Stories for February 2013

Stories for February 2013


Thursday, February 28

Centreville Girls’ Basketball Reaches Region Semifinals

Centreville won first district title since 1993.

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South County Falls in Region Semifinals

South County went from the No. 7 seed in the Patriot District tournament to the region final four.

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Robinson Reaches Region Final Four

Robinson's season ends with loss to Wakefield in region semifinals.

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Bishop Ireton Beats Potomac School in VISAA Playoffs

Cardinals earned first trip to WCAC semifinals by beating Gonzaga.

Bishop Ireton boys' basketball coach Neil Berkman called the Cardinals' win over Gonzaga a "program-changer."

Oakton Girls’ Basketball Loses in Region Semifinals

Standout Manner forced to watch with fractured thumb.

The Oakton girls' basketball team finished district runner-up, reached region final four.

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South Lakes Girls’ Basketball Advances to States

Seahawks lose to Edison in Northern Region final.

South Lakes will face Stonewall Jackson on Friday in the state quarterfinals.

Edison Girls’ Basketball Wins Northern Region Title

Eagles overcome 17-point first-half deficit against South Lakes.

Edison will face Colonial Forge on Friday in state quarterfinals.

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Wakefield Boys’ Basketball Finishes Region Runner-Up

Warriors qualify for state tournament, will travel to Richmond.

Wakefield will face Mountain View today in the state quarterfinals.

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Woodson Wins Region Title with Epic Comeback

Cavaliers erase 19-point fourth-quarter deficit against Wakefield.

Woodson will face Battlefield on Friday in state quarterfinals.

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Lynbrook Elementary receives Healthy School Award

The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) presented Healthy School Awards to the students of Fairfax County Public School Lynbrook Elementary in Springfield on Wednesday, Feb. 20, and Alexandria City Public School James K. Polk Elementary in Alexandria, on Thursday, Feb. 21.

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Good Citizenship Honored

Springfield VFW Post 7327 hosts annual award ceremony.

Sunday, Feb. 24, was the long awaited date for a fabulous awards ceremony, but if you are thinking of that other red carpet event, think again. The honorees for the Springfield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7327 and its Ladies Auxiliary Annual Awards really stole the show.

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Rescued Cats and Dogs Bring Loyalty to Families

Families grow with adopted pets.

The ASPCA estimates that nationwide, somewhere between five and seven million “companion animals” wind up in shelters each year. Of that number, 60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats are euthanized ... each year. The prominent humane organization also figures only about 20 to 30 percent of cat and dog pets were acquired from rescues and shelters.

Mount Vernon School Notes Jan. 28

School notes for Mount Vernon natives.

Fairfax Station Area Roundups

Fairfax County police charged a Centreville man with several offenses—including felony hit-and-run—after he allegedly tailgated and struck another vehicle driven by a Lorton man and then fled. He is 25-year-old Juan Carlos Gudiel.

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Halley Elementary Races for Technology

The Crosspointe subdivision around Halley Elementary School will be awash in color Saturday, March 9, with a color misting, obstacles and a road course for more traditional runners and walkers, offering professional ChronoTrack timing system for accuracy. The school's Parent Teacher Organization invites everyone to join the festivities to raise money for classroom technology during its Halley Race for Technology 5k and Color Fun Run.

Saving Buddy

He first appeared on our patio several years ago, a large gray and white cat, bedraggled and hungry, sitting on a chair, waiting for a handout.

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Capital Area Food Bank Receives $99,245 From Giant

As a result of the 25th annual Good Neighbor Food and Funds Drive, Giant Food of Landover, Md., presented a check in the amount of $99,245.70 to the Capital Area Food Bank in Lorton. Through the Good Neighbor Food and Funds Drive, Giant customers donated more than $168,000 to support hunger relief efforts of five Feeding America food banks.

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Skanska Honored for INOVA Lorton Healthplex

On Jan. 18, the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District and the Fairfax Tree Commission honored Skanska USA’s Washington, D.C., office with the 2012 Land Conservation Award for Small Commercial Project in a ceremony held at the Fairfax County Government Center.

Letter to the Editor: Civil Rights Complaints Filed against Police

Recently the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc. (CCPA) sought to determine if the Alexandria City, Arlington and Fairfax County police departments were the subject of citizens claiming their civil rights had been violated.

Column: U.S. 1 Funding Secured and Transportation Deal

This week, the General Assembly ended with a budget and two major policy changes — a historic transportation bill and a Medicaid expansion process that I will discuss next week.

Column: Transportation Agreement and Medicaid Expansion

The Virginia State Senate passed a transportation plan after Gov. Robert McDonnell agreed to sign off on a Medicaid expansion conference committee to come up “with a concept to ensure that significant reforms are attained prior to any potential expansion of Medicaid.”

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board Feb. 27

Bulletin board for the Mount Vernon area.

A Lesson of Love

For Kolleen Raitz of Lorton, twelve-and-a-half-year-old springer spaniel Lanny acts as more than just a lifelong friend, but as the reason she decided to pursue a career as a dog trainer. “She's special for so many reasons, but mostly because of the profound effect she has had on my life and the lessons she has taught me over the years. She is, without a doubt, the single most important thing that has ever happened to me. She has taught me everything, from patience and forgiveness to self-control and being able to believe in myself

Mountain View Winter Departmental Awards

Mountain View High School presented its winter departmental awards Feb. 1 to the following students:

3-D Printing, Palliative Care Programs at Library

The Chantilly Regional Library is holding two, upcoming programs of interest to the local community. This Saturday, March 2, at 2:30 p.m., NovaLabs Makerspace is doing a program on 3-D Printing for ages 10 through adults.

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BZA Approves Play-and-Party Site for Chantilly

Kid Junction is coming to town.

If all goes well, sometime in May, local children will have a place to go where they can climb, play dress up, use their imaginations in a pretend town setting and even celebrate their birthdays. That place is Kid Junction and it will open in Chantilly.

Alexandria Entertainment Calendar Feb. 27

Entertainment calendar for the Alexandria and Mount Vernon areas.

Week in Fairfax

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Supervisor Pat Herrity’s (R-Springfield) plan and design for a Fairfax County license plate. Besides allowing residents to show pride in their community, proceeds from the license plates’ sales will go to the World Police and Fire Games, which the county is hosting in 2015.

Centreview Entertainment Calendar Feb. 28

Entertainment calendar for the Centreview area.

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Riverbend Opera to Open New Season

"The music of opera takes me to beautiful places in my imagination, with swirling passions and languid times of reflection," said John Turner (McLean) in describing his love for the art form. He is one of the artistic forces behind Fairfax County's own Riverbend Opera Company. With its 2013 season, Riverbend will have a double-bill of one-act works by Giacomo Puccini. Puccini's operas are some of the most performed such as "La Bohème," "Madame Butterfly" and "Tosca." Each of the one-acts, "Il tabarro" and "Suor Angelica" has "almost achingly beautiful music" said Turner.

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Why a Change Is Needed for School

Fairfax High has a building capacity of 2,412 students and a current enrollment of 2,659—meaning a 110-percent building utilization. But if nothing changes, it’s projected to have 3,011 student bodies by the 2017-18 school year and a 125-percent building utilization. Lanier’s capacity is 1,307 students, and it presently has a 1,239 student population using 95 percent of its building. But if left as is, it’s projected to have an enrollment of 1,421 by 2017-18 for a 109-percent building utilization.

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‘It’s All about Our Children’

Parents discuss three school-boundary scenarios.

The goal of the Fairfax High/Lanier Middle School boundary study is to remove 300 students from Fairfax and 150 from Lanier and send them elsewhere to relieve overcrowding at those two schools. But how best to do it has not yet been decided. So more than 200 people came to Lanier’s cafeteria last Wednesday, Feb. 20, to learn more about the three boundary scenarios proposed and express their opinions about them. Centreville and Chantilly residents also attended, because the changes will affect many of their children, too.

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Training a Guiding Eyes Dog

Mixed emotions of raising and letting go.

When Guiding Eyes for the Blind dropped off Saki at Bridget Kennerley’s house, they made sure to tell her what to expect from the young golden retriever on that first night. What they couldn’t tell her, however, was how different her life would be every night after.

Centreview Bulletin Board Feb. 27

Bulletin board for the Centreview area.

‘All about Our Children’

Parents discuss three school-boundary scenarios.

The goal of the Fairfax High/Lanier Middle School boundary study is to remove 300 students from Fairfax and 150 from Lanier and send them elsewhere to relieve overcrowding at those two schools. But how best to do it has not yet been decided.

Artwork Commemorating Holocaust

Fairfax Station artist Lynn Goldstein was selected to participate in the exhibition “Resistance Through Art,” which will be on view at the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV) from now until April 15. The JCCNV and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington are sponsors of the exhibit. Goldstein states, “This was an opportunity to make a piece that invites viewers to interact with the work in ways that have not been possible with the paintings that I have made in the past.”

Why Change Is Needed

Fairfax High has a building capacity of 2,412 students and a current enrollment of 2,659 — meaning a 110-percent building utilization. But if nothing changes, it’s projected to have 3,011 student bodies by the 2017-18 school year and a 125-percent building utilization.

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Vercessi’s Latest Novel Highlights Local Sites

Pursuing a cold case.

Retired Navy captain and local author George Vercessi highlights the Alexandria area in his latest novel “NCIS Agent Jerzy Shore.”

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Bike-N-Roll on All DASH Buses

Alexandria Transit Company mechanics and Sportworks contractors spent this past weekend installing new bike racks on the 53 DASH buses that had not been equipped with them.

Barkley Square Opens Pet Spaaah

Barkley Square Pet Spaaah has opened at the former location of Dogspaw Grooming in Falls Church.

Area Roundups

The Fairfax County Police Department is looking for vehicles in working condition that people no longer want or need and would be willing to donate. They could help their public safety community and receive a tax deduction at the same time. Every year, the department uses about 20 cars to help train and prepare officers for the rigors of police work. Donated cars could be used as a faux suspect’s get-away car, helping officers with their precision pursuit driving techniques. Later, when the car is no longer in driving condition, it will be cut up (for training on how to cut into crashed cars), blown up (providing training for Explosive Ordinance officers) or shot (used as a prop in an active-shooter scenario).

Letter to the Editor: Derry Will Be Missed

Bob Feldkamp’s very nice memorial to Frederic Wolcott (Derry) Bancroft, which appeared in the Gazette Packet – Neighborhoods – old Town (Feb. 21) was much appreciated.

Letter to the Editor: Embrace Civic Duties

I am a proud 16-year citizen of Alexandria. One of the things I love most about living here is the city’s commitment to creating a caring environment and fulfilling the needs of its citizens.

Letter to the Editor: Saluting Members Of Santa Claus’s Yacht Club

Approximately 20 years ago, members of Santa Claus’s Yacht Club entered the lives of many families who reside in the city of Alexandria.

Letter to the Editor: Worthy of Preservation?

I live on a block adjoining the one with the ramshackle building which once housed the Carver Nursery School.

Letter to the Editor: Encourage Riding Bikes

Over the last few weeks there have been several articles about registering and charging fees for bikes in the city. Given the logic and questionable application of the economic concept of free rider(s), why stop at registering just bicycles?

Letter to the Editor: Support School Construction

Right now, Alexandria is facing the same issue as many other school districts: increasing enrollment. This year, ACPS enrollment jumped 5.8 percent, but this is not an anomaly; it’s a trend.

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Stearman: Helping Young and Old in Alexandria

He epitomizes spirit of volunteerism.

Lewis A. Stearman has supported Alexandria’s youth for almost 75 years. His passion for serving young people developed when, as a compassionate 16-year-old, he sent Valentine’s Day cards to patients at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.

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Putting a Name and Face on Chronically Homeless

At 4 a.m., under a full moon, more than 200 volunteers fanned out across Fairfax County on Monday, Feb. 25, to identify the more than 300 people who are literally homeless, living in cars, on the street or in the woods around the county. Coordinated by the Fairfax-Falls Church Partnership to End Homelessness, the weeklong effort is part of the 100,000 Homes campaign, an intensive approach to identify and find homes for the chronically homeless.

$7 Billion Budget Proposal Unveiled

Typical county household would see real estate tax bill increase by $260 annually.

“We are also forced to recognize the significant yet unknown impact that is expected from federal sequestration and the continuing challenges of a slowly recovering economy.” —Fairfax County Executive Edward L. Long, Jr.

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Witnesses Recount Feb. 18 Shooting

Chief Cook offers condolences to Sellers family.

Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook offered his condolences to the family of Taft Sellers in a Feb. 25 press conference that detailed the investigative process in place regarding the city's first police-related shooting since 2009.

Letter: How I Got My Dog

We had been looking for a new dog for close to 10 years—I would occasionally stop at the animal shelter or at a rescue group set-up—but I really didn't know how to pick out a dog, so I just didn't. Our previous dogs had basically just fallen into our laps by differing circumstances.

Fairfax Adult Softball Honors its Dedicated Volunteers

Fairfax Adult Softball (FAS), the largest adult ASA softball league in the country, celebrated the spirit of altruism and selfless service at Brion’s Grille in Fairfax on Sunday, Feb 10. “We run the largest adult ASA softball league in the United States,” said Christine Idip, FAS program assistant, “and we couldn’t do that without our great volunteer workforce. All of them love the game of slow-pitch softball!”

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Higher Taxes, Cuts in Services

Young proposes $626.6 million budget.

An increase in property taxes along with cuts in services to Alexandria residents are part of the $626.6 million General Fund Operating Budget proposed Feb. 26 by City Manager Rashad Young for fiscal year 2014.

Column: Major Step Forward

The short 45-day 2013 General Assembly session was a roller coaster, but I am glad to have the privilege of representing our community and our values in Richmond.

Police Officer Seriously Injured

An Alexandria police officer is in critical condition after being shot during a traffic stop on Wednesday. Feb. 27.

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Fairfax Library Foundation Awards Continuing Education Scholarships

The Fairfax Library Foundation has announced that 13 Fairfax County Public Library employees and volunteers have each been awarded Continuing Education scholarships to foster the professional development of the Fairfax County Public Library team.

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Meet Area Families’ ‘Best Friends’

When Guiding Eyes for the Blind dropped off Saki at Bridget Kennerley’s house, they made sure to tell her what to expect from the young golden retriever on that first night. What they couldn’t tell her, however, was how different her life would be every night after.

Column: A Tough Transportation Vote

The 46-day legislative session drew to a close on Saturday, Feb. 23. As you know, transportation dominated the debate this session.

At Home in Burke

At age 7, Fritz is a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix. After being picked up as a rescue dog at a Petsmart in Oklahoma, Anne Wood drove 700 miles to bring Fritz back home to Burke with her. “She stayed on my lap the entire time and did not move a muscle,” said Wood. “I think on some level she realizes that we saved her.”

Classified Advertising Feb. 27, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

State May Takeover Struggling Alexandria School After Decade of Failure

Increasing pressure for progress at Jefferson-Houston School.

A decade of efforts to improve Jefferson-Houston School have failed, and now state leaders are increasing pressure on Alexandria City Public School leaders to turnaround the turnaround.

Wednesday, February 27

Arlington Bulletin Board Feb. 27

The bulletin board for events and news in Arlington.

Group Founded To Promote Streetcars

A pro-streetcar group, Arlington Streetcar Now, announced its formation at the Arlington County Board meeting on Saturday, Feb. 23.

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Family Pets Are Family in Vienna

Local pet parents share stories of their special family members.

Animals, from dogs and cats to chickens, rabbits and hamsters, come into the lives of humans and complete the family circle. Proud parents that they are, local residents described the attributes of their family’s pets.

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Pets Matter in McLean

Mclean residents love their pets.

It was nearly seven summers ago that the Allen family met the runt of a littler of toy poodles from a Maryland breeder. From the moment she arrived at their McLean home, “Summer” was part of the family. “She just means everything to our family,” said Melissa Allen, who shares the home with her husband John and their three daughters.

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Pancakes, Coffee and Donations

McLean woman helps with leukemia, lymphoma fundraiser.

Pancakes and syrup make a tasty meal; but at the Centreville IHOP, they’re also a way to raise money. And that’s what happened Feb. 5 when the restaurant held a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Letter: Meet Pixie

A Great falls pony that taught lots of children to ride.

My pony, Pixie, has been with me since I bought her from a farm on Georgetown Pike 16 years ago.

Pets Teach Families ‘Joy of the Moment’

Great Falls residents reflect on their experiences with pets.

Unique in size, shape and personality, pets often times have significant impact on owners. They teach the people around them many lessons—everything from responsibility to love to living in the moment, and bring joy to all ages, as Great Falls residents will say.

