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Week in Fairfax

News Briefs

FCPS Releases Bus Report

<bt>On Friday, Oct. 21, the Fairfax County Public Schools Department of Facilities and Transportation Services released a report on an incident that occurred Friday, Sept. 30, when a student stepped on the brake of a school bus. That afternoon, as the bus drove down Old Lee Highway, an eighth-grader at Sidney Lanier Middle School on bus LI-6 began yelling at the driver, threatening her to stop the bus so the student could get off, and eventually stepped on the brake of the bus.

The incident provoked an outcry from parents. At a meeting Thursday, Oct. 6, several parents said their children had been afraid to ride the bus even before the Sept. 30 incident because of bad student behavior.

According to the report, the driver of bus LI-6 did acknowledge that several students riding the bus engaged in bad behavior such as throwing things at her and being extremely loud. Twice since school began, said the report, the driver had to pull over to the side of the road to calm the students down. She was reluctant to tell school authorities about the behavior, however, said the report.

A camera has been installed in bus LI-6, with a coordinator from the Department of Facilities and Transportation Services reviewing the films daily, said the report. The driver will continue to operate the bus and will attend a class on pupil management techniques.

<sh>Electrical Fire Closes Building

<bt>City of Fairfax firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire in an office building at the 3900 block of University Drive Sunday, Oct. 23. At about 9 p.m., Dominion Power and a subcontractor were working to restore power to the building when a power distribution panel exploded. According to a release from the City of Fairfax Fire Department, electricians working in the area of the explosion escaped unharmed, and a Dominion Power employee called 911 from a cell phone.

The fire was confined to the basement electrical room, but smoke spread through the entire building, said the release. Firefighters spent several hours removing smoke from the building, which was unoccupied because of the electrical work being done.

No firefighters were injured extinguishing the fire, said the release, but property loss is estimated at about $150,000. About 30 tenants will have to work off-site until the building's electrical service is replaced, said the release. The City of Fairfax Fire Marshal is investigating the incident.

<sh>School Boundary Meeting, Nov. 1

<bt>The second boundary meeting for the new west Fairfax elementary school that will open in September 2006 is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m., at Rocky Run Middle School, 4400 Stringfellow Road in Chantilly.

The $16 million school will be built on Dixie Hill Road, in the Fair Chase subdivision near the Fairfax County Government Center and Route 29. It will have 36 classrooms and the same floor plan as Centreville's Colin Powell Elementary, which it's being built to relieve.

Students may also be shifted to the new school from Greenbriar East and West elementaries, as well as from Poplar Tree, Brookfield, Willow Springs and Fairfax Villa. Anyone interested in participating in the boundary process is welcome to attend.

<sh>Correction

<bt>A headline on the cover of the Oct. 21-26, 2005 Fairfax Connection was incorrect. The correct headline should have read "Reese Endorses Caputo."

<sh>Careers in IT Panel

<bt>A panel on current and future trends in information technology and what employers are looking for in potential employees takes place Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 1-2:30 p.m., at The Ernst Community Cultural Center on the campus of Northern Virginia Community College, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale.

Panelists slated to appear are Guy Hinkler from V2 Systems, Loren Eastman from the Northern Virginia Community College Information Technology Advisory Committee, Mike Robinson from ASM Research, Melvin Sobotka from Booz, Allen, Hamilton and Christopher Stark from Cetrom, Inc.

<sh>Athletic Field Lighting Meeting

<bt>The Fairfax County Park Authority is conducting a public meeting on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. at W.T. Woodson High School, 9525 Main St., Fairfax. Results of a consultant’s Athletic Field Lighting Technical Report will be presented at the meeting in order to gain public input. The consultant’s report and public input will be used to develop athletic field lighting specifications and guidelines. These specifications will allow the Park Authority to better address the concerns of park neighbors, create more economically viable lighting systems, and utilize the latest technology to reduce the glare and spill of lighting systems. This meeting will address the need to standardize the criteria for assessing and managing lighting systems and installation.

The consultant’s report is available at the Fairfax County Park Authority at the Herrity Building, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 421, Fairfax or at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/fieldlighting.htm. To speak at the public meeting, call Judy Pedersen at 703-324-8662 or e-mail parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.

The public comment period will close on Monday, Dec. 19. Written comments should be directed to Ms. Lynn S. Tadlock, Director of Planning & Development Division, Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 421, Fairfax, VA 22035. E-mail comments should be sent to parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov.