Saturday, February 5, 2011


In the matter of John Franklin Ganzer's legendary perseverance, our Great Uncle Harold took us Pullman First Class on the Great Empire Builder to Seattle in the Summer of 1966. We stopped in Havre Montana, where we have many relatives. We went on a picnic and John and I climbed a small mountain in the latter party of the mid-day afternoon. The scenery was breath-taking (this was August, under a cloudless Montana sky). John had to get a picture, but we had left the camera at the picnic table. He didn't even ask me to accompany him back down the mountain to fetch the camera to climb the mountain again whilst the sun was setting every more rapidly. He made it back in time and got some great photos. Persevere my man. Keep on keepin' on, my brother.
The summer after his high school senior year, he was selected as one of Barrington Consolidated High School's two representatives to the local song and dance troupe Great Waves of Care, which put on one heck of a show and toured the country. From that experience he made many more friends, and the following summer, he and Colleen Zenk put together a musical, song & dance ensemble to raise money for the Little Sisters of the Poor Catholic home. The talent was incredible! I wrote the musical score for Summer In the City, for which Matthew Ward was eternally grateful, because that was not one of his favorite numbers. I sang Luck Be a Lady Tonight, solo, and Peter Hayward got a perfectly fitting tuxedo for me for the part. Probably helped that his father was the President of the Chicago Bar Association.
To truly delve and ken the power of performance to seep into the cracks of people's minds, you would have had to watched the duet of Hey, Johnnie Look Sharp. The sad song ends when Johnnie, after singing to and with his mother, is shot dead, and dies. This was 1972, as my memory serves me, and this was a very powerful anti-war moment, when you could literally have heard a pin drop in the audience. As Ian Anderson wrote for Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick Album - "I may make you feel, but I can't make you think. Your sperm's in the gutter, your love's in the sink."
And in a moment when the audience was dazed, almost as if it were a bull, about to be killed by the matador, we lifted up the curtain to expose the Wizard of Oz, the meek, mild, weak puppet master pulling the strings, trying to maintain the illusion of power, and the entire ensemble pulled tiny American flags from our sleeves as we sang "Yankee Doodle Dandy." Familiarity, the audience burst out into a resounding round of applause that didn't stop until more than a minute after we had finished singing the song.
The last John Franklin Ganzer story is this. He is in the hospital in NYC, the AIDS virus has mestastisized into the pnemoniua from which one never recovers. John awakens. The medical staff begins its interogation:
"What's your name?" "John Ganzer."
"Where are you?" "Hospital in New york City, New York."
"What day of the week is it?" "Tuesday."
"Who's the President?" "Colleen Dewhurst."
I will carry you in my heart, my brother so dear, my brother so fair, unto my last breath, unto my last memory fades, and I emerge, a star burst, perhaps a single drop of rain - perhaps I may become a highway man again; but I'll come back again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again.

Clinton, Obama and the Collapse of Black Economic Stability By Glen Ford Created 02/01/2011 - 23:02 Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 02/01/2011 - 23:02 Blacks public employment [1] Blacks union jobs [2] Clinton NAFTA [3] Obama federal wage freeze [4]

The Falls Church Focus on Safety Program Warning Period: Dec. 19, 2010 - Jan. 17, 2011 Citations will be issued beginning on Jan. 18, 2011 Beginning in mid-January, 2011, the City of Falls Church began issuing citations to motorists who are videtaped running red lights at two intersections. Intersection Safety Cameras have been installed at the eastbound and westbound approaches at Broad and Cherry Streets and at Broad Street and Annandale Road.

As part of the Falls Church Focus on Safety Program, the City of Falls Church reminds drivers to always approach an intersection safely. Drivers should always slow down and prepare to make a complete stop when a light turns yellow. Yellow lights inform drivers about a change in traffic flow. Always yield to pedestrians as they have the right of way and always come to a full and complete stop before turning right on red. It's the law. Make sure the roadway is clear before proceeding and work with us to improve traffic safety in our community.

A red-light violation occurs when a motorist enters an intersection after the traffic signal has turned red. Motorists already in the intersection when the signal changes to red are not considered red-light violators. For example, a driver who enters an intersection on a green light will not receive a citation—even if that motorist must wait until the light turns red to complete a left-hand turn after oncoming traffic clears.
The intersection safety camera is activated when motion is detected, indicating a vehicle is entering the intersection AFTER the traffic signal has turned red. The camera captures two images of the offending vehicle—one showing the vehicle before entering the intersection on a red light, and one showing the vehicle proceeding through the intersection on red. A video is also made of the violation. The images are reviewed and the violation confirmed by an officer with the Falls Church Police Department before a violation notice is issued.
Owners of vehicles that are photographed running red lights will receive a notice in the mail and are subject to a minimum fine of $50. Those who receive a violation can obtain additional information or view their photographs and video online Inquiries about the program can be made to the Falls Church Police at 703-248-5025 or Citizens may also callcall toll free 1-866-790-4111, if they have questions.
Intersection safety is an important aspect of safety in our community for all motorists. Stop on Red!

