A few items of information for you or your association newsletter:
The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny – Springtime...forsythia and daffodils...warmer temperatures...longer days...budget! April has all of that, and more. Public hearings about the proposed FY 2020 county budget will begin at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, and continue at 1 p.m. on April 10 and 11. The hearings will be held in the Board Auditorium of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. You can sign up to speak at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bosclerk/speakers-form, or you can watch the hearings live on Channel 16. The Board of Supervisors will mark up the budget on April 30, with adoption of the revised budget scheduled for May 7.
Warmer weather also heralds the beginning of planting season and yard work. One caution: as you plan your outdoor landscape, please remember to use lawn and garden fertilizer sparingly, if at all. Read the label. More is not better; excess fertilizer that is not absorbed runs off into streams and local waterways, creating conditions for algae blooms and other environmental challenges.
The next Solarize Fairfax County program begins on April 16 and extends until June 14. During the campaign, homeowners and businesses can sign up for a free, no-obligation solar site assessment. Participants who decide to install solar panels can benefit from discounted prices, vetted installers, financing options, a federal tax credit, and Fairfax County's solar initiatives. For the first time, electric vehicle charging stations are included in the program. To sign up, or learn more about the Solarize Fairfax County program, and community meeting information, log on to www.solarizefairfaxcounty.org.
If you like free things, here's an opportunity. Energy Action Fairfax and the Fairfax County Public Library are partnering again this year to offer free LED lightbulbs, up to five for each household. The first LED is complimentary, but residents can exchange old incandescent or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs for additional LEDs. Bring in four bulbs and take home five! The exchange program begins in early April at selected libraries, but the closest exchange in Mason District will be at the George Mason Regional Library, 7001 Little River Turnpike in Annandale, on Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. until noon. Last year, 8000 LEDs were distributed to about 1600 people. Save money (LEDs consume less energy) and save the planet (last year's savings were equivalent to keeping 280,000 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere). You can save $75 a year by replacing your five most frequently used bulbs with LEDs.
Just in time for Spring, the Board of Supervisors adopted a new C-PACE ordinance: Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program. C-PACE provides incentives to business owners for upgrading their buildings to become greener and more energy efficient, using third party financing, not county tax dollars. The program will be ready for implementation soon.
April also has observances for nearly every major faith community in Mason District and Fairfax County. However you worship, may it be with peace, respect, and understanding.
Land Use News – Land use items of interest this month feature bike lanes/road paving, and sidewalk connectivity projects:
- Road Paving and Bike Lanes – FCDOT will host a public information meeting about bike lanes in coordination with VDOT's 2019 Road Paving Program on Monday, April 1, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at Belvedere Elementary School, 6540 Columbia Pike in Falls Church. The formal presentation begins at 6:45 p.m. Dedicated webpages with project information for each magisterial district are posted online. Residents are urged to comment at the community meeting, or through online forms available at the Fairfax County 2019 Paving and Restriping Program webpage at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation/2019-paving-and-restriping.
- Peace Valley Lane Walkway Project Information Meeting – The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is hosting a Public Information Meeting on Monday, April 8, 2019, from 7-9 p.m. at Justice High School, 3301 Peace Valley Lane in Falls Church. The Open House format will consist of project display boards, and a brief presentation at 7:15 p.m. The project entails construction of a concrete 5 ft. wide sidewalk with utility strip that is approximately, 900 ft. long, on the south side of Peace Valley Lane. The sidewalk would connect to the existing sidewalk at the cul-de-sac, and the existing crosswalk approximately 150 ft. east of the entrance of Justice High School.
Seasonal Opening of Green Spring's Garden Gate Plant Shop – Celebrate Spring with the opening of the Garden Gate Plant Shop on Saturday, April 6, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Choose from the latest selection of plants: shrubs, native plants, wildflowers, ornamental grasses and unusual perennials and annuals. Friends of Green Spring (FROGS) receive 10 percent off in the Garden Gate Plant Shop. The Green Spring Master Gardeners will be available to answer gardening questions. Plant shopping, free gardening information– what a great way to spend a Saturday morning! Green Spring Gardens Park is located at 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria. For more information, visit the website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/green-spring, or call 703-642-5173; TTY 711.
