Saturday, March 29, 2014

Visual Clutter and Eyesores in Falls Church

Signs like this violate several aspects of City code (see section 48), and for good reason:  they are eyesores and visual clutter.  This one, in the 1000 block of Hillwood Avenue, is right at the entrance to the City. Welcome All!

We hope the Post Team will do their part to help improve the City's appearance by getting rid of these unwelcome, dilapidated--and illegal--signs.  Three of the Team members each list "Lawyer" as their leading qualification for their involvement in the blog, so one would think they'd understand the importance of heeding the law.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Falls Church City Comment Box: #666. Sign of the Beast Edition.

Date Submitted:1/18/2014 10:16:38 PM
Status:Closed (1/20/2014 4:29:02 PM)
Location (if any):idylwood road does not have a side walk right after intersecting with route 7 for a few blocks and turn which is dangerous for pedestrians walking to metro
Details:The side walk on idylwood toward route 7 stops abruptly making it a dangerous walk without a side walk towards route 7. in the morning people can try to get by walking on other people's grass but at night it seems dangerous not to have a sidewalk on idylwood. this is about a block after lemon drop school
Submission Updates
Date of Update:1/20/2014 4:28:56 PM
Update Type:Message from CFC
Details:Thank you for your submission. Idylwood Road is in Falls Church, Fairfax County, and not the City of Falls Church. You will need to contact Fairfax County Department of Public Works at 703-324-5033.

Note:  This is a freely obtainable matter of public record.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Another Falls Church Sidewalk Improvement Fail

You really do have to wonder about this one.  The City crew lovingly tore up the old curb and made the new apron ADA-compliant--to the letter of the law, but not the spirit.

Pole?  What pole?

File this under: what were they thinking?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hubcap Street Art in Arlington / East Falls Church

A guerrilla art display appeared recently on Washington Boulevard (at 27th St., N.).  I believe it's titled, The Existential Struggle of Circles Against Velocity.

Falls Church City Comment Box: #665. Water bill woes.

Date Submitted:1/13/2014 10:35:41 AM
Status:Closed (1/22/2014 2:55:51 PM)
Location (if any):
Details:I am trying to pay my water & sewer bill but when I click on 'Water & Sewer' in the 'Payment' section, it says "This Page Does Not Exist". Is there another link I should be using for this particular payment? Thanks for your help! Megan
Submission Updates
Date of Update:1/22/2014 2:55:45 PM
Update Type:Message from CFC
Details:Thank you for your submission. Someone will contact you with the link information.

Note:  This is a freely obtainable matter of public record.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Falls Church City Comment Box: #664. Poor trash collection on Shadow Walk

Date Submitted:1/11/2014 1:47:00 PM
Status:Closed (1/13/2014 11:02:16 AM)
Location (if any):307 Shadow Walk Falls Church
Details:Dear Friends, The refuse collection at 307 Shadow Walk has been unsatisfactory the past two weeks. On each occasion the men picking up our garbage have only grabbed the large bags of garbage out of our bin and left the smaller bags and pizza boxes in the bottom. When paying for sanitation and water services, we expect better service. We expect that the men should toss all of the garbage in the truck. Can you please see that they do. Thank you for your assistance in this matter. Sincerely, [redacted]
Submission Updates
Date of Update:1/13/2014 11:02:09 AM
Update Type:Message from CFC
Details:Thank you for your submission. Allison Lohrenz, our Solid Waste Programs Coordinator, will speak to the trash, recycling, and yard waste drivers on Wednesday and place your address on the watch list in the coming weeks. The watch list ensures the drivers slow down and take more time in your neighborhood until it becomes a habit. While speaking with the drivers should correct the issue, please know that any trash that is missed can be called in to the Solid Waste Hotline (703-248-5160, option 1) as a missed collection. Missed collections are picked up on Thursday mornings. 

Note:  This is a freely obtainable matter of public record.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sidewalk Improvements in Falls Church, #1

This one is right in the heart of Falls Church City.  Our public works crews lovingly smoothed out new concrete around that pole.  It's like glass, I tell you.

This is after they installed that ADA-compliant apron on the upper left, connecting the sidewalk to East Fairfax St. for wheelchair users.  Now they can scoot right along until--d'oh!

Falls Church City Comment Box: #663. Crazy high water bill.

Date Submitted:1/9/2014 9:24:47 AM
Status:Closed (1/10/2014 12:50:10 PM)

Details:I am another concerned citizen wondering why our last Fall Chuch City water bill is significantly higher than is has been in the past, with supposedly much increased water usage. I (and others) believe this to be incorrect and would like an explanation. In an online discussion, another citizen was told that the last bills were not "adjustments" made after estimated usage bills from the past. So how can you explain to sudden rise in water use? It doesn't add up. I would like a detailed explanation of my family's water bills from the last billing period.
Submission Updates
Date of Update:1/10/2014 12:49:58 PM
Update Type:Message from CFC
Details:Customer was contacted by staff; issue was discussed and resolved.

Note:  This is a freely obtainable matter of public record.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Falls Church City Comment Box: #662. Water bill payment system broken, again.

Note:  This is a freely obtainable matter of public record.

Date Submitted:1/8/2014 7:41:54 PM
Status:Closed (1/9/2014 10:11:46 AM)
Location (if any):
Details:Hi, I have been trying to pay my water bill but unsuccessful finding the amount online. My account number is [redacted]. Please let me know the amount and how to pay. Thanks
Submission Updates
Date of Update:1/9/2014 10:11:41 AM
Update Type:Message from CFC
Details:Thank you for your submission. It has been forwarded to a customer service representative who will contact you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Falls Church City Comment Box: #661: Water leaking from ground by City Hall.