50th Annual Needlework Exhibition

The 50th annual Needlework Exhibition will be open to the public starting Friday, March 1 at the Woodlawn Plantation.

Week in Vienna

The next meeting of Vienna at Your Service (VAYS) will be Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. in the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, 400 Center St. S.

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Girl Scout Day at the State Capitol

Learning Virginia’s rich history.

Picking Washington’s Birthday to tour the Virginia State Capitol and learn a little about Virginia history—the birthplace of eight presidents—was perfect timing for a group of Vienna Girl Scouts.

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Oakton Girls Swim & Dive Wins AAA State Championship Title

Oakton High School’s Varsity Boys and Girls Swim and Dive teams participated in the Virginia AAA State Championship Friday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 16, at George Mason University. The girls placed first with 275 points over Yorktown (128) and McLean (119). The boys placed third with 192 points behind Robinson (218.5) and James Madison (192.5). This is the second consecutive AAA State Title for the girls’ team.

Vienna Shopping Center Donates $1,000 to Kilmer Middle School

Principal challenges students to match donation.

Vienna Shopping Center merchants donated $1,000 to Kilmer Middle School last month. Upon notification of the donation, Principal Douglas Tyson challenged students to match the donation and give the funds to a local food bank.

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CHS Hosts Cut-A-Thon

In an effort to raise money for Captial Caring, a regional palliative care provider, current and former students of the Chantilly Academy Cosmetology program held a Cut-A-Thon at Chantilly High School on Feb. 26.

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The Optimist Club Honors Students

“How do you let your friends know their value?” was essay topic.

The Optimist Club of Greater Vienna awarded three local high school students cash prizes for their winning essays produced for the Optimists International competition, “How do you let your friends know their value?” The presentation took place Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Optimists’ semi-monthly meeting.

Vienna Names New Police Chief

Town Manager Mercury Payton has announced the appointment of James “Jim” Morris as Vienna’s new chief of police. He will succeed Colonel Robert Carlisle, who retired on Jan. 1, after serving almost 12 years as chief of the Vienna Police Department.

State Champion

Vienna's Gray Goss, 11, wins state free throw competition.

On Feb. 16, Gray Goss made 20 of 25 shots to be named 2013 Free Throw Champion in Virginia's 11-year-old boys division in the annual state-wide competition organized by the Knights of Columbus.

Volunteers Appreciated

The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department holds their Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Banquet.

The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (VVFD) and its Auxiliary celebrated its members at their Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 9. The VVFD is currently in their 110th year of service and awarded several deserving members for the year 2012.


Fairfax County police charged a Centreville man with several offenses – including felony hit-and-run – after he allegedly tailgated and struck another vehicle and then fled. He is 25-year-old Juan Carlos Gudiel.

Week in McLean

Vienna Quilt Shop Becomes ‘Quilt Shop of McLean’, Fundraiser Supporting the Brooksfield School, and Donate Old Car to County Police

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Collecting Books for Buddy School

For the second consecutive year, Churchill Road fourth grade students—all 144 of them—collected new books for the fourth grade students at their buddy school, Dogwood Elementary in Reston.

Winning the Spelling Bee at Great Falls Elementary

Great Falls Elementary held its annual School Spelling Bee on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

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Photography Show and Book Signing at Great Falls Library

“Visions of Great Falls,” an exhibit of photos included in the book Visions of Great Falls by photographer and author Dee Leggett, is on display through March at the Great Falls Library.

Christin Boggs Exhibits at Katie’s Coffee House

Great Falls Studios Artist Christin Boggs will present a selection of images from her series Ag fás, March 1-31, 2013, at Katie’s Coffee House, The Old Brogue Irish Pub, 760 Walker Road in Great Falls, 703-759-3309.

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WES To Present ‘Little Mermaid Jr.’

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. will be performed by the sixth-grade class of Washington Episcopal School, on Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 16 at 12:30 p.m.

Local Leaders Praise Transportation Funding Bill

State Senator Chap Petersen wants you to curb your enthusiasm.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and sometimes estranged ones as well. On Saturday, the last day of the Virginia General Assembly, state legislators struck a bipartisan 11th hour deal to pass a comprehensive transportation funding plan—the first long-term plan in 27 years.

Potomac School Notes Feb. 27

School notes for Potomac natives.

Student Wins DAR Essay Contests

Anna Gray writes of forgotten Revolutionary hero.

Thirteen-year-old Anna Gray discovered the story of unsung hero Sybil Ludington when she googled “Revolutionary War women” — and as Anna explains her choice, “She was the most interesting of the women I had not heard of.”

Bulova: Move in the Right Direction

Local leaders applaud General Assembly’s Transportation Funding Bill.

“This is a great step toward addressing the transportation challenges we face in Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia region."

This Land Is Our Land

Next steps not certain in ongoing Brickyard controversy, but Board of Education makes clear the land belongs to the school system.

With a resolution Monday night, Feb. 25, the Montgomery County Board of Education made clear what it already thought it had made clear.

Fairfax Library Foundation Awards Scholarships Through Continuing Education

The Fairfax Library Foundation has announced that 13 Fairfax County Public Library employees and volunteers have each been awarded continuing education scholarships to foster the professional development of the Fairfax County Public Library team.

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GRACE Celebrates Youth Art Month

Area students exhibit at Greater Reston Arts Center.

Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) will celebrate Youth Art Month by presenting two exhibitions dedicated to the artistic achievements of the area's youth.

Column: All’s Well That Ends Well

Not only did the 2013 session of the General Assembly end on time last Saturday, but it also ended on a high note. Having sat through a couple of decades of failed efforts to pass meaningful legislation addressing our transportation needs, I was not optimistic that we would be successful this year.

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Art Gallery Hosts ‘Yolanda Prinsloo and Friends’

This month The Art Gallery of Potomac presents “Yolanda Prinsloo and Friends.”

Column: Cautious Optimism for Reston RELAC

Well, we are about to get our wish. According to the Joint Petition filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), AQUA Virginia, the accidental corporate owner of the antiquated Reston Lake Anne Air Conditioning (RELAC), is going away. AQUA finally found someone to take it off their hands.

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Herndon Pets Bring Laughs and Lots of Love

Fur, feathers, fins, paws, claws. Beady eyes or scaly hides. Once word got out that the Connection Newspapers was putting together its special Pet Issue, there was no shortage of pet parents in Herndon lining up to testify how Fido or Fifi, or in one case, Pa’ani, bring joy and companionship to their lives. It would take a publication the size of the old Yellow Pages to chronicle all of the much-loved beasties, so we will have to make do with introducing just a few. Cats seemed to rule the day in our sampling (don’t they always?), but a couple of dogs managed to wag their way in.

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Field Notes: The Nose Rules

The other day I watched my canine companion, Zina, put her nose to the breeze and then bury it deep in the grass near the pasture fence. Her excitement reminded me of the days when my German Shepherds were able to roam freely in the fields before the housing development set in. Their nose-down, tail up odyssey fulfilled every scent-driven need in their bodies.

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Pipe Break Floods River Road

An eight-inch “relatively small” water main break caused spouts of bubbling water on River Road Saturday morning, Feb. 23.

Club Friday To Host Open House

Elementary and middle school students are invited to Club Friday’s Open House on Friday, March 1, from 7-10 p.m.

Potomac Calendar Feb. 27

Entertainment calendar for the Potomac area.

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Happy Day at Forest Edge

RCC’s Good Neighbors Woodworking Group donates toys.

It was a day filled with fun and excitement for preschool children of Forest Edge Elementary School on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the school’s main cafeteria. The occasion was the presentation of about 50 hand-made wooden toys to the children by members of the Reston Community Center’s Good Neighbors, a senior adult volunteer woodworking group.

Orange Line Calendar Feb. 27

Calendar for events happening around the Metro Orange line.

Arlington Calendar Feb. 27

Entertainment calendar for the Arlington area.

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Alliance Pushes for Gun Control Policies

Reston-Herndon Alliance to End Gun Violence holds vigil at NRA headquarters.

Members of the Reston-Herndon Alliance to End Gun Violence gathered at the National Rifle Association headquarters in Fairfax Friday, Feb. 22, to advocate for stricter gun laws. This was the group’s second such protest, where more than 30 members carried signs citing statistics about gun-related deaths.

Week in Herndon

A Herndon man in his early 30’s died as a result of a crash that took place on Dranesville Road at around 3 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23.

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Encore Stage & Studio Presents ‘Big Bad’

Mr. Wolf is in the defendant’s seat, and the plaintiffs, represented by the Fairy Godmother, take the witness stand one by one to tell of their traumatizing stories of their encounters with Mr. Wolf.

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Herndon Scouts Practice for D-Day

A group of Venture scouts carry a stretcher past a group of Webelos. As the stretcher passes, the Webelos watch the scouts of the Cobras Patrol demonstrate how to treat a puncture wound. This is Disaster Day (or D-Day, if you really want to call it that).

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Silent Shakespeare

Synetic Theater makes a splash with “The Tempest.”

With more than 2,500 gallons of water and a lot of creativity, Arlington’s Synetic Theater transforms its Crystal City stage into Prospero’s magical island in “The Tempest,” the ninth production in the groundbreaking theater’s Silent Shakespeare series.

Delegate Tom Rust Contributes Key Provision to Texting While Driving Bills

Last week, the General Assembly passed two pieces of legislation—SB 1222 and HB1907—which would change the offense of texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary one. Earlier in the 2013 session, Delegate Tom Rust (R-Herndon) introduced a bill (HB1357) which, on its own, would change the status of the offense, and receiving wide bipartisan support, the bill was incorporated into HB1907.

Arlington School Notes Feb. 27

School notes for Arlington natives.

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Ribbon-cutting for Lee Highway Murals Draw Crowd

Residents chose their own public art.

A Feb. 18 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the formal dedication of an art project on Lee Highway near North Monroe Street.

Column: To Buy Or Not To Buy

That is my question. And though I can’t quite quote Shakespeare the way I can quote The Three Stooges: “Moe, Larry, the cheese. Moe, Larry, the cheese,” “’tis nobler” to ask it nonetheless. Still, if Hamlet had been diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer, as I have, perhaps he wouldn’t have been contemplating suicide but rather allocating his monthly budget – as I do every day, with nearly every purchase. That’s my dream, “perchance” or otherwise.

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Column: Before Adopting a Pet …

How to determine and find the perfect pet for one’s lifestyle.

Before you answer that online or classified ad for an adorable, floppy-eared puppy or ask to see that frisky kitten in the pet store window there are a few things you should consider before purchasing a pet.

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Bulova Gives State of County

Board chairman discusses Tysons future, effects of sequestration.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova premiered her “State of the County” address Wednesday, Feb. 20. In the 20-minute video, Bulova addressed what promises to be an eventful year in the county, one that will see the opening of five new Metrorail stations in Tysons Corner and Reston.

Household Queen Comes Home to Arlington

Heloise reminisces and offers special tips to local homemakers.

If you have a household problem, there’s a good chance she’s got a solution.

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Crew Rows for Humanity

The ergometers were in place and in action by 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Ballston Commons.

Picking A Pet

If we're honest, we can all admit we have a “type” as far as what we find attractive — in people and in dogs. Some of us go for big and brawny, others melt over dainty and petite.

Animal Welfare League Hires New Executive Director

Megan Webb to lead Vola Lawson Animal Shelter.

Megan Webb, an animal shelter professional with more than 15 years of management experience and extensive knowledge of both shelter and field operations, has been named the new executive director and chief executive officer of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. “Megan's knowledge and management expertise within the sheltering community will enhance the AWLA's growth and strengthen our relationships within the Alexandria community,” said AWLA board chairman Charlotte Hall in making the announcement.

The Coolest Cats

King Street Cats celebrates 10 years

The Alexandria-based no kill animal shelter King Street Cats has a lot to purr about in 2013. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the all-volunteer organization that services kitty lovers throughout the region.

Second Chances

AWLA's special funds help those most in need.

Many city residents are familiar with the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria and the life-saving work that takes place at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter. Our generous donors and supporters are a testament to the compassion and generosity prevalent throughout Alexandria. Many animal lovers ask us how they can make the greatest impact and where our greatest area of need lies.

‘The Drawer Boy’

Canadian classic debuts at Port City Playhouse.

It was 40 years ago when a Toronto theater company crafted the basis of a play by sending a group of actors to live and work on the farms of Ontario. The experiment became a landmark in Canadian theater and was the inspiration for Michael Healey’s “The Drawer Boy,” now playing at Port City Playhouse.

CSI Sully District Station

Detective discusses fingerprint forensics.

Forensics can be a fascinating field, and members of the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee recently got a glimpse into the world of fingerprint analysis from Det. Derek Hardy. A 20-year police officer, he’s spent 14 years in forensics and is a member of the station’s Crime Scene Section.

Kiwanis Conducts Service Leadership Programs Night

The Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club hosted a Service Leadership Programs Night at the Mount Vernon Country Club on Feb 20, which featured presentations from young men, women and students involved in community service and leadership activities at schools in the area. Attending the event were local school administrators, educators, principals, and advisors such as Deborah Tyler, Fairfax Country Public Schools Cluster IV assistant superintendent; Principal Nardos King, Mount Vernon High School; Principal Cliff Hardison, West Potomac High School; Principal Maura Caulfield, Stratford Landing Elementary School; Assistant Principal Kaaren Lowder, South County High School; and Kim Taylor-Wilson, acting coordinator of Student Services at Northern Virginia Community College. Students in attendance were youth leaders in their Kiwanis family of clubs including Circle K International, Key Clubs, Builders Club, and K-Kids.

Local Girl Scout Troops Celebrate World Thinking Day

Each year on Feb. 22, World Thinking Day, U.S. Girl Scouts honor their sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts by taking time to give thanks for their international friendships and remember that Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a global community — one of nearly 150 countries that are members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The Girl Scout troops of Mount Vernon celebrated Thinking Day this year at Wesley United Methodist Church. Each troop represented a country of their choosing and shared what they learned with their fellow scouts.

Laurel Grove School

Laurel Grove School

Turner Is Sully’s Officer of Month

Police Det. John Turner is the Sully District Station’s Officer of the Month for February. He was honored at the station’s Feb. 13 Citizens Advisory Committee meeting for his accomplishments in January.

On to States for Team Robowiz

Rocky Run students compete Sunday in FIRST Tech Challenge finals.

On Jan. 12 at UVA, Rocky Run Middle School’s Robowiz team was a finalist in three FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) categories and triumphed in one of them. And this Sunday, March 3, the team will participate in the state finals at VCU.

Fun Dog Fitness

Hi! We are Teddy, Hobie, and Tessa (in that order) and live in Alexandria. Two years ago we all met down at ‘doggie beach’ by Ford’s Landing and immediately hit it off. Our mom’s were hanging out chatting, and we were having a ball chasing each other, roughhousing, and getting great exercise.

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Civil War Raid Comes Downtown

March 17 marks 150 years since Mosby’s raid of Herndon.

On St. Patrick’s day 150 years ago, Union soldiers from the First Vermont Cavalry were at the Town of Herndon depot and sawmill. They were expecting a group of reinforcements, but instead Confederate Capt. John Mosby and his unit arrived on a raid, sparking a brief skirmish.

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Alliance Pushes for New Policies

Reston-Herndon Alliance to End Gun Violence holds vigil at NRA headquarters.

Members of the Reston-Herndon Alliance to End Gun Violence gathered at the National Rifle Association headquarters in Fairfax Friday, Feb. 22, to advocate for stricter gun laws. This was the group’s second such protest, where more than 30 members carried signs citing statistics about gun-related deaths.

Tuesday, February 26

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Bulova Presents State of County

Board chairman discusses Tysons future, effects of sequestration.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova premiered her "State of the County" address Wednesday, Feb. 20. In the 20-minute video, Bulova addressed what promises to be an eventful year in the county, one that will see the opening of five new Metrorail stations in Tysons Corner and Reston.

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Spring Hill Hosts Parental Presentation

Michelle Kriebel gives strategies on dealing with peer pressure.

Parents from Spring Hill and Churchill Road Elementary School got a few lessons in parenting Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Spring Hill Elementary School. Educator and presenter Michelle Kriebel spoke to more than 40 parents about strategies parents can take to set boundaries for their young children and deal with external factors such as peer pressure.

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Foundation Plans for Art Center

Community Center for the Arts possible at Turner Farm.

The Great Falls Foundation for the Arts was founded in 2007 with the goal of eventually bringing an arts center to the community. Since then, they have run a school, working studio space and a gallery space on Walker Road, all while planning for the future.

Monday, February 25

City of Fairfax Wants to Get Out of Water Business

Mayor, council seek public input before April 9 vote.

