By GEORGE BROMLEY
Falls Church Times Staff
March 31, 2010
Hard times tend to bring more crime. Falls Church City experienced a significant rise in crime in 2008, but statistics compiled by the Falls Church Police Department show an overall decline in crime during 2009. However, the number of motor vehicle accidents increased last year, with those involving personal injury rising 39%.
Police reported a total of 399 serious crimes during the past year, a decline of over 14% from 2008. This activity involves both violent crimes, such as aggravated assault or robbery, and property crimes such as burglary, larceny, or motor vehicle theft. These are referred to in official crime reports as Part 1 offenses. In 2008 police reported 466 serious crimes, up from 389 in 2007.
Lesser crimes, known as Part II offenses, include activity such as fraud, forgery, drug violations, public intoxication, and driving under the influence. The decline in this category was much lower. Over 2,800 such offenses were logged in Falls Church during 2009, a drop of 1.3%, but nearly 40% higher than in 2007 when only 2,038 were recorded.
Arrests were down in all categories except juvenile and DWI, which both rose sharply. Criminal arrests dropped 8% to 1,422, but juvenile arrests increased from 78 to 114. The vast majority of criminal arrests were for misdemeanor offenses.
Over 6,600 traffic citations were issued during 2009, but the City’s streets proved more hazardous than in 2007 or 2008. Police reported 249 accidents, including 46 that involved personal injuries. Eighty-nine DWI citations were issued, a jump of nearly one-third. The majority of those cited were not City residents.
Although parking remains a problem in the commercial areas of Falls Church, only 767 parking tickets were written last year, down from 950 in 2008. This may reflect declining patronage, looser enforcement, or better awareness of parking restrictions.
Police responded to an average of 80 calls each day in 2009, of which about 9% required a written report. While crime may have declined, the demand for service is at an all time high. Total service calls in Falls Church City last year topped 29,000, an increase of over 5,000 from 2007.
Drunkenness, 400 blk. S. Washington St., March 23, 11:37 a.m., police arrested a 42 year old Annandale man for DIP.
Banning, 217 Gordon Rd., March 23, 8:52 p.m., police banned a 26 year old man of no fixed address.
Burglary, 1103 W. Broad St., EZ Tool Rental, between March 23, 6:00 p.m. and March 24, 8:00 a.m., unknown person(s) forced entry into the establishment through a window, and stole (2) 20 inch gas chainsaws each valued at $500, and (1) 14 inch gas concrete cutter valued at $550.
Larceny from Building, 103 W. Broad St. #601, between February 26, 12:00 a.m., and March 25 1:43 p.m., unknown person(s) stole a prescription pad from the establishment.
Defrauding a Garage Keeper, 702 S. Washington St. March 26, between 7:00 p.m. and 8:41 p.m., unknown person(s) left the establishment without paying for work completed on a white Ford F350 XL. The total cost for repairs was $311.49.
Drunkenness, 900 blk. W. Broad St., March 27, 12:18 a.m., police arrested a 22 year old Falls Church man for DIP.
Driving under the Influence, 100 blk. S. Virginia Ave., March 27, 12:26 a.m., police arrested a 27 year old Arlington woman for DUI.
Driving Under the Influence, 300 blk. S. West St., March 28, 3:18 a.m., police arrested a 26 year old Falls Church man for DUI.
Residential Burglary, 900 blk. Madison Ln., between March 10, 11:25 a.m., and March 28, 11:25 a.m., unknown person(s) entered the home through an unsecured window, and stole an undisclosed amount of cash, and prescription medication.
Larceny from Vehicle, Motor Vehicle Parts, 100 blk. W. Broad St., March 29, between 10:30 a.m., and 5:29 p.m., unknown person(s) cut and stole a catalytic converter from a grey Toyota 4Runner.
Special to the Falls Church Times
The Falls Church Youth Lacrosse Club U13B Boys Red team began its 2010 season Saturday, March 27, against host Great Falls. Unfortunately, the Mustangs came out on the short end of a thrilling 5-4 game.
Opening day jitters seemed to affect the Falls Church players, falling behind 2-0 after the first quarter and 5-0 at halftime. The Mustangs did not give up, re-grouped at intermission, and rallied for three goals in the third quarter.
Nick Casillas scored the first goal for Falls Church on about a five-yard shot off of a nice pass from Connar Mulcahy. The second Falls Church goal was the nicest goal scored on the day, by either team.
