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Falls Church Is Ending Its Bus Service Amid Budget Concerns

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) -- After eight years, Falls Church is ending its bus service.

Facing a tough budget forecast, the City Council voted last week to terminate the George bus service on Sept. 27. The service runs two routes during rush hour between the city and the East Falls Church and West Falls Church Metro stations.

George launched in 2002 as a pilot program with four buses that operated on diesel fuel with reduced emissions. Falls Church began funding George in 2005.

Now officials say they can't afford to maintain the fleet. The city has transferred operation of the bus service from Metro to Arlington County, raised fares and cut midday service.

But if the city dips further into the trust fund that helps pay for the service, it would mean a $347,000 shortfall next year.

City Council Votes to Terminate GEORGE Bus System

The Falls Church City Council has recently voted to terminate the local GEORGE bus system, the city’s clean diesel bus. The vote was cast 6-1 and the buses will terminate at the end of September.

The council’s vote is due to the low ridership of this bus system and high subsidy levels. Councilman Robin Gardner made the motion to terminate and Ron Peppe seconded that motion. Councilman David Snyder was the one council member that was in strong opposition of the decision. Here is more information about the GEORGE bus: http://www.fallschurchva.gov/Content/CultureRecreation/GEORGEmain.aspx

New Membership Director for Vantage Fitness

Jeffrey Garofalo is the newest membership director of Vantage Fitness on 402 W. Broad Street in Falls Church, VA. Garofalo joins Vantage Fitness after working in the health club industry for the past 10 years. He was most recently at the DC area Sport and Health Club, and he has also spent time with the DC area YMCA.

In his new role, Garofalo will be in charge of community outreach efforts for the club, as well as manage the local independently owned boutique style gym’s sales. For more information about this club you can visit www.vantage-fitness.com.

Book Discussion at Falls Church Public Library

The Mary Riley Styles Public Library in Falls Church, VA holds a free, open book discussion on the first Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. On September 2, A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage will be discussed.

The discussions are held in the library’s Conference Room on the main floor. Everyone is welcome and light refreshments will be served. The first 18 attendees will receive a copy of the next month’s book!

Senior Center Closure August 30-September 7

The Falls Church Senior Center will be closed the week of August 30. This means that all trips, lunches, and activities will be cancelled as well. The center will reopen on September 7.

In other news, the Senior Center is bringing back the popular Italian Conversation Group! This group will meet weekly on Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in the Senior Center. While Italian fluency is not required, some Italian conversation knowledge is preferred. You can call the center at 703-248-5020 for more information.

School Lunch Prices Moving Up to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Falls Church City Schools are committed to “Going Green” this upcoming school year. In an effort to promote sustainability, the schools are marking up lunch prices. The costs are coming from using recyclable paper trays, instead of Styrofoam waste. The school lunch prices will see an increase by 6% that was approved by the Falls Church City School Board to fund the new trays.

Falls Church Public Schools Introduces New Payment Service

The Falls Church Extended Day Care Programs are introducing a brand new service called EZ-EFT, a easy payment service that allows you to pay for your child care automatically. All you have to do is fill out a simple form that allows the day care program to bill your financial institution on the date necessary. Now you will not have to worry about late fees, checks, or dropping the checks off.

The EX-EFT payment program does not have any extra fees when linked to a personal bank account, however, there is a 2.49% convenience fee for credit card transactions. You can print out your own form or pick it up at the Extended Day Care Office.