Written by John

Crossing Guard Appreciation Day Feb. 8

February 10, 2017
If you have lived in Fairfax County for any amount of time, you are surely familiar with the traffic situation here. Congested roads and long travel times lead to frustrated and fatigued motorists, who may not always yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk. In the morning and afternoon, the situation is compounded by school children going to and from school. To help keep us all safe, and keep traffic moving in an orderly fashion, the County hires crossing guards to assist students and pedestrians in crossing the street at appropriate intersections. (Read Full Story)

Summer is a Great Time to Encourage Reading

August 13, 2015

For many of us summer vacation provides a time for our families to enjoy time off from the school year grind, and allows children to participate in fun outdoor activities. However, during summer break, some children fall behind in their academic achievements, which can lead to steps backward in a child’s education. This is especially true when it comes to reading. (Read Full Story)

July is Parks and Recreation Month in Fairfax

July 8, 2015

Most people have fond, nostalgic memories of visits to the park. Perhaps celebrating family picnics and reunions, playing little league baseball games, enjoying quiet evenings in nature or even fishing and hiking with friends and family. The positive role that public parks have played in so many of our lives is undeniable. That is why the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has designated July as Parks and Recreation Month. (Read Full Story)

A Heartfelt Thanks to our Greatest Generation

June 9, 2015

This summer marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, a time in which 16 million Americans bravely served from the beaches of Normandy to the islands of Okinawa. These were sons and daughters, fathers and mothers who put their lives on hold and answered the call to fight to defend the ideals of America. Sadly, over 416,000 of these brave Americans made the ultimate sacrifice, and laid down their lives in service to our country. (Read Full Story)

Farmers Markets Revisited

May 6, 2015

Enjoying the beautiful Northern Virginia weather isn’t the only perk of our post-winter weather thaw. From May until November, we also have an opportunity to enjoy the area’s agriculture and support our local farmers by attending Fairfax County’s farmers markets. In doing so, we can also support the local economy and the environment.  (Read Full Story)

Child abuse has countless victims

April 21, 2015

It’s easier to imagine that child abuse happens elsewhere and because of that, we often fail to acknowledge its existence in our own community. Almost every day, abused and neglected children are being placed under court protection right here in Fairfax County. In many of these cases, the emotional trauma remains with these children long after the physical scars of abuse have healed. While the abused child is the primary victim, child abuse has repercussions across the entire community. Fairfax County leaders and organizations are going to great lengths to protect children who have been victims of abuse and neglect, and to prevent it from happening in the future.  (Read Full Story)

Register to Be an Organ Donor

April 8, 2015

More than 123,000 people across the country are in need of an organ transplant, and more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day. Every ten minutes someone is added to the organ donor waiting list. Every two seconds someone is in need of blood. In the time it will take to read this, another person will be added to the waiting list and another 300 will be in need of blood.  (Read Full Story)

The World Comes to Fairfax

March 13, 2015

From June 26 to July 5, Fairfax County will host the 16th World Police & Fire Games. This international event—one of the largest of its kind—will attract between 15,000 to 30,000 visitors from all over the world, and will feature over 12,000 police officers, firefighters, customs, and correction officers competing in over 65 different sporting events.  (Read Full Story)

Fairfax County must stand up for its Veterans

January 30, 2015

More than 85,000 veterans call Fairfax County home – one of the largest veteran communities in the nation – and it is a population that is expected to continue to grow. After multiple deployments, injuries, and trouble finding work, our returning heroes are facing difficulties few of us can fully understand.  (Read Full Story)

Changing Society’s Perception of Sexual Assault

December 12, 2014

Recently, headlines across the country involved another sexual assault tragedy. This time at the University of Virginia. While a great deal of controversy surrounds this latest story, it is important to not lose sight of the fact that stories of sexual assault are filling our newspapers all too regularly. As we continue to read reports of these acts nearly every day, many of us seem to fall into the trap of believing that sexual assault only happens to somebody else and that it is only committed by people we don’t know. But the statistics say otherwise.  (Read Full Story)

Program Aids Vulnerable Residents During Cold Winter Months

December 2, 2014

Operating from November through March, Fairfax County’s Hypothermia Prevention Program is dedicated to keeping the most vulnerable in our community safe during the harsh winter months. However, without the essential support of nonprofit and faith-based community partners, the program would not be the success that it is.  (Read Full Story)

Commentary: Resources and Support for the Caregiver

November 14, 2014

If you have ever been in the position of providing ongoing, long-term care for a loved one, you are very familiar with the sacrifices involved. You should also know that you are not alone. Whether it is a result of illness, disability, or injury, 39 percent of all adult Americans are caring for an older loved one – an increase from 30 percent in 2010.  (Read Full Story)

September is Suicide Prevention & Awareness Month

September 17, 2014

The numbers are staggering. In the United States, one person dies by suicide every 18 minutes. It is estimated that 5 million people in the United States have lost a loved one to suicide in the past 25 years. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of all deaths in the United States, and mental health problems will strike one in five adults each year. In Fairfax County alone last year, there were over 110 suicides. As overwhelming as the problem may feel, we can all take small steps to help those struggling and help them find hope.  (Read Full Story)

