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COMSTOCK FOR DELEGATE BLOG

The Comstock Connection 9/28
Friday, September 28, 2012





In This Issue
CNN's Money Magazine Says Data Centers Make Loudoun #1 For "Where The Jobs Are"
NVTC Titans Breakfast And The Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program
Power Outage Town Hall Meeting
20th Anniversary Of The Holocaust Museum
Scholarship Competition
Great Falls 9/11 Memorial Cermony
Ken Cuccinnelli Announces Payments To Foreclosure Victims Available Through National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement
10th Annual KORUS Festival
Virginia College Tuition Hits Decade Low
Virginia Colleges Top Forbes Annual Report
Helicopter Noise Forum
Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening
McLean Resident Albert Gordon Wins 2012-2013 Princess Grace Dance Scholarship
Korean Independence Day Festival
Annual Interfaith Iftar Dinner
Coming Up: The 25th Annual Sterlingfest
Save the Dates

Contact Me

Richmond Office:
General Assembly Building
#406
Richmond, VA 23219
(804) 698-1034

District Office:
PO Box 6156
McLean, VA 22106
(703) 772-7168
Campaign Office:
Friends of
Barbara Comstock
PO Box 6171
McLean, VA 22106

Paid for and authorized by Friends of Barbara Comstock

September 2012
Dear Friends,

It has been a busy summer and fall visiting throughout the 34th District and keeping up on all the activities throughout the district. As you know, I am always available to you and if you have any questions or concerns, please email or call my office. I can be reached directly at bcomstock@delegatecomstock.com, or on our district phone at (703) 772-7168.

CNN's Money Magazine Says Data Centers Make Loudoun # 1 For "Where The Jobs Are"

A recent CNN Money Survey named Loudoun County the number one county in the nation for job growth, citing a 83 percent increase in job growth from 2000 to 2011. Major global businesses like AOL, Raytheon, Verizon, and Digital Reality are moving to Loudoun County because of its data centers. Some people are even calling Loudoun County the "Data Center Alley" and the "Silicon Valley of the East" with data centers now occupying 4.3 million square feet of the county and another 7 million square feet already under construction.

Data centers bring jobs and educated, skilled workers to Northern Virginia. In order to keep the Commonwealth and Loudoun County job market thriving, we must attract additional data centers through tax incentives and low energy costs. My bill passed during the 2012 General Assembly Session was designed for that purpose.

HB 216, signed this summer by the Governor, now provides tax incentives for this industry which is expected to grow by hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years. This legislation helps keep Virginia a top destination for this industry and diversify our economy by focusing on private sector commercial markets where we have a competitive advantage. My bill was supported by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, state and local Chambers of Commerce, and was a top priority of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC).

NVTC Titans Breakfast: SAIC Chair And CEO John Jumper Interview And The Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP) Announced

On Thursday, September 27, I attended the NVTC Titans Breakfast series to hear SAIC Chair and CEO John Jumper discuss, among other things, the challenges our defense industry faces with looming defense budget cuts. Earlier this summer I joined Jumper and other NVTC members and local officials at the "Stop Sequestration" rally.

Also at the Titans breakfast Virginia Education Secretary Laura Fornash and Tech Secretary Jim Duffey announced the newly established Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program (CSIIP), which offers a no-cost, centralized, online application system that allows students majoring in STEM fields at accredited Virginia colleges and universities, or Virginia students attending out-of-state accredited colleges and universities, the ability to search and apply for paid, STEM-related summer internships with Virginia companies. Additionally, it provides Virginia companies with free access to a large state-wide pool of qualified students for their summer internship opportunities.

Students provide one comprehensive application that can be reviewed by potentially hundreds of companies throughout the state. SAIC is one of the companies that has already signed up for the program. For more information on the program, see the Governor's press release here.


Power Outage Town Hall Meeting

Thanks to all who came out to my town hall meeting to voice their questions and concerns regarding recent power outages in our community. I also appreciate the representatives from Dominion Power who took the time out of their busy schedules to join us at the Great Falls Library on Monday, September 17th.

I have been working with Dominion over the past few months, and particularly during the Derecho storm on June 29th, to ensure that Dominion knows and responds to all constituents who are having problems with their electricity. I will continue to be a resource for you all and do not hesitate to contact me on these issues.

Dominion representatives agreed to send feedback to all attendees on how their personal service compares to both their immediate neighbors and other residents throughout Northern Virginia. Dominion officials also expressed their willingness to take all constituents' concerns and suggestions back to their teams to discuss ways in which they can improve their service in our community. As a result of their feedback from the Derecho storm, Dominion announced that they are organizing customer focus groups to write a new call back script for when they get in touch with customers over the telephone.

Honoring The 20th Anniversary of the Holocaust Museum

As the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Holocaust Museum approaches, we are reminded of a promise we make: never again.

Over 34 million people from all over the world have visited the Holocaust Museum since its dedication ceremony on April 22, 1993. Now, the Museum is encouraging individuals to share their thoughts through their "20 Actions To Honor 20 Years" initiative. People are invited to write about how they have brought the lessons of the Holocaust into their daily lives in an effort to inspire others to do the same. More information about the Holocaust Museum and its 20th anniversary is available here.

Governor McDonnell Announces Scholarship Competition Open To Virginia High School Students

All Virginia high school students are invited to participate in Governor McDonnell's Cyber Challenge this fall. This free competition is geared towards students who have a knack for computers in hopes of increasing their interest in cyber security.

Governor McDonnell mentioned the success of the high-tech and data industry in Northern Virginia as a motivation to start this scholarship competition: "Inspiring Virginia students to pursue interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is critical to their futures as well as the future of our nation."

The challenge is hosted by the U.S. Cyber Challenge, the SANS Institute, and George Mason University. The Challenge consists of 2 parts. The first part is a set of online quizzes and the top 40 scoring students will advance to the second part, which are in person finals held March 2, 2013 at George Mason University. Winners of the competition will receive scholarships in the amounts of $5,000 for first place, $3000 for second place, and $1,500 for third place.

For more information, please visit the Governor's website.

Great Falls 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

The Great Falls Freedom Memorial Foundation, led by Foundation President Ed Heberg, held a lovely 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at the Great Falls Library on September 11th. Boy Scout Troop 55 helped out and thanks to Rev. John Bradford of Christ the King Lutheran Church who was the keynote speaker.

We lit candles for those from Great Falls who we lost on that tragic day. We will always remember and we are forever grateful to our servicemen and women who over the past 11 years and to this day nobly sacrifice for their fellow man. Because of them we are truly the home of the free and the brave.

Attorney General Announces National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement

On Monday, September 24th, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced that Virginia residents who lost their homes between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011 due to foreclosure may be eligible for payments under the national mortgage foreclosure settlement. According to the Attorney General's office, approximately 46,600 claim forms were mailed to those who may be eligible and who had mortgages through Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Completed forms must be submitted by January 18, 2013, and please note that borrowers do not give up any legal rights by participating. Click here for more information about the settlement and for answers to some frequently asked questions.

10th Annual KORUS Festival
On Friday, September 14th, I joined Frank Wolf, Pat Herrity and other local officials to kick off the KORUS festival at Bull Run Park for its 10th annual festival. They had perfect weather for the entire weekend festival which emphasized and celebrated the relationship between Korea and the United States. The festival was complete with the best of Korean food, art, dance and music.


Virginia College Tuition Hits Decade Low

Great news for Virginia undergraduates and their families: Students at public universities and colleges in the Commonwealth will experience the lowest tuition and mandatory fee increase in a decade. On August 8, Governor McDonnell announced that the average tuition increase of 4.1 percent represents a 3.8 percent drop from last year's increase of 7.9 percent. This information was released as part of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV's) annual report on tuition and fees at public higher education institutions.

This year's low tuition and fee increases were possible due in large part to the continued commitment of reinvestment by Governor Bob McDonnell and the 2012 General Assembly's allocation of $230 million in additional general fund support to Virginia's public higher education institutions in the 2012-14 budget. The Governor and General Assembly's reinvestment in higher education will help public institutions meet the goals of the 'Top Jobs' Virginia Education Opportunity Act of 2011, landmark legislation that calls for an additional 100,000 college graduates by the year 2025.

Virginia Colleges Top Forbes Annual Report

On Wednesday, August 1st, Forbes released their annual "America's Top Colleges" report, showing the University of Virginia and William and Mary once again ranking No.1 and No.2 for public non-service academy colleges in the country. The University of Virginia also improved 10 positions in the overall rankings to No. 36, and William and Mary improved nine positions overall to No. 40. Washington and Lee (No. 15) and the University of Richmond (No. 73) also ranked in the top 100 overall schools. A total of 22 Virginia schools were included in the "America's Top Colleges" report. The full report is available here.
Helicopter Noise Forum
This summer, along with Congressman Frank Wolf, Supervisor John Foust and Behram Shroff of the McLean Hamlet Citizen Association, I hosted a forum on helicopter noise in our area at the McLean Community Center. Representatives from regional airports, the FAA, the Department of Defense and others met to discuss helicopter noise in our area.

I have been working with Representative Wolf in recent months to ensure that residents of Fairfax County get to meet those responsible for controlling the region's airspace, those directing aircraft from regional airports, as well as those operating low-flying helicopters. The officials said that there had in fact been no change in routes or zones in the past few years and that the amount of helicopters in the Washington Metropolitan area has actually decreased while air traffic control has become more stringent since September 11th.

There were citizens from different neighborhoods who did not seem to agree that that was consistent with their experience. Representatives from the FAA, Department of Defense, Fairfax County Police, Air Traffic Control Management and Washington Flight Standards District Office agreed to take attendees' concerns back to their teams and to reemphasize flying in accordance with the marked zone and route patterns. They also expressed their willingness to meet neighborhoods to discuss this topic more frequently.

A special thanks to the representatives who took the time to make a presentation informing the residents about how the region's airspace accommodates helicopters, what organizations are flying in the region and addressed questions from the audience.

Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening

During the summer, I joined Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Dr. Bill Hazel, and Del. Patrick Hope to promote the critical congenital heart disease screening for newborns that will be expanding throughout the Commonwealth. Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect, affecting about 8 in 1,000 infants. The Children's National Medical Center created the Congenital Heart Disease Screening Program to help detect serious CHD while newborns are in the nursery.
The program uses pulse oximetry, a non-invasive test, to quickly and painlessly test babies for serious CHD while they are in the newborn nursery. This year I worked together with my colleagues in the General Assembly to make this a regular test in all hospitals throughout Virginia to ensure that no newborns go home without first getting tested. Click here for more information about the screening process.
McLean Resident Albert Gordon Wins 2012-2013 Princess Grace Dance Scholarship

Congratulations to rising star, Albert Gordon, who was recently presented with the 2012-2013 Princess Grace Dance Scholarship. Currently, Albert dances at The Washington School of Ballet and was nominated for this award by the director of TWSB, Kee Juan Han. The Princess Grace Foundation is committed to sponsoring emerging talent in theater, dance and film. We look forward to watching Albert's continued success!

67th Korean Independence Day Festival

On Wednesday, August 15th, I had the pleasure of celebrating the 67th anniversary of the Republic of Korea's Independence with American and Korean military veterans and their families at the Fairfax County Country Club in Fairfax.

There were wonderful performances from Washington Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Men's Choir and Korean Traditional Percussion. Thanks to all who came out and celebrated this special day.

Interfaith Iftar Dinners
I was pleased to join again with Ray and Shaista Mahmood for their annual Interfaith Iftar Dinner at their lovely home in Mount Vernon. A diverse group of people of all faiths from throughout the area joined together for a delightful evening. The spirit of the evening was caught at sunset with a rainbow that rose over the Potomac.
I also enjoyed joining the Interfaith Iftar Dinner on August 12th at the Adams Center. We also had the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Azraf Ullah for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Azraf is pictured below with the many guests of the Iftar Dinner. Congratulations Azraf!
Coming Up: The 25th Annual Sterlingfest

Join me at the 25th Annual Sterlingfest on October 6th. The festival runs from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Sterling Community Center, located on 120 Enterprise Street in Sterling. There is great turnout every year and it is always a great family event. This year, the start of the festival will also coincide with the end of the Columbus Day parade.

All the proceeds from Sterlingfest go right back to the community and three local non-profits: Sterling Players, Sterling Advisory Board and the Sterling Foundation. Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of food, crafts, music, and entertainment while supporting local businesses, organizations and non-profits. Click here for more information about Sterlingfest.
Save the Dates
  • Every Friday- McLean Farmer's Market from 8:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m. at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean Virginia 22101
  • Every Saturday- Great Falls Farmer's Market from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Great Falls Village Green Day School, 790 Walker Rd., Great Falls, Virginia 22066
  • First Wednesday of Each Month- McLean Citizens Association Meetings at 8:00 p.m. at the McLean Community Center,1234 Ingleside Ave.,McLean, Virginia 22101
  • Second Tuesday of Each Month- Great Falls Citizens Association Meetings at 7:30 p.m. at the Grange, 9818 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls, Virginia 22066
  • September 26-30- Fall for the Book Festival at George Mason University, 4400 University Drive MS3E4, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
  • October 2- McLean Citizen's Association Fall Membership Meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Virginia 22101
  • October 6- McLean 5K Run with the Warriors
  • October 6- 25th Annual Sterlingfest from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at Sterling Community Center, 120 Enterprise Street, Sterling Virginia 20164
  • October 9- Fairfax Leadership Academy Public Hearing at 6:00 p.m. at Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church, Virginia
  • October 13- Great Falls Optimist Club 7th Annual Barn Dance at 7:00 p.m. at White Pines Farm Barn, 964 Walker Rd, Great Falls, Virginia 22066
  • October 14- MPAartfest with McLean Project for the Arts, 1468 Dolley Madison Blvd, McLean, Virginia 22101
  • October 20- Claude Moore Colonial Farm 1771 Market Fair from 11:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.at Claude Moore Colonial Farm, 6310 Georgetown Pike, McLean Virginia.
  • October 24- Vienna's 66th Annual Halloween Parade
  • October 31- Great Falls Spooktacular from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. on the Great Falls Village Green.

I try to be accessible to my constituents in as many ways as possible. For more information, please visit my website, www.delegatecomstock.com, where you can read my blog for up-to-date information on Virginia, click to follow me on Facebook or Twitter. You can also email me at bcomstock@delegatecomstock.com. Please don't hesitate to contact me about issues that concern you.

Sincerely,

Signature
Delegate Barbara Comstock

Paid for and authorized by Friends of Barbara Comstock.








Paid for by Friends of Barbara Comstock.