In the next few days, City of Fairfax water customers will receive a letter from the City of Fairfax mayor and City Council with details about the proposed deal with Fairfax Water. The city will hold two public meetings at the Sherwood Community Center, 3740 Old Lee Highway, on Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 6, at 9 a.m. For more information, call 703-385-7850.

Saturday, February 23

Classified Advertising Feb. 20, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Tham's Triple-Double Leads Wakefield to State Berth

Warriors will face Woodson in Northern Region final.

Tham's triple-double is believed to be Wakefield's first since 2007.

Friday, February 22

A Lesson in Stomach Flu Survival

The ABCs of recognizing, treating and preventing stomach flu.

“The best way to prevent the stomach flu is by washing your hands, especially after using the restroom.” — Dr. Jean Glossa

Column: Definition of “Slippery Slope”

Figuratively speaking, of course. That definition being: a late stage cancer patient/survivor previously characterized as “terminal” awaiting the results of their most recent diagnostic scan. A scan that will indicate whether the tumors have grown, moved or God forbid, appeared somewhere new. If your life hung in the balance before the scan, waiting for results of this however-many-months-interval-scan will most assuredly loosen your figurative grip on your equilibrium and your most literal grip on your sanity. This is a domain, unlike the one referred to in one of the more infamous Seinfeld episodes, that one cannot master. To invoke and slightly rework Dan Patrick’s “catch” phrase: You can’t stop it, you can only hope to contain it.

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Choosing a Summer Camp

Region offers programs to tempt children with interests ranging from sports to drama to science.

While most of Washington is braving the winter weather, April Toman has been planning for summer. At the top of her list: choosing a camp for her two children, Claire, who is in fifth grade, and Will, who is a second grader. “I start thinking about it in January,” said Toman, who lives in Alexandria. “I talk to my kids about what they are interested in taking. There are so many options and the popular camps fill up quickly.”

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Learning From the Past

What some area schools are doing to celebrate Black History Month.

The sound of steel drums vibrates through the air of a crowded auditorium in Potomac, Md. In McLean, elementary school girls share their understanding of the struggles of Rosa Parks. A group of second graders from Alexandria treks to downtown Washington to see the massive memorial statue of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

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Mark Twain wins regional competition, advances to state level.

It doesn’t take any higher level computations to evaluate the success of Mark Twain Middle School MATHCOUNTS teams, just simple fractions. Like 6/10: the number of times in the last decade the school’s entrants finished first at the regional level; in the remaining 4/10, they were runners-up.

Four Plead Guilty: Real Estate Fraud

Lorton woman faces five years in prison.

Four people pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 19, in federal court in Alexandria to conspiring to fraudulently take over the titles of homes in Washington, D.C., without the real property owners’ knowledge, selling those homes and keeping the profit. Among those entering a plea was Patricia Mantilla, 35, of Lorton.

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‘Free Money’ for Schools

Fairview Elementary School No. 1 in area in collecting Box Tops.

Since the beginning of the school year, Fairview Elementary School students have collected more than 25,000 Box Tops, which equates to $2,500 cash for the school and school programs. As of their recent contest, which ended Jan. 31, Fairview moved into first place out of 1,069 schools in a 25 mile radius and into eighth place out of 2,197 schools in a 50 mile radius, according to the Box Tops for Education website. The school is 13th in Virginia, and 778th out of 89,127 schools enrolled in the program across the nation.

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Bob’s Discount Furniture Opens New Store, Donates to Area Schools

On Thursday, Feb. 14, Bob’s Discount Furniture donated a total of $13,500 to local schools at the grand opening of their new Fairfax store, located in the Greenbriar Shopping Center at 13055A Lee Jackson Memorial Highway. These donations were presented to school representatives by Cathy Poulin, public relations director of Bob’s Discount Furniture, who also celebrated the store opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The company also opened a store in Waldorf, Md. on the same day.

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Mason Alumnus Promotes Biking

Joe Paisley runs an online community for cyclists to network and share common interests.

With spring right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about pulling your bike out of the garage and taking a break from the congested automobile commute with a fresh change of scenery. But cycling aficionado Joe Paisley will not let cold weather keep him off the pedals. Even in 19—degree weather, Paisley keeps his enthusiasm for cycling alive and works to spread bicycle advocacy on and off the bike.

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Following in His Dad’s Footsteps

Ben Sisson is county’s Volunteer Rookie Firefighter of the Year.

Ben Sisson is just 20, but he’s just been honored as Fairfax County’s 2012 Volunteer Rookie Firefighter of the Year. He received the recognition and a plaque last Tuesday, Feb. 12, along with other volunteer firefighters, during a ceremony before the Board of Supervisors.

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Destination: Orlando

Members of Potomac River Running training program have been preparing since September.

When contemplating Disney princesses, one immediately thinks of fairy godmothers and pumpkin carriages, flying carpets and pet tigers, flaming red hair and fishtails. Inner strength is a characteristic these women share—one of which we are quick to remind young girls—and so is rescue-ability. But for 16 local female runners who have been training since last fall to complete a half marathon, the Disney Princess is all about being their own hero.

Dr. Allen Neil Duckworth of Springfield, 72, Dies

Dr. Allen Neil Duckworth of Springfield passed away on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the age of 72. Preceded in death by his daughter, Sarah Bergquist, he is survived by his wife of forty-nine years Becky, two sons, David (Alisha) Duckworth and Dr. Douglas (Jasmine) Duckworth, his daughter Dr. Beth (Michael) Flecker, his sister Debra (Win) Davis as well as 11 grandchildren and nieces Andi and Malika.

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Virginia Lawmakers Strike Down Bike Safety Bills

Local cyclists vow return in 2014.

Virginia may be for lovers, but bicyclists? Not so much. On Monday, the Virginia House of Delegates killed the last bicycle bill to come before the body in a vote of 55-42. The bill, SB1060, would have added bicycles to the list of vehicles that cannot be tailgated.

Fairfax Attracts 8,400 New Jobs

Intelsat U.S. headquarters relocation most prominent announcement of the year.

In 2012, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) worked with 186 businesses adding 8,438 jobs to the Fairfax County economy.

New Approach to Helping Chronic Homeless

County joins "100,000 Homes" effort as chronic homelessness levels rise.

The number of chronically homeless individuals in Fairfax County is on the rise. Currently, nearly 300 individuals are considered chronically homeless, many living in cars or sleeping in tents. In an effort to find permanent homes for these individuals, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness is joining the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national movement to find permanent homes for 100,000 chronically homeless throughout the nation.

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Life and Death Online

Virginia lawmakers pass “digital assets” bill to ease parental access to deceased child’s accounts.

In a rare display of bipartisan unity, the Virginia General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill Tuesday that makes it easier for parents and guardians to swiftly access minors online accounts after their death. The digital assets bill—co-sponsored by Delegates David Bulova (D-37) and Tommy Wright (R-Amelia)—is now headed to Governor Robert McDonnell’s desk for signature. Specifically, the bill allows a representative of the minor to obtain access to his or her digital accounts within 30 days of submitting a written request and death certificate to the social media site.

Fourth Annual Running to Remember Josh

Josh Anderson Foundation remembers teen, aims to prevent teenage suicide.

On March 18, 2009, the world lost Joshua Lee Anderson—a beloved son, brother and friend—to suicide. He was 17 years old. The Josh Anderson Foundation (JAF) was formed for two purposes: to keep Josh's memory alive and to collect funds for the education and prevention of teenage suicide. JAF's goal is to promote youth mental health awareness by bringing innovative, creative and effective programs directly into high schools. By the end of the 2012-2013 school year, JAF will have funded programs in eleven schools and impacted over 17,000 students.

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A Passion for Dance

Richmond Ballet II to perform and teach master class.

The importance of dance is clear to Stoner Winslett, artistic director of the Richmond Ballet. "Dance is the expression of the human spirit through movement. It is the instinctive language of our hearts and minds," she wrote.

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Robinson Gives Back

School’s Music Honor Society holds annual benefit concert at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Fairfax.

For Robinson senior and trumpet player Matt McMahon, just pulling off Saturday’s Robinson Gives Back concert will be a success in and of itself. The president of the secondary school’s 90-member Tri-M music honor society assumed most of the responsibility for organizing the annual event this year when the faculty sponsor and choral director Michael Horanski took paternity leave.

A Guide to Fun

Three area mothers publish guide to kid-friendly activities in Northern Virginia.

Rather than brood about the lack of cultural resources for new mothers living in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, three local writers took it upon themselves to fill the information void. Bloggers Claudine Kurp, Amy Suski and Micaela Williamson have recently self-published “Kid Trips Northern Virginia Edition,” a 220-page toddler-to-teen tome providing hundreds of honest reviews, insider tips and top picks from all manner of child-friendly culture in the area.

Burke Fiancée Says 'Yes' Post-marathon

Burke resident Jessica Puentes was crossing the finish line of the Miami Marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society when she saw her boyfriend Vic Nguyen holding up a sign that read "Will You Run With Me For The Rest Of Your Life?"

Burke Surgeon Gains National Recognition

Richard Derner, DPM, FACFAS, of Burke, is the new secretary and treasurer of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), a national association of over 6,800 foot and ankle surgeons. Dr. Derner was installed to his position at the ACFAS 71st Annual Scientific Conference in Las Vegas.

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Burke Youth to Present Musical Esther

Senior and junior high school youth from Burke Presbyterian Church will present the musical Esther from Feb. 28 through March 3. Esther is by local playwrights Martin and Janice Landry. All performances take place at Burke Presbyterian Church, 5960 Oak Leather Drive, Burke.

Thursday, February 21

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 65 homes sold between $1,402,735-$184,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: January, 2013

Springfield Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 79 Springfield homes sold between $800,000-$141,900.

Springfield Home Sales: January, 2013

Reston Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 50 Reston homes sold between $1,000,000-$136,600.

Reston Home Sales: January, 2013

Potomac Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 23 Potomac homes sold between $4,700,000-$435,000.

Potomac Home Sales: January, 2013

Mount Vernon Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 59 homes sold between $1,150,000-$98,500 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: January, 2013

McLean Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 51 homes sold between $5,000,000-$195,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: January, 2013

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 41 homes sold between $965,000-$122,500 in the Herndon and Oak Hill area.

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: January, 2013

Great Falls Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 19 Great Falls homes sold between $5,115,693-$639,000.

Great Falls Home Sales: January, 2013

Fairfax Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 72 Fairfax homes sold between $1,476,665-$125,000.

Fairfax Home Sales: January, 2013

Centreville Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 50 Centreville homes sold between $781,000-$139,000.

Centreville Home Sales: January, 2013

Chantilly Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 11 homes sold between $650,000-$46,500 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: January, 2013

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 45 homes sold between $1,275,000-$150,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: January, 2013

Burke Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 21 Burke homes sold between $620,000-$189,000.

Burke Home Sales: January, 2013

Arlington Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 132 Arlington homes sold between $1,500,000-$75,000.

Arlington Home Sales: January, 2013

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New Recreation Facility Debated

Reston Community Center solicits public input on a new indoor recreation center at Baron Cameron Park.

Reston Community Center invited the public to bring their wish lists to an open forum meeting on Monday, Feb. 11, to discuss the potential development of a new indoor recreation center at Baron Cameron Park. In 2012, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors transferred 68 acres at the park to the Fairfax County Parks Authority, and Bill Bouie, who is both a member of the Reston Community Center Board of Governors, as well as the chairman of the parks authority Board told the assembly that the Reston Community Center is “an interested party” in the Fairfax County Parks Authority’s Master Planning Process about to begin in March.

Circus Comes to Town

I am going to be taking two of my grandchildren to the Barnum and Bailey Circus at the Richmond Coliseum tonight. It is really amazing how quickly the circus can move into its venue; amaze, entertain and hold in suspense its audience; and then pack up and move on. Just a few blocks from the Coliseum, the General Assembly opened at the State Capitol the second week in January and will pack up this week and members will go back home. For the last six weeks the 140 members of the House of Delegates and State Senate along with their staff and about a thousand lobbyists have been holding forth on Capitol Square for the annual legislative session. The agenda is serious, and the activities over the past several weeks have been humorous, suspenseful and in a term used by the circus ringmaster, “unbelievable.”

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Rock Musical Takes CenterStage

Reston Community Players to present "Next to Normal."

A "cathartic, powerful rock musical, with a hopeful ending and a great honesty to it" is the way director Andrew JM Regiec describes the next Reston Community Players production, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award recipient "Next to Normal." With a score of about three dozen songs "Next to Normal" tells the story of a suburban family battling personal demons "through a fast-paced story-telling and the heightened emotions that music can bring," said Regiec.

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TJ Students Promote Science

Science Innovation and Inspiration Youth Conference at Langston Hughes Middle.

The study of science and technology among youths was given a boost on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Langston Hughes Middle School. The Science Innovation and Inspiration Youth Conference (ScI2YC), a STEM conference aimed at encouraging the study of science and technology among middle school students was hosted by Project BEST.

Week in Reston

The Reston Historic Trust and the Reston Museum are exploring the early history of Reston. The Reston Museum is producing another free program on Feb. 28, 7-9 p.m., to be presented at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center—Lake Anne, titled: “Building Community in Reston: Diversity, Openness and Inclusiveness.”

P Minor of a Purim Paparazzi

Instead of joining an exasperated press probing into prominent people's privacies, I will pursue celebrities like King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther and Vashti of Persia. I will serve a much greater purpose by presenting a better picture, or portrait, of the Megillah's principal personalities. It gives me the opportunity to report on the grand procession of Mordechai, Haman and his sons Parshandatha, Parmashta and Poratha, to name only three. Now, with the approach of Purim, I prefer to devote my expertise to promote the proper performance of the Purim procedures and its prerequisites.

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‘Casino Royale’ Raises $10,000 for Homeless Children

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s event honors educators, raises money for county students.

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual Casino Royale event evidenced great success on Feb. 8, packing a ballroom at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly with guests eager to support education in Fairfax County. Chamber members, sponsors, and Fairfax County Public School educators enjoyed the evening, raising more than $10,000 for homeless children in Fairfax County and honoring seven area educators who were presented with the chamber’s Educator of the Year Award.

Week in Herndon

On Tuesday, Feb. 26, northern Virginia’s business community has an opportunity to hear commentary and expert views on today’s economic conditions and real estate market trends from one of the nation’s top-ranked economic forecasters. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research with the National Association of REALTORS®, will headline Northwest Federal Credit Union’s 2013 Economic Forecast Breakfast. A participant in many economic forecasting panels, including Blue Chip and the Harvard University Industrial Economist Council, Yun has been named among the 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders by INMAN News. He will address the economic activities, trends, risks and outlook for the coming year.

Northwest FCU Welcomes New, Familiar Faces

Both new and familiar faces will play key roles at Northwest Federal Credit Union as 2013 gets underway. Taking the reins at Northwest Federal — one of the nation’s largest credit unions, with $2.5 billion in assets and serving 117,000 members — is new President/CEO Chris McDonald. He succeeds Gerrianne “Winky” Burks, who retired after a 41-year career at the Credit Union. McDonald has extensive credit union experience gained over 28 years, most recently serving as CEO of Andrews Federal Credit Union in Suitland, Md.

Letter: Saving French at Herndon Elementary

I am writing, as a parent of two children currently attending 4th and 6th grade at Herndon Elementary School in Herndon, to express our big concern about the proposal and possibility of switching from the French Immersion Program that has been in place since 1988, to a two-way Spanish immersion.

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Town Calendar Photo Competition Announced

ArtSpace Herndon and the Council for the Arts of Herndon present the third annual Herndon 2014 Town Calendar Photo Competition. Professional and amateur photographers aged 16 and older are invited to submit entries to the competition; the deadline for submissions is June 18, 2013. Subjects for all entries must be located within the corporate limits of the Town of Herndon, and special consideration will be given to entries depicting people participating in seasonal or community events.

Week in Vienna

Town Council will hold two work sessions during March to discuss the Town’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget. The public is invited to attend; however, public commentary is not permitted during work sessions. The work sessions will be held at Town Hall, 127 Center Street S, on Saturday, March 9 beginning at 9 a.m. and Monday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. If necessary, a third work session will be held Monday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. A public hearing on the FY 2014 budget will be held Monday, April 1, and a public hearing on the proposed tax rate, and water and sewer rates will be held Monday, April 15 at 8 p.m. in Town Hall. The public is invited to attend and provide their input during the public hearing process. The adoption of the budget, tax rate and water and sewer rates is scheduled for Monday, May 13, at 8 p.m.

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Circus Artwork Wins International Award

Applegate Gallery owner creates whimsical piece for picture-framing competition.

