Newsletter of the Rose Hill Civic Association
Shown bove is the final draft of the marker honoring those original owners who were still here when the
community reached its 50th anniversary. If you have an addition or spot an error, please call one of the officers
ASAP. This is your LAST chance. We plan to order production of the marker on November 1.
Election Day is November 7; Here's Some Info You Need
In addition to contest for one of Virginia’s U.S. Senate seats and the race for Virginia’s Eighth Congressional District, there are some pocketbook and constitutional issues you will face head on in the voting booth. You won’t hear any TV ads for either of the latter two issues.
Fairfax County is asking approval of two bond referendums. One totals $125 million for public safety facilities and the other is $25 million for parks and park facilities. In neither case will the ballot question give you specific information as to what the money will be spent for. There also are three proposed amendments to the Virginia Constitution on the ballot. The description of each leaves much to be desired. Therefore, The Rambler will try to provide you with as specific information as there is available on both the Fairfax County bond issues and the Virginia Constitution questions.
On the bond issues, the $125 million for public safety breaks down into $17.4 million for renovation, infrastructure renewal, and expansion at the Fair Oaks Police Station, $19.9 million for the same work at the McLean Police Station, and $18.8 million for the Reston Police Station. $17 million is earmarked for renovation and expansion at the West Ox Animal Shelter, $12 million for a larger Great Falls Volunteer Fire Station, and $17.1 million for upgrades at the Fire and Rescue Training Academy. Bond funds totaling $24.8 million are being requested for renovations and improvements at public safety, civil and criminal facilities, including the historic courthouse in Fairfax.
The park bond of $25 million asks $15 million for park development and $10 million for land acquisition. What the proposal on the ballot doesn’t say is that $10 million of the $15 million for park development is earmarked for converting up to 12 existing natural turf rectangular playing fields to synthetic turf. The Park Authority says such conversion will increase playing capacity by approximately 62 percent without additional land costs. The Authority further says these fields also provide a safer playing surface and require fewer maintenance dollars. It should be noted that numerous studies have questioned the safety of artificial turf and numerous stadiums have converted from synthetic back to natural grass.
There are three proposed constitutional questions. The first has to do with Article I, Section 15, of the Bill of Rights—Marriage. The proposal would amend the article to read “That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions. This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities or effects of marriage.”
If approved by the voters, this proposed amendment adds a definition of marriage as “the union between one man and one woman” to the Constitution’s Bill of Rights and prohibits Virginia and its counties, cities, and towns from creating or recognizing any legal status by any name which is comparable to marriage.
Amendment #2 proposes the provision of Section 14 of Article IV that prohibits the incorporation of churches, a provision that has been ruled to be unconstitutional and therefore obsolete. Amendment #3 asks if Section 6 of Article X be amended to authorize legislation to permit localities to provide a partial exemption from real property taxes for real estate with new structure and improvements in conservation, redevelopment, or rehabilitation areas. This proposed amendment would expand the possibilities for this type of tax relief or incentive. Fairfax County has numerous redevelopment and conservation areas and this amendment would expand tax relief for substantial improvement (up to 50 percent ) in those areas.
If you’d like learn more about the proposed Constitutional questions, go to the State Board of Elections website at www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Election_Information/.
Thanks to all of those who signed up to be canvassers for the petition to enact traffic calming on Rose Hill Drive and Cottonwood Drive from Rose Hill Drive to Split Rock Road. Although Rose Hill Drive has too much traffic to qualify under the traffic calming only criteria, it may qualify under the cut-through traffic criteria. If 40 percent of the traffic on Rose Hill Drive during a peak hour uses Rose Hill Drive as a cut-through from Telegraph to Franconia Road, it will qualify. Cottonwood Drive qualifies for traffic calming measures. The County will supply a petition and a map of the area to be canvassed. At least 70 percent of the homeowners on each street will have to agree to traffic calming before the County will proceed. Once the 70 percent approval rating has been reached, the County will work with a community task force to determine what type of devices will be used. Speeding traffic and police protection are the top two items RHCA hears about from the community. We have an excellent working relationship with the police, who promptly respond to our requests for assistance. RHCA also has a reputation of cooperation with our local police and has an effective Neighborhood Watch. We would appreciate your cooperation when contacted by one of your neighbors seeking your support for doing something about traffic. Remember, our Library and Elementary School are located on Rose Hill Drive and many of our youngsters and residents have to cross the street or a connecting street to get there. We also could use more help with the petition drive. If you haven’t already signed up as a canvasser and would like to help, give me a call. We have a resident who will help in contacting our Hispanic residents and could use help in other languages as well.
Franconia History Day
The Franconia Museum will sponsor its annual History Day on Saturday, October 28, from 10am to 3pm at Franconia Elementary School. The program includes artifacts and photographs depicting the rich history of the Franconia area, which includes Rose Hill. There also will be performances by area school groups. You also can purchase lunch and munch while you peruse the large collection of photographs and memorabilia. Each of the three volumes of Franconia Remembers, a collection of stories by people who lived in the area, will be on sale. Volume III, which includes almost 200 pages of stories and pictures, was unveiled at the Museum’s Story Swap program last month at the John Marshall Library. More than 100 were in attendance, including representatives of all of the families featured in Volume III. One came from as far away as Vero Beach, Florida. As a result of the large crowd, Volume II was almost sold out. The Museum has ordered more copies and they will be available at the History Day on October 30. If you have parents or friends who grew up in Franconia, Franconia Remembers would be a great Christmas gift. The Franconia Museum will soon open its permanent home at the Franconia Government Center. So far, the Museum inventory does not include information about Rose Hill. We are working to correct that. If you’d like to help, give me a call. Go to our website, myrosehill.com, and read the history of our community for ideas as to how to present the information at the museum.