Date Submitted:1/7/2014 1:32:34 PM
Status:Closed (1/7/2014 3:57:08 PM)
Location (if any):Outside the FC Library on N. Virginia Street. I have pictures.
Details:Water is leaking from ground fixture and freezing across the sidewalk.
Submission Updates
Date of Update:1/7/2014 3:57:03 PM
Update Type:Message from CFC
Details:Thank you for your submission. Would you please send the pictures to Thank you.

Note:  this location is across the street from City Hall.  

This is a freely obtainable matter of public record.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Falls Church City Comment Box: #659. City: yes, we have bad sidewalks around City Hall.

Date Submitted:12/27/2013 11:36:06 AM
Status:Closed (1/7/2014 4:16:06 PM)
Location (if any):Cherry Hill Park and Park Avenue 300-500 blocks
Details:The 400 block of Park Avenue has sidewalks on both sides, which is great because of the volume of foot traffic it gets for events like the Farmer's market or any event in Cherry Hill Park. What is problematic, however, is that there isn't a continuing sidewalk on the 500 block or even worse on the 300 block. This forces walkers into traffic in what is always the busiest pedestrian area in Falls Church.

Submission Updates
Date of Update:1/7/2014 4:15:59 PM
Update Type:Message from CFC
Details:Further to my email of yesterday, the following is a link to the Transportation Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan. Community meetings are scheduled for January 11 and February 22. If you are unable to attend either meeting, you may write to Council requesting more funding for sidewalks.
Date of Update:1/6/2014 1:16:09 PM
Update Type:Message from CFC
Details:Thank you for your submission. You are correct that the sidewalk along the northeast side of Park Avenue is not continuous. There are intermittent gaps in the sidewalk between Cherry Hill Park and Spring Street. In the draft Pedestrian, Bicycle and Traffic Calming Plan, the need for a new sidewalk at this location was identified as a “Phase 2” priority, which is considered high. However, the Plan was not adopted and staff has not been directed to implement new sidewalks at these locations. To do so, funding and staff resources would need to be allocated to oversee the design, easement acquisition and construction processes. The draft Pedestrian Plan is available here:

Note:  This is a freely obtainable matter of public record.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Falls Church City Comment Box: #660. We'd like a 90-degree pool, please

Date Submitted:12/27/2013 3:15:21 PM
Status:Closed (12/30/2013 9:35:44 AM)
Location (if any):
Details:Suggestion! My daughter takes lessons at Kids First Swim Schools ( in Sterling, VA. Their 90 degree pool, year round facility and "kick first" teaching approach has been invaluable! They are looking to bring a location to Falls Church and have been working with Farifax County. I think this place would be well-received in the Little City (one of those vacant shopping centers on Broad perhaps). Please contact Dave at [redacted].
Submission Updates
Date of Update:12/30/2013 9:35:34 AM
Update Type:Message from CFC
Details:Thank you for your submission. I have forwarded it to our Economic Development staff for their review.

How about a pool here?

Note:  This is a freely obtainable matter of public record.

The Painful Decline of the Falls Church Post

Toxicity killed the Falls Church Post.  That blog claims to strive to "embrace broad community values."  In practice, it's a forum for the Post Team to vent bile and rage at the school superintendent and anyone who challenges their views.

Like the Falls Church News-Press, the Post blog allows commenters, even obvious trolls, on their site, the better to bash them, but those who post polite substantive comments disagreeing with their ideas have their comments removed.  I know this because mine were yanked from the Post.  I tend to have that effect.  (No biggie.  This being Amurica, I got my own blog and will spout forth freely.  Commenters, trolls even, are welcome.)

Anyway, as new FCP articles are becoming more infrequent, it's a matter of time before the blog goes the way of the Falls Church Patch, which actually had money behind it.

I find it fun to drive by the Post site every couple of months to see where things stand.  As usual, this month we have a recruited "expert" who authors an article that's deliberately provocative (he says the fine school system adds no "premium" in real estate prices in Falls Church, and he says the financial link has never been studied, at least not to his standards).

Then the commenters pick up on this, totally ignoring whatever it was he said in his long, tendentious post.  He worked for the IMF and the Federal Reserve, so you can imagine how much fun it was to read.

Then we get what we came for:  Linda Neighborgall and Lou Mauro dropping the hositilty and rage bombs at anyone who wanders onto their turf.  Lou, in particular, is an expert at "I've-lived-here-longer-than-you!" and Linda charms us all with her repeated use of "You've-sunk-to-a-new-low!" and variations thereof.

We can do so much better in Falls Church.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nicholas F. Benton & Falls Church News-Press Silencing Critics

For a "journalist," Nick Benton has pretty thin skin.  He has marked nearly all of my comments on the Falls Church News-Press web site as spam (making them disappear) or just outright removing them.

Let me be clear that these were substantive comments that critiqued his message and politics--not ads or links to anything selling anything.

In particular, Benton hates when it is pointed out that he was once closely associated with and worked for Lyndon LaRouche.  Benton has since said that his views have changed, but in reading his editorials, his views don't seem to diverge much, as I have pointed out.

Mr. Benton obviously is not fond of that linkage being revived.  According to his paper's narrative, Mr. Benton is a self-proclaimed "gay pioneer," despite his being silent on the topic during his first 15 years here in Falls Church.  Obviously, his new aspirations as a civil rights figure clash somewhat with his inconvenient past.  Anyone who happens to have a long memory is banished from the Falls Church News-Press web pages.

See for yourself.  The "Removed" and "Marked as spam" labels are from Disqus, which both earns the FCNP money and is the means by which they moderate/censor comments:

Sadly, this is the problem in a one-newspaper town, where the owner-editor has a political agenda that claims to be inclusive but is only open to those with the same views.  {Sigh}