Stories for April 2014

Stories for April 2014

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Wednesday, April 30

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Fifth Grade Class Reunites with Retiring Teacher

George Weiner and 1987-1988 fifth grade class reunite at White Oaks Elementary.

For a group of adults in their late thirties, coming together for their fifth grade class reunion is somewhat uncommon. But students of George Weiner, a teacher at White Oaks Elementary School in Burke, say he was such a special and amazing teacher that there was no way they could forget fifth grade.

Martin Leads South County Softball Over Lake Braddock in 13-Inning Thriller

Bruins pitcher Flesch allows just one hit, strikes out 19.

The South County softball team is in sole possession of first place in the Conference 7 standings.

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Fairfax County School Board Examining Later Start Times

High schools could start as late as 9:15.

Two years after the Fairfax County School Board adopted a resolution in favor of later start times, exhausted teenagers are one step closer to getting a full night’s sleep. The Children’s National Medical Center recently presented the school board with options for later start times, of which the school board selected four for public discussion. The new start times could be implemented as early as the 2015-2016 school year.

Westfield Girls’ Lax Edges Resilient Centreville

Centreville’s Wakefield, Newell combine for 14 goals.

The Westfield girls' lacrosse team improved to 11-1 despite 14 combined goals from Centreville's Caroline Wakefield and Reagan Newell.

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Opening Doors to Hope

Previously homeless individuals share stories at FACETS Opening Doors Breakfast.

FACETS clients Carol Brown and Sandara Perry, sharing their stories to a crowd gathered at the FACETS Opening Doors breakfast on April 24, confirmed the unfortunate fact that homelessness and poverty do exist in Fairfax County.

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Shine’s OT Goal Lifts McLean Girls’ Soccer Over Madison

Highlanders remain undefeated, improve to 6-0-3.

The McLean girls' soccer team remains undefeated.

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Bullis Entrepreneurial Teams Compete for $10,000

In “Shark Tank”-like competition.

Six teams of Bullis seniors: $2,000 in start-up money, classes in entrepreneurship, ingenious mentors who helped teams brainstorm and take their dreams to reality, the thrill of starting a new company and seeing it blossom, judges who are successful entrepreneurs — and a grand prize of $10,000 to take their company to the next level. Welcome to the “Shark Tank” at the Bullis Upper School.

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Gomez-Gracia and Sogol Décor: ‘Marvelous May’

International style and design fills “The Haus.”

Looking for exclusive couture for a special occasion? Searching for distinctive home décor items? Seeking fashion or interior design advice? All are now available in Potomac at Gomez-Gracia, located in a little black and white house with black and white striped awnings — and a turquoise door — at 10040 Falls Road, minutes north of the Village. Here in “The Haus” are designer gowns, outfits, one-of-a kind home décor items, jewelry, handbags, paintings, furniture, gift items and more.

Bullis Gives Back

6th Annual 5k Run/2.5 Walk and “Buddy Run” this Sunday.

“Come run … Come walk … Come change a life.” It’s lunchtime in the Bullis cafeteria. Students are mingling and finding their tables, eating while discussing their classes, activities and what to do next weekend. Most students in the cafeteria are planning to spend Sunday, May 4 participating in “Bullis Gives Back” — the run/walk that gives them an opportunity to volunteer to pair up with a “Buddy” from The Diener School, from K.E.E.N (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) or from the Treatment and Learning Centers/Katherine Thomas School (TLC/KTS).

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Protecting Youths Against Substance Abuse

Panel shares stories and advice.

Fairfax County's Unified Prevention Coalition sponsored a forum on the effects of substance abuse on the county's middle and high school children. The resource fair and panel discussion was led by parents, young adults and professionals from the coalition's PROTECT (Parents Reaching Out To Educate Communities Together) task force. "It's been so long, I'll still be emotional about it," said Greg Lannes about his daughter's heroin overdose in 2008. Alicia Lannes had been 19 when she died and had always been a model student with straight A's. He pointed to the lone framed photo of her on the table and asked the audience, "Does that look like a heroin addict? How did she get to that point?"

Choral Festival Fills Hayfield

More than 900 middle school sixth-graders participated in the all-Fairfax county choral festival on Saturday, April 26. The festival featured 120 schools in the county. With so many students, the auditorium at Hayfield Secondary School was filled to capacity.

Protecting Driver’s License Information Becomes Law

Del. David Bulova’s legislation (House Bill 1072) to protect personal information on driver’s licenses was enacted into law during the reconvened session of the General Assembly on April 23. The new law, which will be effective on July 1, limits the ability of a business to electronically scan the bar code on a driver’s license and then store and use that data. State Sen. David Marsden (D-37) carried the companion legislation (Senate Bill 40), which has also been enacted into law.

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County Budget Markup Passes

Three supervisors still oppose the budget.

Fairfax County is another step closer to having an approved budget for the next fiscal year. The Board of Supervisors approved the 2015 budget markup at its April 22 meeting at the county Government Center. Supervisors Linda Smyth (D-Providence), Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) and John Cook (R-Braddock) opposed the markup.

Fairfax County Honors ‘Superheroes’

22nd Annual Fairfax County Service Awards presented.

Maybe they don’t wear capes and flashy uniforms, but local volunteers are superheroes. That was the theme for the 22nd Annual Fairfax County Service Awards, where more than 100 volunteers were recognized for their work with breakfast Friday, April 25, at The Waterford in Springfield. More specifically, this year’s theme was "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Impact," which was reflected in the comic book-inspired table decor and introductions by master of ceremonies Jeff Goldberg, Virginia Bureau Chief for ABC7 and News Channel 8.

Father and Son "Twogether"

As a born, bread and buttered Bostonian (Newton Centre, a suburb, to be specific), one of my enduring and genetic passions has been to live and die (figuratively speaking; this is not a cancer column) for The Boston Red Sox. My father sold concessions at Fenway Park (the stadium home of the Bosox since 1912), during the Depression when he was a little boy (not yet an adolescent even). He was nicknamed "Beezo," (his given name was Benet, although he was always called Barry) so he could gain full acceptance to a local knothole gang. Named after the wooden planks which surrounded the old Braves Field in Boston (a National League team called Boston its home as well back in the day), the kids ("gangs") would stand and peer through the knotholes in the wooden planks which otherwise blocked their view. It was a privilege and an honor for my father to be so connected to the game this way. He grew up loving baseball, and as a parent, he passed his love of the game on to me – and my brother.

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Editorial: Trending in the Right Direction

Commitment to ending homelessness shows progress, but more affordable housing is needed.

On one night in late January, local jurisdictions in our area fanned out to count the number of people who were literally homeless. Fairfax County released its numbers last week; Arlington and Alexandria will do so in the near future. In Fairfax County, the commitment in 2010 to end homelessness in 10 years has resulted in significant progress, even in the wake of the great recession. The number of people literally homeless decreased by a third from 2008 to 2014, from 1,835 to 1,225 counted this year. Many non-profit organizations have partnered to prevent homelessness one family or individual at a time for those on the brink and to house chronically homeless individuals. There is so much still to be done.

Letter: More Taxing And Spending

To the Editor

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Even Roads Need Spring Cleaning

Since 2004, along Democracy Boulevard between Newbridge Drive and Seven Locks Road, Hopkins & Porter Construction team members have completed their routine clean-up for Adopt-A-Road several times a year.

Letter: Prescription for Good Governance

To the Editor: Despite being one of the wealthiest communities in the country, Montgomery County is not exempt from poverty. Many residents lack the means to obtain health insurance and/or medical care.

Why 30 Minutes Only?

To the Editor: Hunter Woods shopping Center marked new parking restrictions for the spaces directly across the stores on the left side nearest the RCC. The spaces are marked: 30 minutes only. This rule is quite incongruent with the merchants located there. When one dines at Ledo Pizza, you can expect more than 30 minutes to get and eat a good hot pizza. It takes more than 30 minutes to be served and chew and swallow meals at Hunan Café. Nail and Spa requires more than 30 minutes for a manicure or pedicure, not to mention both. Tanning needs more time for the entire procedure. The Buffalo Wing Factory has patrons staying more than 30 minutes. And I would guess Mathnasium has programs that require more than 30 minutes. To be fair, one can take out to go from Ledo Pizza or Hunan Café and that discourages patrons from enjoying a sit down meal in either place. So for whom are these spaces meant please? Teri Belf Reston

Becoming a Leader - The Grange Way

Great Falls Day, Sunday, May 4, to explore the story of local Grange.

The National Grange was formed in 1867, two years after the wrenching Civil War that took more lives than any war since. Mired in mistrust of neighbor, impoverished by outdated farming practices throughout the south, the Grange served as a platform for improving farming practices and farmers economics while building trust.

Florally Clueless, but Want to Send Flowers?

Let professional florists help make your thought count this Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is fast approaching. (Yes, it is. The big day for Mom is Sunday, May 11. Mark your calendar now.) What are you planning to give? If it’s flowers, you are on the right track. Women love receiving flowers, and flowers are still the most popular gift choice for Mother’s Day. According to the Society of American Florists, Mother's Day accounts for one-fourth of the floral purchases made for holidays. About 75 percent of you bought flowers or plants as gifts for Mother's Day 2013. But choosing flowers can be a bit risky if you’re of the florally clueless variety. How can you tell?

‘Reston at 50’ Studied

GMU symposium explores the planning and diversity of area.

Reston is a city with a past - a past that George Mason University students are discovering. Students - from undergraduates to doctoral candidates, presented their findings about Reston in time for the community’s 50th anniversary Monday at Hunter Mill Community Center. The symposium, titled “Reston at 50: Looking Back at Forward Thinking,” covered diversity, preservation, scholarship and planning to an audience of more than 50 community members. Director of African and African-American Studies Dr. Wendi Manuel-Scott moderated the event. “Many early residents settled into Reston because of the ideals of the community,” said Director of the School of Art Dr. Harold Linton during his talk about how Reston’s plan developed and some of the architecture the community centers were inspired from.

Week in Reston

Chamber to Sponsor a Free Movie Night The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce will host a free “Movie Night at the Chamber” to benefit the Washington West Film Festival on Thursday, May 1, from 6-9 p.m. They will screen the Tom Hank’s produced award-winning film “An Article of Hope,” directed by D.C. native Dan Cohen. Cohen will be in attendance for a Q&A; following the film, along with Washington West Film Festival president, Brad Russell. The screening will in the Chamber offices located at 1763 Fountain Drive, Reston, from 6-9 p.m. Refreshments and the requisite popcorn will be provided. To RSVP for this event, contact Mark Ingrao at marki@restonchamber.org or call 703-707-9045 to reserve your seat. Contributions are appreciated.

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GRACE Opens Incubator Exhibit

Exhibit features works of artists Renee Stout and Odinga Tyehimba.

“I think there are few collaborative shows between two artists like this,” said Derryl Harris. “The depth and the materials, it is quite unique.” Harris, a resident of Herndon and board member of Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), attended the April artists reception for the exhibit Incubator which features artwork of Renee Stout and Odinga Tyehimba. Self-taught artist Tyehimba combines interest in traditional art with his interpretation of the historic and contemporary experiences of Africans in the Americas. Renee Stout has received acclaim for her mixed-media works exploring issues including identity, race, gender, and healing.

Week in Vienna

A bike rodeo for children, preschool through sixth grade, is slated for Saturday, May 3, from 9 a.m.-noon, in the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department parking lot, 400 Center St S., Vienna. Advance registration is not needed. Under the guidance of a veteran cyclist, the rodeo will help children who already know how to ride a bike develop safety skills including breaking, balancing, basic road rules and how to handle obstacles. Children must have a helmet to participate. Free bike and helmet checks will be available. Jointly sponsoring this event are the Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation Dept., Vienna Police Dept., Safe Routes to School, Spokes Etc. and Bikes@Vienna. Participating elementary schools include Cunningham Park, Flint Hill, Louise Archer, Marshal Road, Vienna, Westbriar and Wolftrap.

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Herndon Passes Nearly $49 Million Budget

Tax rate will remain the same.

The Herndon Town Council approved its $48,827,100 2015 budget. The budget, which maintains the current tax rate of $0.2650 per $100 of assessed value, was passed 6-1 at the April 22 meeting. Council member Charlie Waddell was the only one who voted against the budget. He wanted to see a lower tax rate. “I’m not ready to pass the budget, as is,” he said. “I might be in a couple of weeks.”

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Arlington Leads State in Energy Efficiency

Short- and long-term benefits seen.

Seven years ago, Arlington County decided to go green and hasn’t looked back. Since the county’s push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, environmental services officials say that Arlington has saved about $800,000 per year on energy and water from energy efficiency upgrades. “Energy is something that we often take for granted,” said John Morrill the county’s Department of Environmental Services energy manager. “But when there’s a power outage or when it’s very, very cold outside, all of a sudden that energy we use and need is vital.”

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VDOT Holds Six-year Improvement Plan Hearing

Public input sought on transportation improvement plan.

It was Northern Virginia’s turn last week when Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne and the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) held a public hearing at the offices of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in Fairfax. The CTB is conducting meetings throughout the state to garner public opinion before their scheduled June vote on the state’s Six-Year Improvement Plan 2015 - 2020 (SYIP). Various entities have held numerous meetings in recent months, particularly since HB 2313 - the first comprehensive transportation funding bill in the state for more than 27 years – passed in the General Assembly last year. Those meetings were often standing-room-only affairs, could witness dozens of citizens lined up to comment on particular projects or to suggest others, and frequently got a bit heated.

Shepherd’s Center Hosts Volunteer Luncheon

Community organization celebrates volunteer service.

The Oakton-Vienna Shepherd’s Center, organized in 1997, is one of over 50 Shepherd’s Centers throughout North America shaping a new image of aging. On Monday, April 14, the organization held a luncheon at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church to thank volunteers for their service to the community in Vienna and neighboring areas. “We are happy to have the Shepherd’s Center so active in the community of Vienna,” said Vienna Vice Mayor Carey Sienicki. The Oakton-Vienna Shepherd’s Center’s primary purpose is to provide services to assist older adults to continue to live independently in their own homes and offer programs which supply opportunities for enrichment, learning and socialization. Volunteer opportunities allow individuals to feel needed by reaching out to other older adults. The Oakton-Vienna Shepherd’s Center has approximately 250 volunteers, and 101 persons made reservations to attend the afternoon luncheon.

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Motorcycle and Car Show in Vienna

Motorcycle and car enthusiasts from all over Virginia and as far away as New Jersey came to Vienna on Saturday, April 26, for the 12th Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Northern Virginia picnic with a motorcycle and car show. Chapter President Kevin Harris said the annual event, as well as the club itself, promotes recognition of the contributions of the African-American soldiers of the U.S. Army’s 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments from 1866 to 1944 nicknamed “Buffalo Soldiers” by Native Americans during the Indian Wars.

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Herndon High Drama Produces ‘Blithe Spirit’

Herndon spring play begins May 1.

“It is hilarious how witty and comical this play can be, I am looking forward to performing with my classmates,” said Jessie Jorgensen, a Herndon High sophomore. Jorgensen is performing as the character Ruth in the May spring production of “Blithe Spirit” a play by Noël Coward. Herndon High junior Bonnie Sasseen has the role of Elvira Condomine. “I had read the play before and the character is very fun,” said Sasseen. “She is a very physical character, she is both exciting and amusing to play.” Taking the role of Charles Condomine is Herndon senior Hunter Robinson. “The whole show is a very witty fast paced comedy,” said Robinson.

Connecting Arlington and Las Vegas

Arlington-based Consumer Electronics Association executives spend a week in Las Vegas every January producing the International CES, the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.

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Arranging Flowers to Deliver the Right Message

Karin’s Florist keeps family traditions blooming.

Family Traditions Blooming In 2011, Maris Angolia, president and CEO of Karin’s Florist in Vienna, was searching for a way to honor her father, Bill Dukas, who founded the floral company in 1956 with his father-in-law George Raptis. “My father was 83, and I wanted to find a way to show him how much he meant to his longtime customers, how much they appreciated the role our family’s flower shop played in their lives over the years,” Angolia said. Angolia held a “Memories” contest, asking customers to send in remembrances of Karin’s. Angolia still gets emotional reading the letter from contest winner Susan McCabe, a lifelong Karin’s customer. McCabe wrote about her father, a former Navy Admiral, who was living in Manor Care Nursing Home in Chantilly after a debilitating stroke. McCabe’s mother visited her father twice a day. “Flowers have always been a way in our family to say ‘I love you,’” McCabe wrote in her memories letter.

Emphasizing the Importance of Recycling

April 22 marked the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, a day specifically devised to prompt people to ask, “What can I do to make a difference for the earth?” Solving global environmental issues like climate change may be so daunting for some people that they automatically assume there is nothing they can do to help. But in reality, there are things we can each do every day that can have a big impact on our community and the environment. The simplest of these is to recycle.

Week in McLean

Local Nonprofit Hosting Kentucky Derby Benefit PRS Inc. will host their 19th Annual Kentucky Derby Benefit on Saturday. This year, state First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe is serving as the benefit’s honorary chair. “We are honored to have Mrs. McAuliffe as our Honorary Chair for our 2014 Kentucky Derby Benefit,” said PRS President and CEO, Wendy Gradison, in a press release. “She understands PRS’ important role in helping local community members in need live independently, maintain housing, remain in the community and out of the psychiatric hospital, and engage in community activities.”

Edmond Seizes GOP Nomination for Congress

Former Marine officer to take on winner of Democratic primary.

Even before longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) announced that he would be retiring earlier this year, former Marine officer Micah Edmond was planning to run for Congress — talking to party leaders and beginning to line up support. After Moran's unexpected decision, though, the race became more competitive.

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Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc. Holds Fish Fling

Event honors volunteers who contribute to FISH’s efforts.

Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families meet emergencies and short-term needs, held its 9th Annual Fish Fling Gala at the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel on Saturday, April 26, from 6 to 11 p.m. The gala was FISH’s largest fundraising event to acquire the financial support for its Family Assistance Program. In 2013 FISH worked with over 1,300 area families.

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For Congressional Candidates, No Common Ground on Common Core

Democrats in Virginia's 8th Congressional District divided on national education standards.

Should American schools share national standards? That's a question that divides the 10 Democrats seeking to replace longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8), who is retiring after 24 years in the House of Representatives. During a recent candidates forum, the Democrats were asked if they support the Common Core State Standards Initiative, two candidates said they disagreed and eight candidates said they agreed.

Reston Farmers Market Opens With SNAP Saturday, May 3

Independent Progressive

Question: What is the surest sign that spring has finally arrived? Answer: The Reston Farmers Market opens this Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center. The Market is back, stronger than ever: 27 of the 28 farmer-vendors return for the 2014 season, along with the problem-solving volunteers from the Fairfax Master Gardeners. And, there are some interesting and important additions. In the off-season, Market volunteers (Fran and I) recruited rancher and author, Forrest Pritchard of Smith Meadows Farm. Mr. Pritchard wrote best-selling “Gaining Ground,” the story of converting his traditional family farm into a wholly grass-fed operation. His farm adds to an already strong offering of quality meats in Reston. Smith Meadows also brings home-made pastas to the Market, to go with existing offerings including: the only fresh seafood stand in a County market; four quality bakeries; an impressive selection of fruits and veggies—including Sunnyside’s organics and Potomac’s ecoganics; fine goat and cow cheeses; honey; Virginia Vistas’ always flowering plants; and Kettle Corn.

First Annual Springfest Arrives

Capitol City Brewing Company had a new idea inspired by the decade-old Oktoberfest tradition: “Let’s invite about 50 local breweries to a festival welcoming spring.” A funny happened. They all accepted. Thus, 2014 is witness to The First Annual SpringFest in The Village at Shirlington.

Honored for ‘Service Above Self’

Vienna Rotary awards renamed in honor of memory of former mayor M. Jane Seeman.

The Rotary Club of Vienna honored Vienna’s first-responders of the fire department and police department at its April 23 luncheon meeting at Westwood Country Club. Patrol officer Conor Tracy of the Vienna Police Department and EMT William “Bill” Padgett of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their departments and to the community with the club’s newly-renamed M. Jane Seeman Rotarian Service Above Self awards.

13 Vie for Herndon Council Seats

Town election for mayor, council on May 6.

Herndon’s seats for mayor and council will be left up to voters on Tuesday, May 6. The town elections, between two mayoral candidates and 11 council candidates, will be held at Herndon Community Center at 814 Ferndale Ave. Lisa Merkel, current mayor, will face contender Connie Hutchinson, current vice mayor. “I think she has a different vision for the town,” said Hutchinson. “I think she wants Herndon to be different from the way it is now. I’d like it to stay true to its unique identity.” Merkel agrees they have different visions for the town. “I ran for council and for mayor because I really think Herndon can have it all,” she said.

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Funraising Race at Lake Fairfax

Champions4Children 5K Race and Fun Run held In Reston.

“It was a fun race,” said Nick Abbott, “It brought me back to my high school days of cross country.” On the morning of Saturday, April 26 Abbott and other participants of the second annual Champions4Children 5K Race and Fun Run assembled at Lake Fairfax Park, in Reston. The event was a fundraiser for SafeSpot, a Children’s Advocacy Center, and nonprofit that will provide direct services to child victims of sexual and physical abuse in Fairfax County. The organization opened doors to their office in Fairfax on April 2. Approximately 315 persons registered for the race event, which also had corporate and individual sponsors. Some of the major sponsors included ASG Security, Capital One Bank, Colliers International, Willis of Maryland, ePlus Inc., Capital Source, and Todd and Michelle Kingsley. “We want a smiling face on every kid,” said Rebecca Cooper of WJLA/ABC. Cooper has been a long time supporter of the fight against child abuse, and was Grand Marshal for this year’s Champions4Children Race.

Move Me Festival

Music, dance, theater and martial arts troupes entertained and hosted workshops at the 5th Annual Move Me Festival on Saturday afternoon, April 26, in Kenmore Middle School. The festival, organized and produced by Bowen McCauley Dance, was sponsored this year by The JBG Companies, KCI, Servant’s Heart Foundation, Arlington Community Foundation, The Shooshan Company, Washington Forrest Foundation, Dominion Foundation, Kenmore PTA, BB&T, Ballston BID and the Perfect Pointe Dance Studio.

MCA to Recognize Teen Character

Six area teens will receive Teen Character Award at McLean Day, May 17.

The McLean Citizens Association is awarding six teens a Teen Character Award in the 17th annual award ceremony at McLean Day on Saturday, May 17. The award ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at Lewinsville Park on Chain Bridge Road in McLean. Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust; Janie Strauss, Dranesville District School Board Member; and Sally Horn, McLean Citizens Association President; will present the awards. The award is to honor teens who demonstrate outstanding character. Teens who have, on their own and without compensation, helped out in their neighborhood or community, are being recognized not only for themselves but as an example to others.

Assembly Leaves Unanswered Questions

Commentary

Last Wednesday the 2014 session of the General Assembly adjourned sine die at the end of the Reconvened Session that is called at the conclusion of each regular session to consider amendments to legislation proposed by the Governor and vetoes he made of any bills. Much of the work during the Reconvened Session dealt with technical issues related to the drafting of bills during a fast-paced session. Although the regular session has concluded, the General Assembly is already in special session to consider the biennium budget and closing the gap in health care coverage.

Comstock Wins 10th District GOP Canvass

Sole female Republican candidate sweeps party polls, will face John Foust in November election.

Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34) is the 10th Congressional District Republican pick for Congressman Frank Wolf’s open seat. The current delegate reined in more than 7,000 votes at the party canvass on Saturday. “It is an honor and a privilege to win my party's nomination for Virginia's 10th Congressional District and follow in the footsteps of my mentor, Congressman Frank Wolf,” she said in a press release.

Holocaust Survivor Speaks in Great Falls

In Auschwitz they took the last thing he had for himself - a name - and tattooed a number on his forearm.

Henry Greenbaum has more than earned each of the 86 years he has been alive. He spent five years as a teenager being forced from one concentration camp to another during the Holocaust, losing most of his family before he was finally liberated in 1945. Greenbaum, born Chuna Grynbaum in Poland, told his story to an audience of nearly 80 people at Great Falls Library on April 23. However, he has not stopped telling his story since the his “death march” from Flossenburg towards Dachau. “We promised one another during the march that if you survive, make sure you tell,” he said.

Avoidance Better than Arrests, Prison, Death

Parents, students learn substance-abuse dangers.

ONCE SHE TRIED IT, though, she was quickly hooked. “We did it often; we’d put in money together and go to D.C. to get large amounts,” she said. A month after Gibson started taking heroin, she and her boyfriend were driving back from the District and were stopped by police and arrested. She was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin.

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YMM Art Space Beautifies Area

Some amusing trees are blooming in the heart of the Tysons Corner business district. YMM Art Space, a children’s art education center, is presenting a public art project by international artists. Environmentally friendly fabric is installed on 30 trees in Tysons’ Square at the intersection of Gallows and Old Courthouse road. Oncoming traffic and commuters enjoy vibrant colors of the fabric mixed in with the budding trees welcoming the early arrival of the spring season. YMM Art Space hopes to grow the surrounding artist community. Staff at the YMM Art Space have art backgrounds and exhibit their work including collaborations pieces by teachers and students. YMM Art Space is located at 8216 Old Courthouse Rd.

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Herndon Holds Taste of The Town

Town fundraising event showcases local restaurants.

Herndon’s annual Taste of the Town event was celebrated April 24 at the Herndon Worldgate Center. The annual event has been known as a showcase for destination dining, but was not held in 2013. “I am thrilled that this event is back, it is a great opportunity to try food from around the town,” said Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel. “I am extremely happy with the turnout, it was missed when it was not held last year,” said Herndon resident Linda Downer. “It is good to have Taste of the Town back again,” said Jimmy Cirrito, owner of Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern. Cirrito along with other local restaurant owners had food samples ready for guests attending the ticketed event. There were 19 food vendors participating in the event including JJ Deli, Matsutake Japanese Restaurant, Vocelli’s Pizza, The Chocolate Chick, Pizzanese, Chantel’s Cakes and Pastries, and others. Several sponsors helped with the event including MEDA, Herndon Florist, Rappaport Companies, XOXO Photos, and Meadows Farms Nurseries.

Week in Herndon

The Town of Herndon has announced that they will be closing Spring Street between Elden and Locust Streets. The closure began on April 28 and is expected to continue through mid-August. Detours will be marked with large message signs. This closure is necessary because of work to replace existing water and sewer lines, and installation of utility conduits and duct banks. For more information, contact the Town of Herndon Department of Public Works at publicworks@herndon-va.gov or call 703-435-6853.

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Officer Presgrave Hangs Up His Hat

HPD Captain retires after 41 years of service.

In 1972, American soldiers were fighting in the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal broke and NASA received their first pictures from Mars from an orbiting probe. That August was also Police Captain Robert Presgrave’s first month as an officer for the Herndon Police Department. More than 41 years later, he is retiring from the everyday business of keeping the town a safer place. “There are a thousand stories I can write,” he said. “If I could write like an author, I’d write a book.”

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All-night Long Relay for Life

Langley and McLean High Schools join forces in fight against cancer.

The students of Langley High School (LHS) and McLean High School (MHS) most often see each other as arch rivals, particularly when vying for local supremacy on sports fields and courts, so the fact that the two schools joined forces and pulled off a joint effort in the American Cancer Society-sponsored Relay for Life fundraiser on Saturday, April 26, made the event much more special. Langley Co-Captains Harris LaTeef and Ava Shomaker started planning the 2014 Relay immediately after the 2013 happening, which was Langley’s first time to participate, and which won them Best Rookie Relay in the region while raising $57,000. Knowing that upcoming renovations to Langley would probably mean that a 2015 event would have to be on borrowed ground from MHS, joining forces for this year’s Relay just made sense. McLean Co-Captains Margaret Duvall and Ann Liu, both seniors, rallied their troops and the combined energies and efforts of the two schools was a sight to behold at Langley’s track and field stadium when the opening ceremonies began just after 6 p.m.

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Reston and Sterling Lions Clubs Provide Eye Screening

The Reston and the Sterling Lions Clubs maintained a booth to provide PediaVision screening of eyes of children, 6 months to 19 years old, at the Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 26, held at the YMCA, 12196 Sunset Hills Road in Reston. PediaVision is a non-invasive procedure that takes only a few seconds to complete and detects the potential presence of problems such as nearsightedness and eye misalignment. Results are provided to parents to determine if follow-up vision care is needed. On Saturday, 40 children were screened. Results were provided to the parents of eight children to determine if additional care is needed. Above, Reston Lions Club President, Don Leas, is shown administering a test to a visitor to the booth. For more information on PediaVision, visit www.restonlions.org or SterlingLions@verizon.net.

