Featured News

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  • 17 Jul 2019 9:45 AM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    On June 19th, GFCA hosted a Special Town Hall with Jane Strauss, Dranesville’s Representative on the Fairfax County School Board, at Forestville Elementary School – over 300 people attended. GFCA requested that Strauss provide her perspectives on important school issues, including any potential redistricting of the Langley High School pyramid. She made a presentation on the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), long-term plans for new schools in the county, and how the school board approaches redistricting. To review her presentation see Recent news on the GFCA.org website.

    While Strauss repeated that there are no imminent plans to change the Langley pyramid, many in the audience remain concerned for a few near-term and long-term reasons. Some of the cited reasons include:

    • Lack of clarity on how the overcrowding at McLean High School will be addressed. While McLean was at 114% of capacity utilization in school year (SY) 2018-19, Langley HS was only at 82% capacity during the same period. (Ref. page 6 of Strauss’ “Forestville Presentation v3.pptx” presentation.)
    • Unclear ramifications of the county’s adopted “One Fairfax” policy. “One Fairfax is a joint social and racial equity policy of the Board of Supervisors and School Board.” (Ref. Home page of Fairfax County’s “One Fairfax” website)
    • How the residential, and therefore, student growth from Tysons Corner developments will be accommodated.
    • Impact of a potential new high school in Herndon (near 13209 Parcher Ave, Herndon, VA 20170) in the 2030+ timeframe as outlined in the CIP.

    Our local Connection Newspaper, June 25, 2019, contains a detailed article of the Town Hall meeting by Andrea Worker.

    GFCA plans to host debates in the fall for the Fairfax County School Board Candidates. We will invite the three Dranesville District Representative candidates and the six At-Large candidates. The GFCA Board will also discuss options going forward. Residents who are concerned about this issue and are commited to engaging are encouraged to volunteer: Contact Ed Phillips (ed.phillips@gfca.org) or Bill Canis (bill.canis@gfca.org).

  • 20 Jun 2019 12:49 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, June 19th, Jane Strauss, Dranesville’s Representative on the Fairfax County School Board, addressed the Great Falls community about the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), long-term plans for new schools in the county, and how the school board approaches redistricting. To download her PowerPoint presentation on the CIP, click here: Forestville Presentation_v3.pptx

  • 19 Jun 2019 3:05 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    Jane Strauss, Dranesville's representative on the Fairfax County School Board, will address the Great Falls community at a special GFCA town hall meeting on Wednesday, June 19 at 7:30 PM at Forestville Elementary School, 1085 Utterback Store Road. Doors will open at 7:15 PM. Admittance will be on a first come, first serve basis.

    Ms. Strauss, who will be retiring from the school board at the end of this year after 26 years of elected service, will discuss her views on long-term plans for new schools in the county, concerns in the community about possible changes to school boundary lines, as well as other educational issues of interest to residents. 

    All are welcome to attend.

  • 11 May 2019 10:56 PM | Srinivasa Meka (Administrator)

    VDOT to hold Route 7 Corridor Improvements Meeting on May 14th

    On May 14, a Public Information Meeting will be held at Colvin Run Elementary School regarding the Route 7 Corridor Improvements. 

    Display boards and representatives from VDOT, Shirley Contracting, Dewberry Engineers and Washington Gas will be available starting at 7PM. A presentation will begin at 7:30 PM followed by a Q&A session. This is the second of two public meetings. The first was held at Forestville Elementary School on May 7th. Although GFCA is sharing the following information below, residents are strongly encouraged to attend.

    The first VDOT presentation included a project overview, details of design changes, and the design build schedule. The project is currently engaged in right-of-way acquisition, which will continue through Q1 of 2021. In the areas west of Difficult Run, the project is performing shoulder improvements and will begin construction in the medians Q3 2019 (i.e. July through September). Construction on relocation of the Washington Gas Pipeline has also begun and will last through the duration of the project.

    Details of the project are available at www.connectroute7.organd a new interactive map has been posted at http://connectroute7.org/learn_more/interactivemap.aspto allow you zoom in to see specific changes near your home.

    Key changes include removing the partial-interchange (i.e. overpass in one-direction) at the Route 7/Baron Cameron intersection, a reduction in the number of storm water management ponds, temporary widening of Towlston Road on the north side of the Route 7/Towlston Road intersection, building new noise walls with “architectural treatments” (such as pictures of the state flower), and finally, that fewer noise walls will be built than originally planned. 

