Sequestration. Try saying that fast five times and see what happens. I get a bunch of tangled syllables that pretty much illustrate the potential impact. Sequestration is $600 billion of tax increases and spending cuts that will go into effect next year if Congress does not act. It’s part of the fiscal cliff we’re hearing so much about—the combination of sequestration, tax cuts that expire and the federal debt ceiling. When Congress’ Joint Select committee on Deficit Reduction (also called the Super Committee) failed to reach agreement on $2.1 trillion worth of cuts over 10 years, sequestration was triggered—and that was a threat that no one thought would ever be carried out.
At the May 15th SCA Membership Meeting, Vivian Watts spoke on transportation issues but was unable to show her presentation on transportation, which you can now access online. She writes, "I pulled together this power point to cut through claims and headlines. Without a clear understanding of the size and breath of the very serious problem we face, meaningful action won't happen."
Coming in 2012. The 495 Express Lanes, opening on the Virginia side of the Capital Beltway, will provide faster, more direct options for high-occupancy vehicles and toll-paying customers. There will be two new high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes in each direction, from the Springfield Interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road. Whether you travel by car, carpool, or bus, these HOT lanes will provide greater control over your commute on the Beltway.
Learn all about the new express lanes at http://www.495expresslanes.com/.
Friends and Neighbors,
Our meeting on May 15th will close out the year for the current seven-member Board of Directors of the Springfield Civic Association (SCA). You will elect a new Board for the coming session on that Tuesday evening as Alice Merrill (Secretary) and Bonnie Pritchard (At-Large) move to join our large Executive Committee or ExCom comprised of past presidents, Board members and community activists. New candidates will be presented for consideration, but the key, I think, is that Board membership continues to change and re-energize as more of us get engaged. Alice and Bonnie have earned our respect and admiration for their volunteer spirit, ideas and hard work. Their skills and experience provide a glimpse of the breadth and depth of talent, intelligence and esprit de corps that the SCA possesses on every street. The SCA owes them a vote of thanks for jobs well done.
Did you know that Springfield Mall is the hottest piece of mall property in the country right now? Vornado Chairman Steve Roth’s annual letter to the shareholders includes the following: “We will of course continue to re-develop Springfield Mall, Springfield, VA – under the leadership of Bob Minutoli – where a large and affluent population and under-malled trade area, make it one of the best mall development opportunities in the country.”
The Nominating Committee thought our job was done when no additional nominations were received for any Board position to add to those made at the March meeting. However, we sadly learned on April 22nd that Director At Large Bonnie Pritchard would be resigning her position effective with the May elections in order to focus more intensely on seeking full-time career opportunities.
Mr. George Towery, a longtime Crestwood resident and a National Night host for the past 7 years, has generously volunteered to Chair the SCA National Night Out event this year. Our celebration will feature Front Yard Gatherings at 25 locations within the SCA boundaries.
Lake Accotink Park is undoubtedly Springfield’s treasure! If you’re interested in working to keep the park beautiful, safe and a center of wholesome activity, please consider joining the Friends of Lake Accotink Park (FLAP). The group meets once a month. The next meeting will be at the Richard Byrd Library on 17 May at 7pm. There are no dues and no requirements for membership except an interest in Lake Accotink Park. If you’re interested, come to the meeting or contact the president, Jim Hickey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Has there been an incident on your street? Have you had solicitors knock on your door asking for your business? While you’re driving to work or on your way to do errands, have you noticed something unusual? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you can learn what to do by coming to the monthly CAC meeting.
The 3rd Wednesday of every month, you have the opportunity to meet with your police force. At 6:30 pm in the Helen Wilson Community Room (Franconia Government Center, 6121 Franconia Road), Officer Jim Reid has arranged for various members of the Fairfax County Police Department to speak on topics relevant to all of us. On May 16th, the presenter will be Detective Doug Comfort. Detective Comfort is an excellent speaker who will be talking about tactical community policing and homeland security.
Every year, the Fairfax County Public Library runs a Summer Reading Program for children up through rising twelfth grade. The purpose is to encourage children to continue reading during vacation and thus to maintain or improve their skills. Participants may sign up at any library branch or online at the library’s website beginning June 15. Readers can sign up at any time during the summer. However, they must return their completed reading log by Saturday, September 1st in order to receive a booklet with coupons from various local businesses. Although there is a limit of one booklet per child, we do encourage children to keep reading and fill out “I Kept Reading” logs.