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Week In Great Falls

Tysons Tunnel To Hold Town Meeting

<bt>On Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., Tysons Tunnel, Inc. will hold a Town Hall meeting in the McLean Community Center's Alden Theatre, located at 1234 Ingleside Ave., to discuss why the tunnel option for the Tysons Corner Metrorail is a viable and preferable alternative to the aerial design approved by Gov. Timothy Kaine. Various community leaders and tunnel experts will speak at the meeting. Tysons Tunnel, Inc. is a coalition of the McLean Chamber of Commerce, community and business leaders, and concerned citizens, that was recently formed with the goal of creating a fair and competitive bidding process for the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport, and of reopening consideration of the tunnel under Tysons. For more information, visit www.tysonstunnel.org.

<sh>Woman Attacked in Tysons Area

<bt>According to Fairfax County Police, a 17-year-old Tysons Corner-area woman was attacked on Thursday, Nov. 2 about 12:30 a.m. in the 7400 block of Tillman Drive. Police said the woman was walking on Tillman Drive when she saw a shadow behind her. A man grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth, carried her several feet away and then threw her on the ground. He attempted to take off her boots but the victim kicked the suspect. He then tried to grab her purse but was unsuccessful. The suspect touched the victim inappropriately then fled from the same direction the victim had initially come from. Police said the victim was not injured. The suspect was described as a black man in his 20s, 5-feet tall, with a chubby build. He was wearing a black shirt, black hat and black tank top. According to police, further investigation revealed this is incident was an attempted robbery. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477 or Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

<sh>Mall Decision Delayed

<bt>A decision about the proposal to transform Tysons Corner Mall into a mini-city has been delayed. Planning Commissioner Ken Lawrence cited the need for additional time to resolve concerns with the proposal.

Tysons Corner mall is now about 2.4 million square feet, on more than 78 acres.

Mall owner Macerich wants to add more than 3 million square feet more in four buildings, including: 1.4 million square feet of office space in four buildings, 266,000-square-foot hotel (about 300 rooms), 1.6 million square feet of residential space (950-1345 condos or apartments) and 200,000 square feet of new retail space.

The decision was deferred until Dec. 7. After the Planning Commission recommendation, the plan will go to the Board of Supervisors for a public hearing and final decision. It is scheduled for January 2007.

<sh>Theater Groups Form Alliance

<bt>There is a new player on the Virginia community theater scene. As of Oct. 20, Great Falls Players (GFP) and CAST in McLean (CAST) have merged to form a new community theatre group — the McLean Community Players.

"By merging the creative teams of both CAST and Great Falls Players, it is our goal to provide the McLean community with a wider spectrum of dramatic and musical performances," said Jeffrey Shue, president of the newly formed group.

Continuing to perform in the Alden Theatre, McLean Community Players will produce three shows each year (plays in October and February, and a musical in July), each running for three weekends.

"Combining forces will allow us to better serve the community by offering this coordinated season of theater, season ticket options, and a variety of theater-related workshops and events," said Shue.

Along those lines, the merger of the two groups enhances McLean Community Players' relationship with the McLean Community Center (MCC), which is home to an array of artistic and community groups. Having fewer points of contact simplifies their management of community theater, which in turn allows them to provide greater support to the community theatre productions in the Alden Theater.

"This merger formalizes and deepens the collaborative relationship that has always existed between CAST and GFP," says Bill Glikbarg , formerly the president of Great Falls Players and now the chairman of the board of McLean Community Players. "There has always been a lot of crossover, including members working on shows in both groups, and sharing production resources — we just like working together."

According to Shue, the idea of merging has been on everyone's minds for quite some time.

"It just makes sense artistically, financially, and logistically," he said.

For example, the two groups have been maintaining separate inventories of production resources in independent storage facilities, which can now be unified into one storage area. The benefits of unification are also true for various board functions such as treasury operations, Web pages maintenance, secretarial work, and community outreach.

The people who have made both groups successful in the past are committed to continuing to bring the best theater and musical theater to McLean. The new Board of Directors is comprised of members from both groups, and the officers are as follows: President, Jeff Shue; Chairman, Bill Glikbarg; First Vice President, Mike Scott; Secretary, Jennifer Stroock; Treasurer, Doug Yriart; Vice President, External Affairs, Bunny Bonnes; Vice President, Artistic Committee, Jerry Bonnes; Vice President, Outreach, Terry Yates; Webmaster, George Farnsworth. Members at large: Emily Besuden, Columba Brumby, Cathy Farnsworth, Bob Greenspan, Kara Martin, Jane McGovern, Herb Rothenberg, Lacie Koppelman Scofield, Doug Stroock, Sarah Tate, and Bob Zeigler.

"We want the new McLean Community Players to be a true community theater in every way possible," said Shue. "I encourage anyone interested in joining us backstage, onstage, or in any supportive capacity to contact us at info@mcleancommunityplayers.org."

<sh>'Contour Threads' To Be Discussed

<bt>Neighbors International, a local on-line community network, is hosting a new "Hot Topic" luncheon series in the area which brings specialists together with community members over a lunch at a local eatery. This luncheon is open to the public. Neighbors welcomes the public to attend its "Contour Threads - Plastic Surgery" luncheon, featuring Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths. Contour Threads are specially designed sutures are fashioned from clear polypropylene. By gently shifting sagging tissues in an upward direction, this technique allows the surgeon to produce a relaxed, fresh appearance. Griffiths earned her undergraduate degree at Yale and her medical degree from the University of Michigan. Her ophthalmology residency was completed at Georgetown University Medical Center. Griffiths is Board Certified and began performing laser vision correction practically from its inception in this country. Griffiths has been in private practice since 1994.

The luncheon will be held at the Old Brogue Restaurant in the Village Center of Great Falls, Nov. 14, starting at 11:15 a.m. and lasting until 1 p.m. The cost is $25 in advance, or $30 at the door, which covers lunch, dessert, beverage, tax, and gratuity. This luncheon is sponsored by House Paws. If interested, register by Nov. 13 by contacting Neighbors at 703-759-2102.

<sh>AAUW To Hold Special Branch Meeting

<bt>On a chilly November day in 1881 a group of young women, recent college graduates, met and conceived an organization to foster and promote women's education. That organization became the American Association of University Women. Now, 125 years later, the local branch is celebrating the history of AAUW, as well as the history of its own branch (37 years old), at a special branch meeting on Nov. 14. As usual, it will be at 7:30 p.m. at the McLean Community Center. The speaker, Lisa Maatz, AAUW's public policy director, will talk about AAUW's history.