Falls Church Times Celebrates 2nd Anniversary

Falls Church Times Staff

June 8, 2010

As most of you know, two years ago the Falls Church Times was born.  According to George Southern, our self-appointed historian, it was conceived on May 18 but the first story appeared on June 8, 2008.   We really didn’t pull it together until the fall, but since George went on record with June 8, it’s now our official anniversary date.

With a couple of years under our belt, we’ve had to deal with changes. Jimmy Scarano departed for graduate school. Election coverage stretched our staff.  More and more people began expecting us to have indepth investigative reporting, not understanding that the Times was an all-volunteer effort.  But along the way, we’ve stayed true to our founding principles:

  • The Falls Church Times remains non-profit.
  • Our comment policy has created a forum for City residents to debate in a robust, yet civil manner; no personal attacks or mean-spiritedness are allowed.
  • Through our opinion pieces and Community Comment, the Falls Church Times has shown its willingness to publish opposing  points of view.

Most of all, the Falls Church Times staff have fun. We enjoy working together to produce an online newspaper that continues to attract readers and fans.  And it works — someone always has time to post a story, crop a picture, schedule an event.

George Southern is our “Wizard of Oz.”  Behind the scenes, he tweaks headlines, resizes the pictures, manages the editorial calendar, and keeps the quality of the Falls Church Times consistently high.  On top of that, he produces the much-read, and always discussed, weekly Man About Town column.  George Bromley covers city meetings better than Clark Kent ever did for the Daily Planet. Dave Witzel keeps the web site humming.  Gina Caceci single-handedly keeps arts alive in the City, and Scott Taylor’s stories highlight unique aspects of Falls Church.  We’ve been lucky to have Stephen Siegel’s professional talents at work on some of our investigative video reports. 

We continue to attract volunteers. When Jimmy left, Kathleen Nixon, Ilene Smith, and Kathy Washa stepped forth with some great ideas for the Friday FOOD column.  Stephanie Oppenheimer has been writing about Falls Church City school functions this spring, and Ian Edlind has contributed about the bike path that bisects our Little City.  Christine Kilgore followed her inaugural story about H1N1 with other public health features, Kathleen Nebeker continues to write about City policies, such as pet registrations, that can sometimes be a mystery to City residents, and Stephen Hiscott reports on any new East Falls Church development plan, as well as the new Pedestrian/Bicyclist/Traffic Calming Initiative the City has undertaken this spring.  When Victoria Kwasiborski stepped out of the Comment box into the Opinion spotlight, her first column garnered nine comments in one day.

This new wave of writers is heartening.  It strengthens the Falls Church Times, broadening our appeal and widening our viewpoint.  It ensures our sustainability as a volunteer resource for the City.  It is cause for celebration.

From Day 1, when Dave Witzel posted our Under Construction page, the Falls Church Times has been evolving.  So continue to look for new voices, new faces, new features, and new columns at  Spread the word to your neighbors and friends.  And as always, new volunteers are always welcome here at the Falls Church Times!

June 8, 2010 


14 Responses to “MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG:
Falls Church Times Celebrates 2nd Anniversary”

  1. Steven Valley on June 8th, 2010 5:51 am

    You all are doing a wonderful service to the city, its residents, and the electronic world of publishing at large! As an all volunteer effort that isn’t taking any advertising, the FCT is an example of the true power of the internet. And that power is paving the way for unbiased info and comment and we definitely need that here in the “li’l city”.

    I am a big fan and supporter, I love the comments as much as I love the stories, it’s great that the people of Falls Church have a real digital asset taking hold and flourishing like it is.


  2. Rob on June 8th, 2010 7:10 am

    By far, FCT is the best news source in the city.

  3. George Southern, Falls Church City on June 8th, 2010 8:16 am

    Annette left out one vital piece of information: the Falls Church Times was her idea — and her then-10 year-old son came up with the name. Although it couldn’t have come together without a lot of help from others, perhaps the most important ingredient we owe to Annette is grace — as in graciousness and gentility. The Falls Church Times will never allow the crudities of so many annonymous blogs so long as Annette is at the helm. We are a family newspaper and are proud to have our names publicly associated with it.

    And on that subject, it’s worth noting, as Stephen Valley mentions above, that the Comments section has become a very popular feature of the paper. I’m convinced that a big reason is because most people stand up and identify themselves. This gives the comments so much more validity.

    Finally, I want to thank Stan Fendley, another of the founding members whose other commitments have pulled them away. Stan recruited me and others, and kept this paper alive during the early days.

    So the Falls Church Times, as a living document, continues to evolve. It will be fun to see where we are on June 8, 2011!

  4. Brian Sulc. Falls Church on June 8th, 2010 8:44 am

    I am so thankful and appreciative for this effort. Thank you Annette and all the other founders and volunteers. With five kids, Celeste and I feel invested in the community and have a schedule that thrusts us in the middle of it. At the same time, however, most of the community events we partake in are through our kids. The Times allows us to have insight into the “grown-up” community issues, which in the end will hopefully help make the community a better place for the kids (as well as the adults). Until our # 5 is at least somewhat doing his own thing, you are the best and often only means for Celeste and I and many other FC citizens to understand the issues facing our City. THANK YOU!

  5. Sara Fitzgerald on June 8th, 2010 8:53 am

    Congratulations on marking your second anniversary….and for taking steps to ensure that posted comments are fit for public consumption.

  6. Jim Breiling on June 8th, 2010 9:40 am

    Congratulations and kudos to all for an engaging and informative on-line newspaper.

    The durability of this all volunteer effort is exceptional — a reflection of the culture of “The Little City”?

  7. Brad Fribley, Falls Church City on June 8th, 2010 10:10 am

    I’m reminded of the old Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland movies where two regular teenagers say to each other “let’s put on a show” and it turns into a huge, professional Broadway production in a barn. Two years ago you said to each other “let’s start a newspaper” and you’ve done a great job, something that was sorely needed, especially the courteous tone and basic fairness to address all opinions.

    Congratulations on two years and we look forward to many more.

  8. Philip (Pip) DuBois, Falls Church City on June 8th, 2010 10:24 am

    Congrats and keep up the good work!

  9. Tim Stevens Falls Church City on June 8th, 2010 12:09 pm

    I always look forward to reading the FCT (even when there is too much in my inbox). The articles are often thoughtful and prompt public debate, which you accomodate through your comment capability. Congratulations!

  10. vlfrance, City of Falls Church on June 8th, 2010 12:34 pm

    I check the site regularly to keep up with City news in one place – prior to the Falls Church Times I had to hit many different media to get a full picture. I certainly appreciate the time and effort, and professionalism, of all the FCT staff. Thank you very much for your hard work.

  11. TFC on June 8th, 2010 12:54 pm

    The more voices, the better. Congrats

  12. Major Confusion, Falls Church City on June 8th, 2010 1:28 pm

    I really enjoy the FCT. Please, keep up the good work!


  13. Johannah Barry Falls Church on June 8th, 2010 2:16 pm

    Congratulations to you all, well done.

  14. Kathleen Donovan on June 8th, 2010 3:38 pm

    Kudos and thanks to all involved! Your time, talent and dedication are a gift to our community. Happy Anniversary!

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