Stories for January 2013

Stories for January 2013

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Thursday, January 31

Herndon Reston Youth Softball Takes on New Commissioner

Veteran fastpitch softball player and coach Jordan Foster says she’s ready for the challenge of leading the Herndon Reston Youth Softball League as Commissioner Bob Thomas retires and a new slate of officers takes the helm. The growing girls' fastpitch softball league, serving players ages 6 to 18 in the greater Herndon-Reston area, will take on Foster to take the baton from Bob Thomas, who helped build a good name for the league.

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O’Connell Boys’ Basketball Thriving After Losing Season

Knights beat St. Mary’s Ryken, improve to 10-0 in WCAC.

The Bishop O'Connell boys' basketball team is undefeated in the WCAC.

Freezin’ For a Reason at Lake Anne

Area daredevils ready to freeze to help kids battling illnesses.

Individuals in crazy costumes and creative flair will take over Lake Anne Plaza in Reston once again for the 6th Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip on Saturday, Feb. 2. The event will kick off at noon with family friendly activities and warm-up—with the dip scheduled to take place starting at 2 p.m. Last year’s event drew record crowds of both spectators and jumpers raising over $76,000. Registered participants will take a chilly full plunge or a “Chicken Dip”—to raise funds for Camp Sunshine, a national year-round retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

Charles ‘Dan’ McGuire, of Reston, Dies

Passionately Irish and passionately Virginian, Charles “Dan” McGuire lost his battle with cancer on Jan. 19. Thus, another of Reston's “Old Timers” has passed on. Dan was one of Reston's early residents who helped guide a growing Reston through his community activism. He served several terms on Reston Association's Board of Directors. He served a term as vice-president of the Reston Citizens Association.

A Breach of Trust

In a Tom DeLay, Texas-style move, Republicans in the Virginia State Senate re-drew the legislative district lines without public notice or involvement. This action in the 20-20 divided body came on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday when Democratic Senator Henry Marsh who is one of Virginia's most prominent civil rights leaders was away attending President Obama's inauguration. The new map, if passed by the Republican-controlled House of Delegates and signed by the governor, would give Republicans an advantage in taking back control of the Senate which they hold now only by virtue of the lieutenant governor who is the presiding officer and tie breaker being a Republican. "Count this as a new low for hyper-partisanship, dirty tricks, and the unaccountable arrogance of power," is the way one newspaper editorial described the action.

Short Subject: RA Survey, Lake Anne Progress?

It turns out ours was one of 3,000 or so households included in Reston Association’s community survey. In fact, we got not one, but two in the mail. It is not what I expected. The survey was billed as feedback on RA performance to “help . . . its Board of Directors set benchmarks for tracking the quality of services provided to residents.” Sounds like a good idea. In fact, the lengthy survey asks for little direct info on RA or its performance. Only one in five questions are directly or partly relevant to association services—35 out of 158 questions. And, these are not probing questions likely to ID RA services which are excellent, problematic or in between.

Community Clothing Drive for Syrian Refugees Feb. 8-10

A community drive to collect used clothes and other items for Syrian children and women in refugee camps will be held Feb. 8-10 at the United Christian Parish, 11508 North Shore Drive, Reston.

Titans Hand Spartans First Home Loss Since 2009

TC’s Roberts scores 18 points before leaving with wrist injury.

The T.C. Williams girls' basketball team is tied with West Springfield atop the Patriot District standings, but the Titans won both meetings with the Spartans this season.

History of African American Spirituals to Be Studied

A seven-session course on the history of African American spirituals and their impact on Christianity worldwide will begin Sunday, Feb. 3, at 9:30 a.m. at the United Christian Parish, 11508 North Shore Drive, Reston. All are welcome.

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Call for Nominations—2013 Helios Apollo Awards

Recognizing forward-thinking employers for outstanding employee development programs.

Helios HR, a human resources firm in Reston, announced a call for nominations for the 2013 Helios Apollo Awards. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 15. Winners and finalists will be honored at the Helios Apollo Awards Ceremony at the McLean Hilton on May 29. This breakfast ceremony will recognize organizations for their outstanding commitment to employee development and engagement, specifically highlighting innovative, collaborative and agile programs.

Freidman Leads Woodson Gymnastics to Patriot District Title

Cavaliers senior wins all-around championship.

Woodson, Lake Braddock advanced to Northern Region gymnastics meet.

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Viewpoints: Winter Fun in Reston, Herndon

Area residents discuss “the best ways to have fun.”

“I like to go and watch basketball and hockey games. I like to see the Wizards and the Capitals; stay active and have fun. I also like to go to the Reston town center for ice skating and sledding when it snows.” -Justin Britt, marketer at Oracle, Herndon

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Floris UMC to Hold Chocolate Festival

Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, will hold the annual Chocolate Festival on Saturday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring family and friends and enjoy a day of great food and fun.

Week in Herndon

A Black History Month event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9, from 1 to 2 p.m. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Student-athletes from Herndon HS will present readings on the document, its history and importance. The event is free and open to the public, at ArtSpace Herndon, 750 Center Street, Herndon.

Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

Northwest Federal Credit Union (NWFCU) was recently ablaze in pink as employees, for a $5 donation to Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation (NWFCU Foundation), wore pink clothing in support of Susan G Komen Passionately Pink for the Cure®.

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The 'President's Own' of Vienna, Reston Play in 57th Inauguration

Tuba player Gunnery Sgt. Mark Thiele of Vienna, clarinetist Staff Sgt. Christopher Grant of Oakton and trumpeter/cornetist Staff Sgt. Robert Singer of Reston performed in the 57th Inauguration of the President of the United States on Monday, Jan. 21, as members of "The President's Own" United States Marine Band. This marks the Marine Band's 54th consecutive inaugural appearance.

Redefining Service

Vienna mayor’s first goal: To make politician a nice word.

Politician. Noun: a person who is professionally involved in politics, or a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization, as defined by Oxford. Mayor Jane Seeman, from the Town of Vienna, is not a politician, at least not in the current form of the word. She doesn’t seek to be a politician either, but instead wants to redefine the word and the meaning behind it. She wants to make government accessible to her citizens, and wants to give power back to the people who should be making decisions for her community: not the politicians.

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Winter Fun Abounds in Vienna

Area hosts events to chase away the chill.

The Vienna-area hosts a variety of fun indoor events during the cold season. From live theatre to live music, from food and gaming to Washington’s most revered political satire, there’s a bit of something for every interest.

Reaching for Stars

Flint Hill student from Oakton is an aspiring professional athlete.

Carlyn Baldwin, a 16-year-old student-athlete from Oakton, hopes that she is well on her way to her dream of playing for the United States National Women’s soccer team. Baldwin’s soccer career began at the age of four-and-a-half when her mom signed her up for a local team. Since then, Baldwin has committed her life to soccer and received a plethora of individual awards and recognitions. At the National Championships in the summer of 2012, she was named to the Best 11 for the u16 (under age sixteen) all-tournament team. She was nominated for and attended multiple United States Soccer Training Centers, which are used for youth national team identification.

Week in McLean

Three Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) teams have been named national finalists in the open division competition of the CyberPatriot V, the premiere high school cyber defense competition designed to inspire high school students to pursue careers in cyber security or other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. The teams are from Chantilly Academy and Marshall Academy, two of the six high school academies in FCPS.

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Community in Concert

McLean Orchestra hosts musical mixer.

Judging by the number in attendance, the business cards exchanged, the buzz of conversation and the sounds of laughter, all accompanied by some lively music, the third “McLean Orchestra is Instrumental to Business” (i2B) mixer held at Clyde’s in Tysons Corner on Jan. 23 was a ringing success. The gatherings are part of a multi-purpose outreach program, providing a taste of what audiences can expect from their concert series and allowing the orchestra to showcase its value to business as a resource for networking—all for free.

Letter: Taking Exception on Medicaid Expansion

Your recent editorial ["Expanding Medicaid Good For Virginia," The Connection, January 23-29, 2013] is noble in its desire to "extend health coverage to more than 400,000 residents who currently have no health insurance." If public policy making were just that easy. The editorial then goes on to indifferently say, "the Federal government picks up the tab.

Editorial: Extreme, But Brief, Volunteering

More than 150 volunteers needed to survey chronic homeless for three days in February.

The real solution to homelessness is housing. This week in Northern Virginia, a point-in-time survey will record all of the “literally homeless” individuals and families in the region. Last year, on Jan. 25, 2012, there were 1,534 people who were literally homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church Community; 697 of them were single individuals and 837 were people in families. A third of the total number of homeless were children. Nearly 60 percent of the adult members of the homeless families were employed.

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Coming for the Guns: Confiscating Firearms During Mental Health Evaluations

Alexandria delegate wants to expand police powers to confiscate guns of the detained.

Imagine the scenario: Sheriff’s deputies arrive at a home to issue a temporary detention order against an individual.

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Lawmakers Consider Effort to Increase Salary for Next Gunston Hall Director

Next museum leader could pull down more than $88,000 a year.

George Mason was one of the wealthiest Founding Fathers, and now the Virginia General Assembly may be moving to increase the salary of the director of the house where he once lived. Gunston Hall has been in a state of flux since the previous director was finally removed from office after more than a year of calls for his resignation.

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Former School Budget Director Files Discrimination Lawsuit as ACPS Looks Forward

Last year’s scandal lingers over upcoming financial deliberations.

This time last year, the budget office at Alexandria City Public Schools was in full meltdown.

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Bipartisan Team Seeks Compensation for Victims of Forced Sterilization

Effort would give $50,000 to survivors; estimated cost would be $73 million.

Nobody knows how many people are survivors of Virginia’s forced sterilization program, which targeted people with mental illness, mental retardation or epilepsy.

Wednesday, January 30

Classified Advertising Jan. 30, 2013

Read the lastest ads here!

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Economic Uncertainty Casts Shadow Here

Frey gives details in State of Sully talk.

Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) gave his State of Sully address last week, talking mainly about Fairfax County’s economy and transportation issues.

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Winter Band Concert

Fifth and sixth grade Band students from Union Mill Elementary performed in their Winter Band Concert on Jan. 16.

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To Naval Academy

Chantilly Academy AFJROTC cadet and Fairfax High School senior Naadia Puri received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

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Recreation, Imaginative Play and Fun

Kid Junction plans to open site in Chantilly.

A place where children can engage in creative play and have birthday parties, too – that’s Kid Junction. And Kreative Minds LLC – the three people who’d own what would be Kid Junction’s first franchise in Virginia – hope to open it in Chantilly.

Choral Cabaret To Be Held Feb. 9 at Centreville High

Live entertainment, refreshments, gift baskets, a raffle, silent auction and an evening of fun are all in store for those attending Centreville High’s Choral Cabaret.

Where Do You Go, What Do You Do for Fun?

What do you high school students do for fun?

Bookmark Winners

The Student Safety and Wellness Office Bookmark contest winners for Poplar Tree Elementary School this year were Anu Iyer, 6th grade from Mrs. Meidlinger’s class and Katelyn Myers, 3rd grade from Mrs. Gomez’s class.

Association Honors Franklin Middle School

Franklin Middle School will receive the Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation during a special ceremony at the American School Counselor Association’s annual conference in Philadelphia on July 2 for establishing an outstanding school counseling program.

Chloupek To Be Honored with ‘Special Love Award’

Gala planned for Feb. 2.

Larry Chloupek is training to run the DC Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on March 16. Not too amazing for many athletes — except that Chloupek has only one leg and he will run the marathon using crutches.

Letter to the Editor: Power of Volunteers

This past Saturday, more than 200 people gathered at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Centreville to volunteer their time to help children in our community. Centreville Elementary School's Backpack Program, which provides weekend meals for students in need, was in need of supplies to carry the program through the remainder of the 2012-13 school-year.

Things To Do In Winter

Things to do in the winter time.

‘She Will Be Missed Every Day’

Family mourns Centreville icon, Marguerite Buckley, 94.

Marguerite Buckley lived a long, full life — but that doesn’t mean her family was ready to say goodbye to her when she died Jan. 8, at age 94.

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Hastaie Featured at The Art Gallery

Connecting with people through his travels.

The Art Gallery of Potomac welcomes a new resident artist, Habib Hastaie.

Workhouse Artists Win People's Choice Award

Six artists from the Workhouse Associate Artists (WAA) were chosen as People's Choice Award winners for their current exhibition in the Vulcan gallery (Building W16) at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton.

Letter to the Editor: Reform County’s Appointment Process

In August 2010, Supervisor Hyland constituted a visioning task force to study the Mount Vernon District and create a comprehensive report concerning the next 25 years.

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Arts Blossom in Former Prison

Workhouse Arts Center at Lorton continues tradition of transformation.

Prisoners—drunks, petty thieves, assaulters, even suffragettes—quite literally laid the foundation for the Workhouse Arts Center at Lorton.

Language of The Drum

A melody echoing in two parts filled the air with vibrating rhythms as the students in the West African drumming workshop practiced a simple drumming exercise.

Column: Week of Sunshine, Online Textbooks and Car Title Lenders

Last week in the General Assembly was a busy one. I have introduced 15 bills, three constitutional amendments, one study resolution, seven budget amendments, and I am Chief Co-Patron on four bills.

A Lullaby to Birdland

MetroStage premieres “Ladies Swing the Blues.”

Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee. Their voices defined the history of jazz alongside the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis. But it is the indomitable influence of Charlie “Bird” Parker that sets the stage for “Ladies Swing the Blues: A Jazz Fable,” now playing at MetroStage.

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Donating Hair, Raising Awareness

Junior Girl Scout Troop 4143, of Alexandria, hosted a hair donation event recently.

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Food Pantry, Thrift Store Moves to New Locations

WFCM is still on Metrotech Drive, but in two new spots.

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) has moved – but not far.

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Burke Resident in ‘Death Race’

Lance Sanson prepares for June’s Spartan Death Race in Pittsfield, Vt.

For those who find marathons too mundane and “century” bike rides just too casual, a new breed of extreme competitions is rapidly gaining popularity. With intimidating names like Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash and Rugged Maniac, these obstacle races offer unusual combinations of challenges that test the mental as well as physical dexterity of athletes. Atop them all—at least according to its own website and registered competitor Lance Sanson—is the Spartan Death Race, taking place this June in Pittsfield, Vt.

Letter to the Editor: Embracing School Choice

School choice is a hot topic in Virginia, especially as our great commonwealth debates the merits of school choice policies.

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McDonald’s Donates $4,200 to Fairfax County Schools

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

Letter to the Editor: Guns Make It Too Easy to Kill

“Guns don’t kill, people do,” says the National Rifle Association. It sounds so right because it’s so obvious. But while it’s obvious that people kill, guns make it too easy to kill.

Springfield Rotary Supports Edison Academy

The Rotary Club of Springfield recently donated a complete video camera recording system to Edison Academy for use by students and faculty members.

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Keene Mill Loves to Square Dance

Keene Mill students dressed in their western garb for the 22nd Annual Hoedown held on Friday, Jan. 4 in the school gymnasium.

Letter to the Editor: Need Sensible Gun Laws

Two recent national events have caused me to reflect on the nature of our democracy. In the Capitol of the most powerful country on earth we witnessed the peaceful continuation of leadership. In a small Connecticut town we witnessed a violent destruction of sanctuary.

Letter to the Editor: Despicable Maneuver

On Martin Luther King Day, Henry L. Marsh III, who grew up in segregated Virginia, became a civil rights lawyer who worked on school desegregation cases who went on to become Richmond’s first African American mayor and has been a state senator since 1991, went to Washington, D.C. to see the nation’s first African American president sworn in for the second time to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

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Local Business Supports Operation Gratitude

Vienna, Springfield business owner promotes another opportunity for a random act of kindness.

It all started with a “tweet” from NBC News Correspondent Ann Curry last month suggesting a creative way to honor the 26 lives that were lost at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school. Why can’t we all try to perform at least 26 random acts of kindness this next year?

‘Dance Your Heart Out’ in February

In honor of National Heart Month, Metropolitan Fine Arts Center (MFAC) of Alexandria and Fairfax Station is featuring their “Dance Your Heart Out” campaign, offering unlimited adult dance and mind/body classes throughout February for a special price of $110.

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GOP Women Discuss Property Rights, Elections

Martha Boneta, Virginia farmer and property rights advocate, spoke to the Republican Women of Clifton (RWC) watched by Congressman Artur Davis, who also talked to the group, RWC President Alice Butler-Short and best-selling author of Agenda 21, Environmental Piracy, Dr. Ileana Johnson.

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A Ticket to Hollywood

Centreville High senior Maddie Assel is on “American Idol.”

Centreville High senior 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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City Museums Receive Accreditation

The Office of Historic Alexandria has earned accreditation as a museum system at the November 2012 meeting of the Accreditation Commission, according to The American Alliance of Museums.

Area Roundups

Clifton Town Council meeting and Workhouse Studio artists and instructor get published

Entertainment Calendar

Entertainment Calendar for Jan.-Feb.