    GFCA continues to express serious concerns about gridlock that will be created by the removal of the partial interchange at the Route 7/Baron Cameron/Springvale intersection. Instead, an at-grade intersection will be built with three left turns to allow traffic from Route 7 to Baron Cameron. VDOT’s own Environmental Studies Documentstates that wait times at the Baron Cameron interchange will be an average of 3 times longer with an at-grade intersection instead of a partial interchange by 2040. This level of delay is likely to occur sooner since the study does not appear to factor in traffic increases caused by increasing tolls on the Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Greenway. One commenter at the meeting pointed out that there are no proposed changes to the design of the Baron Cameron/Hunter Mill intersection, which will cause the sudden flow of traffic turning left from Route 7 to back up to Route 7. 

    GFCA Transportation Co-Chairman Scott Knight also highlighted that there are nine full interchanges along Route 7 in Loudoun County between the Loudoun County line and Leesburg. VDOT stated that those bridges were partially paid for with proffer funds from developers. Given that the biggest increase in traffic on Route 7 is coming from those new developments in Loudoun, some of that money should be used to make up for the funding shortfall on Route 7. 


    Figure 1: Proposed at-grade intersection at Baron Cameron

    The Stream Relocation of Colvin Run between the eastern Colvin Run Intersection and Difficult Run also raised concerns. The revised artificial channel design removes features designed to slow the velocity of water with the potential for increased flood damage downstream on Difficult Run. 

    For the Towlston Road intersection at Route 7, VDOT has proposed adding a third lane on the north side of the intersection. This provides a 250 foot long left turn lane to allow stacking alongside a lane for traffic going straight and making right turns.

    VDOT encourages community feedback. The project website is www.connectroute7.organd the email address is connectroute7@vdot.virginia.gov

    Mark your calendar and attend this important public meeting on May 14that Colvin Run Elementary School!

  • 25 Apr 2019 10:53 AM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The public is invited to attend a special morning program that will be of interest to adults, children and all families who want to know more about deer, coyotes, raccoons, eagles and our sustainable environment. Speakers include a Fairfax County wildlife biologist and a representative from the county’s Animal Protection Office. GFCA has also engaged the DC-based Earth Conservation Corps to bring three live raptors, such as a red-tailed hawk and an owl. These live birds of prey will be part of the indoor program as well as an outdoor demonstration. Light refreshments will be served.

    The program runs from 10:00 AM to Noon at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 10550 Georgetown Pike.

  • 08 Apr 2019 12:08 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The public is invited to attend GFCA’s townhall on Wednesday, May 1, 7:30, at Great Falls Library to learn more about Dominion Energy’s strategic plan to put some power lines in this area underground in order to improve the reliability of the power grid and reduce outages. Speakers include Julie Wagoner, Operations Specialist, Distribution System Reliability and Alison Kaufmann with Electric Distribution Underground Communications. Also attending will be Brendon Shaw, External Affairs Representative.

    For more information on Dominion Energy's undergrounding program see: https://www.dominionenergy.com/about-us/electric-projects/strategic-underground-program

    In addition to the Dominion Energy program, GFCA’s slate of candidates for FY2019-2020 will be presented by the Nominations Committee. Additional candidates for the slate may be nominated by GFCA members attending this meeting. The election will be held at the townhall meeting scheduled for June 11.

  • 04 Mar 2019 7:08 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    If you have questions about major spending priorities in Fairfax County or what the property tax rates are likely to be in the next year or how school spending and teachers' salaries rank, then please attend the special fiscal year 2020 budget briefing for Great Falls residents on March 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm at Great Falls Grange, 9818 Georgetown Pike.

    GFCA and Supervisor John Foust are cosponsoring this briefing for residents. Speakers will be Joe Mondoro, Director of the Department of Management and Budget, and Leigh Burden, Assistant Superintendent, Department of Financial Services, Fairfax County Public Schools. They will lead an in-depth discussion of the budget plans and outlook and take questions and comments from the audience. This is a good opportunity to let Supervisor Foust know your views on county spending and tax questions.

    Please plan to attend and invite your neighbors.