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Cooper Middle Presents ‘Aida’

Spring production runs Wednesday through Saturday, April 30-May 3.

It’s the timeless story of star-crossed lovers - with a twist. Cooper Middle School is performing “Aida,” the story of a deep love stirring in the midst of a war between two nations, starting today. “The music’s excellent and it’s a beautiful show,” said theater arts teacher and play director Meg Baber. “I love the drama of it and how meaningful it is. And I do like to keep challenging them. I don’t want to make it too easy.” The story follows Aida - an enslaved Nubian princess as she falls in love with Radames - an Egyptian soldier already promised to the Pharaoh’s daughter. “As their forbidden love blossoms, Aida is forced to weigh her heart against the responsibility she faces as leader of her people,” Baber said in an email. “Aida and Radames' love for one another proves transcendent of cultural differences and ushers in a time of unprecedented peace between the warring nations.” She said it is a very mature, challenging play for the middle school age group, but believes that many of the actors are talented enough to handle it. About 70 people are a part of the show’s cast and crew.

Filling Empty Bowls in Herndon

Empty Bowl fundraiser held at Floris United Methodist Church.

Friday evening, April 25 the annual Empty Bowls event was hosted by the Giving Circle of HOPE at Floris United Methodist Church on Frying Pan Road in Herndon. All proceeds went directly to Food for Others, the largest distributor of free food to needy people in Northern Virginia. “This is a collaboration between the Giving Circle of HOPE and a local organization,” said Linda Strup, a resident of Reston and member of the Giving Circle of HOPE. The Giving Circle of HOPE was founded in January 2004 with four members. Since then, membership has grown to over 100 individuals. Voting members contribute a minimum of $1 per day and are eligible to vote on grants. Service members do not vote but may participate in all service programs and social events. “This is our seventh year of doing an Empty Bowl event, and we have sold out our tickets,” said Strup.

Recycling in Central Arlington

Sunny weather brought community members out to Thomas Jefferson Middle School to kick off the recycling portion of their spring cleaning. The parking lot off Glebe Road had been turned into an efficient slalom course of stations for dropping off of everything from televisions and vacuum cleaners to batteries and motor oil at the semi-annual E-CARE recycling event on Saturday, April 19.

Week in Great Falls

Blood Drive at Loebig Chiropractic & Rehab a Success

Loebig Chiropractic & Rehab and The American Red Cross hosted a community blood drive in Great Falls at the office of Dr. Glenn Loebig, on Tuesday, April 15 where enough blood was donated to help save the lives of up to 57 hospital patients. According to Steve Mavica, communications manager for the Red Cross, the need for blood is constant to help accident victims, trauma patients, transplant recipients, and those receiving treatment for life-threatening illnesses. “Blood is perishable and must be continuously replenished, so we are truly grateful for the selfless efforts of Loebig Chiropractic and Rehab in helping the Red Cross to fulfill its lifesaving mission. Through their dedicated support, we were able to collect 19 pints of blood and help ensure blood is available when it is needed most,” Mavica said.

Lisa Merkel for Mayor

To the Editor: I am very pleased to endorse Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel for re-election on May 6. I am proud of what Lisa has accomplished in her first term as Mayor, working hard on the issues that are important to Herndon residents. Lisa has accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments. Whether it be making infrastructure improvements, attracting new businesses, improving access to transportation, upgrading technological services, or fighting for our schools, Lisa has been able to bridge the gap between talking about making improvements and actually setting the wheels of action in motion.

Local Students Write Poetry and Reap Reward

To the Editor: Perhaps when your school is named for a famous poet, a flair for rhythmic verse comes naturally. This appears to be the case for students attending Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston.

Vienna Idol Heats Up

Auditions open to vocalists through May.

Springtime in Vienna means concerts on the Town Green, festivals, outdoor sports, farmers’ markets and Vienna Idol auditions. This 3rd annual Vienna Idol, a music competition founded to raise money for the Khristin Kyllo “Dream Big” Memorial Fund, began its auditions in late April. Semi-finals run during ViVa! Vienna!, Sunday, May 25, on Church Street and finals take place on the Town Green, Friday, June 5.

Obituary

Joseph Iannucci, 87, of Herndon, Dies

Joseph Iannucci, 87, originally of Millbrook, N.Y. died Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at his home in Herndon. Born in Fondi, Italy on October 12, 1926, he was the son of Giuseppe and Assunta Pannozzo Iannucci. Joe served his country during WW-II with the US Army from March 1945 - December 1946. He graduated from Millbrook High School in 1947 after being discharged from the Army. He was Class President and President of the Student Council. After the Army, Joe attended Niagara University, and was captain of the golf team. Joe graduated in 1951 with a degree in chemistry. His years following graduation were spent working as a chemist for Squibb, McKesson & Robbins, and Chesebrough Ponds/Unilever. After retiring from Unilever, Joe worked part-time at Imaginative Research Associates as a consultant.

Letter: Distress over LED Streetlights

To the Editor: One could never have imagined that Arlington County would perpetrate such an injustice on its citizenry. Unfortunately, I can find no other way to sum up the county’s force-feeding of LED streetlights to county residents.

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Turbo Tutoring Awards Scholarships

Westfield High Senior receives check, from Turbo-Tutoring, to donate to children living at My Sister's Place in D.C.

Letter: Time To Expand Medicaid Program

I ask lawmakers to consider the facts when deciding the issue of Medicaid Expansion. Opponents claim that the Virginia Medicaid program is fraught with abuse. Yet, according to a 2011 JLARC Report “Mitigating the Risk of Improper Payments in the Virginia Medicaid Program,” recipient and provider fraud totals 0.3 percent, (or roughly $6 million) not the $38 billion that some have tossed about. In fact, Virginia has one of the best managed Medicaid programs in the country.

Letter: Appreciate Local Experts

To the Editor

Letter: Renaming Richmond Highway?

To the Editor

Letter: Benefits of Medicaid Expansion

To the Editor

Blues for an Alabama Sky

Port City Playhouse stages 1930s drama set during the Harlem Renaissance.

Port City Playhouse is staging its final production of the 2013-14 season, “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” by playwright Pearl Cleage, May 2-17.

Roundups for 4/30/14

The editor presents the roundups for the week of 4/30/2014.

Letter: Re-evaluate Grad Policy

To the Editor

17th Annual T.C. Williams Art Show

Del Ray Artisans and the T.C. Williams High School Art Department jointly present the 17th Annual Student Art Show at Del Ray Artisans gallery.

MVUC Greenhouse Offers Heirloom Tomatoes and Rare Annuals

The heirloom seedlings, grown in the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church greenhouse, are ready for planting in residents’ gardens.

Friday, April 25

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Lyles-Crouch Students Perform for the Animals

Students took the stage singing, dancing, playing musical instruments and more to benefit the animals at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria in February at Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy.

Bonilla-Galdamez Named Virginia Social Worker of Year

Ana Bonilla-Galdamez is the recipient of the 2014 Social Worker of the Year Award from the National Association of Social Workers Virginia (NASWVA) Chapter. NASWVA presents the honor to only one individual annually. Bonilla-Galdamez is a school social worker at Charles Barrett Elementary School. “Ana demonstrates strong skills and knowledge, but most of all commitment to the clients she serves,” said NASWVA Chief Executive Officer Debra Riggs in a statement.

Recycling and Earth Day

April 22 marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, a day specifically devised to prompt people to ask, “What can I do to make a difference for the earth?” Solving global environmental issues like climate change may be so daunting for some people that they automatically assume there is nothing they can do to help. But in reality, there are things we can each do every day that can have a big impact on our community and the environment. The simplest of these is to recycle.

Sallie Leah Conley Scherrer

Sallie Leah Conley Scherrer died March 15, 2014. She resided at 207 N. Pitt St. and at the Alexandria House from 2000 until 2009. Sallie is survived by her husband of 65 years, Victor, son Huel of Apple Valley, Minn. and daughter Marla Merrick of Jonesborough, Tenn., six grandchildren and one great grandson.

Beverly Bresler Beidler

Beverly Bresler Beidler, a trailblazing woman who was one of the first female elected officials in Alexandria, died March 28, 2014. She was 85. "She was so diligent and committed," said Councilwoman Del Pepper. "She was someone who saw what needed to be done and did it."

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Alexandria Historic Homes and Garden Tour

Celebrating the 81st anniversary of Historic Garden Week in Virginia, this year’s tour features five privately owned Old Town homes and gardens in the southeast quadrant plus free admission to local historic properties Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden, Carlyle House Historic Park and George Washington's Mount Vernon.

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‘A Leader Innovates, Develops, Inspires’

Challenger John Norce wants to be Fairfax’s mayor.

Born in New York, John Norce has only lived in Fairfax since 2002 and has never before run for political office. But he wants to become the City’s next mayor and believes he’s the best person for the job. “I enjoy and embrace leadership opportunities,” he said. “I was president of a local insurance association, am involved with Make-A-Wish and have coached youth sports for 27 years.” Norce came to Virginia in 1984, graduating from the University of Richmond in 1988 with a degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. He now owns an insurance general agency in Fairfax.

‘Mayor Has to Know, Understand the City’

Fairfax’s Scott Silverthorne running for re-election.

Scott Silverthorne was raised in a political family, so it’s no wonder he’s been involved in leading the City of Fairfax for two decades. He served 18 consecutive years on the City Council, is now completing a two-year term as mayor and is running for re-election. His father was a Fairfax planning commissioner, councilman and mayor. Meanwhile, Silverthorne attended City schools, graduated from Fairfax High and obtained a degree in marketing from Radford University. He’s worked in government relations and, most recently, he’s done executive-search consulting. But politics has always been in his blood. “In 1990, at age 24, I was the youngest person ever elected to City Council,” said Silverthorne. “The top six vote-getters win, and I was the top vote-getter in eight of the nine elections I was in. I left in 2008 because I thought it was time for new blood, Mayor Lederer wasn’t leaving and I’d accomplished all I’d wanted on City Council.”

Fairfax City Council Candidates Speak Out

Besides voting for mayor, Fairfax residents will choose six City Council members in the May 6 election. All Council candidates except Cristina Gaines responded to The Connection’s questionnaire.

Easter Fun

The Easter Bunny welcomed warmer weather and perfect sunny skies as he greeted the kids at Upton Hill Park in Arlington on Thursday, April 17.

SCAN Honors Stowe

SCAN honored six Northern Virginians with 2014 Allies in Prevention Awards earlier this month. The awards were presented at SCAN's 12th Annual Allies in Prevention Awards Luncheon, with emcee Leon Harris from ABC7 and Keynote Speaker Dr. Terry Morris, the NASA scientist who shared his personal story of experiencing child abuse and the foster care system.

Rehearsing for ‘Shrek - The Musical’

The Washington-Lee High School drama department is in rehearsals for the spring performance of "Shrek - The Musical." Performances will be Thursday, May 1- Saturday, May 3 at 7 p.m., in the school's auditorium.

Thursday, April 24

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Yoga Center Plans Open House

Opposite the Potomac Library is One Aum, the new Yoga Center at 10008 Falls Road. One Aum is owned by a sister-brother duo. Sean FM, a yogi, poet, and musician, and Shannon Sharma, a veteran teacher, full-time yoga therapist and avid yoga practitioner.

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B’nai Tzedek Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

Gala honors its founders.

In 1988, the movie “Field of Dreams” inspired viewers with the motto, “If you build it, they will come.” Armed with this philosophy, and encouraged by a few residents who were also passionate about establishing a new synagogue in Potomac, Symcha and Rabbi Stuart Weinblatt set off on a mission to create, in Weinblatt’s words, “a place where members grow Jewishly and take their Jewish journey, where they could deepen their ties to Judaism and discover its beauty and relevance.”

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Hospice Caring Celebrates 25 Years of Service

Multiple programs for those at life’s end and for the families they leave behind.

In 1989, Penny Gladhill, and six other Frederick Hospice volunteers saw and felt the need for free hospice services in Montgomery County. With enthusiasm and determination, they initiated Hospice Caring — a nonprofit organization that has affected thousands of lives in Montgomery County for 25 years.

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Potomac’s Mike Hammer Adjusts as Ambassador to Chile

Strengthening U.S.-Chile ties.

On Wednesday, March 5, Mike Hammer was quietly residing in Potomac with his family where he enjoyed weekend walks to Starbucks and watching his children’s sports activities. However, one day later, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as ambassador to Chile — and life started moving at a breath-taking pace. Three days after the confirmation, he and his family boarded Air Force Two to fly to Santiago with Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden.

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Teaching Financial Skills

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and former Gov. Frank Keating, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, visited Hollin Meadows Elementary School on Friday, April 11 to teach a financial literacy lesson to the school’s fourth graders. The event was sponsored by American Bankers Association and was part of its 18th annual Teach Children To Save Day.

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Fort Hunt Softball Celebrates Opening Day

Fort Hunt Softball held its Opening Day Celebration on Sunday, April 6, at the Walt Whitman softball complex. Approximately 500 people including players, family members and volunteers from the softball community attended. The party started off with a picnic, games and dancing.

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Samaritan’s Feet Comes to Rising Hope

300 pairs of shoes go to youth in need.

The halls at Rising Hope United Methodist Church were thronged Monday, April 14, as parents brought their children for an Easter footwashing in Christ’s memory and to receive new shoes at no cost.

Letter: Expansion Needs More Data

To the Editor: No one should ever be denied health care. But, we need to be careful that millions don't get worse or receive no care because of politics to hastily expand the Medicaid rolls. Politicians, like Delegate Surovell and Chairman Bulova of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, tend to use data that suits their beliefs and don't necessarily report any data that may counter them.

Residents Nominated for Service Awards

With the theme “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Impact,” Volunteer Fairfax, along with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, will honor real-life superheroes at the Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards. The gala celebration will be held Friday, April 25 at The Waterford in Springfield.

Letter: Heed Posted Speed Limit

To the Editor: I'm writing in response to Phil Boughton's letter to the editor in the April 17 edition of the Mount Vernon Gazette. I live in one of the neighborhoods along Sherwood Hall Lane and cross it on foot almost daily from one of the Fairfax Connector bus stops.

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‘Feed Me, Seymour,’ Says the Plant

Westfield High presents “Little Shop of Horrors.”

A musical about a man-eating plant is Westfield High’s Cappies show for 2014. The curtain rises on “Little Shop of Horrors” May 2-3 and May 9-10 at 7:30 p.m. and May 4 at 2 p.m.

Letter: Wiser Use of Federal Tax Dollars

To the Editor: I'm unhappy to learn that 40 cents of every one of my 2013 federal tax dollars went to fund current and past wars, according to the Quaker advocacy group the Friends Committee on National Legislation. We have some critical needs as a country — how to respond to the effects of climate change, how to repair our crumbling bridges and roadways, how to bridge the growing divide between rich and poor. I want to see more of my tax dollars going to these priorities rather than to the Pentagon.

Letter: Saddened by Anti-Semitic Violence

To the Editor: “... whosoever killed a person ... it shall be as if he had killed all mankind;” Quran 5:33. When I heard of the shooting that took place at the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, I was saddened by the state of our people.

Letter: Renew Commitment To City’s Seniors

To the Editor: On behalf of the board of directors of Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA), we are writing to express concern about proposed cuts to the Alexandria City budget which will have an unfair and unprecedented negative impact on the most vulnerable seniors in our community.

Letter: Musical Treasure

To the Editor: One one of the most distinguished chamber music series in the Washington, D.C. area is the least well known. The National Chamber Players, an ensemble made up of National Symphony Orchestra members and guests from the region and around the country, perform four superb concerts a year at Episcopal High School.

Letter: Sewage Overflow Requires Collaboration

To the Editor: As cited in last week’s article, “Keeping Sewage Out of River by 2035,” the sewage pipes under the streets of Old Town were laid in 1890 to remove both storm water and human waste. Today, during rainstorms, these 120-year-old pipes overflow rain-diluted sewage into the Potomac. In this day and age, that’s not OK. Solving the problem will require 21st century thinking and collaboration.

Volunteer Alexandria To Honor Community Leaders

Volunteer Alexandria has named the winners of its philanthropy and community awards which will be presented at the 16th annual Alexandria Business Philanthropy Summit.

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A Funny, Fast-Paced Screwball Comedy

Chantilly High presents “The Front Page.”

A 1930s newsroom is the setting for Chantilly High’s madcap comedy, “The Front Page.” The school’s Cappies play takes the stage Thursday-Saturday, May 1, 2, 3, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or $8 via www.chantillyhsdrama.com.

Letter: Value of Tax Money Spent?

To The Editor: I found Mary Kimm’s March 27 editorial on access to income taxes absolutely distressing. Giving our city access to another revenue stream is the political equivalent of giving drugs to an addict.

30 Years in Prison for Three Deaths

One of the victims was a young Fairfax woman.

The man responsible for the heroin deaths of three people in Fairfax County will be spending the next three decades in prison. Eugene Asomani “Shine” Williams, 35, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced last week in federal court for conspiring to distribute heroin and possessing a firearm while doing so. The three victims were Woodson High graduate Kara Schachinger, 22, of Fairfax; Joshua Pearson, 33, of Fairfax County and Timothy Huffman, 23, an active duty soldier who was serving in the Army at Fort Belvoir.

Letter: Dominant Urban Mode

To the Editor: Going by foot is the most natural, energy efficient, safe, and uncongested way to traverse an urban environment. It is overwhelmingly sociable, nonthreatening, accommodating and doesn’t require much by way of an investment to enjoy. Feet were made for walking, and people navigate even the smallest, tightest spaces best as pedestrians. And left to themselves, it is exceedingly rare to find that pedestrians are a hazard.

Centreville Residents Nominated for Service Awards

With the theme “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Impact,” Volunteer Fairfax, along with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, will honor real-life superheroes at the Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards.

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‘It’ll Make People Laugh, Feel Good’

Centreville High presents comedy, “Funny Money.”

An aptly named show that’ll have the audience roaring with laughter, “Funny Money” is Centreville High’s upcoming Cappies play.

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Little Theatre of Alexandria Celebrates 80 Years

Supporters and company members came out on Saturday, April 12, to celebrate Little Theatre of Alexandria's 80th anniversary extravaganza. The evening began with a champagne reception where patrons had a chance to reminisce about the organization's years of productions and events.

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Our Daily Bread Celebrates 30 Years

Fairfax-based nonprofit Our Daily Bread (ODB) invites the public to its 30th anniversary celebration. An evening of art and performances, “Do You See What I See?” will be held Friday, May 2, from 7-10 p.m., at the Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center, 3740 Old Lee Hwy. in Fairfax.

Emily Louise Tomlinson and Calvin Dean Kennedy Engaged

Roxanne and Larry Tomlinson of Springfield announce the engagement of their daughter, Emily Louise, to Calvin Dean Kennedy, both of Pittsburgh, Pa. Calvin is the son of Sona Kennedy of Wexford, Pa., and Ronald Kennedy of Gibsonia, Pa. The future bride is a 2005 graduate of West Springfield High School. She is a 2009 graduate Robert of Morris University and 2013 graduate of Carlow University, both in Pittsburgh. Emily received a Master of Science in Nursing and is currently a Nurse Practitioner with Solano & Kokales Internal Medicine Associates at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Emergency Response Classes Begin in Springfield

This Saturday, April 26, Fire and Rescue Department is beginning a basic Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class at the LDS Church in Springfield. There is still plenty of room if you'd like to attend. The class will meet on four Saturdays and run each day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; tentative class dates are April 26, May 3, May 10 and May 24.

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Commentary: Celebrating Creativity, Recovery and Mental Health

Alexandria will open its fourth annual Art Uniting People celebration and exhibition on May 7 with several firsts this year. For the first time the opening exhibition and reception will take place at The Gallery@Convergence. Convergence, a faith community that explores the intersection of art, faith and the human experience, is well known for presenting the work of local artists, musicians and dancers.

‘Onward with Erin’

Team seeks to raise funds for National Brain Tumor Society.

Erin Kelly spends her professional life tending to critically ill children as a pediatric nurse on the cardiac intensive care unit at Children’s National Medical Center. What patients and their parents may not know is that she has spent the last three years in her own health battle, one with a stubborn brain tumor. The 26-year-old Arlington resident will be running the National Race for Hope on May 4, a 5K run in Washington D.C. that raises funds the National Brain Tumor Society.

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Turbo Tutoring Awards Scholarships

Turbo Tutoring, led by local educators Gregg Greentree and Dan Harris, recently announced winners for its annual scholarship award.

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Meadowood Stables Remain Open During Renovation

Rep. Jim Moran, Supervisor Gerry Hyland support decision.

The barn at the Meadowood Special Recreation Area will remain open during renovation, the Bureau of Land Management announced on April 10.

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Pit Bull Debate Sparked in Springfield

Resident supports breed-specific legislation as animal shelter removes criteria for pit bull adoption.

In Fairfax County, no dog is considered dangerous simply because of their breed. In fact, any dog, regardless of breed, isn’t considered dangerous until it has bitten, attacked, injured, or killed another animal.

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Cell Phone Tower Debated in Burke

Residents, trustees clash over 16-story AT&T tower.

Susan Gaertner, a resident of the Landings in Burke Centre Conservancy, spent most of last summer enjoying the community’s pool and peaceful atmosphere. It is that sense of tranquility and beauty, she says, that makes the community an inappropriate place for a cell tower.

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Fall Cankerworm Spraying Debated

Some residents believe spraying of fall cankerworm is unnecessary.

Later this month, the Fairfax County Forest Pest Management Branch is scheduled to spray 2,200 acres of the Mason, Lee and Mount Vernon districts with insecticide in order to rid these areas of fall cankerworms, commonly known as inchworms.

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Audience Will Have a Blast

West Springfield presents “The Pajama Game” from May 1-4.

The West Springfield High School drama department is hard at work preparing for their spring musical, “The Pajama Game,” which lead cast member and junior Barbara Lawson says is a lively show with talented performers. “There are a lot of popular songs in it that you may not know are in the musical but that you’ve heard before,” Lawson said. “It’ll be a really fun show.”

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French Students Visit Robinson

American and French students learn language, culture through exchange program.

For Monica Jugnet, a French teacher at Robinson Secondary School’s International Baccalaureate Program, teaching French is more than just advising students on grammar or learning verb conjugations. Exchange programs like the one taking place at Robinson this week is what makes learning a language worthwhile, she says.

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Alone on the Road: 7 out of 10 Northern Virginia Workers Use Single-Occupancy Vehicles

Study raises concerns about amount of time drivers spend commuting alone.

Despite the decades-long war against the single-occupancy vehicle, seven out of 10 workers in Northern Virginia drive to work alone every workday.

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Will Alexandria Sell City Hall to Developers?

City leaders to consider selling historic structure rather than investing in it.

Should city taxpayers fork over $50 million to renovate City Hall? Or should a new $100 million facility be constructed somewhere else, opening the door for a developer to transform the historic building? That's the question that will be confronting City Council in the coming years as elected officials decide whether or not they want to invest in fixing the building.

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Who is Trailing Don Beyer in Hotly Contested Democratic Primary?

Candidates elbow each other out of the way to secure second place.

Campaign finance documents show that former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer crushed the nine other candidates in the hotly contested Democratic primary.

Wednesday, April 23

Bishop Ireton Girls’ Lax Eyes WCAC, State Titles

Cardinals have improved each year under Coach Sofield.

The Bishop Ireton girls' lacrosse team is 10-2.

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Historic Potomac Home Goes on the Market

The house’s origins date back to late 1700s, say owners.

Adam Garfinkle and Scilla Taylor are aficionados of historical architecture, particularly when it comes to their homes. They enjoy restoring and uncovering the hidden stories of bygone eras, and they found a wealth of inspiration in their Potomac home at 9901 Glen Road.

Greenspring Celebrates Earth Day

On Tuesday, April 22, Greenspring retirement community celebrated Earth Day. The event included several highlights including a display of fuel efficient vehicles, an assortment of exotic animals from Reptiles Alive!, a Shred-It vehicle, and informational booths and representatives from Green Spring Gardens, Fairfax County Park Authority, the Sierra Club, Greenspring’s own Tillagers gardening group, and many others.

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A Picture Perfect Home

Tips from the pros on boosting a home’s curb appeal.

When Realtors Marsha Schuman and Betsy Schuman Dodek drive up to a home to show it to a prospective buyer, they know that they have only one chance to make a good first impression. Potomac-based Dodek and Schuman of the Schuman Team of Washington Fine Properties say a home’s curb appeal matters. “When we think of curb appeal we think of the lawn and landscaping, front door, windows, roof and how it all looks,” said Dodek.

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South County Boys’ Lax Beats State Champion Chantilly

Stallions have sights set on competing for state title.

South County handed Chantilly its first loss since May of 2013.

Del Ray Realtor Honored for Community Leadership

Jen Walker receives the Marguerite Payez Leadership Award.

When Jen Walker moved to the Del Ray section of Alexandria in 1997 she received a warm welcome and felt an immediate sense of community.

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What to Expect

Real estate experts offer a forecast for spring.

Real estate agent Joan Caton Cromwell says she lost a home bidding war last week in Falls Church even though her client was a strong contestant.

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Realtors: Great Kitchens Help Sell Homes

Real estate experts offer tips for creating an appealing kitchen.

Designer Jacquelin Lluy, of Nicely Done Kitchens and Baths in Springfield, recently transformed the kitchen of a home in Mantua, in Fairfax, from a small, dark space to a light-filled, free-flowing culinary oasis.

Basheer & Edgmoore Wins Silver

The Maymont community in Vienna, Va. won a Silver Award for Basheer & Edgemoore at the National Sales and Marketing Awards for 2014. Hosted by the National Association of Home Builders, Basheer & Edgemoore took silver in the Community of the Year category.

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Spring Songbirds Arriving Now

Local bird groups and bird walks help beginning birders see colorful birds.

The birds are coming. The annual migration of often brightly colored songbirds from their winter homes in Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and the southern U.S. is underway now. Millions and millions of avian migrants fly northward every night and the come down to rest or nest every morning. Some of the birds are enroute to nesting areas far to the north; some nest right here or nearby.

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Region Sees Lowest Number of TB Cases in Decades

Outreach efforts get people in for tuberculosis treatment before it spreads.

When Dr. Barbara Andrino came to the Fairfax County Health Department in 2011, there were 137 cases of tuberculosis in Northern Virginia.

Notes from the Producer

MetroStage Presents ‘Underneath the Lintel’

Storytelling at its best — storytelling in a small intimate space where the audience is actively engaged — this seems to be a common theme at MetroStage.

Week in Vienna

Vienna Tree-Planting Ceremony The Town of Vienna and the Community Enhancement Commission invite the public to attend the annual Arbor Day ceremony on Thursday, April 24, at 4 p.m. A tree will be planted next to the Parks and Recreation Department’s community learning garden behind Vienna Elementary, 128 Center St. S.

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‘Go Wild’ at the Parks

National Park Week ends Sunday.

The National Park Service wants everyone to “go wild” for nature this week. National Park Week will be celebrated with treks and children’s events at all 401 parks - including Great Falls Park - every day through Sunday. Several thousand people headed out to Great Falls Park over the weekend, but many did not know the reason they got in free was because of the event, which is themed “go wild!”

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Westbriar Elementary Top Fundraiser for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Westbriar Elementary in Vienna is a National Blue Ribbon School who has partnered with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for two years to raise funds in honor of a local student who fought and survived leukemia. This year, as the grand finale for their coin collection campaign, they hosted a student versus teacher volleyball game. LLS attended the game and presented them with a check to show gratitude for their contributions and dedication to LLS mission. Out of 137 schools, they are currently the top fundraising Virginia school. With almost an additional $100 in just one week, they have raised a total of $6,552 to-date for LLS’s Pennies for Patients program. The National Capital Area chapter of LLS has 420 participating schools in their Pennies for Patients programs this year. There is always time to join the cause by collecting change and giving student the opportunity to experience the feeling that comes from helping others. If your school is ready to step up to the challenge and fight blood cancers, contact Jessica Lindquist at jessica.lindquist@lls.org or call 703-399-2928.

Victory

Members of the Vienna AllStars (Junior Level 2) gather after winning at the Annual Alexandria Invitational Cheerleading Competition on Saturday, April 5, at T.C. Williams High School. A variety of recreation centers and clubs at different age levels (Pee Wee Level 1, Youth Level 1, Youth Level 2, Junior Level 1 and Junior Level 2) competed with cheerleading routines.

Week in Reston

Herndon-Reston FISH to Hold Annual Fundraising Event Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicating to help families meet emergencies and short-term needs, will hold its 9th Annual Fish Fling Gala at the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel on Saturday, April 26, from 6 to 11 p.m. This gala is FISH’s largest fundraising event to acquire the financial support for its Family Assistance Program. In 2013 FISH worked with over 1300 area families.

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Babes in the Woods

Toddlers find adventure at Walker Nature Center Earth Day program.

A group of toddlers took turns hugging a massive blow-up globe after listening to a book about animals and insects that can be found in the woods. The children, excited and attentive, were at the Walker Nature Education Center’s Earth Day Explorers program on Monday to trek through the forest and learn more about the planet they live in. The event was for the Babes in the Woods nature program, targeted for children ages 18 to 35 months. “There’s no time too early to get started,” said naturalist Ken Rosenthal, Reston Association. “And sometimes the out-of-the box thinking really gets me.” His personal philosophy is there is no word or idea too big to introduce to a child.

Voters Wanted: Party canvas on Saturday

Republican candidates for Congressional 10th District seat offer a mix of experience.

After weeks of debates and campaigning, the Republican party will choose a candidate on Saturday to oppose John Foust (D) to succeed U.S Rep. Frank Wolf in the Va. 10th District Congressional race. The party canvass will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Two of the candidates, Barbara Comstock and Bob Marshall have held office previously as delegates. According to VPAP.org, Comstock raised $761,354, Stephen Hollingshead raised $122,178, Howard Lind raised 140, 838, Marshall raised $55,240, Marc Savitt raised $13,764 and Rob Wasinger raised $82,742. Although Marshall raised significantly less than Comstock, he felt confident he is the right candidate for the 10th district race. “I have won 13 consecutive elections in Northern Virginia. Barbara Comstock won three. Obama won the state delegate district I represent by 11 percent. Barbara Comstock’s district split evenly between Obama and Romney. Groups from the left and the right have joined me to pass laws to protect our constitutional rights,” said Marshall in an email. Comstock, who felt she had the upper hand because of her work with Congressman Wolf, said she is concerned about several national security issues. “I’m very concerned about our current national defense policy which was weakened by President Obama,” she said. Lind is the only candidate who has served in the military. He previously ran for U.S. Senate. “The whole thing with my campaign is taking a stand, which is not just taking a stand against the Democratic party, but also taking a stand within our own party.” Savitt said his candidacy provides innovative ideas and a fresh face. “I am the only candidate in this race, who has never worked for the government or held elective office,” said Savitt in an email. “I consider this an advantage, as those with such prior employment, are the very same individuals who are directly responsible for the government’s loss of credibility with the American people. “

Nothing Humane In Bow Hunting

To the Editor: The typo in 'Deer Management' Options Explored (Great Falls Connection, April 16-22, 2014) was quite telling. It states that bow hunting is the "more human" deer management option. It certainly is-- but bow hunting is the furthest thing from humane.

Waples Mill Students Volunteer to Stop Hunger Now

More than 200 students, families and teachers of Waples Mill Elementary School plus one Fairfax County Public School Board member participated in a community service "meal packing" event in partnership with Stop Hunger Now on Saturday, April 5.

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

To the Editor: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has been wrestling with the question of how to meet their self-imposed demands for more services and how to raise revenue (read "taxes") to support those demands. The first source is the real estate tax - the tax on our homes and businesses. The real estate tax is a function of the value of our property and a function of the rate of tax to be imposed based on the value of our property. Suffice to say, this is a game that is played each year - whatever you call it, about 15.5 percent more will have come out of our pockets over the past three years.

‘Fountain of Youth’ in Great Falls Plaza

Fontaine de Jeunesse Medical & Dental Aesthetics Spa opened since June 2013.

In an unassuming Georgetown Pike plaza is a spa-like experience promising to tighten clients up without a nip and tuck. Fontaine de Jeunesse Medical & Dental Aesthetics Spa, a self-proclaimed fountain of youth in the heart of Great Falls, has been noninvasively treating men and women of all ages since last summer. Fontaine de Jeunesse translates to “fountain of youth” in French. The owner, Dr. Jeanette Coutin-Gentry, started the business as a way to help other women age gracefully through menopause without being self-conscious. “I found out that diet and exercise alone was not taking care of losing the weight,” she said.

Gala To Benefit Scholarship Fund

The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria will hold its 28th Annual Spring Gala dinner dance and silent auction on Saturday, April 26.

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Reston Little League Presents Leadership Awards

Sean Dooley, director at The Wise Investor Group at RW Baird in Reston, presented Leadership Awards to deserving players who are entering their final season of baseball in Reston Little League, as well as RLL alumni who have chosen to continue teaching the game as youth umpires. During ceremonies held in conjunction with the annual Little League Parade at Reston Town Center, each awardee was honored with an award certificate that cited their “sportsmanship during past seasons, their potential for continued leadership development as they graduate on to new teams and schools, and their love of the game.” In addition, each awardee received a Scholarship Award for Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) leadership training. Players have as many as 15 seasons of experience playing baseball in Reston Little League, starting at age 4. Awardees are: Jack Thompson (Athletics), Aiden O’Donovan (Phillies), Josh Meade (Yankees), Sully Gholson (Nationals), Vikrant Magadi (Rays), Shea Huntington (Pirates), Nick Gryski (Red Sox), Braden Huebsch (Mets), Owen Walker (Umpire), and Kyle Sather (Umpire).

Small Town, Big Ideas

Meet Laurie DiRocco, Vienna’s current and future Mayor.

In January, when Vienna Town Council member Laurie DiRocco announced she would run for mayor, she had no idea that she would be the only candidate on the ballot, or that she would hold the title a month before the actual May 6 election. But with the Feb. 23 death of Mayor Jane Seeman, who announced her retirement last year after being diagnosed with cancer, the six-member town council appointed DiRocco, the only registered candidate for the position, to serve out Mayor Seeman’s uncompleted term. “It's been a very bittersweet time for me,” said DiRocco, 47, during an interview in her home, four days after being sworn-in as mayor on April 8. “I thought of Mayor Seeman as both a role model and a mentor. She gave so much to the community… I admired her service to the community and the fact that she really was a humble person.”

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iSchool for the Future Comes to Great Falls

Programs involve Forestville Elementary, Great Falls Library.

iSchool for the Future demonstrated its unique STEAM SELTM approach to science education during Thursday’s 2014 Annual School Environmental Action Showcase, generating interest from students and politicians alike. The 2014 Annual School Environmental Action Showcase is sponsored by NoVA Outside and George Mason University and brings together schools, students, and environmental organizations from Northern Virginia to share ideas and share eco-projects. The event, held on Thursday, April 10 on the GMU campus, had over 44 schools and 520 students in 52 teams participating. Over 30 partner organizations were invited to lead hands-on science activities for students.

Exciting Week at Lake Anne Elementary

Lake Anne Elementary had an exciting week as several employees from the Smithsonian Zoo Migratory Bird Center came to the school to work with first and second graders. The ladies captured birds, held them, tagged them (while students watched) and then released them back into the wild. In addition, the students were taken down a trial and shown how to lift logs and leaves to locate possible food that the birds might eat off of (worms, snails, etc.).

Week in Herndon

Herndon-Reston FISH to Hold Annual Fundraising Event Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicating to help families meet emergencies and short-term needs, will hold its 9th Annual Fish Fling Gala at the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel on Saturday, April 26, from 6 to 11 p.m. This gala is FISH’s largest fundraising event to acquire the financial support for its Family Assistance Program. In 2013 FISH worked with over 1300 area families.

Immigration Fraud Alert

An imposter pretending to be an immigrations officer has targeted Herndon in the latest fraud to hit northern Virginia. The fraudulent immigration officer has called two residents over the weekend, threatening to deport them over information in their immigration papers unless they give them a large sum of money, according to the Herndon Police Department.

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Cycling for Change

More than 150 attend Ride to Provide in Reston Town Center.

More than 150 people gave up their Saturday morning last week to cycle for a cause. The fifth annual Ride To Provide, an event to raise money for youth programs and healing military veterans, drew in cyclists throughout the greater D.C. metro area thanks to the balmy weather and a chance to ride with Washington Redskins football players.

President of the National Grange to Speak at the Great Falls Day

Ed Luttrell, President of the National Grange, will speak at the Great Falls Day Opening Ceremony, May 4 at 1 p.m. Luttrell, a native of Sandy, Ore., was elected the 22nd President of the National Grange in November of 2007. A second generation Granger, he is the immediate past Leadership/Membership Development Director for the National Grange. Luttrell is a 4th generation Oregonian. He grew up on a small farm outside of Portland in Shoals, Ore. He is a graduate of Hillsboro High in Hillsboro, Ore. and spent time studying livestock management at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Ore. He has worked in agriculture, automotive services and publishing.

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United Way Awards Community Impact Grants

Fairfax/Falls Church nonprofits receive $338,662.

United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) announced that it is awarding 21 grants totaling $338,662 to member organizations serving the Fairfax and Falls Church areas. The funds came through designations to the Fairfax/Falls Church Community Impact Fund in United Way NCA's annual workplace giving campaign. Each of the grants directly addresses programs that fall within United Way NCA's focus areas of education, financial stability and health.

Vienna Town Council Candidates Speak Out

Besides voting for mayor – and Councilwoman Laurie DiRocco is the only candidate – Vienna residents will choose three Town Council members in the May 6 election. All Council candidates except responded to The Connection’s questionnaire.

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Obituary

Elton Kenneth Donaldson, 80, of Great Falls, Dies

Kenny Donaldson, age 80 and Great Falls resident for 52 years, lost his battle with lung cancer on Sunday, April 6. He was born and grew up in Falls Church, where he attended Falls Church High School. He excelled in many roles throughout his life. Following high school he joined the Navy and served three years aboard the USS Worcester during the Korean War. After serving his country he married Madolin, to whom he was a devoted husband for 58 years.

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McLean Project for the Arts Honors Lilla Richards

On April 17, McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) held a reception in honor of former Fairfax County Supervisor Lilla Richards on her 75th birthday for her work 25 years ago to find a permanent home for MPA at the McLean Community Center. With Richards’ help, McLean Project for the Arts, the McLean Community Center and Fairfax County entered into the first public/private partnership in the arts for Fairfax County. MPA, founded in 1962, moved seven times from one temporary residence to another. In 1987, leaders of MPA and the MCC began discussions with the county to bring MPA to the center. Lilla Richards was elected Supervisor in November 1987 and began immediately working with MPA to bring this project to fruition.

Send in Mother's Day Photos

Mother’s Day is May 11 and every year at this time, the Gazette Packet calls for submissions to its Mother’s Day photo gallery.

Enjoying the 4th Annual Mardi Growl

Colorful boas and festival masks greeted the guests arriving at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 2 for the 4th annual Mardi Growl benefiting the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

Good Shepherd Housing Celebrates 40 Years

Anniversary gala brings in $272,000.

Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services celebrated 40 years of delivering continuous community service and promoting self-sufficiency to those in need in Fairfax County with a fundraising gala at the Westin Hotel in Alexandria on Saturday, April 12.

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Jude, Reporting for Duty

Herndon PD’s new bomb-sniffing dog a friendly workaholic.

Herndon Police Department’s newest officer is charismatic, ambitious and, well, a little furry. Jude, the department’s new explosive-detecting English Springer Spaniel, is a lovable pup who will be used to snuff out bomb threats in the town and beyond. The town acquired him in February after he received six weeks of training. His partner-in-law, HPD Officer Lee Trawick, was chosen to be his handler and had to receive six more weeks of training together. Both will have some type of training each month. “My training was to learn how to read him and handle him,” said Officer Trawick. Chief of Police Maggie DeBoard said there were many good candidates to handle the dog.

Southwestern Virginia

Commentary

For many years Jane and I have used our spring break to visit locations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. This year was no exception as we went to the southwestern region of the state. Although we drove about 225 miles to Roanoke from Reston, we were not yet in what the locals call Southwest Virginia. In fact, only by driving another 134 miles down I81 to Abingdon did we get to what many consider the doorstep to Southwest Virginia. It would have been possible to drive another 111 miles west with a short swing into Tennessee to get to the western-most point in Virginia at Cumberland Gap. That point is further west than Detroit. Regardless of how far you travel, the natural beauty of the mountains and streams in this part of the state are unequaled, and the local people are wonderful to meet.

Going Into Lyrical Woods

NextStop Theatre Company presents ‘Into the Woods.’

There was a cheerful bustle taking place as NextStop Theatre company members were rehearsing Stephen Sondheim's striking musical "Into the Woods." Smooth voices were warming up as the keyboard began to bring musical life into the rehearsal hall. "Into the Woods" is a big 17-member cast production directed by Evan Hoffman, with a 10-piece orchestra and a score of nearly 30 numbers, under the musical direction of Elisa Rosman. The show continues NextStop's poised move into its first year as Northern Virginia's newest professional theater company. The cast includes top notch musical theater talent who have performed at Signature, Ford's, Keegan, Toby's and many others.

Murphy Presented with Massey Award

Paul Murphy was awarded the 2014 Massey Award for consistent and committed volunteer service to the Fort Hunt Little League program at Fort Hunt Little League’s Opening Day Ceremony on April 5.

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Area Students Win Scholarships

MLK Cultural Foundation Dream Makers Gala raises money for students.

Fifteen northern Virginia students received scholarships to follow their dreams last week. The Martin Luther King Cultural Foundation Dream Makers Award Gala drew in hundreds of people to raise money and hand out college scholarships on Thursday. “It’s something like this that will make me go to work tomorrow and want to make the world a better place for our children,” said Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam during a speech.

Summer 2014 Farmers Market Session Opens This Saturday

The Great Falls Farmers Market summer season begins this Saturday as the summer vendors join those who have served our community all winter. Penn Farm and Diaz Berries & Veggies will be joining Tuscarora Organic Growers Coop and Tyson Farms to bring a wide array of vegetables and fruits. Tyson Farm is a good addition to our mix, as they have abundant fruit orchards, which will broaden our selection of fruit all summer.

MVHS Student Leads State Chapter

Mohammed Ali, Mount Vernon High School junior, was named president of Future Business Leaders of America’s Virginia chapter.

Concert Raises $8,000

The Metropolitan School of the Arts raised $8,000 at its second Annual Benefit Concert to go toward construction of their Black Box Theatre project in Alexandria.

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Spring Garden Market at River Farm

The American Horticulture Society hosted their annual spring garden market and a flower show earlier this month at its River Farm headquarters.

Mother's Day Photos

Mother’s Day is May 11, and every year at this time, the Almanac calls for submissions to its Mother’s Day photo gallery.

Area Roundups

Entrants Sought for Anti-Alcohol Awards

A Vienna-based, alcohol-education group wants to honor local, high school groups for their efforts in fighting underage drinking. To recognize high-school students for “doing the right thing,” the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) will present its 2014 GEICO Student Awards at a May 16 ceremony in Washington, D.C., and is accepting applications for the honors through Monday, April 28, at http://www.wrap.org/files/youthOutreach.htm. Entry is free.

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McLean Theater Co. Presents ‘Catch Me If You Can’

Local high school brings Broadway to D.C.-area.

Will they catch Frank? The McLean Theater Company is premiering the musical “Catch Me If You Can,” a story of the world’s greatest con man and his worldly misadventures, to the D.C. metro area this week. “The story is so enticing for a director,” said theater teacher and director Amy Poe.

A Musing: Easily Confused Words

Some of the most common words we all use daily sound so much alike that they are easily confused, and therefore, are misinterpreted by the listener(s).

Week in McLean

Artist Entries for MPAartfest are Due on May 1 MPAartfest is looking for artists. Applications are currently being accepted for MPAartfest, a one-day juried fine art and craft show and sale featuring the work of more than 40 local and regional visual artists. McLean Central Park will reverberate with the sights and sounds of art and music on Sunday, Oct. 5 at the 8th annual MPAartfest. Online submissions only, due May 1. Visit www.mpaart.org/ for MPAartfest information and application. Call 703-790-1953 with questions.

TR’s Pot of Gold

The City of Alexandria’s Therapeutic Recreation Program found a pot of gold in its celebration with participants of the Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center’s Out of School Time program.

Animal Shelters, Wildlife Rehabbers Often Receive Needlessly Orphaned Birds

Area animal agencies caution that not every wild bird baby who looks as if it could use help actually needs it.

Roundups for 4/23/14

The editor presents the roundups for the week of 4/23/14.

Tuesday, April 22

Where Am I?

"I’m sitting in the rocking chair, good buddy," (a "Smokey and The Bandit" reference, if you’re not of a certain vintage), between two 18-wheelers where the police radar can’t find me – further referencing the C.B. radio days. Updating to the "Kenny-with-cancer" days, I’m a month or so past my last very encouraging CT Scan, the one I wrote about when my oncologist offered me a congratulatory handshake, a gesture he had not made in the five-plus years since we’ve been tangling with this damn disease; and I’m approximately seven weeks away from my next CT scan, "intervaled" every three months at present. Seven weeks is far enough away where I’m not even thinking about it, or the possibility of its discouraging results that I’ll know about on or about June 9th. I am cruising, emotionally, and savoring the excellent results from the last scan and not yet worrying, wondering, hoping, praying (too much) about my next scan. This means, at the moment – or moments, I should say, I am enjoying a relatively stress-free and blissful ignorance to what may – or hopefully may not, be happening in my lungs. I am, to quote a Three Stooges line: "as safe as in my mother’s arms."

Entrants Sought for Anti-Alcohol Awards

A Vienna-based, alcohol-education group wants to honor local, high school groups for their efforts in fighting underage drinking. To recognize high-school students for "doing the right thing," the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) will present its 2014 GEICO Student Awards at a May 16 ceremony in Washington, D.C., and is accepting applications for the honors through Monday, April 28, at http://www.wrap.org/files/youthOutreach.htm. Entry is free.

Editorial: Past Time for Later Start Times

Teenagers are sleep deprived, and sleep deprivation takes a significant toll on safety, health and learning. We’ve known this for decades. But for decades, literally, Fairfax County Public Schools (and Montgomery County, Md.) have let a combination of reactionary blabber ("buck up and get moving;" "just tell them to go to bed earlier") and organizational resistance prevent implementing a solution to this very real problem. Getting up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. to hop on a school bus at 5:45 a.m. or even as late at 6:30 a.m. to get to school by 7:20 a.m. is not healthy for teenagers. It is nearly impossible for teenagers to go to sleep before 11 p.m. or midnight. Fairfax County high school students average six hours of sleep a night on weeknights. Research shows they need nine hours of sleep. Research has also quantified the costs of sleep deprivation.

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Herndon Softball Edges Marshall in Eight Innings

Herndon catcher Martire delivers two clutch doubles in victory.

The Herndon softball team made the most of its four hits against Marshall on Monday.

Friday, April 18

Classified Advertising April 23, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

Commentary: Dean Supports Beyer

I’ve always stood for the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. When I started my presidential campaign in 2003, I was against the Iraq War, and had worked hard as Governor of Vermont to create marriage equality and universal health care in my home state. Those positions weren’t totally popular at the time. But I believe candidates should pay attention not only to their prospective constituents, but also to their internal compass.

Thursday, April 17

Classified Advertising April 16, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

Letter: School Budget: Different Perspective

Letter to the Editor

"Challenging discussion on the Fairfax County FY 2015 Budget" is another attendee’s perspective on the Lee District Feb. 26 meeting at which the FCPS and Fairfax County budgets were presented.

Disarming Musical

‘The Fantasticks’ comes to the Workhouse.

With over 20,000 performances in New York City since it opened in 1960 and countless numbers of regional, community and school-based productions, the melodic and oh, so mellow musical, "The Fantasticks" is coming to the Workhouse.

Area Roundup in Fairfax

This spring and summer, people may learn about the life and personalities of the City of Fairfax by taking 90-minute, guided walking tours through the Old Town Fairfax National Register Historic District.

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Celebrating Women’s History

At the March 25 Fairfax City Council meeting, Mayor Scott Silverthorne proclaimed March 2014 as Women’s History Month in Fairfax.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 63 homes sold between $1,539,820-$220,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: March, 2014

Springfield Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 132 Springfield homes sold between $850,000-$215,000.

Springfield Home Sales: March, 2014

Reston Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 80 Reston homes sold between $1,065,000-$195,000.

Reston Home Sales: March, 2014

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Bittersweet to the Core

Hub Theatre presents area premiere of the ‘Failure: A Love Story.’

"Failure, A Love Story" by Phlip Dawkins "is unique, funny, whimsical and has so much heart," said Helen Pafumi, Hub artistic director.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 114 homes sold between $18,600,000-$110,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: March, 2014

McLean Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 61 homes sold between $2,850,000-$184,900 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: March, 2014

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 58 homes sold between $975,000-$160,000 in the Herndon and Oak Hill area.

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: March, 2014

Great Falls Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 11 Great Falls homes sold between $1,560,000-$560,000.

Great Falls Home Sales: March, 2014

Fairfax Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 69 Fairfax homes sold between $1,180,000-$150,000.

Fairfax Home Sales: March, 2014

Centreville Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 81 Centreville homes sold between $800,000-$147,500.

Centreville Home Sales: March, 2014

Chantilly Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 14 homes sold between $850,000-$231,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: March, 2014

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 57 homes sold between $1,340,000-$145,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: March, 2014

Burke Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 48 Burke homes sold between $792,000-$135,000.

Burke Home Sales: March, 2014

Arlington Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 177 Arlington homes sold between $2,130,000-$133,000.

Arlington Home Sales: March, 2014

Alexandria Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 176 Alexandria homes sold between $2,500,000-$100,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: March, 2014

Potomac Home Sales: March, 2014

In March 2014, 29 Potomac homes sold between $2,430,000-$385,000.

Potomac Home Sales: March, 2014

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CustomInk Celebrates Grand Opening

On Friday, CustomInk, the "design online" custom T-shirt company, hosted an open house event at its new Fairfax headquarters.

A Classic Romance Comes to the Stage

Woodson High presents ‘Pride and Prejudice.’

Featuring a cast and crew of 100, Woodson High will present the classic, romantic play, "Pride and Prejudice." And there’ll be entertainment, both on and offstage.

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Come, Take a Trip to 19th Century Fairfax

Civil War Day is April 26.

Antebellum Virginia will come to life during Fairfax Civil War Day. Featuring wagon rides, cannon firings, house tours and a soldier encampment, it’s set for Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at Historic Blenheim, 3610 Old Lee Highway in Fairfax.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities in Fairfax County.

Letter: Prohibit Fracking

Letter to the Editor

In "Residents Concerned About ‘Fracking in Our Backyard’" (Connection, April 3-9, 2014), readers may wonder how pollutants entering the Potomac River 200 miles upstream in the George Washington National Forest could still be toxic in Fairfax County.

Area Roundups

11th Congressional District Art Competition

The Workhouse Arts Center will present the 2014 High School Congressional Art Competition for Virginia’s 11th Congressional District.

Week in Fairfax

News happening in the Fairfax area.

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Tax Burden Targets Low-Income Workers in Northern Virginia

Average tax burden for low-income workers is highest in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax.

Families that are struggling to make ends meet in Northern Virginia are the target of local governments in Northern Virginia, which has the highest tax burden in the region for low-income workers. Wealthy people face the highest tax burden in Prince George's County and Montgomery County. But here in Virginia, poor people face the biggest tax burden in Arlington, according to a new study by the Office of Revenue Analysis in the District of Columbia. Alexandria ranked second, and Fairfax County ranked third.

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Alexandria to Stop Dumping Human Waste into Potomac River by Earth Day 2035

Fixing combined sewer overflows to cost at least $200 million.

The year 2035 seems like a distant dream. But it's a Sword of Damocles hanging over the head of officials at City Hall. That's the year Alexandria will no longer dump human waste into the Potomac River.

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Beyer Rakes in Campaign Cash in Democratic Primary

Fundraising numbers reveal former lieutenant governor has significant edge.

Campaign finance documents released this week show Don Beyer well ahead of his competitors in the race for cash, giving the former lieutenant governor a significant edge over the nine other Democrats in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8).

Wednesday, April 16

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Advocates Urge Supervisors to ‘Invest in Fairfax’

Coalition of schools, government employees, parks, libraries and human services gather at budget hearings.

“Invest in Us, Invest in Fairfax.” That was the rallying cry last week at the Fairfax County Government Center as advocates for schools, libraries, parks, government employees and other human services gathered in support of more funding in these areas.

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Attorney General Speaks to Seniors about Fraud Prevention

Seniors learn tips for avoiding scams.

Senior citizens have increasingly been the victims of recent fraud and scams. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring taught seniors how they can avoid these crimes at Greenspring’s Fraud Prevention Expo on April 11 in Springfield. Herring advised seniors to be suspicious of any cold calls or direct mail solicitations, as these are often fraudulent. The attorney general’s office has a consumer protection division, which can help seniors or anyone who has a concern or dispute with a business or service.

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Fairfax County Police Advocate for Pay Raise

Department is struggling to recruit and maintain officers.

Nearly 350 Fairfax County Police officers appeared at a public hearing on the Fairfax County budget on April 10, advocating for an increase in pay. The police filled the auditorium, leaving standing room only. Several police testified before the Board of Supervisors, advocating for pay raises and parity with other public safety departments, such as the firefighters, who are seeing an increase in pay this year.

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Achievement Gap Addressed at Budget Hearings

Admissions to Thomas Jefferson, cuts to Summer School, later start times discussed.

Of the 487 students admitted to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, only 10 are black. Eight of these students are Hispanic. This is even though 177 black students and 214 Hispanic students applied for admission to the school. “Unless you actually believe that black and Latino children have some type of intellectual deficiency that prevents them from competing for admission to TJ, you have to believe there is a failure in the Fairfax County Public School system in terms of preparing these students to adequately compete for admission to TJ,” said Tina Hone, former school board member and founder of the Coalition of the Silence (COTS), at the FY 2015 budget public hearing on April 8.

Beth Shalom Hosts ‘Guys Night Out’

The 4th annual BBQ, Scotch and Seder Summit took place April 6 at the Beth Sholom Congregation on Seven Locks Road in Potomac.

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Robinson Chorus Prepping for World Choir Games

Two ensembles from Robinson will travel to Latvia this summer.

After a Skype session with composer Sydney Guillaume, members of Robinson Secondary School’s choral group Robinson Singers were ecstatic. “It was just so exciting because he knows exactly what he wants it to sound like,” said junior Molly Wise. “It was so cool to have the composer teach us and to take the time to help us.” Guillaume is the composer of “Twa Tanbou,” one of the pieces Robinson Singers will be performing at the World Choir Games in Latvia this summer.

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Families, Community Advocate For Special Education Graduates

Supporters gathered at Fairfax County budget hearing on April 10.

Diana Martin, a Fairfax Station resident, was already losing sleep thinking about how she was going to balance the post-grad needs of her daughter Kenzie with her husband’s chemo and medical care. Now, she is even more concerned as funding for the programs that help special education graduates from Fairfax County Public Schools is included on a list of possible further reductions that County Executive Ed Long presented to the Board of Supervisors on March 18.

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Promoting STEM in Schools, Budget Hearings

Nifty Fifty STEM education events continue as students advocate for STEM at Fairfax public hearings.

As part of an effort to inspire students to pursue STEM careers and to spark interest in math and science, scientists visited Fairfax County Public Schools last week to talk about their careers and to provide insight on the field.

Dinner Music

Focus Music brings folk and acoustic music to Potomac’s Tami’s Table.

Tami’s Table Café and Wine Bar, located at 12944-E Travilah Road, Potomac is the scene to check out.

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Area Writers Shine at Crime Authors Book Fair

Fairfax County residents share insight at National Crime and Punishment Museum.

For Fairfax County resident John B. Wren, writing crime novels is addictive. Creating problems, or the mystery, making people curious and creating solutions, is enjoyable for him. “It’s so much fun,” he said.

Tiger Trot Triumph

More than 500 runners participated in the fourth annual “Tiger Trot” at Connelly School of the Holy Child.

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Lorton Residents ‘Ride to Conquer Cancer’

Kim and James Reno, West Springfield High School graduates, hope to raise $5,000 each.

West Springfield High School graduates and current Lorton residents Kim and James Reno are putting in long hours training for the upcoming Ride to Conquer Cancer. The two-day, 150-mile bike ride will take them through the D.C. area as they raise money and awareness for cancer research. Both Kim and James need to raise at least $2,500 dollars, but are aiming for $5,000 each.