Fairfax Rebels Helps Lanier Middle Prep for High School

On Dec. 17, Fairfax High students Mackenzie Ardinger, Brynn Brezovsky and Brooke Attkisson went to Sidney Lanier Middle School in the name of self-awareness and self-confidence, to share something they called the “For Me Project” with the middle schoolers.

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Girl Scout Flowers, Butterflies at InovaCares for Seniors Center

Residents of the InovaCares for Seniors Center in Fairfax will enjoy a season of beautiful flowers and butterflies in the coming spring.

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Roundups

Fairfax County police detectives on Monday arrested a man in connection with the skimming of ATM cards at bank machines at local hospitals. He is Ioan Cicio, 39, of George C. Marshall Drive in Falls Church.

ATM Skimmer Suspect Arrested

Fairfax County police detectives on Monday arrested a man in connection with the skimming of ATM cards at bank machines at local hospitals. He is Loan Cicio, 39, of 2230 George C. Marshall Drive in Falls Church.

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‘Peanuts’ Comic Strip Comes Alive

Fairfax High presents, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder—the whole “Peanuts” gang—shows up for Fairfax High’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

Bulletin Board

Bulletin Board for Jan.-April

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How High Is Too High?

Neighbors oppose proposed projects in South Arlington.

South Arlington citizens told two members of the Arlington County Board on Wednesday, Jan. 23, that they oppose a plan to build a 300-foot tall building near the Pentagon and they think county officials conducting hearings on the proposal are favoring the developer Vornado/ Charles E. Smith.

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A Noble Cause

Charity event raises $6,200 for Special Operations families.

Their victories are unknown, their successes and accomplishments unheralded. Yet our nation's Special Operations troops are considered America's best — the toughest mentally and physically and the most elite of units on any battlefield.

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Civic Pride on the Road

Fairfax County license plates available soon.

You can flaunt your car and show off your civic pride, thanks to a customized Fairfax County license plate approved Tuesday, Jan. 29, by the Board of Supervisors.

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Keep Gas Tax; Cut Meals Tax; Add ‘Sausage’

Proposed changes to governor’s transportation funding plan receive local support.

After a week in which news from Richmond was dominated by partisan skirmishes, Northern Virginia Del. Dave Albo (R-41) joined with other lawmakers to refocus the legislature on the state’s transportation funding crisis, presenting an alternative to a controversial plan proposed by Governor Robert McDonnell (R).

George Washington: Surveyor

George Washington's career began as a surveyor, and he continued that activity throughout his life.

Washington and the Culper Ring

In the 18th century, an insult to a Gentleman’s honor required a duel to settle the score. It was better to die respectably in a duel than to live without honor.

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Robinson Stands Up to Cancer

Robinson DECA chapter raises Cancer awareness and $5,000.

Robinson Stands Up to Cancer, a series of events put on by students at Robinson Secondary School, reached out to the community to raise money for cancer research and treatment, while raising awareness about those in need.

George Washington: Using Reasoning as a Winning Strategy

George Washington was committed for the long-haul to winning the American Revolution. He hoped to out-think, out-maneuver, and wear out the British before the patriots themselves lost their commitment.

Police To Provide Free Child ID Kits

Kits meant to help in cases of missing children.

The Alexandria Police Department has partnered with the Department of Community and Human Services to provide free SafeAssured child ID kits to families on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Column: Senior Services Of Alexandria

February is Heart Health month so it's not too early to register for Senior Services of Alexandria's next speaker series: "Heart Health and Fitness for Seniors."

Del. Bulova and Sen. Petersen Host Fairfax Town Hall Meeting

On Saturday, Feb. 2, Del. David Bulova (D-37) is holding a Town Hall meeting with Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the council chamber of Fairfax City Hall, 10455 Armstrong Street. They will provide an overview of issues that are currently before the General Assembly. All constituents are invited to share their ideas and thoughts on issues that are important to the community.

Column: Building a Budget to Transform a Division

Students, staff, parents, members of the School Board and the entire Alexandria Community: I am honored to offer you my proposed FY 2014 combined funds budget which is centered on our students and dedicated to their learning.

Burke Wellness Center Opens

Brings massage, acupuncture, pilates, yoga, and fitness classes.

The Wellness Center will celebrate its official grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 5276 Lyngate Court in Burke.

Column: Home Grown

Growing up, Lucinda, the daughter of sharecroppers, lived on a plantation in the small town of Edgefield, S.C. Her family raised most of their own food, never having to buy meat, milk, eggs, potatoes, sugar …, Lucinda even became an expert butter churner as a small child. Even clothes were sewn by hand from cloth bought at a nearby cotton plantation.

Letter: A Very Proud American

As a young person who voted in the presidential election for the very first time, I feel privileged knowing that despite of all the problem[s] in this country I still have the right to voice my opinion through my vote.

Column: The High Cost of Ignoring Mental Health

Before Newtown, there was little discussion of the dismal state of mental health services. In fact, the budget knives have been sharpest at the state and local levels when it came to mental health services particularly prevention. That is not surprising.

A Chorus of Praise

Fairfax County mentors celebrated during National Mentor Month.

Can we get an “amen?” The joyful noise coming from the David R. Pinn Center in Fairfax on Saturday wasn’t a gospel revival, but it was just as inspiring and enlightening.

Column: Helping Keep Community Safe

There isn’t one answer to prevent violence in our society. Gun debates often take all the headlines. Those debates are important to have. But they are not the only debate.

Column: Focus on Roads, Schools, Medicaid

It has been a week since Virginia Senate Republicans pushed through a partisan redistricting plan that has made our Commonwealth’s legislature become a national spectacle once again.

Column: Protect Yourself from the Flu

No doubt, you’ve heard the news stories about the severity of this year’s influenza season. The annual virus struck early this year across most of the country, according to tracking models compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and remains “widespread.”

Column: A Simple Question

I don’t quite know how to start this column so I’ll begin with its ending: “I’m fine.”

Nazi Commonwealth

Bipartisan team seeks compensation for victims of forced sterilization.

Nobody knows how many people are survivors of Virginia’s forced sterilization program, which targeted people with mental illness, mental retardation or epilepsy. But a bipartisan effort now under consideration in Richmond would hand each and every one of them a $50,000 check from the people of Virginia. According to one calculation, that could mean as much as $73 million.

Get Creative and Stay Active This Winter

A guide to local activities.

On a sunny day with a high temperature of 60 degrees, it is difficult to imagine that this is the middle of winter. While unseasonably warm days can fade snow-filled memories, there are still several weeks left in the winter season, meaning there is plenty of time to enjoy or retreat from the cold. Even if you’re not a cold-weather enthusiast, a bit of ingenuity and investigation into Alexandria’s cultural and recreational offerings can help anyone stay active this season. Here are three ways to have fun and avoid hibernation.

Indoor Winter Fun with Children

Ideas for entertainment when Jack Frost appears.

Winter weather often means limited open air playtime for some children. “It is very important for children to get as much outdoor activity as possible, but there are times when it is not safe for them to be outside for an extended length of time, or any time at all, because it is too cold. ” said Shannon Melideo, chair of the Education Department at Marymount University in Arlington. “There are many other things that children can do besides sledding and ice skating.”

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Did Someone Forget Something?

As last summer waned, Arlington residents of an area straddling 8th Street, South were left wondering. Frames were in place for a concrete pour of new curbs and gutters and a replacement roadway. Oddly, a utility pole stood in the middle of a soon-to-be sidewalk at the Walter Reed Drive end of construction.

Winter Fun with Food

Easy and tasty ideas for winter meals.

The stove is fired-up, a sauté pan is sizzling and the thud of a steel knife blade hitting a wooden chopping block fills the air along with the woodsy aroma of fresh thyme. The temperature outside is frigid, but the kitchen feels like an inferno as Chef Kristen Robinson drives a knife though a fennel bulb, kale leaves and a tough-skinned butternut squash with staccato succession.

Letter to the Editor:

In the Jan. 23-29, 2012 edition, there are two gun control stories, "Marching for Gun Control" and "Detaining People and Guns."

Letter to the Editor: No Playing Tag

I enjoy your paper and read it weekly. I wanted to comment on two articles in the Jan 16-22 edition. Both Michael Lee Pope's article on Revoking Recess stated, “Recess isn’t just playing tag anymore", and Marilyn Campbell's on the Importance of Recess noted, "Can a game of tag boost preschoolers social skills?" Both mentioned what I think most rational people would consider an integral activity of childhood, namely playing tag.

Letter to the Editor: Support Low Income Citizens

Having spent a couple of days in Richmond last week advocating for the extension of health coverage to 400,000 low income Virginians, I am encouraged that the benefits outlined in your editorial (“Expanding Medicaid Good for Virginia,” Jan. 23-29) have found a receptive audience, even among Republican members of the General Assembly, who are predisposed to resist anything having to do with the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare."

Richmond Report: Redistricting Shenanigans Distract

From gun safety and uranium mining to electoral reform and redistricting, the General Assembly is dealing with a wide range of issues this year in our fast-paced 46-day session.

Column: Redistricting Shenanigans Distract General Assembly

From constitutional amendments and uranium mining to electoral reform and redistricting, the General Assembly is dealing with a wide range of issues this year in our fast-paced 46-day session.

Hang Out at This ‘Bus Stop’

Churchill High to present classic play next week.

The wind is gusting, snow is rapidly piling up and blustery conditions have stranded eight strangers in a Kansas diner in the winter of 1955. What happens next is anyone’s guess as the characters experience frustration, tears and laughter while they forge romantic connections and friendships throughout the night.

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MLK Foundation Celebrates Diversity

Organization welcomes member of Tuskeegee Airmen.

The Martin Luther King Cultural Foundaion hosted a celebration of cultural diversity Saturday, Jan. 26, at ArtSpace in Herndon. The Reston-based organization provides thousands of dollars per year to send local students to college.

Tuesday, January 29

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Getting Their Market Share

Langley Sophomore market school, nonprofit events.

While sitting in their Introduction to Marketing Class, several Langley High School sophomores decided that they enjoyed it so much, they would try it in real life. Almost a year later, the members of the Pyramid Marketing Group are finding success working to promote local charity and school events.

Langley Forks Pull-Off Open

Scenic pull-off features historical marker, 22 parking spots.

McLean’s Clemyjontri Park was founded in 2006 to provide a place for all children, regardless of ability of a place to play. While that goal has been achieved on the playground itself, the parking situation has been another story. Weekends often find the parking lot packed to capacity while open, with parents forced to park at nearby Langley Forks Park and walk along Georgetown Pike to Clemyjontri.

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MCC Board Delays Expansion Vote

Board to wait for developer proposal, which could involve downtown land swap.

The McLean Community Center board delayed their Jan. 23 vote on expansion and renovation after a development proposal was brought to their attention a mere 10 hours before their monthly meeting.

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Public Comment Open for Riverbend Master Plan

Master plan revision, first since 1975, is expected to go before park board in April.

The Fairfax County Park Authority presented the latest draft master plan revision for Riverbend Park Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Grange in Great Falls. The 411-acre park features two miles of land along the Potomac River. It was last master planned in 1975.

Saxons Remain Undefeated

Collier’s 23 points lead Langley past South Lakes.

The Langley boys' basketball team defeated South Lakes on Dec. 14.

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Langley Tightens Defense, Beats Fairfax

Saxons hold Rebels to seven points in final 11 minutes.

The Langley boys' basketball team extended its winning streak to six games.

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Winter Fun in McLean

McLean residents share how they like to spend winter days in McLean.

“I have a lot of friends who go skiing and snowboarding on the weekends. That’s really big. Other than that, it’s kind of cold.

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Oakton Swim and Dive Wins District Titles

Oakton High School’s Varsity Swim and Dive teams won both the boys’ and girls’ Concorde District Swim & Dive Championship Saturday night, Jan. 26, at Cub Run RECenter. The girls won with 532 points over Robinson in second place with 323 points. The boys won with 464 points over Robinson (460) in second place. Oakton’s divers set the stage for an incredible night. Bennett Fagan placed third for the boys. Julia Powell and Hana Burkly placed fifth and sixth overall respectively.

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MCC Board Delays Expansion Vote

Board to wait for developer proposal, which could involve downtown land swap.

he McLean Community Center board delayed their Jan. 23 vote on expansion and renovation after a development proposal was brought to their attention a mere 10 hours before their monthly meeting. The vote, which was supposed to decide whether the center would continue to pursue a new downtown facility and renovate the current building on Ingleside Drive, could happen as soon as the board’s Feb. 27 meeting, provided the development proposal contains enough information for the board to decide its merits.

Helping Children in Honduras

The Great Falls Middle School Interact Club bakes for Honduras on National Day of Service.

The Great Falls Middle School Interact Club, a youth organization of the Great Falls Rotary Club, took to the local sidewalks on the National Day of Service, Saturday, Jan. 19, and Sunday, Jan. 20, to raise money and awareness for their international youth project—helping children in Honduras.

Recollections of Great Falls, 1901-2000

Group conversations—four Mondays in February—and you are invited.

The Great Falls Historical Society is preparing a documentary film on "Life in Great Falls, 1901 to 2000" as part of the upcoming Great Falls Day celebration, to be held on Sunday, May 5.

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Slavery to Reconstruction Presented in Great Falls

Professional historian Marion Dobbins discusses the role of slavery in Northern Virginia.

Marion Dobbins is a seventh-generation Virginian, born and raised in Fairfax County. As an African-American child, she sat at her grandmother’s knee listening to the rich heritage of her ancestors. Her grandmother’s stories of the past inspired her to become a professional historian.

Friday, January 25

Classified Advertising Jan. 23, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Chantilly Boys' Basketball Team Snaps 3-Game Losing Skid

Three Chargers score in double figures against Yorktown.

Brian Sydnor led Chantilly with 15 points, DeAndre Harris scored 13 and Sean Huelskamp finished with 12.

Thursday, January 24

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Katcham Receives McDonnell Award

Honored for his long-time community service.

Jim Katcham has been serving his community for years, so it’s only fitting that he was honored Monday night with the James D. McDonnell Award for dedicated and outstanding community service.

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‘They Treat Him Like One of Their Own’

Centreville High football players mean the world to Juwaan.

Juwaan Espinal, 15, was born with cerebral palsy and is wheelchair-bound. But that doesn’t mean he can’t live a life as full of joy and meaning as possible.

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Gaining Confidence for SATs

Educators offer prep seminar.

For high-school students, a great deal rides on doing well on the SAT test. But it can be both a daunting and an intimidating experience. And that’s where Westfield High counselor Dan Harris and English teacher Gregg Greentree come in. Together, they’ve developed an SAT prep course.

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South County High Picks Mr. Stallion 2013

Holds Fifth Annual Male Beauty Pageant.

Ten male students from South County High School set the stage on fire at the Dale S. Rumberger Auditorium of the South County High School in Lorton, during the Fifth Annual Mr. Stallion Pageant on Thursday, Jan. 17. The event, described by Alison Andrews, one of the coordinators and class sponsors, as “a take on female pageant” and a quest for “bragging rights,” was well attended by parents and students, who kept yelling for more as participants appeared on stage.

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Union Mill Holds Winter Concerts

Fifth and sixth grade band students from Union Mill Elementary performed in their Winter Band Concert on Wednesday, Jan. 16, led by band teacher Laura Seifried. First-year band students performed “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Old MacDonald Had a Band,” “Ode to Joy,” and “Hard Rock Blues.” The sixth grade band students performed “Bag ‘O Blues,” and several holiday pieces including “Frosty the Snowman,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!”

Elevation Burger Expands in Fairfax

Elevation Burger, fast-casual restaurant, has opened two new locations in Fairfax, the first at Fair Oaks Mall, followed by one at the Turnpike Shopping Center in Fairfax City, bringing the total number to 10 Elevation Burger locations in the Washington, D.C. metro area, of which four are located in Fairfax County.

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Volunteering to Cheer

Special Olympics “Cheer Team” wows crowd with high-energy performance.

Like many girls, Jacquelyn Hoffmeier of Burke always wanted to be a cheerleader. The 25-year-old, born with Down Syndrome, finally got her chance to perform on Friday, Jan. 11. Hoffmeier, along with seven of her Special Olympics teammates, cheered and danced before a crowd of nearly 200 parents and students during halftime at the West Springfield High School girls’ basketball game.

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National Day of Service Launches Inauguration

Local residents give back to their communities and pledge ongoing service.

“Our volunteers packaged food at our Vienna Pantry and delivered it to 30 clients throughout the Fairfax County area who receive supplemental food from us every two weeks for approximately four months.” Lisa Whetzel, executive director, Our Daily Bread

Jail Tours Provide Wake-Up Call for At-Risk Teens

The Sheriff’s Office runs the Teen Awareness Program (TAP).

“At-risk kids are able to see and hear first-hand the effects of making a right decision versus a wrong decision,” says Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant Steve Elbert, about the tours and presentations he leads at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. The Sheriff’s Office initiated the Teen Awareness Program (TAP) a year ago, in partnership with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, to become part of the court’s diversion program for first-time, non-violent juvenile offenders.

Area Roundups

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will host a presentation by resiliency expert Nan Henderson, “Resiliency in Action: How Families, Schools and Communities Create ‘Bounce Back’ Kids,” on Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 7-8:30 p.m., in the Robinson Secondary School cafeteria. Robinson is at 5035 Sideburn Road in Fairfax.

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Sharing People’s Stories Is Filmmaker’s Passion

Local grad Monica Zinn working on second movie.

Monica Zinn is an independent documentary filmmaker. This Burke resident already has one successful film under her belt and is hard at work on another. She graduated from Lake Braddock Secondary School in 2011, but attended the Fairfax Academy from 2009-11, and that’s where her talent began to blossom.

Miss America to Promote STEM

At a pre-Inauguration event Sunday, Jan. 20, newly crowned Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan addressed a large audience gathered at the FAA for a “Federal Open House and Program Mentoring and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).” She spoke passionately about girls and STEM education, which along with her personal issue will be the chief cause during her reign.

Letter: Overcrowded Classes

We now have the distinction of having among the largest class sizes in the area and Virginia state law does almost nothing to protect our children. Current student to teacher ratios are calculated at the county level and afford administrators way too much leverage where they can place as many kids as they want in a classroom, just as long as divisionwide, they do not exceed the state ratios.

Commentary: Too Good to Pass Up

In 2001, over 900,000 Virginians were living below the poverty line with an annual household income for a family of four under $23,050. Over 416,000 of these Virginians were living in deep poverty with a family of four having an annual household income under $11,525. Of the total, 270,000 were children, the highest number of children living in poverty in Virginia since 1998.

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Better Said Than Done Comes to Nature House

Better Said Than Done, a community of professional storytellers, will be presenting “Brrr… It's Cold Outside,” a night of storytelling about trying to stay warm in a cold, cold world.

Fine Arts Festival Set for May 17-19

More than 200 artists to participate in Reston festival.

The dates are set for the region’s longest running and largest fine arts festival—the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, produced by the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE). Celebrating its 22nd Anniversary, the premiere event for art lovers and enthusiasts will take place the weekend of May 17-19, 2013, illuminating the streets of Reston Town Center.

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Addressing Gun Violence in Oakton

Over 50 people from throughout Northern Virginia attended the initial meeting of the Community Committee on Gun Violence on Thursday evening, Jan. 18, in Oakton.

Attending Inauguration

Marcia Chamblin, who attended President Barack Obama’s second inauguration with her sister Mary Kay Houck, says she arrived at the Vienna Metro station at 5:30 a.m. to avoid crowded trains.

Oakton Rules the Pool

Oakton High School’s Varsity Swim and Drive teams continued their undefeated season with a win over Herndon High School Friday night, Jan. 11. The girls won with a score of 197 points over Herndon’s 112. The boys won 194 to 121. The Cougars started off the meet by recognizing their graduating seniors.

Editorial: Expanding Medicaid Good for Virginia

Real health coverage for an additional 400,000 people is in reach.

Virginia has an opportunity to expand Medicaid in a way that could extend health coverage to more than 400,000 residents who currently have no health insurance while the Federal government picks up the tab; Virginia would pay 10 percent of the additional cost after 2020.

News Briefs

As Democratic delegates fight to keep firearms further from school property, Republican Bob Marshall (D-13) is pushing legislation to bring more guns in. Marshall is the chief patron of HB 1557, which would require every school board in the state to designate one volunteer to carry a concealed weapon on school property. Training for selected volunteers would be provided by either the Virginia Center for School Safety or the NRA, of which he is a member.

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Four Northern Virginia Senators Targeted

Redistricting effort puts Fairfax County seats in the spotlight.

Four Northern Virginia state Senators are targets of a Republican-led effort to draw new districts — Sen. George Barker (D-39), Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37), Sen. Toddy Puller (D-36) and Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34). Democrats say the redistricting effort is a cynical attempt to take advantage of the absence of Sen. Henry Marsh (D-16), a prominent civil rights veteran, who was in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration on Monday. But state Sen. John Watkins (R-10) of Powhatan defended the effort as a way to create a sixth majority black Senate district in Southside. It passed the Senate on a 20-to-19 vote.

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Making Schools Safer

Two Northern Virginia Democrats take part in panel to consider school security.

Do Virginia schools need more guns? That question is at the heart of a debate that’s now reaching a fever pitch in the commonwealth, especially after a man with a Bushmaster assault rifle blasted his way into a Connecticut elementary school and killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself. Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell responded to the tragedy by creating a School Safety Task Force, which is considering a proposal for every school in Virginia to have an armed school resource officer.

Column: The Best of Intentions, I’m Sure

Regularly, throughout my now nearly four years of living as a stage IV non-small cell lung cancer “diagnosee”/survivor, I have had conversations where the person with whom I’ve been speaking–in response to a query of mine, said about a particular set of their circumstances: “Oh, it’s nothing, really. I mean, it’s not cancer, so it’s not as bad as what you’re (meaning me) going through.” Said with the utmost sincerity and sensitivity to me of course, and with my feelings/reaction most definitely in mind; for a long time, I simply acknowledged their empathy/sympathy and continued on with our conversation as if no emotional pot–of mine, had been stirred.

Wednesday, January 23

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Shorthanded W-L Searches for Positives Against Mount Vernon

Senior guard Urcia scores team-high eight points in loss.

The Washington-Lee girls' basketball team is 5-4 in the National District after losing to Mount Vernon and beating Wakefield.

SSSAS Girls’ Basketball Stepping up to the Challenge

Saints manage winning record against the odds.

The St. Stephen's & St. Agnes girls' basketball team fell short against Sidwell Friends.

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Mount Vernon Girls’ Basketball Team Trying To Stay Focused

Majors rarely challenged by National District opponents.

The Mount Vernon girls' basketball team has won seven district games by at least 30 points.

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Manner’s 37 Points Lead Oakton Past Centreville

Cougars beat Wildcats in battle of Concorde’s top two teams.

Oakton and Centreville will play again on Feb. 5.

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Woodson Boys’ Basketball Extends Win Streak to 12

Cavaliers adapt to TC’s physicality in second half.

The Woodson boys' basketball team outscored T.C. Williams 23-14 in the fourth quarter.

Letter to the Editor: Lack of Mutual Respect

I have lived in Country Club Manor over 20 years. I have very good memories and I am sure they will continue. Over the years, we have been of lesser means than many that surround us. This has never bothered me until I was told about a recent incidence.

letter to the Editor: Fewer Mental Health Resources

It’s the same story, over and over again.

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Centennial Celebration

The members of the Chantilly-based Fairfax County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (FCAC DST), Inc., a public service organization, are participating in the sorority’s 100th Founders Day celebration.

Obama’s Agenda

Herndon-Reston citizens on second term priorities for President Obama.

A man walks into a bar… actually a female journalist walked first into O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant on Elden Street in Herndon and then into the bar at Il Fornaio Authentic Italian Restaurant and Bakery on Market Street in Reston Town Center, and posed the same question to several patrons of each establishment: “What do you see as the priorities for President Barack Obama’s second term in office?”

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Hilarious, Mixed-Up Bedtime Stories

Chantilly High presents children’s play, Feb. 1-3.

Mixed-up tales and laughs galore are in store for those attending Chantilly High’s upcoming children’s play, “Bedtime Stories.” Show times are Friday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door or at www.chantillyhsdrama.com.

Tweens and Teens Have a Ball

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden host Kids Inaugural Concert to honor military families.

Teens, tweens and their parents danced in the aisles, on their chairs and around the stage at the star-studded, Kids' Inaugural Concert honoring military families on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Washington, D.C.

Letter to the Editor: Hold the Applause

The letter to the editor, "Former Board's Achievements," read as if it were a carefully crafted, self-promoting pamphlet generated by the superintendent’s office.

Letter to the Editor: Imposing User Fees on the Poor

In Michael Lee Pope's article [“Smart Growth Vs. Affordable Housing,” Jan. 17], the premise is that Alexandria must choose between smart growth and affordable housing.

Last Weekend To See ‘Little Mermaid, Jr.’

Aldersgate Church Community Theatre’s production of Disney’s “Little Mermaid, Jr.” is in its final weekend of performances.

This Week in Potomac

Budget Forums Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) will hold budget forums in January and February to solicit input from the public about the Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget priorities. Residents can attend the forums and provide input; predicted budget shortfalls are likely to result in cuts to county services.

Getting Back to Work with Confidence

Panel reassures seniors looking for jobs.

For older adults looking to return to the labor force, getting back to work requires confidence and a willingness to embrace new technologies.

Centreville ES Offers Parent Workshops

Centreville Elementary is holding an evening of parent workshops, Thursday, Feb. 28, and any parent in the community is welcome to attend. The school surveyed its population and will present information and advice on the four topics that generated the most response.

Column: Goodwin Supports Meals Program

Senior Services of Alexandria is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of the Goodwin House Angel Tree program sponsored by the Goodwin House Alexandria Memorial Chapel Outreach Committee.

Column: Commemorating MLK through Service

Both T.C. Williams campuses — King Street and Satellite at Landmark — worked together on Saturday, Jan. 19, for the National Day of Service and in commemoration of the 57th Inaugural Celebration.

Week in Herndon

Hutchison Elementary Receives Donation From Time Warner Cable

Students and teachers at Hutchison Elementary School will be able to purchase and use additional supplies for their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiatives as a result of a $70,000 donation from Time Warner Cable

Column: GOP’s Naked Power Grab

Virginia’s General Assembly session carries forward; however, this week we have seen the Senate re-tread issues of the past. Earlier this week, the Republicans in the State Senate manipulated their close numbers to force an issue through that Virginians already thought was settled for the decade — redistricting.

Obituary: John Bruce Hammond

After a six-year battle with a rare form of cancer, John Hammond died peacefully while surrounded by family on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013.

Obituary: Dr. Bernard Greifer

On Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, Bernard Greifer, 91, of Rockville, Md., previously of Alexandria, died.

Obituary: Gerald V. Godfrey

Gerald V. Godfrey, born March 26, 1938, died on Jan. 20, 2013 at his home in Alexandria.

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Residents Attend 57th Presidential Inauguration

Many brave crowds to witness history.

Local residents were among the hundreds of thousands who left their homes on a cold winter holiday, Jan. 21, to brave packed Metro trains and slow-moving security check points for a chance to celebrate and witness President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

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Pursuing Math and Science at Fox Mill Elementary

Girls at Fox Mill Elementary are pursuing their interest in math and science by joining the school’s Girls Excelling in Math and Science program (GEMS), which meets after school.

Column: Gun Safety Among Early Legislative Actions

Though barely two weeks old, the General Assembly Session is already moving at breakneck speed, with multitudes of bills being considered and with ongoing discussions of how to move Virginia forward on key issues including transportation and gun safety.

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Searching for ‘The New Virginia Way’

Need to change the way Virginia supports people with disabilities.

In light of Virginia’s settlement with the Department of Justice over Virginia’s state institutions for people with disabilities, also known as training centers, it is time for us to enter “The New Virginia Way.”

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Wonderful Tunes, Wonderful Voices

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington comes to the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia.

Continuing to expand its Performing Arts Series, the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCCNV) is bringing the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington (GMCW) to the local area for an evening of entertainment of Broadway show tunes, pop music and traditional choral music.

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Local Dancers Perform With Renowned Group

Mark Morris Dance Group, Dance Gala at Mason.

The celebrated Mark Morris Dance Group will soon bring its energy and style, its live music repertoire and several local dancers to enthrall audiences at the Mason Center for the Arts.

Hundreds Gather to Give

Volunteer Fairfax holds Give Together Day.

On Monday, Jan. 21, over 300 volunteers spent their day at the Herndon Community Center to support several nonprofit organizations from the area by making holiday crafts for the infirm, toiletry kits for the homeless, and fleece toys for homeless dogs. The event was one of several taking place in Fairfax County as part of Volunteer Fairfax’s Give Together day.

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Presenting Living History

The Manassas National Park Battlefield heralds in the new year with a living history lesson.

Workhouse Joins in Statewide Preservation Project

The Workhouse Prison Museum/Workhouse Arts Center has been selected to participate in a statewide project designed to help improve care of collections for museums, libraries and archives.

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Greenspring Welcomes Eric Whitson as Director of Sales

Eric Whitson recently joined Greenspring, an Erickson Living retirement community in Springfield, as the new director of sales.

Springfield-based Band Returns to Chantilly Festival

Potomac Jazz Project, based in Springfield, is participating for a third straight year at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Chantilly, performing four jazz shows daily for visitors and exhibitors.

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Calendar: Arlington, 01/23/13

Community entertainment and events. Email announcements to arlington@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is noon the Thursday before publication. Photos are welcome.

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Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Remember, Celebrate, Act — Dr. King’s Dream for Our World” was the theme of the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black Heritage and the Alexandria Black History Museum program commemorating the birthday and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bulletin Board: Arlington, 01/23/12

Community meetings and events, worship and volunteer opportunities.E-mail announcements to arlington@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is noon the Thursday before publication. Photos are welcome.

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Woods Robotics Teams Earn Awards at State Championship

On Saturday, Jan. 19, The Woods Academy Robotics teams competed against 70 other teams at the Maryland First Lego League Championship at the UMBC Retriever Activities Center in Catonsville.

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Bull Run Elementary Heritage Night

Students and parents at Bull Run Elementary showed their cultural pride last Thursday, Jan. 17, at the school’s Family Heritage Night. The event included ethnic food, a “museum” displaying items from various countries, plus songs and dances by students wearing outfits reflecting their heritage.

Column: Transportation, Education Top Agenda

Richmond Report

Going into the second week of session, the pace has picked up in the amount of bills to be considered in the House sub-committees. We had our first meetings of the Transportation Sub-committee, which hears proposed legislation on transportation funding, land use policy and special projects, and the Education Sub-committee on Higher Education and the Arts, for both of which I serve as chairman.

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Churchill Competes in National Robotics Tournament

Students create robots that travel aboard the International Space Station

Potomac students were in Boston earlier this month competing in the ZERO Robotics Challenge, a competition sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Many Local Implications in Zoning Rewrite

Four-year project moves from Planning Board to County Council.

Earlier this month when Callum Murray, the county’s chief planner for Potomac, spoke to the West Montgomery County Citizens Association, he told the group that the rewrite of the zoning code was about to move from planning to County Council.

Letter to the Editor: Neighborhoods Vs. Cell Towers

The January 2013 edition of the MVCCA Record includes a resolution of its Environment & Recreation committee on page 13 concerning cell towers.

Letter to the Editor: Donate Used Musical Instruments

Hi, my name is Katherine Rausch. I am an Ambassador Girl Scout and am currently working on my Girl Scout Gold Award project.

UCM’s 19th Annual SOUPer Saturday

More than 100 handcrafted bowls were on sale at the Torpedo Factory for the 19th annual United Community Ministries SOUPer on Saturday, Jan. 19.

Oakton Rules the Pool

Oakton High School’s Varsity Swim and Drive teams continued their undefeated season with a win over Herndon High School Friday night, Jan. 11. The girls won with a score of 197 points over Herndon’s 112. The boys won 194 to 121.

Students Compete at West Potomac Science Fair

The West Potomac High School Science Fair was held in the cafeteria on Saturday, Jan.19. Students enrolled in honors classes of biology, chemistry, geo-systems, and physics classes entered nearly 100 projects for judging at the fair.

Column: Progress on U.S. 1 Funding, Redistricting Surprise

Legislation has started to move through the legislation as the hard work of legislating began during the second week of session. First, we made some progress securing state funding for the next study required to widen U.S. 1.

Column: Legislators Need Feedback

This is an exciting week in Richmond with many important issues facing the General Assembly. There is one of particular note that I know everyone around the Commonwealth is talking about right now — the reconfirmation of Helen Dragas.

Guiding Eyes Pup Raisers Need Facility

For years volunteers from across Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria and McLean have gathered on Sunday afternoons at a Vienna church for their weekly puppy raising class. Since 1993, Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s Dominion Puppy Raising Region has raised 470 puppies to become guide dogs for blind and visually impaired men and women around the world. As of Friday, Feb. 15, however, the group will be without a home.

Marshall Theater Honors Walter Bobby McCoy

The George C. Marshall High School Theater Boosters have awarded Walter Bobby McCoy the GC Marshall Theater Award for his contributions, which included musical director for GC Marshall's musical "Drowsy Chaperone."

Overcrowded Classes

To the Editor: Our world-class schools are the number one reason businesses and families come to Fairfax County. But people will not move here once they see many of our overcrowded classes.

Vienna-based Youth Literacy Initiative Helps Promote Service

Youth Literacy Initiative (YLI), a Vienna-based organization, has teamed with the White House to become a Certifying Organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national program recognizing Americans who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service. Established in 2003, the award was created by President George W. Bush to give presidential recognition to individuals, families and groups who meet requirements for volunteer service, measured by the number of service hours performed over 12 months.