Recreation & Parks The Recreation & Parks Department offers a year-round program of recreational and leisure-time activities for all age groups and interest levels. These programs include a variety of classes, athletic leagues, special events, and trips. We sponsor special events throughout the year including the annual Memorial Day Parade & Festival, July 4 Fireworks, the Fall Festival, Holiday Craft Show and numerous other speical events. The Recreation & Parks Department is also responsible for managing and maintaining neighborhood parks and the Cherry Hill Farmhouse and Barn.

The Falls Church Community Center is the main location for the Recreation & Parks Department. The Community Center hosts the majority of our classes and programs. The Community Center is also the location of our staff offices.

Valentine Tea- Sunday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. at the
                      Cherry Hill Farmhouse

Spring Break Camps- Register now!

Summer Camp Registration- City Residents: Feb. 7
                                         Non-City: Feb. 14

Youth Spring Soccer Registration- Early Bird Reg. Feb. 14-27
                                                Regular Reg. Feb. 28- March 13

2011 High School Trips- Ski/Snowboard, Wizards Game, Cosmic Bowling & more

Wondering about Water? The City of Falls Church Story The City of Falls Church provides excellent water service at a low price! The City of Falls Church is proud of its continuous record of outstanding customer service at a price lower than two thirds of Virginia's public water utilities. The City of Falls Church Water Utility delivers more than five billion gallons of safe drinking water annually to 120,000 people in a 33 square mile area.

The Falls Church water system includes:

  • 34,500 customer accounts
  • 17 million gallons per day
    (equal to 1 water tank every 2 hours)
  • 497 miles of water mains
  • 9,977 valves
  • 10 storage tanks
  • 8 pumping stations
  • 52 employees
You may have read or heard stories in the media lately about ongoing litigation related to the City of Falls Church Water Utility and demands for "refunds" by the Fairfax County government and County residents for water bill payments. Information provided here will clarify the incomplete and inaccurate information that has appeared in some of the media coverage.
Falls Church Water Rates
  • The City's water rates are among the lowest in the national capital region. (see chart). Among 17 water service providers in the Washington, D.C. region, 12 have rates higher than the City of Falls Church.
  • The City of Falls Church water rate is lower than two-thirds of the public water utilities in Virginia.
  • The City's water rate, which is the same for both Falls Church City and Fairfax County residents, has remained the same for five years.
  • As a result of the recent court rulings, the City is undertaking a rate study.
Why is the Falls Church Water Rate Different than the Fairfax Water Rate?
  • The City of Falls Church Water Utility is an older system and has an older infrastructure with higher operational costs than Fairfax .
  • Fairfax Water has about seven times more customers than CFC and benefits from economies of scale.
  • Fairfax Water has large wholesale water customers including Loudoun and Prince William Counties.
  • Although Fairfax Water charges a lower rate for water, they have a much higher hook up fee.
  • The City of Falls Church Water Utility is the "go to" water supply for new development.
Explain the Court Ruling on Equity Issue and Legal Authority to Set Rates
  • The Fairfax County Circuit Court ruling last year addressed the City's long-standing practice of transferring revenues from the water fund to the general fund.
  • The City's Charter specifically authorizes the City to earn and transfer utility profits. Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Ney ruled the City may not earn and transfer profits from the water fund to the general fund.
  • Other localities across Virginia maintain their clear legal authority to charge rates that include a return on equity.
  • Although the City did not agree with the decision, we do respect it and have taken immediate action to fully comply.
What is the City's Response to Fairfax County government and other customers' demands for a refund?
  • The City is being sued by Fairfax County and others demanding a refund for water payments.
  • The City Attorney is reviewing Fairfax County government and other customer demands for a refund. It is important to note that the court ruling did not order refunds.
How long has Falls Church been in the water business?
  • The City of Falls Church Water Utility was created in the 1930s to serve the people of Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County.
  • The City Water Utility has been a key partner with Fairfax County in providing infrastructure for the development of Tysons Corner, Merrifield, and Seven Corners. City water services have grown as the needs grew.
  • The City of Falls Church and Fairfax County had an agreement for more than 30 years regarding the provision of water service to the Falls Church-Fairfax County areas. That agreement expired in 1989. Falls Church City leaders have reached out repeatedly to initiate discussions with Fairfax County leaders about the delivery of water service in the City's traditional service territory.
For more information:
January 7, 2011

Boards & Commissions Vacancies Volunteers who live in the City of Falls Church are needed to serve on the boards and commissions listed below. Contact the City Clerk's Office at 703-248-5014 or for more information, or click here for an application form. Requests for reappointments must also be made through the City Clerk. Applications are being accepted until the end of the month. Vacancies that have been advertised for more than one month may be filled during each subsequent month before month's end. Vacancies - Updated 2/1/2011:

  • Architectural Advisory Board (alternate)
  • Citizens' Advisory Committee on Transportation
  • City Employee Review Board
  • Environmental Services Council
  • Board of Equalization
  • Historic Architectural Review Board
  • Historical Commission
  • Housing Commission
  • Human Services Advisory Council
  • Local Board of Building Code Appeals
  • Private School & Day Care Facility Board
  • Recreation and Parks Advisory Board
  • Board of Zoning Appeals (alternate)
Regional Boards/Commissions:
  • Fairfax Area Commission on Aging
  • Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia

City of Falls Church Attains Highest Recycling Rate in Virginia The City of Falls Church holds the highest recycling rate in Virginia, according to the Virginia Annual Recycling Rate Report issued recently by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

  For calendar 
year 2009, 57.6% of the City’s total waste stream was recycled compared to the statewide rate of 38.6%.  
The report compares recycling rates of 324 Virginia cities, counties, towns, and solid waste planning areas.  
The 7,183 tons of materials recycled in Falls Church in 2009 included paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, 
metals, yard debris and leaves. 
While Falls Church’s recycling rate is highest in the state, the City has a more ambitious goal.   The 
City of Falls Church Solid Waste Management Plan, a 20-year plan adopted by the City Council in June 
2004, sets a recycling rate goal of 65%.   
Environmental experts note there are many reasons to recycle: 
- Recycling reduces dependency on raw materials like oil, ore and wood. 
- Recycled products are generally far less energy consuming to produce than the equivalent product 
made from virgin materials.  
- Diverting recyclable items from the waste stream to the recycling stream saves taxpayer money by 
keeping disposal costs down while preserving valuable landfill space. 
For more information contact Kathy Allan, Environmental Programs Specialist, 703-248-5176 or or visit . 
For view the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s annual recycling report visit  

NEWS RELEASE Fitch Ratings Affirms Falls Church City’s Credit Rating of AAA Fitch Ratings affirmed the City of Falls Church bond rating at ‘AAA’ with a rating outlook of Stable, in routine annual surveillance. ‘AAA’ is the agency’s highest rating.

The ‘AAA’ rating reflects the City’s moderately low debt and strong economic indicators such as low 
unemployment rates and a highly educated labor force.  According to Fitch Ratings, the City is strengthening its 
fiscal position through improved financial management and a demonstrated commitment to restoring reserves to 
policy levels.  
“The City has made difficult decisions to reduce spending and raise revenues in response to the large 
shortfalls of the past two years” said City Manager Wyatt Shields.  “To maintain its excellent bond ratings, and 
the benefit of lower interest rates on debt, the City must carry out its fund balance restoration plan and keep 
operating expenses aligned with relatively flat revenues for the foreseeable future.” 
The City currently has $32.8 million of general obligations bonds.

Clinton, Obama and the Collapse of Black Economic Stability By Glen Ford Created 02/01/2011 - 23:02 Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 02/01/2011 - 23:02 Blacks public employment [1] Blacks union jobs [2] Clinton NAFTA [3] Obama federal wage freeze

What "Our Sputnik Moment" Really Is Wed, 02/02/2011 - 10:14 — Jared Ball corporate education reform | race to the top | fake history | fake economics |

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball
Having nothing much to say that will help us in the present, President Obama went back to the future in his State of the Union Address - kind of. Obama spray-painted a disconnected future while harkening back to the days of Cold War hysteria, in order to somehow explain why he won't spend any money on anything but banks and war. "Obama's Sputnik moment means less funding for schools and social programs that directly and indirectly improve a student's experience."

