NVCC-Woodbridge 5K Race, Fun Run, Health Expo
The Woodbridge Campus of Northern Virginia Community College will host a 5-kilometer race, 1-mile family fun run/ walk, and free Health and Wellness Expo on Oct. 7. The day will start at 8 a.m. with a 5-kilometer race and 1-mile family fun run/ walk. The race begins at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center and ends at the Woodbridge Campus. Awards will be given for the fastest in each age group, fastest female, fastest male, fastest overall and fastest team. For registration information, go to www.nvcc.edu/foundation and click on the logo for Hustle2Health. The Health and Wellness Expo will run from 8 a.m. to noon at the Woodbridge Campus, 15200 Neabsco Mills Road. The community is invited to visit booths staffed by local businesses, gyms, medical practices, food vendors and more. Attendees will enjoy musical entertainment and fi tness demonstrations from yoga to martial arts. Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Jennifer Jones at email@example.com or 703-323-3023. Proceeds from the event will go toward scholarships for NOVA students. The event is presented by the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation and sponsored by Sentara Healthcare, Prince William Chamber of Commerce, and Prince William County Parks and Recreation.
The Great Escape at Laurel Hill
Fairfax County Park Authority is hosting The “Great Escape” Prison to Park Festival Saturday, September 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Giles Run Meadow section of the Laurel Hill Park. Laurel Hill has undergone a dramatic transformation since the prison closed and now the main prison complex is slated for redevelopment. Before that process begins, the park is celebrating the transformation with a full day of familyfriendly activities. Special wagon tours inside the prison grounds will give festival attendees a fi nal chance to learn about life behind the walls. The wagon tours require pre-registration, which can be done online at http://bit.ly/ QuF9wr. Tours are $10 in advance and include admission to the festival. Children age four and under ride free. Admission to the festival is $2 per person.
Other activities include:
• A giant burlap sack slide
• Animals from Frying Pan Farm Park
• Horse rides and demonstrations
• Food from Gordon’s Grille
• Live music
• Guided nature walks
• Kids games
• Fishing in the pond
• Disc golf demonstrations
• Mountain bike demonstrations
• Pond exploration for kids
• “SNAG” Golf Giles Run Meadow can be accessed from the entrance located at 8400 Lorton Road.
The Park Authority is hoping for a big turnout to help raise awareness about Laurel Hill’s intriguing history and its transformation into a destination for everything from horseback riding to disc golf to mountain biking and hiking. If you have any questions about the event, call Matthew Kaiser at 703-324- 8677, or e-mail <mkaise@fairfaxcounty. gov>, Visit:www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks
LCAC partners with William Halley Elementary to offer after-school programming
The Lorton Community Action Center is partnering with William Halley Elementary School to offer an exciting after-school program to help broaden children’s perspective and positively impact their development as they mature. The program will be offered – free of charge - two afternoons per week at Halley Elementary, which is providing the space at no charge. The program is designed to serve over 300 children in 4th – 6th grade, along with their younger siblings who are most at-risk in their classroom performance. If additional slots are available after the targeted age group has been addressed, then other students may sign up to participate in the program. Halley Elementary has over 750 students and 30% are participants in the free and reduced lunch program. Many low-income families in the greater Lorton area lack transportation and surplus funds to access after-school or enrichment programs. Research documents that high-quality after-school programs have an important positive impact on the lives of children and youth and intervention at the elementary level is crucial. It is in response to this community need, that LCAC is partnering to offer this program. Part of each afternoon will include homework help and a snack. Children will have the opportunity to register for specifi c enrichment activities or clubs, including engineering , environmental club, math, peer mediation, physical fitness and hobbies and games (chess, photography, knitting, etc.). A bi-monthly community service component will provide students the opportunity to interact with people from local public resources, including librarians, police officers, firefighters and EMTs, as well as other professionals and local businesses. The after-school program will be staffed with highly qualifi ed teachers and counselors who have substantial experience in youth development and are employed at Halley Elementary. This vital program is funded thanks to various individuals, community groups and corporations, including the Dominion Foundation, Vulcan Materials, Davis Industries, the Moose Family Center and the William Halley PTO. LCAC is hoping to expand the program to at least one more local elementary school for Spring 2013. Anyone interested in supporting the program should contact Linda Patterson or Andrea Cochrane Tracey at 703-339-5161. For visit www.lortonaction.org
Orienteering at Meadowood September 30
The Quantico Orienteering Club (QOC) will be hosting an event at Meadowood Recreation Area on Sunday September 30. Participants can start any time between 11 am and 1 pm. Orienteering is a sport where participants use a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse terrain as fast as possible. There will be instruction available for all newcomers before going on one of the many courses which are designed for all levels of ability. The courses can be done as individuals or in groups. The beginner course is suitable for a family walking with young children, as it will be about 1.5 miles long along trails. The more advanced courses are longer, and some participants even run them. Participants are given a detailed map for their course with the locations they must navigate to marked on it. Compasses are available if needed. QOC, the oldest orienteering club in the country, started at the Marine Base in the summer of 1967. It now covers the Greater DC area, with 2 or 3 events each month at different parks. In the Lorton area, besides Meadowood, the club has used Mason Neck State Park; Pohick Bay, Occoquan, and Fountainhead Regional Parks; and Fort Belvoir. For more information about QOC and directions to this event, visit their website at “http://qocweb.org” You can call Sidney Sachs at 703 646-5606.
Groundbreaking for Expanded Express Lanes
Last month the Virginia Department of Highways celebrated groundbreaking of the 95 Express Lanes project I-95 at the southbound Dale City Rest Area. The 95 Express Lanes construction activities will support nearly 8,000 jobs over the construction period and stimulate $2 billion in economic activity. Beyond jobs for today, VDOT asserts that the 95 Express Lanes also mean more jobs for tomorrow, breaking traffi c congestion’s economic chokehold on the region and modernizing infrastructure to power continued economic growth. The innovative traffi c solution will provide a faster, more predictable trip for drivers, carpoolers and transit riders on the heavily congested I-95 corridor. The 95 Express Lanes also mean better trips for carpools with improved enforcement and incident response, as well as the elimination of what is one of the worst traffi c bottlenecks in the region at Dumfries. The expanded regional HOV network will also provide seamless access to destinations including Tysons Corner and Ft. Belvoir. For more information about the 95 Express Lanes project, visit 95ExpressLanes.com and VAmegaprojects. com.
A Message From The First Regent of Gunston Hall
The Regents of Gunston Hall met for their semi-annual meeting over the weekend of April 13-16. With the departure of David Reese as Director, Mark Whatford, who has served as our librarian, archivist, and IT specialist, agreed to step in as Acting Director. New Jersey Regent-at-Large Sara Hill is heading the search committee which will choose a successor to Mr. Reese.
Over the past year the Regents have been working hard at a 360° analysis of Gunston Hall. We have worked closely with the Office of the Secretary of Education and the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Visitors in an effort to make our work more transparent and understandable to the public. In addition, we have engaged the services of outside professionals in order to understand the issues as objectively as possible.
We are happy to share with the community, the legislature, and most particularly the many devoted supporters of Gunston Hall Plantation, initiatives which are well underway.