Sara Applegate, whose framing and art gallery sits on Church Street, won an international competition in late January for a framed artpiece. To call Applegate’s interpretation a “frame,” is akin to calling a Ferrari just a car. The piece, whimsical yet complex, features five three-dimensional circus vignettes. The individual components are mostly vintage lead collector pieces. “Once I found those, I fell completely in love,” said Applegate, who picked up several character pieces at the Frederick Antique Emporium. Two pieces were created in 1948 by Britains, a lead soldier manufacturer that produced a circus collection series. The remaining three vignettes were produced by the same company in 1998. Applegate bought those on E-Bay.

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Comic Books Are No Laughing Matter

E.G. Comics in Vienna features thousands of titles, from vintage to current.

Edwin Gumel really knows his comics. His store, E.G. Comics, has served Vienna and the surrounding area since 1990. He doesn’t just sell comics and graphic novels; he grades their condition, he catalogues them, he knows what back issues are worth. Among his stock are niche collections and the more well-known ones, such as Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, and Dark Horse Comics.

Letter: Alarmed and Saddened

I participated in the public hearing on school discipline last week and was alarmed and deeply saddened to view the document Students Rights and Responsibilities for K-12, which lists pages and pages of all the “bad” behavior a student could possibly have, and the consequences for each violation. The really big consequence is for marijuana use, which merits immediate 10-day suspension and a referral for consideration of expulsion on the first violation.

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Langley Crew Team Rows to ‘Stop Hunger Now’

The Langley crew team raised $2,500 toward the Langley pyramid effort to support the Stop Hunger Now charity, which culminated in a meal packaging event that was held at Colvin Run Elementary School on Saturday, Feb. 9. The Langley pyramid effort raised $19,000 total, which paid for 76,000 high protein meals that were put together or "packed" by volunteers. Langley crew held a fundraiser event at the Great Falls Safeway on Feb. 2 and also donated a portion of the proceeds from its annual indoor rowing competition—an "Erg-a-thon" against West Springfield High School that Langley won.

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Spelling Bee Champion

On Feb. 11, Churchill Road crowned a new spelling bee champion. After 12 rounds among 20 finalists, 6th grader Matthew Cox took first place by correctly spelling the word “salubrious.” He will go on to represent CRS at the county bee on March 12 at Lanier Middle School. Sixth graders Soumya Peri and Eric Gan placed second and third, respectively.

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On a Mission to Serve

On Tuesday, Jan. 22, Oakcrest School implemented a school-wide initiative called L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Experience, Academics, Daring) Day. The mission for the day was to provide a series of thoughtful workshops, service projects and field trips to kickoff the 3rd Quarter and Semester II.

McLean’s Potomac School Gets New Leader

John Kowalik described as a wise and gifted educator.

The Potomac School in McLean will soon have a new leader at the helm. School officials announced recently that John J. Kowalik will assume the role of head of school. The announcement came in a statement from Larry Culp, chair of Potomac’s board of trustees. “John Kowalik is a wise and gifted educator, with a rare combination of inspirational leadership capabilities and exceptional management skills. He is the right leader to build on [current Head] Geoff Jones’ remarkable achievements at Potomac during the last 13 years.”

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McLean High Students Present The Salon Project

Revisiting the time and a place “where ideas mattered most.”

Conversations about Newtonian science, Benjamin Franklin’s electricity, liberty and equality, diplomacy, the monarchy, free speech, free press, American independence social life and scandal were just a few of the subjects broached in the Salon Project presentation, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art last Saturday, by McLean High School students in Dean Howarth’s program.

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Promoting Arts in McLean

McLean Project for the Arts’ only surviving founder, Nancy Bradley, shares stories of its origin.

Fifty years ago, long-time resident Nancy Weyl Bradley, along with five local artists, made a decision that would permanently change the cultural landscape of McLean. They noticed a lack of opportunity for artists and those who appreciate art in the community. And it wasn’t long before the group of six women artists, most of whom were studying at American University, came up with the idea of opening an art gallery in McLean. It was not intended to be a vanity gallery to show their own works, but a true gallery to showcase the works of local artists.

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Thinking of Young Patients on Valentine’s Day

Service learning was the focus of the February meeting of Churchill Road’s Student Council Association. SCA representatives made Valentine’s Day care packages for young patients at INOVA Children’s Hospital in Fairfax. Working with Jamie Gentille, Director of Child Life Services at INOVA Children’s Hospital, the CRS students put together packages of books, puzzles and games, along with hand-made cards, as a Valentine’s Day treat for the young patients. SCA officers J.J. Bellaschi, Izzy Schone and Whit Walter, along with SCA representative Liliana Schone and club sponsor Sharon Jones dropped the packages off at Fairfax Hospital on Valentine’s Day.

‘Art Night Out’ in Support of Great Falls Art Community

Great Falls artists and art enthusiasts will host a casual night out on March 7, 7-9:30 p.m. at the home of Mark & Molly Decker, 106 Falcon Ridge Drive, Great Falls. The residents are invited to enjoy drinks and appetizers as they view the Decker's extensive art collection highlighting accomplished Ohio landscape artist Michael McEwan. They can also view the newly released plans and drawings for the proposed Great Falls Center for the Arts, discuss the project's progress, and share their thoughts with GFFFTA Board members.

Letter: Time to Vote on Gun Control

A powerful moment was reached during the State of the Union address when President Obama spoke of America’s responsibility to survivors of gun violence. The president said, “they deserve a vote” — on gun reform. Representatives from Virginia should heed this call.

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EMT Wins Basic Life Support Provider of the Year Award

Elliot Zaret is this year's recipient of the Fairfax County 2012 Basic Life Support Provider of the Year Award. In addition to his patient care and mentoring, Elliot spent countless hours utilizing his woodworking skills crafting a table that now graces the new firestation.

New Approach to Helping Chronic Homeless

County joins "100,000 Homes" effort as chronic homelessness on rise.

The number of chronically homeless individuals in Fairfax County is on the rise. Currently, nearly 300 individuals are considered chronically homeless, many living in cars or sleeping in tents. In an effort to find permanent homes for these individuals, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness is joining the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national movement to find permanent homes for 100,000 chronically homeless throughout the nation.

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‘Two Symphonies and a Dance’ for Area Music Lovers

Virginia Chamber Orchestra to present early Mozart and Mendelssohn works.

There has always been the debate about the role of nature and nurture in a child’s development. This is especially true in child prodigies. Mozart and Mendelssohn were from musical homes and received encouragement in musical studies. Although Gluck sang in his church choir, his interest in music was surely of his own making as he was expected to work in his family’s forestry business.

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Neighbors Press Hybla Valley Walmart to Install Wheel Locks on Shopping Carts

Cleanup crews say carts clog Little Hunting Creek.

Betty Scutt pushes her shopping cart through a ragged parking lot of the Walmart on Richmond Highway in Hybla Valley.

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Alexandria City Council Poised to Rezone Waterfront

City manager declines to talk about developers interested in the waterfront.

Can City Manager Rashad Young name any developer who is interested in the waterfront?

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Alexandria Police Shield Information on Officer-Involved Shooting

Law-enforcement officials use exemption to withhold incident report.

Why did Alexandria police officers kill Taft Sellars?

Wednesday, February 20

Hayfield’s Overstreet Shares Vault State Title

Woodson's Freidman fourth in all-around.

Overstreet finishes top eight in two events at state meet.

Lake Braddock Wins First District Title Since 2002

Gregorits named MVP of Patriot District tournament.

The Bruins' season ends with a loss to Robinson in the regional quarterfinals.

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TC Girls’ Basketball Wins Patriot District Championship

Titans beat Woodson for first district title since 2009.

The Titans' season ends in regional quarterfinals.

Seahawks End Majors' Season with Buzzer-Beater

Mount Vernon girls' basketball loses in regional quarterfinals.

South Lakes advances to face Oakton in the Northern Region semifinals.

Police Charge Three in Vehicle Vandalisms

Last month, police from the Sully District Station began investigating a number of property destructions and larcenies that happened Jan. 10, between 1-5 a.m.

Centreview Roundups Wednesday, Feb. 20

Roundups for the Centreview area.

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Following in His Dad’s Footsteps

Ben Sisson is county’s Volunteer Rookie Firefighter of the Year.

Ben Sisson is just 20, but he’s just been honored as Fairfax County’s 2012 Volunteer Rookie Firefighter of the Year. He received the recognition and a plaque last Tuesday, Feb. 12, along with other volunteer firefighters, during a ceremony before the Board of Supervisors.

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Pancakes, Coffee and Donations

Centreville IHOP Holds Leukemia, Lymphoma Fundraiser

Pancakes and syrup make a tasty meal; but at the Centreville IHOP, they’re also a way to raise money. And that’s what happened Feb. 5 when the restaurant held a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

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Officer of the Year

Shields honored at Sully District Station.

It takes a great deal to become a police station’s Officer of the Year, but PFC Joe Shields has what it takes. And last Wednesday, Feb. 13, he received that honor for 2012 during a meeting of the Sully District Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee.

Letter to the Editor: Litter Poisons Environment

Michael Pope’s recent article [“Carts Clog Creek,” Feb. 14] brings needed attention to the problem of the shopping carts that end up in Little Hunting Creek.

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Hearing the Cry of the Poor

“Provide!” prays Sarah Heckman.

One of these chilly mornings you might spot her cycling furiously on the George Washington bike path, flying along like a comet. If you wave, she’ll dazzle you with a smile and wave back.

Column: Seeing Progress on U.S. 1

As we move to the end of the General Assembly session, we are engaged in intense negotiations on the major issues. Also, we have had significant progress on U.S. 1.

Column: Legislature Enters Final Week

Working for and with my constituents in Richmond is always exciting, and this year is no different. As we enter the final week of the session, conference committees are meeting to iron out the differences in House and Senate versions of several key bills.

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Man Pleads Guilty to Murder

Walker killed Centreville woman in January 2012.

One year ago, Benjamin Luke Walker walked into the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center’s pre-release center and confessed to killing his roommate, a 22-year-old Centreville woman.

Four Plead Guilty: Real Estate Fraud

Chantilly woman faces five years in prison.

Four people pleaded guilty Tuesday, Feb. 19, in federal court in Alexandria to conspiring to fraudulently take over the titles of homes in Washington, D.C., without the real property owners’ knowledge, selling those homes and keeping the profit. Among those entering a plea was Melissa McWilliams, 35, of Chantilly.

Centreview Entertainment Calendar Wednesday, Feb. 20

Entertainment calendar for the Centreview area.

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MetroStage Garners 7 Helen Hayes Nominations.

Griffin named a “Helen’s Star.”

Theatre Washington has announced the nominations for the 2013 Helen Hayes Awards with Alexandria’s MetroStage Theater among the 25 theatre companies nominated in 26 categories.

School Notes Wednesday, Feb. 20

School notes for Potomac natives.

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New Manager at Potomac Library

Nancy Savas has librarian roots reaching to her childhood.

Nancy Savas, the new Potomac Library manager comes to her new position with a wealth of experience, enthusiasm and knowledge.

Entertainment Calendar Wednesday, Feb. 20

Entertainment calendar for the Alexandria and Mount Vernon area.

Centreview School Notes Wednesday, Feb. 20

School notes for the Centreville and Chantilly areas.

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Grand Champions

The Chantilly High School Charger Dance Team competed on Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Gar-Field Sweetheart Invitational.

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Career & Technical Educator of the Year

Jennifer Howe, dental careers teacher at the Chantilly Academy, A Governor's STEM Academy, was recognized and honored as the Career & Technical Education "Educator of the Year."

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nZone American Karate Athletes Victorious

More than 650 martial arts competitors, including teams from Bermuda, Russia, and Kazakhstan, vied for titles at the World Cup Finals at the Sheraton Reston hotel last month.

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Celebrating Irish Heritage

Supervisor Michael R. Frey honored Wild West Irish Tours of Springfield along with vocalist Cathy Jordan (Sligo, Ireland) with a proclamation declaring Dec. 13 as "Cathy Jordan/Wild West Irish Tours Day" in Fairfax County.

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From Chantilly to New York

The Missionary Ministry of Chantilly Baptist Church, where the Rev. Dr. Jerry L. Bryant is the pastor, reached out to the residents in the Redfern Housing Development located in Far Rockaway, N.Y. after Hurricane Sandy.

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Column: To ‘Get That Vote We All Deserve’

From Fix Gun Checks tour to White House.

After my sister Reema was killed at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007 our lives changed forever. I say “our lives” changed forever because gun violence doesn’t just affect the direct family of the person killed, but an entire community.

Letter to the Editor: The Right Influence

As a young Muslim girl growing up in the West, it can be hard to find a role model who is famous for helping others, especially in a sea of celebrities and reality stars.

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Council Takes Steps To Protect Trees

New rules would protect individual trees and trees on small lots during redevelopment.

Next Monday, Feb. 25, the County Council’s subcommittee on Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment is scheduled to address two bills that focus on the protection of trees.

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Inventors Need Community’s Votes

Rocky Run X-BOTS team vies for innovation award.

A team of students mainly from Rocky Run Middle School is vying for an award for an app it created to help senior citizens. And area residents can help the students win by voting for their creation.

Centreview Bulletin Board Wednesday, Feb. 20

Centreview bulletin board for February through May

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Board of Education Locks Out Organic Farmer

Board of Education tells organic farmer to leave Brickyard site before court ruling, without notice.

While coffee brewed in the Maravell’s kitchen, school board security officers prepared to lock the gates to Nick Maravell’s Organic Farm and his daughter’s Brickyard Education Farm on Brickyard Road.

CES To Hold Parent Workshops

Centreville Elementary is holding an evening of parent workshops, Thursday, Feb. 28, and any parent in the community is welcome to attend.

Potomac Bulletin Board Wednesday, Feb. 20

Potomac bulletin board for February-June.

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Neil Simon Comedy at CHS

Theater students present “Brighton Beach Memoirs.”

If it’s a Neil Simon comedy, it’s bound to be hilarious. And that’s what Chantilly High’s presenting this week in its production of Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs.”

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Debbie Bendorf, 38, Loses Cancer Fight

Cancer doesn’t care if a person is a wife and mother loved by friends and family, is only 38 and isn’t finished living, yet.

County Urges Congress to Avoid Sequester

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett urged Congress to avoid the sequester, deep automatic budget cuts, that could be implemented March 1 if Congress fails to act.

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Living Legends Dash to Win

A number of Living Legends of Alexandria rode a Dash Trolley in Monday’s George Washington Birthday Parade.

God AND Doughnuts

The coming of Lent is announced differently in different places...

Club Friday Open House

Elementary and middle school students are invited to Club Friday’s Open House on Friday, March 1, from 7-10 p.m.

Neighborhoods: Old Town

A MAN TO REMEMBER - Derry Bancroft left us forever this unforgiving winter. No he didn't. Can't happen. Won't happen. He wouldn't do this to us so soon.

Letter to the Editor: ‘What Next, City Council?’

The Feb. 15 letter from the city manager describing the city’s plan to amend the zoning ordinance and re-vote the Waterfront Plan is an unfortunate example of things to come in city government.

“Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington’s Office of Senior Adult Programs for March 4-9.

Letter to the Editor: So Much for Transparency

No sooner had the Washington Post announced that its two warehouses were for sale than Bingo … council announces that they have had one of their “back room” executive sessions wherein they decided to alter the zoning code on the waterfront. All this with two court cases yet to be decided.

Letter to the Editor: Teachers Deserve Better Salaries

In a recent letter to the editor Richard Vis takes issue with Sen. Barker's contention that a 3 percent increase in teacher salaries would help close the gap in student achievement.

Orange Line Calendar Wednesday, Feb. 20

Orange line calendar for Arlington.

Letter to the Editor: Beauregard Plan’s Benefits

I am writing in response to the article, “Beauregard Waiting Game," which attempted to describe the impact of future redevelopment in the Beauregard area on existing residents, yet failed to include some important facts.

Letter to the Editor: Don’t Disconnect Parents from Schools

The Alexandria PTA Council, on behalf of its 3,000 members (parents, teachers and students) throughout the city, is writing to express our strong opposition to the “Opportunity Education Institution” legislation recently adopted by the state Senate (SB1324) and House of Delegates (HB 2096) and awaiting Governor McDonnell’s signature.

Letter to the Editor: Pre-emptive Strike?

The announcement at the mayor’ news conference last week that the waterfront plan must be enacted at once is not about making an urgently needed land use decision.

Letter to the Editor: Need To Help Students Now

I fully back the decision for the takeover of Jefferson Houston Elementary School. This used to be a wonderful school with good teachers and good leaders, not to say the teachers and leaders today are not good, but there has been such a turnover in the last few years.

Arlington Entertainment Calendar Wednesday, Feb. 20

Entertainment calendar for Arlington.

