The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny – June is here already! Congratulations to all of our high school and college graduates who will be embarking on the next phase of their lives. School may conclude, but learning never ends, and there are many opportunities locally to continue learning – at our public libraries, the Lifetime Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College (http://lli.nova.org), and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University (http://olli.gmu.edu). Some of these opportunities are free; others have a small membership cost, but all help keep the brain vital and engaged, now and long into the future. Summertime is great season to begin.
The ever-popular, and free, summer concert series, Spotlight by Starlight, begins on Saturday, June 16 at Ossian Hall Park in Annandale, and Sunday, June 17 at Mason District Park on Columbia Pike. There is more information in this newsletter, but I want to invite you personally to join your neighbors and friends for delightful evenings in the parks. Admission is free, parking is free, bring a picnic dinner to dine under the stars, and just enjoy. Mason District Park has bench seating; you can bring a blanket for the lawn at Ossian Hall, and both parks have plenty of room for lawn chairs. See you at the concerts!
School may have concluded, but land use never stops. Here's a brief rundown about recent land use applications in Mason District: The Graham Park Plaza application to add mixed use (retail and apartments) at the western end of the center was approved by the Board of Supervisors in April. A Plan Amendment and Rezoning application, RZ 2017-MA-016, to permit expansion of the Oakwood School on Braddock Road was approved by the Board on May 1. The Shirley Investors application, SE 2017-MA-032, to permit Arlington County to build a bus maintenance garage in the Shirley Industrial Park, will be heard by the board of Supervisors on Tuesday, June 5, at 4 p.m. The Vulcan application, RZ 2017-MA-013 and SE 2017-MA-009, is scheduled to be heard by the Board on Tuesday, July 10 at 4:30 p.m. The applicant, at my request, has severed the asphalt plant proposal from their application, and the asphalt plant is no longer under consideration. Northpoint Realty Partners has filed an SE/PCA application to build a self-storage facility at 6375 Bren Mar Drive in Alexandria, and that application will be heard by the Planning Commission on Thursday, July 19. A public hearing before the Board of Supervisors has not been scheduled yet.
Finally, Happy Father's Day! According to some sources, the first official presidential proclamation, designating Father's Day in the United States as the third Sunday in June, was issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. Honor Dad by taking him to the opening concert at Mason District Park on Father's Day, June 17!
Short-Term Lodging – The Planning Commission has deferred its recommendation for the proposed Short-Term Lodging Ordinance to Thursday, June 14. The public hearing before the Board of Supervisors is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19 at 4 p.m., but that date is subject to change.
Are Your Prepared for the 2018 Hurricane Season? – Friday, June 1, 2018 is the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, with the peak season from mid-August to late October, ending on November 30. Now is the time to update emergency plans, refresh supplies, and be ready when tropical storms affect our region. The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management coordinates preparedness, response, and recovery efforts for significant emergency events that may occur in our community. Sign up for Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts to stay informed about emergency-related activities affecting our county and region. Questions may be answered by OEM staff by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 571-350-1000. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) provides information during active storms, including their potential paths, online at www.nhc.noaa.gov. The National Weather Service offers hurricane safety tips and resources, and can be accessed online at www.weather.gov/safety/hurricane.
Modular Mini Roundabout on Ravensworth Road at Jayhawk Street Nears Completion – The modular mini roundabout being constructed on Ravensworth Road at Jayhawk Street is nearing completion and will be ready for use in June. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), identified the intersection as a candidate for the pilot project because it met thresholds for a traffic signal. The roundabout will provide improved safety for pedestrians, and operational improvements to move more vehicles through the intersection with fewer delays. For more information about this project and mini roundabouts, visit VDOT's website at www.virginiadot.org/projects/northernvirginia/ravensworth_roundabout.asp, or call 703-259-2413.
Fairfax County to Host "Demonstration Park" in Annandale on Sunday, June 3, and Launch Online Survey – The Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization (OCR) and the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) are seeking community insight about the vision for a new, innovative community gathering space in downtown Annandale. Fairfax County is interested in repurposing a portion of the parking lot on property that it owns at 7200 Columbia Pike to create a compact and flexible dedicated park/civic space that also can also be expanded for intermittent or "pop-up" programming and special events during weekends and evenings. Communities across the country are exploring the placemaking power of such projects to bring people together and contribute to the vibrancy of an area.
As part of the initiative, Fairfax County and its community partners will host a temporary "demonstration park" on Sunday, June 3, 2018, from 12 - 4 p.m. at the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department (7128 Columbia Pike), located adjacent to the site of the proposed park. Residents are invited to experience the "demonstration park," and share their ideas about the design, and suggest potential programs for the future proposed space. Visitor parking will be available on the site.
After the June 3 event, an online survey will be available for residents to provide their comments and ideas for the proposed park/civic space. For more information about the initiative, including a link to the online survey, visit www.fcrevit.org/annandale. The online survey will close June 30. Questions may be sent by e-mail to Laura Baker at Laura.Baker@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-324-9300.
37th Annual Celebrate Fairfax! – Northern Virginia's largest community-wide celebration will return to the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax, June 8 - 10, 2018. Bring your family and friends to enjoy a fun filled experience with more than 300 food vendors, exhibitors, and interactive activities, plus live concerts, carnival rides, a petting zoo, a Karaoke Championship, nightly fireworks, and more! To get tickets, additional information, and schedules, visit http://celebratefairfax.com/, or call 703-324-3247; TTY 711.