Education: With unanimous agreement that education is a fundamental component of Gunston Hall’s mission, we and the office of the Secretary of Education recognize that Gunston Hall can strive for a more sophisticated and advanced level of educational programming than ever before. Technology, a focus on STEM education, and a site brimming with opportunities are factors that will guide our search for a qualified Director of Educational Programming. We look forward to the input of our succeeding director in the selection of this person.
Educational Advisory Board: The Board of Regents welcomes and embraces the suggestion of the Board of Visitors that in building new educational programs we include the voices of educators in the community and beyond, who can share the wisdom of their hands-on experience. Input can come from educators in schools as well as other institutions and include government, history, civics, and the arts.
Educational Outreach: Our Education Committee recognizes economic and logistical obstacles which limit the opportunity of many students and schools to enjoy field trips and onsite education. The Committee is exploring ways in which Gunston Hall can fund transportation, bring programs to the schools, provide distance learning, and find other creative ways to assist.
Employee Resources: The Governance Committee is working with the Commonwealth of Virginia and other Virginia museums in order to make available to all employees user-friendly employee handbooks. As the complication of having both Commonwealth and private employees at Gunston Hall has made this a challenge, we are focused on fully addressing the needs and rights of all employees.
Community Outreach: There are many events currently on the calendar and we anticipate many more to come. Gunston Hall wants to welcome all who are interested in learning about George Mason and his contribution to the cause of human rights. Employees, Regents, and volunteers cherish and wish to share this magnificent historic site. We look forward to welcoming all who can come on June 12th, George Mason Day, celebrating the anniversary of his signing the Virginia Declaration of Rights.
Guidebook: Many have asked for a new guidebook which will be available in the museum shop shortly. Renowned photographer Steven Brooke, engaged by Director Reese, spent three recent days at Gunston Hall; his remarkable work will be included in the new guidebook as well as other promotional and educational items we can offer.
Financial Transparency: The finances of Gunston Hall have always been public. However, an inability to easily and accurately access this information has led to false and inaccurate reporting of those finances. We welcome the opportunity for everyone to easily and accurately see the factual reality: that reduction in funding by the Commonwealth of Virginia has been dramatic; that Regents and other private sources have raised inordinate amounts of funds to protect the treasure that is Gunston Hall; and that Director Reese cultivated substantial grant monies resulting in priceless capital improvements.
Board of Advisors: The Board of Regents can and should benefit from advice offered by individuals with expertise in areas relevant to the Plantation. We look forward to restructuring our advisory committee to include individuals in the areas of historic preservation (particularly architectural), landscape architecture, fine and decorative arts (specifically American), historic site or museum management, American history, African American history, a Mason descendant, an individual with legislative expertise, and a member of the local community.
Museum Standards: Accreditation by the American Association of Museums is highly coveted and difficult to achieve. Gunston Hall can be proud to have attained and maintained this precious status. As we move forward with new ideas, plans, and initiatives, regard for this most important standard will always be honored.
I would like to pay tribute to the docents, volunteers, and most especially the employees of Gunston Hall. Of the many individuals who have worked diligently for the betterment of this Plantation through difficult times, they deserve huzzahs from all of us for their loyalty, dedication, and generosity of spirit. They are, indeed, the magnificent face of Gunston Hall.
With thanks and appreciation,
Wylie Raab, PA Regent
FBI Warns of New Banking Scam
Some crafty criminals are aiming to steal one of the most valuable pieces of your personal property: your banking information.
In a new warning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns account holders of a new spam email scheme that involves a type of malware called "Gameover." The scheme involves fake emails from the National Automated Clearing House Association, the Federal Reserve, The FBI or the FDIC. These messages attempt to trick recipients into clicking on a link to resolve some type of issue with their accounts or a recent ACH transaction. Once you click on the link, Gameover takes over your computer, and thieves can steal usernames, passwords and your money. If you have clicked on one of these messages, check all of your accounts.
The FBI also warns the thieves' hacking capabilities can navigate around common user authentication methods banks use to verify your identity, which is certainly a cause for concern. This type of warning serves as a reminder of just how susceptible account holders can be to malicious attacks. As more account holders begin to jump on the mobile banking bandwagon, it's important to remember that a smartphone essentially acts as another computer. While this additional connection to the Internet is convenient, it also serves as another outlet where your information can be compromised.
Here are a few crucial steps to take to avoid falling victim to this type of Internet crime.
• Keep your computer and mobile device updated with the newest versions of anti-virus software.
• Reset your browser to remove all cookies which your bank uses to recognize your computer.
• Senders can be spoofed so do not click on any embedded links or reply-to e-mails with imbedded links without viewing the full source code headers or confirming with the sender in a new e-mail.
• Remember, banks and Federal agencies never request any personal information via e-mail.
• Do not include your friends in open CC lists and do not forward any open CC lists.
• Be vigilant about checking your account balances. The sooner you notice and report any type of fraudulent activity, the more likely you'll be able to be reimbursed for any missing funds.
If everyone was worldly wise in their online communications, the scams would fail and the scourge would die out.
To report potential e-scams, please go the Internet Crime Complaint Center and file a report. Note: the FBI does not send mass e-mails to private citizens about cyber scams, so if you received an e-mail that claims to be from the FBI Director or other top official, it is most likely a scam.
If you receive unsolicited e-mail offers or spam, you can forward the messages to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency Averted on Gunston Road
A hole-in-the-road emergency was averted last week when hidden erosion was discovered before half of Gunston Road collapsed.
Marilyn Breedlove, was doing her unheralded roadside litter clean-ups when she turned and noticed the cracked culvert and washed out embankment below the West bound lane near the entrance to Mason Neck Stare Park. She called Hyland’s office and VDOT. Fortunately, her assessment of the situation was given heed and VDOT had an emergency repair crew out the same night.
The cracked cement culvert has been replaced, the aggrigate packed back and stones laid to prevent another wash out all before the pavement could give way. A few residents had to wait for one way traffic. It could have been much worse flipping vehicles off the roadway.
This could be a side benefit of community Adopt-A-Highway clean-ups.
South Fairfax Chamber Announces Traffic Improvement
The South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce (SFCC) announces its success in arranging a change in the synchronization of traffic signal patterns on Lorton Road at the Amtrak Auto Train station entrance.
Historically, the timing of the traffic lights at and near to the train station entrance were not synchronized so that traffic patterns resulted in extended back up for both rail customers and local residents using Lorton Road. Chamber volunteers coordinated with VDOT staff to work out a solution which did not require tax dollars or expense for VDOT.
The Chamber considers such collaboration between a local business organization, the local community and VDOT as a prime example of reasonable methods to improve transportation efficiency in Northern Virginia without the need for tax funding or additional burdens on VDOT’s resources.
The Chamber recognizes its board member, Shep Crow, a Hallowing Point Resident, one of the founders of the South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, who played a key role in achieving this long term goal of the local community through his tireless efforts engaging all parties concerned to reach a solution to this challenge.
To learn more about the potential benefits of SFCC, please visit the Chamber’s website at: www.SouthFairfaxChamber.org.
LCAC selects Executive Director
The Lorton Community Action Center Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Linda Patterson has been selected as the permanent Executive Director.
