F.C. Schools Thank All For Backing 0% Loan
On behalf of the Falls Church City School Board, I am writing to thank the City Council, Planning Commission, and Long Range Financial Work Group for their expeditious and unanimous support of the School Board’s application to win a $5.95 million zero-interest school construction bond.
On Friday, November 19, the School Board will file an application with the Commonwealth of Virginia to compete for a qualified school construction bond (QSCB). The process to win a QSCB is highly competitive – all 134 Virginia school districts are eligible to compete for the $229 million.
It is estimated that a QSCB award could save city taxpayers $2.4 million over the life of the bond, while expanding and modernizing Thomas Jefferson Elementary to accommodate growing student populations until 2017-2018.
Regardless of the outcome, our community has already succeeded. In less than five weeks, the City of Falls Church elected and appointed officials, and school and city staff, banded together to unanimously support the School Board’s QSCB application to give our community the best chance at winning. After years of facility studies and countless long hours of meetings, we all worked together, got it done, and put our best foot forward.
During these challenging times, your elected and appointed officials are working together, being creative, and trying something new. I’m so proud and grateful for everyone’s contribution.
Joan E. Wodiska, Chairman
Falls Church City School Board
All Americans Should Be Free to Serve in Military
Last Tuesday the Falls Church City School Board passed a resolution emphasizing that overturning the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy will help ensure that all students, including gay and lesbian students, interested in enlisted in the military, enrolling in a ROTC program, or attending a United States Service Academy will be afforded the same opportunities as any other American who wants to serve the nation.
Back in February, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it is his personal belief that “allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do,” Mullen said. “No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. [I]t comes down to integrity — theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.”
As veteran of the United States Army, I have seen firsthand the excellent benefits of military service. All Americans, regardless of sexual orientation should be free to serve their country. The inelegant idea that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly will harm unit cohesion is the same canard used to prevent African Americans and women from enlisting in the military and entering our prestigious service academies. I am proud that the Board passed this resolution and look forward to the day when this remaining vestige of discrimination is erased.
Falls Church City School Board
Congestion Worse on Bike Path & Roads Bear Bridge
If the citizens of Falls Church are unhappy about the congestion on the bike path where the foot bridge joins the two split parts of W. Westmoreland Road, I ask that they please contact the City Manager’s Office.
I live there and have been requesting help for two years to no avail. We have lost safe use of our driveway due to the ever increasing volume of traffic on the driveway/bike path/cut-through/dead end street turnabout. The area is particularly congested now during the three months of leaf collection and the snowy winter periods. Since 1956 my family has paid thousands of dollars to maintain a large number of trees which provide free oxygen to the community. We cannot continue to do so if the congestion persists in our part of the City making it so difficult to find room on the street for the large volume of leaves. Currently, we are experiencing significant hostility from cyclists and pedestrians blaming us for the congestion. As is true for all City taxpayers, we must be able to have repairmen park at the house when needed, but plan to cut down the trees if the City continues to ignore our congestion problem.
If you want to keep this source of free oxygen in the “green” Little City, please call the City Manager’s office and complain about the congestion in this area of F.C.
No Flag Up at F.C. City Hall on Marine Birthday
Does “The Little City” have a specific reason that our nation’s flag was not being flown at City Hall, next to the State & City’s flag, on the birth date of the most feared, elite fighting force in the world & defenders of this great nation of ours for the past 235 years?
Not flying the flag on the birthday of the United States Marine Corps is like a parent telling their child they wish they were never born. A bit extreme of an analogy, but so is the city’s actions toward everyone who has ever served, not only in the USMC, but in every branch service. Dear Little City, please fly Old Glory every day with pride to remind everyone we still live in a free nation and of the sacrifice of it’s people who made it that way.
Pat Giannelli, Marine
Hails 1st Annual Morrison Award for Photography
During the annual Falls Church Cable Access meeting, on November 9, I had the honor of presenting certificates of appreciation and awarding the first annual Bob Morrison Prize for Student Photography and Video. I was impressed by the submissions of all 11 contestants, who ranged from Mt. Daniel Kindergartners to GMHS Seniors. The winning photograph of a woman walking acrossa snowy Cherry Hill Park by Jonathon Babington-Hein was an excellent example of the theme of the Bob Morrison Prize: “Falls Church City – My Hometown.”
My Uncle Bob and I began our long collaboration on Falls Church City Television (FCCTV) projects in 1987. Bob quickly realized the station’s benefit to Falls Church by allowing all citizens an opportunity to bring their perspective and interests to a greater audience whether broadcast over cable television or through the internet.
On behalf of Bob’s family, including his wife Meredith, and his children Justin and Elizabeth, I want to thank the Falls Church Cable Access Board and judges John Ballou, Shaun VanSteyn, and Simon VanSteyn for their establishment and support of this award. Bob would be especially proud that this award encourages students to discover his love of photography, video and FCCTV.
I encourage students to begin taking photographs or producing a video for the 2011 prize. For more information on the annual Bob Morrison Prize for Student Photography and Video please see the FCCTV web site atwww.fcctv.net.
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