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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Resident seeks missing cockatiel

Lia, a female adult cockatiel, escaped from her home on Crane Drive in the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood on March 27. 

She weighs about 1 gram and is 10 to 12 inches long. Lia is mostly gray and white and has orange cheeks, a light yellow head and bottom tail feathers, and a high-pitched voice.

She should be approachable and is probably hungry and thirsty. If you see her, contact Laura at

County budget would end enforcement of grass ordinance

The owner of this healthy lawn received a warning from a community association.

Local lawns could be a lot messier next year, if the Board of Supervisors agrees with a budget recommendation to eliminate enforcement of the grass ordinance. Some neighborhood groups are concerned that could lead to declining property values, deteriorating quality of life, and the proliferation of rodents and snakes.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sharpshooters take down seven deer at Green Spring Gardens

Deer at Green Spring Gardens.
Fifty deer were killed in Mason District parks during the 2014-15 season, including seven shot by sharpshooters at Green Spring Gardens, says Katherine Edwards, the wildlife management specialist for Fairfax County. Archers using crossbows were responsible for the rest.

Edwards gave a presentation at the third and final installment of Mason Supervisor Penny Gross’ Civic Leadership series March 28, along with animal control officers and representatives from the Animal Shelter. 

Police searching area for prisoner who escaped from Fairfax Hospital

Assaye [FCPD]
Update: The suspect was captured and arrested in D.C., at the intersection of Minnesota Street and 25th Street, S.E., shortly before noon.
Police are searching the area for a prisoner who escaped from Inova Fairfax Hospital early Tuesday morning and is said to be “armed and dangerous.”

According to news reports, the prisoner, identified as Wossen Assaye, had been taken to the hospital after a suicide attempt. He overpowered a security guard at about 3 a.m., took his gun, and escaped. One shot was fired, but no one was injured.

Monday, March 30, 2015

County plans to close Annandale Adult Day Care Center

Clients enjoy a game of seated, balloon volleyball.

The Annandale Adult Day Care Center, which serves people with mental and physical impairments, most of them in their 80s, could be shut down as the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors struggles to cut costs.

Each county agency was asked to come up with a list of areas where funding could be reduced, and the Annandale center was targeted for elimination because it’s the oldest and smallest of the county’s adult day care centers and enrollment has been dropping, said Shauna Severo, assistant director of patient care services in the Fairfax County Health Department.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Annandale Cleanup set for April 18

Some of the trash bags full of litter collected during the 2014 Annandale Cleanup.

The Annandale Cleanup, an annual spring event, has been scheduled for April 18, beginning at 9 a.m. Everyone who cares about keeping our community attractive and litter free is encouraged to volunteer. The meeting point is in the parking lot at George Mason Regional Library. Trash bags and safety vests will be provided, along with donuts and water.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Volunteers needed for meadow project at Americana Park

This grassy field at Americana Park will be transformed into a meadow.
Annandale’s Americana Park is getting a facelift. A grassy field in the park that is subject to frequent flooding will be transformed into a meadow while invasive species will be replaced with native plants.

Friends of Accotink Creek (FACC) is spearheading a planting project at Americana Park April 17 and 18, 9 a.m.-noon, with Fairfax County stormwater and Park Authority staff, master naturalists, Northern Virginia Community College students, and other volunteers.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Repaving, bike lanes planned for Mason District

Evergreen Lane

The Virginia Department of Transportation has confirmed that Annandale Road will be repaved this summer, Mason Supervisor Penny Gross told the audience at a public meeting on bicycle lanes March 25 at George Mason Regional Library. Repaving and bicycle lanes are also planned for Evergreen Lane, but that project has not yet been confirmed by VDOT.

Repaving projects provide a good opportunity for the county to designate bicycle lanes in accordance with the county’s Bicycle Master Plan approved by the Board of Supervisors last fall.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Residents want a do-over of Seven Corners plan

Fairfax County staff and members of the Mason District Land Use Committee discuss Seven Corners.
Residents of the Seven Corners community urged the Mason District Land Use Committee to defer a recommendation on the redevelopment plan approved by the Seven Corners Task Force. Their concerns about the plan were expressed at the MDLUC meeting March 25 following a presentation by Fairfax County staff.

Residents are concerned the plan would allow too much residential density, that there is no funding for the transportation improvements, and that there weren’t enough opportunities for community input.

James Lee community mourns football coach Frank Grant

The community lost a “quiet titan” when Frank Grant III, the football coach and commissioner of the James Lee Community Center Sports Association in Falls Church, died suddenly on March 18, reports Will Nelson, whose son used to play on the team. Grant, 51, suffered from a heart attack.  

A candlelight vigil is planned for Saturday, March 28, at 5 p.m., at the James Lee Community Center, and other events are planned to commemorate Grant will be held throughout the year, says his colleague, Donald Lee. The funeral will be held on Monday, March 30, at 11 a.m. at Galloway United Methodist Church, 306 Annandale Road, Falls Church, preceded by a viewing at 10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spectrum shopping center goes back to the drawing board

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted March 24 to “defer indefinitely” the rezoning application for the proposed Spectrum shopping center on Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads.

Following many discussions with the community and the developer, “we asked the developer to go back to the drawing board and rework the plan for the shopping center,” said Mason Supervisor Penny Gross. She doesn’t expect the new plan to be available until later this spring or early summer.

Habitat for Humanity renovates bug-infested house for first-time homeowner

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia has turned a roach-infested, heavily damaged townhouse in Annandale into a beautifully redone home for a lower-income first-time homebuyer.

The four-bedroom house at 4537 Garbo Court, in the Cavalcade community off Ravensworth Road, was donated to Habitat in winter 2014 by Mary Ann Elliott.

Rev. Jon Smoot, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, describes Elliott as “an extremely generous person of means” who had heard about “a struggling homeless single mother with four children who had just secured work and was moving out of homelessness.”

“Out of the generosity of her heart, Mary Ann contacted the family a couple of years ago and bought the townhouse for them,” Smoot says. All the woman had to do was keep up with the utility bills and homeowner association fees. Once she got on her feet financially, she would be expected to pay rent.