Chess Champions

FCPS students sweep team titles at Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships.

Students from three Fairfax County public schools won team championships in all four K-12 divisions at the Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships held recently in Roanoke. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students also won individual championships in the K-3 and K-5 divisions.

Week in Vienna

Since Laurie DiRocco is the only person running for mayor in Vienna, it’s a good bet that she’ll be elected. And in the meantime, she’s getting some on-the-job training by fulfilling the unexpired term of the town’s late mayor, M. Jane Seeman, who died Feb. 23.

High-quality Preschool Helps Children Succeed

Fairfax County must expand access to Virginia Preschool Initiative.

As a retired general and the husband of an educator, I would like to highlight the importance of quality preschool as the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors makes final decisions about the county budget. I am alarmed that 75 percent of all young Americans ages 17-24 are not able to serve in the military, primarily because they are too poorly educated, too overweight or have a criminal record. In Virginia, 18 percent of young people do not graduate from high school on time. In addition, one in four of Virginia's high school graduates who try to join the military cannot serve because of low scores on the military's exam for math, literacy and problem-solving.

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Madison Science Olympiad Team First in Region, Third in State

James Madison Science Olympiad is a still developing group, gaining competitive recognition as the years go by. They have received fifth place in 2012, third place in 2013, and third place this year in 2014 in the state competitions. In the regional competitions they have gotten first both this year and last year. Science Olympiad is a nation-wide organization aimed to expose students to different aspects of science not introduced at the typical school level. It is similar to the Olympics in a way -- students represent their school and compete against other schools to win their event. The sixth through first place winners all receive medals. There are multitudinous events, slightly differing from middle school to high school. Events include Rocks and Minerals, Astronomy, Water Quality, and many more.

‘Humphrey’ Writer Visits Vienna Elementary

Betty Birney writer of the popular “Humphrey” series visited Vienna Elementary on March 25. “Humphrey” is a classroom hamster and the stories are written from his perspective.

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The Italian Gourmet Celebrates 40 Years

On Monday Dec. 9, 1974, The Italian Gourmet opened in Vienna. With its gourmet Italian prepared foods and specialty hard goods, The Italian Gourmet drew customers from all over the D.C. area. Today Jeremy and Margaret Schottler own the store, and their two children can often be found "helping" in the store as well. Six days a week (the deli is closed on Sunday for family time), The Italian Gourmet serves as a deli, gourmet food shop and caterer to the Vienna community.

Chocolate Factory Comes to Vienna

Vienna Theatre Company Presents “Willy Wonka” over three weekends.

“Willy Wonka, The Musical,” based on Roald Dahl’s popular children’s story “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” comes alive in Vienna for three weekends from mid-April to early May. The Vienna Theatre Company presents the family-friendly production at the Vienna Community Center. Of a cast of 20, eleven are residents of Vienna. Ten of the 11 are local children. “We usually don’t do a show with a lot of kids in it,” said “Willy Wonka” director Jessie Roberts. “The kids have been fabulously fantastic, just wonderful to work with.”

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Vienna Honors Community Volunteers

More than 35 citizens received certificates and gratitude at April 8 awards ceremony.

The Vienna Town Council honored community volunteers – individuals, families and businesses – at the 13th annual Volunteer Service Award ceremony on April 8 at the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. More than 35 volunteers, nominated by neighbors and peers, were recognized with certificates and gratitude for their outstanding contribution to the community. On behalf of the Vienna Town Council, acting Mayor Carey Sienicki proclaimed Tuesday, April 8, as Volunteer Recognition Day in the Town of Vienna, an opportunity to “celebrate and promote volunteerism” in the community. In her proclamation, Sienicki said, “volunteering of one’s time and resources is a fundamental part of the tradition of our country and is essential to its spirit. The people of our community benefit from the deeds of these selfless and dedicated individuals and organizations.”

Vienna Bridge Champ Turns 100

Don Elliot known as the ‘one to beat.’

It’s pretty extraordinary to turn 100 years old. It’s even more extraordinary to maintain one’s status as the reigning bridge champ in Vienna’s 50-plus Bridge Club which meets at the Vienna Community Center. Don Elliot, who turned 100 on April 5, was still regarded as the “one to beat” until he played his last bridge hand at the club in late March. The club celebrated his century birthday with a customized cake and the birthday song on Wednesday, April 9.

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Bring an Appetite; Come to Town

Third annual Taste of Vienna is Saturday, April 26.

Grab your taste buds and come downtown. It’s almost time for the Taste of Vienna, and there’ll be food and fun galore. The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (VVFD) will host the third annual Taste of Vienna on Saturday, April 26, from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. It is in the fire department’s parking lot at 400 Center St. South and will be held, rain or shine. The event showcases the variety of foods offered by the town’s many restaurants. Admission is free, and the proceeds from attendees’ food and beverage purchases will directly benefit the town’s fire department. As the first fire station in Fairfax County, VVFD members have been serving Vienna residents for more than 100 years. But besides protecting lives and property in and around the town, volunteers must spend many hours raising money to keep it functioning. Combining operational and administrative personnel, the station has more than 100 members, and the dollars from the Taste of Vienna are truly needed.

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Vienna’s Easter Eggstravaganza

Vienna’s Easter Egg Hunt and Egg Roll was Saturday, April 12.

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Gyeonggi Province Governor Visits the Korean Bell Garden

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has announced that Kim Moon-Soon, Governor of the Gyeonggi Province of the Republic of Korea, donated $10,000 for the long-term maintenance of the Korean Bell Garden during his recent visit to the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna. Governor Kim has a long standing relationship with the people of Fairfax County and has been an active part of the creation and completion of The Korean Bell Garden. The bell garden was fully funded by donations from the Republic of Korea and the Gyeonggi Province. This is the only traditional Korean garden with a bell in the western hemisphere and the only Korean bell on the east coast. The two--ton “Bell of Harmony” was donated by Governor Kim and the Gyeonggi Province in 2011 and is the jewel of the Bell Garden. The bell combines images of nature from both Korea and Virginia as a symbol of the Korean-American population in this region.

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Wolftrap Elementary Wins Odyssey of the Mind Competition

Students from Wolftrap Elementary School competed at the NoVa North Odyssey of the Mind Region 9 Tournament, which took place at Oakton High School on March 8. Wolftrap Elementary's Division II Team competing for Problem #3,“It's How We Rule” placed first for the second year in a row, and will advance to the State Tournament in Rocky Mount, Va. on April 26. This was the first year that the sixth grade team participated in Division II where they competed against sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams from across the region. Team members are: Kiran Gowda, Wendy McHone, Ruhi Mehta, Valerie Nayak, Michael Shi, Katarina Stefanik and Lauen Van Stone, coached by Rachelle Stefanik and Tracy McHone. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem solving program that involves students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their critical thinking, team building and problem solving skills to produce an original performance or presentation in a variety of areas including: mechanical/vehicle, technical performance, classics, structure and performance. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. For more information, visit http://www.odysseyofthemind.com.

SOL Night at Lake Anne

Lake Anne hosted their annual SOL night on March 26 for students. The teachers and staff members were on hand all over the building with games, problems, and many other activities for the students to work on. The students worked both with the teachers, as a group, and individually on their own on all SOL related topics as a means to boost them academically for the taking of the SOLs coming up soon. Pictured here is fifth grade teacher Mr. Garcia showing Tristan and Lucas how to work through a science problem.

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Walking for a Cause

Reston’s 4th annual Kidney Walk a success.

More than 300 people banded together to support the fight against kidney disease on Sunday. The National Kidney Foundation’s fourth annual Reston Kidney Walk in the town center garnered about $83,000 from pre-registered walkers alone. “This is more of a family-driven event,” said NKF Development Manager Jessica Shatzel. “Our gala is a corporate driven event. A lot of our teams are families that return year after year.” Jessica Blevins, Gainsville, and her family came out to support the NKF walk with a “Team Logan” banner.

CATS Puts Special Needs Kids First

Children’s Adaptive Team Sports reinforces and praises with soccer and trophies.

Children with special needs can sometimes feel like they are not a part of a community. CATS - which stands for Children’s Adaptive Team Sports - helps these kids feel like real winners by putting them on their own basketball and soccer teams. “We’ve had some parents who were emotional and said they thought they’d never see their son play on a soccer team,” said founder and CEO Margarita Benavides. “Eighty percent of parents said there were improvements on motor skills or attention.”

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Baron Cameron Update Discussed

Reston 2020, residents debate county plans for local park.

The Reston Citizens Association met with concerned residents to address possible changes to Baron Cameron Park last week. The changes, which are a scheduled update of the park, were discussed and debated at the April 7 meeting at Buzz Aldrin Elementary School. “What we want you to do is think about what’s missing, what’s not there,” said Reston 2020 co-chairman Terry Maynard. He explained some of the changes - adding a picnic pavilion, restrooms, a larger trail network and additional parking - among other additions. Fairfax County also included alternative plans that included an indoor recreational center.

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Reston’s Best Honored

23rd annual Best of Reston celebrates birthdays and service.

Reston is a place where - as they say - people can live, play, work and serve. The Best of Reston honored those committed to community service and celebrated founder Robert Simon’s 100th birthday on Thursday with a black-tie affair at the Hyatt Regency in Reston Town Center. The 23rd annual event, hosted by Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones, reeled in nearly 900 attendees. “This community takes pride in the people who serve,” said GRCC President Mark S. Ingrao. “We’ve been thinking so much about that in the last few weeks with all the celebrations going on here. I don’t know if it’s the water in Lake Anne or the secret ingredient in Bob’s lunchtime beverage, but there’s something about the community that says, ‘You are welcome here.’”

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The Honey Bunch

Sweet Virginia partners with GMU to educate students about bees.

Educational outreach is sweet nectar for Sweet Virginia. Executive Director Dan Price is using college students to promote honeybee sustainability to college students in the changing world. “I thought someone needed to get the population of bees in Washington, D.C. back to what it used to be,” said Price. “I made that my mission.” Price has put bees in the forefront of minds in D.C. by installing two hives on top of the National Geographic Museum.

World of Beer offers IT platform for business lunches

If you are looking for a unique location to hold a sales meeting that’s not far from your Arlington, Alexandria, or Ballston office, think World of Beer. The tavern that’s best known for after-work socializing and live music on weekends, is now offering meeting space and teleconference so companies can conduct online training or other web-based events for its employees. "We are a great place for off-site meetings," said Evan Matz, owner of World of Beer at 901 North Glebe Road in Ballston. "With little notice, CEOs and managers can reserve a separate room equipped with our IP-based video and wall monitor systems. It’s a perfect place to hold working lunches."

Michael DiBacco, 46, of Reston, Dies

Michael DiBacco, 46, of Reston, died at home on March 27. He was surrounded by family and friends after enduring a seven month battle with pancreatic cancer. Born Oct. 19, 1967 in Asheville, N.C., his family moved to Herndon in 1980. After graduation from Herndon High School in 1986, Michael attended Embry Riddle University, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Wesleyan University, and Old Dominion University.

Is WarnerCare Here?

To the Editor: Several weeks back, Fred Siskind of McLean attempted to defend a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) - Medical Devices Excise Tax [“Incorrect Assertion,” The Reston Connection, March 19-25, 2014]. Unfortunately, Mr. Siskind did not go far enough in his research.

Pass a Clean Budget

To the Editor: “Greetings Leverage. The Governor and 22 Senators use this degrading term to describe all public school teachers, sheriffs deputies, state agencies, and counties who depend on the funds included in a clean state budget. In short, you are hostages. The Governor, elected by a slim margin last November, a state Senator elected by a mere 12 votes, and another Senator who’s residence is in question all claim the right to rule as they see fit carefully ignoring the fact the two out of every three Virginians question the wisdom of implementing a demonstrated train wreck.

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Neil Simon's Touching, Sweet "Chapter Two" Arrives at Reston's CenterStage

Neil Simon has a "trademark witty, snappy dialogue, and relatable characters that audiences enjoy ", said Joshua Redford, artistic director, Reston Community Players (RCP) . Shortly the RCP will bring Simon's "wide appeal to local audiences" with his "Chapter Two." "Chapter Two" follows the life of George Schneider, a recent widower trying to make his way in a new and rather bumpy world of dating after a long marriage. George is "still coming to terms with his wife's death, who stumbles into a new relationship. He's caught between wanting to move ahead but being unable to let go...with his trademark charm and dry, acerbic wit." said Jeff Breslow who plays George.

Editorial: Celebrate Earth Day

Get outside with your family, participate in group activities, or just walk in your favorite park.

Earth Day is April 22, observed April 19-27 and beyond. Fairfax County offers many useful and educational ways to enjoy the day. Don’t miss the chance to get outside, observe the developing spring weather, flora and fauna. Here are some of the opportunities:

Challenging A Child’s Mind

Experts say reading is critical to cognitive and emotional development.

Arlington mother Holly Karapetkova reserves time for reading in the schedules of her two young children. It has become such an important part of their daily routine that it is a treasured family activity. It is also vital to her children’s development says Karapetkova.

Dying of Curiosity

As I was completing last week’s column ("I Thought I Was a Goner") and thanking my oncology nurse, Ron, in the process, for the excellent care he has provided me for nearly five years now; a week after I wrote a column thanking my Certified Holistic Health Coach, Rebecca Nenner, for the health and fitness-type knowledge she has given me over those same five years; it dawned on me that perhaps my subconscious mind knew something that my conscious mind didn’t: that I should move closer to the undertaker like Radar’s Uncle Ernest did two days before he died, in the M*A*S*H episode titled "Novacaine Mutiny" from season four.

Letter to the Editor: City Should Clean Up Its Mess

To the Editor: The city lays claim to ownership of King Street Park at the foot of King Street. This past Sunday (April 13), the park was a trash-strewn disgrace, with trash overflowing from the can and being blown about the entire park and into the river.

Letter to the Editor: Sharing about Bullying

To The Editor: Often one may have a brief conversation with his or her neighbors and sometimes the conversation leaves one with a question of what to do. And that’s an issue I find myself facing.

Letter to the Editor: Keep Engine 204 Staff in Place

I live in the North end of Old Town amid a mix of old rowhouses, newer (1979) built townhouses, new townhouses (Old Town Commons), all of Old Town Greens and Potomac Greens north of Slater’s Lane, a few high rises and many new rental apartment buildings. We are a densely populated part of the city.

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Reenacting the Grandest Congress

Just two years after British merchant John Carlyle completed work on his new home in Alexandria, the Commander-in-chief of His Majesty’s Forces in North America paid him a visit. The commander was Major General Edward Braddock.

Crimes Solvers Seeks Public’s Assistance

Fairfax County Crime Solvers is seeking the public’s help in identifying the people responsible for stealing three vehicles — and taking items from at least 10 others — during the overnight hours of Friday, April 4, to early Saturday, April 5, in Centreville.

Opinion: Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22, observed April 19-27 and beyond. The City of Alexandria offers many useful and educational ways to enjoy the day.

Rocky Run Triumphs in State Tournament

The Rocky Run Middle School Chess Team found itself in a three-way tie for first place in the 2014 Virginia Scholastic K-8 Chess Championship.

Column: Health and Fitness Fair for Seniors

Now that it is finally Spring and the weather is warming up, it’s time to get out and start moving. The April 23 Speaker Series is just the place to be. This month SSA is cosponsoring its April Speaker Series on “The 5 Senses and Aging/Health & Fitness Fair,” with Inova Alexandria Hospital and Alexandria’s Successful Aging Committee. It’s taking place from 9:30 a.m. – noon at the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria.

Health and Fitness Fair for Seniors

Now that it is finally Spring and the weather is warming up, it’s time to get out and start moving. The April 23 Speaker Series is just the place to be. This month SSA is cosponsoring its April Speaker Series on “The 5 Senses and Aging/Health & Fitness Fair,” with Inova Alexandria Hospital and Alexandria’s Successful Aging Committee. It’s taking place from 9:30 a.m. – noon at the Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria.

Roundups for 4/16/14

The editor presents the roundups for the week of 4/16/14.

Commentary: Rebuilding for Safety

To the Editor: With limited vision and hearing, Ginny* worries about tripping in the home that she’s lived in for more 74 years. Esther, a 93-year-old with heart disease, needs handrails to hold on to for safety. John, a 71-year old whose roof caved in during the earthquake, could use a variety of repairs including better lighting since he can’t see well.

Commentary:Rebuilding for Safety

To the Editor: With limited vision and hearing, Ginny* worries about tripping in the home that she’s lived in for more 74 years. Esther, a 93-year-old with heart disease, needs handrails to hold on to for safety. John, a 71-year old whose roof caved in during the earthquake, could use a variety of repairs including better lighting since he can’t see well.

Celebrating Erin Peterson

Community remembers her life and honors her legacy.

Each April, the Petersons celebrate Erin's life and legacy with a Gospel program at Mount Olive Baptist Church.

VHC Tech Charged with Raping Patient

The Arlington Police Department is charging a 30-year-old a former hospital technician at Virginia Hospital Center with raping a 37-year-old patient. Police officials say the man was working as a CT scan technician when the alleged attack occurred on Jan. 13.

Heading to Harrisonburg

Six CVHS students make Virginia’s All-State Choir.

Six Centreville High students — Kayla Ebright, Jared Knutti, Lily Park, Patrick McGinty, Joshua Ewalt and Hailey Knapp — have made Virginia’s All-State Choir. And they’ll perform in it, April 26, in Harrisonburg.

Obituary: David Allan Buffmire

David Allan Buffmire, 59, of Kents Store, Va. died April 6, 2014 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville of complications from pneumonia and cancer.

Letter: Many Changes In Compromise

The April 10 article ["Commission Approves EnviroSolutions Application," Mount Vernon Gazette] on the Planning Commission’s vote to recommend approval of the EnviroSolutions proposal to continue construction debris landfill operations and create a green energy park offers a confusing inconsistency.

Commentary

Reston at 50

Although President Barack Obama did not come to Reston’s 50th anniversary celebration as President Lyndon Johnson had done at its dedication in 1964, he did send a letter of congratulations to the community’s founder Robert E. Simon. Not that Founder’s Day was short of dignitaries: Governor Terry McAuliffe spoke and presented a proclamation; Senator Tim Kaine spoke at the event as did Congressman Gerry Connolly who presented a resolution; not to be outdone, Senator Janet Howell and I presented a joint resolution as did Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and Supervisor Cathy Hudgins.

Independent Progressive

Let’s hear it for the new leadership in Richmond—especially Governor Terry McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring. Imagine Virginia leaders fighting for health care for 400,000 people and going to court fighting for cleaner water and air, and human equality under the law?! Just a few months ago, Virginia’s governor and Attorney General were little more than late night comedy fare, up to their ears in corruption scandal and opposing health care for the non-wealthy, cleaner air and water, and equality. But these two Democrats are trying to roll large boulders up a steep incline with broad support among a large majority of Virginians but precious little support from too many elected. Governor McAuliffe has succeeded in energizing a slim Senate majority of Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans to back market-driven insurance reform which will take available federal tax dollars and extend basic health insurance to up to 400,000 Virginians now without any health care.

Network Alliance, Inc. Wins Stevie Award

Network Alliance, Inc. (Network Alliance), Reston-based leading IT management solutions provider, has been recognized by the international Stevie Awards program for Sales and Customer Service, known as the worlds’ top sales and customer service honor, for the second consecutive year. Founded over 16 years ago on the mission to “Make IT Simple” for their clients, Network Alliance’s expert team has carved out a niche in a crowded marketplace through its accessible structure, cost-effective, scalable solutions, and dependable, expert client services team that has achieved a 98 percent client retention rate. Recognizing the achievements of sales, business development, customer service, and call/contact center professionals worldwide, this year’s Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service included over 1,500 nominations in more than 100 categories, which were judged by hundreds of executives around the world.

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Aldrin Elementary, Giant Announce Partnership

Aldrin Elementary and Giant of North Point announced their business partnership with a school assembly, on March 6. This is the first official school partnership for Giant. Aldrin's fifth and sixth grade chorus performed a special song and kindergartners created a video highlighting their recent field trip to Giant. The video showed how they integrated the school curriculum into their own virtual Giant Market. The audience and speakers included Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza, local government officials, Aldrin school administrators, the Reston Rotary Club, Giant and PTA representatives. As part of the partnership, Giant is providing volunteers to work with students, money for the Weekend Food Programs and educational field trips. Aldrin will support Giant by supplying student artwork for store display, communicating the partnership throughout the community and inviting Giant staff members to Aldrin school events.

Mother's Day Photos

Mother’s Day is May 11, 2014, and every year at this time, we call for submissions to our Mother’s Day photo gallery.

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Paladar Latin Kitchen and Bar Coming to Tysons

The bold and fresh flavors of Latin America will be coming to Tysons when Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar opens its second location in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on May 9. Paladar, a Cuban term for small, soulful and comforting restaurants that people run out of their homes, will be located at Leesburg Pike and Old Gallows Road in Tysons. The restaurant will feature an American interpretation of the vibrant flavors of Central and South America and the Latin Caribbean, with a special nod to the cuisine of Cuba. The Rum Bar will offer a selection of over 50 rums.

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State Budget May Not Pass for Several Months

Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce hosts General Assembly update.

For those waiting for the state budget to pass, don’t hold your breath. According to four elected officials at a Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce General Assembly update April 10, the Medicaid expansion bill will leave Democrats and Republicans quibbling over the budget past the beginning of summer.

FAREWELL TO BEV

All my memories of former Councilwoman Beverly Beidler seem to involve motion. I remember how joyfully she moved and how happy she was dancing the Virginia Reel during Marion's Music Hall, a fundraiser to help get Marion Van Landingham elected.

Spring2ACTion Raises $1,031,282

Fundraiser Benefits Nonprofits

Alexandria's annual online giving day, Spring2ACTion, generated a record-breaking $1,031,282 for 121 Alexandria nonprofits in 24 hours on April 9.

Letter: Many Changes

To the Editor

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Langley High Holds Case Day

Students hold mock trial for Riley vs. California.

A mock debate over cell phone privacy and the law drew hundreds of students, parents and even some very distinguished guests to Langley High School’s library last week. Langley High’s 22nd annual Case Day explored Riley vs. California on April 8, a case on the Supreme Court’s current docket that allowed students to debate whether a cell phone - which holds a wealth of personal information - can be searched without a warrant.

Letter: Restriping Sherwood Hall Lane

To the Editor

An Emotionally Gripping Production

‘The Children's Hour’ at Langley High School.

Amongst all the pandemonium of the Wright-Dobie school, one little girl stands out. With fire-red hair, a sickly sweet smile, and a sadistic gleam in her eyes, it is immediately clear that one of these things is not like the others. Langley High School's production of “The Children's Hour” by Lillian Hellman comments on the way gossip and lies can destroy lives. The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman, written in 1934 depicts the story of Mary Tilford, a wicked little girl whose lies about a homosexual relationship between two teachers at the Wright- Dobie School spiral out of control. The Children's Hour was first premiered on Broadway at Maxine Elliott's Theatre, where it ran for more than two years.

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McLean Seniors Have Strong Showing At Nationals

McLean residents Sidney Levingston and Tammy Vo were part of a Potomac School team that placed 24th in U.S. Open Robotics Championship in Omaha, Neb., a strong showing in a field of 80 teams nationwide. Levingston and Vo, along with fellow seniors Sarah Chiang and Amy Zhang, made up one of four teams that qualified for the championship from Potomac. They will go on to compete in the World Championship at the end of April in Anaheim, Calif., along with another team of eighth graders that won the Virginia VEX IQ state championship in February. Currently in its fifth season, Potomac’s robotics program has fielded teams that have won three national VEX championships. Last year, each of Potomac’s seven teams finished among the world’s top 100 teams.

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ArtReach School Tours Connect Arts and Science

More than 1700 elementary school students and teachers visited McLean Project for the Arts (MPA's) galleries in January and February for tours of Contraptions: Reflections on the Barely Functional.

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McLean Galaxy Wins Premier Tournament

McLean Galaxy Green U11 Boys Soccer Team were champions of the McLean Premier Soccer Tournament U11 National Division, defeating two local Division 1 teams, including Herndon and Chantilly. All four of the games in McLean were played in a wintry mix of freezing precipitation in the last weekend of March, with a mix of hail and snow falling during the finals. It was so cold and slippery that the game was called at the half with Mclean ahead 2-1 over Chantilly, and trophies and a team photo were delayed to one week later. McLean Galaxy Green players reside in McLean, Vienna and Great Falls. The team is coached by Yuri Bogdanov.

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A ‘Perfect Wedding’ at Alden

McLean Community Players present the area premiere of Robin Hawdon's farce.

The well-appointed romantic honeymoon suite in a country estate outside of London is not what it seems. Panic is beginning; it is a wedding day and the bride-to-be is expected to arrive very soon. So, who is the young woman there now? And how did she get there? Is there to be a wedding at all? Such is the appetizing premise behind the area premiere of Robin Hawdon's farce of "mistaken identities, deceptions, misunderstandings and true love," said Cathy Farnsworth, McLean Community Players (MCP) producer of "Perfect Wedding."

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Making a Difference at Churchill Road

The Churchill Road Elementary School Student Council Association (SCA) recently conducted a two-week long campaign to raise funds to send a child to the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) summer camp in Western Maryland. Thanks to their work and the generosity of the school community, the SCA was able to raise more than $1,400 by selling $1, $3 and $5 shamrocks in the “Make a Muscle, Make a Difference” campaign – enough to send two children to camp. Donors’ names were noted on the shamrocks and displayed in the school’s front lobby. SCA sponsor and school counselor Ms. Jamie Meyers said:

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The Alden Presents ‘The Lion’s Whiskers’ Puppet Show on April 26

The Alden's McLean Kids Performance Series continues on Saturday, April 26, at 2 p.m. with Catskill Puppet Theater in "The Lion's Whiskers." Tickets are $15, $10 for MCC district residents. The Alden is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue, inside the McLean Community Center. A delightful musical adaptation of a traditional Ethiopian folktale, “The Lion’s Whiskers” features a charming cast of human characters as well as African animals. When lonely Minya marries a widowed man with a son, she goes to a wise man for advice. He tells her that in order to win the heart of the little boy she must first pluck three whiskers from a wild lion. In doing so, she not only finds the courage to tame the lion, but also the secret to gaining the love of her new family.

Letter: More Parking Needed

To the Editor

Letter: Save Engine 204

Save Engine 204

To the Editor

Week in Herndon

Herndon Town Council Holds Budget Hearings A $48,827,100 budget was presented to residents to discuss at the April 8 Herndon Town Council meeting. The meeting provided residents the opportunity to gather information about the 2014-15 budget. A second hearing will be held April 22, at 7 p.m. at 765 Lynn Street. “In this climate, my proposed FY 2015 budget takes a conservative approach to allocation of town resources while continuing our focus on redevelopment of the downtown, planning for transit-oriented development near Metrorail's Herndon station and maintenance of the quality of our public facilities and infrastructure," stated Herndon Town Manager Arthur Anselene in a press release.

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Eggs-ellent Pre-Easter Swim

Herndon Community Center hosts third annual Aqua Egg Hunt.

Energetic children splashed about in a pool, frantically grabbing colorful plastic eggs bobbing in the water before time ran out. Herndon Community Center’s Third Annual Aqua Egg Hunt attracted about 80 swimsuit-clad children on Saturday. “I think it’s an opportunity for both the child and parent to do something together,” said Aquatic Services Manager Kerstin Severin.

Letter: Helping Those Truly in Need

To the Editor

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Snap Fitness Holds Grand Opening

24/7 fitness center looks forwards to serving community.

After more than three years of successful operation of a fitness location on Franklin Farm Road, in Herndon, business owner Sean Boyd decided to open a new Snap Fitness location at the Herndon Kmart Shopping Center on Elden Street. Several martial arts studios are located in the area, but there has been no fitness center serving the neighborhood since Gold’s Gym closed its location in 2008.

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Mind Heart Vision Exhibit Opens at ArtSpace

Senior students display work at community art gallery.

Every spring art teachers at Herndon High School invite senior artists to participate in a juried art show at ArtSpace Herndon, the community art gallery created and supported by art lovers in the greater Herndon area. The exhibit includes paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculpture. “The show is a chance for our art students to show their talents, and they are talented,” said Herndon High art teacher Alexa Mamatas, a 2008 graduate of Herndon High. Students show paintings, photographs, drawings, and digital art. This show was juried by professional local artist and teacher Melanie Stanley, Jeanette Burkle Galie of Galie photography, and Richard Suib of Richard Suib Images. “I think it is a great opportunity for other people to see our art,” said Herndon senior Saif Siraj, who has a computer-generated image on display in the exhibit. “The picture took about a week to make,” said Siraj.

