Mason District June 2019 E-Newsletter

June 2019


A few items of information for you or your association newsletter:


The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny – Welcome to summer!  Graduations, weddings, vacations, and many other family and fun activities are happening this month.  Also on the schedule are many county-related activities that can be fun -- Celebrate Fairfax, for example, -- or civic and educational, such as the police department's Citizen Advisory Committee and Community Sensory Day.  More information follows in this newsletter.

June also signals the return of the very popular free summer concert series, Spotlight by Starlight, here in Mason District.  I am particularly proud of the series which, perhaps, is the oldest continuous free concert programming in Fairfax County.  Spotlight began in the late 1980s with an occasional concert, but the series has run continuously since 1991.  On summer Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., you can attend free, live entertainment at the Newton Edwards Amphitheatre at Mason District Park, and enjoy jazz, big band, folk, rock, ethnic, and a variety of other musical performances.  And yes, the Capitol Steps are scheduled to perform on Sunday, July 21.  Bench seating is available, but many patrons bring lawn chairs to sit in the "loge" area.  A platform for handicapped patrons in wheelchairs also is available.  Dogs on leash also are permitted at the concerts.  Spotlight by Starlight concerts begin on Sunday, June 16 (Father's Day), and run through August 24.  The Saturday morning children's concerts, at 10 a.m., will begin on June 22 and conclude on August 17.

The international concert series at Ossian Hall Park, across from Annandale High School, will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, and continue each Saturday through August 17.  All seating is on the lawn, so bringing blankets or folding chairs is advised.  Concerts at both parks last about an hour and are geared for the entire family.  A complete performance schedule is available online at  I look forward to seeing you there! 

The Board of Supervisors adopted the FY 2020 county budget in early May.  The tax rate of $1.15 per $100 of assessed valuation remains unchanged, as does the stormwater fee.  The adopted budget fully funds the School Board's operating request, and provides a small salary increase for county employees.  The new budget takes effect on July 1. 

The Board of Supervisors recently adopted a new policy for the use, by public safety agencies, of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones.  The policy complies with the FAA restrictions for drone use near airports, and will be available for a variety of mission types, such as search and rescue, flooding assessment, crash reconstruction, fire incident/scene management, and hazardous materials responses.  Any other drone usage by county agencies would require approval by the Board of Supervisors.  No new staff positions will be required, and data retention is anticipated to be minimal.  

Land Use News – Land use items of interest this month feature park amenities in the Bailey's Crossroads and Annandale Central Business Districts:

  • Interim Park at Bailey's Crossroads Breaks Ground – Construction is underway at 5827 Columbia Pike (formerly the Landmark Building) for an interim park that will include a plaza with shaded seating areas and landscaping, an open grassed play area, and flexible space for event programming.  Construction is anticipated to be completed in August.  The park is made possible through a partnership between the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, and the Office of Community Revitalization.  More information can be found on the project's website or by contacting Suzie Battista, OCR Program Manager, at 703-324-9317, or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Transformation Begins for Annandale Pop-Up Park – The Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization, Fairfax County Park Authority, and community partners, will transform a part of county-owned property, located at 7200 Columbia Pike, into a community amenity space this summer.  A community Clean Up is scheduled for Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. to help get the space ready for use this summer and fall seasons.  Volunteers are needed to remove vines, leaves, and trash from the grounds and help prepare planting beds for a planting project.  Want to help?  Volunteers can sign up at:

Fairfax County Communities of Trust Committee (COTC) Featured at CAC Meeting – On Tuesday, June 4 at 7 p.m., the Fairfax County Police Department, Mason District Station, welcomes Shirley Ginwright, who will discuss how the COTC works with our community and public safety personnel at its Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting.  The Mason District Station is located at 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale.  For more information, contact the Mason District CAC by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  For information about Neighborhood Watch and other programs, contact Crime Prevention Officer Eddy Azcarate at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 703-354-5889.

Is Your Child's Car Seat Installed Correctly? – The Fairfax County Police Department will host a Child Car Seat Inspection at the Mason District Station, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, on Saturday, June 8, beginning at 9 a.m., and the last seat will be inspected at 11:30 a.m.  The seats are checked on a first come, first served basis.  Everyone who wishes to have a car seat inspected will need to come into the building to receive a number, and inspections may be limited, based on the number of inspectors available that day.  For more information, contact Detective Gary Moore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 703-256-8035. 


It's Here: 38th Annual Celebrate Fairfax! – Northern Virginia's largest community-wide celebration returns June 7 - 9, 2019 to the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax.  Bring your family and friends, and enjoy Fairfax County's largest community event with a vast array of food vendors, exhibitors, interactive activities, live concerts, carnival rides, fireworks, and more!  For festival hours, tickets, and schedules, visit the Celebrate Fairfax website at, or call 703-324-FAIR (3247).  Want to be part of the festivities?  Celebrate Fairfax welcomes enthusiastic and friendly volunteers to help out at the festival.  Volunteers are the backbone of this event, and it's a great way to meet new people.  Sign up at

Primary Elections – Tuesday, June 11, is Democratic Primary Day.  Registered voters in districts with primary elections may vote at their regular polling places from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.  There are 11 Democratic Party primary elections: Virginia Senate, 31st, 33rd, and 35th Districts; House of Delegates, 38th and 49th Delegate Districts; Commonwealth's AttorneyBoard of Supervisors Chairman, and Braddock, Hunter Mill, Lee, and Providence Supervisor Districts.  For more information about the election process, including absentee voting, visit  To access your Virginia Voter Record to update registration, apply to vote absentee, and view your voter-related information, visit

Community Sensory Day – The Fairfax County Police Department, in partnership with Neighborhood and Community Services, is hosting Community Sensory Day for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families on Saturday, June 22, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mason District Station, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale.  Enjoy refreshments, a bounce house for children, and other activities, while learning about best practices to keep your child safe.  Questions from parents about police practices and response are welcome.  For more information, contact MPO Azcarate at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or PFC Thomas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request by calling 703-324-4600; TTY 711.  