Prior to rejoining LCAC’s staff as the Executive Director, Linda worked with PMK Associates as Director of Operations and with the Mack Crounse Group, a large political firm, as the Vice President of Operations. At the Mack Crounse Group for almost 5 years, Linda managed a large staff coordinating workflow and managing the creative process, IT and human resources.
Linda’s previous work with LCAC included serving as the agency’s first Food Pantry Manager and then as Director of Emergency Services. Linda has been on staff at three United Methodist Churches, working with youth, education and mission responsibilities. Linda lives in Alexandria, with her husband and two teenagers.
When asked how she feels about her new role, Linda said “It is exciting to be on such a talented staff, working with a dedicated Board and terrific volunteers. I was amazed at holiday time by the generosity of the community as LCAC served record numbers of families. The opportunities before us as a community, to make a difference in the lives of Lorton and Fort Belvoir residents, are endless! I am humbled to be a part of such a great agency.”
Legion Auxiliary Completes Walk for Breast Cancer
by Jen Donohue and Marv Rodney
Eleven members of Lorton American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Unit 162 participated in the 9th annual Washington, D.C. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer April 30 – May 1. This year’s event raised over five million dollars to advance access for care and to find a cure for Breast Cancer. There were over 2,200 participants from 47 states, including 215 survivors. The ALA Unit 162 participation culminated a year of fund raising events both at the Post Home and local restaurants, raising $25,000.00. The Unit’s members have raised a total of $89,000.00 the past five years to help and support finding a cure. Although the names and faces on the team change, their goal remains the same: “Let’s Find the Cure” using the motto, “In It to End It.” Upon their return from the 39+ miles walk, Post 162 Commander Sam Ramseur presented the team with an elaborate plaque in recognition of their participation, dedication, determination, and drive in support of this most important endeavor.
The following Unit members walked in this year’s event: Kerri Owens, Jen Donohue, Kelly Owens, Debi Douglas, Sandy Haynes, Alba Ocasio-Mooney, Tammy Clark, Christie Waddell McLaughlin, Tabitha Yaksima, Gina Barrington and Vickie Pickering, Team Captain.
If you are interested in joining the Unit 162 Legion Ladies Avon Walk next year, please contact Unit President Jen Donohue or Unit 162 PR Officer Vickie Pickering at the Post Home (703-690-1107).
Lorton American Legion Auxiliary Unit 162 Continues Tradition
By Marv Rodney, American Legion Department PR Chair
The women of Lorton American Legion Auxiliary Unit 162 sponsored a luncheon for Veterans living at the Armed Forces Retirement Home – Washington (formerly the Veterans Old Soldiers and Airmen’s Home) on Wednesday, May 18, at the Post 162 home facility. Over 50 members of the Armed Forces Retirement Home attended the luncheon and were treated to an outstanding early Memorial Day celebration of an outstanding lunch along with an elaborate spread of desserts.
Post 162 Sons of the American Legion (SAL) member Napoleon “Shaq” Hendrix III provided a mixture of background music, karaoke, and dancing with music ranging from the 40’s and 50’s into the 80’s as the Veterans enjoyed the luncheon, did a little dancing, and use the opportunity to mingle with today’s Veterans. Auxiliary Unit 162 member Karen Donias surprised and pleased the attendees with her striking rendition of “Some Where Over the Rainbow.”
As always, this luncheon provided a golden opportunity for our American Legion family to thank the visiting Veterans for their military service and share stories and memories. It was a great event for a very deserving and appreciative group of our Nation’s finest!
The ALA Unit 162 sponsors lunches or dinners for our aging Veterans three times a year (one held around St. Patrick’s Day and the other around Thanksgiving) and has been involved in this Veterans support activity for over 37 years – a significant achievement! They are to be commended for their dedication and service to our Veterans and to our Country.
LCAC Food Service Building Dedicated
The new food building at LCAC, which was made possible thanks to private dollars, will make service better and easier for volunteers who will not miss the eleven steps and head banging beam to the old basement.
LCAC and the South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, Vulcan Materials and numerous county and state officials joined with the community to celebrate the dedication of the new food pantry. The 2,000 SF, one-story modular structure streamlines the entire food collection and distribution process due to all the food being on the same level. The walk-in refrigerator/freezer allows for ample storage of meats, vegetables and other perishables. This is an enormous improvement over the prior food pantry arrangement, where old freezers and limited space contributed to food loss due to spoilage.
On Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Newly elected LCAC President Lynn Swogger welcomed the crowd of one hundred guests and then turned the podium over to LCAC Vice-President Marvin Miller, who acknowledged the numerous individuals that made this project possible, including: the Lynch family, who generously donated $250,000; Sandra Fedorshik for her tireless hours as a volunteer project manager; Michael Romans, who moved and installed the food pantry shelving as his Eagle Scout project; numerous Fairfax County officials; Jess Brindisi with Vulcan Materials; LCAC staff; and countless volunteers.
Steve Rorke, LCAC Executive Director, discussed the importance of the new pantry given that demand has increased by 67% since 2006. Rorke then introduced Mt. Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, who spoke to the value of nonprofit organizations like LCAC and the huge impact this new building will have on the organization’s ability to effectively, efficiently and safely serve those in need. Virginia State Senator Toddy Puller, Virginia Delegate David Albo and Scott Price, Director of Constituent Services in Northern Virginia for Senator Mark R. Warner shared their congratulations and appreciation for the important role that LCAC plays in the community as well as the value of volunteers. Conrad Mehan of EnviroSolutions, Inc, speaking as a representative of the South Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, expressed the important role that LCAC plays in enhancing the quality of life in southeast Fairfax County.
In addition to dedicating the new food pantry, LCAC celebrated its amazing volunteer corps that enables the organization to thrive. Kathy Noone ,LCAC Director of Human Resources, expressed the agency’s deep appreciation for all the generosity of time and talent from volunteers.
Thanks to Vulcan Materials, the crowd enjoyed a delicious buffet picnic lunch catered by American Bar-B-Que. Dessert included chocolate chip cookies donated by Great Harvest Bread Company and a large sheet cake. Attendees also had the opportunity to tour both LCAC’s main office and the new building to see first-hand how the food distribution program operates.
Eagle Scout helps LCAC get new food pantry up and ready!
By Andrea Cochrane Tracey
It has been a long process; however, as the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” The arrival of the modular components of LCAC’s new food pantry building in January generated much excitement yet also required immense amounts of patience while waiting for a myriad of details to fall into place. Trenches were excavated, electrical conduit buried, new electrical panels installed as well as a new connection to the power pole, a new walk-in refrigerator/freezer was constructed on-site, stairs built and concrete pathways poured. Once all those building components were addressed – shelving needed to be installed and food moved into the new space.
Michael Romans, a sophomore at Lake Braddock High School, played a critical role in this last piece. For his Eagle Scout project, he wanted to build something and build he did! He worked with LCAC staff to iron out the logistics of getting the food shelving to LCAC, assembling it and moving food from the old pantry to the new one. Michael, his fellow scouts from Troop 1518, family and friends all pitched in to implement this herculean effort. Over the course of three long days during Spring Break, Michael and his team picked-up 60 boxes of shelving (weighing 190 pounds each!) at Costco, loaded them into the LCAC box truck, unloaded all the boxes, assembled the shelving at the new building, and then moved thousands of pounds of food from the existing pantry space and an off-site storage space to the proper location in the new pantry. Up to 15 people worked with Michael to complete the task at hand. The transformation was incredible!
