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Column: Seminary Valley

Sorry it has been so long since my last column … one of my neighbors actually thought we had moved away! Perish the thought!

With our real estate tax bills freshly arrived, you might be wondering how recent home sales in Seminary Valley are going. Rob Blitzer helpfully provided some recent statistics for 2011: 22 single family homes sold in 2011, with prices ranging from $220,000 to $538,000. Our neighbors know that houses in Seminary Valley, which date from around 1956, are in various states of repair. Some are pristine examples of original ownership, while some original owners might not even recognize their homes as they have been renovated. New construction is fairly limited, with the exception of the new houses arising near Polk Elementary School and the possibility of two new homes on a double lot on Latham Street.

Set your 2012 calendar for quarterly Brookville-Seminary Valley Civic Association meetings: our first of the year will be next Monday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Beatley Library. No featured speaker this time, this is more of an organizational/present-your-ideas meeting. The Association’s latest activity, the Annual Holiday Party at Polk Elementary School, was a big success, with about 25 children enjoying crafts, cookies and entertainment. Keith and Leslie Kruse organized the event.

Beginning in February, Polk Elementary School will start an ambitious new program. The school is hoping to help out students who normally receive free and reduced lunches with meals and snacks for those times when school is not in session. Our community can help by dropping off food at the quarterly meeting (see above) or at Polk School; recommended items include: tuna packets, pop-top cans of soup, stew or pasta, cereal bars, or shelf-stable milk boxes. For more information, contact Donna at donnagant@hotmail.com or the school’s social worker, Mrs. Whitfield, at 703-461-4180.

One of our own is starting out the New Year with a big adventure. Mia Brown, a 2009 T.C. Williams grad and University of Virginia student, has embarked on a "Semester at Sea." Mia is joining 599 other college students to study onboard (classes run 7 days a week) and will visit ports of call in Dominica, Brazil, Ghana, Mauritius, India, Singapore, Viet Nam, Japan and Hawaii, finally getting to San Diego in May.

We are not sure who won the neighborhood Holiday Decorating Contest … but the Jones nomination would certainly go to the residents of Paxton and Thayer streets. If nothing else, lots of imagination was on display, as well as neighborly coordination. What a nice way to demonstrate the Valley’s spirit and charm. Happy New Year!

Mia Jones