Potomac Entertainment Calendar Wednesday, Feb. 20

Entertainment calendar for Potomac

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Community Covenant

Scouts from Pack 301 pose for photos at the community covenant.

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Honoring the Greatest Generation

Post 24 veterans pay respects to Iwo Jima survivors.

Representatives of American Legion Post 24 in Alexandria visited with World War II veterans in Arlington Feb. 15 during a reunion of survivors of the Battle of Iwo Jima.

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Marymount Students Plan Fundraising Fashion Show

Event will raise money for needy students in Haiti and the U.S.

A group of Marymount University students are celebrating Black History month in high style, literally. The school’s African-Caribbean Student Association (ACSA) is presenting its fifth annual charity fashion show, “Voyage to Utopia.”

And the Winner Is …

Greener Cleaner voted 'Heart of Del Ray.'

The votes are in and Greener Cleaner has been named the 2013 “Heart of Del Ray,” an annual award presented during the Valentine's Day holiday by the Del Ray Business Association.

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Witness for Marriage

Nearly 50 people gathered on the Arlington County Courthouse Plaza on Thursday morning, Valentine’s Day, for a rally in support of marriage equality in Virginia.

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Gadson Addresses Annual Breakfast

Janet Barnett receives Distinguished Service Award.

The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association held its annual breakfast Feb. 18 at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Old Town in the traditional kick-off to the city's George Washington Birthday Parade celebrations.

Column: Seniors Get Lesson on Heart Health

Senior Services of Alexandria teamed up with Inova Alexandria Hospital for their February speaker series on "Heart Health and Fitness for Seniors."

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Uncommon Valor

Survivors reunite for 68th anniversary of Iwo Jima.

The morning of Feb. 19, 1945, dawned eerily quiet as Private First Class Carl Norton made his way toward the shores of the remote Japanese island of Iwo Jima. But in an instant, the 20-millimeter dual purpose guns buried in the side of Mount Suribachi exploded, erupting into one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history.

Column: State Must Clarify Its Takeover of Schools

Virginia ranks third in the nation in the education we provide students. However, there are some schools that year after year cannot attain accreditation. I agree something needs to be done to address this issue, as all students deserve a quality education.

Column: Criminalizing Of a Child

Time has come to pay attention to an age of accountability. Adults must seriously realize that boys and girls of 10 are categorically and truly children. No matter race, creed, color or national origin or anything else, they are of tender age.

Alexandria Bulletin Board Wednesday, Feb. 20

Alexandria bulletin board for February through June.

Column: Lots of Moving Parts Remain

Thanks to all of you who attended one of the town meetings in Mount Vernon or Old Town on Saturday. It’s always good to hear what’s on your mind, and your input helps me represent you better.

Column: State’s Limiting of Free Market

The Virginia General Assembly will soon enact legislation that directs the State Corporation Commission to perform plan management functions for participation in a federal health benefits exchange (HBE) program.

Column: Moving Parts

Thanks to all of you who attended one of the town meetings in Mount Vernon or Old Town on Saturday. It’s always good to hear what’s on your mind, and your input helps me represent you better.

Arlington Bulletin Board

Arlington Bulletin Board for February through April.

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The No Fear in Love Race

The No Fear in Love Race will be held at Marymount's Ballston Center, 1000 North Glebe Road in Arlington, on Saturday, Feb. 23.

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Development Money At Issue As Arlington Prepares For Fiscal Year 2014

Residents say the county is too willing to accept density at their expense.

Hold your wallets. It’s that time of year again.

Tuesday, February 19

Alexandria Home Sales: January, 2013

In January 2013, 108 Alexandria homes sold between $1,100,000-$90,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: January, 2013

Wakefield Topples TC in Northern Region Tournament

Warriors beat Titans for first time since 1996.

The Wakefield boys' basketball team will face Langley in the region quarterfinals.

Thursday, February 14

Classified Advertising Feb. 13, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

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Beauregard Waiting Game: Half the Affordable Housing Units Are a Decade Away

Supporters of the plan praise set-aside units; opponents fear complacency and inaction.

For the thousands of people who live in low-slung garden apartments on the West End, the future is an ever-present worry.

Wednesday, February 13

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Westfield’s Donahue Reaches 200 Victories

Senior captures third Northern Region title.

The Westfield wrestling team finished runner-up at the Northern Region wrestling tournament.

W-L Repeats as Northern Region Gymnastics Champion

Generals thrive despite just one top-three individual finish.

W-L, McLean finish 1-2, respectively, for the second straight year.

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Oakton Boys’ Basketball Secures Concorde’s No. 2 Seed

Cougars beat Westfield in regular-season finale.

The Oakton boys' basketball team earned a first-round bye in the Concorde District tournament by beating Westfield on Feb. 8.

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West Potomac’s Rupp Captures 220-Pound Regional Title

Senior remains undefeated.

Rupp improved to 42-0 during his senior season.

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Mount Vernon Wrestling Places Third at Regionals

Freshman Adusei wins 126-pound title.

Mount Vernon had three grapplers reach the finals.

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A Positive Reflection

Joan Brady gives foster children needed exposure.

On Monday, Sept. 10, 2001, Joan Brady of Great Falls had just started a three-month sabbatical from her job with an Internet company. Newly-married, Brady, who was 36 years old at the time, was exhausted from 80-hour work weeks in a rigid corporate environment. She wanted time that fall to contemplate what to do next with her life. The next day provided answers and a sense of urgency. It was Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. The terrorist attacks, and the moving stories of heroism and tragedy on 9/11, indelibly left their mark. Brady, like many Americans, was inspired to do something new, to take more chances, to change direction.

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Robinson Wrestling Wins Northern Region Title

Lake Braddock wins three individual championships.

The Robinson wrestling team won two individual region titles.

Woodson's Freidman Wins Region Title

Cavaliers finish fourth at Northern Region meet.

Freidman finished first on beam, second on floor.

Orange Line Calendar Feb.-March

Orange Line Calendar for February through March

“Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington’s Office of Senior Adult Programs for Feb. 24- March 2.

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Woodson Boys’ Basketball Punches Regional Ticket

Cavaliers looking to avoid repeat of late-season collapse.

The Woodson boys' basketball team reached the 20-win mark for the second straight season.

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‘Shakespeare’s R&J’

Tragic tale debuts at Signature Theatre.

At first glance, they are the model of Catholic school conformity, trained to recite in unison as they learn their catechism. But then an illicit copy of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is discovered, disrupting the lives of four prep school boys in “Shakespeare's R&J,” now playing at Signature Theatre.

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Arlington Calendar Feb.-April

Arlington Calendar for February-April

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Woodson Girls’ Basketball Secures Regional Berth

Cavaliers defeat Lee in Patriot District tournament.

Woodson's Walker, Finnerty score in double figures against Lee in opening round of Patriot District girls' basketball tournament.

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George Washington Weekend

Birthday Bash

Thousands will join in the revelry for the 281st anniversary of George Washington’s birth in his hometown of Alexandria. The city celebrates the General’s birthday throughout the month of February with more than a dozen festive events, including the George Washington birthday parade, free admission to historic sites, popular walking tours, 18th-century dance classes, Madeira wine tastings, and even a cherry-themed competition among local restaurants.

Alexandria Calendar February-April

Alexandria calendar for February through April

Editorial: On Transportation

Compromise, in the works, should include indexing the gas tax to inflation.

Virginia needs more options, not fewer, in developing revenue to pay for roads and transportation. Compromise on a plan to increase transportation revenue should not include making Virginia the only state in the nation without a gas tax. The current, ridiculously low gas tax should be indexed to inflation. The last thing the commonwealth needs is to do away with an existing, major source of money for roads.

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Extreme Recess Hockey

The viewing stands in Kettler Capitals Iceplex at Ballston Commons filled with parents and children and dozens of volunteers as the Washington Capitals took to the ice for practice on Friday morning, Feb. 8.

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Fashion’s Favorites

Fifth Crystal Couture rocks the runway.

Bikinis, suits, and the finest local apparel greeted visitors at the fifth installment of Crystal Couture, held Feb. 5-9. The fashion event drew large crowds as designers shared the spotlight with their creative takes on summer style.

Area Roundups - Springfield

Man Struck by Train in North Springfield Area, Lee High Library Accepting Donated Books, Citizens Fire and Rescue Academy, Recycle During Electric Sunday, and School Boundary Meetings Set

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Healthy School Award

Marine Corps Marathon mascots Miles and Molly, MCM Director Rick Nealis, Mount Vernon Community School Principal Peter Balas, Larry McMarlin of Sodexo and U.S. Marines from Marine Corps Base Quantico gather for the presentation of the Healthy School Award to the students of Mount Vernon Community School.

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Lee Social Worker Wins Outstanding Mentor Award

Marcella Fulmore connects African American high school students with Springfield Elementary mentees.

When she started college at Norfolk State University in Virginia, Marcella Fulmore was an engineering major. She loved the math, but impersonal labs and the prospect of a cold, money-driven career forced her to make a decision. When considering her transition, she remembered how in high school, people would come to her with their problems. “I just thought, ‘I could help people,’” Fulmore said. “That’s it.”

Column: Bishop Reflects On Pope’s Decision

The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, released the following statement on Feb. 11 in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he will resign the papacy:

Letter to the Editor: Spread Word On CHDs

February is Heart Month, during which the public will undoubtedly hear a lot of information about how to keep our hearts healthy and prevent heart disease — the number one killer of Americans.

Letter to the Editor: School Takeover Is Necessary

I believe the legislature took a step in the right direction when it decided to require the state to take over schools which lose their accreditation.

Column: Good News on Medicaid and Redistricting

While I unfortunately usually alert you about troubling developments, I am happy to share some good news from the last week. Two promising developments— redistricting and the Medicaid expansion — give me optimism about the prospects for the remainder of the legislative session.

Book Drive Benefits Area Youth

The Community Affairs Committee of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Children’s Book Drive through Friday, April 12, 2013. Area businesses will serve as collection points for children’s books appropriate for young readers through grade six.

Letter to the Editor: Praising Hospital Policy

On behalf of the Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network’s Breastfeeding Promotion Committee, we would like to publicly thank Inova Alexandria Hospital for encouraging exclusive breastfeeding in their hospital.

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‘These Are a Few of My Favorite Things’

Springfield man is starring in “The Sound of Music.”

The hills may not be alive with “The Sound of Music,” but Centreville Presbyterian Church sure will be when its community theater presents this classic, Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

Playground Improvements Approved

The Arlington County Board approved funds on Jan. 26 to reconstruct Tuckahoe Park playground. In a separate action, the board approved funding for eight resident-driven park improvement projects across the county.

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Remembering Paramedic Joshua A. Weissman

The City of Alexandria Fire Department hosted a Remembrance Ceremony honoring Paramedic Joshua A. Weissman on Friday, Feb. 8, at the newly renamed Joshua A. Weissman Professional Development Center at 1108 Jefferson St.

Area Roundups

Police and fire department personnel responded to the report of an apparent explosion and fire at 9504 Richmond Highway in Lorton on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at about 10:30 a.m.

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The Reeves Historic Farmhouse

What To Do with Farmhouse?

Arlington County is seeking preliminary, informal ideas for the adaptive reuse of the Reeves Historic Farmhouse and its detached garage through a Request for Interest.

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Union Mill Says 'We Love You'

As part of Union Mill Elementary’s community outreach efforts, the school Parent Teacher Association asked students to make Valentine's Day cards and drawings for nursing home residents for Valentine’s Day, Thursday, Feb. 14.

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Washington Capitals' Slapshot Cheers Union Mill on to Health

The Washington Capitals mascot Slapshot visited Union Mill Elementary on Thursday, Feb. 7, to deliver a message of fitness, fun, and nutrition to all UMES students.

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'Catch the Wave'

Renner celebrated as chamber board chairman.

With a theme of “Catch the Wave,” the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce officially celebrated John J. Renner II as its incoming board chairman Feb. 9 at the annual Chairman's Gala.

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South County Presents ‘Rock ’n’ Roll’

English teacher leads an all-senior cast and crew in Tom Stoppard play.

The South County High School senior thespians are rocking out ... to British playwright Sir Tom Stoppard. For the second year in a row, South County English teacher Dan Deiter is directing a cast and crew comprising exclusively fourth-year drama students.

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‘A Few of My Favorite Things’

‘The Sound of Music’ presented by Centreville Presbyterian Church.

The hills may not be alive with “The Sound of Music,” but Centreville Presbyterian Church will be when its community theater presents this classic, Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

Roundups February 13

Roundups for February

February is ‘Share The Love’ Month at The Nest Egg

The Nest Egg in Fairfax, one of Northern Virginia's local destinations for unique home furnishings and decorative accents, has pledged to donate a portion of their sales during Valentine's week, Feb. 11-17, to Journey 4 A Cure's iPad Program. The iPad program makes a difference in the lives of youth fighting childhood cancers.

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International Infusion

Alexandria designer creates inviting home for passionate world travelers.

>Blending an eclectic mix of home accessories and furnishings to create a harmonious and tasteful interior can pose a decorating conundrum for many homeowners.

Time to Pass Go for a Good Cause

Sixth annual Monopoly Tournament benefits Lorton Food Pantry, offers volunteer opportunities.

You may not get a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, or prime boardwalk property, but Realtors Ron Kowalski and Susan Borrelli, founders of Lorton’s annual Monopoly Tournament, said players of all ages will have a blast competing in the sixth annual game tournament at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center on Saturday, Feb. 23.

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Hats Off to Democratic Women of Clifton

DWC celebrates eighth anniversary in style.

Fine millinery was on full display as the Democratic Women of Clifton gathered on Sunday, Feb. 10, to celebrate its eighth anniversary in style. The theme of this year’s party was “Hats Off to Democratic Women!” and members complied by donning an assortment of colorful chapeaus—from the classic fedora, brim snapped and businesslike, to the romantic cloche and the whimsical Victorian.

Washington: ‘First in the Hearts of His Countrymen’

George Washington, “The Father of our Country,” actively promoted prosperity, political and economic freedom for Alexandrians. In so doing, he sowed the seeds that grew to fruition in the winning of the country’s independence from Great Britain and establishing the Constitution.

‘Go Live the Life You Dreamed’

Principal Jagels addresses graduating seniors.

Addressing Mountain View High’s winter graduates last Tuesday, Feb. 5, Principal Dave Jagels asked them to take a moment and think back to kindergarten.

Column: Wrangling State Budget, Transportation

Crossover occurred last week — all remaining House bills went to the Senate, and all Senate bills went to the House. It was a busy week, with big topics discussed from SB 259 to budget and transportation.

Area Roundups

Chantilly High, Fairfax High, Falls Church High, Oakton High, Robinson Secondary, Woodson High, Franklin Middle, Frost Middle, Jackson Middle, Lanier Middle and Rocky Run Middle are all schools involved in the boundary study to relieve overcrowding at Fairfax High and Lanier Middle School.

Column: Expanding Health care Coverage

In Virginia almost one million men and women go without health insurance. That is one million people who cannot afford to get a check-up when they feel sick, who cannot fill prescriptions after injury or emergency treatment, and who are one serious illness away from bankruptcy.

February-March Entertainment Calendar

Entertainment Calendar for February and March

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Pathways to a Successful Future

Local students can enroll in Cybersecurity and Engineering Technology programs.

In the coming weeks, freshmen, sophomores and juniors in Fairfax and Woodson high schools and Robinson Secondary School will be planning their class schedules for fall. And before they do, Joan Ozdogan, career experience specialist at Chantilly Academy—a Governor’s STEM Academy—wants them to know about two new programs they might want to take.

Column: 500 Turn Out for Bryan Porter

Launching campaign for Commonwealth’s Attorney.

In one of the more memorable trials in Alexandria’s Circuit Court, the young lawyer was making his first major murder prosecution. In a blue business suit, power tie and sporting new cufflinks he cut the figure of a veteran trial lawyer.

Letter: Does VRE Need More State Oversight?

Two bills (SB 1210 and HB 2152) before the Virginia General Assembly would give the state two more votes on the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board.

Column: Listen to the Other Side of the Argument

Last week I had the opportunity to spend two days in Richmond discussing legislation with our local delegation and other members of the General Assembly. Two of the leading topics being discussed were the transportation funding plans and State Senate redistricting.

Column: Sex Trafficking Here in Northern Virginia

A couple of years ago, I became aware that sex trafficking of children was not solely an international issue, but one that was happening in our own backyard.

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Burke Florist Unfazed by Valentine’s Day Rush

Flowers ‘n’ Ferns is well prepared for its 33rd rose rodeo.

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but when it comes to Valentine’s Day, fresh flowers are a must-have. For area florists like Karen Fountain, the second-generation manager of Flowers ‘n’ Ferns in Burke, the romantic holiday is often the highest grossing single day of the year.