All the ingredients are finally in place and LCAC has fulfilled a long-term organizational goal: a new food pantry building! Since this accomplishment would not have been possible without the community, LCAC and the South Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce invite the public to join them on Wednesday, May 11 to dedicate the new building and celebrate the organization’s incredible volunteer corps! Join Mt. Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland and other community leaders as we celebrate this amazing milestone! Remarks begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. followed by a buffet picnic lunch, sponsored by Vulcan Materials and catered by American Bar-B-Que. Please RSVP to LCAC by calling 703-339-5161, ext. 16 or via email: email@example.com. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved inside to the Lorton Library and attendees can then tour the new facility.
LCAC extends special thanks to the private donor for their immense generosity which enabled the organization to enhance its capacity for serving clients and to do so more efficiently and safely. LCAC also wishes to acknowledge and thank Sandra Fedorshik for her tireless efforts to see the project through to completion. Thank you to everyone who also helped bring this project to fruition including: Supervisor Gerry Hyland, Fairfax County, LCAC Board of Directors, Mobile Modular, OTJ Architects, LCAC staff and numerous volunteers.
To learn more about LCAC, visit www.lortonaction.org or call 703-339-5161.
Gunston School Opens Forest Trail
Many partners helped make the ribbon cutting ceremony April 9, a success for the Gunston Elementary School/Bureau of Land Management Trail Opening. BLM contributed the design, materials and volunteers. The school principal, Tonya Cox, worked with Jennifer Dameron, PTA President, to organize the day’s activities. Fairfax County Public Schools supported
the effort as well, including asking a representative to attend the ceremony. David Collyer, Fairfax County Lions Club, brought the tent and refreshments with coffee donated by Lion Dave Saville, Owner of American BBQ.
Children attending the ceremony could hardly wait to cross the new bridge and explore the forested loop trail. Once the ribbon was cut, they were on their way to exploring this wonderful resource in the school’s backyard. Principal Cox said, “The new trail will support studies in the Standards of Learning Curriculum.”
Lorton residents live in very, historically significant area for many reasons, and the archaeology dig site at Meadowood is one more.
Marshal of France, Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725 – 1807) was a French nobleman and soldier who participated in the American Revolutionary War as the commander-in-chief of the French Expeditionary Force which came to help the American Continental Army and camped on Mason Neck.
Knowing generally that Rochambeau’s troops were in the area, it may be expected the remnants of his encampment would be found. We understand that the archaeologists would be willing to talk with visitors if they set up a time with Jeff McClusker first.
While there, maybe visitors should take a short walk to see the Trice homestead location; and walk Meadowood’s trails and enjoy those wonderful natural areas.
Dr. Douglas Comer, owner of Cultural Site Resource Management, is familiar with the French troop activity in the area so it is no surprise that the Bureau of Land Management – Eastern States, has contracted with him to begin an archaeology investigation. Already, site samples include pearlware, pewter, redware, creamware, cobalt blue glass, rhyolite and quartz minerals, most dating back to the 18th century or before.
As Principle Investigator for this project, Dr. Comer plans for his team to expand their Shovel Test Plots (STPs) at Meadowood in search of a definite location for French troop encampment. He commented that they know the French were here, but pinpointing their exact historical location will take some time.
The foundation remnant of the Trice House is further evidence of area historic treasures. So much history yet to be uncovered! The public is welcome to visit and view historic sites on public lands; however, metal detecting and collecting artifacts are not permitted.
Restoring Shad to the Potomac River
A Presentation, Restoring Shad to the Potomac River, hosted by The Friends of Dyke Marsh is Cosponsored by the Potomac Conservancy, Izaak Walton League-Virginia Division, Friends of the Potomac River Refuges and the Elizabeth Hartwell Environmental Education Fund.
Restoring Shad to the Potomac River is to be presented by Jim Cummins of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin Wednesday, May 18, 7:30 p.m., at Huntley Meadows Park Visitors’ Center, 3701 Lockheed Boulevard, Alexandria, free to all. Call 703-768-2525 Directions: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/
Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve is a 485-acre tidal freshwater marsh on the Potomac River one mile south of Old Town Alexandria, administered by the National Park Service and part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Friends of Dyke Marsh is a 30-year old conservation advocacy organization. Visit Friends of Dyke Marsh website: www.fodm.org
Proposed Increase in Minimum Street Width
County staff are proposing a change to the minimum width requirement for new streets, making the standard a minimum of 36 feet wide. This minimum width allows parking on both sides of the street while providing space for emergency access and operations. This proposal differs from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s standard of a minimum of 29 feet or less in some instances.
On May 5, at 8:15 p.m., the Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed standard. Following this hearing, the commission will make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled to hold a public hearing on June 7 at 4 p.m.
If approved, the new street width standard would become part of the county’s Public Facilities Manual. This manual sets out the county’s rules for commercial and residential development. If not adopted, the county will follow the VDOT standard.
WMATA Bus Yard in Newington
The planning commission voted tonight regarding the proposed Metro bus garage on Cinder Bed Road. There we two votes - one for each of the types of approvals that were being sought (special exception and 2232). For both votes, Earl Flanagan voted to oppose the proposed development, Janet Hall abstained because she missed the public hearing, and the rest of the attending commissioners voted to support the proposed development. Tim Sergeant was absent.
Why did they vote as they did? At least in part,
- VDOT and FCDOT claimed that the intersection of Backlick Road and the Parkway is fine - there are no traffic issues. (Yes, you read that right. We know the reality.)
- Staff claimed that all criteria have been met. (This can be challenged, and the county attorney probably does not believe this can be asserted at this time.)
- "It's for the greater good." ("Great, it's not in my district.")
Earl Flanagan made a motion that was voted down to defer the vote for an interpretation that was needed from the county attorney.
The application will go to the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors’ public hearing on this issue is scheduled for Tuesday, February 8, 2011 beginning at 3:30 p.m. All Board meetings are broadcast live and rebroadcast on a later date on Channel 16.
The county attorney will presumably continue researching the legal issues so that the legal opinion can be provided to the Board of Supervisors before it votes. To defeat this, a good turn out from the community will be needed at the public hearing.
Mason Neck native Rob Hartwell has accepted the Governor’s appointment to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin completing a term until February 28, 2013.
“The citizens of the Commonwealth will undoubtedly benefit from your commitment to share your time and talents in public service.” writes Commonwealth Secretary Janet Polarek.
Rob has been instrumental in aligning policy on issues of energy, the environment and natural resources at the state and federal levels. He is a past president and board member of Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority; a past vice president of the Friends of the Potomac River Refuges; Chairman, Potomac Foundation’s Liz Hartwell Environmental Education Fund which organizes our Eagle Festival and the twenty year list goes on.
His mother’s name is on our Mason Neck State Park Visitor Center for causing the Mason Neck Federal Refuge to be established first to protect the Bald Eagle. You go Rob.
