Braddock District Community Corner


Important Community Events and Updates in the Braddock District

NVCC Wakefield Community Forum
Supervisor Cook invites you to join him for the next NVCC Wakefield Community Forum on Thursday, May 19, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Sprague Center. Since the last meeting, there have been changes in the County parking code, and Supervisor Cook looks forward to talking with residents about how that will allow the community directly around NVCC greater flexibility in requesting an RPPD.

Other items of interest are traffic along Wakefield Chapel Road and the continued growth of NVCC. Dana Kauffman from NVCC will be attending as will the newly hired Community Relations liaison. There will be ample time for residents to ask questions of Supervisor Cook and to bring up any new issues that may affect your communities. Supervisor Cook is looking forward to this meeting and hopes that you will make time in your schedule to be there.

High School, College Graduations Will Impact Traffic
Springtime in Fairfax County means graduations. Because George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College and high schools from throughout the area use the Patriot Center facilities for graduation ceremonies, the Braddock District gets a lot of extra traffic throughout the months of May and June.

Northern Virginia Community College’s 2011 Commencement will take place on Sunday, May 15 at 2:00 p.m. and the 44th annual George Mason University Spring Commencement is Saturday, May 21, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in the Patriot Center. The Graduate School of Education Convocation will be held Saturday, May 21, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. in the Patriot Center.

You can find the high school graduations scheduled for the Patriot Center at the following link: http://communityrelations.gmu.edu/high_school_graduations.html. You can find a list of all Fairfax County high school graduations at http://www.fcps.edu/news/grad.htm. This second link is important because at the same time graduations will be taking place at the Patriot Center, ceremonies will also be taking place at Robinson Secondary School on June 16, 17 and 20. This will probably cause additional traffic headaches for those of you who live in that area, so please try to plan accordingly.

Supervisor Cook in the Community

On April 2nd, Supervisor Cook rode in the parade kicking off the Fairfax Little League season and then threw out the first pitch for the Annandale Little League. Afterwards, he participated in the grand opening ceremony for the new Olley Glen housing center on the grounds of Little River Glen.

On April 4th, Supervisor Cook attended a meeting hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority on the Monticello Park Master Plan, which was held at Bonnie Brae Elementary School. Supervisor Cook opened the meeting with some welcoming remarks and explained how his community in Kings Park went through a similar process to get a redesigned and improved local park.

On April 6th, Supervisor Cook was the featured guest at the monthly Hope Lutheran Church Senior Luncheon. Later that evening he addressed the West Springfield Civic Association at their annual meeting which was held at the West Springfield Government Center.

On April 8th, Supervisor Cook met with Denis Gulakowski, the new Burke Centre Conservancy President. That evening he attended the Kings Park Elementary School PTA annual volleyball game.

On April 11th, Supervisor Cook hosted a meeting at Braddock Hall to discuss concerns stemming from the proposed T-Mobile cell tower at the Commonwealth Swim Club.
On April 12th, Supervisor Cook attended the Southport HOA meeting here at Braddock Hall and discussed pertinent issues with the homeowners.

On April 13th, Supervisor Cook spent his lunchtime at the Eden Center in Annandale and spent time with the Vietnamese community. Later that evening he attended the Rutherford Civic Association annual meeting at Little Run Elementary School and then went to Robinson Secondary School for the monthly Braddock District Council Meeting.

On April 14th, Supervisor Cook attended the annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards at the Waterford Springfield.

On April 20th, Supervisor Cook stopped by the Kings Park Library to help honor all of the library volunteers.

On April 23rd, Supervisor Cook was honored and saddened to address the memorial service for Velma Mercer, a long time resident of Kings Park. Velma was an outstanding woman and will be deeply missed.

On April 30th, Supervisor Cook attended the Children’s Health Festival which was sponsored by the Junior League of Northern Virginia and was held in the Kings Park Giant parking lot.

Coffee Connections Coming Soon!

As part of his ongoing Community Engagement Initiative, Supervisor Cook is pleased to announce “Coffee Connections”! As you may recall, this past fall Supervisor Cook hosted a Town Hall which focused on improving connections between our neighbors with disabilities and the community at large. Starting this May, in partnership with Saxby’s coffee, Specially Adapted Resource Centers, and Fairfax County’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Disability Services Planning and Development, that connection is being strengthened through this unique program called “Coffee Connections”.

“Coffee Connections” is a social opportunity for residents with disabilities to learn about events that they can be a part of within the larger community. Our first “Coffee Connections” will host a member of the Fairfax County Park Authority who will discuss opportunities related to the upcoming Braddock Night’s concert series.

This new program will begin on June 10 in the Kings Park Library. We already have a dozen people waiting to participate. Supervisor Cook would especially like to thank Braddock District residents Donna Goldbranson and Mark O’Meara for their generous support. For more information please contact Evan Braff at 703.324.5650 or Ann Sharp at 703-425-9300.

Annandale’s Dialogues on Diversity Conclude

This winter, residents and interested citizens came together for three Department of Neighborhood and Community Services sponsored Dialogues on Diversity. Discussions focused on what diversity means to each of us, the positives, the challenges it creates and some potential solutions to those challenges.

The discussion of how diversity is defined proved enlightening. While we tend to automatically think of diversity as a cultural or language issue, it encompasses much more, including: different work experiences, not just differences in nations but differences in regions within our own county. It also encompasses age, religion, disabilities, income levels, education and even leisure interests. Some of the major challenges identified as a result of these discussions by established residents and newcomers alike are: communication barriers, both verbal and non-verbal, understanding community norms, poverty, actual and perceived lack of respect due to gender, age, religious and cultural customs. Immigrants mentioned that law enforcement, taxation and health benefits are different in their countries of origin, and shared that navigating our system of services and resources is sometimes a challenge. Perhaps weighing most heavily on everyone’s mind was the fear of not being accepted.

So how do we meet these challenges and try to find solutions? Some suggestions offered were as simple as welcoming a new individual or family to your neighborhood or providing information in multiple languages. Invitations to join the civic or community association and ensuring our children are involved in positive activities would also be welcome. Similar to what Supervisor Cook has been encouraging since taking office, there was also an emphasis on developing community activities to foster cohesion and providing leadership training for community leaders to learn how to ask questions and problem solve. 

In keeping with the desire to encourage engagement opportunities for everyone, finding ways to embrace diversity should be something towards which we all strive.

Free County Services for Caregivers

When caregiving is new or when it becomes particularly stressful, it often helps to talk to someone to sort out your options. Fairfax County offers a one-time caregiver counseling session with professional care managers over the phone or in the office.

For more information, call Fairfax County’s Aging, Disability and Caregiver Resources line at 703-324-7948, TTY 711, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The county also matches volunteers with family caregivers who could use a break. Trained volunteers provide six hours of service a month. Call 703-324-7948, TTY 711, to request a respite volunteer or e-mail Kristin.Martin@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Volunteer: Fairfax CASA Holding Information Session

Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will be holding an information session for prospective volunteer advocates on May 21. A new case of child abuse or neglect enteres the Fairfax County Domestic & Juvenile Relations Court System once every 38 hours. These children need caring advocates to help ensure they grow up in safe and permanent homes. Fairfax CASA trains volunteers to advocate for a child’s best interests in the Court.

If you seek a volunteer role with real purpose that can create real change, please attend Fairfax CASa’s upcoming information session at the City of Fairfax Regional Library on Saturday, May 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

For reservations or information, contact Elisa Kosarin at (703) 273-3526, ext. 22, ekosarin@casafairfax.org, or visit www.casafairfax.org


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