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Capital Home and Garden Show set for Feb. 22-24 at Dulles Expo Center.

Since Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow on Groundhog Day earlier this month, spring might be around the corner. But whether one believes in folklore or not, the winter chill will soon give way to warm weather blooms.

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She’s Promoter-of-the-Arts-in Chief

Del Ray Artisans welcomes city’s new arts director.

The arts community turned out in force Feb. 8 to officially welcome Diane Ruggiero to Alexandria as the new director of the Office of the Arts.

Column: Creating Youth Master Plan

Students from both campuses of T.C. Williams High School (King Street Campus and Satellite) were present Saturday, Feb. 9 participating in a forum designed to engage youth in discussions about issues that they care about and affect them within the community. Their input, ideas, thoughts and feedback will go into what is called a Youth Master Plan.

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Helping Parents Battle Social Media Giants

Parents demand access to son’s Facebook account after his suicide.

Ricky Rash, a self-proclaimed “country boy” and second generation Virginia dairy farmer, enjoyed his bucolic life in Nottoway County. He and his wife, Diane, a nurse, were content to raise their four children in the same house Rash grew up in. The world of social media—Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter—held little interest for the couple who considered faith and family the bedrock of their life. But after their 15-year-old son committed suicide on Jan. 20, 2011, social media became their focus.

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Celebrating the Maestro

ASO concerts marks 25th anniversary of Kim Allen Kluge.

Showcasing talent from throughout the city, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra celebrated the 25th anniversary of Maestro Kim Allen Kluge with a weekend of concerts Feb. 9 and 10 that featured the world premiere of River Poem, an original piece by Kluge and his wife Kathryn Vassar Kluge.

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A Study in Courage And Compassion

Centreville woman battles cancer; needs community’s help.

Just 38, Centreville’s Debbie Bendorf is a wife, a mother of three young boys and a person fighting the battle of her life against a rare form of cancer. She loves her family, is loyal to her friends and doesn’t complain or ask for anything special for herself — which is why the community is trying to help her and her family.

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Giving from the Heart

SYA raising money for family of Westfield coach/administrator.

On the surface, it was a basketball tournament like any other. Boys in colorful uniforms competed against each other in a school gym, while moms sold concessions outside in the hallway. But the whole event, Saturday, Feb. 9, at Westfield High had a much more special and serious purpose.

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Addressing ‘Learning Differences: What Works?’

McLean Schools hosts “Cecily’s Advocacy Workshop.”

More than 200 parents, family members, and educators flocked to Potomac’s McLean School on Saturday, Feb. 9 to take advantage of the 4th annual “Cecily’s Advocacy Workshop” — a seminar which disseminates information and the latest research on strategies for coping with children with ADD, ADHD and other learning differences.

‘Take Every Day as a Blessing’

Debbie Bendorf may be fighting a tough foe that doesn’t play fair, but that’s not going to stop her from living her life as best she can or spending every minute possible with her family.

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Local Art Exhibit Offers Valentine’s Day Theme

This month the Art Gallery of Potomac presents "Be My Valentine" featuring painting and jewelry for Valentine's Day through Feb. 24.

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Enjoying Arts and Chocolate

The Artists’ Atelier in Great Falls hosts ‘Flowers and Chocolate’ show.

An eventful weekend filled with sweet delights for both the taste buds and the eyes at the Artists’ Atelier Studio reception proved to be a popular outing among Great Falls residents and art enthusiasts alike.

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Let’s Hear it for the Girls

Six Centreville High female athletes will play NCAA sports.

Move over, boys. Six Centreville High student-athletes last week signed National Letters of Intent to play sports in NCAA Division I colleges — and all of them are girls.

Motorola donates $15,000 to Police Foundation.

Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook was joined by Mayor Bill Euille Jan. 24 as the Alexandria Police Foundation was presented a check for $15,000 on behalf of the Motorola Solutions Foundation's Public Safety and Security Institute to benefit the police foundation's memorial fund.

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Celebrating 70th Anniversary

Patrick and Adele Russell of McLean wed in February of 1943.

Pat Russell was a handsome young Navy reservist and a student at the University of Minnesota when he met 17-year-old Adele Marie Bissonnette at a friend's house in Minneapolis in 1939.

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Magical Musical Memories

McLean Orchestra presents youth-centric concert.

For the first time in its more than 40 year history, the McLean Orchestra presented a “side-by-side” free concert on Sunday, Feb. 3, seamlessly pairing the professional musicians of the orchestra with their young counterparts from Principal Conductor Paul Kim’s McLean Youth Orchestra.

Area Students Excel at MATHCOUNTS Competitions

The Northern Virginia Regional MATHCOUNTS competitions were held on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke and at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria.

Police Boundary Change Impacts Potomac

The Montgomery County Police Department began operations under new district boundaries on Monday, Feb. 4, which continue to divide Potomac between the first and second police districts.

Volunteers Needed to Help Count Homeless

Volunteers organized by FACETS and other local nonprofits will spread out across Fairfax County to count, photograph, and get names and histories for everyone experiencing homelessness for the county’s first ever “Registry Week,” a component of the 100,000 Homes Campaign,” beginning on Monday, Feb. 25, at various locations around Fairfax County.

Week in Vienna

Experience the outdoors at night and get to know the nighttime wildlife at Northside Park (entrance by the W&OD Trail) on Sunday, Feb. 17, beginning at 4:45 p.m.

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All Tied Up

New clinic teaches children how to tie their shoes.

Like many parents of young children, Mary Hanlon decided it was time for her five-year-old son, Hank to reach another milestone: learning to tie his shoes.

Vienna's Rahul Reddy Catches 'em All

After a full day of head-to-head Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) battles, Rahul Reddy of Vienna clinched first place in the Masters Division at the Rockville, Md., Pokémon City Championships.

Environmental Concerns Prompt Dissenting Vote

County Council approves spending for artificial turf at Wootton.

Councilmember Marc Elrich took an authentic stand against artificial turf. “I continue to be concerned with the health and environmental impacts,” he said. “I’ve talked with toxicologists and in the space of five minutes I get information that is reassuring and then I get information that is disconcerting. It’s hard to know where to come out.”

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Raising Puppies for Veterans

Veterans Moving Forward pairs disabled U.S. vets with therapy dogs.

Wanted: supporter of U.S. veterans, likes to be licked and take long walks, looking for a committed relationship. Reply to Michele Khol, puppy-raiser training coordinator for Vets Moving Forward, Inc. [VMF].

Fate of Brickyard Road Nears Conclusion?

Circuit Court judge’s decision on fate of organic farm on Brickyard expected by next week.

The fate of a 20-acre farm on Brickyard Road and its 30 years of organic soil are now in the hands of Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Robert A. Greenberg. Judge Greenberg is expected to make a ruling by next week on the legality of the Board of Education’s lease of the land to the county for use as soccer fields.

A Novel Idea

Vienna author focused on love story of two disabled people.

She was impetuous, passionate and a bit on the wild side, a shady past behind her. He was sensitive, introverted, a bit shy, with very little “past” behind him. Like night and day, their lives intersected briefly. Like many star-crossed lovers, they forged a relationship despite obstacles that obstructed their paths. It wasn’t religion, race, class or family feuds that thwarted intimacy. It was their disabilities. And their struggles anchor the plot of a new novel by Vienna author Robert “Bob” Rudney.

Call for Photos for Pet Almanac

The Pet Almanac, a twice-yearly special edition, will publish at the end of February, and photos and stories of your pets with you and your family should be submitted by Feb. 21.

Vienna Church Publishes Lenten Devotional

The Church of the Good Shepherd, a United Methodist church in Vienna, celebrates the publishing of its 14th annual Devotions for Lent booklet. The booklet of daily devotionals written by members and friends of the congregation will be dedicated at Sunday, Feb. 10, worship services and available then as well as on the Feb. 13th Ash Wednesday service at 7:30 p.m. at the church, located at 2351 Hunter Mill Road.

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Langley High Orchestra Performs in Italy

Two concerts, memorable sites.

The Langley High School Orchestra performed two concerts during their recent trip to Rome, Italy. The trip was an opportunity for the orchestra students to share their music with Italian children and adults, and to experience the rich culture and history of Rome.

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Used Book Sale

The Potomac Library hosted its monthly used book sale on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Potomac Bulletin Board February-March

Bulletin Board for February through March.

Week in McLean

MCC Board to meet Feb. 27 and sheriff's office announces scholarship opportunity

Take ‘Virtual Tour’ of County

It may be cold and blustery outside — so fire up those computers and enjoy a little trip around the county at

McLean Student Appears in “Luck, Be A Lady” at Landon Middle

Landon Middle School, in collaboration with Holton Arms Middle School, has produced a one-hour, middle school age-appropriate version of the musical Guys and Dolls, Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. at Landon School's Performing Arts Center.

Time To Register for Summer Camps

The county’s new 2013 Summer Camp Guide is available online at, and

Smoking Ban on County Property

The County Council on Tuesday, Feb. 12 unanimously approved Bill 33-12 that will establish a ban on smoking on most county owned or leased property.

Candidates Sought for MCC Board

The McLean Community Center (MCC), an agency of Fairfax County Government, is seeking candidates to run for open seats on its 2013-2014 Governing Board. The board provides oversight and guidance for MCC programs and facilities, which include the Robert Ames Alden Theatre and the Old Firehouse Teen Center.

Arrests in North Potomac Burglaries

Detectives from the 1st District Investigative Section have been investigating a series of residential burglaries that have occurred since May of 2012, with most of the incidents occurring since August of 2012. Residents in neighborhoods on either side of Travilah Road, south of Darnestown Road in North Potomac, reported daytime and evening burglaries.

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Pride on Display at Chesterbrook

Chesterbrook Elementary celebrates with third annual International Night.

Chesterbrook Elementary School celebrated the international heritage of its students and families last Friday at its third annual International Night.

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Design Solution for Busy Family

A small kitchen is transformed into a spacious, light-filled room.

When a busy Potomac family decided that it was time to turn their tiny, dark kitchen into free-flowing, light-filled gathering space, they decided to expand their home. Their decision is part of national trend.

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Potomac Entertainment Calendar

Entertainment calendar for February-March.

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Building ‘Geodesic Dome’ at Churchill Road

After more than a month of hard work, fifth and sixth grade girls in the Churchill Road GEMS (Girls Excelling in Mathematics and Science) club completed the building of a geodesic dome.

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Community Sounds off On School Discipline

County collects feedback on students’ rights and responsibilities.

Dozens of administrators, teachers, parents and community members gathered at McLean High School Thursday, Feb. 7, to share their feedback on the Fairfax County Public Schools Students Rights and Responsibilities manual.

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McLean Seniors Sign Letters of Intent

Six students sign to play college sports in the fall.

Six McLean High School senior athletes made their college decisions final Wednesday, Feb. 6, signing letters of intent for their schools of choice for next year. Soccer players Evelyn Robinson and David Galdo, along with football player Robert Longwell have been awarded scholarships to play next year, while Lexi Slotkoff and Kris Hobbs will play for Ivy League schools.

Neighborhood College Teaches How County Operates

Seeking to empower residents who could use the lessons most.

"Arlington County's "Neighborhood College" is: (A) Eight weeks of programs abut Arlington government; (B) A means of "leveling the playing field" between residents in well-to-do neighborhoods and residents in less-well-to-do neighborhoods in Arlington; (C) A tool allowing members of Arlington civic groups to become more effective in community affairs; (D) An entry to "The Arlington Way"; or (E) All of the above. The answer is "(E)."

Week in Great Falls

Golden Calidore Quartet Comes to Great Falls

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Senior Center Sets Goals

After incorporation, Great Falls Senior Center plans to become nonprofit, name board by end of year.

The Great Falls Senior Center has big plans for 2013 after getting off the ground as a working group of the Great Falls Citizens Association.

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Artist Publishes ‘Flowers in Art’

Cindy Ann Coldiron’s latest book follows floral theme.

Arlington glass artist Cindy Ann Coldiron’s new book, “Flowers In Art: Contemporary International Artist”, is a collection of floral theme artwork from across the globe. More than 50 well known, established and emerging artists/designers from the U.S., Canada and Ireland and elsewhere are showcased in the book including some local artists from Fairfax and Alexandria.

Tuesday, February 12

Week in Reston

Local Early Childhood educators will get together for what will be the largest gathering of classroom teachers, leaders and administrators in Virginia.

Statesmanship Prevailed

During legislative sessions in Virginia there is far too much partisan bickering, currying to special interests and, in recent years, doing the things that appear on late-night comedy shows.

Elected Leaders Failing Us at So Many Levels

Americans are feeling more than a little let down by our government in Washington.

Senators Speak on Debt Situation

Mark Warner, Tim Kaine address Northern Virginia Technology Council.

Senators Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) spoke to members of the Northern Virginia Technology Council Friday, Feb. 8, at the Sprint building in Reston.

Sweet Tradition Raises Funds for Local Children in Need

Chocolate Festival at Herndon’s Floris United Methodist Church.

The Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon has been hosting their annual Chocolate Festival for charity for about 20 years.

Herndon Moms Club to Meet

The MOMS Club® of Herndon will host its monthly meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Week in Herndon

President’s Day Holiday Schedule

Town of Herndon government offices and services will be impacted by the President’s Day holiday on Monday, Feb. 18.

Maude Hair Wins Redken Up and Comer Award

Maude Hair Salon of Herndon has won the Redken Salon of the Year “Up and Comer” Award.

Declaration of Independence Signer and Loudoun County Resident Remembered

Few people are aware that the land occupied by Washington Dulles International Airport was once the home of one of the country’s founding fathers.

Herndon High Presents ‘Hansel and Gretel’

Annual children’s production tells classic fairy tale.

The Herndon High School Theater Department will present their annual children’s show starting Friday, Feb. 15, featuring “Hansel and Gretel.”

Student-Athletes Mark Black History Month

Herndon students commemorate 150 years since signing of Emancipation Proclamation.

Three years ago, Elise Ashby Arrington decided that she wanted her son Harrison Craddock to understand the importance of Black History Month.

Friday, February 8

Classified Advertising Feb. 6, 2013

Read the latest ad here!

Thursday, February 7

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Oakton Home Renovation Wins 'Contractor of the Year'

Clever space plan and rustic interior capture kudos for Sun Design Remodeling.

Converting a previously finished lower-level into a suite custom-configured to satisfy the sometimes contrasting wishes of a five-member Oakton family recently won Sun Design Remodeling of Burke a “Contractor of the Year” Grand Award for “Best Residential Basement Interior.”

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Public Still Hot for Ice Skating Rink in Fairfax

Michael Weiss’ former training site hosts the next generation of Olympians.

It’s one of life’s ironies: we love to complain about how cold it is, yet the arctic activity of ice skating continues to be a major recreation destination. Though he’s been a hockey guy all his life, Fairfax Ice Arena Manager Andy Heckmann doesn’t get it either. “I never understand the psychology,” he said, “why people come here when it’s cold.”It’s one of life’s ironies: we love to complain about how cold it is, yet the arctic activity of ice skating continues to be a major recreation destination. Though he’s been a hockey guy all his life, Fairfax Ice Arena Manager Andy Heckmann doesn’t get it either. “I never understand the psychology,” he said, “why people come here when it’s cold.”

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Rooting for Transparency

Burke-based settlement hot on heels of anti-fraud land title certification.

Two grandmothers, Myrna Keplinger and Betty Reed, decided in 2000 that it would be nice to have an office space of their own. So they opened a realty and settlement office in the Mark Center in Alexandria and the two retired friends happily averaged 40 closings per month. Thirteen years and countless closings later, The Settlement Group grew to become the ninth largest settlement group in the region, with six offices in Northern Virginia, including locations in Burke, Franconia and McLean. As for Keplinger—she had undergone as much professional growth as had her business. She is now treasurer for the Virginia Land Title Association, on the American Land Title Association board of directors and an active member of its communications committee.

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Preserving Mental Health as People Age

Experts say diet, exercise and mental stimulation are key.

“Exercise [is] the ‘lifestyle’ factor with the strongest effect. A number of different research groups have found benefits of aerobic exercise on both brain structure and function and on cognitive performance.” — Pamela Greenwood, Ph.D., George Mason University

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Huntington Residents Remain Unprotected in the Face of Flooding

$30 million floodwall is at least two years away.

Fairfax County voters may have approved a $30 million floodwall for Huntington, but neighbors in this working-class neighborhood don’t seem particularly satisfied.

Week in Alexandria

Two properties at the heart of Alexandria’s controversial waterfront plan went on the market this week, opening a new chapter in the ongoing saga about redevelopment in Old Town.

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Expanding the First Aid Battlefield Toward Mental Health

Legislators to consider $2 million for Mental Health First Aid.