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ArtSpace Herndon Hosts Americas Ensemble Concert

Audience learns about rhythm and musicians’ life journeys.

“This is a perfect example of how the arts in Herndon has both an educational and entertaining mission to bridge cultures in our local community,” said Scott Mayhugh. Mayhugh was attending the Saturday evening music performance hosted at ArtSpace Herndon featuring artists of a group named Americas Ensemble.

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Lutheran Mission Team Feeds the Hungry

Members of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church missions team, Helping Hands, reached out to the Selma community once again, donating $7,000 of food to the local food pantry. Concordia students helped shop, deliver and unload the hundreds of pounds of canned food to Christian Outreach Alliance, an organization that gives hundreds of food bags to the hungry each month. Good Shepherd, based in Herndon has sent several mission teams to Concordia College over the years. Also on the mission trip was Matthew Dickert. The team also painted buildings on campus during their time in Selma.

Herndon High in National Business Plan Competition

The Business Management Virtual Enterprise class at Herndon High recently placed first in best sales presentation, first in website design, second in company business card, and fifth in human resource case study during a trade show at Virginia Wesleyan College. The students created the company V-LO Chip, Inc. Their chip is the size of a stamp and can be placed on any item which would allow one to locate a lost, stolen, or misplaced object using a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. It can also be used for medical purposes to locate disoriented loved ones suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Team members include Paria Ahmadi, Daniel Cozza, Eduardo Delgado, Bobby Emmons, Bailey Hubble, Anthony Lieu, Stephanie Paendong, Nathan Petrelli, and Sam Sepassi. Team officers also played a part in the success of the competition but did not attend; they traveled to New York City on March 31, to represent Virginia in the National Business Plan competition. Officers are Steven Barbaro, Andrew Ipinza, Robert Koss, Travis Langtry, Andrew Maccini, Sara Pena, and Han Phan.

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Herndon High Students Perform with All-State Band

Herndon High School All State Band Students pictured while participating in the performance on April 5 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. -- Lewis Morgan (senior), trombone first chair; Dasha Bradfield, (senior), clarinet; Jacob Reeves (sophomore), percussion; Trevor Little, (senior) trumpet, and Aimee Toner, (sophomore) flute.

Week in Great Falls

Holocaust Survivor to Speak at Great Falls Library Holocaust survivor Henry Greenbaum will talk about his experience as a Polish Jew who was liberated from Auschwitz concentration camp and eventually made his way to the United States. His presentation -- Out of the Darkness, Into the Light: Surviving the Holocaust – will be held on Wednesday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls. Greenbaum now serves as a volunteer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Seating is limited. Please register for this event at http://bit.ly/1pIEtWL or phone the Library at 703-757-8560.

Troop 673 Promotes Two New Eagle Scouts

Ian Toloczko and Owen Dankworth, of Eagle Scouts from Troop 673 in Great Falls –- sponsored by the Great Falls United Methodist Men – are the most recent among more than one hundred Eagle Scouts developed by the Troop for over 50 years of activity.

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‘Fountain of Youth’ in Great Falls Plaza

Fontaine de Jeunesse Medical & Dental Aesthetics Spa opened since June 2013.

In an unassuming Georgetown Pike plaza is a spa-like experience promising to tighten clients up without a nip and tuck. Fontaine de Jeunesse Medical & Dental Aesthetics Spa, a self-proclaimed fountain of youth in the heart of Great Falls, has been noninvasively treating men and women since last summer. The owner, Dr. Jeanette Coutin, started the business as a way to help other women age gracefully through menopause without being self-conscious. “I found out that diet and exercise alone was not taking care of losing the weight,” she said.

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‘Deer Management’ Options Explored

The deer population has boomed, experts tell Great Falls Citizens Association Town Hall meeting.

Hundreds of deer are eating tree limbs in the national parks and decorative hastas in gardens, and short of introducing wolves to the area, residents want to get rid of them. Great Falls Citizens Association had three local deer management experts discuss what the residents’ options were April 8 at a town hall meeting at The Grange. All three said there is no way of knowing how many deer are in the area. However, because there is no natural predator, the deer population has boomed.

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Great Falls Celebrates Spring

Community enjoys 30th Annual Spring Festival.

“When the weather is nice we always have a nice turnout,” said Wendy Adeler Hall, daughter of the Great Falls jeweler Jorge Adeler. On Sunday, April 13, families from the Great Falls community and Northern Virginia gathered at the Village Green for the annual Spring Festival. The Spring Festival and Egg Hunt was hosted by the Great Falls Optimist Club and Adeler Jewelers, a family business which has served northern Virginia for more than 20 years.

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Church To Host Centreville International Showcase

Centreville International Showcase will be April 26.

Celebrating the community’s cultural diversity, the Centreville Immigration Forum (CIF) presents the Centreville International Showcase. A lighthearted evening of music, dance, food and friendship is slated for Saturday, April 26, from 6-9:30 p.m., at Centreville United Methodist Church.

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Doreen Montis Exhibits at Great Falls Library

Doreen Montis presents a collection of abstract and contemporary photography at the Great Falls Library. The photographs in the exhibit are images that were captured as seen thru the camera. They were not digitally manipulated or created in Photoshop. It is interesting to see how ordinary images, such as oil and water, lights, and glass can become works of art by changing the focus point or lighting conditions. Stop by and test your skills at identifying the objects in the photographs. The Great Falls Library is located at 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls. The collection will be on display from April-June, 10 percent of all sales will go to the Friends of the Library. Montis’ images have received top honors at several exhibitions and contests. They have appeared magazines and are in personal collections nationwide. To see more of Montis’ images, visit her website at www.dmontisphotoart.com.

Letter: No Justification For Tax Increase

To the Editor

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Dillon and Kelly Engaged

Mr. and Mrs. Francis Edward Kelly III of Midlothian, Va., happily announce the engagement of their daughter, Caitlin Wood Kelly, to Zachary Matthew Dillon, son of Mr. and Mrs. Byron Matthew Dillon of Centreville.

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Great Falls Volunteers Take Part in Watershed Clean Up

Northern Virginia residents participated in the Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup on Saturday, April 5, sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Last year, this Potomac watershed cleanup through the region collected over 300 tons of trash. The Great Falls Citizens Association organized over a dozen volunteers this year to clean up along Difficult Run stream and worked for over three hours to pull out debris along the trails and woods along the stream, which flows into the Potomac River. Many of the volunteers were high school students.

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Deadly Dangers of Drugs

Narcotics officer shares information with parents.

Lt. Jim Cox is a 26-year member of the Fairfax County Police Department. From 1995-2001, he was a detective in the Organized Crime and Narcotics (OCN) Division; and since 2004, he’s been an OCN supervisor. “I know a lot about narcotics,” he said. “But every day, something new comes on the market.”

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Supporting the Artemis House

Great Falls Friends and Neighbors (GFFN) presented a check for $4451 to the Artemis House. The money was raised from the sale of White House Christmas ornaments. From left, standing - Pat Kuehnel, Danielle Colon, (Artemis House), Maria Volpe, Ranjana Chawla, MaryAnn Nocerino; Seated - Jolie Smith (Artemis House) and Roz Drayer.

Rehearsing Barn raising at Great Falls Farmers Market

This past Saturday was a rehearsal for the barn raising that will take place at Great Falls Day on Sunday, May 4. The National Barn Alliance brought their Dutch Barn to the market to set it up and make sure all the pieces are there and that everything is in order. Local families came to help out. It was a demonstration of teamwork. Typically advertised as an activity for 10-year-olds, we found that in Great Falls, children of all ages were able to engage in the activity and make a valuable contribution.

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TC Students Advocating on Capitol Hill

Students from TC Williams King Street & Satellite Campuses along with ARHA’s Momentum Leadership Program attended the Third Annual BWR Women of Power Summit on Capitol last month. The Momentum Leadership Program is co-funded by the City of Alexandria's Youthfund.

Tuesday, April 15

Whitman’s Berson Tosses 3-Hit Shutout Against WJ

Vikings split with B-CC, WJ at Battle of Bethesda.

The Whitman baseball team improved to 7-4 with a win over Walter Johnson on April 14.

Saturday, April 12

Herbert's Blast Lifts W-L Baseball Past Yorktown

Generals manage just two hits off Yorktown's Fineman.

Washington-Lee improved to 5-1 with Friday's victory.

Friday, April 11

Alexandria Real Estate: Top Sales in February 2014

In February 2014, 103 Alexandria homes sold between $3,025,000-$91,000.

Alexandria Real Estate: Top Sales in February 2014

Potomac Real Estate: Top Sales in February 2014

In February 2014, 23 Potomac homes sold between $2,880,000-$243,700.

Potomac Real Estate: Top Sales in February 2014

Thursday, April 10

Classified Advertising April 9, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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Burke Resident Recognized for Volunteer Service

Wayne Chiles, a member of Springfield Rotary Club, raises awareness of ShelterBox.

President Barack Obama, along with ShelterBox USA, has recognized Burke resident Wayne Chiles with the President's Volunteer Service Award as a result of his efforts to help victims of disasters throughout the world. Chiles has worked to raise awareness and funds for ShelterBox, an organization that provides shelter for those affected by disasters and humanitarian crises.

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Class of 2015 Presented with Class Rings

South County High School juniors celebrate with solemn ceremony.

In a solemn and formal ceremony, members of the South County High School Class of 2015 received their class rings, marking an important milestone and the symbolic transition into becoming upperclassmen.

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Bumpy Ride on Area Roads

Repaving will occur when funds are available and weather is warmer.

It’s no secret that drivers traveling along Burke Centre Parkway as it turns into Lee Chapel Road at the intersection of Burke Lake Road are bound to run into a few potholes.

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Commission Approves Landfill Extension

Application will be reviewed by Board of Supervisors.

An application to extend the operation of the EnviroSolutions owned landfill in Lorton has been approved by the Fairfax County Planning Commission. Commissioners voted 6-4 on April 3 to approve the application to continue the landfill’s operation. The application includes a green energy park proposal in exchange for the landfill remaining open until 2040.

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‘Breaking the Glass Ceiling’ Discussed in Lorton

Event was part of ‘American Women: The Long and Winding Road.’

Right before Carly Fiorina, the first woman CEO of a Fortune 20 company, began her first day as CEO of Hewlett-Packard in 1999, she prepared for questions she thought she might receive regarding innovation and future growth of the company. After all, she was the first outsider and non-engineer to lead the company, so she wanted to think about those important questions.

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Considering the Effects of Mass Incarceration

A Public Forum on Criminal Justice Sentencing Reform held in Burke.

There is a racial disparity in the number of people incarcerated in the United States. Nearly one in ten black men in their thirties is in jail. This number has increased due to the war on drugs, which has also seen a racial disparity in the numbers of those convicted.

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Clifton Resident Shares Stepdaughter’s Story

Debbie Sausville’s stepdaughter Lauren died after underage drinking in 2004.

As part of Alcohol Awareness Month, Debbie Sausville of Clifton is continuing her work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), speaking out against underage drinking.

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Economic Outlook Summit Hosted in Southeast Fairfax

Federal government jobs down, lower-wage jobs up

At this year’s Economic Outlook Summit, hosted by the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation, experts on the local economy and housing discussed the economic forecast for the Route One area and beyond.

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Dedicated Debate Over Streetcars Along Columbia PIke

Streetcar critics not swayed by county study showing benefits of streetcars.

The ongoing saga of the Columbia Pike streetcar gained yet another study last month, but critics say the latest investigation failed to address their concerns.

Wednesday, April 9

SYA Honors Its Volunteers

The Southwestern Youth Association held its annual Volunteer Awards casino night on Saturday, March 22 at the Fairfax Marriott Hotel at Fair Oaks.

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Crystal Run 5K Fridays Return

More than 1,100 runners completed the 5K course in Crystal City on Friday evening, April 4. The evening race series, sponsored by the Crystal City BID and Pacers Running Stores, started last week and continues through the month of April.

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Civil War Recruiting Day

Reenactors portraying soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry, Company K, set up camp recently at Fort Ward Park for “Recruiting Day.”

Tartan Day Festival in Old Town

For the first time, the National Capital Tartan Day Committee (NCTDC) hosted the annual Tartan Day festival at Waterfront Park on Saturday, April 5.

Maintaining a Viable and Diverse Community

As you consider the FY 2015 proposed city budget, we urge you to make additional and needed investments in housing, health and human services programs. These recommendations were developed through a collaborative process of nonprofit housing developers, human service providers, and advocacy organizations identifying community needs and then making recommendations for the FY 2015 budget.

Annual Alexandria Invitational Cheerleading Competition

Quinn Davis, 6 years old, with family friend Jennifer Catton at the annual Alexandria Invitational Cheerleading Competition on Saturday, April 5. A member of the Mount Vernon Tigers, Youth Level 2, she finished first place.

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DeMarini Stars Prime Win TP Tournament

Demarini Stars 13u Prime team won the area TP Tournament the weekend of March 22, winning four straight games for the championship.

MetroStage Presents ‘The Thousandth Night’

MetroStage is presenting the one-man-show, “The Thousandth Night” now through May 18. The play stars Marcus Kyd as a quick-thinking comic actor in a traveling company of players who are stuck in Paris during the occupation of France. He is facing his deportation for “propagating subversive material,” so in his last effort to save his life, he performs his show for the last people (the audience) who may have his fate in their hands. “Guy tells the gendarmes a series of stories, to be sure, but his own story is the backbone of the entire play,” said Kyd who plays 36 different characters using various hats and scarves from his trunk.

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Junior ROTC Supports UCM

Each month this school year, the Army Junior ROTC students at West Potomac High School volunteered their time on a Friday afternoon at the UCM Food Pantry to organize and bag the USDA commodities for UCM’s clients.

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Youth Hockey Team Earns Bronze

The Northern Virginia Hockey Club’s U16 AA team, based out of the Mt. Vernon Rec Center, captured the Bronze medal at the 2014 USA Hockey National Championships which were held April 2-6 in Ashburn, making history for the local club. This U16 team, coached by Bill Butler and Doug Scott, is the first NVHC team to ever qualify for and compete in the USA Hockey National Championships.

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The Circus Comes to St. Aidan’s Day School

The kindergarten class of St. Aidan’s Day School held its annual circus for the 10th year on Friday, April 4. There were tightrope walkers, strongmen, elephant. lions, tigers, a lion tamer and clowns.

Brief: Democrats Host Forum for 8th District

The first opportunity for voters to question the 10 candidates on the ballot in the 8th Congressional District Democratic primary will be at a forum Saturday, April 12 sponsored by the Mount Vernon District Democratic Committee. The primary is June 10. George Burke, the Virginia Democratic Party's 11th Congressional District chair, will moderate the forum The forum is free and open to the public, from 4-6 p.m., April 12, at the Mount Vernon High School Little Theater, 8515 Old Mount Vernon Road.

Letter to the Editor: In the Public’s Interest

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Coalition recently to discuss a wide range of issues affecting our county. I enjoyed the discussion. Good government requires that elected officials ensure that communities are involved in a meaningful way in the decisions that affect them. Public trust in government erodes when government leaders make deals behind closed doors, as the Brickyard community knows all too well. As a member of the County Council since 1998, I have worked openly and closely with many communities on a broad range of issues that affect them. I was one of the County Councilmembers who sent a letter publicly urging County Executive Leggett to work with the Coalition to find a mutually acceptable use of the Brickyard Road site.

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Commentary: Preparing Students for OR Jobs

If you’ve ever played that classic board game, “The Game of Life,” you’re familiar with the game’s first important life choice: College Path or Career Path. No doubt, a similar choice is on the minds of upcoming seniors at Alexandria’s T.C. Williams High School as they finalize their choices for next year’s classes. For those choosing to pursue the career path first, they have a new course option called the Claude Moore Surgical Tech Scholars Program. Created as a joint venture between Alexandria City Public Schools, Inova Alexandria Hospital and the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Surgical Tech program resulted from a very real need to fill healthcare jobs in this specialty right now, while also preparing a pool of qualified applicants to meet future demand. Data from the U.S.

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‘Tiger Trot’ Aids Fire Department

The hills and valleys of Potomac will suddenly come alive on Sunday, April 13 as more than 400 runners and walkers take to the streets for the 4th Annual “Tiger Trot.” The 5K run/walk, sponsored by the Connelly School of the Holy Child benefits the Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department as well as the wellness and fitness programs at the school. This community race draws both elite runners from the area as well as family, friends, neighbors, firefighters and Holy Child faculty. All are welcome to participate in the run and walk through Potomac neighborhoods.

Brief: SYA Soccer Launches U8 Academy Program

SYA Soccer is launching a new U8 Academy Program starting in the Fall of 2014. This 10-month comprehensive training program will focus on individual player development of technical and tactical skills. The Academy players will take part in twice weekly training sessions, crossover U8 games with fellow CCL clubs and winter indoor training and league games.

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SSSA Girls’ Lacrosse Trounces Rival Episcopal

Saints undefeated despite graduation of multiple All-Americans.

The St. Stephen's & St. Agnes girls' lacrosse team improved to 14-0 with a 17-3 win over Episcopal.

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Betting on PetConnect Rescue

Raising funds to save animals from high-kill shelters.

It was a “place your bets on the pets” night — and the pets won. Last Saturday, Potomac’s PetConnect Rescue held its first fundraising gala in Chevy Chase called Casino Night, hosting more than 240 people for a sellout evening.

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International Night at Hybla Valley

Hybla Valley Elementary held an International Night on Thursday, April 3. Student-made decorations were used by the physical education, art and music teachers to transform the hallways into several Halls of Nations. Even the ceiling was lined with kites inspired by international cultures.

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Have Harmonica, Will Mentor

94-year-old Jack Hopkins hosts weekly gathering.

There are harmonicas that fit into pant pockets and there are harmonicas two feet long. There are harmonicas for guitar accompaniment and harmonicas designed for orchestras. Alexandria resident Jack Hopkins, co-founder of the 23-year-old Capitol Harmonica Club, has at least 16 different types and has been playing since he was six years old. The instrument has taken him to a variety of places and brought him a number of opportunities.

Teens Are Most in Need of Foster Care Homes

Virginia's largest age group in need of homes is between 16 to 18-years-old.

At 54 years old, Julie wanted to be an adoptive parent for over a decade. But it wasn't until last year that she finally brought a child home. Single, she had recently left her federal government position and felt like she was ready. In May, she welcomed her 17-year-old foster son into her McLean home. "For me I was never a parent before," said Julie. "So I had to run fast and catch up."

News Brief: ARHA Adopts Non-Smoking Policy

The Board of Commissioners of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA) unanimously approved a resolution calling for a Non-Smoking Policy for all ARHA residents at its meeting last month. When fully implemented in late Spring 2015, the new policy will cover approximately 3,000 residents. Results of a survey of smoking prevalence and attitudes on smoking at ARHA indicate that approximately 33 percent of adult residents are smokers. This is consistent with rates reported by a few other housing authorities, but higher than the 19-21 percent rate of adult smoking among those who do not live in affordable housing.

Letter to the Editor: City Manager’s Office Salary Summary

* FY 14 merits and salary adjustments were effective July 1, 2013 * There is no executive summary giving everyone a 5 percent increase, the proposed FY 15 budget contains an average merit of 3.2 percent for the entire organization * 1 percent increase for all employees for VRS As of 3-26-14.

Letter to the Editor: Improvement Is Needed

To the Editor: The on-going debate on the re-striping of Sherwood Hall Lane is characterized by a signal lack of data on all sides; its permanent re-striping should hold off until we’ve got some hard data to make an informed decision. I assert that those, on either side of the bike lane divide, who advocate a final solution right now are nervous that the data wouldn’t support their preferred position.

Brief: Storck To Host Office Hours

Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District School Board member for Fairfax County Public Schools, will host Community Office Hours at the Lorton Library in the Conference Room on Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.

Letter to the Editor: Who’s Looking Out For Taxpayers?

To the Editor: Its budget time again in Alexandria and based on [City Manager] Mr. Young's proposed budget items, once again he continues to leave Alexandria loaded with debt while continuing to raise his salary and those of his staff, cutting 33 positions and just "moving the deck chairs" around as it relates to staff reductions, but no eliminations along with a much higher real estate tax initially proposed due to high debt limit and City Council's inability to say "no" to anything. As such, here are some of my questions/suggestions for Mayor Euille and all members of the council to consider and/or ask Mr. Young before adopting this budget.

Letter to the Editor: Proposal’s Effect On Fire Safety?

To the Editor: We, the presidents of the NorthEast Citizens’ Association and the North Old Town Independent Citizens Association, are writing to express the deep concern of many of our members over the budget proposal to remove Fire Engine 204 from Station 204. The city manager has proposed that rather than keep in the budget firefighter positions needed to staff Station 210, the needed firefighter positions from 204 will be transferred to 210. Fire Engine 204 itself would otherwise not need to be moved; in recent years, the city purchased a full fleet of new engines.

4-Year-Olds Learn About Entrepreneurship

“Camila’s Lemonade Stand” author visits Potomac Nursery School.

“If you could start your own business — any business you wanted, what would you choose?” asked teacher Barbara Haas to her class of 4-year-olds at Potomac Nursery School. The question prompted answers from the children of “I would have a business where I could take care of animals” to “I would want to make delicious food for people.” Some wanted to become home builders, doctors or fire-fighters; others wanted to become lawyers to help other people.

Start the Conversation

April 16 has been designated as National Healthcare Decisions Day by national, state and community organizations. This special day was established to encourage adults of all ages to plan ahead for a health care crisis. This is also a great day to focus on how you can prepare yourself and your loved ones to face the decisions that will confront us all as we age.

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Herald Spring with Fun Patterns and Bright Colors

Lively springtime accessories and flowers can make a room seem more cheerful and seasonable.

With yellow and blue flower buds starting to poke their way through the ground, you might be forgiven for believing that spring is actually coming this year. Even if your yard still looks like a winter wasteland, however, one place to make spring a reality is on the home front. Designers say there is fun to be had. Use bursts of bright colors, energetic patterns and spring accessories to create a seamless transition into the new season.

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Rebuilding Robinson Shows Resiliency in Loss to Yorktown

Rams overcome 3-0 deficit to tie Patriots before falling to 0-6-1.

The Robinson boys' soccer team lost to Yorktown 4-3 on April 7.

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The Seven Faces of Erin Peterson

Annual Gospel Celebration of Life is this Sunday, April 13.

Nearly seven years have passed since Centreville’s Erin Peterson — an 18-year-old freshman at Virginia Tech — was killed in a massacre there, along with 31 others. But although short, her life counted; and each year, the local community gathers to remember her. This year, the 7th Annual Erin Peterson Gospel Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, April 13, at 4 p.m., at Mount Olive Baptist Church, 6600 Old Centreville Road in Centreville. The theme is “Keeping Hope Alive: The Seven Faces of Erin – Daughter, Sister, Friend, Mentor, Visionary, Peacemaker, Inspiration.”

Letter to the Editor: Mixed Messages To Seniors

To the Editor: In 2012, the City Council unanimously approved the city’s strategic plan on aging. The plan supports the goal of most older Alexandria residents to age in place, in their homes and in the community they love. The city manager’s proposed budget threatens to undermine the ability of many residents to stay in the city. The budget calls for termination of Senior Taxi; imposition of steep cuts in property tax relief for older or disabled homeowners; and termination of JobLink’s program providing employment assistance for older job seekers.

Letter to the Editor: Waterfront Course Correction Needed

To the Editor: What is our goal for Alexandria? To be attractive to upper-income retirees? Or make Alexandria a place where talented young people want to live and raise a family? Judging from recent waterfront discussions, it’s the former — affluent seniors. The best research available, however, says if you want to lock in future prosperity, go for young families. Don’t get me wrong. Waterfront development is coming along reasonably well, and I compliment leadership on its work. It’s just that we need a course correction to make sure we’re heading where we want to go and don’t drift into a dead-zone of older seasonal residents whose memories and priorities are elsewhere.

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Bonsai Show Coming Up at Garden Center

Learn about, see and vote for favorite trees.

The Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will hold its Spring Show this weekend at the Merrifield Garden Center. It’s at 12101 Lee Hwy. in Fairfax and the free show runs Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Teens: Most in Need of Foster Care Homes

Virginia's largest age group in need of homes is between 16 to 18-years-old.

At 54 years old, Julie wanted to be an adoptive parent for over a decade. But it wasn't until last year that she finally brought a child home.

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Friends Promote Lake Accotink Park

A secure donation box installed at the Lake Accotink Marina.

Lake Accotink Park visitors can now show how much the park means to them, and lend their support via a secure donation box installed at the Lake Accotink Marina. Friends of Lake Accotink Park (FLAP) President, Tony Vellucci, led an inauguration ceremony for the donation box prior to the Spring Watershed Cleanup Day April 5. Vellucci introduced Jim Hickey, former FLAP President and Park Authority Elly Doyle awardee for his sustained support of Fairfax County parks, noting that Hickey was a key individual in making the donation box a reality. Donations are voluntary and will be used by FLAP toward stewardship and recreational park projects.

Letter to the Editor: What Happened To Democracy?

To the Editor: I’ve always wondered what happens when Democrats control a democracy. Alexandria is great petri dish to make this observation. Not only is it full of Democrats, it’s full the best kind: government employees. Alexandria is awash with them. Understandably, their proclivity is to turn to government for leadership, solutions and redress. To this mindset, the government is not the servant; it’s the master. And last month, our local master conquered. It vanquished the Old Town Boat Club. The city used police state threats and $5 million of our money to crush a venerable organization composed of private citizens. The city coveted their club property. Now, it appears what never belonged to the city is nearly in its hand.

Letter to the Editor: Outlandish Property Taxes

To the Editor: Why is it that our property taxes have risen 135 percent since the year 2000? That’s an average increase of 7 percent every year. Yet we are consistently told by our council that the numerous new building developments they have ravaged upon us will create a tax base that will in turn give the citizens a break on their property taxes. That’s just pure baloney, as who is paying for the entire associated infrastructure. Obviously the developers aren’t; we are. Therefore the taxes generated by the city’s numerous overdevelopment programs are being spent in other areas and are not being returned to us as tax rebates.

Letter to the Editor: Making Progress

To the Editor: Amid a busy campaign season leading up to the Democratic Primary Election on June 24, it is easy to get caught up in the horse race aspect of politics and forget about the real challenges affecting Marylanders every day. Yesterday marked the conclusion of the 2014 Legislative Session. This year, the Maryland General Assembly considered a number of important pieces of legislation.

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Orange Hunt Elementary Math Night Transformed

Winter Olympics as theme of first STEM Night experience.

On March 20, Orange Hunt Elementary School revamped its former Math Night into a STEM Night that rocked the students and the community into an evening of learning and fun for the whole family. What began as a somewhat daunting endeavor, our new, small, STEM Planning Committee, which consisted of a half dozen science and math teachers and another half dozen of parent experts and scientists, planned an evening with over 20 hands-on experiments, activities and demonstrations aimed to educate students and community in the areas of Science, Technology, Math and Engineering.

Halley Teachers Honored For Inclusiveness

Joni Smith and Rebecca Bailey demonstrate the importance of inclusive preschool classrooms.

Research emphasizes that strong early learning programs dictate future academic success for all students. On March 25, at Green Acres Recreational Center on Main Street in Fairfax, Halley Elementary School teachers Rebecca Bailey and Joni Smith received the Exemplary Inclusive Practice Award from Fairfax County Preschool Division of Early Childhood Education. The honor recognized their efforts to provide their preschool students with a classroom environment that meets their unique academic needs and prepares them as respectful and empathetic citizens of diverse learning communities.

Reverend C. L. Bryant to Speak at Republican Women of Clifton April Meeting

Reverend C. L. Bryant, former president of the Garland, Texas chapter of the NAACP and noted speaker will speak at the April 16 meeting of the Republican Women of Clifton (RWC). Rev. Bryant is a conservative activist and frequent commentator on Fox News. He dazzled audiences at Glenn Beck’s FreePAC event when he encouraged thousands in the audience to "defend the republic" while also tackling the enslavement of government dependency. Rev. Bryant is a radio and television host and creator of the independent film, The Runaway Slave, a movie about the race to free the Black community from the slavery of tyranny and progressive policies.

