less than the $800,000 figure in earlier FCPS estimates – and way below the $1 million cost claimed by those who fought to keep the Stuart name.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Armed carjacking and robbery in Mason District

Updated Dec. 13 – The Fairfax County Police Department’s weekend crime report includes a robbery and an armed carjacking in Mason District.

A man who had advertised a game console for sale was robbed on Dec. 8. He had agreed to meet a potential buyer at about 6:15 p.m. in the 6500 block of Little River Turnpike.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

New 'micro-school' coming to Mason District

An Acton Academy. 
A small private school, associated with the Acton Academy network, is expected to open in Mason District next fall. 

A location hasn’t been nailed down yet, but there are two possibilities, both churches. One is in the West Falls Church area near Route 50, and the other is in Seven Corners, says Village School founder,  Lauren Quinn, an advanced academic resource teacher at Parklawn Elementary School who has taught at several public and private schools, including Congressional School.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Public invited to learn about redistricting

The Springfield-Annandale branch of the American Association University Women invites the public to learn about efforts to end gerrymandering and promote fair redistricting in Virginia.

This is the topic of the group’s next meeting, Dec. 14, 7 p.m., in the Braddock District supervisor’s office, 9002 Burke Lake Road, Burke.

Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVirginia2021, will talk about how that organization is campaigning for fair, nonpartisan redistricting and will present an update on recent court cases that have an impact on redistricting.

Friday, December 8, 2017

'The Phantom Tollbooth' will delight the whole family

Amanda Ranowsky as Tock and Susan Kaplan as the Spelling Bee in “The Phantom Tollbooth.” [Chip Gertzog/Providence Players]
By David Siegel

“For our 20th anniversary season, we wanted to do something non-traditional in the holiday time slot. We have always liked the idea of presenting a fantasy rather than a traditional holiday show,” says Chip Gertzog, director of Providence Players’ production of “The Phantom Tollbooth.”

The play, adapted by Susan Nanus from the classic young adult novel by Norton Juster with illustrations by Jules Feiffer, opens tonight at the James Lee Community Center Theater and runs through Dec. 16.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Supervisors streamline process for repurposing office buildings

An apartment in a former office building in Alexandria's West End that has been transformed into a flexible E-loft concept, allowing tenants use their units for living or working.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has made it easier for developers to convert obsolete office buildings and stores to other uses, such as housing, schools, or “urban farms.”

On Dec. 5, the BoS approved an amendment to the county’s Comprehensive Plan recommended by a working group on the repurposing of vacant, mostly vacant, or underutilized office buildings.