Week in Vienna

Volunteers Needed for Relay For Life in Vienna

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life® is seeking volunteers in Vienna—walkers, cancer survivors, caregivers, community leaders, anyone wanting to make a difference—to organize and recruit fundraising teams, garner community support, coordinate logistics, seek refreshments and prizes, plan entertainment and lend a hand to ensure the success of the 2013 event. The first volunteer meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Vienna, 143 Maple Avenue East, Vien

Change to Intersection Raises Concerns

Residents object to potential traffic signal at Hunter Mill and Crowell.

The Hunter Mill District Land Use Committee heard a request from Oakcrest School Tuesday, Jan. 15, to amend the special exception that would allow them to alter the intersection at Hunter Mill Road and Crowell Road, an alteration that has raised objections from nearby residents.

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Reston Pays Tribute to King Legacy

Commemorative march, concert highlight weekend activities.

As he stood in front of the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation Sunday, Jan. 20, to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Isaiah Roberts of Reston knew he was participating in something special.

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MOMS Club Seeks Service Opportunities

Club’s open house examines ways for families to volunteer.

The Herndon Moms Offering Moms Support (MOMS) club hosted an open house at ArtSpace Thursday, Jan. 17, to help local families discover ways they can serve their community. The open house brought in representatives from Volunteer Fairfax, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Maddie’s Blankets and Fairfax Releaf provided multiple ways for families to get involved, depending on their interests.

Potomac Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 33 Potomac homes sold between $2,675,000-$258,000.

Potomac Home Sales: December, 2012

Chantilly Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 12 homes sold between $848,878-$30,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: December, 2012

Burke Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 37 Burke homes sold between $617,000-$123,000.

Burke Home Sales: December, 2012

Arlington Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 180 Arlington homes sold between $1,950,000-$9,500.

Arlington Home Sales: December, 2012

Alexandria Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 165 Alexandria homes sold between $2,499,900-$92,100.

Alexandria Home Sales: December, 2012

Springfield Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 125 Springfield homes sold between $799,900-$174,888.

Springfield Home Sales: December, 2012

Mount Vernon Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 102 homes sold between $1,717,500-$70,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: December, 2012

McLean Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 98 homes sold between $4,350,000-$138,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: December, 2012

Great Falls Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 13 Great Falls homes sold between $3,900,000-$600,000.

Great Falls Home Sales: December, 2012

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 63 homes sold between $1,050,000-$160,000 in the Herndon and Oak Hill area.

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: December, 2012

Fairfax Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 53 Fairfax homes sold between $1,925,000-$128,000.

Fairfax Home Sales: December, 2012

Centreville Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 63 Centreville homes sold between $960,000-$195,000.

Centreville Home Sales: December, 2012

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 62 homes sold between $1,700,000-$161,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: December, 2012

Reston Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 66 Reston homes sold between $1,482,500-$104,500.

Reston Home Sales: December, 2012

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: December, 2012

In December 2012, 83 homes sold between $2,275,000-$215,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: December, 2012

Tuesday, January 22

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Fairfax Families4Kids

Fostering bonds with children.

Nationwide, more than 463,000 children live in foster care. In many states, including Virginia, the number of foster youth has tripled in the last 25 years. As of Sept. 30, 2011, nearly 5,000 youth were in foster care in Virginia, according to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. Physical abuse is the most common reason children enter foster, but it’s not the only reason. Often there’s emotional abuse, sexual abuse and the parent or caretaker’s inability to provide a safe environment due to substance abuse.

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A Family Made Whole

After a tragic loss, Reston couple creates a family through adoption.

The Granvilles look like a made-for-TV family. On a bright October afternoon, Chris, a computer engineer, is teasing his teenage son, Kenny, about what kind of pet to adopt, while Tiffany sits on a sofa, cradling Elijah, Kenny’s baby brother, who has just woken up from an afternoon nap. “Fish? No way,” Kenny, 15, says. “They just go ‘round and ‘round in a bowl.” Kenny is lobbying hard for a dog or—at the very least—a guinea pig or hamster.

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Neil Simon’s ‘Proposals’ Presented in Vienna

Vienna Theatre Company presents a light-hearted glimpse into family relationships

At home in the Vienna Community Center, the community theatre draws local thespians and artistic and technical crew

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Flint Hill School Honors War Hero, Department Head

Regimental dagger of Col. Alan Ferguson-Warren presented to school

“When you were around Colonel Warren, you got the feeling that you were in the presence of an immense personality and huge moral authority. . . . We all knew there was something extraordinary about this man.” — Jerry Jasper, president, Ferguson-Warren Society, Flint Hill School

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Vienna Residents Support Warrior Canine Connection

Helping to bring the healing power of the best dogs to Wounded Warriors.

Vienna residents Patty Kennedy and Katherine Hutt have a lot in common.

New York Life Names Vienna Resident 2012 Council Vice President

New York Life has named Jim Adkins, of Vienna, as its 2012 council vice president.

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Spring Hill Chorus Sings Nation Anthem at Wizards’ Game

Spring Hill Elementary Chorus sang the National Anthem for the Wizards’ basketball game at the Verizon Center.

McLean Senior Source Volunteer Opportunity

Do you love living in McLean? Want to help make it easier for you, your friends and your neighbors to continue to live and “age in place?”

Chef Jacques Haeringer Highlights Great Falls Senior Center’s February Event

The Great Falls Senior Center is serving up a Valentine of its own at its Feb. 5 event with guest speaker Chef Jacques Haeringer, executive chef of the L’Auberge Chez Francois of Great Falls.

On Guns: The ‘Right Thing’—Really?

I was very intrigued by the letter on "Doing the Right Thing on Guns" [Connection, January 16-22, 2013].

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Program Tackles Drinking Culture

McLean High School hosts first ‘Perils of College Drinking Culture’ presentation of year.

Exploring Perils of Drinking Culture:The Jan. 17 program at McLean High kicks off the latest series of “The Perils of College Drinking Culture” in the area. The program will also be held: * Thursday, May 16, at Westfield High School in Chantilly. * Wednesday, May 22, and Wednesday, July 31, at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. The program will be at the Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, Va. All events will be from 7 to 9 p.m., and admission is free. More information can be found at www.unifiedpreventioncoalition.org.

Studying and Working in China

Sam Gruber, a junior at the University of Virginia, visited Chesterbrook ES to meet with sixth grade students.

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Aging in Place

Fulfilling the mission of ‘Potomac Community Village.’

Plan to attend informational meeting about aging in place 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at Congregation Har Shalom. Potomac’s Nelly Urbach served as director of the Walter Reed Senior Center in Arlington, Va., for 30 years. While working, she kept “The Village Movement” on her radar — the concept of establishing and managing villages to enable people to remain living in their own homes and communities as they age

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McLean Orchestra to Perform for Alternative House Children

On Sunday, Feb. 3, at 3 p.m., the McLean Orchestra and the McLean Youth Orchestra will do a first ever “side-by-side” concert.

Their Dreams

Studying Martin Luther King’s speech at Churchill Road

Students created a bulletin board of their own dreams by completing the phrase: “I had a dream that…”

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JT Interiors Opens in Potomac

Featuring custom window treatments, art and furniture.

The new JT Interiors is located in the historic Potomac House at 9906 River Road in the heart of Potomac Village.

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Provocative Lyrics, Rock Score

McLean Community Players present award-winning musical “next to normal

Where and When McLean Community Players present "next to normal" at the Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave, McLean. Performances: Feb. 1-16, 2013, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets: $18-$20. Call 703-790-0123 or visit www.mcleanplayers.org. Note: Mature themes and language, most suitable for ages 15 and up.

Letter: Getting Back to Business

Virginia is no longer “the best state [in which] to do business.”

Dancing Life into Books

Upcoming performances from Jane Franklin Dance incorporate movement and storytelling.

Jane Franklin likes to keep busy and to keep her company moving. During the next few weeks, the Arlington-based dance company is performing a number of pieces, each of which depend in movement and music to tell stories.

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MPA Announces New Board Members and Officers

The board of McLean Project for the Arts has selected new officers and four new members.

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Area Residents Attend 57th Inauguration

Many brave crowds to witness history.

Local residents were among the hundreds of thousands who left their homes on a cold winter holiday, Jan. 21, to brave packed Metro trains and slow-moving security check points for a chance to celebrate and witness President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

Letter: Many Subsidize the Few

You need to redo your argument [“Transportation Money,” editorial, The Connection, Jan. 16-22] for people living near metro and people using the transportation it provides.

Building at Williamsburg Middle Site

New elementary school to address crowding.

The Arlington County School Board and County Board met Thursday, Jan. 17, for a work session about the construction a new elementary school at the site of Williamsburg Middle School.

Board Discusses Overcrowding

Elementary schools to be tackled first.

Leadership Arlington hosted a discussion on overcrowding in Arlington public schools among county officials in the WETA building on Tuesday, Jan. 15, as part of its Speaker Series.

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Marching for Gun Control

Arlington residents volunteer to help organize march on Washington.

Responding to the Sandy Hook massacre, local citizens have volunteered their efforts in organizing a March on Washington for Gun Control to take place Saturday, Jan. 26.

Monday, January 21

A 10-Year Mission: End Homelessness

Our Fairfax-Falls Church community is one of the most affluent in the country. Our schools are second to none. We are the home for many Fortune 500 businesses. Even with the challenging economy, our unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country.

Sunday, January 20

Classified Advertising January 16, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Friday, January 18

Arlington Bulletin Board, Jan. 17, 2013

E-mail announcements to arlington@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is noon the Thursday before publication. Photos are welcome.

Centre View Bulletin Board, Jan. 17, 2013

Email announcements to centreview@connectionnewspapers.com. Deadline is Thursday at noon. Photos welcome.

Bragging Big

American Century Theater shows off through Feb. 2.

The American Century Theater’s production of “The Show Off” is playing now through Feb. 2 at Gunston Theatre Two, 2700 S. Lang St., Arlington.

CAC Honors Auxiliary Officer

Thad Palmer praised for his dedication.

APO Palmer was honored as that station’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Officer of the Month.

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Defining the Dream Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

CPMSAC presents annual celebration Jan. 20.

Each year, the Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student Achievement (CPMSAC) Committee celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s event is slated for Sunday, Jan. 20, at 4 p.m., at Westfield High.

Queen of Household Hints to Share Five Essentials Every Home Should Have

Heloise to headline 2013 Home and Remodeling Show at the Dulles Expo Center.

The high priestess of household hints will share her domestic wisdom this weekend at the 2013 Home and Remodeling Show at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Va. A nationally syndicated columnist, Heloise is one of the presenters scheduled to headline the weekend’s show.

Thursday, January 17

Herndon’s Ferguson, Johnson Burn Chantilly for 50 Points

Coach Smith says Chargers have had season-long offensive problems.

Chantilly sophomore Josh Conwell scored 12 points during a loss to Herndon on Jan. 10.

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Defense Propels TC Boys’ Basketball Past Lake Braddock

Titans hold Bruins scoreless for 7-minute, 31-second stretch.

The T.C. Williams boys' basketball team used a 17-0 run to pull away from Lake Braddock on Jan. 11.

Woodson’s Boock Sets Career High in Win Against South County

Senior scores 20 points in fourth game back from finger surgery.

The Woodson boys' basketball team went 7-0 during the first half of its Patriot District schedule.

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Santa Delivers at Special Party

Easter Seals, Legion Post and Moose Lodge combine forces.

The American Legion Unit 85, Centreville Moose Lodge 2168 and Easter Seals serving D.C., Maryland and Virginia hosted their annual holiday party for children with disabilities and their families as well as families of veterans, active military and wounded warriors on Saturday, Dec. 8.

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And They’re off to Washington, D.C.

Two local groups will perform at Obama’s inaugural balls.

While most people will have to watch President Barack Obama’s inauguration celebration on TV, Army Sergeant Major (retired) Keith Jarman of Centreville will be there in person.

Revoking Recess

Health advisory committee to consider policy of withholding recess as punishment.

Should students be punished by having their recess time revoked?

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Teacher Reads from Her First Book of Poems

McCabe hopes for new manuscript to become second book.

Yorktown Teacher Shares Her Poetry

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Climbing to New Heights

“Trekking For Kids” supports projects in developing countries.

In 2010, Bridgit Fried of Potomac and Cindy Steuart of Bethesda signed up to climb to the base camp of Mt. Everest with a group called “Trekking For Kids.”

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‘He’s Centreville’s Family Doctor’

Beloved physician, Richard Bowles, retires after 42 years.

Physician Richard Bowles Retires after 42 Years

Roundups: Centre View Jan. 17, 2013

Roundups: Dozens of Vehicles Vandalized; National Day of Service; Frey to Address WFCCA; Sully District Council Meeting; Free Carseat Inspections; Help Assemble Food Bags; Improve Transportation for Elderly, Disabled; Advocates Needed for Elderly; Give Caregivers a Break; Meals on Wheels Volunteers; Women's Self Defense Program

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History’s ‘More Than Boring, Old Facts’

Rocky Run seventh-graders “visit” the Westward Movement.

Rocky Run seventh-grade history teacher Maggie Brown stacked the desks in her classroom on top of each other. She then covered them with brown paper to simulate a sod house and had her students sit on the floor inside it.

Editorial: Transportation Money

Eliminating the gas tax makes no sense.

Virginia, and especially Northern Virginia, is woefully short on funds for transportation. One reason is that its gas tax, a logical way to fund transportation infrastructure, is one of the lowest in the nation, and has remained flat since the ’80s, since it is not indexed for inflation. So the buying power of the gas tax has been dwindling.

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West Springfield Police and Green Hills Join Forces

Supervisor Lt. James Tanler of the Neighborhood Patrol Unit, Crime Prevention Officer J.T. Frey and the Green Hills Estate Property Manager Claudia Lazo decided it was time to bring a little cheer to the Green Hills community in West Springfield after a year that held a shooting in an occupied home and other drug related activity in the neighborhood. The force and the Green Hills community celebrated their efforts and progress towards making the neighborhood safer with a visit from Santa.

Becky’s Pet Care Wins ‘Business of the Year’

The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters honors Springfield businesses.

Becky's Pet Care won the Business of the Year title from the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. The Business of the Year award is a national award presented to a member, who has demonstrated outstanding business practices and vision in maintaining and growing their business. The rigorous application process includes a comprehensive evaluation of the member's commitment to the profession, management philosophy, community involvement and client satisfaction.

Military Building Named After Walter Hollis of Springfield

Military buildings are typically named after persons deceased who have made significant contributions to an organization, but recently the Hon. John McHugh, secretary of the Army and Springfield resident, granted an exception to that rule.

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The Washington Gas Project Building Receives Award

The Washington Gas project received an Award of Excellence from the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP) in the category of Best Building, Non-Institutional Facility on Nov. 14 at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner at a banquet hosted by NAIOP’s Northern Virginia chapter.

Springfield Resident Publishes New Book

“Cold War: Murder in the Heartland” is written by Robert Tecklenburg, a resident of Springfield. Published by Penumbra Publishing and distributed by Baker and Taylor and Ingram, the book tells the story of “a peculiar death in a small rural community . . . rumors of Soviet spies . . . strange goings-on and suspicious character everywhere.

Workhouse to Host a Family Volunteer Day

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Workhouse Arts Center is hosting Volunteer Fairfax’s fourth annual Day of Service on Jan. 21, 2013 at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road in Lorton (free admission).

Letter: A Shameful Sight

While home on Christmas break, I decided to take a nostalgic hike along the Little Rocky Run creek. Everything was as I remember with the exception of a small plateau on a steep hill face near the end of Marble Stone Drive. I saw scattered about the burned aluminum remains of a 24-pack of Natural Light, sprinkled with a healthy dose of glass bottle shards—all of which seemed to be a sort of sacrificial offering to the skull of a deer mounted on a stick at the center of the plateau.

Winning Championship in Record Time

Fairfax Police Youth Club racer wins National Cross Country Championship.

Rheinhardt Harrison, running for the Fairfax Police Youth Club (FPYC), won the sub-bantam boys 8&U division at the USATF National Junior Olympics Cross Country Championships held in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Springfield Youth Earns Eagle Scout Rank

Gerry Souser, 17, recognized at Immanuel Bible Church ceremony for earning 134 merit badges.

“Because of all of these and so many more adventures and experiences, I feel that I am having the best scouting experience that anyone could ever imagine or ask for, and Merit Badges were just a part of it…”

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Smart Growth Versus Affordable Housing at Potomac Yard

Clash between opposing visions raises questions about parking on Jefferson Davis Highway.

What happens when the principles of smart growth collide with transit planning?

In Session

The hidden camera footage is shaky and brief. But state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30) and Del. Patrick Hope (D-47) believe it will change the momentum of the gun debate.

