News for Thursday, February 23, 2012

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Miller Leads West Springfield to District Title

Senior scores 21 points in championship game, named tournament MVP.

The West Springfield girls’ basketball team defeated T.C. Williams twice by a combined four points during the regular season, with each contest decided in the final seconds. When it came time to determine the 2012 Patriot District champion, senior guard Jordan Miller and the Spartans showed no desire for another dramatic finish.

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Talk of the Town: Pets

Talk of the Town: Pets

Washington Episcopal Earns First in Robotics Competition

Washington Episcopal School’s robotics team, the "Dragonbots," won first place in the presentation category for a creative, imaginative, well-documented, and demonstrated research project at the International First LEGO League state-wide competition at UMBC Retriever Activities Center in Catonsville, Md. on Jan. 28. Seventy-four teams competed. The FLL organized the competition, which hosts around 20,000 teams in over 60 countries.

School Notes

Feb. 22-28

To have an item listed mail to almanac@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week’s paper. Call 703-778-9412.

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Arlington Pet Connection

Feb. 22-28

Readers responded to the Connection’s request to share photos of their pets.

Potomac Calendar

Feb. 22-28

To have community events listed free in The Potomac Almanac, send e-mail to almanac@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos and artwork encouraged. Call 703-778-9412.

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‘Fresh Flowers and Furry Friends’ at Gallery Har Shalom

Opening reception planned for Sunday, March 4.

Gallery Har Shalom is launching the exhibit, "Fresh Flowers and Furry Friends," featuring the work of five artists: Barbara F. Bell, Rockville; Merry Lymn, Potomac; Bert GF Shankman, Olney; Shirley Hendel, Potomac. and Leigh Partington, Washington Grove.

Dance Bethesda Concert To Showcase Six Eclectic Companies

The eighth annual Dance Bethesda, a weekend celebrating dance, will feature a formal dance concert showcasing area companies at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 3. The event, produced by Bethesda Urban Partnership and the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, will take place at Round House Theatre, located at 4545 East-West Highway in downtown Bethesda.

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Potomac Pet Connection

Potomac readers submit their pet photos.

Orange Line Connection Feb. 22-28

Orange Line Connection

Arlington School Notes Feb. 22-28

Arlington School Notes

Arlington Calendar Feb. 22-28

Know of something missing from our community entertainment Calendar? Send it to The Arlington Connection, e-mail it to arlington@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is 2 p.m. the Thursday before publication. Call Steve Hibbard at 703-778-9412 with any questions. Photos are welcome.

New Aquatics Center Opens

The new Yorktown High School Aquatics Center has officially opened. The facility contains an eight-lane competition pool with a separate diving well and a separate instructional pool. The diving area, completely separated from the lap lanes, includes two one-meter springboards. The instructional pool includes a handicapped accessible ramp. A wet classroom, available for pool party rentals, and a spectator area with capacity in excess of 200 overlooking the pools are also available.

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Pet Connection

We asked our readers to send in pictures of their pets.

"Flourishing After 55"

"Flourishing After 55" from Arlington’s Office of Senior Adult Programs for March 5-10.

Burke Connection Carrier of the Year Honored

Among The Connection’s many excellent carriers, Andrew Storr is honored for his service, reliability and dedication as 2011 Burke Connection Carrier of the Year.

Springfield Connection Carrier of the Year Honored

Among The Connection’s many excellent carriers, Marie Laverdiere is honored for her service, reliability and dedication as 2011 Springfield Connection Carrier of the Year.

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DeMarco Launches Bid for Fairfax City Council Seat

More than 70 people turned out to help Michael DeMarco launch his bid for the Fairfax City Council during an open house at his Mosby Woods home.

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On Nepal, With Love

Recent Nepalese immigrant uses Public Access TV Show to bring about positive change.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are more than 9,400 Nepalese living in the U.S. Krishna Sharma of Springfield, founder and CEO of Vision for Nepal, hopes to reach many of these immigrants and others sympathetic to Nepal through his TV program, "American Conversations," which airs on Fairfax Public Access Channel 30 on Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m.

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For Pets from Paradise, Alexandria Is Heaven

Adoption opportunities for kittens in need

The U.S. territory of St. Croix is a Caribbean paradise. A rolling sea surrounds lush beaches, the climate is warm year-round, and there are few crowds. The same island features that make for an amiable habitat for humans, however, are disastrous for local animal populations.

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Behind the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter

For 15 years, she served as City Manager and knew in advance the details of every item that was scheduled to come before City Council. So for Vola Lawson, that one City Council meeting back in 1999 took her by surprise.

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A Heartfelt Anniversary

Greenspring couple celebrates 65 years of marriage on Valentine’s Day.

At 89, Ray Wright is as quick with a quip as Jack Benny.

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They Focus on ‘Orphan’ Disease

Malignant mesothelioma appears in 3,000 cases annually

Malignant mesothelioma is a tumor found in the lining of the lungs, heart or stomach. Exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma. It lies dormant and asymptomatic within people for as long as 50 years before it erupts. Once diagnosed — 3,000 cases annually — the disease is always fatal.

McCaffrey Addresses Friendship Veterans

Patsy Ticer receives distinguished service award

The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association held its annual breakfast Feb. 20 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Old Town in the traditional kick-off to the city's George Washington Birthday Parade celebrations.

Column: Seminary Valley

If you lived in Seminary Valley in the 1960s and ’70s, you knew the McKeon family and their eight children: Charles McKeon, Jr., Sharon, Brian, Peggy, John, Pat, Keen and Marie. Last week, the Valley and Alexandria lost Mae McKeon, formerly of Strathblane Place. Marie (Zack) still lives in the original family home and it was the scene of a reunion after Mae’s service at Blessed Sacrament.

