Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

The presidential preference primary in Virginia is next Tuesday, March 3. Also known as “Super Tuesday” because several states are holding similar primaries that day, voter selections will determine delegate counts and begin to winnow down the multi-candidate field. According to the State Board of Elections, there are 14 candidates on the Super Tuesday ballot, some of whom already have dropped out, but whose names remain on the ballot. Voters may cast a ballot at their regular polling place on Tuesday, from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. In Fairfax County, in-person absentee voting will continue at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, today and Friday from 3 to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 29 (Happy Leap Day!), from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Democracy can be difficult to achieve, and even more difficult to hold onto. It’s not just about voting; it’s about listening to others; making a case for your point of view; finding that “sweet spot,” if there is one, and treating all persons with respect and dignity. It shouldn’t be us vs. them, or haves vs. have nots; it’s about everyone, working together to seek whatever commonalities we share and respecting differences. The former usually is much greater than the latter, and that’s what we should build on.

On-line shopping and free delivery deals continue to change the retail landscape, here in Northern Virginia and across the country, and two new businesses are being welcomed to serve Mason District. Last Friday, a line of new customers wrapped around the building at the grand opening of the Food Star grocery store at 5521 Leesburg Pike, the former site of Toys R Us, in the Skyline area. Food Star, an independent grocery formerly located at Columbia Pike and South George Mason Drive in Arlington, is a long-time area business that specializes in food items from around the world. At the grand opening, the produce area alone had huge displays of familiar fruits and vegetables, along with more esoteric international delicacies. Cooks are sure to find all they need for a variety of tastes at the new Food Star.

On Friday, March 6, at the Seven Corners Shopping Center, the Giant Food chain has renovated the former Shoppers Food store, maintaining a grocery at the iconic center. Longtime residents know that Seven Corners was the first modern shopping center in Northern Virginia, opening in 1956. It featured a Woodward and Lothrop (Woodies) department store, and a Garfinckel’s, so local residents did not have to travel all the way to Washington, D. C. for fashionable shopping. Seven Corners evolved from the original indoor mall as consolidation and corporate decisions made elsewhere closed longtime department stores in favor of the more industrial-looking “big box” facilities. What had been Woodies became a Shoppers Food in the early 2000s, and will continue to serve the community as a Giant Food store, beginning in March.

February marks the release of the Fairfax County Executive’s proposed FY 2021 county budget. Unfortunately, the timing of the budget release and the deadline for this column do not coincide, so I will discuss the county executive’s proposals in next week’s column. The Mason District Budget Town Meeting, featuring County Executive Bryan Hill and Chief Financial Officer Joe Mondoro, will be held on Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m. at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale.