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The Comstock Connection 10/10/13
Thursday, October 10, 2013

Delegate Banner 

In This Issue
Virginia Is #1
Creek Crossing Community Walk
C-SPAN Bus At Langley and Cooper
Wolf Trap Ball
11th Annual Korean KORUS Festival
Marshall High School's New Statesmen Station
Class Size Working Group Meeting
Loudoun For Full Day Kindergarten
Apply To The House Page Program!
Protect Your Family From Mail Theft
Local Police Non-Emergency Telephone Numbers
Are You Owed Money Or Property?
Operation Hawkeye
Save The Date
Contact Me
District Mailing Address:
PO Box 6156
McLean, VA 22106
District Office:
1356 Beverly Road
Suite 250
McLean, Virginia 22101
October 10, 2013

Dear Friends,


During the month of September we welcomed all students back to school and now we're beginning to enjoy the nice fall weather.  As always, we want to keep you up to date in the 34th District and hear from you on any of your concerns. Thank you all for your continued input, advice and support. 


Please don't hesitate to contact my office on matters of concern to you. I can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 703-772-7168.  If you would like to visit our legislative office, you can set up an appointment with my legislative aide, Jessica Goodman, at [email protected] or call 703-772-7168. 

Virginia Voted #1 State To Do Business



Forbes recently announced that Virginia is America's Best State for Business. Virginia ranks first in the "regulatory environment" category. 


Our business-friendly government practices and flexible incentive packages contribute to this strong position.  Virginia is the only state that ranks in the top five in four of the six categories. 


Forbes specifically points to our tort system as a key factor in this ranking.  This year, we passed a package of six tort-reform bills that we can point to as evidence of our work on this issue.  Forbes also specifically points to Virginia's strong right-to-work law as a key factor in Virginia's success. 

Creek Crossing Community Walk In Opposition To Route 432
On Sunday, September 29th, I joined my colleague, Delegate Mark Keam, and 100 residents in the Creeks Crossing and East Street neighborhood in Vienna for a community walk in opposition to the proposed Fairfax Connector Bus Route 432.  Hundreds of you have signed the petition and voiced your concerns that the proposed route is not economically viable and is a safety concern given the existing roadway structure and design along Creeks Crossing and East Street. 
I look forward to continuing to work with you on this to find a transportation solution that best serves those in the community who are immediately impacted by this new bus route. Click here to read a letter that Delegate Keam and I sent to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in July voicing our opposition to the proposed route. 
C-SPAN Bus Visits Langley High School And Cooper Middle School                   

I would like to thank C-SPAN for bringing the C-SPAN bus to Langley High School and Cooper Middle School on September 24th. It was great to spend time with Langley students and a journalism class at Cooper.


C-SPAN told the students about their documentary competition, StudentCam 2014, "A Message to the U.S. Congress: What's the most important issue the Congress should consider in 2014?" This year they've doubled the number of student prizes to 150, and are awarding a total of $100,000 in prize money. If you are interested in learning more about the competition, click here.

Wolf Trap Ball                    
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts held their annual Wolf Trap Ball on Saturday, September 21st hosted by the Ambassador to France. Proceeds from the ball benefited Wolf Trap education programs such as the STEM Smart Beginnings Program. 
I introduced a budget amendment during the 2013 General Assembly Session which provided funding for the Smart Beginnings Program. This program is unique because it supports the development of a STEM Model Program for Pre-K and kindergarten aged children. Each developed model will focus on the children's learning experiences through the arts. It was a pleasure to join Wolf Trap and others in the community to support this wonderful cause.
11th Annual Korean KORUS Festival

I had the opportunity to join in the opening ceremony festivities at the 11th Annual Korean KORUS Festival.  For the last 11 years this festival has been a pillar in the Korean-American community. I was pleased to celebrate once again with the event sponsors, the Korean American Association of Washington Metropolitan Area (KAAW) and my neighbors.


Northern Virginia is home to more than 200,000 Korean Americans for which the KORUS Festival promotes cultural identity and awareness.  I appreciate all the contributions made by Korean Americans in our business community, education community and charitable community that help make the Commonwealth one of the best places to live in the country.   

Marshall High School's New Statesmen Station
I had the opportunity to join our new Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Karen Garza, and local officials on Thursday, September 12th at a ribbon cutting ceremony for Marshall High School's Statesmen Station, a fresh food kitchen pilot program. A special thanks to Joanne Hammermaster with Real Food for Kids, who has been a real leader on promoting a healthy lifestyle and getting more nutritious options available to our kids.  Click here to read more about Real Food For Kid's initiative.
Class Size Working Group Meeting
Our Class Size Working Group, comprised of parents from Wolftrap Elementary school and other public schools in our area, met on Tuesday, September 10th.  I had the opportunity to give an update on the legislative efforts we've made at the state level to combat this growing problem.
This past General Assembly Session, I introduced HB1556 which attempted to address class size by providing equity across the County. The legislation would have changed the way the school district can average their class size from a divisionwide ratio to a schoolwide ratio.
Although the bill did not pass, the Committee committed to send a letter from the Chairman to the State Board of Education, David Foster, to ask them to look into this issue and address concerns raised by parents of students in local public schools throughout Fairfax and Loudoun County.  David Foster attended one of our working group meetings in May and committed to looking into clarifying the current regulations pertaining to class size in Virginia's Standards of Quality (SOQ). 
I've also had the opportunity to recently speak with and send a letter to new Fairfax County Public School Superintendent, Dr. Karen Garza, about this issue. Dr. Garza appears both receptive and aware of large class sizes in our local schools.  I planned a meeting with Dr. Garza in early November to speak further about ways to address this issue.
We remain committed to addressing this issue for our children.  If you are interested in becoming a member of our Class Size Working Group, don't hesitate to contact my Legislative Assistant, Jessica Goodman, at [email protected] or 703-772-7168 for more information.
Loudoun For Full Day Kindergarten Initiative                       
It was a pleasure to meet with Lindsay Weissbratten and Robyn Engelson of the Loudoun For Full Day Kindergarten Initiative on Saturday, August 24th. I am honored to have worked with them in the past on their efforts to bring all-day kindergarten programs to Loudoun County Public Schools and I remain committed to making this a priority for state and local representatives, teachers and parents. 
I would like to direct you to a letter that I wrote following our meeting in support of Loudoun For Full Day Kindergarten's efforts.  Click here to read a full text version of the letter and click here to like Loudoun For Full Day Kindergarten's Facebook page.  If you would like to join in on the efforts to bring all-day kindergarten to Loudoun County Public Schools, don't hesitate to email me at [email protected].    
495 Express Lanes Driver Feedback Campaign                   
Transurban recently announced their 495 Express Lanes Driver Feedback Campaign.  Now that the 495 Express Lanes have been open since last November, they want to hear your feedback on what you like about the lanes, what can be improved, etc.  The Driver Feedback Campaign runs from September 26th- October 25th and comments may be submitted online by clicking here
Apply To The House Page Program For The 2014 Session

Each year, the Speaker of the House of Delegates appoints 13 and 14 year-olds from across the Commonwealth to serve as House pages during the regular session of the General Assembly.  These young people assist the members of the House of Delegates, the House Clerk's staff, and other legislative staff in the daily duties required for the successful operation of the House of Delegates during the session. 


Click here if you are interested in learning more about the House Page Program, and click here to view the applications page.  Applications will be received August 1st- October 28th.  No applications will be accepted after 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 28th.  Applicants are required to obtain an endorsement from their representing Delegate in order to complete their application. 
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call my office at 703-772-7168.   


Protect Your Family From Mail Theft                    
Recently, we've heard reports of mail theft in Fairfax and Loudoun County. Here's what you can do to protect your mail from thieves:
  • Never send cash or coins in the mail. Use checks or money orders.
  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery, especially if you're expecting checks, credit cards, or other negotiable items. If you won't be home when the items are expected, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail.
  • Have your local post office hold your mail while you're on vacation, or absent from your home for a long period of time.
  • If you don't receive a check or other valuable mail you're expecting, contact the issuing agency immediately.
  • If you change your address, immediately notify your post office and anyone with whom you do business via the mail.
  • Always deposit your mail in a mail slot at your local post office, or hand it to your letter carrier.
  • Consider starting a neighborhood watch program. By exchanging work and vacation schedules with trusted friends and neighbors, you can watch each other's mailboxes (as well as homes). If you observe a mail thief at work, call the local police immediately, and then call the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455.
Local Police Non-Emergency Telephone Numbers
You may call this number to report anything you see that is suspicious or unusual enough that you think the police might want to investigate. Calls are dispatched on a priority basis, so please do not assume that you are wasting anyone's time by calling.
Great Falls, McLean and Vienna Police Non-Emergency phone number: 703-691-2131
Sterling and Potomac Falls Police Non-Emergency phone number: 703-777-1021
Are You Owed Money Or Property?
Virginia's Treasury Department maintains an Unclaimed Property Division that provides a clearinghouse for people, businesses, and government agencies who owe money or property but can't find the owner. You can easily see if this unit of state government is holding money or property for you by clicking here.

While most people will find they are not owed money, it's good to check.  All you need to do is complete the short, online form, and a check should arrive in the mail from the state in a few weeks if you find that you are owed money. You'll need to log into the secure website and provide some personal information. It only takes a couple of minutes.   
Donate: Operation Hawkeye
This past Labor Day weekend Will Thomas of McLean completed a marathon basketball shooting challenge to rally support for the Special Operations forces (SOF) community in connection with Operation Hawkeye (www.Ophawkeye.com).  Will made 3,333 3-point baskets,  3,333 free throws and raised $30,000 for SOF nonprofit partners. 
Will hopes that his feat will inspire others to make a donation at http://www.ophawkeye.com/rise-and-fire. All the proceeds go to benefit loved ones of Special Ops heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  All donations are tax deductible. 
Save The Date
  • Every Friday- McLean Farmer's Market from 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean Virginia 2210
  • 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
  • Every Sunday- Celebrate Great Falls Foundation Concerts on the Green from 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. at the Village Centre, 776 Walker Road, 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 
  • Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13- Ford Driving Skills for Life at Dulles Airport.  Ford is partnering up with the Governors Highway Safety Association to provide this DSFL program, free of charge, for teen drivers. Please click on the following link to register, www.drivingskillsforlife.com.
  • Saturday, October 12- Local Volunteer Fire Departments Host Fire Prevention Open Houses from 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and all 37 County fire and rescue stations cordially invite the general public to participate in a community open house, spotlighting fire prevention. The theme for 2013 is "Prevent Kitchen Fires." The open houses serves to remind us all of the simple actions we can take to stay safe from fire year round. Every firehouse will host activities, provide tours, and have available fire prevention educational materials. To locate your local fire and rescue station please visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr/deptinfo/stations.htm or call Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Public Affairs and Life Safety Education at 703-246-3801. 
  • Wednesday, October 16- MCA Sponsors Program On "Later High School Start Times: A Blueprint for Positive Change?" at 7:30 p.m. at the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean, Virginia 22101. The McLean Citizens Association will sponsor a presentation by Dr. Judith Owens, Children's National Medical Center Division of Sleep Medicine.  Dr. Owens will provide a status report and answer questions on the 8-month long study on later high school start times that Children's is undertaking under contract to the School Board.  
  • Saturday, October 19 and Sunday, October 20- 10th Annual Great Falls Studio Tour from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Artists' Atelier located at 1144 Walker Road, Suite G.
  • Sunday, October 20- Grain Grinding Demonstrations at Colvin Run Mill from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Colvin Run Mill, 10017 Colvin Run Road, Great Falls, Virginia 22066. Call 703-759-2771 to confirm that conditions permit grinding. No reservations required.
  • December 1- McLean Winterfest Parade- Save The Date.

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, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. You can reach me by email at [email protected] or by phone at 703-772-7168. Please don't hesitate to contact me about issues that concern you.




Delegate Barbara Comstock

Paid for and authorized by Friends of Barbara Comstock.

Paid for by Friends of Barbara Comstock.