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Northern Virginia Democrats Finally Get Traction on Voting Rights for Nonviolent Felons

But House Democrats stand in the way of bipartisan effort.

The plight of the nonviolent felon has been a losing cause in Northern Virginia for decades. Year after year, Democrats introduce a bill that would restore voting rights for nonviolent felons. And year after year, the effort fizzles in Richmond.

Wednesday, January 16

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Intergenerational Meal-Gathering

Noticed something sprouting at the Hollin Hall Senior Center?

Potomac School Notes

School Notes for the Potomac area.

Military Notes January 16

Military Notes for January

A New Home in Five Easy Pieces

Trend grows for modular homes.

The Plymouth Haven neighborhood is welcoming another new modular home, the third in the last five years. Last week, Plymouth Haven native, Jim Harvey, and his wife Colleen, watched a crane operator lift the modules of their new home into place. Jim Harvey had mixed feelings as the new house replaced the one he grew up in with six brothers.

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New Theatre for Young Artists To Perform ‘Music Man’

Local students in Bravo@Kat Theatre for young artists’ production.

There may be trouble in River City — but at the new Bravo@Kat Theatre for young artists, there’s only the excitement and thrill of the inaugural performance of Meredith Wilson’s play, “The Music Man.” On Jan. 19 and 20, the Olney Theatre Center’s historic stage will reverberate with familiar tunes from “The Music Man” while 35 young performers from Montgomery County entertain and delight their audience.

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‘To Reach the Beach’

The West Potomac Dance Team took over the floor at the boy’s varsity basketball game against Lee during halftime last Friday evening, Jan. 11.

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Looking Back on a Satisfying Career

Richard Bowles always knew he’d someday be a doctor. “My dad was a doctor and I used to ride on calls with him,” he said. “I think he had a big influence on me. I was around medicine all my life and I looked up to him, so there was never any question about what I wanted to do.”

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Visitors from Spain

McLean School of Maryland families hosted 7 teenage Spanish Exchange Students from Colegio Europeo Madrid for a month.

Letter to the Editor: Move Forward on Rink Modification

As the current chair of the Friends of the Potomac Community Center, Inc., as well as a long-time Potomac resident, it saddens me to hear the negative feedback coming from a very few neighbors concerning the proposed modification of the current roller rink.

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Economic Development Topic of Chamber Meeting

The future of economic growth in Fairfax County will be found in the new field of personalized medicine, along with the current growth sectors of IT, and financial services according to Dr. Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority speaking to the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce.

School Notes for Centreville and Chantilly

School Notes for Centreville and Chantilly

Column: Transportation Debate Begins

Governor McDonnell’s transportation proposal dominated the first three days of session. I welcome this long-overdue debate.

Column: General Assembly Gets Underway

The Virginia General Assembly convened in Richmond last Wednesday. So far one of the major issues is whether or not to lift the moratorium on mining uranium.

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The Bare Necessities

LTA debuts “The Full Monty.”

The year is 1992 and unemployment is high in Buffalo, N.Y., where former millworker Jerry Lukowski hatches a plan to earn some quick cash by producing a Chippendale’s-style strip show in “The Full Monty,” now playing at The Little Theatre of Alexandria.

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Steep Canyon Rangers returning to The Birchmere

It's only the beginning of January, but the Steep Canyon Rangers have their whole year booked.

Drop Off Site for Shelter’s Wish List

Jodi Casamo, owner of Casamo Court Reporting and also three large dogs, contacted the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria when she realized that having her office nestled in the heart of Old Town could be a strategic drop-off point for individuals desiring to donate items to the shelter.

Letter to the Editor: Former School Board’s Achievements

Last week, newly-elected city leaders were sworn into office, and seven members of the Alexandria School Board — Mimi Carter, Yvonne Folkerts, Sheryl Gorsuch, Blanche Maness, Helen Morris, Art Peabody and Charles Wilson — ended their terms of service.

Letter to the Editor: Overpowering Gun Lobby

I’m a retired, wounded, and decorated army veteran who was raised during the Great Depression , served overseas in an infantry division in World War II, made the Inchon D-Day landing with the 1st Mar Div in the Korean War, was in the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War, and also served in NATO in the Middle East.

Championing Lynhaven, Education and Voter Registration

Rosa Byrd: Protecting her neighborhood, improving her city.

Rosa Byrd and her husband Jack have lived in Alexandria for more than 50 years and for much of that time she has been a community leader and champion for causes to make her Lynhaven neighborhood a safe place to live.

United Way Awards Non-Profits $105,300

United Way of the National Capital Area awarded grants to 10 local non-profits through the Alexandria Community Impact Fund a total of $105,300 lon Tuesday, Jan. 8, at City Hall.

Column: Must an Affordable Neighborhood Be Lost?

Soon we’ll celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday — a day for service. But I want to suggest that it should be a day for justice, beginning in our own backyard. The injustice that my family and our neighbors are experiencing in the Beauregard area is “a threat to justice everywhere.”

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Raising Awareness, Money at Fairfax High

Seniors organize fundraising for Lou Gehrig’s Disease

For three Fairfax High School seniors--Hannah Kostoff, Carley Rolincik and Ryan Hess--a school marketing project became an opportunity to advance a noble cause. On Saturday, Jan. 12, the three seniors organized a fundraising and awareness event for the Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).

Column: Success of Playfest in 2012

Students, staff and some community members all came together to create something meaningful and beautiful for the Playfest at T.C. Williams High School Black Box Theatre last November.

Column: Some Thoughts on Transportation

Transportation funding is going to be a big issue this General Assembly session. The Governor has taken the step of agreeing we need more revenue and tax increases to pay for transportation; but the details of his initial proposal are cause for concern.

Column: GOP Stands in the Way of Voter Issues

As the Virginia General Assembly begins its annual winter session, there are many areas of policy that require urgent attention. As we move forward, attention will be paid to transportation, education, and the way we fund our priorities in the Commonwealth, as it should be.

Two Charged in Stolen Police Cruiser Cases

Alexandria Detectives have charged two men in connection with the two stolen police cruiser cases from December 2012.

New Administrators at Central Office

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Morton Sherman has appointed two new Alexandria City public Schools Central Office staff members.

Lights To Be Replaced At Simpson Park

The City of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities is replacing the existing athletic field lights at Simpson Park, 426 E Monroe Ave.

DASH Increases Service To Community College

Riders on the Alexandria Transit Company’s (DASH) AT6 route will see more frequent service between the King Street Metrorail Station and the Northern Virginia Community College, starting this week.

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Obituary: Willard F. Townsend

Lt. Col. Willard F. Townsend (USAF-Ret.), age 79, of Pike Road, Ala. died on July 31, 2012.

Obituary: Muriel S. Rector

Muriel S. Rector, 90, formerly of Alexandria, died on Dec. 19, 2012, in Kilmarnock, Va.

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Obituary: Edward Arthur Daggit

Lt. Col. Edward Arthur Daggit Ph.D., USA Ret., age 80, of Harrisonburg, Va., died on Friday Jan. 11, 2013.

Week in Reston

Body found on a Reston path identified and History of Reston program continues

Obituary: Hilary Carr

Hilary Carr, 62, of Alexandria, died on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.

Obituary: Helen D. Anderson

Helen D. Anderson died Jan. 9, 2013.

Celebration to Focus On Community Service

Former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond to deliver keynote address at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration.

The Reston Community Center presents the 28th Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 19 and 20, 2013.

Letter: Park Authority’s Clarification

John Lovaas addressed the need to preserve and manage natural areas in Fairfax County [County Failing to Preserve Natural Resource Areas, Reston Connection, Dec. 12-18, 2012]. Although we concur with that need, we felt compelled to clarify several points in his column pertaining to the Fairfax County Park Authority’s 23,136 acres of parkland.

Commentary: Smoke and Mirrors

One of my mentors in my earliest years in the General Assembly was Delegate Dorothy McDiarmid who served off and on from 1960 to 1989. First elected on a platform of keeping the public schools open during racial desegregation, the gentlelady from Fairfax Mrs. McDiarmid went on to successfully add kindergarten to the public school system of the state and to chair the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Her supporters gave her the campaign slogan, “The Lady Has Clout.” Delegate McDiarmid taught me to look carefully at political proposals for many lacked substance and were simply “smoke and mirrors.”

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Springfield Neighbors Recall Truman Inauguration in 1949

As Washington prepares for Presidential Inauguration, Jim Upp, Scott Shipe, and Gray Parks recount their experiences of 64 years ago.

The inauguration of President Truman in 1949 produced many firsts—first to be nationally televised, first to be openly integrated, first to debut the current presidential seal.

Column: Off to Do the People’s Work in Richmond

Our long-time state legislators—Delegate Ken Plum and State Senator Janet Howell—always begin the Reston new year with their (not really a) town hall get-together for constituents. They invite us to come and talk about the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session in Richmond when all 100 delegates and 40 senators convene for 45 or 60 days to consider thousands of new laws promoting the general welfare and a bright future for all Virginians.

Bragging Big

American Century Theater shows off through Feb. 2.

Aubrey Piper is self-centered and self-deluded, a pathological liar and shameless publicity seeker determined to climb Philadelphia’s social ladder by any means necessary in George Kelly’s Pulitzer Prize nominated “The Show Off,” a production by The American Century Theater now playing at Gunston Theatre Two in Arlington.

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Students Get Blast From the Past

Reston Rotary tours elementaries with Thomas Jefferson re-enactor.

Students across Reston elementary schools got a blast from the past Tuesday, Jan. 8 and Wednesday, Jan. 9, courtesy of the Reston Rotary Club. Bill Barker, an actor who has played Thomas Jefferson at Colonial Williamsburg since 1993, toured Forest Edge, Terraset, Dogwood, Fox Mill, Hunters Woods and Lake Anne Elementary Schools to tell the students about his life and beliefs.

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Feeling Fine Art

Third DC Tattoo expo hosted in Arlington

The hum and whiz of needlework welcomed visitors to the third DC Tattoo Expo, held Jan. 12 and 13 at the Crystal Gateway Marriot in Arlington.

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Best of Reston Named

Individuals, organizations, businesses recognized at annual awards announcement.

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Reston Interfaith named their 2013 Best of Reston award winners Thursday, Jan. 10. The annual awards recognize individuals, organizations and companies that represent the community’s founding ideals.

Week in Herndon

The Town of Herndon is accepting grant proposals of up to $5,000 through the Virginia Commission for the Arts Local Government Challenge Grant Program for projects to be implemented in FY2014.

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Teacher Reads from Her First Book of Poems

McCabe hopes for new manuscript to become second book.

Yorktown High School English and creative writing teacher Melanie McCabe read a selection of poems from her first book, “History of the Body,” at Westover Branch Library on Monday, Jan. 7.

Colorful, Satirical Musical Revue

Elden Street Players to present “Tom Foolery.”

Be inspired as "Tom Foolery" takes audiences into the world of Tom Lehrer who delighted so many with his musically-based attacks and banter on everything, both high-brow and low. The time is the 1960s, when there were "few if any restrictions to what could be said about life, but always with tongue-in-cheek" said Adriana Hardy, director of the Elden Street Players (ESP) production.

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Town Launches Customer Service Initiative

Town services to be more customer friendly, new feedback methods created.

The Town of Herndon announces a new customer service initiative Monday, Jan. 14, called “Count ON Us.” Named to connect with the town’s new branding strategy, the initiative will focus on increasing customer satisfaction with the town’s services.

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Rust Speaks on Current Session

Transportation high among priorities for residents.

Del. Tom Rust (R-86) addressed his constituents at the Herndon Municipal Center Saturday, Jan. 12 to give an update on the current General Assembly session.

Medicaid Reform Could Benefit All of Us

Commentary

Medicaid reform and expansion, in front of the General Assembly this year, could in the long run provide benefits to all Virginians while also relieving pressure from human service programs run by local governments.

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Cooper Middle Students Visit Pine Spring Elementary

On Wednesday Dec. 19, 40 Cooper Middle School students visited their sister school, Pine Spring Elementary, and threw a holiday party.

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Traveling Down A Familiar Road

Transportation funding, education top agenda at town hall with Sen. Petersen, Del. Keam.

“The biggest example of ‘tragic mismatch’ since I wore madras slacks and white socks in 1980 to my first middle school dance.” That’s how Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) described Republican Governor Robert McDonnell’s transportation funding plan, which calls for an increase in the sales tax and eliminates the $17.5 cents per gallon gas tax.

Area Roundups

Resiliency Expert to Speak at Robinson

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will host a presentation by resiliency expert Nan Henderson—Resiliency in Action: How Families, Schools and Communities Create 'Bounce Back’ Kids—on Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Robinson Secondary School. This free presentation is designed for parents, school staff, and community members.

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World's Worth of Wine in an Afternoon

The Washington Wine Academy and Crystal City Business Improvement District teamed up for the third annual 1K Wine Walk Saturday and Sunday. Nearly 1,800 people from around the area spent an afternoon sampling wine varieties from around the world, including Germany, France, Australia and some domestic vineyards.

Wolftrap Elementary to Honor Former Teacher Candace Leyton

Wolftrap Elementary School will hold a dedication ceremony for the new Candace Leyton Innovation Learning Lab on Monday, Feb. 4, at noon. The addition to the front of the school is named after the late Candace Leyton, who taught at the school for 23 years.

Week in Vienna

Town Hall renovations underway, standing meetings relocated, searchable town code available online, family skating at Vienna Community Center, ‘The Book of Mormon’ at the Kennedy Center trip, and Wood Bat Softball Tournament registration open

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Robinson Offers Pair of Children’s Shows

Presenting “Waking Sleeping Beauty” and “The Lorax” this weekend.

The only thing better than one children’s show is two children’s shows, and Robinson Secondary’s Production Company class, RoProCo, is presenting a double bill this weekend.

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PostNet Business Center Opens in Vienna

Print shop supports businesses and non-commercial needs.

When James Cudney turned his back on the road warrior life a couple of years ago, he turned inward to the community that his family lived in, loved and supported. If he was going to downshift a speed, he was going to center his professional life in Vienna.

Crime Reports

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 800 block of S. Ivy Street. At 7:55 p.m. on Jan. 3, a married couple got into a verbal dispute. The argument escalated and the wife stabbed her husband in his arm with a folding knife. The victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for medical treatment of the stab wound. A 20-year-old Arlington woman was arrested and charged with malicious wounding.

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James Madison Dance Team Wins Large Varsity Pom Division

The James Madison Varsity Dance Team competed at the 2012 Mason Dance Team Invitational on Sunday, Dec. 9, among 32 other dance teams.

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Family Remembers Life and Legacy of Kidnapped Libyan Human Rights Activist

Mansur Rashid Kikhia’s family lives in McLean and Vienna area.

Nineteen years ago, on Dec. 10, 1993, Libyan human rights activist and lawyer Mansur Rashid Kikhia, was kidnapped from his hotel room in Cairo, Egypt and spirited out of the country. Last month—December, 2012—Kikhia’s death in Tripoli was confirmed to his family, now living in the Vienna and McLean areas. On Saturday, Jan. 12, Kikhia’s family and friends celebrated the life of a man dedicated to human rights for all.

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Tysons Service District Created

New tax district will help fund Tysons Corner improvements.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted eight to two to create a Tysons Corner Service District, which is expected to raise money to help cover the estimated $3.1 billion in new roads and public transit development planned for the area.

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District Orchestras Perform at Langley High

Langley High hosts District XII Junior and Senior Orchestras.

One hundred and sixty-five students from 11 middle schools and 14 high schools participated in District XII Junior and Senior Orchestras Jan. 4-5 at Langley High School. Guest conductors worked with the students for two days and presented a superb concert.

Week in McLean

New scenic pull-off and parking area at Langley Fork and McLean senior source volunteer opportunity

Meet New St. Luke School’s Principal

St. Luke Elementary School in McLean has welcomed Principal Louis Silvano. He has been busy this first semester building relationships with the school’s students and staff.

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PAUL Opens Bakery Café at Tysons Galleria

Established in Lille, France in 1889, PAUL Bakery is an international chain with nearly 500 stores in 25 countries, and in such prime locations as Barcelona, Brussels, Cairo, Dubai, Istanbul, London, Moscow, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo. On Monday, Jan. 14, PAUL opened its first bakery café in Virginia in the Tysons Galleria shopping mall in McLean. (This is the fifth PAUL bakery café in the Washington, D.C. area.)

Mason’s School of Art Presents ‘Draw(n) Out’ Exhibit

George Mason University's School of Art is presenting "Draw(n) Out," an exhibition featuring works by nationally recognized artists from across the United States, including a selection of artists represented by galleryELL in Brooklyn, N.Y. The exhibition will be on display in the Fine Art Gallery in the Art and Design Building on Mason's Fairfax Campus from Jan. 22 through Feb. 15. Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 6-8 p.m.