NVSWCD Hosts the 2018 Sustainable Garden Tour – Get inspired to create a sustainable landscape at your home, school, business, or place of worship. The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District (NVSWCD), in collaboration with local residents, will host a Sustainable Garden Tour on Sunday, June 10, 2018, from 1 - 5 p.m. Residents in the Fairfax-Falls Church-Annandale areas will share their experiences landscaping with watersheds and natural resources, while keeping sustainability in mind! The tour will feature rain gardens, edible landscaping, native plant landscaping, rain barrels, wildlife sanctuaries, water features, composting, and more. Enjoy each garden at your own pace. Admission is Free! Invite a friend. For site descriptions, directions, and more information, visit the Sustainable Garden Tour page at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/soil-water-conservation/sustainable-garden-tour, send an e-mail to Maria.Harwood@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-324-1420; TTY 711.
Don't be a Statistic: "Orange Cones. No Phones." – Transurban, the company building the I-395 Express Lanes, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Virginia State Police, and AAA Mid-Atlantic, launched their 2018 "Orange Cones. No Phones." campaign to reduce distracted driving within the I-395 Express Lanes work zone. A survey of more than 1,000 Washington, D.C. area drivers traveling along the I-395 corridor self-report engaging in a number of distractions while behind the wheel. According to the survey, nine in 10 drivers use a cell phone while driving, and it also revealed that distracted behavior can be changed. Seven out of 10 drivers say they stop cell phone use while driving after seeing a sign advising them to do so, and seeing a police officer causes 78 percent of drivers to stop cell phone use while driving. To learn more about the survey results, visit www.orangeconesnophones.com. Information about the I-395 Express Lanes project is available at www.395expresslanes.com, on Twitter at @VAExpressLanes, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/395ExpressLanes.
Virginia Primary Elections – Virginia will hold its Primary Elections on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sample ballots, candidate information, voter registration, and information about absentee voting are available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections. Voter registration for the primary has closed. For more information, call the Office of Elections at 703-222-0776; TTY 711, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Spotlight by Starlight Summer Concerts Begin Mid-June at Mason District Park and Ossian Hall Park – Enjoy a variety of free entertainment at Mason District Park, 6621 Columbia Pike in Annandale, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, beginning June 17 through August 24, 2018. Children's concerts are on Saturdays at 10 a.m. The concert season begins on June 16 through August 18 at Ossian Hall Park, located at 7900 Heritage Drive in Annandale, where cultural performances are featured on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. For a complete summer concert schedule, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/performances/spotlight-by-starlight. Note: Concerts are cancelled in the event of inclement weather. Call 703-324-SHOW (7469) one hour prior to the performance for weather-related updates.
FROGS Celebrate 25th Anniversary with a Concert in the Garden – On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, from 6 - 8 p.m., enjoy a live musical concert in the gardens of Green Spring Gardens Park, celebrating the Friends of Green Spring (FROGS) 25th Anniversary. Bring a picnic or enjoy dinner from a food truck, while listening to music on the lawn. The FROGS Board will lead fun activities for the kids beginning at 5 p.m., and will serve complimentary cake and lemonade during the concert. Admission is free. Green Spring Gardens is located at 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria. For more information about this and other upcoming events, call 703-642-5173, or visit the website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring.
Mason Matters! The Television Show – The Arts are an integral component of human societies and cultures, and play an enormous role in who we are, and provide an avenue to explore what we enjoy. In Fairfax County, we celebrate the Arts - so much so, that we have a designated local arts agency - ArtsFairfax. Since its founding in 1964, ArtsFairfax, formerly known as the Arts Council of Fairfax County, has entertained, inspired, and incorporated the Arts into our lives. ArtsFairfax provides residents with a wonderful array of programs, activities, and policies that allow individuals to connect themselves with the world of the Arts. There is much to explore and there is no better time than now to do so! The June edition of Mason Matters!, the television show that brings you news and information about our Mason District community, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features Linda Sullivan, president and CEO of ArtsFairfax, and Jo Hodgin, chairman of the Grants Committee of ArtsFairfax. Mason Matters! airs on Cable Channel 16 every Thursday at 7 p.m., and every Friday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m., and daily on-line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason.
Mason News and Updates – To receive news and updates about Fairfax County services and events in Mason District, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe. If you wish to unsubscribe, send an e-mail and include unsubscribe in the subject line to remove your e-mail address from the subscription list.
The Quick 411 – I am looking for educational events to keep me and my family busy this summer. Does the library have any upcoming events? Yes. The library presents and hosts events about a range of topics of interest to our Fairfax County community that educate and entertain, while connecting people with others who share common interests and goals. Library events include author talks, book clubs for all ages, English conversation groups, technology workshops, writers' groups, preschool story times, STEM-related children's activities and much more. Many of these events occur outside library branches at venues, such as schools, parks, theater spaces and senior centers. Library events are always free to the public; some require registration in advance. The Library's monthly calendar Free Events is available online (https://issuu.com/fairfaxcountypubliclibrary) and you can find the printed version at your local branch. For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/events, or visit your local library branch.