The idea of first aid dates back to Order of St. John, a medieval society of knights that offered training in how to treat common battlefield injuries.

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Wrecking Ball Budget Includes Four New Schools in the Coming Decade

Three elementary schools to be demolished; one new school at a site to be determined.

Over the course of the next decade, Alexandria school superintendent Morton Sherman wants to spend $357 million in an ambitious plan of demolition and construction - replacing existing facilities with new buildings and adding a new school.

Wednesday, February 6

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Public Information Comes at a Price in Arlington

Billing system includes $30 charge for six-line summary of secret investigation.

Want a booking photo in a high profile case? Prepare to pay $24.

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February Is Heart Month

Diet and fitness experts offer suggestions for maintaining a healthy heart.

When Mary Elizabeth O’Conner enters a supermarket, she is careful stay within the outer perimeters of the store. “Most grocery stores are designed so that the healthiest and non-processed food, like fresh vegetables and meat are kept on the outer edges,” she said. She looks for heart-healthy foods like whole grains and fresh fruit.

Column: A Complicated Answer

And a further explanation and corollary to last week’s column: “A Simple Question,” which attempted to sort through my reactions to being asked an extremely innocent, appropriate, well-intended and always appreciated courtesy: “How are you?” and the problem that it sometimes causes me. That problem being: a question which had it not been asked would then not require an answer. An answer that I’ll always give, but not before I’ve given it some thought, which if I hadn’t thought about, wouldn’t have bothered me in the least

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West Springfield Grad Robinson Excelling at Duquesne

Freshman point guard is Dukes’ second-leading scorer.

West Springfield graduate April Robinson has helped the Duquesne women's basketball team to a 17-4 record this season.

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Making the Difference Between Struggle and Success

Carmen Jordan of Reston has been a mentor for Fairfax Families4 Kids for six years. She is considered one of the most experienced mentors in the program. In addition to working full-time as a marquee account manager at Deltek in Herndon, Jordan makes herself available to “trouble-shoot” for the children and families she mentors. In the following column, she details her experiences with the program, and at-risk foster youth.

Inspiration For a Poem

Poem by Geri Baldwin

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'Stuff the Bus’ Campaign Helps Feed the Hungry

Donations continue to increase as campaign enters third year.

Local grocery stores were packed this weekend with shoppers stocking up on Super Bowl snacks for the annual football fan party. At the Wal-Mart in Fairfax, shoppers were greeted with colorful displays of chips, dips and other party favorites. They were also greeted by volunteers from Our Daily Bread (ODB), who were handing out flyers and encouraging shoppers to donate gift cards or specific items to restock ODB’s pantry shelves. A Fairfax nonprofit for nearly 30 years, ODB provides food and other critical services to the working poor, the elderly and the disabled. More than half of ODB’s clients are local children.

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Lake Braddock’s Butler Too Much for TC

Senior totals 29 points, 22 rebounds in OT victory.

The Lake Braddock girls' basketball team on Tuesday beat T.C. Williams for the second time this season.

Roundups February 6

Roundups for February sixth.

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A Gift of Dictionaries

Colonial Republican Women donates to Hybla Valley Elementary School.

A delegation from Colonial Republican Women presented Hybla Valley Elementary School staff with a donation of 100 dictionaries on Dec. 20.

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Preparing for ‘Reach the Beach’

The West Potomac Dance Team and students from the recent dance team workshop performed at half-time at last Friday’s basketball game.

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Multicultural Fair

Hollin Meadows Elementary School will hold its annual Multicultural Fair on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

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‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’

Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre, now in its 32nd season, will present “The Pink Panther Strikes Again,” directed by John Waldron and performed by a cast of 18 local actors ages 12-18.

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‘They’re Coming to America’

Rocky Run students ‘become’ immigrants at Ellis Island.

Sitting on the floor, jammed together in a narrow locker area, the Rocky Run seventh-graders pretended they were immigrants packed into a boat from Europe to America. They watched a video of the approach to New York Harbor while listening to Neil Diamond sing, “Coming to America.”

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Holy Child Offers ‘Minimester, Volume II’

Fourteen topics fill innovative program.

Tea was served and whist was played as if Jane Austen herself were in the room. Links between Harry Potter, World War II and Christianity were explored. Students delved into personal finance, creative writing, performing arts audition techniques — and even visited the “Little Butterfly of the Caribbean” — the island of Guadeloupe.

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Column: Maestro’s Musings

It’s hard to believe that it's my 25th anniversary as Music Director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. The centerpiece of my anniversary year will be the world premiere of an epic symphonic piece composed by yours truly and my wife, Kathryn Vassar Kluge.

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Packing up Power Packs

Union Mill Elementary students assemble 248 weekend meal-packs.

Fifth-graders from Union Mill Elementary assembled 248 Weekend Power Packs for FCPS students who would not otherwise have meals to eat on weekends.

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Bullis’ Lower School To Launch Combined Class

Combined second and third grade class to start in fall.

The Bullis School is announcing a change to their long-standing tradition of teaching children in grades 3 through 12. In the fall of 2013, a combined 2nd grade/3rd grade class will begin with a small group of eager 7-year-olds.

Alexandria Entertainment Calendar

Entertainment Calendar for February.

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Celebrating De Lazzari’s 103rd Birthday

Long-Time participant at Clara Barton Center.

Montgomery County Recreation helped Rita De Lazzari, a long-time participant in the Clara Barton Community Center’s Senior Neighborhood Program, celebrate her 103rd birthday on Jan. 23.

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Joint-Use Agreement for Field

Bishop O’Connell High School President Kathleen Prebble and Marymount University President Matthew D. Shank met Jan. 30 to finalize the agreement for joint use and maintenance of O’Connell’s new baseball field.

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It’s All About the News

Potomac’s Monika Samtani is reporter/anchor for WUSA9.

Two forty-five a.m. finds most people asleep, but for Potomac’s Monika Samtani the day is just beginning. That’s the time her alarm clock rings, launching her out of bed and out the door, all in time to arrive at the WUSA9 newsroom by an invigorating 3:30 a.m.

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Guild Donates $42,500 to Local Organizations

The Dominion Guild has been raising funds since 1986 for distribution to qualifying projects and entities serving the Northern Virginia Community.

Letter to the Editor: Hunger's Impact

To the Editor: As Congress returns to Washington and gets back to the important work of balancing our budget, they are going to have to make some difficult decisions.

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From Community Eyesore to Community Asset

Transformation of Kings West Swim Club adds green space.

For several years, neighbors in the Kings Park West subdivision grappled with the problem of what to do with the big hole in the ground that was once the Kings West Swim Club.

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The Final Countdown

Remembering the Space Shuttle Columbia.

He was just 16 minutes from home. As a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, Arlington native David Brown was going through final landing preparations aboard STS-107 to conclude what for 16 days had been a routine mission. At 9 a.m. on Feb. 1, 2003, that changed.

Learning about Lacrosse

On Jan. 24 and 25, students at Union Mill Elementary learned about lacrosse.

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A Ticket to Hollywood

Fairfax Academy student Maddie Assel is on American Idol.

Fairfax Academy student Maddie Assel is a bubbly, outgoing, 17-year-old. She’s busy with school, friends, college visits and—oh, yes, she’s also a contestant on American Idol.

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Watch D.O.G.S.

Union Mill Elementary has the Watch D.O.G.S. program at its school for the 2012-2013 school year.

Teens Charged in Fire Bomb Incident

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department investigators have charged 15 Herndon and Chantilly juveniles with the manufacture and use of fire bombs or other explosive devices.

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At the 89th Annual Arlington Business Gala

The Arlington County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 89th annual business gala at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City on Saturday, Jan. 26.

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20 Years in Business

Centreville Square Animal Hospital, part of Northern Virginia Veterinary Associates, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Former Delegate Bob Hull Named NOVA-Annandale Community Outreach Specialist

Robert D. “Bob” Hull, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, was recently named the community outreach specialist for the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). Hull began his new position Jan. 10.

Immanuel Bible Church to Launch Job Seekers Training Program

Immanuel Bible Church will launch a Job Seekers training program on Saturday, Feb. 9. Ralph Weitz, pastor of stewardship at Immanuel, says their Job Seekers program is just one of the ways their church is reaching out to the local community.

Workhouse Arts Center Collectors Showcase Announces Honors

This year's Workhouse Arts Center Annual Collectors Showcase has over 90 works of arts displayed. The works range from paintings, fiber and ceramics to photography, blown and fused glass, and more. All works are by Workhouse Studio and associate artists.

South County High Presents ‘Rock n’ Roll’

On Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16, at 7:30 p.m., South County High School presents Tom Stoppard's dramatic comedy “Rock 'n Roll,” featuring a cast and crew of all senior thespians.

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Chantilly Students Sparkle at Science Fair

Chantilly High’s 29th annual Science Fair was held Wednesday, Jan. 23. The event showcased 442 projects from nearly 600 students.

The winners of Chantilly High’s 29th annual Science Fair Competition, held Jan. 23, are listed below.

Three Speakers to Address GOP Women of Clifton

The Republican Women of Clifton (RWC) will feature two outstanding members at its February meeting—Dr. Ileana Johnson, bestselling author of U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy, and Stephanie Reis, founder of the Omaha ACT for America Chapter as well as property rights advocate Martha Boneta.

Chantilly Pyramid Dinner, Choral Concert

Dinner and a choral concert are on tap next week at Chantilly High.

Column: West Montgomery County Citizens Association

The West Montgomery County Citizens Association will meet at the Potomac Community Center on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7:15 p.m. If schools are closed because of inclement weather, the meeting will be cancelled.

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From Serious to Hilarious

Centreville High presents its One-Act Play Festival.

Comedy, drama and everything in between are on tap during Centreville High’s One-Act Play Festival. It’s slated for Friday, Feb 15, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb 16, at 2 p.m. Tickets, good for both days, are $5 at the door.

Week in Fairfax

Firefighter Injured in Townhouse Fire, Fairfax Center House Fire Under Investigation, Citizens Fire and Rescue Academy, and Bob’s Discount Furniture Supports Area Schools

County Approves Pharmacy’s Historic Designation

The Arlington County Board voted unanimously in a recessed meeting Tuesday, Jan. 29, to recognize Green Valley Pharmacy located at 2415 Shirlington Road as a historic district.

Fairfax County Police Department Warns Public of Inheritance Scam

The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) has received numerous reports from residents across the U.S. involving a phony inheritance proclamation.

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Providence Players of Fairfax County Receive 19 WATCH Nominations

The Providence Players of Fairfax County have been nominated for 19 Washington Area Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater.

Entertainment Calendar

Entertainment Calendar for Feb.-June

Column: Medicaid Expansion, Transportation and Uranium

This week’s General Assembly session included “Crossover” on Tuesday — after which the House and Senate may only work on bills approved by the other body.

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Bank Approved For Centreville Site

BB&T is coming to Sully Station Shopping Center.

It’s official — at long last, something is being built on the vacant pad site at the right end of the Sully Station Shopping Center. That something will be a BB&T Bank, which got a thumbs-up, last Tuesday, Jan. 29, from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

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Greenspring Republicans Host Pete Snyder

Last year, the Greenspring Republican Club hosted Pete Snyder as the chairman of the Virginia Victory 2012 campaign, a coordinated campaign in support of Republican candidates across the Commonwealth of Virginia. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Snyder was invited again to speak to the Greenspring Republican Club, but this time as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Show off Your Civic Pride

Pre-order Fairfax County license plates now.

Residents of Fairfax County can now pre-order their Fairfax County license plates online at the new Visit Fairfax website—

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Mary Neale Garrett

Mary Neale Garrett died Jan. 29, 2013 in Alexandria, Va. She was born Sept. 10, 1928 in King William County, Va. to Clyde Neale Garrett and Mary Robinson Garrett.

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Beating the Winter Blues

Locals offer suggestions for finding cheer during the cold-weather doldrums

When the snow falls and temperatures drop, but you can’t hit the slopes, there are still plenty of indoor options for fending off the doldrums.

Community to Discuss Boundary Changes

At its business meeting on Thursday, Jan. 24, the Fairfax County School Board voted to conduct a boundary study to address overcrowding at Fairfax High School and Lanier Middle School.

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Volunteering for the President

Girl Scout Troop 189 of Fairfax volunteered on Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Jan. 21.

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Column: Martin’s Artistry Makes Its Mark on Alexandria

From businessman to activist to volunteering.

David M. Martin moved from Delaware to Alexandria in 1981, intrigued by the quality of life along the Potomac. In his bags were the beginnings of an artistic career in jewelry design. He also brought with him a strong interest in helping the people around him.

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Lawmakers Provide Assembly Overview

Petersen, Bulova host Town Hall meeting in Fairfax.

Transportation, redistricting and the proposed closure of the Northern Virginia Training Center were the top issues among constituents who showed up at the Town Hall meeting hosted by Del. David Bulova (D-37) and Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) on Saturday, Feb. 2.

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MidAtlantic Erg Sprints Fills TC

School on Saturday morning, Feb. 2, for the 2013 MidAtlantic Erg Sprints. More than 100 events throughout the day were scheduled and completed by junior, college, masters and adaptive rowers.

Week in Reston

Abduction/Assault on W&OD Trail in Reston, Self Defense Training for Women, and Fusion Dental Earns Esteemed Angie’s List Award

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Reston Community Players Receive 15 WATCH Nominations

The Reston Community Players has been nominated for 15 Washington Area Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater.

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For Those Who Serve

World's largest USO facility opens at Fort Belvoir.

Less than two years ago, it was just an overgrown lot in the shadows of Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. But on Feb. 5, the world's largest USO facility welcomed the community with a grand opening celebration of the new USO Warrior and Family Center.

Commentary: The Politics of Fear

Fear can be a powerful influence in our lives. A healthy fear of something that is harmful may keep us safe. Fear of the unknown can cause helpful caution or limit our perspective. Too often fear can be misused to manipulate the actions of others. In Richmond, as elsewhere, fear is evident and at work in many aspects of the legislative process.

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Classical Ballet Theatre Students Rock Philadelphia, Perform in Reston

The Classical Ballet Theatre students competed in the recent semi-finals of the Youth America Grand Prix ballet competition, held in Philadelphia, Pa.

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Broadway Night at South Lakes

Hundreds of Broadway fans turned up at South Lakes High School on Thursday, Jan. 17, and Friday, Jan. 18, for a musical treat—students from South Lakes High School, two middle schools and eight elementary schools performed over two dozen classic numbers from musicals such as Guys & Dolls, Godspell, Grease, Les Miserables and South Pacific.

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Helping Nation’s Heroes

Inside the new USO Warrior and Family Center.

Growing up in Richmond, Staff Sergeant Charles Eggleston never imagined what awaited him when two improvised explosive devices detonated next to his vehicle in Mosul, Iraq in 2006. The Cornell University computer science graduate was severely injured, his spine nearly severed and his face badly scarred as part of his mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Lily Dunlap of Herndon Middle Wins Peace Poster Contest

Lily Dunlap, an eighth grade student at Herndon Middle School, won a competition sponsored by the Reston Lions Club.

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‘How Far Should Science Push?’

Westfield High presents “Flowers for Algernon.”

The past two years, Westfield High won a slew of Cappie awards with musicals. But this time, its Cappies show is “Flowers for Algernon,” a thought-provoking drama with a serious message.

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Reston Lions Honor Music Competition Winners

Students win awards at the James A. Bland Music Scholarship competition, co-sponsored by the Reston Lions Club and the Reston Community Center and held at the community center on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Week in Herndon

Town Council seeks input on budget and President's Day holiday schedule

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Elaina Lenore Heller and James Eric Rosenquist Wed

Elaina Lenore Heller and James Eric Rosenquist were married Oct. 6, 2012, at Wintergreen Resort.

Elden Street Players to Become Professional Theatre

The Elden Street Players’ (ESP) Board of Directors has announced plans to transition the 25-year-old community theatre company into the Dulles Technology Corridor’s premier professionally-operated, not-for-profit regional theatre.

Joan Lorraine (Stark) Mikulak, 81, of Oak Hill, Dies

Joan Lorraine (Stark) Mikulak died on Monday, Jan. 28, after a short illness. She was 81.

Letter to the Editor: Take Politics Out of Redistricting

Let's face it — Virginia's Delegate and Senatorial district maps are a gerrymandered disgrace.

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For the Love of Art

Photo exhibition draws art lovers to ArtSpace in Herndon.

The night was cold and windy, but there was hardly enough space to contain visitors and art lovers at ArtSpace in Herndon, who came to see the works of two photographers—Catherine Powers and Michael Austin Kane—in their exhibits, “U.S. 17: The Scenic Highway” and “Hopeful Calm & Beginnings” on Friday, Feb. 2.