Letter: Too Little, Too Late

Kyle McCauley heaped praise on Del. Barbara Comstock for her efforts to "increase the in-state slots guaranteed for Virginia's students to 75 percent" [Increasing Slots for Virginia Students, Connection, January 9-15, 2013].

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Korean Teachers Visit Churchill Road

On Friday, Jan. 11, Churchill Road hosted the Daegu Metropolitan Office of Education, a delegation comprising 45 Korean teachers.

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Express Buses From Burke to Tysons

Fairfax County launches Express Connector Bus Service.

With the expansion of Tysons Corner firmly underway, Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) is getting ahead of the commuting curve with the launch of its new Express Connector bus service utilizing the recently opened 495 Express Lanes to carry commuters from Burke to Tysons Corner.

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Spirit of Holidays at Churchill Road

Churchill Road students embodied the spirit of the holidays through a variety of service learning projects.

Letter: A Vote to Remember

I was interested to read Supervisor John Foust's column about the challenges facing Fairfax County in 2013, and especially his comments about the financial challenges the county faces [Challenges Facing Dranesville in 2013, Connection, Jan. 2-8, 2013].

Letter: Doing the Right Thing on Guns

The issue of gun control has been in the news lately, with everyone from President Obama to a British TV host voicing their opinion since the tragic shooting in Newton, Conn.

Health Advisory Committee to Consider Policy of Withholding Recess as Punishment

Should the last-resort punishment be scuttled?

Should students be punished by having their recess time revoked?

Tuesday, January 15

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Defense Carries Yorktown Girls’ Basketball to Victory

Freshman Criswell, sophomore Nye combine for 30 points.

The Yorktown girls' basketball team held Hayfield to five field goals during the first 25 minutes of the game on Jan. 14.

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Yorktown Boys’ Basketball Blows Out First-Place Hayfield

Patriots snap Hawks’ 11-game win streak with 28-point victory.

The Yorktown boys' basketball team snapped Hayfield's 11-game win streak on Monday night.

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Ferguson, Johnson Lead Herndon Boys’ Basketball

Hornets coach Hall says win against Chantilly brings credibility.

The Herndon boys' basketball team beat Chantilly behind 25 points apiece from Will Ferguson and Dorian Johnson.

The New Year, Same as the Old Year?

Having survived almost four full years from the date of my original diagnosis/prognosis doing what I’ve done, all I should feel is: that anything is possible. I’m living proof.

Police Athletic Trainer Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Treating sprained ankles, separated shoulders and aching backs are everyday occurrences for Fairfax County Police Department’s athletic trainer Nancy Burke.

Importance of Recess

Pediatric researchers say unstructured play can help a child’s cognitive, physical, emotional and social development.

Can climbing on monkey bars help a child’s cognitive development? Can a game of tag boost preschooler’s social skills? The nation’s top pediatricians say “yes” and some local educators agree.

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Tysons Service District Created

New tax district will help fund Tysons Corner improvements.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted eight to two to create a Tysons Corner Service District, which is expected to raise money to help cover the estimated $3.1 billion in new roads and public transit development planned for the area.

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Group Protests at CIA Headquarters

Anti-torture organization fasts, blocks off entrance.

The Dolley Madison Boulevard entrance to CIA Headquarters was rendered impassable the morning of Saturday, Jan. 12, as more than three dozen people in orange prison jumpsuits and black hoods over their heads lined up to protest actions taken by the intelligence agency in recent years.

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McLean Chocolate Festival Returns

New venue allows for more attendance, vendors.

The McLean Rotary Club will welcome chocolate lovers from all over Sunday, Jan. 27 at McLean High School for the second annual McLean Chocolate Festival.

Off to the Movies

Mason professor has unconventional method of teaching complex concepts.

An Arlington resident and George Mason University professor has an unconventional way of helping her students master complex concepts and evaluating their proficiency: She requires them to watch movies.

Area Roundups

Twain Middle to Host Elective Extravaganza

Letter: All Talk No Action

I appreciate your Jan. 3-9, 2013, publication issue which contained the views and objectives of our local elected politicians.

Springfield Dentist Inducted to International College of Dentists

A local dental practitioner, Dr. Robert Argentieri, was inducted as a Fellow of the International College of Dentists at its 83rd Annual Convocation in San Francisco, California on October 19, 2012.

Miranda See and Davis Ford Wed

Miranda Nicole See and Davis Earle Ford exchanged vows and held their reception with dinner on Friday, Dec. 21 at The Tower Club in Vienna.

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Boy Scouts Collect 3,200 Pounds of Food

Boy Scouts of America Troup 1104 did volunteer work at their annual food drive event on Saturday, Nov. 10. Troop 1104, along with Cub Scout Pack 1861, collected over 3,200 pounds of food for families in need at the event.

Sunday, January 13

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Save the Soil or Plow Ahead?

Pivotal year ahead in Potomac.

Days before the county was scheduled to take possession of 20 acres of farmland on Brickyard Road to develop the into soccer fields, Gov. Martin O’Malley got involved.

Montante Wins National Contest

Vincenza Montante, a senior at Washington-Lee High School, in Arlington, was one of two student winners in the 2012 National Punctuation Day Presidential Punctuation Contest. http://www.nationalpunctuationday.com/

FBI, Police Investigate Bank Robbery

At 4:02 p.m. on Dec. 11, 2012, an unknown male entered the Bank of America at 3600 S. Glebe Road in Arlington, approached a bank teller, and demanded money. After receiving a sum of money, the subject left the bank on foot.

Will Justin Wolfe Be Freed?

Family, friends await court’s action.

In March 2001, Centreville High grad Danny Petrole, 21, was shot and killed outside his Bristow townhouse. The crime involved drug-dealing and money, and the shooter — Chantilly High grad Owen Barber IV, who pleaded guilty — received 38 years in prison.

Friday, January 11

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 88 homes sold between $1,473,500-$183,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: November, 2012

Springfield Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 128 Springfield homes sold between $870,000-$171,000.

Springfield Home Sales: November, 2012

Reston Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 99 Reston homes sold between $1,320,000-$150,000.

Reston Home Sales: November, 2012

Potomac Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 46 Potomac homes sold between $2,090,000-$280,000.

Potomac Home Sales: November, 2012

Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 99 homes sold between $1,300,000-$69,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2012

McLean Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 113 homes sold between $3,500,000-$152,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: November, 2012

Herndon Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 68 homes sold between $910,000-$173,000 in the Herndon and Oak Hill area.

Herndon Home Sales: November, 2012

Great Falls Home Sales: November, 2012

Great Falls Home Sales: November, 2012

Fairfax Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 58 Fairfax homes sold between $1,300,000-$107,385.

Fairfax Home Sales: November, 2012

Centreville Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 78 Centreville homes sold between $1,024,900-$150,000.

Centreville Home Sales: November, 2012

Chantilly Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 20 homes sold between $675,100-$154,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: November, 2012

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 64 homes sold between $1,492,000-$127,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: November, 2012

Burke Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 36 Burke homes sold between $845,250-$120,000.

Burke Home Sales: November, 2012

Stafford Company Expands to Fairfax County

Professional Lifestyle Innovations LLC (PLInnovations), a local health and fitness company, is expanding its services to Fairfax County, specifically to serve new customers in Fairfax Station, Clifton and Lorton. Based out of Stafford, Va., the company recently launched its new website, www.plinnovations.com. PLInnovations’ website allows clients to purchase and download fitness plans designed for personalized, in-home fitness training.

Arlington Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 239 Arlington homes sold between $1,710,000-$60,000.

Arlington Home Sales: November, 2012

Comedic Wit and Wisdom Fills the Workhouse

Once it was a place with the clanging noise of jail bar cells closing, but now laughter regularly wafts through the Workhouse. The source is the liveliness and vigor of stand-up comics of distinct genres and attitudes filling the seats as comedy nights are now a fixture at the Workhouse.

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Republican Women of Clifton Launches 2013 Speaker Program.

The Republican Women of Clifton (RWC) will launch its 2013 speaker program with former Congressman Artur Davis talking about the recent election. The meeting will be on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Fairview Elementary School, 5815 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, which is a new location for RWC events in 2013. Members and guests are invited to the social hour that will begin at 7 p.m. when refreshments will be served.

Alexandria Home Sales: November, 2012

In November 2012, 181 Alexandria homes sold between $1,670,000-$69,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: November, 2012

Area Roundups

South County High School Class of 2015 Student Government Association will be hosting the Fifth Annual Mr. Stallion, a male beauty pageant, on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Twelve young men, including 2011 winner Mark Gavino and 2012 winner Brent Bainwol will be competing in this year's event.

Week in Fairfax

A Fairfax man was charged in a vehicle crash that caused the death of a 76-year-old Reston man. Charged with failing to maintain control of his vehicle was Carlos Rios, 42. The tragedy occurred Dec. 26, 2012, around 9:30 a.m. in McLean, and the victim, Frederick Naef, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, Jan. 6.

Insperity Supports Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter

Insperity employees located in the company’s Washington, D.C., offices recently volunteered at Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax, serving dinner and organizing donations.

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The Taste of Nostalgia

Visiting 29 Diner in Fairfax.

Growing up in Northern New Jersey in the 60s and 70s where diners ruled magnificently, it was a real treat when my husband Jan urged me to visit the 29 Diner located conveniently on Route 29 (Lee Highway) and Route 123 in Fairfax. Whenever we are on the road, we prefer diners to fast food restaurants, and this one was no exception.

Classified Advertising Jan 9, 2012

Read the latest ads here!

Thursday, January 10

Letter: Embracing Giving in 2013

Living in a society where little kids now own cell phones, and even iPhones, we are used to everyone saying “I want, I want, I want!” In every religion, giving thanks is not supposed to be reserved for the last Thursday in November, but rather something we do every day. In the Holy Quran it says, “And We have established you in the earth and provided for you therein the means of subsistence. How little thanks you give!” (Ch. 7 Vs. 11).

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Wolverines Show Balance in Win Against Spartans

West Potomac has six players score at least nine points.

Devin Morrow scores 11 points and grabs nine rebounds for West Potomac.

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‘Resilient’ Cardinals Beat Flint Hill in Overtime

Bishop Ireton boys’ basketball improves non-conference record to 9-1.

Five Cardinals score in double figures against Flint Hill.

Letter: Taking Exception On Women’s Health

I read with great interest the January 3-9, 2013 edition of the Connection, because of the interviews with our various local leaders, with regards to their predictions for the “hot topics in 2013.” As a woman, I would like to let Representative Gerald Connolly know that he should fear not, because I do believe that the Virginia General Assembly has done a fine job in protecting me and all of the other women in our state.

Letter: Transportation Needs Must Be a Priority

To the Editor: The upcoming 2013 General Assembly Session once again has the opportunity to effectively address and begin the process of alleviating the transportation problems that plague Northern Virginia and other urban areas of the commonwealth. Having lived in Fairfax County since 1980, however, I have seen the yearly sessions of the General Assembly go by with a lot of talk but with few accomplishments.

Labrador Retriever Club Rescues Mom and Pups

Three-year-old black Labrador retriever Bailey was abandoned in Hughesville, Md., while pregnant. The good news was that she was soon to become the one-thousandth dog rescued this year by Lab Rescue of the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac.

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Herndon Girls’ Basketball Falls to One-Loss Centreville

Senior guard Owens scores 16 points in defeat.

Otto Jette is in his first season as Herndon head girls' basketball coach.

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Whisked Away to the Land of Oz

Home school co-op students stage an original musical to benefit Rancho 3M Orphanage.

The Sovereign Grace Co-op Drama Club is staging The Patchwork Girl of Oz and giving ticket sales and all donations to Rancho 3M Orphanage in Guadalupe, Mexico. The production showcases the singing and acting talents of over 30 middle and high school students from Sovereign Grace Home School Co-op in Fairfax.

Politicians Get an Earful

Residents tell LeMunyon, Petersen what’s important to them.

Transportation, guns in schools and Medicaid were among the top issues discussed last week at a town hall meeting in Chantilly. Prior to the Jan. 9 start of the Virginia General Assembly session, Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67th) and Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th) met with some 65 constituents.

Should There Be Guns in Schools?

“If we don’t pay for the fixes now, we’ll pay for it later with the lives of our children.” —Joe Samaha, father of Virginia Tech victim Reema Samaha.

Little Mermaid Comes to Springfield

Performances begin Friday; portion of proceeds benefits Hurricane Sandy victims.

In a magical kingdom under the sea, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Will Ariel get her wish and find true love?

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Fairfax Nonprofits Awarded $218,000 in United Way Grants

Several nonprofits providing health and education services in Fairfax County were awarded 20 grants totaling $218,360 from the United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) during the Tuesday, Jan. 1, Board of Supervisors meeting. The funds came through designations to the Fairfax/Falls Church Community Impact Fund in United Way NCA’s annual workplace giving campaign.

Fairfax County License Plates?

Herrity proposes developing county license plate to support tourism.

“I look forward to being one of the first residents to get my hands on a Fairfax County license plate.” Supervisor Pat Herrity

McKay Elected Chairman of Transportation Commission

Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee) was unanimously elected chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) at the organization’s meeting held Thursday, Jan. 3. McKay, who is in his second term representing the Lee District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, replaces Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette as NVTC chairman.

Editorial: More Fodder for Comedy?

2013 session of the Virginia General Assembly will tackle serious issues.

The 2013 30-day session of the Virginia General Assembly begins on Wednesday, Jan. 9. We can only hope that the various legislative proposals do not provide as much fodder for comedy as last session. The Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia will offer live streaming video of the 2013 Legislative Sessions, and it is well worth tuning in once or twice.

Week in Alexandria

Alexandria's historically black American Legion Hall may be headed for the wrecking ball soon.

Week in Alexandria

Alexandria City Public Schools is beginning 2013 with a bang.

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Toxic Politics: Northern Virginia Delegation Split on Uranium Mining

Issue pits economic development against environmental concerns.

Northern Virginia may be hundreds of miles away from the Southside community where a family business is seeking to overturn a longstanding ban on uranium mining in Virginia.

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Northern Virginia Democrat Takes Aim at the Gun Show Loophole

Arlington delegates wants to require background checks for all private firearms sales.

Legislators will be dueling over guns this year at the Capitol, with gun-rights advocates set to oppose efforts to close Virginia’s gun-show loophole.

In Session

With the fresh tragedy of Newtown, Conn., haunting the Virginia General Assembly, the issue of gun control is certain to be one of the most emotional topics on the docket.

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Stable Unstable: Future of Woodlawn Stables in Doubt

Feds decision on Southern Bypass creates a sense of uncertainty.

From the top of the hillside graveyard at Woodlawn Baptist Church, Pastor Travis Hilton looks out over the cars rushing by on the highway below.

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Mental Health First Aid Seen as a Way to Identify Problems Early

Del. Rob Krupicka (D-45) leads effort to expand training for workers on the front lines.

In her role as a caseworker for Adult Protective Services, Wilma Roberts has seen it all.

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One-Party Rule Takes Hold at Alexandria City Hall

All-Democratic City Council members begin three-year term.

Say goodbye to bipartisan government at Alexandria City Hall.

Wednesday, January 9

Mount Vernon Boys’ Basketball Destroys Edison

Majors open 2013 with a 34-point win against the Eagles.

Mount Vernon jumps on Edison with 17-2 first-quarter run.

Mount Vernon Beats Edison in Battle of National District Girls' Basketball Powers

Majors claim sole possession of first place in the district.

Mount Vernon senior point guard Taylor Dunham had a big third quarter for the Majors.

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Flint Hill Boys’ Basketball ‘Trying to Find an Identity’

Huskies force overtime against Bishop Ireton but fall short.

The Flint Hill boys' basketball team overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to force overtime, but lost to Bishop Ireton on Jan. 5.

Youthful Spartans Avoid Three-Game Losing Streak

West Springfield improves to 11-2 after losing standouts Robinson, Battle.

The West Springfield girls' basketball team blew an 18-point lead against West Potomac on Jan. 8 but held on to win.

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Centreville Girls’ Basketball Runs to 13-1 Record

Wildcats beat Herndon, 72-39, with up-tempo style.

The Centreville girls' basketball team has used an up-tempo attack to win 13 of its first 14 games.

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Taking Command

Sully District police commander glad to be at station’s helm.

For police Capt. Ed O’Carroll, taking command of the Sully District Station was like coming home again. He served as a shift supervisor of the evening squad when the station opened in May 2003; and for four months now, he’s been in charge.

Mount Vernon School Notes Jan. 9

School notes for Mount Vernon natives.

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Obituary: Allan Scott Wiley

Allan Scott Wiley, 54, of Alexandria, died on Dec. 21, 2012, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Letter to the Editor: Why Celebrate George Washington's Birthday?

A great nation — a great democracy — needs heroes to set us an example — a paradigm for conduct, a coalescence of our own definition.

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All in the Family

With solid planning and skillful remodeling, seniors convert personal residence into a multi-generational household.

Challenging times demand creative thinking — so you don't have to look far to find homeowners executing remodeling projects with far-reaching objectives.