There recently have been a number of concerns raised about alleged criminal activity in the Rose Hill area. In each case, the police have been notified. However, the police can’t be everywhere all the time. We need to help them by providing helpful information such as license plate numbers on any cars involved. Obviously, no one should put themselves in harms way in an effort to obtain information such as license plate numbers. Rose Hill has an effective Neighborhood Watch program, but all of us need to be on the lookout all the time. If you see any suspicious activity or vehicles, report them to the police non-emergency number at 703.691.2131. If you are uneasy about getting involved, give me a call at 703.971.4716 and I will report it. Rose Hill has an excellent relationship with the Franconia police station. They investigate our concerns and protect our property. Let’s help them by providing as much helpful information as we can.
We recently placed a sign in front of the plantings at our entrance marker on Rose Hill Drive at Franconia Road asking that businesses, community groups, and politicians, to name a few, not place signs in the grass area between the marker and Franconia Road. The sign also states that violators would be removed. The sign was prompted by the fact that our entrance marker and plantings were becoming obscured by the proliferation of other signs. The seasonal plantings are made possible by the contributions from RHCA members. If your church, organization, or political candidate regularly places signs on the grass in front of our entrance marker, please ask them to find another spot. We will remove all real estate signs. I guess the last straw for me was when I noticed a real estate sign among the flowers. That’s taking marketing too far! I'll welcome your help in removing violators. However, lets move the church and community signs, not destroy them.
— Carl Sell
Ameriprise Financial Planning Session
Our upcoming meeting on October 24, 7pm, in the John Marshall Library, will be a learning and question and answer session for your money, investment, and retirement concerns. Our guest speaker will be Gregg Konopaske, who is a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Retirement Planning Counselor, and Field Vice President of Ameriprise. He will be accompanied by James Shepherd, a Financial Advisor. They will discuss protection planning, tax strategies, retirement planning, college education planning, preservation of wealth, as well as investment strategies.
Ameriprise, formerly American Express Financial Advisors, branched off one year ago as the sixth most successful split in history, becoming a Fortune 350 company immediately. Their business plan states that they “shape financial solutions for a lifetime through a unique approach to financial planning—Dream, Plan, Track.”
Anyone interested in money, especially their own, should definitely attend. If you desire further consultation with the representatives present, one-on-one meetings can be set up at your convenience.
You Can Help Prepare Your Fairfax County Community
Homeland security issues have increased the responsibilities for many local police departments, who are now performing more tasks and responding to more calls for service than ever before. The support of volunteers has become a critical part of meeting local homeland security threats. To that end, Fairfax County Police are seeking volunteers who are interested in becoming Auxiliary Police Officers.
Fairfax County has had an established Auxiliary Police Officer (APO) program since 1983, and has a current strength of approximately 108 volunteers. APOs are trained to perform a variety of operational support and administrative duties, which include patrol, traffic control, security of prisoners, desk assignments, communications, fingerprinting, crime prevention, and special events. Auxiliary officers undergo almost as much training as regular police officers, but because they offer their services on a volunteer basis, they provide a considerable savings to County taxpayers while allowing patrol officers to handle assignments that only they can perform. The police department provides uniforms, equipment, and insurance. Auxiliary officers must perform an average of 24 hours of volunteer service a month to maintain their status in the unit.
Fairfax County is planning to hold its next Auxiliary Police Academy session in Spring 2007. To be considered applicants must live in Northern Virginia and be at least 21 years of age. Applicants must be in good health and without a criminal record or history of drug use, and must not presently be an applicant for police officer in any jurisdiction. To apply, obtain a brochure or additional information about the Fairfax County Auxiliary Police Unit, contact Second Lieutenant David Cox at 703.280.0576.
For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ps/police/Volunteers.htm or send an email to email@example.com.
Mature Operator's Driver Improvement Program
The Fairfax County Police Department offers residents 55 years of age and older enrollment in the Mature Operator's Driver Improvement Program (MODIP). This eight hour course, which provides safe driving information, is sanctioned by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and is presented by certified Fairfax County Auxiliary Police Officers. Upon completion of this course, drivers are eligible for the Virginia State-mandated insurance premium reduction (check with individual insurance carriers for the amount). The classes are normally held the second Saturday of each month at the Franconia District Station. The next seminar is scheduled at the Franconia District Station, located at 6121 Franconia Road , from 8am to 4pm on November 11. Registration is required and can be done by contacting the MODIP reservations line at 703.924.6588. The fee for this course is $10 per person for books and materials.
Advertising in the Rambler
We have recently received several inquiries concerning advertising in the Rambler. While a listing in the Business Directory is free to Rose Hill residents who own their business, placing an actual advertisement is open to all with rates as follows per month:
Business Card size 3 1/2" x 2" $10 Quarter page size 3 1/2" x 4 3/4" $25 Half page size 7 1/2" x 4 3/4" $50 Full page size 7 1/2" x 9 3/4" $100
Ads may be bought for either one month only, month-to-month, or as many months in advance as desired. Our newsletter is published nine times a year, excluding July, August and December.
Advertising in the Rambler is an excellent way to reach the 700+ homes in our community. In addition, the ads each month are placed on our website. www.myrosehill.com for the world to see.
Anyone interested in placing an ad may call the editor (me) at 703.924.7192. I will need the artwork sent to me either electronically in a .tiff or .jpg format or as a hard copy through the mail. Checks made out to RHCA may be included with ads mailed to me, or sent to our PO Box 10891 for quick access to the treasurer.
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