By STEPHEN SIEGEL
Falls Church Times Staff
June 15, 2012
They say it’s darkest just before the dawn. And just when it seemed darkest for Falls Church City in the water issue — a moment which may have arrived when the Army Corps of Engineers issued a legal ruling last month prohibiting the City from selling its water system to an investor-owned utility — several rays of light suddenly have appeared.
The first ray came earlier this week when City officials said a letter they received from the Fairfax County Water Authority, which again suggested some kind of friendly merger of the Falls Church and Fairfax systems, offered a more conciliatory tone than they had seen before.
The second came Friday, when the City found itself on the same side as Fairfax in a legal proceeding. And not just any legal proceeding, but a stay that prohibits, for 90 days, Fairfax from setting water rates for all County residents, including those served by the systems of Falls Church, Fairfax City and Vienna. All three jurisdictions had previously filed suit to overturn Fairfax’s attempt to set the rates.
“The stay was jointly requested by the City, Fairfax Water, and Fairfax County,” said a statement from City officials. “The City intends to use the 90 day period to explore possible resolution of issues with Fairfax County, and will do
so in a manner that serves the best interests of the City’s taxpayers and water customers.”
“I am pleased that the County and Fairfax Water joined the City in requesting this stay,” said Mayor Nader Baroukh. “Given the importance and value of the City’s water service, these will not be easy discussions. The City will be strongly protective of the interests of its water customers, taxpayers, and utility employees.”
Fairfax officials could not be reached late Friday. But it seems unlikely that they would have requested the stay, and been on the same side of an argument as City officials, unless there was a genuine belief that a deal on the water litigation, which is now seven years old, is within reach.
The June 7 letter, from Philip Allin, chairman of Fairfax Water, suggested City residents could save an average of $100 per year from a merger of the two systems. Fairfax Water has lower water rates, owing primarily to its ability to use its size to achieve economies of scale.
By BRIAN SULC
June 15, 2012
Although daily George Mason High School football practices don’t begin until August 1st, and the area’s youth football programs don’t start until the first week of August, registration to join the area programs opened in April and May. Pre-season speed and agility programs are ongoing, and summer football camps are just about to start.
Every year in July, the Falls Church City Football Association (FCCFA) hosts a pre-season camp where youths between the ages of 7 and 14 can get ready for the coming season. The FCCFA camp is an introductory camp where players of every skill level are encouraged to attend. Both flag football players and full contact players are welcome. This is a no-pads camp, but there is plenty of hard work and fun to be had as the players prepare for this physically demanding sport. Players with many years of experience line up with rookies to practice, and players of all levels of skill are encouraged to join in and benefit from experienced, championship level coaching. Our coaches have succeeded at all levels of youth coaching in the biggest youth football league in the country (Fairfax County Youth Football League) to include winning national championships. Plus, George Mason High School coaches and players will contribute their teaching and experience! So, the FCCFA is proud to announce, in conjunction with the George Mason Mustangs that registration is now open for:
The 2012 Pre-season Football Camp is July 23-26, 6-8pm, rain or shine. All youths ages 7-14 who are interested in flag or full contact football are welcome.
The camp will offer instruction in football fundamentals, stance, techniques, form, conditioning, and fun. We will use speed and agility drills, hands-on instruction, observation, feedback and repetition to help young players learn and grow.
The camp is designed to link potential future GMHS Mustangs with youth programs early on and introduce them to the GMHS football coach and staff. Additionally, it is a great tune-up for rising 8th and 9th graders interested in trying out for the GMHS Mustangs for the first time. This camp offers every player, new and old, a chance to learn the game and provides an opportunity to improve their football skills. The popularity of the camp has grown over the years so sign-up today since space is limited.
To register for the camp, go to: http://thefccfa.org/category2012-summer-camp/
The FCCFA is a City institution, so if your kids have long since moved on or if your child can’t join us but you still want to support the football program, read on. Residents in the City have seen the FCCFA grow from an idea to a legitimate contributor to the Falls Church City football community. In 2010, we became an official non-profit, we’ve held numerous football related events, awarded an annual scholarship, and gifted equipment to the GMHS football program. This has all been made possible by your support and commitment to both the GMHS football program and the FCCFA. This year we’ve added a new feature to our site. We can now take donations via credit card through PayPal. If it’s at all possible, please take a moment and make a tax deductible donation to the FCCFA. Your kind donation of $25, $50, $100 will go directly to the FCCFA’s mission and help the Association grow.
About the FCCFA: The FCCFA is a non-profit 501 c 3 organization. The current officers are Brian Sulc, Steven Valley, Kevin Creed, and Dave Hagigh. The Association was founded with the mandate to increase awareness of and participation with local youth football clubs, host an annual football summer camp for kids 7-14, and hand out one-time scholarships to graduating senior players who exemplify the game. For more information about the Association go to http://thefccfa.org.
Our local chefs have provided some new twists on what to do on the grill. Now you may want to flip a burger and throw on a steak, but if you are feeling interested in going out of the box, you may want to try some of these recipes from our local chefs.
Grilled Caesar Salad
4 romaine hearts, split in half, tops cut off
3 oz Parmesan cheese and a little for garnish
2 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
8 oz good quality Caesar dressing
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Grilled chicken, shrimp or steak (optional)
1. Rub 4 halves of romaine lettuce with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and salt. Grill for about 3 minutes each side.
2. Chop the other 4 romaine halves (except for the core) and place in a medium to large bowl.
3. Once the grilled romaine is done let cool slightly and chop all but the inner core and add to bowl.
4. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and toss lettuce to coat.
5. Add dressing, cheese and salt. Mix well.
6. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with more fresh-grated Parmesan
From Mad Fox Brewing new Executive Chef Andrew Dixon, we have:
Flame Grilled Oysters
Shuck enough large Virginia oysters to feed a crowd. Top the shucked oysters with garlic butter, grated Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs. Grill over high heat until the butter simmers and the edges become golden brown. Serve with French bread.
From Tracy O’Grady Chef and Owner of Willow, we have two choices of grilled flatbread: the world famous Willow, which features sauté mushrooms which you can get at the Falls Church Farmers Market or Barbecue Chicken flatbread.
If you still would like to have chicken, burgers or steak, I recommend the Gypsy Mill rubs available at the Local Market.