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Muslims Inaugurate New Mosque

The Rev. Dr. Dennis Perry is honored for Aldersgate’s Christian hospitality.

Declaring peace and spiritual brotherhood between Muslims and Christians, a host of Muslim-American religious dignitaries inaugurated the new Mount Vernon-area mosque at a ceremony attended by many Christians Saturday afternoon, Jan. 5.

Column: Budget Cuts, Road Shortfalls and Uranium

Last week, I wrote about a few of the bills and budget amendments I’m going to be carrying this session. This week, I am going to write about some of the broader issues in play this session.

Politicians Get an Earful

Residents tell LeMunyon, Petersen what’s important to them.

Transportation, guns in schools and Medicaid were among the top issues discussed last week at a town hall meeting in Chantilly.

Should There Be Guns in Schools?

State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) and Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67) covered many subjects during last week’s town hall meeting. But the topic of guns in the schools proved to be the hot-button issue of the evening, quickly inflaming passions on both sides.

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‘Horses in Need of Heroes’

Centreville girls benefit equines via charity.

Caring and compassion can reside in people of all ages. Just 13, Centreville’s Katie Puckett showed that when she created a charity called Horses in Need of Heroes.

Letter: What Every Boy Needs for Xmas in 2012

It won’t fit under your Christmas tree, and you can’t use Amazon’s Same Day shipping service for it. No camping out on Black Friday could have helped you get this gift, and it’s not on the iTunes App Store. But over 100 million boys have received this gift already.

Centreview School Notes Jan. 9

School notes for the Centreview area.

Alexandria School Notes Jan. 9

School notes for Alexandria natives.

Week in Reston

Reston resident dies after a crash in McLean area, AAUW Presentation: The Women of Walmart, Film screening at South Lakes High, and JBG acquires Charter Oak apartment community in Reston

Kehoe Joins Living Legends Board

Retired from the military, Bill Kehoe is a volunteer firefighter at the Alexandria Fire Department Emergency Operations Center.

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Reston Students to Perform in 2013 Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta

Students from Union Lopez Studio in Reston have been accepted into the 2013 Junior Theater Festival happening Jan. 18, 19 and 20 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Ga.

Letter to the Editor: Get Facts Straight

Re: Jan. 13 letter "Replace the Teachers Not the Building."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday celebration to Highlight Community Service

Reston Community Center will hold the 28th Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 19 and 20, 2013. The focus of this year's celebration will be on community service.

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Life-affirming Comedy

Reston Community Players presents "The Savannah Disputation."

The Reston Community Players will soon bring the D.C. area community theater premiere of "The Savannah Disputation" to audiences. The play was written by emerging award winning playwright Evan Smith.

Commentary: General Assembly Session Underway

The 2013 General Assembly session convenes at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Tracing its beginnings to the colonists meeting in the church at Jamestown to conduct their common business, the General Assembly is the oldest continuous legislative body in the western hemisphere.

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Restonians Sound off to Legislators

Metro funding, gun control high priorities for residents for General Assembly session.

State Sen. Janet Howell (D-31) and Del. Ken Plum (D-36) spoke to Reston residents about their priorities and goals for the upcoming General Assembly session Thursday, Jan. 3. The session, which starts Jan. 9, is scheduled for 30 days, with the possibility of an additional 30 days if needed. This is standard procedure for odd-numbered years; during even numbered years the session is scheduled for 60 days.

Letter to the Editor: Loss of Parking

I am sure there were a lot of people enjoying all the events that came with the First Night Alexandria event, then there are the residents who have to put up with all the overcrowding of our streets.

Letter to the Editor: Anniversary of Black January

Twenty-three years ago, on the night of Jan. 19-20, 1990, Soviet authorities staged the falling empire's last brutal crime against their own citizens.

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Orchestra Turns to Local Talent

Reston Community Orchestra to perform songs of Brian Scarbrough in MLK Concert Jan. 19.

At a very young age, Brian Scarbrough of Reston was already showing signs of musical prowess. His mother Richie remembers singing a commercial while her young son was around, and Brian Scarbrough promptly informed her she was off-key.

Letter to the Editor: Safety Issues of Shared Streets

The recent letter to the editor by the former chair of the transportation commission reflects how dissent is treated at City Hall.

A Look Back: How Del Ray Changed in 2012

For those who haven’t been keeping up with changes and activities in Del Ray, here is a recap of the past year, from my perspective as president of the Del Ray Citizens Association.

Week in Herndon

Martin Luther King Holiday schedule, Herndon MOMS Club to hold open house, and Senior Center needs a volunteer musician

Letter to the Editor: Benefits of Food Stamp Program

We were surprised to read Michael Lee Pope’s article “Use of Food Stamps Skyrocketing in Northern Virginia” in your December 6, 2012 edition.

Letter to the Editor: Taxpayer’s Lament

There was a recent story about city tax rates quoting the mayor, vice mayor and council member Alicia Hughes.

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My Year in The USA

Why are we doing this? Why are we going away from our families for one year and move into a family's house we don't know? We are exchange students and we wanted to learn more about another country, about the culture, the language and the people.

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Pine Wood Derby Workshop At Old Town Hardware

The jigsaw was buzzing. Wood shavings and fine sawdust lightly covered the work tables as dozens of cub scouts and their friends and parents worked on creating a Pine Box Derby winner.

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Herndon High Cadets Go to National Championship

Herndon High’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) cadets are actively preparing for the Orienteering National Championship, to be held on Feb. 16 and 17 at the Patuxent River Park in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Federal Porn Charges for Former Teacher

In June, Fairfax County police charged a special education teacher at Poplar Tree Elementary with 10 counts of possession of child pornography. He was immediately suspended without pay, and the school system assured parents that no images of students were found on his computer and school computers were not used.

Find Real Estate Sales, Home Remodeling in One Place

How much are those upgrades?

Suppose you were relocating to northern Virginia, found a house that — with some modifications — would perfectly suit your family’s needs, and within hours knew the exact cost of your desired upgrades?

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New Look for Town of Herndon

New logo, branding strategy begins to take hold in Herndon.

As the Town of Herndon prepares for the arrival of the Silver Line and changes to its downtown, they’ve taken an important step in making sure Herndon has its own identity: giving Herndon its own brand.

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Commandant Addresses Students

Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, visited Bishop O’Connell High School for an afternoon discussion with students enrolled in the school’s Global Studies program.

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Raising Funds for High Adventure

The aroma of garlic and tomato sauce wafted up from the stove and out the doors into fellowship hall as scouts from Boy Scout Troop 167 prepared for the annual spaghetti dinner on Saturday evening, Jan. 5, at Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church.

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Dear Richmond: Here’s What’s Needed

Medicaid and mental health services cited as key issues.

Arlington’s representatives in the state legislature listened to the public’s wishes for priorities to be addressed at the upcoming Virginia General Assembly session during a hearing on Friday, Jan. 4, in the Arlington County Board Room.

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Parents Plead for Delay in Training Center Closing

Timeframe for closure puts disabled adults at risk, advocates say.

When it was Kenneth Gans’ turn to speak to the panel of Virginia state legislators, the 78-year-old father of a severely-disabled son kept his remarks brief.

Arlington Crime Report Jan. 9

Crime report for Arlington.

Week in Vienna

January holiday town office closures, Dog tag deadline Jan. 31, Lifetime Leadership Program to hold information sessions, Members needed for Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and American Legion awards college scholarships

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Vienna Resident Honored by U.S. Census Bureau

Matthew Jordan, of Vienna, was honored with the prestigious Bronze Medal Award for “superior federal service,” the highest honorary recognition awarded by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Vienna’s Simonton Burns Bright

University of Illinois at Chicago Flames player and Vienna resident takes one for the team.

Vienna resident Will Simonton, a class of 2010 graduate of Marshall High School, was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday, Dec. 8 for his performance with the University of Illinois at Chicago Flames in their 64-55 victory over Colorado State.

Author Reminds Children All Animals Need Sleep

“Animals Need Zzzs, Too” looks at the ways different animals sleep.

When Vienna resident Patricia Britz worked at the National Sleep Foundation, she fielded calls from parents wanting information on sleep needs of their children. Sleep, Britz observed, is not as valued as it deserves to be.

Aging with a Digital Connection

Local specialist guides seniors through the social network maze.

There’s a digital revolution blowing through Fairfax County and Vienna resident Cherie Lejeune is fanning it. And it’s not the tech-savvy young ones Lejeune is reaching out to now … it is the aging population who will use social media and networking software to maintain social networks and family relationships.

Maddie’s Blankets Makes 10,000th Blanket

Maddie’s Blankets has announced that on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at Haycock Elementary School in Falls Church, Susannah Bianco, a fourth grade student at the school, made their 10,000th blanket. This blanket will be donated to the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation for use in their Tysons PetSmart animal adoption center.

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Marshall Theater Honors Walter Bobby McCoy

The George C. Marshall High School Theater Boosters have awarded Walter Bobby McCoy the GC Marshall Theater Award for his contributions, which included musical director for GC Marshall's musical "Drowsy Chaperone."

A ‘Very Good Year’ Ahead

2012 banner year for real estate in McLean and Great Falls.

The overall number of real estate transactions was up in 2012 over 2011 by 11.7 percent in McLean and Great Falls. By delving deeper into the data, it reveals that all price points experienced a gain in number of sales year over year in this market segment.

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McLean Student Honored as YoungArts Finalist

Joe Broom of McLean, a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology (TJHSST), is a National YoungArts Foundation Finalist in music. Chosen from approximately 10,000 applications submitted by students in nine disciplines of the visual, literary and performing arts, he will participate in a life-changing experience provided by the National YoungArts Foundation. He is the first TJHSST student to be selected as a YoungArts finalist.

Order To Release Wolfe Is Stayed

Attorney general intervenes; higher court will decide next step.

Last week, the family of Chantilly High grad Justin Wolfe was hopeful he’d be released from custody after U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Jackson vacated Wolfe’s convictions and sentences for drug distributions and the March 2001 murder of 21-year-old Centreville High grad Danny Petrole.

Week in McLean

Lifetime Leadership Program to hold information sessions, Fairfax Area Disabilities Board to meet in McLean Library, Open invitation to McLean Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) meeting, and a fundraiser supporting Great Falls Lacrosse Association

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New Exhibitions Open at MPA on Jan. 17

McLean Project for the Arts will hold an opening reception and gallery talk on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 7 - 9 p.m. for three new exhibitions. It is free and open to the public.

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SPARC Looks Ahead to 2013

Club received grant in December, looks to expand reach to assist adults with disabilities.

The Specially Adapted Resource Club (SPARC) came to McLean in October 2011 to provide opportunities for adults with disabilities in a community setting. Since then, they have been growing and gathering more support. They concluded 2012 with a $15,000 grant from Life Circle Alliances and plan on further outreach in 2013.

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MCA Hosts Legislators Before Session

State senators, delegates brief community on goals for session starting Jan. 9.

The McLean Citizens Association hosted a town hall meeting featuring McLean-area state representatives Wednesday, Jan. 2 at the McLean Community Center. This year’s session begins Jan. 9, and since 2013 is an odd-numbered year, the session will go for 30 days with an option to extend for a maximum of 30 additional days.

Week in Great Falls

Fundraiser supporting Great Falls Lacrosse Association, Great Falls School of Art adds two new teachers, and Lifetime Leadership Program to hold information sessions

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Great Falls School of Art Students Exhibit at Artists’ Atelier Gallery

Students of the Great Falls School of Art will showcase their work during the month of January at The Artists’ Atelier Gallery.

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Favola, Comstock Set Session Priorities

Legislators begin General Assembly session Jan. 9.

Members of the Virginia General Assembly representing Great Falls, Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31) and Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34), spoke at the McLean Community Center Wednesday, Jan. 2.

“If It Ain’t Broke…”

Today is a day I feel like writing – not merely one when I am looking forward to having written, but rather one when I am interested and motivated by the process.

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Preparing for a Spring Wonderland

Experts offer advice on what to do now to create a pleasurable outdoor space in spring.

Chilly January temperatures can make spring seem far away. However, it’s closer than you think. A recent Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey from the American Society of Landscape Architects showed that as the weather gets warmer, many want an undemanding, outdoor space.

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Home and Remodeling Show Comes to D.C. Area

Nationally Syndicated Columnist Heloise and local contractors will educate homeowners.

Whether you’re planning to renovate an entire house, update an antiquated bathroom, create a more functional kitchen or simply add more color to your home, there will be inspiration and ideas aplenty at the 2013 Home and Remodeling Show.

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Theft Yields Unexpected Rewards

Neighbors express appreciation for holiday display.

It’s not nice to steal — and it’s especially not nice to swipe Christmas decorations from an outdoor display that brings pleasure to many people. But that’s what happened recently in a Little Rocky Run neighborhood.

New Elementary and High School Proposed for This Part of County

Many elementary and high schools in the local area are either overcrowded or full to the brim. But relief — although far off — is on the way in the form of a new elementary school and a new high school.

O’Carroll’s Priorities

At the helm of the Sully District Station, police Capt. Ed O’Carroll, 43, has a clear view of his priorities.

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Sister to Sister Partners with Hadassah

Goal is to expand awareness of heart disease in women.

Expanding on her work in the Washington region and throughout the country to empower women to lead heart healthy lives, Irene Pollin of Bethesda has newly partnered her women’s heart health foundation, Sister to Sister, with Hadassah. The two groups will raise awareness about heart disease in women through live screening programs and local education initiatives.

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Unforgettable Spaces

Local designers share their favorite home designs from 2012.

Local interior designers spend their days mixing colors, accessories and furnishings to create chic and stylish rooms. As the new year begins, some local tastemakers look back on some of their most memorable accomplishments.

Presidential Scholar

Christopher Kilner, Potomac, is among the 19 incoming students at The University of Scranton awarded four-year, full-tuition Presidential Scholarships.

Letter to the Editor: Dealing with Tragedy’s Emotions

Today’s [Dec. 14] unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, Conn., has saddened and shaken us all.

Letter to the Editor: Supports Rink Modifications

I wanted to take a moment to express my support in moving forward with the proposal for modifying the rink at the Potomac Community Center.

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Express Buses from Burke to Tysons

Fairfax County to launch Express Connector bus service.

Get ready to ride the 495 Express Lanes. For free. Really.

Fairfax Symphony Announces String Competition

The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) announces dates for the 2013 Dorothy Farnham Feuer Memorial String Competition.

Steps for Parents To Take on Artificial Turf

1) Go to the coalition website,www.safehealthyplayingfields.org, and synturf.org, where parents can search information about what some health experts are saying regarding toxic chemicals used in artificial turf.

Life on Mars and the Fourth Dimension

A Matter Of Perspective

With all this hype about possible life on Mars, what makes us think we would know it if we saw it? Life may already exist in another dimension that we may not be equipped to see. That “life” may exist in the fourth dimension, a space that lies beyond our visible universe, operating in ways that our human minds cannot understand.

People

2013 Living Legend Nominees Honored

The 2013 Living Legends of Alexandria nominees were honored with a musical tribute at NOVA's Winter Concert at Rachel Schlesinger Hall Dec. 6. Nominees, nominators, board members and members of city council gathered for a pre-concert reception followed by the winter concert and formal introduction of the nominees during intermission.

News Briefs

Budget Forums

News Briefs Budget Forums Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) will hold five budget forums in January and February to solicit input from the public about the Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget priorities. Residents can attend the forums and provide input; predicted budget shortfalls are likely to result in cuts to county services.

Tuesday, January 8

Stafford Company Expands to Fairfax County

Professional Lifestyle Innovations LLC (PLInnovations), a local health and fitness company, is expanding its services to Fairfax County.

City Mourns Passing of Former Mayor John W. Russell, 89

Civic leader also helped create Fairfax Art League

“Mayor Russell was politically shrewd and had a wicked sense of humor, which my father seemed to appreciate when they were no longer rivals on the ballot.”—Mayor Scott Silverthorne

Fairfax Residents Discuss Their New Year’s Resolutions

"Exercise more, I feel like that's the most common one..."

Express Lanes Ahead of Schedule

A look back at transportation developments in the area in 2012.

When thinking of the past year’s events that impacted Springfield, it’s hard not to include transportation in the equation.

Democratic Women of Clifton

The Democratic Women of Clifton will meet.

EQAC Environmental Hearing

The Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC) will hold its annual public hearing on the environment.

Area Roundups

Town Hall Meeting Jan. 3

Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67th) and Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th) want to hear what issues are important to their constituents.

Hannah Smith and John Forys Wed

Alden and Dorian Smith of Burke are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter, Hannah, to John.

Friday, January 4

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Local Leaders Predict Hot Topics in 2013

We asked local movers and shakers to tell us what headlines they’d like to see in the New Year, what issues will dominate the political agenda, what their New Year’s resolutions are, and their Express Lane experiences. If our prognosticators are correct, the top three issues that dominated the headlines last year will again dominate this year. In order of priority: transportation, transportation and transportation.

