The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny – Autumn is upon us, a bit wetter so far this year. Fallen acorns seem to abound, providing a winter stash of food for squirrels and other wildlife, but also potentially treacherous underfoot for pedestrians. As daylight shortens during this time of year, it's not just acorns that pose problems. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has repaved many roads in Mason District this season, but rainy weather has prevented repainting of some lane markers and other safety features. Please be very careful when traversing unmarked areas. Eight pedestrians have been killed in Fairfax County so far this year, including two in Mason District. Using the crosswalk saves lives. Wearing light-colored clothing as a pedestrian at night saves lives. Slowing down saves lives. Let's not lose anyone else to another traffic accident.
The excessive rain also resulted in massive overgrowth of vegetation on VDOT medians, but also on private properties that abut walkways and intersections. That overgrowth can create sight distance issues for drivers, and prevent access to the walkway, forcing pedestrians to walk on the street. Homeowners are asked to check their properties, and trim back any offending bushes, shrubs, and low-hanging or protruding tree branches.
Election Day for Congressional seats is Tuesday, November 6, and there is information in this newsletter about registration deadlines and in-person absentee voting at the Mason District Governmental Center and other satellite locations. Voting is a basic right, and responsibility, of citizenship, protected and defended for more than two centuries. Please be sure to vote!
"Demonstration Park" Featured at Taste of Annandale; Complete Online Survey – The Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization and the Fairfax County Park Authority are seeking public comment about the vision for a new, innovative civic gathering space in downtown Annandale. As part of the initiative, a "Demonstration Park" in the parking lot of 7200 Columbia Pike (ACCA Child Development Center) will be featured at the Taste of Annandale on Saturday, October 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors are invited to experience a variety of family friendly activities, win prizes, see draft design concepts for the park/civic space, and share insight about the proposal. Residents may comment on an online survey from October 13 to November 13, 2018. To learn more about the proposal and to access the survey, visit http://www.fcrevite.org/annandale/parkcivicspace.html. Need more information? Contact Laura Baker at Laura.Baker@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-324-9300.
Hurricane Season Ends November: Stay Prepared – The Atlantic hurricane season continues through November 30, 2018. Ensure that emergency plans, supplies for your family and pets are current, and be ready if a tropical storm affects our region. The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management is responsible for coordinating preparedness, response, and recovery efforts for significant emergency events that may occur in our community. For information, and to sign up for Fairfax Alerts, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergencymanagement/, or call 571-350-1000.
Fairfax County Tailors Website for Older Adults – Fairfax County has reconfigured its website to make it easier for older adults to locate services. Access the new Department of Family Services Older Adults new website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/olderadults, or search "older adults" from the county's home page. Information about services for older adults also can be accessed by e-mail at FairfaxAAA@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-324-7948; TTY 711.
Is Your Voter Registration Current? – If you have had a change in name or address, you may update your voter registration at the Virginia Department of Elections website: https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation. You are eligible to register to vote if you are: a citizen of the United States; at least 18 years of age by the next general election; and a resident of Virginia. To vote in the November 6, 2018 General Election, you must be registered by the October 15 deadline. Registration is available online at the Virginia Department of Elections website or in-person at the Fairfax County Office of Elections. Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Thursday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Please note that office hours are extended for statutory deadlines. Additional information about voter registration is available at the Fairfax County Office of Elections website: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/voter-registration.
Note Absentee Voting Deadlines for the November 6, 2018 General Election – Mark your calendars with the deadlines for the upcoming General Election on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
- October 30: Deadline to apply to receive an Absentee Ballot by mail, 5 p.m.
- November 3: Deadline for In-Person Absentee Voting, 5 p.m.
- November 6: Absentee Ballot return deadline, 7 p.m.
In-person absentee voting at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, will be available beginning Saturday, October 13 through Saturday, November 3, 2018. Voting times on Saturdays are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. No voting on Sundays, or on Monday, October 8 in observance of Columbus Day. Dates and times for in-person absentee voting and additional information is available from the Office of Elections at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/absentee.
Election Officers Needed – Residents interested in becoming election officers may submit their application online at www.vote4fairfax.com/apply. For residents who already have applied, the Office of Elections will be issuing additional paperwork at its office, located at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323 in Fairfax, Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Election Officers must be registered voters in Virginia and complete required training and forms. Additional information is available at the Office of Elections website www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/election-officers/working, call 703-324-4735; TTY 711, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Dispose of Unused and Expired Medications – On Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., the Fairfax County Police Department, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Control Division, will accept unused and expired medications for proper disposal. Stations serving Mason District include: Mason District Station, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale; Franconia District Station, 6121 Franconia Road in Alexandria; and West Springfield District Station, 6140 Rolling Road in Springfield. Only prescriptions in liquid or pill form may be dropped off. No needles or pressurized canisters will be accepted. Disposal is free, safe, convenient, and confidential. Information about year-round proper disposal of medications is available on-line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/drug-disposal, or by calling the Health Department at 703-246-2411; TTY 711.