    If you would like to find out more about the budget, see: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/budget/advertised-budget-plan


  • 28 Jan 2019 2:29 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The public is invited to attend a meeting on the proposed IntegraCare assisted living facility at 1131 & 1137 Walker Road, across from Leigh Corners and Dante restaurant in the Colvin Run commercial district.

    This meeting, jointly sponsored by Supervisor Foust and Great Falls Citizens Association, is intended to update the community on design changes that have been made since the April 2018 meeting when the conceptual plan and need for a special zoning exception (SE 2018-DR-010) were first presented. Among the changes are how stormwater will be managed (going from a dry pond to an underground system) and a revised entrance. Details on this meeting are shown below.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2019
    7:00 – 9:00 PM
    Great Falls Elementary School Cafeteria
    701 Walker Rd, Great Falls

    The Planning Commission hearing on the SE is currently scheduled for 20 February 2019. For further information, see: http://ldsnet.fairfaxcounty.gov/ldsnet/ZAPSMain.aspx?cde=SE&seq=4249968

     

  • 31 Dec 2018 11:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    GFCA sponsored a special TownHall meeting on December 1 to provide residents with a broad understanding of nonprofit and county programs that support senior citizens and that can assist those seniors looking to age in place in their own homes.  Several Great Falls organizations asked for GFCA’s support to get the word out about these programs.  

    Over 60 people attended the seminar, held at Christ the King Lutheran Church.  Following opening remarks from GFCA President Bill Canis and Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, six speakers addressed issues and resources that may be of interest to all senior citizens and their families.  Five of the speakers provided presentations that we are sharing with the community on our website:

    • Great Falls Senior Center (Carol Blackwell) — provides social and educational programs to seniors throughout the year
    • Shepherd’s Center of Great Falls (Carol Edelstein) — recently launched a new free transportation service for Great Falls seniors to get to important appointments and errands
    • Dementia Friendly America (Toni Reinhart) — this national organization provides caregiving for residents with dementia and a Great Falls chapter may soon be formed
    • Fairfax County Division of Adult & Aging Services (Grace Lynch) — summarizes many county programs and a central phone number to learn more
    • Eldementals (Karen McPhail) — provides ‘how to’ planning for many aspects of retirement and aging in place

    We have established a Senior Resource page on our website (gfca.org) where these and additional resources over time will be permanently available.  You can visit it here to download any or all of these presentations. 

    The sixth speaker was Stan Corey, a retired financial planner and author of When Work Becomes Optional, a primer for people nearing retirement, already in retirement, or for those caring for family or friends in retirement (available on Amazon and other booksellers https://www.amazon.com/When-Work-Becomes-Optional-Corey/dp/0692147527/ ). In describing five stages of retirement, he noted that reaching retirement itself should not be a goal; people should continue planning for life events and making decisions so that others do not have to make them in haste when emergencies arise.

    GFCA may hold similar seminars in the future if residents and local organizations feel it would be helpful to our community. Please let us know what you think by dropping a note to president@gfca.org.

  • 15 Nov 2018 4:33 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The public is invited to GFCA's upcoming program focusing on issues facing senior citizens. The Seminar for Savvy Seniors and their Families will be held on Saturday December 1st from 10 AM to noon at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 10550 Georgetown Pike. (Park in the lot behind the church, and enter the building there.)

    The seminar will feature a range of speakers, a panel discussion, questions from the audience, and a social time afterward for personal discussions with the speakers. Light refreshments will be served.

    The meeting is designed so that senior citizens can learn about options in Great Falls that may help them to age in place in their own homes. The meeting also provides an opportunity for families to learn about issues that they can help their parents deal with and what resources are available.

    Agenda:

    • Welcome:  Bill Canis, GFCA President
    • Fairfax County’s Seniors programs:  Dranesville Supervisor John Foust
    • Remarks/presentations followed by a panel discussion:
      • Carol Blackwell, Great Falls Senior Center
      • Carol Edelstein, Shepherd’s Center of Great Falls
      • Toni Reinhart, Dementia Friendly America
      • Grace Lynch, Fairfax County Division of Adult & Aging Services
      • Karen McPhail, Eldementals
      • Stan Corey, retired financial planner and author of  a new book on how to manage seniors issues
    • Questions and social time
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