McHugh Honored for 20 Years at Gunston Hall
By Charlotte Knipling,
Denise McHugh was honored by the 100-strong Gunston Hall Docent Association for her 20 years of service to Gunston Hall as Education Coordinator on January 3, 2011. Since her arrival, school tours have expanded from one basic tour for fourth graders to tours such as First Look and Growing Up at Gunston Hall for younger audiences to George Mason tours, Plantation Life Tours, Winter on the Plantation tours, and tours for high school students as well. In addition, twice yearly Colonial Days featuring living history and many hands-on activities such as writing with quill pens, guessing mystery objects, playing skittles and hoops, learning dance and deportment, attract several hundred students. Under Denise’s leadership, an Outreach Program was started, bringing George Mason and 18th C. life into the classroom. Denise is well known and respected by teachers throughout the area and beyond, and initiated a teacher workshop and a partnership program with Gunston Elementary School. Thanks to Denise’s hard work and tireless devotion to Gunston Hall, more and more children are learning about George Mason and his plantation. The Outreach Program and school visitation account for about half of the yearly visitation at Gunston Hall. She worked exceptionally long hours and her programs brought much additional income to the Plantation. Huzzah and thank you, Denise!
McHugh RIFed at Gunston Hall
by Floyd Harrison, publisher
Incredibly, ironically, Friday afternoon, Jan 21, just a couple weeks after being honored for long service, Denise McHugh the Education Coordinator at Gunston Hall was given notice of reduction in force by director David Reese owing to State funding cuts. Her position ends immediately but she will receive severance pay.
Controversy Over RIF at Gunston Hall .Blogspot.update
A New Food Building for LCAC!
Thanks to an incredibly generous private donation of $250,000 and after years of planning and patience, LCAC is exhilarated that a new food pantry building is taking shape next to its main office behind the Lorton Library. After 26 years of operating the LCAC food pantry out of the basement, hallway and one room of the LCAC offices, a modular building was installed which will accommodate all food operations! A dedication event will be held this Spring where the community can join the organization in celebrating this major milestone.
The 2,000 SF, one-story modular structure was fabricated by Mobile Modular based upon architectural plans prepared by OTJ Architects, who generously donated their services. There is still a lot of work to prepare the building for food distribution; however LCAC expects the space to become operational in February.
With an increase of 60% in requests for emergency assistance over the last two years, the timing of the new structure couldn’t be better. The benefits of the new building include:
• Improved food storage, particularly for refrigerated items, which will minimize the food loss currently experienced due to insufficient storage.
• Streamline the food distribution process for clients.
• Improve work place conditions and safety for staff, volunteers and clients. Currently, staff and volunteers traverse narrow stairs to the basement with low head clearance.
• Allow secured storage of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food that the agency is required to store in a separate, dedicated and secure area.
To learn more about LCAC, visit www.lortonaction.org or call 703-339-5161.
BLM Proposed Plan Reduces Space for Private Boarding
The equestrian function of Meadowood Recreation Management Area is at risk because of some undocumented drive to reduce the number of private horses. This would deconstruct the business model of the facility which uses boarding to cover core costs so that pubic services such as riding lessons, trail rides and therapeutic riding can operate effectively and efficiently. It would also detract from the Lorton economy. Boarders at Meadowod spend between $1.5 and $2.1 million per year on board, goods and services, mostly n the Lorton area. Public comment is needed now to save Meadowood as we know it.
A recent plan to raze the current Meadowood, Mason Neck stable with a capacity of about 48 horses and replace it with a new paddock and scaled down rink and capacity of only 20 horses caused such a stir that it has been publicly withdrawn. That number would essentially leave only the public function horses with no support from any private boarders, whose fees pay for maintenance of the rings and grounds for both public programs. Still, BLM insists that a new plan will be forthcoming in January, yet a reasonable justification of need for replacing the current facility has not been presented.
Less than two years ago, it was determined that the barn’s trusses could not only upport a new roof but a new sprinkler system as well. In the mean time, it has been devalued citing repairable deficiencies which there is money for. A new roof is estimated to cost between $200K and $300K and the maintenance fund is over $875K. Boarders feel that the current facility is actually safer than area competing facilities and are happy to pay the premium fees. They just want it to stay as it is.
One possible course of action according to BLM published purpose is to increase the number of horses for public and private functions. But, either way, more boarders means more support for the daily operation of barn and horse maintenance services. It actually could be profitable in the sense of a commercial business if the government would follow that approach. Wouldn’t we all want public functions paid for commercially rather than by tax burden?
At this time, several critical offices in the path of authority for Meadowood operation are vacant or about to be vacant. It is difficult to know where the direction to reduce the number of boarders is coming from and it seems that the bureau’s left hand isn’t coordinated with the right hand. The boarders aren’t getting good information about the fate planned for them and don’t know who they are really talking to. It’s like a ship which has lost it’s rudder on a moonless night.
The activity at Meadowood, as it is, easily provides an estimated two million dollars to the greater Lorton economy. Boarders and employees buy food, gas, supplies and services locally. Bloom alone would notice the reduced sales of fruits and vegetables bought for horse treats like apples and carrots. It’s like the horses have a big office party every day. If the activity were only public not private, not only would most of the horse owners have to move out of the area to find boarding but the facility operations employees be greatly reduced as well. Costs for Simple Changes Therapeutic Riding might increase signifcantly to cover additional staffing which might spell it’s demise representing even more currency lost to the Lorton Economy not to mention a needed service. BLM procedures have not been considerate of Lorton economy. Instead of open bidding to purchase contracts for the planned conversion, they went through the Fish and Wildlife Service to a pre-approved vendor list which is not local businesses and which action was not shared publicly or with the current boarders. Indeed, boarders learned of BLM’s plan to rebuild the barn at the September Friends of Meadowood meeting where BLM announced that they would be awarding a contract to do so in October. That the new barn was planned to be less than half the size of hte existing barn was learned only after a person with close personal connections in BLM told boarders of the planned 20 stall facility. Boarders learned of their immenant evication just weeks before the contract would have been awarded. If not for the Friends of Meadowood meeting, boarders would not have been warned of their likely eviction. The boarders don’t know where the direction is coming from. Statement of policy isn’t clear but there are all kinds of hints that the private boarders are not favored. A couple of owners have been harassed about their presence and available pasture is being reduced by reclaiming forest through tree plantings supported by well intentioned activists.
To save their horses homes, owners scrambled to contact every local representative they could. The Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland’s office was supportive and responsive sending County inspectors to assure that the facility was safe and viable so that any new plan will hopefully not be justified by a need to demolish the current stable.
The National Park Service, also under the Department of Interior, operates Rock Creek facility which is a good model for the kind of profitable operation that Meadowood could be. Somehow, the BLM hierarchy in Virginia doesn’t get it. Much of the conversation has focused on evaluating the current facility as a potential show grounds. Actually, the current facility was Ed Lynches horse farm not intended to be a public show place. It would need bleachers and a competition size rink and it would require that much of the property’s natural areas be converted to trailer parking, warm up and jumping rings, and other basic facilities. It would also mean that the facility would be vacant most days, like he Fairfax County operated Frying Pan Park.
There is certainly space for improvement at Meadowood but to say that a solid, functioning barn should be demolished to build a show grounds seems to be quite a jump in logic. As it is, the biggest audience the Meadowood barn can handle is a troop of Brownies for a Day of the Horse celebration. The planned, small facility would not be profitable or increase public activity. So, what will the revised plan look like; It remains to be seen?