You've Got the Cure for the Summertime Hunger Blues – On Saturdays, June 1, 15, 22, and 29, help "Stuff the Bus" so that individuals and families, who continue to go hungry in our community, especially in the summer when children no longer get school meals, may have food to eat.  Local food pantries staff work tirelessly to provide for our neighbors, but they need your help to restock when shelves run low.  Stuff the Bus is a food collection partnership that provides needed support during these crucial times so that we, as a community, can continue to fight hunger in our neighborhoods.  For a list of Stuff the Bus locations, visit, and look for the Fastran bus.  Questions?  Call 703-222-9674; TTY 711, or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Spotlight by Starlight Summer Concerts Return to Mason District Park and Ossian Hall Park – Usher in the summer season with the Spotlight by Starlight concert series at Mason District Park, and cultural performances at Ossian Hall Park.  Enjoy a variety of free entertainment at Mason District Park, 6621 Columbia Pike in Annandale, on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, beginning June 16 through August 23, 2019.  Ossian Hall Park, located at 7900 Heritage Drive in Annandale, features cultural performances on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., beginning June 15 through August 17, 2019.  The 2019 Spotlight by Starlight concert schedule is available at  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.

Annandale Pop-Up Park to Host 2019 Programming Series – Stop by the pop-up park at 7200 Columbia Pike on Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and enjoy the summer season opening event: Nature Day.  This family friendly event will feature live native animals from Hidden Oaks Nature Center, gardening insights from Green Spring Gardens, golf tips and tricks by Pinecrest Golf Course, a fun scavenger hunt, and a unique bead for the day when you start your Mason District Beadin' Path at the pop-up park.  The Annandale Volunteer Fire Department also will stage one of its emergency vehicles, and provide fire safety education.  Want to attend?  Advance registration is  encouraged at  Learn more about the 2019 series, and the future vision for a permanent park/civic space by visiting the website, or by stopping by one of the pop-up events.  Need more information? Contact Laura Baker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 703-324-9300.  The 2019 Programming Series is presented by the Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization and the Fairfax County Park Authority.

The 2019 Hurricane Season Is Here! – Saturday, June 1, 2019 marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, with the peak season from mid-August to late October, and ending on November 30.  Update emergency plans, refresh supplies, and be ready when tropical storms affect our region.  The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinates preparedness, response, and recovery efforts for significant emergency events that may occur in our community.  Sign up for Fairfax Alerts at to stay informed about emergency-related activities affecting our county and region.  Questions may be answered by OEM staff by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by calling 571-350-1000.  The National Hurricane Center (NHC) provides information during active storms, including their potential paths, online at  The National Weather Service offers hurricane safety tips and resources, and can be accessed online at

Save the Date: All You Can Eat Crab Leg and Shrimp Feast! – The Annandale (Station 8) and Bailey's Crossroads (Station 10) Volunteer Fire Departments are hosting an "All You Can Eat Crab Leg and Shrimp Feast" on Saturday, July 27, 2 - 5 p.m. at the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department Station, 7128 Columbia Pike in Annandale.  For more information, call 703-941-1328, or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Mixed Medium Artwork Featured at Mason District Governmental Center A mix of mediums ranging from watercolor, oil, and acrylic paintings to collage, pastel, and encaustic works will be on display at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale.  Artists exhibiting their work are: Cynthia Schoeppel, Lydia Jechorek, Elaine Sevy, Erika Ridgeway, Relene Schuster, Karen Flann, Traci Oberle, Jan Ponder, and Margaret Reynolds, who are members of the Springfield Art Guild (SAG).  SAG is a non-profit group founded in 1969 and serves the community's interest in fine arts, fine crafts, and photography.  SAG sponsors educational programs, art exhibits, juried shows, classes for adults and children, art scholarships for high school or college students and local art events.  For more information, logon to:  The artwork is on display in the lobby through June 30, 2019.

Mason Matters! The Television Show – We usually hear about invasive animals that have made their way into our regions, but plants also can be introduced and cause substantial havoc.  One example of a common invasive plant in Fairfax County is bamboo.  Bamboo is versatile; one popular use is in landscaping, as a privacy hedge.  However, bamboo can take over yards quickly, causing destruction to the natural environment, plant species, and adjacent properties.  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 Jack Weyant, Director of Fairfax County's Department of Code Compliance, and Erin Stockschlaeder, Invasive Management Area (IMA) Program Coordinator for Fairfax County's Park Authority.  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

The Quick 411 – My family is planning outdoor activities this summer, and I saw a snake the other day, which made me wonder, does Fairfax County have information available about snakes in our region?  Yes.  With summer quickly approaching, many residents will be spending more time outdoors.  As temperatures continue to rise, the warm weather also will encourage snakes to become more active and increase opportunities for people and their pets to encounter these secretive reptiles. Fairfax County is home to an array of snake species, most of which are non-venomous and pose no threat to people.  Snakes are beneficial and provide a valuable service in our communities in the way of pest control.  For more information, visit Fairfax County's Guide to Snakes at

Mason district July 2019 newsletter
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