Featured News

  • 28 Aug 2019 12:42 PM | Pam Grosvenor

    GFCA will provide an opportunity for residents to hear from candidates for Dranesville Supervisor and District 34 Virginia Delegate on Wednesday, October 16 at 6:30 pm at the Grange.  Joining us for this debate will be incumbent delegate Kathleen Murphy (D) and challenger Gary Pan (R), and incumbent supervisor John Foust (D) and challenger Ed Martin (R).  Note that this program will start earlier than most GFCA meetings to accommodate the schedules of some of the participants.  The first debate from 6:30 to 7:30 will feature the candidates for delegate; the candidates for supervisor debate will follow.  In addition, State Senator Barbara Favola (District 31) is unopposed and will make a short statement during the program.  The program format will include short opening and closing statements by the candidates and questions from the audience; a GFCA representative will serve as moderator.   The public is encouraged to attend.   Election Day is November 5.  

  • 28 Aug 2019 12:40 PM | Pam Grosvenor

    GFCA traditionally holds a public debate for Dranesville District and at-large school board candidates. That debate will be held this year on Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30 pm at Forestville School, 1085 Utterback Store Road. The current Dranesville school board representative, Jane Strauss, is retiring after 26 years, so this is an open seat; we have invited the three candidates who are running: Elaine Tholen (Great Falls resident), Anastasia Karloutsos (McLean resident), and Ardavan Mobasheri (Great Falls resident). In addition, we have also invited the six candidates seeking election to the three at-large seats on the school board.

  • 28 Aug 2019 12:26 PM | Pam Grosvenor

    Special GFCA Committee. The GFCA Executive Board voted at its July 16 meeting to establish a special committee to better understand and address Fairfax County School Board (FCPS) issues, including plans for building a new high school in the county and related boundary changes. The new committee, co-chaired by GFCA board member Gordon Harris and GFCA member Fadi Shadid, is in the process of developing its charter. Community members interested in the work of this new committee should contact Gordon Harris at mailto:gordonlharris7@gmail.com.

    Fairfax County residents attend discussion of school boundary policy. The Fairfax County Public School Board is in the process of updating its policy for adjusting school boundaries governed by Policy 8130.7 (Local School Boundaries, Program Assignment and School Closings Policy). A draft replacement Policy 8130.8 was discussed at the FCPS Board’s Working Session on July 22. While this meeting was open to the public and over 100 concerned residents attended, it was not a “public hearing” so there was no opportunity for residents to offer comments or ask questions. To see a video recording of the meeting click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsXnnlYFVRU

    Background information. If the school board sees a need to adjust boundaries in the future, such as overcrowding in a school, the new draft policy 8130.8, if adopted, would govern. Proposed revisions to the draft policy are being shaped by the Board of Supervisors’ recently enacted One Fairfax Policy (click here for more information on the One Fairfax Policy). The draft school boundary policy 8130.8, section “VI. Considerations Governing Establishment of School Boundaries” states that the first consideration is “Socioeconomic and/or racial composition of students in affected schools.” A lot of residents, and some FCPS Board members, are trying to understand the implications of this criteria.

  • 17 Jul 2019 9:45 AM | Pam Grosvenor

    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

    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

    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 | Deleted user

    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

    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

    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

    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

The opinions expressed on these pages are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of the Great Falls Citizens Association

Great Falls Citizens Association
PO Box 27  •  Great Falls, VA  •  22066 

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