Great Falls turned the ball over in their offensive zone. George Castillo received a pass from a teammate, which triggered a fast break. George, sprinting down the field, found Nick Casillas cutting toward the goal, passed Nick the ball, who shot and buried his second goal of the contest.
Connar Mulcahy closed the gap to 5-3 in the latter stages of the third quarter, on a point blank shot after he received a cross-crease pass from Nick Casillas.
In the fourth quarter, the Mustangs had several quality opportunities to tie the score, but were unable to find the back of the net.
Brendon Smith closed out the scoring for Falls Church late in the final stanza, when he received a pass from Conor O’Leary and beat the Great Falls goalie on a low shot, making it 5-4.
The Mustangs are off until Saturday, April 17, when they travel to Alexandria to square off against Fort Hunt.
SCHOOLS FOCUS: Regional National History Day Winners, Robotics Team Raising Money for Trip to Nationals, MEHMS Book Fair, 6th Annual FCEF Celebration and Auction on April 23, BIE Partner — Donald Brobst
CITY FOCUS: Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, Call for Entries for 6th Annual Art Show and Sale, Free Leaf Mulch, FY2011 Budget Schedule
By FALLS CHURCH CITY COMMUNICATIONS
March 31, 2010
Falls Church Police are investigating a pedestrian accident which occurred in the 100 block of W. Broad Street about 12:30 pm today (March 31). An 88 year-old man was crossing Broad Street when he was struck by an SUV travelling west. The victim was not in a crosswalk. The man was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and is in intensive care. There are no charges pending at this time.
Peppe is currently Chairman of the Falls Church City School Board. Professionally, he is Vice President for Legal, HR and Compliance for Canam Steel Corporation.
Twenty-seven years ago, when we were first married, my wife, Beth, and I lived just outside the City of Falls Church. We would walk into town and visit the library (and notice things like the police driving Volvos), and talk about how we would like to live in the city someday. It turns out we had to wait 20 years – we moved to the city in 2004.
During those 20 years, I have spent a lot of time working on community and local government issues, including an advisory board for emergency services and a countywide board of education. I also served on the boards of three large homeowners associations, and on the board of directors of a state association of boards of education. I learned a lot about disaster preparedness and other emergency issues during several years on the board of the local chapter of the American Red Cross.
When I moved to Falls Church, I stayed involved in education, serving as President of the George Mason High School PTSA. I am now completing four years on the School Board of Falls Church City, including the past two years as the board chair.
My work has included significant involvement in municipal issues. As a bond lawyer, I handled financing for schools, health care facilities, water and sewer projects, transportation and other infrastructure projects. I currently manage all US legal and human resource matters for an international construction and manufacturing company. Read more
EDITORS’ NOTE: The Falls Church Times has not attempted to cover the litigation over ownership of the historic Falls Church. However, given the importance of this issue in our community, we obtained permission to reprint the report below which, although associated with one of the litigants, strikes us as balanced, concise, and news worth reading.
By MARY FRANCES SCHJONBERG
Episcopal News Service
March 31, 2010
The Supreme Court of Virginia has told the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church that it will hear arguments April 13 in two cases concerning church property, according to the diocese.
Both the diocese and the Episcopal Church had asked the court nearly a year ago to review a Fairfax County Court judge’s rulings in a series of church property lawsuits.
The appeal is based on a number of grounds, including a challenge to the constitutionality of Virginia’s one-of-a-kind “Division Statute” (Section 57-9(A)), which dates to the Civil War and is triggered when there is a so-called “division” of a church or religious society, as well as the rulings of the circuit court in applying the law. The county judge’s ruling has allowed former Episcopalians to claim Episcopal Church property as their own.
The litigation involves nine Episcopal parishes of the diocese which the majority of members and clergy left to form congregations of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). The case originally involved members of 11 congregations of the Virginia diocese who left the Episcopal Church to form CANA congregations. The departing members of nine of those congregations then filed claims to parish property under the Division Statute.
Judge Randy Bellows had previously ruled that the Division Statute applied to the case and overrode the Episcopal Church’s and diocese’s claims to the property. He also rejected the contention of the diocese and the Episcopal Church that his application of the law was unconstitutional.
The Virginia diocese and the Episcopal Church have opposed the congregations’ claims and asked the courts to declare that the property must be held and used for the mission of the Episcopal Church and the diocese.
The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is a national correspondent for the Episcopal News Service and Episcopal News Monthly editor. Reprinted by permission.