News for Friday, March 8, 2013

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Week in Fairfax

A 40-year-old man died at around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, after driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of Little River Turnpike for several miles and striking a Fairfax County Police cruiser head-on. The officer, 28, from the Mason Police District, was en route to assist fellow officers after hearing radio traffic about the speeding vehicle in the wrong lanes. He suffered numerous injuries in the crash, was trapped in his vehicle and had to be cut out of the car before he could be transported for medical attention. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he is in a stable condition.

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Monopoly Players Win for Action Center

Ron & Susan Associates raise more than $5,500 for Lorton Community Action Center.

Although Allen Holder was placing bets with funny money and trading fictional real estate, the stakes were high for the sixth annual tournament at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center on Feb. 23.

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Empty Bowls Event Raises $18,000

Our Daily Bread’s signature fundraiser benefits Fairfax County residents living below the poverty line.

As the Fairfax Saxophone Quartet played dulcet American swing standards to an audience of 300, the atmosphere inside the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center last Thursday night struck a balance between light-hearted and serious. While outwardly entertaining, with balloon animals, face-painting, live music and close to 400 colorful handmade bowls available to take home, the fifth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser highlighted a humbling reality: the large population of working poor in the Fairfax County area.

Fairfax Author Writes Memoir on Caring for Mother

Fairfax author M. Elizabeth Sweeney published a memoir to help caregivers and aging parents. Nineteen million Americans are caring for someone over the age of 75, and Sweeney was one of them—yet she couldn't find a book about the eldercare issues she encountered with her mother. So she decided to write it.

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Fairfax Residents Star in New Production

Clifton Dinner Theater presents “Murder Me Always.”

Mystery, intrigue and laughs are all on the menu when the Clifton Dinner Theater presents its new show, “Murder Me Always.” And two Fairfax residents have starring roles. Performances are slated for March 14-16, at the Clifton Town Meeting Hall, 12641 Chapel Road in the Town of Clifton. Shirley’s Catering of Clifton is providing the dinner, all three nights, and wine and beer will be available.

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Two Historic Measures Mark Assembly Session

Q&A with Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41).

Transportation funding was one of the big stories to come out of Richmond during the 45-day “short session,” but it wasn’t the only one. Unlike Congressional gridlock, where lobbyists, special-interest groups and political aspirations converge to slow down legislation, the pace in Virginia’s capitol is fast and furious. Legislation gets passed in the blink of an eye. It’s a pace Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, the second-term Democrat representing nearly 90,000 residents in Burke, Fairfax and West Springfield, knows well.

Animal Shelter Seeks Senior Citizens

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is looking for people with spare time who’d like to help improve the quality of life for homeless animals. Currently, the shelter has around 100 volunteers, but it’s trying to double that number by attracting senior citizens to lend a hand.

Beware of Phone Scam

Dozens of senior citizens have been victimized by telephone scammers in recent weeks, and Fairfax County police are urging residents not to give out or verify financial information over the phone. In the latest scam, victims are receiving calls from someone pretending to be from a utility company, delivery service or sweepstakes. Residents are told their service will be discontinued unless they pay by phone immediately. Frightened at the thought of no heat, power or phone, for example, victimized seniors provide their account numbers and payment information over the phone.

Police Dispatchers Serve as Vital Links

Frequently the first, and sometimes the only, contact citizens may have with the City of Fairfax Police Department is the professional voice answering a call in the department’s Communications Center. Eight full-time and two part-time dispatchers, normally working in shifts of two, staff the center.

Unprecedented Interference With the Election Process

I am extremely upset by the recent interference of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee in the election process in Fairfax County. The term of one of the Republicans on the Electoral Board is expiring. By law, and by historical precedence, the chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee has the prerogative of requesting the Circuit Court to fill this position with a selection of his choice.

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Promoting Peace Among Youth

Twelve young adults receive 2013 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County.

At a reception held at the Clifton Community Hall on Sunday, March 3, the Herndon Friends Meeting presented the 2013 Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County to 12 exceptional area young adults.

Area Roundups

This Saturday, March 9, from 9 a.m. to noon, firefighters will canvass homes in selected neighborhoods throughout Fairfax County, checking for working smoke alarms, and provide family fire-escape plans for residents. More than 3,000 people in the U.S. die in home fires each year, and most are in homes without a working smoke alarm. A working, properly installed smoke alarm lowers the chances of this happening.

Vienna Writer Selected for Poetry Publication

Bernadette Geyer of Vienna was selected for the 2012 Hilary Tham Capital Collection for her poetry manuscript, The Scabbard of Her Throat. The Tham Collection showcases outstanding poetry of writers in the greater Washington, D.C., area and beyond.

Week in Vienna

Registration for youth summer camps in Vienna is opening and filling up, a few egg hunts are coming to town and the Town of Vienna budget is ready for public view.

Letter: We Need A Real Leader in Virginia

According to a Feb. 25 article in “Politico,” two prominent Republican CEOs lambasted GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli at the Feb. 22 meeting of the Republican Governors Association, saying his hard core socially conservative policies will make Virginia less attractive for business, and he is out of the Virginia mainstream.

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Vienna Musicians Rock With a Legend

Earl Slick joins School of Rock students in workshop and performance at Tysons.

A guitar rock legend is coming to the McLean-Vienna area and students from the Vienna School of Rock will be joining him onstage the weekend of March 9. Earl Slick, lead guitarist for rock-star David Bowie, will perform each set with the students. For rock-music fans, this is a big catch.

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Local Esthetician Recognized Nationally

McLean resident Mali Amini of Skintelligence of Vienna does the best facials in Washington, D.C.

