Local Commentary

A Penny For Your Thoughts: The News of Greater Falls Church

Last week’s action by large counties across the country to create the “Cool Counties” Climate Stabilization Initiative will have far-reaching effects to combat global warming at the local level. The “Cool Counties” Initiative will bring the resources of all 3,066 counties across the nation to address the challenge of climate change in the United States.

“Cool Counties” follows the U. S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement that was signed two years ago by nearly 600 mayors across America. The “Cool Counties” Initiative was launched at the National Association of Counties (NACO) 72nd Annual Conference, held this year in Richmond, Virginia.

The “Cool Counties” Initiative is based on a template first adopted by Fairfax County in collaboration with the Sierra Club. The template provides a general guide for each county’s plan, including how to conduct a baseline emissions inventory, adopting emissions reduction targets, and verifying the results. Focus areas include energy efficiency, renewable energy, land use, transportation, education and outreach, and water conservation. In signing the declaration on behalf of Fairfax County, Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly said that “the national call for a meaningful response to the threats of climate change has largely gone unmet by our federal leaders. By marshalling the collective efforts of 3,066 counties…we will deliver a cleaner, cooler future for the next generation.” Other counties signing the declaration in Richmond were King County (Washington), Nassau County (New York), Cook County (Illinois), Dane County (Wisconsin), Hennepin County (Minnesota), Miami-Dade County (Florida), Arlington County (Virginia), and Montgomery and Queen Anne’s County (both in Maryland). For more information about the “Cool Counties” initiative, and Fairfax County’s leadership role in the effort, log on to www.fairfaxcounty.gov.

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Drinking and driving are mutually exclusive activities, and never should be done in tandem. Every so often, Fairfax County police officers conduct what are called “sobriety checkpoints” to deter and apprehend intoxicated drivers across the county. The most recent sobriety checkpoint was conducted last week in Mason District at the intersection of Nevius Street and the eastbound lanes of Leesburg Pike. 708 motorists who were stopped and checked to assure that their abilities to drive had not been impaired by alcohol or drugs. The fact that it was Friday the 13th may not have meant much to most of them, but for a few, the date was ominous. One arrest was made for Driving While Impaired; six traffic summonses were issued for no operator’s license.  

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Did you know? Every 72 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a progressive brain disorder that afflicts more than five million Americans and their families. Research, advocacy, and family support are among the activities of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Find out more by logging on to www.alz-nca.org.

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