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Lorton Road to be Widened to Four Lanes

The widening of Lorton Road to four lanes will begin this spring. Construction will occur Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The project area is 2.5 miles and includes Lorton Road, Furnace Road and newly-named Workhouse Road. Lorton Road will be widened from Ox Road to the Silverbrook Road intersection. Furnace Road will be widened to the Lorton Road Intersection from north of Hooes Road.

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School of the Arts Goes Blue

In support of Autism Awareness Month, Metropolitan School of the Arts is asking all of its studio students to "go blue" now through April 30. Students who wear blue during class, Monday through Friday in April, Metropolitan School of the Arts will donate $1 for each student that wears blue, per day. Go to www.metropolitanarts.org for a full schedule of classes and registration.

Earth Day Offers Opportunity to Reflect

Later this month, residents across Fairfax County will celebrate Earth Day and renew their commitment to protect our natural resources. As you do your part in your own homes and communities, I ask that you join with the County to support initiatives that will preserve these resources for the generations still to come.

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Bill to Help Homeowners’ Associations

Del. Filler-Corn passes legislation to help constituent homeowners’ associations.

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41), working with constituents, has spearheaded legislation aimed at helping many residents of her district and across Virginia. The 41st District contains several self-managed homeowners’ associations, made up of volunteers in the community working in the best interests of their shared neighborhood.

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Bonsai Show at Garden Center

Learn about, see and vote for favorite trees.

The Northern Virginia Bonsai Society will hold its Spring Show this weekend at the Merrifield Garden Center. It’s at 12101 Lee Hwy. in Fairfax and the free show runs Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bonsai experts will give demonstrations, and attendees may vote on the trees they believe should then compete at the Potomac Bonsai Association show at the National Arboretum.

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TAP Presents ‘The Most Happy Fella’

The Arlington Players (TAP) is presenting a classic of the American musical stage, “The Most Happy Fella” now through April 19. The operatic play is about a romance between an Italian immigrant older man and younger woman in the Napa Valley, and is from the book, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, who is famous for creating “Guys and Dolls.” He also created “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” But this show was based on “They Knew What They Wanted” by Sidney Howard.

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New Water Taxi Service Launched

The Potomac Riverboat Co. offers all-new water taxi services from Old Town Alexandria directly to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Beginning April 4, passengers can board the Miss Sophie for a 30-minute cruise, departing from the Alexandria City Marina and docking at the Potomac River side of the National Mall near the intersection of West Basin and Ohio Drive, steps from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Tidal Basin and a Capital Bikeshare station. Tickets are $28 round-trip or $14 one-way for adults; children are $16 round-trip or $8 one-way.

Connection Papers Win Awards

Reporting, photography, design and editorial cartoons commended at annual Virginia Press Association meeting.

"Great work exposing serious challenges and obstacles in the way of the public's access to public information. The articles are well written and well researched, providing concrete and compelling examples of the flaws in the systems." That was what the judge said when awarding first place for In-depth or investigative reporting to Michael Lee Pope in the Arlington Connection. The Virginia Press Association announced its press awards for 2013 at the annual meeting on Saturday, April 5, in Richmond.

"I Thought You Were a Goner"

So has said my longtime oncology nurse, Ron, who has tended to me since June, 2009. Originally, I had been assigned to a different oncology nurse, Holly, with whom I developed an immediate rapport. She cared for me from the beginning, early March 2009, when I began my every-three-week chemotherapy infusion through June, when she transferred from the Infusion Center to a different unit (oncology does take a toll). Initially, after Holly’s departure, Jane, another nurse in the unit, took me on as a patient. However, and this is where the details get sketchy, within a subsequent infusion or two, I was told one day upon my arrival at the Infusion Center, that Ron, still another oncology nurse, who I had certainly seen there previously but with whom I had minimal interaction, would be taking over for Jane – who was not transferring out – and henceforth would be my new oncology nurse. Apparently, I had been traded. For another patient? For future considerations? For a lunch-to-be-paid later? To this day, nearly five years later, I’ve never been able to uncover the truth. I got along fine with Jane; I’m a very low-maintenance patient/ person; I don’t think I did anything to precipitate such a decision. Nevertheless, a deal (my word) had been struck.

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Green Lizard Lights it Up Blue for Autism Awareness Day

A good sized crowd gathered last Wednesday evening at Herndon’s Green Lizard Cycling to see the storefront lit up with blue lights. Buildings and landmarks across the country and the world turned on blue lights as well Wednesday night for Autism Speaks 4th annual “Light It Up Blue” campaign for World Autism Awareness Day.

The Italian Gourmet Celebrates 40 Years

On Monday Dec. 9, 1974, The Italian Gourmet opened in Vienna. With its gourmet Italian prepared foods and specialty hard goods, The Italian Gourmet drew customers from all over the D.C. area. Today Jeremy and Margaret Schottler own the store, and their two children can often be found "helping" in the store as well. Six days a week (the deli is closed on Sunday for family time), The Italian Gourmet serves as a deli, gourmet food shop and caterer to the Vienna community. After working as a part time high school and college employee, Jeremy bought The Italian Gourmet in 1998, shortly after graduating from James Madison University. Jeremy combined his love of food and cooking with his business degree to this Vienna mainstay.

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Great Falls Volunteers Take Part in Watershed Clean Up

Northern Virginia residents participated in the Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup on Saturday, April 5, sponsored by the Alice Ferguson Foundation. Last year, this Potomac watershed cleanup through the region collected over 300 tons of trash. The Great Falls Citizens Association organized over a dozen volunteers this year to clean up along Difficult Run stream and worked for over three hours to pull out debris along the trails and woods along the stream, which flows into the Potomac River. Many of the volunteers were high school students.

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Celebrating Diversity

Reston founder Robert Simon visits Langston Hughes Middle.

Langston Hughes Middle School celebrated Diversity Day in a timely way this year.Themed “The Diversity of Reston: Then and Now,” the school invited Reston founder Robert Simon and local elementary principals to talk about how diversity impacted the growth of their community on Friday.“This is community,” said Simon. “Community is the most important word I want to leave with you. It always struck me that the best way to be happy is to be surrounded by good friends and relatives.”He told the students that he built the community based on the best parts of other communities he had seen during his travels. The most important part of Reston - and indeed the first part - was to create a plaza that would serve as the community center.

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Teens Learn about Future Careers

Madison High teens participate in job-shadow program.

Medicine, business, computer security – 16 Madison High students learned about these careers and more during a recent, job-shadow program. Sponsored by FCPS and the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce, it enabled the students to experience various occupations firsthand. The teens listed their top three career interests and the Chamber matched them with businesses. Afterward, they shared their experiences with The Connection.

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Clean for Spring

Local organization experts offer tips to help with spring cleaning.

Betsy Fein found herself in the middle of a spring fling in Fairfax recently. She wasn’t at a festival or involved in a new romance, but in the midst of organizing a cluttered bedroom that was littered with piles of shirts, pants, shoes and books. Spring often means renewal and local organizers like Fein are offering suggestions for clearing out winter clutter. From closets that are overstuffed with wool sweaters and down coats to kitchen drawers overflowing with batteries and appliance manuals, they offer suggestions for getting organized without getting overwhelmed.

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Writing Contest on Purpose of the Grange

Great Falls Day to be celebrated on May 4.

The Great Falls Historical Society invites young writers to participate in A Historic Essay Contest -- Seeing Today Through Yesterday’s Eyes. Great Falls Day will celebrate the 85th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Great Fall Grange at the Great Fall Grange Hall, 9818 Georgetown Pike, May 4, 2014, 1 to 5 p.m. Length, Font & Format: Minimum one type-written page, Times New Roman Font, 12 point; maximum three type-written pages, Times New Roman Font, 12 point; Microsoft Word Format. Deadline: Friday, April 25, 2014, 5 p.m. Eligible Age Groups: Level one: 8 to 12 years; level two: 13 to 15 years. Deliver entry to information desk at the Great Falls Library by Friday, April 25 at 5 p.m.

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Journey of Discovery Continues

Third Women’s Collaborative to be held on April 17-20 in Middleburg.

Mary Jo Smrekar of Reston and Sue Ries Lamb of Alexandria are preparing to facilitate their third Women’s Collaborative at the Meadowkirk Retreat in Middleburg. What the two describe as a “journey of discovery” for up to twelve women takes place in three four-day sessions. The first gathering will be held from April 17 through April 20. The second retreat will be held on Oct. 9 – 12, and the third Nov. 13 – 16. Smrekar and Lamb met in 1972, and with a shared interest in exploring their own spirituality and their place in the world as women, they remained friends, and occasionally colleagues, throughout the years since. From 2006 to 2009 they participated in the first Hope Springs Leadership Collaborative and in 2010 they were part of the 35th and last Women’s Way Program, garnering experiences that led them to create their own local version of the collaborative in 2011.

What’s Next for Great Falls Traffic?

To the Editor: As one of the "naysayers" noted by Eric Knudsen in your latest article about the "Walker Road Diet Project," I applaud him for continuing to put his face on the ridiculous projects the Great Falls Citizen's Association has imposed on us.

Is WarnerCare Here?

To the Editor: Several weeks back, Fred Siskind of McLean attempted to defend a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) - Medical Devices Excise Tax [“Incorrect Assertion,” The Reston Connection, March 19-25, 2014]. Unfortunately, Mr. Siskind did not go far enough in his research. The PPACA was the authorizing legislation for the Medical Devices Excise Act.

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Sharing the Inspiration

Great falls’ ‘Evening with the Authors’ allows writers, readers to learn form each other.

Jeff Preletz of Leesburg went to the “Evening with the Authors” as a reader, but he left convinced that he, too, is a writer who must finish his first book. He didn’t expect the turnout for a Saturday night event at the Great Falls Library to be so great that patrons would spill into the hall and out the front door. But he got what he came for – inspiration from authors to put his ideas in print. “This is no ordinary book signing,” he said. “We are conversing with published authors and learning from them.”

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Churchill Road Elementary Receives Safe Community Coalition Grant

Churchill Road Elementary School received a $1,000 grant from the Safe Community Coalition (SCC). Debra Maes, Churchill Road’s Environmental Studies Educator, said that the grant will be used to help maintain the cold frames built by the fifth grade students. These cold frames protect the plants from freezing. They have been particularly useful this winter with the colder than average temperatures and have allowed the students to transplant their lettuce, broccoli and sugar pea seedlings from the greenhouse into the raised beds before nighttime temperatures rise above freezing.

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Paladar Latin Kitchen and Bar Coming to Tysons

The bold and fresh flavors of Latin America will be coming to Tysons when Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar opens its second location in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on May 9. Paladar, a Cuban term for small, soulful and comforting restaurants that people run out of their homes, will be located at Leesburg Pike and Old Gallows Road in Tysons. The restaurant will feature an American interpretation of the vibrant flavors of Central and South America and the Latin Caribbean, with a special nod to the cuisine of Cuba. The Rum Bar will offer a selection of over 50 rums.

Living Legends: A Head for Numbers, a Heart for People

For Richard Allyn “Rick” Glassco, volunteering started early.

Richard Glassco has been the treasurer for ALIVE! (Alexandrians InVolved Ecumenically!) for 23 years. During that time ALIVE!, which was founded in 1969, has grown from an all-volunteer organization to one with volunteers from about 40 faith communities, a $1.3 million budget and about 14 employees.

Colvin Run Mill Goes Back to 1810

Staff look forward to restoration of mill.

Last year Colvin Run Mill in Great Falls entered a contest to win grant money through the Fairfax County Park Foundation. The result was a fourth-place finish among 24 historic sites in the contest and a $75,000 grant for Colvin Run Mill, the largest grant in the site’s history. This money is now being used to fund restoration of the mill. Fairfax County spent about $1 million restoring the mill between 1968 and 1972, but stopped before finishing when funds ran out.

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Focus on Transportation

McLean, Great Falls Citizens Associations meet with state Secretary of Transportation.

State Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne Jr.’s firsthand experience with northern Virginia road congestion happened as he was running late to a meeting last week. His excuse for arriving tardy to the March 31 McLean and Great Falls citizens associations’ community hearing gave the 100-plus members in the audience some comic relief before he delved into more serious topics like the Route 7 expansion and increasing tolls.

Earth Month Annual Cleanup

Jonathan Wood, Ava Kahn and Aimee Weldon volunteered Saturday, April 5, at annual spring cleanup which included the C&O canal.

Ball-Sellers House Opens for the Season

Twenty-five years or so before the Revolutionary War began, an English immigrant homesteaded in what is now Arlington’s Glen Carlin community. His name was John Ball and the small cabin he built, to house the family of wife Elizabeth and their five daughters, still stands.

Matza - Humble Bread

The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan. This year those dates correspond to the eve of April 14 through April 22. The holiday commemorates the emancipation of the Jewish people from slavery in Ancient Egypt through many miraculous events such as the Ten Plagues and the Splitting of the Red Sea.

Roundups

Chantilly Pyramid Art Show Featuring the artwork of Chantilly High and its feeder schools, Chantilly High will host the annual, Chantilly Pyramid Art Show. It’s this Thursday, April 10, from 6-8 p.m., in the front halls of the school at 4201 Stringfellow Road. Free Carseat Inspections Certified technicians from the Sully District Police Station will perform free, child safety carseat inspections Thursday, April 10 and April 24, from 5-8:30 p.m., at the station, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. No appointment is necessary. But residents should install the child safety seats themselves so technicians may properly inspect and adjust them, as needed. However, because of time constraints, only the first 35 vehicles arriving on each date will be inspected. That way, inspectors may have enough time to properly instruct the caregiver on the correct use of the child seat. Call 703-814-7000, ext. 5140, to confirm dates and times.

Alexandria Painter Debuts Children’s Book

“When I’m Not Myself” also offers insight into book production process.

Alexandria painter Kathy DeZarn Beynette’s second children’s book, “When I’m Not Myself,” was released worldwide in March.

Painter Debuts Children’s Book

“When I’m Not Myself” also offers insight into book production process.

Alexandria painter Kathy DeZarn Beynette’s second children’s book, “When I’m Not Myself,” was released worldwide in March.

Network Alliance, Inc. Wins Stevie Award

Network Alliance, Inc. (Network Alliance), Reston-based leading IT management solutions provider, has been recognized by the international Stevie Awards program for Sales and Customer Service, known as the worlds’ top sales and customer service honor, for the second consecutive year. Founded over 16 years ago on the mission to “Make IT Simple” for their clients, Network Alliance’s expert team has carved out a niche in a crowded marketplace through its accessible structure, cost-effective, scalable solutions, and dependable, expert client services team that has achieved a 98 percent client retention rate.

Throwing Opening Pitches for Vienna Little League

From left -- Del. Mark Keam (D-35) and State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) threw out opening pitches at the Vienna Little League Opening Day, April 5 at Yeonas Park.

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‘Another Way of Living’ Celebrates Reston

Documentary screened at community center on Founder’s Day.

When Rebekah Wingert-Jabi began to piece together a film about Reston’s history to date, she realized each member of the community created the web that shaped it.Her film, “Another Way of Living - The Story of Reston, VA,” was screened at the Reston Community Center on Saturday night as a part of the Reston Founder’s Day celebrations.“It wasn’t until I left Reston that I realized what a special place it was,” she said.The film, which took two years to create, weaves back and forth through Reston’s history and founder Robert Simon Jr.’s life. It showed how a place that once headlined as “An unlikely success story” is now the community for 75,000 people and counting.

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Floris Sixth Graders Present ‘Annie’

Students further their theatre experience in April musical.

Annie, Jr. is the fourth in a series of musicals presented by the sixth grade classes at Floris Elementary. In a tradition started four years ago, the sixth grade students produce a “junior” length Broadway musical facilitated by their classroom teachers, music teachers, and other teachers and specialists. Students designed and created props and set pieces, ran the spotlights, and managed the backstage areas. “I have always been interested in technology,” said sixth grade student Sanjana Meduri, who assisted with the production’s sound tech.

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Arbor Terrace of Herndon Wins 2013 Excellence Award

Arbor Terrace of Herndon was presented with a Senior Advisor Excellence Award for receiving consistently high ratings from residents and their families in 2013. SeniorAdvisor.com is a consumer reviews web site established by A Place for Mom (APFM), the nation’s largest senior living referral service, as a way for seniors and their families to share feedback on senior living communities and services. The inaugural Senior Advisor Excellence Award identifies the top senior living communities who have received an overall average rating of at least 4.5 stars on the site. The award winners were recognized for having the best customer ratings and reviews out of more than 100,000 senior care providers currently on SeniorAdvisor.com. Winners of the Excellence Award are located all over the country and represent the top tier of independent living, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s care communities on the SeniorAdvisor.com website. This exclusive designation places the winners in the top one percent of senior living communities nationwide according to consumers.

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Capital One Headquarters Debated

Company wants a taller building in Tysons.

Capital One wants to make its future headquarters office building the tallest in Tysons Corner. McLean Citizens Association discussed the changes in the development plan at its April 2 Board of Directors meeting. The Building 3 office building, if constructed as planned, will rise 470 feet - 32 stories - into the Tysons skyline due to the mechanicals that will be placed at the top. This will make it the tallest building in the urban center. Their current McLean headquarters building is 14 stories. The new building is planned to be more than twice that size. “This is going to be a monster of a building,” said board member Mark Zetts during the zoning presentation.

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Gyeonggi Province Governor Visits the Korean Bell Garden

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has announced that Kim Moon-Soon, Governor of the Gyeonggi Province of the Republic of Korea, donated $10,000 for the long-term maintenance of the Korean Bell Garden during his recent visit to the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna. Governor Kim has a long standing relationship with the people of Fairfax County and has been an active part of the creation and completion of The Korean Bell Garden. The bell garden was fully funded by donations from the Republic of Korea and the Gyeonggi Province. This is the only traditional Korean garden with a bell in the western hemisphere and the only Korean bell on the east coast. The two--ton “Bell of Harmony” was donated by Governor Kim and the Gyeonggi Province in 2011 and is the jewel of the Bell Garden. The bell combines images of nature from both Korea and Virginia as a symbol of the Korean-American population in this region.

Volunteers Honored

Voice of Washington Redskins. Larry Michael invited to talk.

Herndon made every volunteer feel like the town’s gems this week.The 30th annual Mayor’s Volunteer Appreciation Night honored more than 400 people - and three distinguished service individuals with hor d'oeuvres and a few words from guest speaker, Washington Redskins’ vice president and executive media producer, Sunday night.“It’s great to be in a room with solid people,” said guest speaker Larry Michael. “You never know when helping others will pay off three, four, five-fold.”The volunteers were invited to the event for contributing more than 100 hours of service to the community.Michael, now an eight-time Emmy Award winner, first found out what he wanted to be after college while volunteering for the University of Maryland’s college radio station.“I thought I wanted to be a lawyer,” he said. “Within a year, I was doing the radio and doing play-by-plays for basketball and football, and I knew what I wanted to do.

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Local Designer Honored

Alexandria tastemaker blends a variety of styles.

Old Town Alexandra-based interior designer Anna Kucera has a knack for helping her clients turn their fanciful ideas in to concrete realities.

Floris United to Host Empty Bowls Fundraiser

Local potters give their time and talent to support Empty Bowls and help fight hunger in our area. The Reston and Herndon pottery classes at their respective Community Centers have been busy making hundreds and hundreds of ceramic bowls for an Empty Bowls fundraiser to benefit Food for Others, the largest distributor of free food in Northern Virginia and hosted by The Giving Circle of HOPE. Open to the public, the event will be held on Friday, April 25 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Rd, Herndon. Pre-event tickets are $25 and will be $30 at the door. Guests will receive a simple supper of soup, bread, a beverage, dessert and a handmade bowl, which they may keep to remind them that there are those in our community that are empty. For more information go to www.givingcircleofhope.org.

Fairfax Arts Programs Receive Federal Grants

Seven local organizations involved in the arts and literature are receiving a total of $230,000 in federal grants from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) said.

Spring Benefit to Support MPA

Honored Guest and Co-Chairs announced.

Award-winning USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan will be the honored guest at McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) Spring Benefit. The annual fundraiser will be on Thursday, May 15, 7 - 9 p.m. at the home and gardens of Michelle and Chris Olson in McLean. Co-chairs for this year’s event are Sylvia Garfinkle and Laura Miller.

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‘Victims’ Rights Are a Necessity’

Honoring crime victims with walk, words and candlelight vigil.

Siobhan Russell was just 19 when her ex-boyfriend killed her. Ron Kirby, a noted regional transportation planner, was murdered in his Alexandria home in November by an unknown assailant.

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Forestville Talent on Display

Students and professional artists exhibit creativity at Spring Art Fair

Forestville Elementary was turned into an art museum last week. The school’s Parent Teacher Association held it’s Spring Art Fair on Thursday, displaying works by about 70 student artists and professionals from Great Falls Studios. “We do this every two to three years,” said event organizer and PTA member Maureen Gatti. “The artists have really appreciated being here for the children and the children like meeting the professional artists.” In the cafeteria, dance performances to popular songs like “In Summer” from the movie Frozen, even got the children in the audience dancing. Proud parents took pictures of their children on stage or in front of their art display. Fifth grade student Cassie Dallas, 11, said her love of oil painting began after she saw an artist painting at her local farmers market. Her parents sent her to lessons, and she gets to paint for one to two hours with her instructor every week.

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Basheer & Edgemoore Wins National Community of the Year Award

Basheer & Edgemoore has been the recipient of a Silver Award at the National Sales and Marketing Awards for 2014. Hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Basheer & Edgemoore succeeded as a Silver Award Winner in the Community of the Year category.

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Reston Celebrates History and Founder’s Birthday

Reston Celebrates History and Founder’s Birthday

Reston founder Robert Simon Jr.’s birthday bash was the biggest party in town.With cake, music performances, proclamations and even a quick visit from the governor, Saturday’s Founder’s Day festivities at Washington Plaza attracted hundreds of spectators and a big smile from Simon himself.The event, an early 100th birthday celebration for Simon and Reston’s 50th anniversary, was held from noon until nearly 3 p.m.“Bob Simon, here we had an idea guy that followed through, and out of that idea flourished a place that had extraordinary values,” said U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11).

CATS Puts Special Needs Kids First

Children’s Adaptive Team Sports reinforces and praises with soccer and trophies.

Children with special needs can sometimes feel like they are not a part of a community. CATS - which stands for Children’s Adaptive Team Sports - helps these kids feel like real winners by putting them on their own basketball and soccer teams. “We’ve had some parents who were emotional and said they thought they’d never see their son play on a soccer team,” said founder and CEO Margarita Benavides. “Eighty percent of parents said there were improvements on motor skills or attention.”

Clearing Up ‘Diet’ Mistery

To the Editor, Thank you for your illuminating article on the so-called Walker Road ‘Diet’ in Great Falls [“Walker Road ‘Diet’ Nears Completion,” Great Falls Connection, April 2-8, 2014]. It goes a long way towards clearing up the mystery (to me and perhaps to others) of why we had to endure several months of inconvenience while different versions of construction crews plied their trade. If I understand it correctly, we spent a million dollars of scarce taxpayer funds to make the president of the Great Falls Citizens Association and the owner of The Brogue tavern happy. This at a cost nearly four times the original estimate. To further summarize, we Great Falls residents allegedly needed a crosswalk and it was determined that it could not be done without reducing the number of Walker Road lanes at the Great Falls Center.

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Aldrin Elementary, Giant Announce Partnership

Aldrin Elementary and Giant of North Point announced their business partnership with a school assembly, on March 6. This is the first official school partnership for Giant. Aldrin's fifth and sixth grade chorus performed a special song and kindergartners created a video highlighting their recent field trip to Giant.

Herndon High Cadets Win Spicer Cup

After four months of intense competition, Herndon High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps' (NJROTC) Rifle Team has won the Spicer Cup. The four-person team consisting of Cadets Marshall Wilkins (senior), Ashley Lightner (senior), Allison Maxwell (sophomore), and Caroline Ivie (freshman) defeated finalist West Potomac High School in the Championship Match. This is the ninth year that Herndon has won since the inception of the competition eleven years ago.

Herndon High in National Business Plan Competition

The Business Management Virtual Enterprise class at Herndon High recently placed first in best sales presentation, first in website design, second in company business card, and fifth in human resource case study during a trade show at Virginia Wesleyan College. The students created the company V-LO Chip, Inc. Their chip is the size of a stamp and can be placed on any item which would allow one to locate a lost, stolen, or misplaced object using a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. It can also be used for medical purposes to locate disoriented loved ones suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Team members include Paria Ahmadi, Daniel Cozza, Eduardo Delgado, Bobby Emmons, Bailey Hubble, Anthony Lieu, Stephanie Paendong, Nathan Petrelli, and Sam Sepassi. Team officers also played a part in the success of the competition but did not attend; they traveled to New York City on March 31, to represent Virginia in the National Business Plan competition. Officers are Steven Barbaro, Andrew Ipinza, Robert Koss, Travis Langtry, Andrew Maccini, Sara Pena, and Han Phan.

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‘Country Store’ Celebrated

New exhibit displays artifacts and reproductions of a bygone era.

Although Freeman Store and Museum’s new exhibit, History of the Country Store, opened in early March, Historic Vienna Inc. chose a sunny and warm spring day for its opening reception on April 6. A steady stream of guests filtered through the store and museum examining the artifacts and reproductions on display in the store and upstairs in the museum and parlor. The Freeman Store is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

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Wolftrap Elementary Wins Odyssey of the Mind Competition

Students from Wolftrap Elementary School competed at the NoVa North Odyssey of the Mind Region 9 Tournament, which took place at Oakton High School on March 8. Wolftrap Elementary's Division II Team competing for Problem #3,“It's How We Rule” placed first for the second year in a row, and will advance to the State Tournament in Rocky Mount, Va. on April 26. This was the first year that the sixth grade team participated in Division II where they competed against sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams from across the region. Team members are: Kiran Gowda, Wendy McHone, Ruhi Mehta, Valerie Nayak, Michael Shi, Katarina Stefanik and Lauen Van Stone, coached by Rachelle Stefanik and Tracy McHone. Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem solving program that involves students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their critical thinking, team building and problem solving skills to produce an original performance or presentation in a variety of areas including: mechanical/vehicle, technical performance, classics, structure and performance. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. For more information, visit http://www.odysseyofthemind.com.

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Herndon High Senior to Go to London and Paris

Han Phan, Herndon High School senior and outstanding Career and Technical Education student, was selected to accompany an educational trip to London and Paris. The trip is provided by Education First Educational Tours and will have stops in England and France. The 10-day trip will begin on July 8, in London and will move through multiple locations before ending in Paris on July 18. Phan has been enrolled in Career and Technical Education courses for all four years, including Advanced Information Systems, Accounting, Design Multimedia Web Tech, Entrepreneurship 1 and 2, and Business Management and Virtual Enterprise.

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Science Honor Society at Madison HS Raises Funds for Antibacterial Playground

Fundraisers and Vienna Rotary grant raise more than $24,000 to-date.

Between a diversity of fundraisers – from Bingo to “dining for dollars” - the National Science Honor Society [NSHS] of James Madison High School has raised more than $24,000 to-date toward construction of an antibacterial waiting room playground at Inova Loudoun Hospital Children’s Emergency Department. The Science Honor Society is working to raise $30,000. Officers of the honor club were charged with creating and executing fundraising projects.

Metrorail Workshop Held at McNair

Hunter Mill District residents express concern for safety.

About a dozen bikers and walkers from the Hunter Mill district helped to pinpoint possible trails that will become a yellow brick road for locals hoping to visit D.C. or head to Dulles Airport.Concern for pedestrian and cyclist accessibility to the Silver Line Metrorail stations coming to Herndon fueled a public workshop at McNair Elementary on April 7.Herndon residents living in the Dranesville district previously met at Herndon Middle School on March 26.“We need to make some investments in the bicycle and pedestrian areas right now,” said Kris Morley-Nikfar, Fairfax County Department of Transportation planner and Herndon Metrorail Station Access Management Study project manager.The proposal maps presented ways for cyclists to access the Herndon Metro Station or the Innovation Center Metro Station within three miles and pedestrians access within one mile. However, Fairfax County wants to improve the trails via upgraded crosswalks, improved and extended trails and road diets.“We’re building them for people dressed in business clothes or dressed in casual clothes,” said team lead David Whyte.