What "Our Sputnik Moment" Really Is
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball
"The ascendancy of the U.S. state requires the devolution of African people."
President Obama's reference last week to "our generation's Sputnik moment" should be taken as another cautionary sign.  The phrase itself is, of course, more branding, more euphemism and, therefore, likely to cause more confusion.  So here are seven things to think about when hearing that phrase or considering the future impact of the president's use of it:
  1. Sputnik, the Soviet satellite launched in 1957, the same year Ghana claimed independence under Kwame Nkrumah.  Nkrumah wanted a unified African continent operating under scientific socialism.  He had begun partnerships with other African leaders, including Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, and had offered financial and military assistance to all African liberation struggles.  His efforts were seen by the West as examples of what had to be prevented then and now.  With help from the United States he was deposed and demonized as are all similar ideas of cultural and resource retention and socialist distribution.
  2. Sputnik represented for the United States a loss of power over the world.  And more than just a scientific or technological loss it was seen as a loss in the struggle over ideas or which ideas would rule the world.  The 1950s had already witnessed increased unity among those of the so-called "Third World" and the evolution of the civil rights movement at home.  Even Dr. King had been an invited guest of Nkrumah and both were friends of Shirley Graham DuBois and her husband W.E.B., as well as, Amy Ashwood Garvey, George Padmore and other dissident radicals foolish enough to have problems with Western imperialism.
  3. Of the many responses to Sputnik's launch and other shifting political tides, the United States and its "major philanthropic foundations" began to establish African Studies programs within its university system. These programs were of necessity ethnocentric and designed to support the expanding political needs of the state in the period following the Second World War.  Sputnik's launch increased the pressure felt by the economic and political elite of this country to develop greater knowledge of and influence over the African continent to protect its own imperial interests.
"Obama's Race to the Top program actually means an even further "narrowed curriculum."
  1. Sputnik's launch also inspired the United States to reinvest in a system of education itself based in the racist science of eugenics.  As early as the 1920s it had already been established that lower forms of humanity, Black, Brown and poor people, could be tested out and tracked into "separate and unequal education courses."  This also further institutionalized a process of inhibiting creativity, freedom of thought and critical thinking among the rest of those in schools so as to prepare more and more for the functionalist practice of cold calculation and mass production.  No deep thought was or is necessary.
  2. In 1983 the administration of Ronald Reagan produced their report, A Nation in Crisis which argued precisely Obama's point from a week ago.  Test scores had decreased dramatically in the years since Sputnik launched, the report explained, and education was blamed then just as Obama blames it now.  And in each case the solution offered was increased government and corporate regulation through more standardized testing absent any input from educators.
  3. Obama's Sputnik moment means less funding for schools and social programs that directly and indirectly improve a student's experience and, therefore, the likelihood they will do well.  It means a hyper version of the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind.  Obama's Race to the Top program actually means an even further "narrowed curriculum" meaning that more will learn even less in an attempt to inflate test scores that, under the Obama plan, are even more so wedded to funding.
  4. The phrase, "our Sputnik moment," is about waking the country up to its slipping grip of power over the world. But, as has always been the case for Black America, words like "our," "us" and "we" must be heard cynically. An ascendance of the United States suggests nothing of an ascendance of Black people.  Indeed, quite the opposite.  As has always been the case, and is always the case, wherever that case may be, the ascendancy of the state requires the devolution of African people.
I'm Jared Ball for Black Agenda Radio, suggesting that we all see past the brand to see just what "our Sputnik moment" really is! Online check us out at
Dr. Jared A. Ball can be reached via email at:    

A Real Economist (Michael Hudson) Explains Why HIgher Taxes, Not Lower Ones, Create Jobs

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by the Real News Network
Barack Obama and the bipartisan quacks of Wall Street and corporate media keep telling us that lower taxes on the wealthy create jobs, the exact opposite of what real economists have known for ages.  For a dose of economic sanity, Paul Jay of The Real News Network interviews Michael Hudson, a real economist, who explains how the U.S. was more prosperous and created more high wage jobs when it taxed 90% of the highest individual and corporate "earners".
Dr. Michael Hudson is, unlike the mopes you see on TV, an economist who actually predicted the real estate, subprime and general financial meltdowns of the last few years. Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is president of the Institute for the Study of Long Term Economic Trends, a Wall Street financial analyst, and distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His 1972 book, Super imperialism, the Economic Strategy of American Empire is a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank. He is also author of The Myth of Aid, and Global Fracture, the New International Economic Order. On today's program we discuss his newest book, in progress, the Fictitious Economy; How Finance is Destroying Industrial Capitalism, and Paving the New Road to Serfdom.
And the Real News Network is exactly what its name says. It's one of the places we at Black Agenda Report go to get OUR news. Thanks to Paul Jay.
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Time For A Political Response to the Crisis of Mass Incarceration: Join the Campaign To End Mass Incarceration By Bruce A. Dixon Created 01/31/2011 - 22:07 Submitted by Bruce A. Dixon on Mon, 01/31/201