Tax Preparation Concludes Mid-April in Mason District – AARP volunteers are providing free tax assistance through Monday, April 15, 2019 (federal tax returns), at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. File Virginia taxes before the deadline on Wednesday, May 1. AARP volunteers provide walk-in service on Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. All returns are filed electronically. Bring documents, such as last year's tax return, a photo ID, and all Social Security cards. Residents with illnesses or infirmities, which confine them to their homes, may schedule appointments with AARP for tax preparation services by calling 571-766-6268. For information about AARP Tax-Aide, visit www.aarp.org/taxaide, or call 1-888-227-7669.
Fairfax Area Commission on Aging – Join the Fairfax Area Commission on Aging at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 17, from 1-3 p.m. at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. The featured speaker is Bonnie O'Leary from the Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons. The Commission advocates for the needs of older adults and taps their potential to enrich our community. Information about the Commission's work is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/familyservices/older-adults/fairfax-area-commission-on-aging, or contact Jacquie Woodruff at 703-324-5403.
Celebrate Culmore Multicultural Day 2019 – Enjoy live music, dancing, tasty cuisine, and more, at Culmore Multicultural Day "Healthy Environment, Healthy Community" on Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Library, 6101 Knollwood Drive in Falls Church. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/culmore-day, or call the Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8514; TTY 711.
Save the Dates: George Mason Regional Library Semi-Annual Book Sale – The Friends of the George Mason Regional Library will co-host the popular, semi-annual book sale on Thursday, April 25, 3 - 9 p.m.; Friday, April 26, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday, April 28, 12 - 5 p.m. Thousands of books, movies, and music CDs are featured. The book sale will be at the library, 7001 Little River Turnpike in Annandale. For more information, call 703-813-6616 or visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/branches/george-mason-regional.
Time for Medicine Cabinet Spring Cleaning! – Spring cleaning is not limited to your home, garage or shed. The DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Unused or expired prescription medicines may be dropped off at all Fairfax County Police Stations on Take Back Day. For more information and locations near you, visit the DEA Web site after April 1 at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html. Can't make the DEA Collection on April 27? The Fairfax County Police Department has Prescription Medication Drug Take Back Boxes at its eight district stations throughout Fairfax County for year-round collection of unused or expired prescription medicines. Information about Fairfax County's response to the opioid crisis is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/community-services-board/heroin-opioids. Guidance for the safe disposal of medicines is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/health/drug-disposal. Questions? Contact the Police Department's Property and Evidence Section, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 703-246-2786. Additional information and collection boxes statewide also can be found at https://knowrx.org/.
Election Officers Needed! – The Fairfax County Office of Elections needs Election Officers, particularly residents who speak Korean or Vietnamese, for the upcoming 2019 elections. Election Officers must be registered voters in Virginia and complete required training and forms. You may choose to accept the $175 stipend for a full day, or volunteer your time. There is a particular need for Language Election Officers, who speak Korean or Vietnamese in the Annandale and Falls Church areas. To apply, complete and submit the online form at: www.vote4fairfax.com/apply. Training begins in April. For more information, visit the Office of Elections website (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/election-officers/working), or call 703-324-4735, TTY 711.
Watercolors Featured at Mason District Governmental Center – Watercolors by Cari Cole are on display at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Enjoy exquisite flowers and landscapes in pastels and bold colors. Cole is a member of the Springfield Art Guild, whose work has been displayed at public facilities, such as Fairfax County libraries and government centers, as well as private businesses in Fairfax County. The artwork will be on display in the lobby until April 30, 2019.
Mason Matters! The Television Show – Injuries or illnesses often can involve intense pain, prompting doctors to offer prescription medication for pain management. Some drugs, such as opioids, can provide helpful relief, but if misused, they can cause serious health problems, even death. Opioid overdose has increased in recent years, and it has become an epidemic, a crisis for individuals, families, and communities across the country. The April edition of Mason Matters!, the television show that brings you news and information about our Mason District community, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features Sarah White, Opioid Task Force Coordinator for Fairfax County, and Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Fairfax County Health Department. 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 – Does Fairfax County have an Earth Day event? Yes. Celebrate Earth Day at the 2019 SpringFest Fairfax on Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at The Sully Historic Site, 3650 Historic Sully Way in Chantilly. Clean Fairfax and the Fairfax County Park Authority invite you to help to make a "Healthy Planet-Healthy People." Join more than 75 vendors, exhibitors and food trucks to learn about Fairfax County parks, run through an environmental obstacle course, participate in environmental crafts; check out the bees and the trees, consult with Master Gardeners, buy plants for your garden and more. SpringFest is Fairfax County's official Earth Day and Arbor Day celebration. For more information, visit www.springfestfairfax.org/.