Public comment is needed at this time from all stakeholders, whether public or private horse owner, horse care employee, or activist concerned with the local economy, or tax payer believing that the facility and operation should be managed as for profit. Otherwise, January could set a negative precedent for Lorton and it’s horses and owners which would be more crippling than a repeat blizzard because the effect would continue. Horses need love too.
Make your comments to the BLM Eastern States office,
7450 Boston Boulevard
Springfield, VA 22153
At least E-mail comments to:
BLM Should Reconsider Plan
By Floyd Harrison, Publisher (Jan, 2011)
It would be a million dollar loss for the Lorton economy if BLM plans omit the private boarding from their proposal to renovate Meadowood Recreation Area on Mason Neck. Construction planing should cease until the Bureau regains composure and fills some of the many vacant positions in their regional hierarchy.
It seems as if the government bureau has lost its head and the hierarchy is in tatters. Obscure plans recently quashed, and vaguely justified, disregard profitability and needed public services. There is no good represented by a plan to tear down the perfectly adequate barn to build a smaller facility which would not have capacity to board the private horses and not support expanded public services.
The boarding fees support the operation of the facility including care of the horses used in the public services. Without the private horses, public services would come at a cost to the government. Funding for maintenance of the existing structure is there already but that cannot be used legally for building show facilities or even a new barn. Why does someone in BLM want to upset the cart? This is not the time anyway.
Construction planners should cease and desist until the community is heard and the economy gets a breather. They should go ahead and do the maintenance and not waste the building. In any case, reducing the facility doesn’t make sense. What is needed is a larger facility to support real public service programs. The rink is a little too small to properly practice a Dressage routine and the observation seating is very limited.
A profitable plan would include an additional larger under roof building with a competition size rink, bleachers to accommodate a real horse show and new paddocks for the public service horses leaving public and private functions isolated.
The government mandate is not to make a profit but that doesn’t have to mean operating at a loss. There just doesn’t seem to be any good sense used in the direction of Meadowood.
This is not a criticism of the fine people who operate the facility on a day to day basis. Boarders appreciate, for the most part, the quality of the facility and service rendered there and they want to stay there the way it is. Improvements are only a dream.
When funds for capital improvements are available, a larger building, not a smaller one, capable of hosting grand public events should be planned. This would pay dividends in a bolstered greater Lorton economy and more attention to wild horse and burro adoptions. The BLM could then truly celebrate the Day of the Horse for our Living Mustang Legends which is their own verbiage.
Greater Lorton citizens with any interest in the benefits of this hundred acre public recreational park should write a letter to the BLM and express interest in saving the private boarding so that the operation there remains profitable and growing.
I appeal to everyone with any interest in the economy of our community to speak up now to tell BLM to rescind any plan which reduces the facility at the Meadowood equestrian location.
BLM Notice of Public Scoping Meeting
BLM Notice of Public Scoping Meeting
To gather input for a Project Plan and Environmental Assessment on Equestrian Facility Replacement, Equestrian Activities and Site Improvements at the Meadowood Recreation Area on Mason Neck in Fairfax County (Dec 2010)
The United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States Lower Potomac Field Station and the Office of Fairfax County Supervisor Jerry Hyland are holding a public meeting to gather input on:
• Plans to replace the 34 year old 46 stall barn/arena building in the administrative compound at the Meadowood Recreation Area;
• Public use and equestrian activities at the site.
The purpose of the project is to replace this structure with a facility that will provide for better public access to the Meadowood Recreation Area, provide for improved opportunities for the general public to participate in equestrian activities, and have less watershed impact. The project is scheduled for completion by September 30, 2011.
At this meeting, the Bureau of Land Management will provide information on it’s proposed action, discuss alternatives, and seek comments from the public on how to best manage and use these federal recreation facilities.
The meeting is open to the public, and will be held on Tuesday November 16, 2010 from 7:30 to 9:00 PM
in the cafeteria of South County High School 8501 Silverbrook Rd. Lorton, VA 22079
Due to Fairfax County cutbacks, funds to Lorton Community Action Center for support of the Community Resource Center have been lost in the amount of $140,000 dollars for the coming year according to Lions liason Marvin Miller.
LCAC is already strained trying to support three times as many families during the last year of economic turn down with less funds. The Community Resource Center has closed.
The Mason Neck Lions Club had worked in partnership with the LCRC Youth Center for the past 10 years. The Lions sponsored volunteer community service projects in the Lorton area for the LCRC youth. Numerous community service projects were completed: such as; Graffiti Removal; Park Cleanup; Storm Drain Marking and Education; Stream Cleanup; and Tree Planting. Such projects are designed to instill a stewardship for the environment and support for their community among the youngsters.
Lion Joe Chudzik, responsible for these programs questions whether there is any other feasible approach to reach the youth in Lorton.
Meteorite Hits Lorton Doctors
A meteorite blasted through the roof and ceiling of a Lorton doctors office Monday evening January 18 sounding like a small explosion and filling an exam room with debris, dempling the cement floor through carpet which impact shattered the rock.
The tennis ball sized space rock weighed 308 grams or about two thirds of a pound with all of the pieces assembled. It was of grey composition with an almost black scorched slightly glazed fusion crust classified as a condrite.
The doctors office was the Williamburg Square Family Practice at 9500 Richmond Highway of Dr. Marc Gallini and Dr. Frank Ciampi.
It was quiet, a little after 5:30 pm Dr. Ciampi was doing charts when, suddenly, bang. Dr. Ciampi said it was so loud that he thought a book case had toppled and went to look. He found debris scattered from the exam room out into the hallway. Inside the exam room near where he would sit with patients was a hole in the ceiling and a dent in the floor. It looked and sounded like a small explosion.
No one expected a meteorite and it took them a while to realize what had really happened. A late cancellation meant that there was no one in the exam room. The roof has been repaired. The exam room is cleaned and the object was given up to the Smithsonian Museum for confirmation. Now there’s only the memory and the dent in the floor.
Companions to the extra terrestrial visitor may be found within a couple of miles of the location so Lorton neighbors should all walk their open spaces and look for more black rocks which traveling at 230mph would either plant themselves in the moist ground or make an obvious dent in pavement with a scatter pattern. Avoid Meteorite hunters which will come from across the country trying to profit from any pieces found. If you find a meteorite on your property, it’s yours. Please call your Lorton Valley Star at 571-274-7389.
Such an event is rarely reported. This is only the fourth reported hit in Virginia in over a hundred years however many more probably fall on open space unnoticed. Update: A search of the web indicates that the Lorton Meteorite twilight fireball was apparently seen in a few states where it is reported that the office is dentists.
Lorton To Have New Shopping Center With Wegman's
Plans are approved for construction of Hilltop Village Center, a new mixed use shopping center at Beulah Street and Telegraph Road with a Wegman’s within about three years.
This will be an integrated, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly development promoting retail and employment opportunities with office space and two banks. Piney Run Active Adult Community will be developed nearby all within walking distance of a Hilltop Golf Club.
Construction of A new baseball field will be complimented by an adult soccer field, practice field, tot lot, and pavillion will follow the opening of the grocery store.