To Fairfax County Graduates – Do Not Lose Sight of Community

June 11, 2014

To the graduates of Fairfax County Public Schools: This month you will don caps and gowns to mark the end of your high school career. Your accomplishment is the product of hard work, perseverance, and the support of many. While you are reflecting on your accomplishments, consider how you will begin your new chapter. As you set off into the world, I ask you not to lose sight of your community and to seize the opportunity to be an active, engaged citizen.  (Read Full Story)

You and I Should Lead in Mental Health Response

May 22, 2014

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Unfortunately, we as a community and as a Commonwealth have not prioritized and advocated for mental health outreach and service solutions. The heartbreaking suicides by local high school students, the well-publicized suicide of Senator Creigh Deeds’s son after help could not be found, and the disproportionate numbers of our veterans struggling with mental health challenges all highlight the critical need to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and address the difficulty in finding treatment.  (Read Full Story)

A new Potomac River crossing: A smart choice for the region’s future

May 21, 2014

As Northern Virginia prepares for summer driving season, local businesses and residents are benefiting from the General Assembly’s bipartisan passage of last year’s landmark transportation reform and funding legislation. With long overdue financial resources now flowing to Northern Virginia transportation projects, Fairfax County and the region must determine how to most effectively improve our infrastructure. It is time to look again at a new Potomac River crossing which could be a bright spot in bringing much needed traffic relief to Northern Virginia and the entire Washington, D.C. region.  (Read Full Story)

Raising Awareness, Money to Stop Domestic Violence

October 9, 2013

A woman battered and bruised by her abusive husband leaves one night to escape. Unable to find a safe place to stay, she is forced to go back, time and time again. Across town another woman flees with her children. Not knowing where to go, they sleep in the woods despite freezing temperatures. In a third house, a child pulls the blankets over her head, trying to drown out the sound of yelling and punching down the hall. It’s a sad American truth that one in three women murdered are killed by an intimate partner. In Fairfax County 57 percent of homicides in the last year were domestic violence related.  (Read Full Story)

See You on the Train

November 14, 2013

Fairfax County’s vibrant economy keeps unemployment and taxes low, while allowing us to provide world class services for our residents. But, as we are all too aware, with growth comes serious traffic congestion, which diminishes our quality of life and could impair our economic future.  Help is coming as new transportation money from the State will help us repair and improve our roads. In addition we are building a more robust transit network.  (Read Full Story)

Time to Up the Ante on Domestic Violence

October 16, 2013

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Fairfax County and across the country. That declaration may generate a number of responses — ho hum, another “something month;” “well, that doesn’t happen here;” “that doesn’t happen in my circles;” or “bad things happen, I have other things to worry about.” Let me suggest a better response — it does happen here, it does happen within your socio-economic group, it affects society as a whole, and you should care.  (Read Full Story)

Paying More for Less: Poorer Taxpayers are Hit the Hardest

April 3, 2013

When it was first presented to the board, I described the county executive’s proposed FY 2014 budget as asking taxpayers to pay more for the same services, and asking county employees to work harder for the same pay. It’s clear that county taxpayers are hurt by this budget. The average home assessment increased by 3 percent, and I know many in Braddock saw higher increases than that. The county executive also added 2 cents to the rate. That is bad enough, but making matters worse, poorer taxpayers are hit the hardest.  (Read Full Story)

Addressing the Shortfall

July 11, 2012

The County is currently developing proposals to address the over $9 million shortfall in the budget for the Community Services Board (CSB). The CSB serves our neighbors with the greatest needs: those with physical, intellectual, or developmental disabilities and those with significant substance abuse and mental health challenges.  (Read Full Story)

Community Engagement Includes Philanthropy

June 14, 2012

Corporate and individual philanthropy are critical elements of engaged communities. Carnegie, Mellon, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, and more recently, Gates, are names not only reflecting the achievement of the American dream, they are permanently ensconced in history through universities, entertainment centers, art museums, concert halls, and programs for the less fortunate which bear their names. Many other charities and initiatives that help solve problems such as workforce development, environmental sustainability, education and human services are sustained by businesses small and large, as well as our citizens.  (Read Full Story)

Building Confidence in Ourselves

May 16, 2012

We face a myriad of challenges today, but perhaps no challenge is greater than overcoming a pervading loss of confidence. At an international, national and state level, voters appear unsure what course of action will best lead their governments back to a level of prosperity. An unprecedented number of individuals find themselves without a way to provide for their families. Deep divides in philosophy about the role of government preclude even a discussion on issues of great national import. Economists tell us our economy cannot grow because companies and investors do not have “confidence.” They are sitting on the sidelines with their money, waiting for more certain economic conditions that may never arrive.  (Read Full Story)

It’s Time for Local Control of Local Roads

March 9, 2011

Our neighborhood streets are peppered with potholes and crumbing curbs and sidewalks. Median and roadside grass is left uncut, creating dangerous intersections and unkempt roadways that reduce property values. Snow plowing is a challenge. A recent study from the Texas Transportation Institute pegs the yearly delay per commuter in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region — including Northern Virginia — at 70 hours, meaning we spend nearly two workweeks sitting in congestion.  (Read Full Story)