Column: National Controversy and Budget Process Begins

Crossover Week at the General Assembly found us in the national media spotlight of Saturday Night Live, CNN and the Rachel Maddow Show. Over 1,000 demonstrators appeared at the State Capitol this week.

Column: On the Way to $85 Billion Budget

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling broke a tie in the evenly divided Senate chamber at the beginning of the Session. This provided Republican organizational control of the Senate even though a lawsuit is still pending on whether the power should be shared. In taking this step, many bills have been passed that were voted down by a more moderate Senate in past years.

Column: Advice for Healthy Seniors

The Senior Speaker Series continues next month with an event co-sponsored by Senior Services of Alexandria and Inova Alexandria Hospital on March 7 at 10:30 a.m.

Letter: Prompt Action, Good Work

I am writing to commend the City of Alexandria’s Office of Environmental Quality for its prompt response to a concern I passed along to them this past Wednesday, Feb. 15. That morning, I was walking my dog in the Chinquapin woods, like I do every weekday just before dawn

Column: Building Windmills, Transforming Communities

I was amazed and inspired when I read "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity & Hope," written by Malawi-born author William Kamkwamba with journalist Bryan Mealer.

Letter: Invaluable Assist for Seniors

With all the talk about the rapid growth of the aging population, here in Alexandria there is an answer that benefits our community by supporting seniors who want to stay in their homes.

Letter: Manager’s Budget Lacks Vision

Alexandria's city manager's proposed budget reveals a flawed focus and vision. Instead of proposing major budget cuts in public safety and scaling back the major capital improvement projects, our city manager has instead preferred to cut jobs and reward the speculative metrics of more expenditures on public safety and priority development projects.

Letter: Displacing The Poor

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Beauregard Small Area Plan working session held at the Landmark Mall. As many of your readers may be aware, this plan is quite contentious — particularly to the residents of the West End neighborhood who will be most impacted.

Letter: Congressional Satirist?

Let’s not lose our faith in Rep. Moran’s ability to surprise. As background, he gamely decided to co-sponsor the STOCK Act which prohibits congressmen from buying or selling securities based on “congressional nonpublic” information.

Letter: Honoring George Washington

I commend Mayor Euille for proclaiming February 2012 as a month-long celebration to mark George Washington’s 280th birthday and the Birthday Committee for planning and facilitating the events and activities throughout the month.

Letter: Say Thanks in the Budget

Scott Gordon wrote a very moving tribute to our Alexandria First Responders in his Feb. 16 letter entitled "Say Thanks." He's right; the spirit of his letter and his recommendation to just say thanks are both spot on.

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Madison Defeats South Lakes in Liberty Girls Finals

Tourney MVP Koshuta of Madison scores 32 in win; Rendle, Severin earn All-Tourney honors for Seahawks.

The James Madison High girls’ basketball team played one of its best games of the season in last Friday night’s Liberty District tournament finals versus South Lakes. The defending district champion Warhawks were clicking in all areas of the game and kept a talented Seahawks’ squad at bay in a 78-47 victory. The postseason title game took place at South Lakes’ spacious Wendell G. Byrd Gymnasium in Reston.

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Bulldogs, Warriors Take it to the Wire

Westfield emerges victorious in first round region playoff action.

Monday night’s first round Northern Region boys’ high school basketball playoff game, between a physically strong Westfield squad versus a running, defensive-pressure oriented Wakefield opponent, was pretty much close throughout. Both teams, with their seasons on the line, played as if there were no tomorrow. The result was like a close boxing match gone the distance as both the Warriors and home team Bulldogs continually took one another’s best shots only to come right back and deliver one themselves.

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McLean, Fairfax Boys Play Game for the Ages

Rogo-led Highlanders, in double overtime, win Liberty championship.

High school championship games do not get much more dramatic or better than the one played last Friday night at South Lakes High School in Reston between the McLean Highlanders and Fairfax Rebels.

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Overall good showing by Northern Region at State Wrestling

Westfield’s Donahue earns state title; Dooley of Madison and Forrest of South Lakes earn second place medals.

Three Northern Region teams – Robinson, Annandale, and Westfield High Schools – finished among the top 10 team finishers at last weekend’s Virginia State AAA Wrestling Championships, held Feb. 17-18 (Friday and Saturday) at Robinson Secondary.

Langley Wrestling Continues Strong Postseason

The Langley High wrestling team finished ninth place overall at last Saturday’s Northern Region Championships. The 30-team, two-day event took place Feb. 10-11 at Hayfield High School in Alexandria.

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Madison Wrestling Continues Strong Postseason

Warhawks Hoy, Dooley capture Northern Region crowns.

The Madison High wrestling team finished 10th place overall at last Saturday’s Northern Region Championships. The 30-team, two-day event took place Feb. 10-11 at Hayfield High School in Alexandria.

Week in Alexandria

This weekend, members of the Alexandria City Council are set to conduct a public hearing on an ordinance officially incorporating the controversial waterfront small-area plan into the city’s master plan.

In Session

Alexandria’s Senate delegation is divided on the King’s Dominion Law, the 30-year-old mandate that prevents school systems from opening before Labor Day.

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Block by Block, 1940s Concentrated Public Housing in Alexandria is Being Demolished

All the units will be replaced, but will scattered-site housing work?

For more than half a century, the Parker Gray neighborhood has been home to blocks of public housing.

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Voters to Have Final Say on Eminent Domain Amendment

Opinions are divided as to what kind of influence the amendment could have if passed.

This fall, voters across Virginia will be confronted with a hotly debated amendment to the Virginia Constitution that seeks to limit the ability of local governments to use the power of eminent domain.