Participate in the Annandale Fall Festival Parade! – The Annandale Chamber of Commerce will host the 68th Annual Annandale Fall Festival Parade on Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. For more information, and participant online registration, visit www.annandalechamber.com.
Support the Annandale and Bailey's Crossroads Volunteer Fire Departments – Enjoy an all-you-can-eat crab legs and spiced shrimp feast, while watching football on Sunday, October 28, 2018, 2 - 5 p.m. at the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department, 7128 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Not a seafood eater? Enjoy pulled pork sandwiches while they last. Soft drinks, libations (must be 21 years or older to purchase/consume), and assorted desserts will be available for purchase. Proceeds assist the Annandale and Bailey's Crossroads Volunteer Fire Departments with ongoing apparatus and station costs. Visit www.avfd.org, or www.bxrvfd.org, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Annandale and Bailey's Crossroads Volunteer Fire Departments are non-profit 501c (3) organizations, all donations are tax deductible, and may be mailed to: AVFD, P.O. Box 806, Annandale, VA 22003; and to the Bailey's Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 1159, Falls Church, VA 22041-3609.
Columbia Pike Pedestrian and Bicycle Study Completed – Fairfax County completed a comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle transportation study of Columbia Pike, from Little River Turnpike in Annandale to the Arlington County border in Bailey's Crossroads, to assess existing conditions and propose near-term and long-term improvements for connectivity and quality of bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and improved roadway crossings. The study was sponsored by the Metropolitan Council of Governments on behalf of Fairfax County through the Transportation-Land Use Connections Program, in coordination with the Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization. Information about the study and the final report are available online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation/study/columbia-pike, or contact Nicole Wynands at 703-877-5625.
Farmer's Market Continues this Fall at Mason District Park – The Farmer's Market, hosted by the Fairfax County Park Authority countywide, continues this fall in Annandale every Thursday morning until November 1, 2018, from 8 a.m. until 12 noon at Mason District Park, 6621 Columbia Pike. For a complete county-wide schedule, and other information about the Farmer's Markets visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/farmersmarkets, or call 703-642-0128; TTY 711.
Support for Local Businesses' Hazardous Waste Management – Many businesses generate small quantities of hazardous waste, which are subject to strict rules regarding disposal. Fairfax County provides a safe, legal, and affordable way to properly dispose of hazardous materials. Previously known as the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator program (CESQG), this program was renamed the Very Small Quantity Generator program, or VSQG. Fairfax County's Solid Waste Management Program will host its next VSQG hazardous waste disposal event, for qualifying Fairfax County businesses, on Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Details about sign-up, participation, proper storage, and disposal of hazardous waste is available at the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services website, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/publicworks/recycling-trash/very-small-quantity-generators, or call Daniel Brooks at 703-342-6361. Enrollment in VSQG is free, and the program may be used as needed with only a small fee for the hazardous waste being disposed.
Oil Paintings and Pencil Drawings Featured at Mason District Governmental Center – The Art featured in the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, is a collection of oil paintings by Loft Gallery artist and Springfield Art Guild member Lydia Jechorek. Lydia's subject matter is eclectic, with people looking at art in museums, city streets, and old cars she discovered abandoned on the sides of roads. Also on display are portrait drawings by students in an Inmate Re-entry Program at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Under the volunteer instruction of Kelli Schollard-Sincock, students worked from provided photographs, and used a step-by-step pencil drawing process with a gridding system to teach the basics of observation and interpretation. The artwork is on display in the lobby until Tuesday, October 31, 2018.
Mason Matters! The Television Show – Bullying can have lasting effects on victims of any age, and it's not just a school issue. In recent years, efforts have increased to put more effective plans in place at schools and workplaces to help prevent bullying, and intervene, should an incident occur. However, even with help in place, bullying still can happen, and these days, it is not just verbal or physical. The October edition of Mason Matters!, the television show that brings you news and information about our Mason District community, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features Ailsa Burnett, director of Juvenile Intake Services at the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, and MaryAnn Panarelli, director of Intervention and Prevention Services, Special Services, at the Fairfax County Public Schools. 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.
The Quick 411 – I viewed some helpful information from a Fairfax County social media post and I would like to locate it again. Is there a place where I can search for it? Yes. Fairfax County has a social media hub, where you can access the latest official content and listing of accounts. You also can search the County's archive of all official social media posts from the last 10 years. Access the hub and archive at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/social-hub/.