New Charity Catalog For Lorton
There is America’s Charities listing and the metro area’s Catalogue for Philanthropy but now there is Lorton’s own Charity Catalog at http://lorton.net/Charities/Catalog.html
The purpose, as with all Lorton Valley Star Communications publications is to maintain and strengthen resources in greater Lorton. Even Charities here spend here. We advocate, that residents, save gas and live green, participate in Lorton, Trade in Lorton, Give in Lorton and Volunteer in Lorton. All other listings invite our resources out of the local economy. Charity begins at home.
This Charities Catalog is on a new web site titled Lorton Virginia Usa at: http://lorton.net/
This site will hold all of the permanent information about greater Lorton, some of which was previously on http://LortonValleyStar.com
which will now only have current dated information which can age and get pushed off the page. This is to be easier for readers to find.
So, enjoy the fruits of long winter storm days and test out the new site and new page. It’s just a start. The only qualification for listing is that the charity organization operates in and serves Lorton. Suggestions for additional organizations are welcome.
Lorton Loses Citizen to Fatal Crash
Franconia District Police are investigating a fatal crash that occurred around 4:50 a.m. Thursday, December 24. The victim, Robert D. Nolen, 22, of 9220 Lee Massey Drive, Lorton was a front seat passenger in a 2009 Chevy Malibu that was traveling westbound on the Franconia-Springfield Parkway near Frontier Drive. Police believe the driver was traveling in excess of the posted speed limit when he struck a snow bank on the shoulder of the road, vaulted over a jersey barrier, struck a dump truck and came to rest on the driver's side. The victim was ejected and died on the scene of the crash.
The driver of the crash was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Police charged the driver, Christopher T. Figueroa, 23, of Newark, New Jersey, with involuntary manslaughter. Police believe that alcohol and speed were factors in the crash.
Crash Reconstruction Detectives responded to the scene and are continuing to investigate the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org <http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org/> or text "TIP187" plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.
Honoring Suffragette’s Workhouse
by Floyd Harrison, Publisher
On a pleasant sunny Sunday, Fall, November 15, ninety-one years since the nineteenth amendment was ratified, The Daughters of the American Revolution National Society and the Workhouse artists gathered for a ceremony to dedicate a brass marker honoring the Suffragists.
The ceremony presented by DAR, complete with color guard in the tent on the courtyard at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center, remembered the deadly torture at the D.C. Corrections Workhouse, currently the Lorton Arts Workhouse center. Sharon Mason, Executive director of the Lorton Arts Foundation, accepted the marker.
Suffragettes is the name given to the women, members of the National Woman’s Party founded by Alice Paul, who demonstrated at the White House for woman’s suffrage, basically the right to vote. As time went on and tensions escalated, a group were arrested for ‘unlawful assembly’ and brought to the D.C. Correctional Facility, the equivalent of D.C.’s state pen, Occoquan facility in Lorton. The actual buildings that housed them were located on the grounds of what is today the Fairfax County Griffen Water plant across Ox Road from today’s Workhouse Art Center. They were brought over and tortured in the Workhouse cell block building W-2 where the marker is fixed.
Daughters of the American Revolution are ladies who trace their lineage back in American History and represent woman’s rights and the struggle for equality to this very day. A Woman’s Suffrage Museum is planned for the site and a temporary museum is located in Building W-9. Though it’s not happy history, the lesson is important and the result has been beneficial to the country.
Book marks were given out as momentos of the occasion of the dedication of the marker. Keys represent freedom from unjust incarceration. The program contains acknowledgements, the text of the marker, and the American Creed. The prison finally closed December 2005.
Lorton Road Project
The Lorton Road project involves the widening of the existing two-lane roadway to a four-lane roadway with median, shared use path and on-road bike lanes. The project limit for Lorton Road is from Route 123 to Silverbrook Road; the project limit Furnace Road is from Route 123 to Lorton Road. The intermediate design is complete and plans are ready for presentation to the community. For more information, call 703-877-5740.
Lorton Resident Plans Charity Walk Across U.S
John Goff of Lorton, will be walking from New York City to Los Angeles in an effort to raise money for a non-profit organization called ‘Charity: Water’, whose goal it is to bring clean water solutions to Africa and India. My journey will take me eight to nine months and will span more than 3,500 miles and across 13 states. Visit his website at www.iwalkforh2o.com to read more about John’s Walk for Water or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Measles Vaccine Required by VA
The recent exposures to measles in the Washington, DC metropolitan area highlight the importance of reviewing immunization records and getting vaccinated against the measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases as appropriate. It is especially important for infants and toddlers in our community to receive their immunizations on time.
Parents are encouraged to review immunization requirements and to visit their physicians or a county clinic before the last minute rush just before school begins.
• State law requires students to be excluded from school if they have not complied with immunization requirements. Parents who are registering children for kindergarten in Fairfax County Public Schools must have up-to-date shot records.
• Students entering 6th grade are required to have a Tdap booster shot. Students who do not meet the requirement by the first day of school will be excluded. Fairfax County Public Schools tracks compliance for this state requirement.
For information about immunizations requirements and clinic locations and hours visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/HD or call (703) 246-2411.
NVCC Reaches Baby Boomers
Move over 18-year-old high school students. There’s a new student on campus, and she might be your mom. A new survey by the Plus 50 Initiative at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) finds that community colleges are reaching out to students over the age of 50 and planning to expand programs for them.
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) participated in the survey, and the results were not surprising. Eighty-four percent of the 204 community colleges participating in the survey reported that their institutions offer programs for students over the age of 50. Ninety-three percent of these colleges perceive a demand for this type of programming – predominantly from people age 50 and up in their community, but from business and community organizations as well.
Many community colleges reported that they plan to expand their offerings for plus 50 students. Seventy percent of colleges offering enrichment courses for Plus 50 students said that they plan to expand their offerings. Half of the 14 percent that do not currently have enrichment offerings for baby boomers plan to add them in the future.
At NOVA, our Plus 50 program will focus on the baby boomer generation in areas of workforce training, career development, personal enrichment and volunteering. More specifically, our workshops and courses will address:
• Challenges and difficulties one may be feeling in their personal and professional life and how to effectively manage stress.
• Making second career choices and upgrading workplace skills.
• Multigenerational workplace issues: boomers, generation X and GenNext
• Dealing with personal journeys and discoveries aimed at participants who are at a crossroads in their life or simply wondering what’s next in life for them.
• Facing retirement living and the complexities of choosing, living and working in a retirement community.
Cover special education concerns, health concerns and concerns at home with other siblings and present coping strategies.
NOVA will be hosting a Plus 50 Ageless Learning Resource Symposium on Tuesday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at our Alexandria Campus, 3001 N. Beauregard St. for anyone interested in networking and learning more about our program and course offerings.
For more information about NOVA’s Plus 50 program, please go to http://www.nvcc.edu/alexandria/plus50/ or call Keith Wynn at (703) 845-6326.
For an executive summary and a full report detailing the survey’s results, please go to http://plus50.aacc.nche.edu.
Schmidt “To Go the Extra Mile” for People with Disabilities
Lorton, a student at Virginia Tech, majoring in Building Construction, will be meeting 90 other Pi Kappa Phi’s from universities across the country and embarking on a 64 day “Journey of Hope.” The Journey of Hope is a 3,900 mile cross-country cycling trek that raises funds and awareness on behalf of people with disabilities.