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Week in Great Falls

Spring Festival Needs Volunteers

The Great Falls Optimists are in need of volunteers with this year's Spring Festival. If you can give a few hours on Sunday, April 13 to help, here are the times you could help: *10 a.m. to Noon – helping with set- up; *1 to 3:45 p.m. -- supervising children playing games and on the rides; 3:45 to 4:05 p.m. -- helping the children line up at the age appropriate entrances to the Egg Hunt on the Village Green; * Clean-up following the Egg Hunt. The Great Falls Optimists want to thank all those who have volunteered in previous years and those who will help this year. Call 703-216-3035 or e-mail a.c.bongiorno@comcast.net

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ArtSpace Herndon Hosts Americas Ensemble Concert

Audience learns about rhythm and musicians’ life journeys.

“This is a perfect example of how the arts in Herndon has both an educational and entertaining mission to bridge cultures in our local community,” said Scott Mayhugh. Mayhugh was attending the Saturday evening music performance hosted at ArtSpace Herndon featuring artists of a group named Americas Ensemble.

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Lake Anne Presents ‘Annie’

Lake Anne Elementary School presented “Annie,” the first Musical Drama Club production. The double casted show allowed all 46 children in the club to have higher profile roles and multiple parts as lead actors and background dancers/singers. The cast was made up of fourth through sixth graders at Lake Anne Elementary. Starring roles were performed by Claire Callaway and Olivia Bryant (Annie), Mikhail Goldenberg (Oliver Warbucks), and Christina Alegre and Alyssa Spar (Ms. Hannigan).

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Outstanding Volunteer

McLean Community Center honors Beverly Howard.

The McLean Community Center’s (MCC) 10th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception was held on Sunday, March 23, in the Community Hall. The theme was “Paris” and Center volunteers were treated to a catered lunch by Splendid Fare and live music by The Hot Club of D.C.

Under the Influence

Commentary

People who could benefit from an expansion of Medicaid that closes the coverage gap by insuring more of the working poor are found throughout the Commonwealth. The highest percentages of such persons tend to be in the southside and southwest regions of the state. Impose a map of regions represented by Republicans and Democrats over a map reflecting the highest percentages of the working poor and the two maps are close to identical. Yet, Republicans who represent areas of great need oppose the expansion of Medicaid, and Democrats who have large numbers of persons but a smaller percentage of those who would benefit from the expansion support it. The historic interest of the two parties explains in part this contradiction, but there are other explanations as well.

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Herndon Community Center Celebrates 35 Years

Celebration held at Herndon community center .

“It is the Herndon Parks and Recreation Department and the Herndon Community Center staff’s honor to provide engaging, healthy and recreational programs and events,” said Abby Kimble, marketing specialist for the Herndon Parks and Recreation Department. On Tuesday, March 26, the Herndon Community Center celebrated its 35th anniversary. Throughout the day visitors enjoyed free admission to the Herndon community center and there were demonstrations and activities for all ages.

Reston Hospital Center Recognized for Excellence in Lactation Care

The International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) have recognized Reston Hospital Center for excellence in lactation care. Reston Hospital Center has received the IBCLC Care Award in recognition of staffing professionals who hold the prestigious International Board Certified Lactation Consultant certification (IBCLC) and providing a lactation program that is available 5-7 days a week for breastfeeding families. In addition, Reston Hospital demonstrated that it has provided recent breastfeeding training for medical staff that care for new families, and have recently completed activities that help protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

Week in Herndon

MOMS Club to Host Egg Hunt

The MOMS Club of Herndon will host its Annual Egg Hunt on Thursday, April 17, from 10 – 11:30 am. at Stanton Park (910 3rd St, Herndon). All Herndon (zip codes 20170 and 20171) stay at home mothers are encouraged to join and meet other at-home mothers. Grab a basket and head over to Annual Egg Hunt with your little one. The kids will scramble around Stanton Park to search for hidden eggs while the moms indulge in complimentary coffee. This event is free and open to all stay at home mothers in the Herndon area.

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ArtReach School Tours Connect Arts and Science

More than 1700 elementary school students and teachers visited MPA's galleries in January and February for tours of Contraptions: Reflections on the Barely Functional. Eight of the 12 schools served and 81 percent of the students who attended were from Title I schools, schools with high percentages of English as second language students or students who qualify for free or reduced lunches. In an email to MPA ArtReach Program Director, Sharon Fishel, here is what one Graham Road Elementary School teacher had to say:

Their Last Act

Where can one find Malala Yousafzai, Blanche DuBois, Philip Wang, HUCCI and Dolly Parton on the same stage? They are all characters in Yorktown High School’s One-Person Shows, to be presented at Yorktown High School’s Black Box Theatre, on Thursday, April 24, from 6-9 p.m., Friday, April 25, from 4-9 p.m. and Saturday, April 26, from 1-10 p.m. Admission is free. The One-Person Shows are 30-minute productions written, staged, and acted by the senior Yorktown theatre students. The productions are a culminating project in the Yorktown Theatre Arts Program, requiring self-reflection, research, writing and rehearsal.

Tuesday, April 8

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McLean, South Lakes Girls' Soccer Teams Pleased with Season Outlook

Highlanders looking for sustained success, Seahawks looking to turn corner.

The McLean and South Lakes girls' soccer team played to a scoreless tie on April 4.

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Yorktown Boys’ Soccer Overcomes Letdown to Improve to 5-1

Patriots follow victory over Oakton by beating Robinson.

The Yorktown boys' soccer team lost a 3-0 lead against Robinson but did not lose the game.

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Madison Beats Oakton in All-Vienna Softball Matchup

Warhawks score nine first-inning runs.

The Madison softball team is 6-0 to start the season.

Friday, April 4

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‘Faceless Women in Classical World’

The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association hosted a lecture, “Faceless Women of the Classical World,” in honor of Women’s History Month at the Athenaeum on March 10.

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The Lions of King Street

The winged lion appeared in many cultures over thousands of years. It symbolized beginnings and endings, “the seeker and the accomplished.” So, in one sense, the winged lion is a perfect business advertisement.

A Day of Local Giving

ACT for Alexandria hosts Spring2ACTion April 9.

On April 9, ACT for Alexandria is hosting Spring2ACTion, a 24-hour online giving competition to raise money for local nonprofits. In its fourth year, Spring2ACTion, the only citywide giving day in the region, hopes to raise $1,000,000 in 24 hours for 117 participating nonprofits.

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Winning National Art Awards

Local student artists triumph.

March 2014 will be remembered by many for its late winter storms. In Arlington, that memory will be overshadowed by the successes of local high school students at the highest rungs in the National Scholastics Art Competition.

Countering Identity Theft

Records-destruction event also fulfills environmental goals.

Page-by-page quickly became ton-by-ton at the annual Community Shred Event last month on the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

Helping Ex-Offenders

Volunteers support Offender Aid and Restoration.

Consider the plight of men and women released from Virginia prisons. They have satisfied their so-called debt to society. A vast majority of them are without family, without friends, without any money and no chance for jobs.

Thursday, April 3

Classified Advertising April 2, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

Commentary: Why I Support Medicaid Expansion

As the Virginia General Assembly continues to discuss the expansion of Medicaid, the benefits and consequences of doing so have received a great deal of attention. Debates rage in the media, among businesses and around the kitchen tables of ordinary Virginians throughout the state. At our board meeting of March 25 my colleagues and I reiterated, in a bi-partisan vote, our strong support for Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

Opinion: Maintaining a Viable, Diverse Community in Fairfax County

While need for housing, childcare, healthcare and other human services have grown, these programs have faced significant cuts over past few years.

The following open letter to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors concerns housing and human services budget recommendations from the Fairfax Budget Advocacy Coalition for Housing and Human Services.

Opinion: Maintaining a Viable and Diverse Community in Alexandria

Public and private sectors must work together to secure the resources critical to working families and at-risk individuals in our community.

The following letter to Alexandria City Council concerning housing and human services budget recommendations from the Alexandria Budget Advocacy Coalition for Housing and Human Services is shared with the Alexandria Gazette Packet.

Northern Virginia Senior Olympics Mission: Living Healthy Longer

The 2014 Northern Virginia Senior Olympics will take place Sept. 13-24 at 18 venues throughout Northern Virginia. Adults 50 years of age and over who live in one of the sponsoring jurisdictions are eligible to participate.

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Maye Leads Herndon Boys’ Soccer to Victory

Hornets start 2-0 under new coach Tolaba.

The Herndon boys' soccer team faces defending region champion Oakton tonight.

John Marshall Bank Hires Kerry Donley

Kerry Donley has joined John Marshall Bank’s team of banking leaders. Donley, senior vice resident, will be based in John Marshall Bank’s Alexandria office.

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Housing Expo Provides Insight on Finding a Home

Potential renters and buyers flock to 2014 NOVA Housing Expo.

Am I qualified to buy a home? What does my credit score need to be? Where is affordable housing located in Fairfax County? Those were just a few of the many questions that Gail Lee of the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development answered at the 2014 NOVA Housing Expo at Lee High School on March 27.

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Historic Snowstorm Revisited in Burke

Kevin Ambrose tells the Burke Historical Society a story of the Knickerbocker Snowstorm of 1922.

It was only fitting on a snowy Sunday in late March, following a winter filled with snow days, that members of the Burke Historical Society celebrate the beginning of spring by learning about the eventful Knickerbocker Snowstorm of 1922.

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Area Robotics Teams Compete at Patriot Center

Several NOVA teams win awards at FIRST Robotics Competition Greater D.C. Regional

Over 50 teams, including several from Fairfax County, spent the weekend at the two-day FIRST Robotics Competition Greater D.C. Regional, using their engineering and science skills to compete for a spot in the world championship.

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Residents Concerned About ‘Fracking in Our Backyard’

Fracking could impact drinking water in Fairfax County, town hall meeting in Burke told.

At a town hall meeting in Burke, area residents, along with members of the Great Falls chapter of the Sierra Club, learned about fracking that could take place nearby in the George Washington National Forest.

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Budget Dialogue Continues in Braddock District

Supervisor John Cook hosts budget town hall.

Fairfax County needs to be looking at the long-term picture in terms of the budget, Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock District) said at a town hall meeting on April 1.

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Community Steps in to Help Family of Navy Yard Victim

Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield coordinated the effort.

The community is stepping in to help the family of Martin Bodrog, a victim of the Navy Yard Shootings in September 2013. When Bodrog died, he was halfway through finishing repairs on his home. But thanks to neighbor John Rutherford, Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, where Bodrog was a member, and Thompson Creek Window Company, the repairs have continued.

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Special Education Graduates Could be Impacted by Possible Budget Cuts

Families will speak against these cuts at public hearing on April 10.

Lynn Ruiz’s daughter Lydia, who has Down syndrome, will be graduating from Fairfax County Public Schools this June. Ruiz, a Springfield resident, had originally planned for her daughter to participate in an employment program that helps students with special needs transition into adulthood.

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Integrated Health Care Now Provided at Gartlan Center

Primary and behavioral health care clinic celebrates grand opening

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board and Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. celebrated the integration of primary and behavior health care at the Gartlan Center at the clinic’s official grand opening on March 27.

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Alexandria Goes to War (Again)

City planning a number of activities to commemorate forgotten conflict.

The War of 1812 was the first war that America lost, a bitter conflict that began with an ill-planned invasion of Canada that ended when the British burned the Capitol and the executive mansion.

Wednesday, April 2

Letter to the Editor: Proposal Affects Public Safety

To the Editor: Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) has the power to destroy neighborhoods. With its latest proposals for Sherwood Hall Lane, it will do just that: speeds will increase, our neighbors will lose their on-street parking, and pedestrian travel will become hazardous, altogether altering the character of the road by making it less residential. Proposed changes include removing most street parking, adding bike lanes narrower than the current lane, and adding continuous turn lanes. Their proposals seem to be a solution in search of a problem. FCDOT’s information sheet says they want to make the road “more pedestrian and bicycle friendly,” but most of their proposals will have the opposite effect.

Letter to the Editor: Don’t Move Engine 204

To the Editor: As a resident within the area served by Engine 204, I find it hard to grasp why Engine 204 should be relocated to Eisenhower Avenue. I believe it would be an unwise decision that would affect the public, our lives, homes and many businesses throughout our communities of the south side of Old Town Alexandria and the north side of our city.

Letter to the Editor: Are Bike Lanes Really Necessary?

To the Editor: By unanimously overruling the directly affected residents’ desires to put a bike lane on King Street, could our council overlords really want to enable more bike usage; less vehicular traffic? Pedaling a bike does burn calories, and surely more pedalers mean fewer cars. What’s not to like about less vehicular congestion and better health, at least for the pedalers?

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Compete for Garden of the Year

The Rock Spring Garden Club is holding its fifth annual Garden of the Year competition this spring for Arlington County residents. For the first time, fruit and vegetable gardens are eligible for the competition, in addition to or in combination with flower gardens.

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Letter to the Editor: Up Close

The OspreyCam on Little Hunting Creek in Stratford Landing within our own community (www.littlehuntingcreek.org/ospreycam.html) has infrared capability and as such will operate 24/7, save for occasional computer glitches.

Letter to the Editor: Protect Drinking Water

To the Editor: If we don’t put chemicals on our yards they will not be in our drinking water. Our yards, when added together, constitute most of the land in Montgomery County. We can all work together and make vast improvements to our water quality and our health simply by not using conventional weed killers, pesticides and fertilizers on our yards and gardens. Each year in America, about 80 million pounds of pesticides are used on 30 million acres of lawns. When we put these chemicals on our lawns and gardens some are absorbed into our ground water aquifer, and some are carried by rainwater as run-off pollution.

Letter to the Editor: Route 1 Traffic Problems

To the Editor: Wake up politicians in Northern Virginia: we need four lanes on Route 1 in both directions that are usable. Traffic is backing up further and further at Kings Crossing and the Costco/Wal-Mart location near Hybla Valley. The back up at Kings Crossing causes commuters to take Fort Hunt, Quander Road to Sherwood Hall Lane. Sherwood Hall Lane is now backed up from Route 1 past the Sherwood Regional Library almost every afternoon.

Letter to the Editor: Re-Striping Plan Hurts Homeowners

To the Editor: The overarching problem with FCDOT’s and VDOT’s proposal for Sherwood Hall Lane is that it is concerned exclusively with the imagined needs of bicycle riders of whom there are only a handful and with passing through commuters of whom there are already far too many. The residents of the neighborhoods stretching from Route 1 and Gum Springs to Ft. Hunt Road, which include Hybla Valley [Frances and Schelhorn], Sherwood Estates and Hollindale are being told to accept changes to the road that will only degrade the neighborhood further and, therefore, decrease property values. The first degradation occurred in the early ‘70s with the widening of Sherwood Hall Lane from a little two lane road to what we have now. We lost property and many fine trees but at least we got sidewalks [we do have walkers and runners] and on street parking.

Brief: Police Arrest Man in Malicious Wounding

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a malicious wounding that occurred in the 2500 block of N. Van Dorn Street on Wednesday, March 19. Police responded to a report of a stabbing at approximately 5 a.m. Upon arrival, officers located an adult male victim suffering from stab wounds.

Commentary: Working Towards a County Budget

The County Executive has released his recommendations for the fiscal year (FY) 2015 operating budget. I wanted to let you know some of the highlights that were in it, as the County Council begins our business of working to approve a final budget. The recommended budget stays within the charter limit and totals $4.97 billion for FY 2015, which begins July 1. The budget funds education beyond what is required by the State Maintenance of Effort Level law, puts more police on the beat, and reduces the County's property tax rate.

Letter to the Editor: Beware Becoming Pedestrian Unfriendly

To the Editor: The subject of managing bicycle traffic in Old Town is a complex one, but a key element is the effect of such traffic on the quality of life for residents. Old Town must be a walkable city, something it seemed to emphasize a few years ago but now has taken a back seat to other interests. It is evident that Old Town residents have complained about bicyclists not stopping at stop signs and not yielding to pedestrians, and added to this peril is the recent declaration by City Council that bicycles may travel on the city sidewalks. How can all of this be interpreted as anything but placing pedestrian safety, and pedestrian access, second to bicycle traffic?

Letter to the Editor: Thank You To WPHS

To the Editor: Recently, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry issued a communication to exceptional schools in the U.S. that support public diplomacy efforts by hosting high school exchange students sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. AFS has just learned that West Potomac High School received this commendation from Secretary Kerry, and we want to express how proud we are to work in educational partnership with this outstanding school and its visionary leaders.Nearly 30 years ago, I was welcomed into a U.S. high school as an exchange student from Argentina.

Child & Family Network Centers Opens New Headquarters

The Child & Family Network Centers held a community breakfast and a cocktail reception for its sponsors, donors, volunteers and local business supporters at its new West End headquarters on Wednesday, March 19. CFNC Board Chairman Steve Nearman remarked on the organization's progress during its 30-year history, citing founder Barbara Fox Mason for her vision and CFNC CEO and Executive Director Margaret Patterson for her boldness to expand CFNC's reach in the community. Nearman also introduced the guest speaker of the morning Del. Rob Krupicka.

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Team Celebrates Undefeated Season

The SouthWestern Youth Association (SYA) Wildcats 5th Grade Division 1 Boys Basketball Team concluded an undefeated 17-0 season. The Wildcats under the leadership of Coach Jon Heslep, and Assistant Coach Dave Thomas, earned the D1 Championship. The Wildcats finished out the 14 game regular season to advance to the playoffs where they defeated CYA (58-15) and Gainesville (54-33), before finishing perfect in the championship game on March 8 over McLean by a score of 57-48.

Letter to the Editor: Negatives of Income Equality

To the Editor: I for one, and completely thankful for an income gap in society. Hard work, innovation and that all important "Stick-to-itivness" allows people to come from a challenged background and succeed. It is the communist ... er ... democrat buzz phrase that the income gap is a concept that is to be loathed and even feared. I cannot begin to mention the myriad people that have come to this great and prosperous nation with the clothes on their back and a dream in their God-given souls, only to rise above the endless challenges placed before them. My grandparents came here with nothing and instilled into their children concepts that are wholly unknown to some entire segments of today's leech society.

Three New Members Join ACT for Alexandria’s Board

ACT for Alexandria, Alexandria’s community foundation, has added Lynnwood Campbell, David Frantz and Lori Murphy to its board of directors. Campbell, a retired federal worker, is a former member of the school board and presently serves a board role on a number of other Alexandria nonprofits including Senior Services of Alexandria, the Alexandria NAACP and the Alexandria Animal Welfare League. Campbell’s experience in business and accounting, both in the private and public sectors, will aid ACT in the business, accounting and audit arenas.

Letter to the Editor: Seeds of Success Are Sown

To the Editor: The recent settlement agreement between the Old Dominion Boat Club and the city is cause for celebration. We applaud both sides for bringing this long litigious battle to an end in a manner we find fair — but more importantly sets the stage for the world class waterfront that our community can treasure. Someday in the near future a visitor at the foot of King Street will never again have to ask “where's the water” while a new state of the art Boat Club facility will rise out of the flood plain replacing the Beachcomber eyesore.

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Marshall Baseball Shows Improvement in Defeat

Catcher Blackstone, pitcher Cummins lead Statesmen in 2014.

Marshall reached the region baseball semifinals last season.

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Robinson Baseball Rallies to Beat Marshall

Rams have 10 seniors on this year’s team.

The Robinson baseball team won its first three games of the season.

West Potomac’s Barnes, Lescher Befuddle T.C. Williams

Wolverine pitchers combine for 12 strikeouts during 4-1 victory.

West Potomac pitchers limited T.C. Williams to three hits on Tuesday night.

Marymount Students Create Redskins Apparel for Women Fans

When women fans of the Washington Redskins want to show their support for the team, they have had few fashion-forward options in team apparel.

UCM Spring Gala Raises More Than $170,000

Hundreds of community members celebrated United Community Ministries’ 45th Anniversary at its annual Spring Gala on Saturday, March 29, at the Madison Building Atrium, U.S. Patent and Trademark Building, in Old Town.

Pig-and-Oyster Roast To Benefit Doorways for Women and Families

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company in Arlington will kick off the patio season with a special evening of food and drink to benefit Doorways for Women and Families on Thursday, April 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Meetings To Review Legislative Actions

On April 3, I will be hosting my first of three Post-Session Legislative Wrap Ups.

Special Election Next Tuesday

A special election to fill the County Board seat vacated by Chris Zimmerman — his unexpired term will end Dec. 31, 2014 — will be held Tuesday, April 8.

Local Farm Provides Fresh Food for Underserved Populations

Arcadia hosts mobile market and camp for children.

For many, spring symbolizes fresh flowers, new beginnings and baseball, but for those who work at Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, located on the grounds of the Woodlawn Estate in Mount Vernon, spring means another season of working to ensure that all members of the community have access to fresh, healthy food.

Fire Victims Identified

The victims of the March 15 fire on South Langley Street have been identified by the medical examiner.

Plants, Water, Salt and Birth Order

Students participate in Chantilly High’s science fair.

Chantilly High’s recent science fair brought out the curiosity and creativity in the participating students.

Letter: Reduce Property tax fairly

To the Editor

‘People Can Identify with Characters’ Humanity’

Local woman writes book, “A Season’s Assemblage.”

A new author has emerged with an anthology of short stories called “A Season’s Assemblage.”

Five from Troop 706 Become Eagle Scouts

Five new Eagle Scouts were awarded their Eagle medals by Troop 706 of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac, on Sunday, March 9.

Letter: Parking, Bikes Can Coexist

To the Editor

SWAN: Support Women Artists Now

An evening of empowerment and energy.

To commemorate Women’s History Month in March, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association featured an evening of women-performed arts including poetry, dance performances, visual arts, and music.

Letter: Multiple Needs

To the Editor

Letter: Towards a Healthy Norm

To the Editor

Letter: Planned Parenthood Should Be Funded

To the Editor

‘In Difficult Economic Times’

Supervisors, School Board are in annual, budget tug-of-war.

It’s a battle each year between the school system’s needs and the county’s ability to address them.

Sheriff Awards Employees

The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office held its annual Employee Awards and Promotion Recognition Ceremony at the Office’s headquarters on Mill Road on March 25.

Sheriff Awards Employees

The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office held its annual Employee Awards and Promotion Recognition Ceremony at the Office’s headquarters on Mill Road on March 25.

Obit: Patricia Ann Rohrer

Patricia Ann Rohrer, a popular and well-known Alexandria pianist for many years, died Feb. 26, 2014 at her home in Alexandria.

Letter: The Ultimate Flim Flam Job

A letter to the editor.

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County Honors Its Heroes

Chamber of Commerce hosts annual Valor Awards.

The 36th annual Valor Awards, honoring public safety heroes, was presented by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner on Monday, March 31.

After-school Program Thrives at Gunston Elementary

Program includes stem components, helps students learn in safe environment.

There is a dull roar of talking and laughter emanating from the cafeteria at Gunston Elementary School, and it is not lunch time. Instead, the after-school program is about to get underway and students are chattering with each other as they find a seat at a cafeteria table. Ms. Ephraim, Gunston’s Guidance Counselor, calls the group to attention and explains that it is time to start working on their homework. Volunteers and other staff members hand out snacks as the kids start focusing on their work.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church to Host ‘A Choral Feast’

The Friends of Music and the Arts at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 6509 Sydenstricker Road, Burke, will host "A Choral Feast," a concert of choral music, in Burke on Sunday, April 6, at 4 p.m. "There is no admission fee for our concerts, because we want to make great music available to everyone who is interested," said Jay Wilcox, the organist-choirmaster at St. Andrew's. "We hope that those who are able to donate to support the ongoing series will do so." The series is in its third year, and presents a variety of artistic events. There is plenty of free parking at St. Andrew's, and there is free childcare so that parents of young children can attend without having to worry about hiring babysitters. The 90-minute concert will be performed by the Potomac Ensemble, a group of 10 of the D.C. area's finest professional singers. All of the choral music on the program is written for five-part choir (with two soprano parts), rather than usual four part choir. "The added soprano part gives the music a degree of richness that four-part music cannot achieve," notes Wilcox.

New Arrivals at Animal Shelter

Rescued dogs need adopting.

In its role as an emergency placement partner for the Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria added 10 dogs and four rabbits to the shelter on Wednesday, Marach 26.

Food, Fashion, Fun in Fair Oaks

Salvation Army luncheon, silent auction is April 4.

Springtime fashions, a tasty meal and fun are on the menu this Friday, April 4, during the Fairfax Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s yearly fundraiser.

Food, Fashion, Fun in Fair Oaks

Salvation Army luncheon, silent auction is April 4.

Springtime fashions, a tasty meal and fun are on the menu this Friday, April 4, during the Fairfax Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary’s yearly fundraiser.

Night Honors Women’s Contributions to Community

Ten women were recognized by the Commission for Women for their contributions to the Alexandria community at the Salute to Women Awards at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Monday, March 31.

Route 123 Bridge Work Starts Now

Construction work to replace the bridge over Accotink Creek on Route 123/Chain Bridge Road at Kenmore Drive began this week. So both motorists and pedestrians will have to be alert to some route changes.

Police Warn Residents about Tax Scams

“Your driver’s license has been suspended. You will be arrested. You will be deported. We are on our way to your home right now.” These are just a few of the many threats scammers have made against hundreds of Fairfax County residents over the past several weeks.

Letter: Toxic Debate on School Budget

To the Editor: Supporting the public schools is Fairfax County’s number one priority. Proof of that lies in the fact that over 50 percent of the county’s budget supports school programs. This large expense has generated considerable debate among county taxpayers over the years. However, this year the discussion has become toxic and personal.

NOVEC: Beware of Scam Artists

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative warns all consumers to be alert to anyone who calls them, claims to represent NOVEC, and directs them to pay bills with a specific prepaid debit card.

Area Robotics Teams Compete at Patriot Center

Several NOVA teams win awards at FIRST Robotics Competition Greater D.C. Regional

More than 50 teams, including several from Fairfax County, spent the weekend at the two-day FIRST Robotics Competition Greater D.C. Regional, using their engineering and science skills to compete for a spot in the world championship.

City Is Advertising Lower Tax Rate

Although City Manager Bob Sisson recommended maintaining Fairfax’s residential real-estate tax rate of $1.06 per $100 assessed valuation in Fiscal Year 2014-2015, the City Council is advertising a lower rate.

‘Goal Is to Spot Kids in Crisis’

Police, others take suicide prevention training.

Although there have been four recent incidents of teen suicides in Fairfax County, the Police Department has planned to offer Suicide Awareness and Intervention Training for its officers since October 2013.

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‘Luck, Be a Lady Tonight’

Paul VI presents ‘Guys and Dolls.’

Featuring a cast and crew of 90, Paul VI High presents one of Broadway’s most popular musicals ever, "Guys and Dolls." The school’s Cappies show will burst upon the stage Friday-Saturday, April 11-12, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13, adults; $8, students and senior citizens, at www.PaulVI.net, and $15 and $10, respectively, at the door. "The actors are creative and enthusiastic, and they really wanted to do ‘Guys and Dolls,’" said Director Katherine Miller. "They knew the songs were terrific, and this show has lots of roles for boys – and I’ve got lots of male actors this year. I’ve also got tremendous singers, comic actors and physical actors, all dedicated to this show."

Good News for City of Fairfax

Less unemployment; Lowe’s and ALDI planning moves here.

There’s good news for the City of Fairfax: its unemployment rate is one of the lowest in Virginia and two new businesses are interested in locating here.

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In the City of Fairfax, Appearance Matters

Four properties are honored for design, landscape.

Part of what makes a city a nice place to live in is the way it looks. And the City of Fairfax recently honored four properties with Commercial Appearance Awards for 2013. They are the Joshua Gunnell/BBG building, Chick-fil-A center, Fairfax Regional Library plantings and the Community Garden at City Hall. The Community Appearance Committee (CAC) received nominations from the community, and then professional judges considered them and decided on the winners.

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Churchill To Present ‘Urinetown’

Students to perform award-winning musical comedy

Water is one or our most important commodities — and many communities already know and fear the painful sanctions that governments put into place when droughts take place. But what if every drop of water had to be preserved and the U.S. government required all citizens to excrete only in a government-sanctioned urinal?

Elementary School Students Partner with ASO

Orff Ensemble works with El Sistema consultants in workshops.

John Adams Elementary School in Alexandria and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra held their second week-long El Sistema workshop during the week of March 24.

Column: Are We Abandoning Watts Branch?

WMCCA

I've lived in a log cabin overlooking Watts Branch for more than three decades and watching it decline has been heartbreaking.

CHS All District Band Members

Centreville High School students were selected and participated in the All District Band event, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

Commentary: Special Session Begins Work on State Budget

Last week, we returned to Richmond for the first day of our special session to finalize Virginia’s two-year, $90 billion budget.