Letters to the Editor: Update on ‘Antenna Wars’

The Jan. 17 article "Antenna Wars" and a Jan. 24 Letter to the Editor both help residents of Mount Vernon District understand past work of the Mount Vernon Council's Telecommunication Service Committee. The committee was formed in response to a request by Supervisor Hyland.

Letter to the Editor: Justice Prevails

The fatal shooting death of unarmed Sunday School teacher Patricia Cook of Culpepper by Officer Daniel Harmon-Wright of the Culpepper Police Department on Feb. 9, 2012 has ended with the officer being charged and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and unlawful shooting into an occupied vehicle.

February Bulletin Board

The Mount Vernon Bulletin Board for the month of February.

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Elden Street Players Receive 10 WATCH Nominations

The Elden Street Players have been nominated for 10 Washington Area Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater.

Declaration of Independence Signer and Loudoun County Resident Remembered

Few people are aware that the land occupied by Washington Dulles International Airport was once the home of one of the country’s founding fathers. Francis Lightfoot Lee was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the only Loudoun County resident to have that honor.

Column: Five Bills Poised to Pass; Two Amendments Adopted

The Virginia legislature is now approaching “crossover” — the day that each body must complete work on its own bills and begin work on bills from the other body.

Police Warn Public of “Inheritance Scam”

Fairfax County Police (FCPD) has received numerous reports from residents across the U.S. involving a phony inheritance proclamation.

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McLean High Musicians Dominate Northern Virginia Competition

McLean High School symphonic and concert band musicians dominated a recent county organized individual performance competition, taking 66 chairs or alternate positions in the All-Disrict Band.


Dudley Barber

Dudley Barber, 86, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., husband of the late Lois Jane Barber died Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 at his home.

McLean Author Launches New Book

Rebecca Shambaugh shows how organizations can harness the collective strengths of both men and women to create stronger businesses.

Try functioning without half of your brain. You might not be able to remember anything. You might not be able to drive. You might not be able to walk or talk. Now imagine a business that operates using only half its brainpower. It’s destined to fail.

Letter to the Editor: Raises for Teachers

In the Alexandria Gazette's Packet article titled "Raises for Teachers?" in the Jan. 17, 2013 newspaper, it states that "State Sen. George Barker (D-39) hopes that his Senate colleagues will agree to a 3 percent raise in teachers' salaries this year. Barker said increasing teacher salaries will help close achievement gaps in Virginia." Which one? Student achievement or teacher achievement?

Letter to the Editor: Bicyclists’ Fair Share

Imagine my surprise when an environmentalist policy wonk in D.C. emailed me to note my appearance, along with Justin Wilson, on radio WAMU. The subject was Alexandria’s considering bike registration and fees.

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McDonald’s Supports County Schools

The McDonald’s Family Restaurants of Greater Washington, D.C., presented Fairfax County Public Schools with a check for $4,200 on Friday, Jan. 18.

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Library To Host Local Author

Vaddey Ratner writes about escape from Khmer Rouge.

The Potomac Library will be hosting a discussion by Cambodian born and Potomac resident Vaddey Ratner about her debut novel “In the Shadow of the Banyan” on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. “In the Shadow of the Banyon” details how Ratner and her mother escaped four years of “… forced labor, starvation, and near execution” during the Khmer Rouge revolution in mid-1970’s Cambodia.

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A Pleasing Romantic Comedy

1st Stage presents ‘Italian American Reconciliation.’

The pedigree of playwright John Patrick Shanley is top notch; he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his play "Doubt" and won an Oscar for the screen play for "Moonstruck." His "Italian American Reconciliation," now playing at 1st Stage in Tysons, will not disappoint.

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CHS Advances To Regionals

School’s thespians win the VHSL One-Act Play District Competition.

Chantilly High’s Theater Department is on a roll; it captured first place in last week’s VHSL One-Act Play District Competition and is now headed to regionals.

Letter to the Editor: Address Gun Violence

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports 31, 672 firearms deaths during 2012. That is far an away more firearm deaths than in any other western democracy.

Letter to the Editor: Help City’s Young People

It takes a village to raise a child. That’s why I’m urging you to add your voice to an exciting plan to secure the future of our city’s children and youth.

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Molly Reiner Wins Two Trips to China

“Learn Chinese, Double Your World.”

Potomac’s Molly Reiner has been fascinated with the Chinese language and culture since she was first exposed to Chinese in 4th grade at Sidwell Friends School in Washington D.C. Her diligent study of the language since 7th grade paid off last April when she competed in the Chinese Bridge Competition sponsored by the Hanban Confucius Institute at the University of Maryland.

Week in Vienna

Renovations at Town Hall began on Monday, Jan. 14, and will include upgrading the building’s HVAC system, installing new windows, carpet, lighting and ceilings, and upgrading the building’s security system. Renovations are expected to last through the end of October 2013.

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18th Century Knowledge Showcased

Dr. John Page (Dean Howarth) and members of the Virginia Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge informed and entertained visitors at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 2.

Letter: Questioning Bus Route 432

An open letter to Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) and Vienna Mayor M. Jane Seeman.

I just received an email regarding the proposed Bus route 432 that will come through Old Courthouse Road to Trap then Wolf Trap.

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18 Arlington Charities Receive United Way Funds

United Way of the National Capital Area awarded 20 grants totaling $202,000 on Jan. 29 to 18 member organizations serving Arlington County. The funds came through designations to the Arlington Community Impact Fund in United Way NCA’s annual workplace giving campaign.

Ritz-Carlton to the Rescue

Tysons Corner hotel leaves “Footprints” in community.

It’s not uncommon for Vienna-McLean businesses—from defense industry contractors to hospitality providers—to make themselves good neighbors, vital partners in the community in which their presence is known. They come into schools, they mentor, they support wounded warrior programs. They embrace the community spirit envisioned by their company’s corporate philosophy. Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner goes beyond McLean and Tysons, extending its hand to local service clubs, nonprofit and humanitarian projects, and to the hotel’s dedicated project, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Fairfax County Region [Fairfax BGCGW Club].

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Residents Voice Neighborhood Concerns

Tejada hears comments on overcrowding, job opportunities.

Residents from all over Arlington asked questions and voiced their concerns about affordable housing and other issues at a town hall-style meeting in Drew Community Center on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

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Vienna Veteran Campaigns for Commander of American Legion

Mardi Gras fundraiser benefits Dan Dellinger’s campaign.

Other than time he spent in the service of the U.S. Army, Dan Dellinger lived most of his life in Vienna. He went through Vienna schools, as his children did. He served as a Vienna Town Council member and as an officer of Vienna’s American Legion Post 180. He’s active in local civic clubs. Now, Dellinger is stepping out into the national spotlight, traversing the country in his campaign to be elected the American Legion’s next national commander.

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Leading the Charge

Gadson to keynote Friendship Veterans Breakfast.

Colonel Gregory Gadson, Garrison Commander at Fort Belvoir, will be the featured speaker at the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association Breakfast Feb. 18 to kick off a day of events in honor of George Washington's birthday.

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Partnership Spotlights ‘Connect With Kids’ Champions

The Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families has named four Connect With Kids Champions for their extraordinary efforts to let young people know they are cared for and valued in the community. The Partnership selects CWK Champions twice annually to acknowledge those who are making a difference in the lives of Arlington youth.

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Beloved Teacher’s Legacy of Innovation Lives On

Candace Leyton Innovation Learning Lab opens at Wolftrap Elementary.

Talk about a lasting impression—and the impact that a great teacher can leave behind as her legacy. Chris Shumway didn’t keep in touch with Candace Leyton, his third grade math teacher from Wolftrap Elementary School in Vienna, who passed away from breast cancer in 2003, but nearly 40 years later, Shumway was back at school to dedicate the Candace Leyton Innovation Learning Lab in honor of the woman whom he says “believed that I could be so much more.”

Column: George Washington, Father of the American Mule

George Washington was not only the “father of our country” but also of the American Mule. General Washington was a renowned far and wide as a horseman, but also an innovative farmer. Surprising to many is his special interest in mules.

Column: Washington’s Decision To Mandate Inoculation of Troops

One of the most significant decisions that General Washington made during the Revolutionary War was to inoculate the army against smallpox. Without doing so, it is not likely that Washington could have kept his army in the field.

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Building on a Successful Past for a Promising Future

The YMCA Alexandria plans another rich program of activities for 2013 in an ongoing dedication to its overarching cause: caring for community. Although many Alexandrians may think of it as another “swim and gym” facility — and it is a great place to do laps and enhance strength and cardiovascular fitness — our local YMCA offers so much more.

Kathleen Murphy to Challenge Comstock in November

Democrat Kathleen Murphy kicked off her campaign yesterday to challenge Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34) in this November’s House of Delegates election.

Column: Generations of Parents and Children Making a Difference

An old Chinese proverb says “If you want happiness for a lifetime — help the next generation.” According to that proverb the honorees at this year’s Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) Gala will all have a full lifetime of happiness to look forward to.

Week in McLean

Community dialogue on student discipline at McLean High, Health care legislation discussion, and Sheriff's office announces scholarship opportunity

Column: Transportation Requires Regional Approach

Alexandria is not an island. It is a group of communities inside a geographic area in a region in a state in a country. It is necessary to connect these communities from within the city and from without the city. In order to do, this regional cooperation is essential.

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Fifth Graders on a Hero’s Journey

Spring Hill Elementary students work with professional theater director to create their own works.

The students in Danny Seagraves’ fifth grade class know their grammar. They know spelling, math, and social studies too. These are all teachable subjects, according to the Spring Hill Elementary School teacher. But one concept that just can’t be taught, says 20-year teaching veteran Danny Seagraves, is creativity.

Column: Seeing Forward Movement on Variety of Bills

The General Assembly has been as busy as ever this past week as we approach crossover and I wanted to take a moment to send you a brief update on what is going on here in the capital as well as tell you about an upcoming event back in the 45th District.

Column: Governor’s Transportation Plan on Wrong Path

Monday evening in Richmond, we witnessed something that has been in short supply — bipartisanship.

McLean Community Players Receive Seven WATCH Nominations

The McLean Community Players have been nominated for seven Washington Area Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater.

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Making Sandwiches for Martha’s Table

In late January, Churchill Road second and fifth graders, as well as some siblings and parents, held the second sandwich-making event of the year for Martha’s Table, a Washington, D.C.,-based organized which helps feed the homeless.

Richmond Report: On Medicaid, Road Funds and Uranium

This week’s General Assembly session included “Crossover” on Tuesday — after which the House and Senate may only work on bills approved by the other body.

Column: Help Craft City’s First Youth Master Plan

Alexandria is a community that supports and enhances the well-being, success, and achievement of children, youth and families: True or false?

Eight Scouts Honored for Heroic Deeds

Eight boys from National Capital Area Council (NCAC) Boy Scouts of America (BSA) received National Court of Honor Lifesaving and Meritorious Action Awards in 2012 for remaining calm in a crisis, making quick use of Scout training and for living up to the words “to help other people at all times,” which is part of the Scout Oath.

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Colvin Run Elementary Gives to the Needy

Children of Colvin Run Elementary School gathered in the school sport auditorium on Monday, Feb. 4, to mark the beginning of the school’s food donation program.

Alexandria Bulletin Board February

Thursday/Feb. 7 Blood Drive. 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Alexandria Chapter House, 123 N. Alfred St. Donate blood through the a.m.erican Red Cross. Visit or 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Artificial Trend Offers Benefits

Council action paves way for artificial turf field to be installed at Wootton by August.

Montgomery County Council approved a $1.1 million appropriation to the Capital Improvements Program Tuesday, Feb. 5, for the building of an artificial turf field at Wootton High School.

Troop 673 Gets New Eagle Scout

Spencer Weiss is the latest Eagle Scout in Troop 673 sponsored by the Great Falls United Methodist Men.

Letter: In Support of Riverbend Park Master Plan

I am a Boy Scout from Troop 712 based in Chantilly and I am writing about the proposed Riverbend Park master plan.

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‘Bright and Cheerful’ Art Exhibit at Katie’s Coffee House

Great Falls artist Mary Ellen Mogee is exhibiting paintings at Katie’s Coffee House in Great Falls, from Friday, Feb. 1, to Friday, March 1, 2013.

Bulletin Board

Arlington Bulletin Board for February-March.

Artists’ Atelier Gallery Presents ‘Flowers, Chocolate and Romance’

“Flowers, Chocolate and Romance” is the theme of the February show at The Artists’ Atelier Gallery.

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Fairfax Softball and Special Olympics Raise Funds Bowling

Participants, family, friends and supporters of Fairfax Adult Softball, Inc. (FAS) came together on Sunday, Jan. 27, for the 13th Annual Bowling Tournament to benefit Northern Virginia Special Olympics and Fairfax County Park Authority field improvements.

School Notes

School Notes for Arlington locals.

CSMS Science Olympiad Team Triumphs

The Carl Sandburg Middle School Science Olympiad Team has been notified that they have qualified for the Virginia State Science Olympiad Tournament to be held April 27 on the Virginia Tech Campus in Blacksburg. The team competed at the Virginia Science Olympiad Regional Tournament in Charlottesville, on Saturday, Feb. 16. Overall results placed Carl Sandburg Middle School as the 4th ranked school at the Science Olympiad competition that weekend.

Tuesday, February 5

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Fairfax Connector Proposes New Routes

Public input meeting held to solicit feedback on new bus routes.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation kicked off the public input process for their new bus routes in McLean Thursday, Feb. 1. The Fairfax Connector routes will be altered to take advantage of the opening of Metrorail stations in Tysons Corner and Reston in December, with the new routes expected to begin the same day as the stations open.

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Farmer’s Market Continues Through Winter

Weekly market will take place every Saturday, indoors or out.

Fairfax County is home of dozens of farmer’s markets throughout the year, but by November, almost all of them have shuttered for the winter before re-opening in the spring. But the Great Falls Farmer’s Market is open year-round, offering produce and other items throughout the winter.

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Library Hosts Children’s Book Club

Monthly meetings allow children to discuss variety of books.

Some of the youngest library patrons in Great Falls are coming together monthly to discuss children’s books as part of the library’s Children’s Book Club.

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Taking the Plunge at Lake Anne

Hundreds participate in Polar Bear Dip to raise money for Camp Sunshine.

When Jean Young of Reston bundled up for her Saturday walk with her dog Seamus around Lake Anne Saturday, Feb. 2, she was worried her down jacket, long underwear, wool hat and gloves might not provide enough protection from the 30- degree weather. Little did she know she would be encountering more than 100 people wearing even less.

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French Immersion at Herndon Elementary in Jeopardy

Program at Herndon Elementary could be changed to Spanish Immersion, parents object.

Herndon Elementary School has announced a proposal to discontinue the school’s French Immersion Program, one of two in the county, and replace it with a Spanish Immersion Program. Principal Ann Gwynn said that the French program would continue until 2019, meaning incoming first graders next year would be the last students who could take the program to completion.

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Town Council Approves Downtown Guidelines

Pattern book lays out principles for downtown design principles.

The Herndon Town Council unanimously passed a vision for principles of downtown redevelopment at their Tuesday, Jan. 29, meeting. The “pattern book,” as it’s known, lays out guidelines for building design and frontage for downtown.

W-L Gymnastics Wins Fourth Consecutive District Title

Generals look to repeat as Northern Region champions.

The Washington-Lee gymnastics team is undefeated in regular-season meets during the last four seasons.

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South Lakes Girls’ Basketball Atop Liberty District

Seahawks’ Rendle, Aghayere making plays in paint.

The South Lakes girls' basketball team is 18-3 with one regular-season game remaining.

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Marshall Boys’ Basketball: Doormat to District Contender

Statesmen have more wins this season than previous two combined.

The Marshall boys' basketball team is in second place in the Liberty District.

Whitman Girls’ Basketball Secures Division Title

Vikings winning with teamwork, despite injuries.

The Whitman girls' basketball team defeated B-CC on Monday.

Friday, February 1

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Family Raises Support Fighting Son's Rare Disease

Two hundred plus friends and family will descend on Santinis Restaurant in Herndon to raise support and awareness for Congenital Muscular Dystrophy on Thursday, Feb. 7, from 5-9 p.m. One in 10 Americans is affected by a rare disease. John Gluck, of Herndon, is that one in 10 with a rare form of muscular dystrophy called congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD). As a rare group of diseases causing muscle weakness at birth, CMD is under-recognized and under-diagnosed by physicians. Several defined genetic mutations cause muscles to break down faster than they can repair or grow. A child with CMD may have various neurological or physical impairments. Some children never gain the ability to walk, while others lose the ability as they grow older. There is no cure and no treatment to slow disease progression.