The team members are all members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and are joining forces to pave the road for a better understanding of people with disabilities. From the west coast to Washington, D.C., the Journey of Hope team will be cycling from city to city, bringing the message Push America in a unique and inspiring way.
Matt and the rest of the Journey of Hope 2009 team will be making dozens of presentations in communities across the nation, helping others to understand the issues facing those with disabilities. After cycling and average of 75 miles each day, the team will take part in many special events, often meeting with those for whom they’re riding.
The Journey of Hope is a project of Push America, which was founded by Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity in 1977 with the mission to build leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today. Its members have raised more than $8 million for Push America since its establishment.
In addition to raising awareness, the Journey of Hope will raise more than $400,000 for future projects and programs of Push America. Matt is committed to raising a minimum of $5,000 on behalf of Push America and people with disabilities.
Anyone interested in “Going the Extra Mile” by making a tax-deductible donation to Push America on behalf of Matt Schmidt should contact him at <email@example.com>, or learn more information about Matt and his ride at https://secure.pushamerica.org/events
Day of The Horse Celebration
The National Day of the Horse was cause for celebration enjoyed by horses and people who love them at Meadowood Stable. This was the second such event here since the day, December 13, was declared by the Untied States Senate.
It was a frigid morning in the stable but the atmosphere was warm. Hot coffee, hot chocolate, donuts and friendships were shared and enjoyed. Of course it was just fine for the horses and riders who enjoyed their warming performances. After all, if you’re sitting on 1200 pounds of horse flesh that is working you’ll be glad it isn’t a warm day.
The observance was filled with demonstrations of horse breeds and riding disciplines including Jumping, Dressage, Endurance, and Driving. The event calls attention to the beautiful Arabian horse, Re-trained race horses, Mustangs and the Gaited Kentucky Mt. Horse. The latter, almost anyone would recognize as a strikingly pretty animal. Simple Changes gave a demonstration of Therapeutic Riding.
It was given a patriotic opening and shared with a local Girl Scouts Brownie troop 2480 from the Fort Belvoir service unit 53-5 who thereby met their requirements for the equestrian badges.
According to the proclamation, S.Res.452ATS, The National Day of the Horse is recognition of the importance of horses to the security, economy, recreation, and heritage of the United States. The resolution states that the horse is an important part of the culture of the United States and includes the Congressional Horse Caucus estimate that the horse industry contributes much more than $100,000,000,000 each year to the economy. It makes the point that because of increasing pressure from modern society, wild and domestic horses rely on humans for adequate food, water, and shelter.
In our downturned economy, just when everything else needs rescuing, the greater Lorton community is reminded about the bigger animals which may escape notice. Horses are intelligent and have real personalities. They love attention, willingly learn, and have definite attitudes. They, just like us, need a little kindness and understanding. It’s spooky what those huge heads seem to understand. They quietly observe us just as keenly as our dogs do.
Anyway, the equine residents seemed to understand that the day was about them. Only excited whinnies where heard and they cooperated marvelously. And the doggies played and even the resident stable cat observed the celebratory gathering.
Pleasure Riding Comes To Lorton
Horse riders can register before October is out for a pleasure ride at Laurel Hill Equestrian Center to benefit construction of a top-notch public equestrian riding facility there with rings, barns, trails and riding programs there. The ride on the site of the old D.C. Correctional Facility Dairy, organized by the Northern Virginia Coalition of Equestrian Organizations is to be held, rain or shine, on the morning of November 8.
The judged ride course includes twelve obstacles over rolling grass terrain through trees and crossing streams. Registration opens at 7:00 am and the first rider will set out at 8:00 am.
Visit http://nvceo.tripod.com/ge.html for registration information and forms available in .pdf format.
Significant progress is being made toward development of new features at Laurel Hill Park. The Fairfax County Park Authority and the Fairfax County Park Foundation signed an agreement to cooperate with the non-profit group Fairfax 4 Horses to develop plans for a new Equestrian Center at the former Dairy Farm site. F4H is currently conducting a fund raising campaign and providing their expertise in the facility planning efforts.
Fairfax 4 Horses is working to ensure that all Fairfax County residents have access to affordable public riding lessons at county park facilities within a reasonable distance oaf where they live. Current focus is raising funds to build a barn and indoor arena at Laurel Hill Park in Lorton. For more information on Fairfax4Horses, visit www.fairfax4horses.org. This event benefits Fairfax 4 Horses “Laurel Hill Public Equestrian Center Fund”, a 501c3 Tax Deductible organization. Find out more by visiting http://fairfax4horses.org/
Another Tax Whammy…
County Claims Power To Create
Community Taxing Authorities
Supervisor McKay moved adoption of the Ordinance to permit the County to assume the power to consider petitions for the creation of community development authorities. Supervisor Gross and Supervisor Hudgins jointly seconded the motion and it carried by unanimous vote, Supervisor Bulova, Supervisor Foust, Supervisor Frey, Supervisor Gross, Supervisor Herrity, Board Summary -58- September 8, 2008
Supervisor Hudgins, Supervisor Hyland,
Barbara A. Byron, Director, Office of Community Revitalization and Reinvestment, presented the staff report.
Chairman Connolly noted that without this action, the Board did not have the authority to accept a petition and act on it. Ms. Byron stated that letters of support had been received from the Community Revitalization and Reinvestment Advisory Group (CRRAG) and G-7 which is representative of the seven revitalization districts and areas in the County. She added that several representatives of CRRAG were present and Chairman Connolly asked that they stand and be recognized.
Discussion ensued concerning the taxation authority of the CDAs with input from James V. McGettrick, Assistant County Attorney. Chairman Connolly noted the Supreme Court ruling on HB 3202 and Supervisor Foust asked unanimous consent that the Board direct the County Attorney to provide guidance on taxation authority. Without objection, it was so ordered.
The public hearing included testimony by one speaker, The action was in referencne to specific revitalization districts but nothing was said that precludes any neighborhood from falling under a local taxing authority.
A CDA is a flexible tool that can address a broad range of infrastructure needs, as well as services, and can cover varied areas such as a single shopping mall, a mixed-use development or a downtown redevelopment area. A petition to the Board of Supervisors to establish a CDA must come from a majority (51 percent) of landowners within a proposed area; the CDA is then governed by board appointees. Either land area or assessed value can be used to determine the 51 percent. A CDA can be funded through special taxes or special assessments negotiated with the owners of property within the district.
Petitions for a CDA will be evaluated against “16 Principles for Public Investment in Support of Commercial Redevelopment,” which were adopted by the Board of Supervisors on July 21 to advance revitalization and reinvestment opportunities within the county. The board will hold a public hearing on any petition submitted to establish a CDA.
The 16 principles were developed by Fairfax County in collaboration with the Community Revitalization and Reinvestment Advisory Group. The advisory group was established by the Board of Supervisors in March 2007; its membership includes community, business and county government representatives. The principles respond to the county’s changing development climate. By 2030, Fairfax County is projected to add 245,000 jobs and 290,000 new residents.
The 16 principles are available at http://www.fcrevit.org/