“If they come in late, they still get their full time. When they are with me, I give them my complete attention, focusing on them, not how much revenue I need to get for the business.” -- Mali Amini

Nominations Open for Jean Tibbetts History Award

The Jean Tibbetts History Award honors outstanding contributors to the research, articulation, dissemination and preservation of the history of life along the Potomac River corridor from McLean to west of Dranesville and south through Herndon. Candidates for the Jean Tibbetts History Award are selected from annual nominations to the society and the award carries a stipend of $200. The awardee’s name is placed on the Great Falls Historians plaque, displayed in the Great Falls Library.

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The Langley School Presents ‘Cinderella’ Musical

Middle School students at The Langley School will bring the enchanted fairytale of “Cinderella” to the stage this spring as they present Rogers & Hammerstein’s musical version March 14-16. The show will run Thursday, March 14, through Saturday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, in the school’s Jeffrey J. Sherman Arts Center at 1411 Balls Hill Road in McLean.

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All-Virginia Chorus Selected

The finest high school singers in Virginia will study and perform advanced choral music in Richmond from April 25-27 during the All-Virginia Chorus event. Once again, Langley High School will send the largest contingent of singers among all high schools in Fairfax County with nine selected performers and five alternates.

Lions Club Offers Vision Screenings

The eight Lions Clubs serving Loudoun County and Northwestern Fairfax County, with funds raised in their various communities in addition to grants from United Way, Lions of Virginia Foundation and Cardinal Bank, have obtained two PediaVision “Spot” Screening devices for the purpose of screening the vision of children starting at six months of age. The PediaVision “Spot” is a breakthrough vision-screening device that will help identify children with vision issues. Using this innovative new technology “Spot” can assess a child's vision with a very quick capture time of less than one second, which makes eye care screening efficient in a large-scale public environment such as a day care center.

Week in Reston

Police are investigating a sexual assault that occurred Tuesday, Feb. 26. Around 11:20 p.m. a 32-year-old woman was walking from Pinecrest Road through the Laurel Glade apartments when she reported a man grabbed her from behind and displayed a weapon. She was pulled into a van where a second man was waiting. The van was driven to Green Range Drive near Emerald Heights Court, where the victim was sexually assaulted and then released.

‘Thurston’ Wins More Acclaim at Indie Soap Awards

Kathryn O’Sullivan and Paul Awad of Reston picked up more awards for their Web series “Thurston” at the Fourth Annual Indie Soap Awards ceremony Feb. 19 in New York City.

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UnitedHealthcare’s Reston Office Donates Patient-Care Kits to March of Dimes

This February, UnitedHealthcare’s Reston office employees assembled care packages for March of Dimes, National Capital Chapter and other local organizations. The care packages for March of Dimes, National Capital Chapter provide support and comfort for families with newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

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Young Artists Exhibit at GRACE

The Greater Reston Arts Center celebrates Youth Art Month.

Little Jackson Baker, Morgan Milman and seven other children from North Springfield Elementary School might be first-graders, but they have reproduced the work of Wassily Kandinsky. Their school was one of the 16 elementary schools in the area that exhibited their works at the GRACE Art Center in Reston on Saturday, March 2, to mark Youth Art Month.

Letter: Protecting Open Spaces

I am writing to express my concern regarding the current proposal to build a new indoor recreation center at Baron Cameron Park. Our open spaces and parkland are limited. Once our open spaces and parkland are replaced with buildings and parking areas, cement and asphalt, they are gone for good.

Letter: ‘Green’ Tax

You have to laugh. You know how our liberal friends love to raise "revenue" for a variety of self-defined beneficent causes: Rail to Dulles, "transportation," school facilitators, "green" projects, and such. Plunging in to save the world, some folks purchased, at a price, hybrid vehicles. Now no sooner have these environmentally worthy folks been slapped with a small tax directly (with Democrat votes), they are rushing to the microphones at warp speed.

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Editorial: Helping to Build a School in Ghana

Reston resident appeals for support in building a school.

My name is Gayle Robinson and I am a Reston resident currently working in Ghana as a health, water and sanitation educator with the Peace Corps. In addition to my primary health projects, I am working with my community to build a new school. I am writing to request support from the Reston Connection in order to spread the word about my project.

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Footsteps of Reston is Leaving South Lakes Center

The oldest existing running specialty store in Northern Virginia is leaving South Lakes Shopping Center in Reston to look for a new home. Footsteps owner Paul Zink started the business in 1987, opening his first store in Springfield on April 15, 1988, as a Fleet Feet franchise. In 1995 he started independently owned Footsteps of Reston at South Lakes Center and along with Safeway and CVS, Footsteps has been the longest existing business in the center.

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Reston Character Counts! Coalition Receives Donation From Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion

Reston Town Center’s ice skating pavilion presented a check for $2,966 to Reston Character Counts! Coalition. As an annual tradition, the coalition has received 50 percent of the opening weekend proceeds from the Reston Town Center ice skating pavilion for many years. This contribution helps fund the coalition’s development programs, including the annual Essay and Poster Contest, and sponsorship of Ethics Day at South Lakes High School.

Commentary: Back Home

With the adjournment of the General Assembly session on Feb. 23 I am back home in Reston, but my legislative duties for the year are far from being over. Following the Saturday conclusion of the annual session, on Sunday morning I moved from the furnished apartment I had leased for most of January and February. I was living in Richmond in an apartment house that was built at the edge of the falls of the James River and was there long enough to develop a daily routine.

Reston Man to Walk Across America for Charity

Cody Thompson of Reston, 36, is going to walk coast-to-coast, approximately 2,728 miles.

“One step at a time.” That’s his standard reply when anyone asks 36-year-old Cody Thompson of Reston how he is going to walk coast-to-coast, approximately 2,728 miles, from Wrightsville Beach, N.C., to Redondo Beach, Calif., starting on March 10. The answers get a bit more complicated when you ask “Why?”