Focus on Falls Church is the official City of Falls Church's newsletter, featuring news and events happening here in The Little City.
October 4, 2018
Your beloved Focus author is on vacation! She will return next week with the wit and wisdom to which you have become accustomed.

In the meantime, please enjoy this friendly and informative edition of Focus on Falls Church!

It’s Down-on-the-Farm Fun!

Farm Day is this Saturday, October 6, and we hope you’ll bring your family for a fantastic day of fall fun and activities. It all takes place in Cherry Hill Park and Farmhouse, 312 Park Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

But First, the Farmers Market
Our weekly Farmers Market overlaps for a few hours with Farm Day, so why not make it a big adventure? The market runs 8 a.m. to Noon, and you’ll find lots of fantastic produce, meats, and dairy, plus special treats like crepes and donuts.

Then, Step Back in Time
Today Cherry Hill Farmhouse is a museum and special event venue in the heart of The Little City. But did you know that it was an ACTUAL farmhouse built in 1845 by the Riley family? (Yes, THAT Riley family of Mary Riley Styles Public Library fame!) The museum currently showcases life in mid-19th century rural Virginia when the Blaisdells, a middle class farming family, lived at Cherry Hill between 1856 and 1868.

26th Annual Celebration
This is the 26th annual Farm Day, and we’ve pulled out all the stops to celebrate. Admission is free and activity tickets are sold onsite. Each paid activity is $1 to $4.
  • Pony Rides
  • Petting Farm
  • Cider Press
  • Corn Shelling and Grinding
  • Scarecrow-Making (bring your own long sleeved shirt and pants, or buy onsite)
  • Hayrides
  • Pumpkin Painting
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Bird House Painting
  • Food by Carnivore BBQ and Stay Cool Ice Cream
  • Blacksmith Demonstration (free)
  • Cherry Hill Farmhouse Tours (free)
  • Music by King Street Bluegrass (free)
It’s going to be a blast from the past! We hope to see you there!

Top News

In honor of Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples' Day, most City government offices and services will be closed on Monday, October 8.

The closures include Absentee Voting and Voter Registration, Treasurer, Commissioner of the Revenue, Permits, and the Mary Riley Styles Public Library.

The Community Center will be open 8:30am to 10pm.

Personal Property (Car) Tax is due this Friday, October 5.

You can pay online via or in person at the Treasurer's Office in Temporary City Hall, 400 N. Washington St., first floor, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Remember that the new yellow 2018-2019 vehicle decal stickers must be on the windshield before November 16.

Remember to have trash and recycling bins at the curb by 7 a.m. on Wednesdays. We’ve had a slight change in routes, so you may notice your bins being emptied at a different time. Just stick with the 7 a.m. deadline and you’ll be fine!

Speaking of waste, the award-winning (see next story!) compost program is going strong at only $6 per month or $66 per year, paid directly to the vendor. Sign up today and help The Little City go green!

The Little City Wins Big Going Green and Healthy!

The City received four prestigious awards at the recent Virginia Municipal League annual conference in Hampton. See the captions for info on the honors. Congratulations to all!
The City received two awards for the Curbside Compost Program, the first of its kind in Virginia: the President's Award and the Innovation Award for Environmental Quality.

The VML award committee wrote, “Thanks to Falls Church’s initiative – which expanded access to all city households and made food waste composting as convenient as regular trash – participation rose to nearly 20% of all households (and continues to increase). This example shows how local governments can drive community and environmental improvement with the right design and leadership.”

Congratulations to Public Works for successful management and all the City residents who take part in this innovative program.

(Above, left to right: Council Member Dan Sze, Solid Waste Coordinator Chris McGough, Council Member Letty Hardi, Mayor David Tarter, Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly, Council Member Phil Duncan, and City Manager Wyatt Shields.)
The City received Platinum Certification for VML's Go Green Government Challenge. We were honored for successfully implementing environmental policies and taking practical actions to reduce carbon emissions. Thanks goes to staff, the Environmental Services Council, and of course the community for supporting and participating all our green initiatives!

(Above, left to right: City Manager Wyatt Shields, Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly, Council Member Phil Duncan, Council Member Dan Sze, and Mayor David Tarter.)
The City was also honored as a Silver Level HEAL Leader (Healthy Eating Active Living)! On the heels of winning the Healthiest Community in America designation by US News & World Report, this recent honor exemplifies the City's commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Working with City employees and the Chamber of Commerce, our HEAL program touches on expanding transportation access, healthy options in vending machines in City facilities, looking at urban agriculture zoning regulations, and managing a community garden at Temporary City Hall.

(Above, left to right: Council Member Dan Sze, City Manager Wyatt Shields, Mayor David Tarter, Council Member Phil Duncan, and Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly.)

More News

  • TONIGHT, OCTOBER 4 -- City resident and Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) Director of Research Erika Myers will join the Evironmental Sustainability Council's Energy Transition Subcommittee meeting on Thursday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the George Mason High School Library. Ms. Myers will talk about the current state of the electric vehicle market and what types of policies, programs, and incentives could encourage our neighbors to go electric.
  • THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11 -- The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will host a public information meeting on updated design plans for the to-be-built W&OD Trail Bridge over Route 29 (Lee Highway) on Thursday, October 11 at Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd, Arlington) starting at 6:30 p.m.
  • SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13 -- This year's Recycling Extravaganza is on Saturday, October 13, and we're looking for volunteers! Find out more and register to help.
  • THROUGH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3 -- There are many reasons why someone can vote absentee for the upcoming election, and now you can vote IN-PERSON absentee at Temporary City Hall! Stop by the third floor of 400 N. Washington St. (go through the glass door) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or, stop by during these two Saturdays: October 27 and November 3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • LIBRARY SPECIAL EVENTS -- Save the date for these amazing events at the your award-winning Mary Riley Styles Public Library: Sean Gaskell plays the kora, a West African harp, on Monday, October 15 and Jabeen Akhtar discusses her writing and the myth of the exceptional immigrant on Wednesday, October 24.
  • DOWNTOWN PLAZA -- The scope of this Economic Development Authority-funded capital improvements project is changing. The next proposal will be for simpler changes to the area between Hunan Cafe and Hot-n-Juice Crawfish – things like installing new landscaping, mulch or rocks, adding benches and lighting. The EDA recently voted 5-2 against providing additional funding for the bigger version of the project, so they will discuss ways to make improvements on a smaller scale. Stay tuned for more information!
  • NATIONAL WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERT TEST -- Did you get the test text message on Wednesday afternoon? Did you miss it? Either way, please complete this survey so our region can better understand how residents receive emergency messages.
  • DMV IN THE LITTLE CITY -- The DMV 2 Go full-service bus returns to City Hall (300 Park Ave.) next Friday, October 12.
  • DONATE -- In honor of Indigenous Peoples' Day, the Community Center (223 Little Falls St.) and Mary Riley Styles Public Library (120 N. Virginia Ave.) are hosting a donation drive to benefit the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The community can donate hooded coats, baby blankets, regular blankets, jeans, and hoodies of all sizes to the blue collection boxes. The donation drive runs October 5 through 21. The benefiting organization is Re-Member.

Reports, Newsletters & More

Weekly Calendar

Monday, October 8

Friday, October 5

Saturday, October 6

Monday, October 8

Tuesday, October 9

Thursday, October 11

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