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Connolly: Good News in Phase One, Phase Two

Q&A with U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) on challenges and opportunities of 2013.

Q: What do you consider to be the number one issue affecting our community? A: Protecting and growing Northern Virginia’s economy and our vibrant public-private partnership with the federal government remains my number one priority for Northern Virginia. As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that oversees government contracting, federal workers, information technology, and other related areas, I continue to work in a bipartisan manner to maintain the balance between government functions performed by our dedicated federal workforce and those best served by the private sector.

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Ireland’s Embassy Hosts Wild West Irish Tours and Dervish’s Cathy Jordan

Kevin Conmy, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Ireland welcomed guests at a reception held on Thursday, Dec. 13 to highlight The Gathering, a community-led initiative that encourages overseas visitors who are Irish-born, Irish-bred or Irish in spirit to join Irish people for family reunions and cultural, sporting and other events during 2013, and which is being promoted by the Springfield-based tour company Wild West Irish Tours.

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Names President/CEO

The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) Board of Directors appointed Debra Harrison as its president/CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2013. Her appointment comes following the unanimous recommendation of the search committee chaired by board member John Lockhart following a four-month national search.

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Robinson Grad Is in Sully’s Comedy Show

Sully’s Restaurant is the place to be on Friday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m., when Robinson Secondary grad Matt Mero joins headlining comedian Rob Maher in an evening of comedy. Sully’s is at 14511 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway in Chantilly; cover charge is $5.

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Robinson Boys’ Basketball Finishes Runner-Up at Pohanka Tourney

Rams beat Wilson, South County, lose to Mountain View in final.

The Robinson boys' basketball team lost to Mountain View in the championship game of the Pohanka Chantilly Basketball Classic.

Letter: Burke Centre Becomes One of Fastest Growing Amtrak Stations

Amtrak recently posted rider numbers for 2012 and 2011 for every station in the nation. While ridership increased nationally 3.5 percent, Virginia’s ridership increased a whopping 8.3 percent and boasted the third (“Lynchburg Train,” stopping at Burke Centre) and fourth (“Newport News Train,” stopping at Woodbridge) fastest growing of the country’s 46 passenger services.

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South Lakes Girls Participate in the ‘White House Codeathon’

On Monday afternoon, Dec. 17, South Lakes High School seniors Nicole Rappaport, Abby Studen, Becky Oswalt and Tatevik Markaryan went to the White House to participate in what Todd Park, assistant to the president and U.S. chief technology officer, called the “first codeathon in White House history.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday celebration to Highlight Community Service

Reston Community Center will hold the 28th Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 19 and 20, 2013. The focus of this year's celebration will be on community service. 2013 Keynote Speaker: Julian Bond, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, RCC Hunters Woods, at 1 p.m.

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Reston Lions Induct New Members

James Ryan, vice district governor of District 24-A, inducted five new members into the Reston Lions Club at its Holiday Party held at the Hidden Creek Country Club, Wednesday evening, Dec. 19.

Shots Heard Around the World

Newtown, Conn., joined a list topped by Blacksburg, Va., of the scenes of the most tragic mass murders in our history. This list contributes to the United States having 80 percent of all firearm deaths among the 23 populous, high-income countries in the world. Over a million people have been killed with guns in the United States since 1968 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. In one year, 31,593 people died from gun violence and 66,769 people survived gun injuries. These statistics are from the Brady Campaign that has even more shocking numbers with documentation at its website, www.bradycampaign.org.

Column: 2013—Year With a Silver Lining?

As I sit looking out on Lake Anne on a gray post-Christmas day, I look back on 2012 and begin to feel optimistic about 2013. But, unlike past years, when my prognostications tended to be overly optimistic—e.g., predicting Reston’s achieving town status (as originally intended by Robert Simon) and escaping the oppression of Fairfax County. This year I’m sticking to cold, hard, objective analysis.

Herndon Named Virginia’s ‘Best Place to Raise Kids’

The Town of Herndon has received another national recognition—this time on Bloomberg/Business Week’s 2013 ranking of the Best Places to Raise Kids.

Classified Advertising January 2, 2013

Read the latest ads here!

Challenges Facing Dranesville in 2013

Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville) discusses New Year’s expectations.

In 2013, we will again confront many challenges, at the county level as well as in the McLean, Great Falls, Herndon, Falls Church and Vienna communities in the Dranesville District. I will continue to address our challenges by seeking input and suggestions from my constituents and by working with my excellent staff to provide leadership. Some of the more significant issues I expect to deal with in 2013 are discussed below.

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Express Lanes Completed, Metrorail Arrives in 2013

Something to celebrate for area motorists.

In 2012, the completion of the 495 Express Lanes and progress made on Phase One of the Dulles Metrorail were something to celebrate for area motorists faced with lane closures and detours for the past few years.

Week in Vienna

At around 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28. an officer came across a minivan that had crashed into a barrier at the end of a service road off of Chain Bridge Road near Glengyle Drive in the Vienna area. The officer summoned for rescue and it was determined that the driver was deceased.

Letter: Shared Responsibility To Protect Poor

I do not question Mr. Cuccinelli’s right to express his opinion regarding any matter he wishes to opine upon. However, I do question the honoring of Mr. Cuccinelli by the Catholic church and the omission of the Catholic press in bringing his critique of the church, namely the Catholic bishops in the church, to the attention of the faithful in northern Virginia.

Viewpoints: What are your plans for 2013?

The main event of 2013 will be to commemorate the unveiling of the plaque honoring the Freeman Store's inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. This is scheduled for Saturday, April 6. The Freeman Store is the only building in the Town of Vienna that is on the National Trust's register.

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Vienna’s Top Stories of 2012

From devastating wind storm to parking garage, Vienna saw diversity in its news stories of 2012. Trees toppled on houses and cars during the June 29 derecho that ravaged the region and thousands of Vienna-area residents were without power for days as emergency crews worked to repair downed power lines. Vienna heard business news, as well, with the founding of a new Vienna Business Association and the proposed Church Street parking garage.

Vienna in 2013

A look at the new year through the vision of elected officials, citizens.

Q: What are the most important issues or challenges facing Vienna businesses today? What is the Town Business Liaison Committee doing to promote Vienna businesses?

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Town Budget Receives Award

For the 19th consecutive year, the Town of Vienna has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada. This award, for the fiscal year 2012-2013 budget, is the highest form of recognition for governmental budgeting.

Thursday, January 3

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Charities Receive Funds at Holiday Celebration

The Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna presents donations to The Committee for Helping Others and Our Daily Bread.

Last month, The Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna (SCOV) pulled off their 14th annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Worship, hosted by Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Vienna. This month, the SCOV was ready to present the funds collected at the well-attended service to representatives of the two charitable organizations chosen by SCOV as this year’s recipients of the collection.

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Cooper Middle Students Visit Pine Spring Elementary

On Wednesday Dec. 19, 40 Cooper Middle School students visited their sister school, Pine Spring Elementary, and threw a holiday party.

Week in McLean

Fairfax County Crime Solvers is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect(s) who burglarized a home in the 6400 block of Jefferson Place in McLean. An investigation determined that between noon and 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, someone forced entry into the home by smashing out a window in the sunroom. Sterling silver utensils, jewelry and electronics were stolen.

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Celebrating Christmas on 12-12-12

Cooper Middle School Chorus & Orchestra performs in the Great Falls Historical Society event.

The Great Falls Historical Society delighted in the Christmas Carols sung and played by Cooper Middle School students at our Old Fashioned Christmas held at the historic Great Falls Grange on Dec. 12. The energetic and spirited music teachers and talented students filled the hall with warm holiday cheer and good tidings.

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Bob Gilbert Exhibits at Great Falls Library

Great Falls artist Bob Gilbert is exhibiting in the Great Falls Library from Jan. 2 to Feb. 1. He will be displaying over 30 original oil paintings of Manhattan. The paintings range in size from 11x16 to 36x72 inches. Most of them will be 24x30 and 24x36. All of them will be for sale at Gilbert’s solo exhibit.

Happy New Year, Keep in Touch

Reflecting and reinforcing the sense of community.

As local, weekly newspapers, the Connection’s mission is to bring the news you need about your community, to give you the information you need to enjoy the best things in and near your community, to advocate for community good, to call attention to unmet needs, to provide a forum for dialogue on local concerns, and to celebrate and record milestones and events in community and people’s lives. To succeed at any of that, we need your help.

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Advice for Seniors on Fitness in the New Year

Suggestions for making and keeping exercise resolutions.

Mary Garner’s New Year’s resolution is to increase the intensity of her workout routine. The 69-year-old retiree plans to seek the advice of a fitness trainer to create a plan to achieve her goal.

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Living Up to New Year Resolutions

Benefit of cardio workout plan includes weight loss and decreased heart disease risk.

During Martin McKay’s annual physical examination shortly before the holidays, his doctor suggested that he consider intensifying his cardiovascular exercise routine.

Lines of My Life

Like most people, I have material, so to speak, that I use repeatedly (ad nauseam, some might say). Most are lines from “The Three Stooges,” “M*A*S*H,” “Star Trek” (the original) and “Seinfeld.” As I entered into the cancer world, I continued to use this material – where/when appropriate, as many of you regular readers know. However, as my time in the cancer conundrum has continued (thank God!) and evolved, I have found myself uttering and muttering à la “Popeye the Sailor Man,” amusing myself, mostly, but always with the best of intentions: my survival. A few examples follow. (My answers are in quotes.)

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Coming in From The Cold

A night at Burke United Methodist Church’s hypothermia prevention shelter.

Musa L. gently draped a blanket over his wife, and promised her the new year would be better for both of them. She was sleeping on a foam pallet at the Burke United Methodist Church. Musa and his wife were among nearly 40 homeless adults seeking shelter from the frigid temperatures at the church on Friday, Dec. 21.

Readers of the Pack

What Fairfax County residents read in 2012.

According to Mary Mulrenen, spokesperson for the Fairfax County Public Library, Fairfax County readers selected many of the same fiction and non-fiction favorites that caught the attention of book-lovers nationwide. Dr. Seuss, science-fiction and, once again, lawyers (John Grisham’s 25th legal thriller) topped the charts.

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Should Virginia’s Governor Be Able to Run for Reelection?

Longstanding ban on second consecutive term to be reconsidered this year.

Virginia is the only state that limits its governor to a single, four-year term, a vestige of the distrust Americans had for executive power during the American Revolution. Now, more than two centuries later, the commonwealth may finally be ready to ditch the longstanding term limit and allow Virginia’s governor to run for reelection.

Wednesday, January 2

Chantilly Places Third at Pohanka Classic Tournament

Chargers enter 2013 with 10-1 record.

The Chargers finished third at the Pohanka Chantilly Basketball Classic.

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McLean Girls’ Basketball Wins Chantilly Tournament

Murphy named MVP, Lee makes all-tournament team.

The McLean girls' basketball team has won six in a row.

Wakefield Sophomore Buries Six 3-Pointers in Win

Warriors beat Stonewall Jackson to place fifth at holiday tournament.

Wakefield guard Marqua Walton had a career night against Stonewall Jackson on Dec. 28.

Giving Gratitude to Those Who Serve

Chantilly High honors America’s veterans.

Each year, Chantilly High honors America’s armed-services personnel with a dinner and an evening of entertainment. The event is always special, and this year’s Veteran’s Day Dinner was no exception.

Westfield Band Is Pasadena Bound

Will march in the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Tuesday morning, Jan. 1, Westfield High marching band members and their parents watched the 124th annual Tournament of Roses Parade on a big screen in the school auditorium. Next year, they’ll be in it.

‘Taking It Outside’ Presented at Gallery Har Shalom

Opening reception on Sunday.

An opportunity to escape to lovely scenic places captured by talented artists will be presented at the Gallery Har Shalom show “Taking It Outside” which opens Sunday, Jan. 6.

Column: Examining Artificial Turf’s Environmental Issues

Representatives of the Safe Healthy Playing Fields Coalition spoke to the WMCCA about the health and environmental issues related to artificial turf at the December general meeting.

Season Winds Down with Caroling and Company

“Mother and Daddy started a Christmas Eve with music tradition in our home during World War II and we have continued it,” Nan Muntzing confided as she and her husband, Manning, once again invited friends and family for another Christmas Eve gathering at their Potomac home.

Local Teen Wins National Pageant

Carl Sandburg Middle School student competed for title of Miss American Teenager Jr. Queen and won.

Lauren Watson, a Carl Sandburg Middle School eighth grader, captain on the School Dance Team, and pre-professional dancer with the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center was chosen to represent Virginia as Miss Virginia American Teenager Jr. Queen at the National Pageant held Thanksgiving Weekend.

Letter to the Editor: Unidentified Appointments

During meetings of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS), appointments are made to Boards, Authorities and Commissions. The BOS agenda available on the Fairfax County website lists all of the positions for which the BOS intends to fill vacancies or, perhaps, to reappoint incumbents.

Kramer & Sons Earns Angie’s List Super Service Award

Kramer and Sons at 8805 Cooper Road has earned the service industry-coveted 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor awarded annually to approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on Angie’s List, a provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.

The Truth About Hypnosis

Local hypnotherapists use World Hypnotism Day as a time to debunk myths and emphasize health benefits

After several failed attempts to stop smoking and an emphysema diagnosis, Margaret Cahill turned to hypnosis for help quitting.

Bite Me Cancer Kickoff Is Jan. 3

While still in high school, Nikki Ferraro was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer.

Focusing on Drinking and Driving

Plans underway to reduce alcohol-related crashes here.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, from 2006-11, Fairfax County had 1,941 alcohol-related crashes involving drivers ages 15-24. Some 54 percent happened between midnight and 3:59 a.m., and 10 percent more occurred in January than in other months.

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Eagle Scout Candidate Cleans Little Rocky Run Stream Wetlands

Little Rocky Run Boy Scout Kevin Bishop chose as his Eagle Scout project a cleanup of the wetlands directly beside Bent Tree Apartments.

Now Comes the Fundraising

Now that Westfield’s marching band has been accepted to participate in next year’s Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, it must get busy raising the money needed for the trip.

Glen Hills Area Sewer Study Update

The Phase I study report was taken down from the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection website in order for DEP to respond to citizen demands concerning the Report's designation of their lots as not being sustainable on septic systems.

Brickyard Road School Site Update

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals denied the County’s motion to overturn the Stay issued by Judge Greenberg in the Brickyard Board of Education lawsuit.

Environmental Report: Two Tree Bills Introduced

After two years of waiting, the County Executive has sent to the Council an urban tree bill – Bill 25-12, the Montgomery County Urban Canopy Bill.

Opinion: Master Plan: Still Timely Today

In a transition zone between Maryland’s piedmont and coastal plains, the Potomac Subregion has a unique geology and biodiversity.

Cappies Review: ‘Cabaret’ at CVHS

What do Nazis, dancing girls, and sexy gorillas all have in common? They were all a part of Centreville High School's production of "Cabaret."

Roundups

Fairfax County police are investigating a fatal crash early Monday morning that took the life of George Tabash, 27, of Centreville. It happened Dec. 31, around 1:45 a.m., on Route 28 on the I-66 overpass.

Local Venue Serves Up Laughs

Westfield grad is in Sully’s comedy show.

Sully’s Restaurant is the place to be on Friday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m., when Westfield High grad Allison Wruk joins headlining comedian Rob Maher in an evening of comedy.

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GBW Students Learn about Good Nutrition

Fourth-grade students at Greenbriar West Elementary spent a December afternoon with Fairfax County Public Schools Food Services Operation Specialist Teresa Hinds learning about healthy diet and exercise.

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Happy New Year

Thousands celebrate First Night Alexandria, flock to fireworks finale.

Revelers from as far away as New Zealand celebrated the New Year here as a dazzling display of fireworks lit up the Alexandria waterfront to signal the arrival of 2013.

Centreville Business Notes

The Washington Redskins have opened its newest Redskins Team Store at the Fair Oaks Mall.

Column: George’s Advice on Role of Party

In his Farewell Address in 1796, giving his final counsel to his country, after two terms as President, George Washington warned:

Editorial: Happy New Year, Keep in Touch

Reflecting and reinforcing the sense of community.

As a local, weekly newspaper, the Gazette Packet’s mission is to bring the news you need about your community, to give you the information you need to enjoy the best things in and near your community, to advocate for community good, to call attention to unmet needs, to provide a forum for dialogue on local concerns, and to celebrate and record milestones and events in community and people’s lives.

Column: Legacy Of Life

Dec. 12 marked an historic occasion in Inova Alexandria Hospital’s long and distinguished history: the 140th anniversary of the hospital’s founding by Julia Johns and a committed group of Alexandria women.

Letter to the Editor: My Year In the USA

Why are we doing this? Why are we going away from our families for one year and move into a family's house we don't know?

School Board Appoints Adusumilli

The Arlington School Board approved the appointment of Rajesh Adusumilli as assistant superintendent for information services at its Dec. 20 meeting.