Commentary: Aumsings

My wife and I live just a couple of blocks from the Mount Vernon mansion and property.

AWLA Summer Animal Camp

Children and animals, a natural connection.

The AWLA offers a Summer Animal Camp for 3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and 7th/8th graders.

Murder Cases Get Colder

Those hoping for quick solutions to the recent Alexandria murders now will just have to wait. For how long? Not even police investigators can provide any progress reports or answers, at least not this week or in the foreseeable future.

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Keeping up with Neal Gillen

Potomac attorney, open-water swimmer doesn’t slow down.

The fog was thick in San Francisco as waves crashed against the rocks in the Pacific Ocean. It was a cold morning and 73-year-old Neal Gillen found himself fighting against the current, gulps of salt water burning his mouth. Far from his Potomac home, he was heading for Alcatraz.

Column: Moonlight Concerts and Vampires

The Undying Memories of Alexandria’s 1814 Occupation

Whoever named the War of 1812 clearly did not work in the marketing industry. For one, it wasn’t confined to the 12 months of 1812.

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Seniors Rush to Yoga

Yoga teachers, research point to health benefits for seniors.

Shortly after 10 a.m. on any given Tuesday or Thursday morning, 84-year-old Lola Wulchin can be found slowly stretching into a downward facing dog pose or lunging into a warrior one posture. The Vienna resident has been a yoga devotee at East Meets West Yoga Center in Vienna for slightly more than two years. In fact, she credits twice-weekly, gentle yoga practice with boosting her health and improving her quality of life. "I had been bothered by a lot of neck pain from arthritis," said Wulchin. "I had seen a pain management doctor who gave me shots, I had physical therapy, but I still had neck pain and very little range of motion."

Commentary: Focusing on Children with Autism

We recognize this Wednesday, April 2, as World Autism Day, taking a moment to raise awareness around the fastest growing developmental disability in the U.S. Autism incidence in the U.S., and in Northern Virginia in particular, is reaching astounding levels.

Reading Empowers CES Slime Squad

To celebrate Read Across America Day and promote the reading of electronic books, the teachers of Centreville Elementary School challenged the students to read 10,000 books on a website called myOn.com. As an incentive, students were promised to have a special assembly where they could pour slime on the administrators.

How to Age in Place Safely

Local experts suggest techniques and programs that can help seniors stay in their homes longer.

The AARP reports that nearly 80 percent of adults age 65 and older want to remain in their current homes as long as possible. That population is growing. According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging, the population 65 years or older numbered 39.6 million in 2009. By 2030, that number will grow to about 72.1 million. While people are living longer and healthier lives, there are still barriers to aging in place, including medication management, self-care, socialization and transportation. But there are innovative strategies and initiatives to help combat these roadblocks.

Commentary: Meetings To Review Legislative Actions

On April 3, I will be hosting my first of three Post-Session Legislative Wrap Ups. Please join me to discuss what happened this past session as well as to discuss the ongoing budget battle and Medicaid expansion.

2014 Generation-to-Generation Gala

Senior Services of Alexandria hosted their annual Generation-to-Generation Gala last Saturday evening at the Mark Hilton in Alexandria. The 2014 honorees were Patty Moran and her daughter Kate along with Lonnie Rich and Marcia Call and their daughter Sara Rich.

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Accessibility on a Different Level

New lower-level in-law suite becomes primary living space.

How can you tell when in an-law suite is outperforming the usual requirements? Well, for starters, when the owners themselves decide to occupy the new accommodation as their primary living space.

‘Camp David’ at Arena Stage

World premiere explores 13-day peace process orchestrated by President Jimmy Carter.

Arena Stage is presenting the world premiere historical drama “Camp David,” the story of how President Jimmy Carter, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat came together to forge a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

Notes from the Producer: The Thousandth Night

The script of “The Thousandth Night” by Carol Wolf arrived in the mail unsolicited and unexpected almost 20 years ago, and I immediately knew I wanted to produce it.

Tuesday, April 1

Happy Birthday, Reston and R.E.S.

Independent Progressive

Reston is a special place. It is the product of a remarkable vision which has been largely realized despite obstacles, even opposition. Robert E. Simon, Jr. inherited well from his New York developer father. He owned Carnegie Hall and sold it. With the proceeds, he bought 6,750 acres of land in Fairfax County. While arranging financing for his planned community, he was turned down by a large corporation which was and still is a household name.

Cox’s Spring Special Offers Nearly 600 Free Episodes

Cox Communications customers can enjoy an all-access free pass to some of the most popular TV shows with the opportunity to catch up on past episodes of shows they love, plus get exclusive On Demand sneak peeks, all in the Spring FreeView On Demand from now until April 20.

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Basheer & Edgemoore Wins National Community of the Year Award

Basheer & Edgemoore has been the recipient of a Silver Award at the National Sales and Marketing Awards for 2014. Hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Basheer & Edgemoore succeeded as a Silver Award Winner in the Community of the Year category.

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Reston Celebrates 50/100

A historic year: 50th anniversary of Reston and 100th birthday of its founder, Robert E. Simon, Jr.

This landmark year of 2014 will honor two very special events in the history of Reston, the innovative, award-winning, planned community and New Town that was brought to life in 1964 by the vision of its founder, Robert E. Simon, Jr. (Bob Simon). The first Reston residents moved into their homes at Lake Anne that year, and 50 years later, Bob Simon is celebrating his 100th birthday in the community he created.

Chess Champions

FCPS students sweep team titles at Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships.

Students from three Fairfax County public schools won team championships in all four K-12 divisions at the Virginia Scholastic Chess Championships held recently in Roanoke. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students also won individual championships in the K-3 and K-5 divisions. The K-3 individual champion was Pranav Prem of Hutchison Elementary School. The K-3 team from Greenbriar West Elementary School won the team title in its age group; team members are Siddhaarth Balamuthaiya, Alice Cao-Dao, Richa Misra, Kaavya Karthik, Jason Seo, Aditya Vasantharao, Rakendu Malladi, Ganesh Rayavarapu, Nikhil Vallikat, James Tress, and Vasudha Koneru. McNair Elementary School won second place in the K-3 team competition, and Floris Elementary School captured third place.

Aldrin Elementary, Giant Announce Partnership

Aldrin Elementary and Giant of North Point announced their business partnership with a school assembly, on March 6. This is the first official school partnership for Giant. Aldrin's fifth and sixth grade chorus performed a special song and kindergartners created a video highlighting their recent field trip to Giant. The video showed how they integrated the school curriculum into their own virtual Giant Market. The audience and speakers included Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza, local government officials, Aldrin school administrators, the Reston Rotary Club, Giant and PTA representatives. As part of the partnership, Giant is providing volunteers to work with students, money for the Weekend Food Programs and educational field trips. Aldrin will support Giant by supplying student artwork for store display, communicating the partnership throughout the community and inviting Giant staff members to Aldrin school events.

Dance-A Thon, Concert to Help Feed a Child

Over 150 people of all ages attended a two hour A Cappella concert last Saturday, March 29, at Floris UMC to benefit the Feed A Child campaign. Attendees were entertained by three groups performing a range of music, from pop to rock to gospel. The evening was MC’d by Floris UMC members Anna Lopynski and Kathryn Berlin. The Feed A Child campaign was a youth initiative by area students under 25 years old to raise $20,000 in support of the children of the Child Rescue Centre and patients of Mercy Hospital, both located in Bo, Sierra Leone. It kicked off on Feb. 16 and concluded March 30. The $20,000 fundraising goal was exceeded, and all of the money raised will go directly to feeding, educating, clothing and attending to the medical needs of children in Bo.

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Workshops Held For Herndon Metrorail

Meetings held to gain input on pedestrian and bike facility improvements.

With the incoming Metrorail Silver Line, Fairfax County has begun seeking public input on bike and pedestrian access to Herndon's Silver Line Metro station. The first of two workshops was held at Herndon Middle School at Locust Street on March 26. The meeting was open to the public.

Week in Reston

“Your driver’s license has been suspended. You will be arrested. You will be deported. We are on our way to your home right now.” These are just a few of the many threats scammers have made against hundreds of Fairfax County residents over the past several weeks. Police warn the public not to fall prey to them and, instead, to call and report them. These telephone scammers are described as demanding, aggressive, threatening and easily angered when callers don’t immediately agree to their demands of “overdue tax balances.” Some have also had heavy accents. Typically, callers demand between $4,000-$6,000 in immediate payment of unpaid tax bills. These scams are sophisticated and involve false names, numbers and phony IRS badge numbers. Suspects often continue to call and harass the recipient. So police urge residents to:

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Herndon Middle to Present ‘13!’

Students rehearse for spring musical.

“The show is a lot of fun, it pokes fun at how difficult it is to go through middle school,” said Bryan Case. Case is a music teacher at Herndon Middle, and is music director for the upcoming spring musical “13!” which will be preformed at the school’s auditorium on Locust Street. Written by Jason Robert Brown, the musical premiered in 2007. The story follows young Evan Goldman as he grapples with his parents' divorce, prepares for his impending Bar Mitzvah, and navigates the social circles of a new school. “The show was cast in January and they have been rehearsing tirelessly since then,” said Carin Procopio, president of the Herndon Middle School Theatre Boosters group.

Herndon High in National Business Plan Competition

The Business Management Virtual Enterprise class at Herndon High recently placed first in best sales presentation, first in website design, second in company business card, and fifth in human resource case study during a trade show at Virginia Wesleyan College. The students created the company V-LO Chip, Inc. Their chip is the size of a stamp and can be placed on any item which would allow one to locate a lost, stolen, or misplaced object using a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. It can also be used for medical purposes to locate disoriented loved ones suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Team members include Paria Ahmadi, Daniel Cozza, Eduardo Delgado, Bobby Emmons, Bailey Hubble, Anthony Lieu, Stephanie Paendong, Nathan Petrelli, and Sam Sepassi. Team officers also played a part in the success of the competition but did not attend; they traveled to New York City on March 31, to represent Virginia in the National Business Plan competition. Officers are Steven Barbaro, Andrew Ipinza, Robert Koss, Travis Langtry, Andrew Maccini, Sara Pena, and Han Phan.

Donate to Diva Central

To the Editor: On Saturday, March 8, I had the opportunity to volunteer for Reston Community Center’s annual Diva Central Event. Since RCC’s creation of this program twelve years ago, Diva Central has provided a chance for young ladies in our surrounding community the opportunity to shop and select a beautiful prom outfit, complete with gown, wrap, purse, shoes, and jewelry, absolutely free, relieving some of the financial burden of what we all know can be a lavish, and therefore, expensive event.

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Churchill Road Elementary Receives Safe Community Coalition Grant

Churchill Road Elementary School received a $1,000 grant from the Safe Community Coalition (SCC). Debra Maes, Churchill Road’s Environmental Studies Educator, said that the grant will be used to help maintain the cold frames built by the fifth grade students. These cold frames protect the plants from freezing. They have been particularly useful this winter with the colder than average temperatures and have allowed the students to transplant their lettuce, broccoli and sugar pea seedlings from the greenhouse into the raised beds before nighttime temperatures rise above freezing.

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Arbor Terrace of Herndon Wins 2013 Excellence Award

Arbor Terrace of Herndon was presented with a Senior Advisor Excellence Award for receiving consistently high ratings from residents and their families in 2013. SeniorAdvisor.com is a consumer reviews web site established by A Place for Mom (APFM), the nation’s largest senior living referral service, as a way for seniors and their families to share feedback on senior living communities and services. The inaugural Senior Advisor Excellence Award identifies the top senior living communities who have received an overall average rating of at least 4.5 stars on the site. The award winners were recognized for having the best customer ratings and reviews out of more than 100,000 senior care providers currently on SeniorAdvisor.com. Winners of the Excellence Award are located all over the country and represent the top tier of independent living, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s care communities on the SeniorAdvisor.com website. This exclusive designation places the winners in the top one percent of senior living communities nationwide according to consumers.

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Gyeonggi Province Governor Visits the Korean Bell Garden

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has announced that Kim Moon-Soon, Governor of the Gyeonggi Province of the Republic of Korea, donated $10,000 for the long-term maintenance of the Korean Bell Garden during his recent visit to the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna. Governor Kim has a long standing relationship with the people of Fairfax County and has been an active part of the creation and completion of The Korean Bell Garden. The bell garden was fully funded by donations from the Republic of Korea and the Gyeonggi Province. This is the only traditional Korean garden with a bell in the western hemisphere and the only Korean bell on the east coast. The two--ton “Bell of Harmony” was donated by Governor Kim and the Gyeonggi Province in 2011 and is the jewel of the Bell Garden. The bell combines images of nature from both Korea and Virginia as a symbol of the Korean-American population in this region.

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Herndon Community Center Celebrates 35 Years

Celebration held at Herndon community center .

“It is the Herndon Parks and Recreation Department and the Herndon Community Center staff’s honor to provide engaging, healthy and recreational programs and events,” said Abby Kimble, marketing specialist for the Herndon Parks and Recreation Department. On Tuesday, March 26, the Herndon Community Center celebrated its 35th anniversary. Throughout the day visitors enjoyed free admission to the Herndon community center and there were demonstrations and activities for all ages.

Week in Vienna

Help Stop Hunger Now The community is invited to a Stop Hunger Now event on Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., at Madison High. Volunteers are needed to help assemble rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal-packages. These packages will then be shipped around the world to support school feeding programs and crisis relief. All ages are welcome.

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Reston Marathon Held Despite Weather

Hundreds participate in race held at Reston.

Despite a continued rain, the Reston Runners held their annual marathon on Sunday, March 30 at South Lakes High School. Reston Runners is a club of 900+ members who share an interest in running, walking, and fitness. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Reston Runners Community Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to area high school students. “This is our second annual marathon and half marathon event,” said Neil Knolle, a long time member of the Reston Runners. The race began and ended at South Lakes High School track at 11400 South Lakes Drive in Reston. The marathon course follows two gently rolling and scenic half marathon loops around Reston utilizing the roads and Reston's paved path system. Approximately 500 people registered for the full marathon and 250 people registered for the half marathon. The marathon had length of about 26.2 miles and the half marathon a length of 13.1 miles.

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Madison Science Olympiad Team First in region, Third in State

James Madison Science Olympiad is a still developing group, gaining competitive recognition as the years go by. They have received fifth place in 2012, third place in 2013, and third place this year in 2014 in the state competitions. In the regional competitions they have gotten first both this year and last year.

Herndon High Cadets Win Spicer Cup

After four months of intense competition, Herndon High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps' (NJROTC) Rifle Team has won the Spicer Cup. The four-person team consisting of Cadets Marshall Wilkins (senior), Ashley Lightner (senior), Allison Maxwell (sophomore), and Caroline Ivie (freshman) defeated finalist West Potomac High School in the Championship Match. This is the ninth year that Herndon has won since the inception of the competition eleven years ago.

Governor Proposes New Budget

Commentary

In Virginia a governor can serve two terms, but the terms cannot be successive. All newly elected governors of Virginia take office at the beginning of a biennial budget cycle where the outgoing governor has proposed a budget for that cycle. Since the General Assembly is considering the budget when the new governor comes into office, the new governor can attempt to influence the legislature’s consideration of the budget.

Week in Great Falls

Town Hall Meeting on Deer Issues Great Falls Citizens Association will hold a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Falls Grange, as a Part II - GFCA Deer & Forest Health Program. Part one of this program was held in March when Commonwealth and Fairfax County experts discussed the role of deer in forest degradation, Lyme disease and car collisions. The April 8 program will look at possible solutions * Kristen Sinclair, Fairfax County Park Authority, who will outline deer control in county parks; * Kevin Rose, certified wildlife biologist with the VA Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, who will discuss Commonwealth hunting requirements and non-lethal forms of deer control; and * Jerry Peters, Great Falls resident and founder of Green Fire, who will describe his neighborhood's bow hunting program and the impact on local deer herds. There will be ample time for questions and answers during this public program.

A McNair Elementary Student Heads to State Finals

Siddharth Krishnakumar, a fifth grader from McNair Elementary School in Herndon, will compete in the Virginia state finals of the National Geographic Bee on April 4 at Longwood University in Farmville. Krishnakumar joins the other 100 finalists among Virginia’s fourth- to eighth-grade students who won their school-level geography bee championships, which qualified them to take a written geography exam to select the state finalists. The winner of the state finals will advance to the national competition, which will be held on May 19-21 at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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Herndon High Senior to Go to London and Paris

Han Phan, Herndon High School senior and outstanding Career and Technical Education student, was selected to accompany an educational trip to London and Paris. The trip is provided by Education First Educational Tours and will have stops in England and France. The 10-day trip will begin on July 8, in London and will move through multiple locations before ending in Paris on July 18. Phan has been enrolled in Career and Technical Education courses for all four years, including Advanced Information Systems, Accounting, Design Multimedia Web Tech, Entrepreneurship 1 and 2, and Business Management and Virtual Enterprise.

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Celebrating Indian Culture

The Academy of Christian Education, an academically accelerated school in Reston celebrated India Culture Day to help students learn about the Indian culture. Students learned about the customs, history, food, clothing, art and dance of India. Through a very busy hands-on day students enjoyed games, presentations and activities. The Academy of Christian Education accepts students age 3 through 4th grade.

Week in Herndon

“Your driver’s license has been suspended. You will be arrested. You will be deported. We are on our way to your home right now.” These are just a few of the many threats scammers have made against hundreds of Fairfax County residents over the past several weeks. Police warn the public not to fall prey to them and, instead, to call and report them. These telephone scammers are described as demanding, aggressive, threatening and easily angered when callers don’t immediately agree to their demands of “overdue tax balances.” Some have also had heavy accents. Typically, callers demand between $4,000-$6,000 in immediate payment of unpaid tax bills. These scams are sophisticated and involve false names, numbers and phony IRS badge numbers. Suspects often continue to call and harass the recipient. So police urge residents to:

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Virginia Champions

Longfellow Middle’s Mathcounts Team defends the title.

Longfellow Middle’s Mathcounts Team successfully defended its title as Virginia’s Mathcounts Champion during competition that took place recently in Richmond. The team of Franklyn Wang, William Sun, Scott Becker, and Aaditya Singh make up the Longfellow Mathcounts team, which is coached by Mary Jo Clark. Wang was the top individual finisher and earned top honors in the Countdown Round. Finishing second in the individual standings was William Sun; Scott Becker finished in sixth place. Wang and Becker will compete for Virginia at the national competition in Orlando in May. Longfellow math teachers Vern Williams, Barbara Burnett, and Jay Gorgia serve as assistant coaches for the team.

Cox’s Spring Special Offers Nearly 600 Free Episodes

Cox Communications customers can enjoy an all-access free pass to some of the most popular TV shows with the opportunity to catch up on past episodes of shows they love, plus get exclusive On Demand sneak peeks, all in the Spring FreeView On Demand from now until April 20.

Week in McLean

Fundraiser Supporting Franklin-Sherman Elementary

A fundraiser for the Franklin-Sherman Elementary School PTA has been announced by HBC Realty Group’s (Keller Williams Realty) Community Charity Champions. Come to dinner on Tuesday, April 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Pulcinella Italian Host in McLean to support the Franklin-Sherman Elementary School PTA. Enjoy dinner and know that approximately 70 percent of the proceeds from food and drink will go to the organization, as long as the diner brings the flyer for the event. Contact HBC Realty Group at 703-734-0192 or visit www.HBCRealtyGroup.com to receive a flyer.

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Herndon High Presents Fashion Show

Show held in honor of teacher Julie Pickering.

On March 27, Herndon High School held its annual fashion show at the school auditorium. The fashion show was titled “Celebrate” and had scenes of holidays throughout the year. The show was put together with Herndon High Marketing Department chair David Petruzzi, Maggie Russell and many volunteers and models.

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Paladar Latin Kitchen and Bar Coming to Tysons

The bold and fresh flavors of Latin America will be coming to Tysons when Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar opens its second location in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area on May 9. Paladar, a Cuban term for small, soulful and comforting restaurants that people run out of their homes, will be located at Leesburg Pike and Old Gallows Road in Tysons. The restaurant will feature an American interpretation of the vibrant flavors of Central and South America and the Latin Caribbean, with a special nod to the cuisine of Cuba. The Rum Bar will offer a selection of over 50 rums.

Fairfax County Senior Centers

Senior Centers for Active Adults offer opportunities to make friends, stay on the move, and learn new things. Fairfax County residents age 55 and older may join any of the 13 senior centers sponsored by the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. Senior centers offer classes, health and wellness programs, computer and internet access, trips and tours, and opportunities to socialize with others and stay connected with your community. There is an annual membership fee of $48 for attending the senior centers. Visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ncs/srctrs.htm for more.

Boomers Find Answer to Fitness at Senior Centers

Business is booming at Arlington’s six senior centers as more and more 55+ residents register with the Office of Senior Adult Programs and find a wide array of fitness programs available. Several community centers also offer strength training and weight rooms for 55+ only and sports such as pickleball, volleyball and women’s basketball. Ice skating, table tennis, tennis, golf, cycling and line dancing are also offered.

Register with Arlington’s OSAP ASAP

Arlington County’s Office of Senior Adult Programs (OSAP), a unit of the Deptartment of Parks and Recreation, coordinates activities and programs at the County’s six senior centers and several community centers. It also administers a popular 55+ Travel Program. Arlington residents 55 years of age and older can register for a 55+ Pass with the Office of Senior Adult Programs which gives them access to programs at all of the centers plus free access to exercise facilities from 6:25 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Community Center and Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center. They will also receive a bi-monthly, 36-page magazine (55+ Guide) and be eligible to participate in the travel program. The cost is $20 annually.

Thanks, Coach…

…my Certified Holistic Health Coach, Rebecca Nenner, that is. (Visit www.healthcoachdiva.com for information leading to a healthier lifestyle.) More than a coach, Rebecca is my friend – and has been for many years. A former co-worker at the Connection Newspapers, Rebecca is as passionate about health and fitness as I am about the Boston Red Sox. She has been my guiding hand now for over five years, most especially when I was first diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer back in February, 2009. Although there are no whistles involved in her coaching, there are phone calls, e-mails, YouTube videos, Webinars and miscellaneous other advisories regularly landing in my in box. To say Rebecca has saved my life might be an overstatement, given that I am being treated by an oncologist; however, she has given me an alternate perspective on what I can do to help my body survive my treatment and live like I have a present and a future, a gift if ever there was one.

Eidson, Mauldin Engaged

Teri and John Eidson are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Ashley Michelle Eidson to Frank William Mauldin, Jr., son of Diane and Frank Mauldin of Hickory, N.C.

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Artist Puts ‘Priceless Home’ on the Market

Herndon home filled with love and art.

1008 Tyler Street looks like an unassuming brick house from the front. Open the door, however, and art is everywhere. Paintings, photographs, etchings cover the walls of the three-story home.

Herndon In-town Absentee Voting Denied

Mayor, council still have more questions about details.

Authorization to establish an in-person absentee voting location for the Herndon Town Council election fell 6-1. A last-minute resolution ended up denied on Tuesday, March 25 due to the amount of questions the council still had about it so close to the May elections.

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A Reston Retrospective

Stories and thoughts by Reston residents as the community turns 50.

Usually, when you ask a number of people to share their thoughts and opinions on any subject, you get as many different answers as the numbers polled. In asking a rather random selection of residents for their thoughts as Reston celebrates its 50th anniversary, coincidentally with the 100th birthday of founder Robert E. Simon, you do get some interestingly different perspectives, but you get an uncanny commonality in their musings, as well. Regardless of where in Reston our commentators reside, the descriptors of "community," "beauty," "amenities," "something for everyone," "a town for all ages," and "protect our core values" were mentioned by all – and more than once during each Reston retrospective conversation.

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Vandalism Hits Downtown Herndon

Structures damaged in downtown Herndon.

On April 1 police from the town of Herndon were visiting locations in downtown Herndon which had been vandalized. The glass back door to the Herndon Fortnightly Library was shattered, and windows to the Herndon council chamber building were further destroyed. On Friday night, Jan. 17, large windows around the outside of the Herndon Town Council Chamber building had been smashed. Also vandalized was the historic Herndon Depot Station and the glass windows of the Herndon caboose, a local landmark.

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The Northern Virginia Problem

Top Virginia Universities are harder to get into: checking why and how to help.

Many Northern Virginian students are biting their nails, waiting for their college admission letters this week. But in a sea of overachievers, NoVa students are coming across a pervasive issue with in-state colleges—what is being dubbed the "the Northern Virginia Problem." Many residents of Fairfax, Alexandria City, Loudon, Fauquier, Prince William and Arlington counties are spreading the word that top Virginia universities—the University of Virginia, Washington and Lee and William and Mary are becoming harder and harder to get into.

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Comic Satire With a Big Heart

‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ at the 1st Stage.

Tysons' 1st Stage is giving audiences a terrific evening's entertainment with a talented, engaging cast. The 1st Stage "The Cripple of Inishmaan" is a gem of a production.

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Hosting Community on Passover

March 21 reception recognized donation of 100-plus Haggadot from Mike Berger of Vienna.

Passover or Pesach celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The sacred holiday begins sunset of Monday, April 14, and ends nightfall of Tuesday, April 22. The commemoration begins with the Passover ritual, the Seder, in which followers of the Jewish faith read from the family Haggadah, breaking for a traditional feast. At its core, the Haggadah narrates the story of the Exodus from Egypt. On March 21, the Chabad Tysons Jewish Center, in Vienna, recognized a donation of more than 100 Haggadot [Jewish texts] from Mike Berger, a Vienna resident whose father collected the versions throughout his lifetime.

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Spring Fun Starts Now

From food to live entertainment, a bit of something for everyone is available.

Daffodils are peeking through ground snow and the days grow a bit longer each day. It must be spring. The Connection offers this diversity of springtime fun to its readers.

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Freeman House Celebrates ‘The Country Store’

Exhibit showcases history of bygone era.

For a hundred years, towns and cities across America depended on their "general" stores – or "country" stores – for food provisions, clothing and dry goods, animal feed and seeds, and small equipment to sustain the community.

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Bringing LOVE to Vienna for 2015

sh>Resident proposes a life-sized work of art for the town.

The state slogan is "Virginia is for Lovers" and, as far as Suzanne Zolldan is concerned, "LOVE" is exactly what the Town of Vienna needs. Specifically, she’d like to see the word spelled out in letters somewhere in town. Toward that end, she addressed the Vienna Town Council at its March 17 meeting and explained her idea.

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‘The Best High-School Musicians in Virginia’

Three Madison students to play in All-State Band.

Three Madison High students will be performing this weekend in Blacksburg with the Virginia All-State Band. The talented musicians are senior Go Eun Jeong, junior Daniel Schwartz and sophomore Mike Niebergall. Only the top musicians in their district bands got to audition for All-State Band. Auditions were held Feb. 22 at JMU, with hundreds of students from across Virginia vying for a spot. Each had to play various scales, plus an excerpt from a song written solely for that audition. They also had to sight-read new music and play it on the spot.

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‘The Children’s Hour’ at Langley High

Classic Lillian Hellman play to run April 3-5.

A dainty redhead who pops into a room with daffodils behind her back is yelled at by one teacher after another until she feigns a heart attack.

Letter: Improving Children’s Education

To the Editor: The CLIPUS Foundation is an organization that focuses on school supplies as a gateway to improving children’s education. Our members and volunteers share this same passion for children’s education and together we push forward, coming up with unique ways to raise money and ultimately providing supplies to children in need. With our main program designed to collect used toners from companies, schools, and individuals, we help spread environmental awareness while receiving the funds needed to buy the school supplies.

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Friendship Blooms at Spring Hill Elementary

School welcomes Japanese exchange students with ceremony.

Friendship is a transcontinental experience. That is what Spring Hill Elementary students learned during a cultural and vibrant friendship ceremony with a small group of Japanese foreign exchange students on March 27. The morning ceremony welcomed the students to the nation’s capital with song, dance and hundreds of pictures drawn by Spring Hill students.

Walker Road ‘Diet’ Nears Completion

$1 million project features crosswalks and street side parking.

To the average person, the Walker Road Project looks nearly complete.

Protecting Children Online

Great Falls-based Enough Is Enough protects children from the harms of the Internet.

Enough Is Enough (EIE), a nonprofit based in Great Falls, was the first of its kind.

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Reston Founder Turning 100, Reston Turns 50

Robert Simon drinks a martini daily and still thinks about Reston’s potential.

Reston is still Robert E. Simon’s town. The founder of Virginia’s first planned residential community is turning 100 - and the town named after him is celebrating its 50th anniversary - this month.