Stories for December 2014

Stories for December 2014


Wednesday, December 31

Column: Level Best

If I wanted to rationalize the benefit of delaying my heretofore every-three-week chemotherapy infusion from three weeks to four and now on to five, possibly six – and that’s dependent on improved results from a second/maybe even third retest upcoming (this retest a bit more involved than drawing blood) – I would say it’s only fitting that I should have a break/brake; after all, it is the holiday season when all good things; yada, yada, yada. If only it were that simple.

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Arlington-Alexandria Coalition Moves Forward

Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for Homelessness undergoes transformation to “Bridges to Independence.”

At the end of 2014, the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless (AACH) will cease to exist. The organization, with its nearly 30 years of work transitioning homeless families into apartments and houses across Northern Virginia, will be going through a transition itself when it becomes “Bridges to Independence.”

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Sharing Struggle Against Addiction in Alexandria Detention

Sober Living Unit Celebrates 26th Anniversary

A recurring theme of loss and hope for recovery weaved through the songs, poems, and presentations at the Sober Living Unit’s 26th anniversary. Inmates and alumni of the program shared their stories of addiction and the long road to recovery.

Tuesday, December 30

Classified Advertising December 31, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

Monday, December 29

Letter: Who is the Real Champion of the Arts?

Letter to the Editor

I see that several recent letters to the Connection have expressed an interest in arts education. I would like to suggest to them that, rather than supporting a Republican candidate for House of Delegates in the special election next week, they consider the qualifications of Kathleen Murphy, the candidate who actually has a track record of supporting the arts.

Thursday, December 25

Classified Advertising December 24, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

Wednesday, December 24

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Horse-Filled Holidays

The Potomac Horse Center helds its holiday party and show on Sunday Dec. 14. Participants decorated their horses and stalls and then had a drill.

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B’Nai Tzedek Leads Ceremonies for Hanukkah

Lighting the menorah at Potomac Place.

On Tuesday, Dec. 16, the first night of Hanukkah, the lighting of the candle of a large menorah, singing, and the giving of gelt welcomed in the Jewish holiday.

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Potomac’s Arden Courts Celebrates 20 Years

A facility for memory care.

Arden Courts in Potomac, the first community built by Manor Care dedicated to those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, celebrated its 20th anniversary on Nov. 5. More than 200 healthcare professionals, government officials, resident families and local businesses in the community came out in support.

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Cartoon: Sony


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Cartoon: Bah Humgov

Bah Humgov

Column: The New Normal

Loosey goosey, I suppose. As much as one might prefer some predictability in their life (certainly a cancer patient would – I know I would), I may be entering a cycle of permanent unpredictability.

Tuesday, December 23

Letter: Do Fairfax County Police Act with Impunity?

Fifteen months, after the shooting of John Geer, no officer has been identified, no charges have been filed, no grand jury has been convened and no reason has been given to the family or the public.

I would like to begin by saying that I have always and still do support the police as a whole. I appreciate the job that they do and the risks they take on a daily basis in an effort to keep the public safe. The ongoing policy in Fairfax County of police self-investigation, when officers are involved in possible crimes, has to change.

Letter: Parisot in Favor of the Arts

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: In her Dec. 3 letter to the newspaper, Preiscilla Griffith recommended that residents of Virginia’s 34th District elect Craig Parisot as their Delegate for a variety of reasons.

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Santa Comes to West Springfield Elementary

Fairfax County Police Dept. and the Fairfax County Sheriff Dept. arrived today at West Springfield Elementary School (WSES) accompanying Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Frosty and the elves by motorcycle.

Letter: Giving Pets a Loving Home

To the Editor

It is evident that the influx of cats and dogs in shelters is a problem.

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Fairfax Academy Students Create Own Horror Films

All three levels of the Professional Television Production classes at the Fairfax Academy recently presented original horror films they created based on only two sentences given to them by their teacher, Matthew Balthrop, a new addition this year to the Fairfax Academy family.

Week in Springfield

Weekly happenings in Springfield.

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Santa is Not Going to Miss These Houses

Fairfax, Springfield houses brighten the holiday.

Being listed in Holly’s Tacky Christmas Lights website is no dubious honor. For some houses, it is an actual honor to be included in the list Holly Zell has kept up since 2001.

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Magical Music and Dance

QuinTango comes to JCC in Fairfax on Jan. 10.

Tango. The word conjures earthy dance and sizzling music. "Tango dance best exhibits this: two people create a dance so seamlessly, so beautifully it takes your breath away," said Joan Singer, founder of Northern Virginia's QuinTango.

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Four Plays to Offer Drama and Comedy

Fairfax High presents Winter One-Act Festival.

Both comedy and drama will take the stage when Fairfax High presents its student-directed, Winter One-Act Festival. The curtain rises Thursday-Friday, Jan. 8-9, at 7:30 p.m. Four plays are offered; tickets are $5 at the door.

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Drink This! Opens at Workhouse

The Workhouse International Ceramic Cup Show celebrates contemporary handmade drinking vessels with 75 works from artists near and far.

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‘Children Are Going to Love These Books’

Scout donates original works to Hanley Shelter.

Eagle Scout projects are all about helping people, and Garrett Anderson’s project certainly fits the bill. Thanks to his efforts, children staying at the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter now have 11 new and original books to read and enjoy.

Letter: Taking Exception on Express Lanes

To the Editor

An article was recently published in your newspaper discussing the new I-95 express lanes (95 Express Lanes Open, The Connection, Dec. 18-24, 2014). One statement in the article read, “Construction manager for the project John Morse, of VDOT, said that the addition of a third lane will solve a number of problems and give people options other than waiting in traffic.”

Friday, December 19

Letter to the Editor: Thankful for Support

To the Editor: To the McLean, Vienna and Great Falls communities: The Woman’s Club of McLean would like to express its gratitude for supporting the club’s 48th annual Holiday Homes Tour and its MarketPlace.

Simple Luxuries Not Everyone Can Afford

Helping organizations need help year round.

After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, taxpayers begin scramble to get that end-of-the year charitable donation so they claim it on their tax returns. For people who want to benefit while helping people, two Oakton based organizations, Northern Virginia Family Service and The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia offer two ways to give.

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Vienna Celebrates the Season

Vienna’s holiday season runs through New Year’s Eve. The social highlight is the second annual First Night Vienna celebration, sponsored and hosted by the Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna Department of Parks and Recreation. The family-friendly five-hour festival offers free entertainment at five venues.

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2014 in Vienna: A Year in Review

Year of loss and successes.

This year started off on a sad note for the Vienna area. M. Jane Seeman, then mayor, died of lung cancer on Feb. 23, 2014, and the community mourned the loss of a friend and Vienna’s most dedicated supporter.

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Students Think Twice About Spending

Eighth graders learn the cost of financial responsibility.

That Christmas check from grandma will probably be spent on the latest video game or that trendy pair of boots a typical teenager has been saving to buy. But for eighth graders in Fairfax County, they might think twice before splurging on that one luxury item.

Loudoun Company Donates Free Roof to Cornerstones

DryHome Roofing and Siding, a Sterling-based roofing company, has selected Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith) as the recipient of a new roof through its annual Free Roof for the Holidays program.

State and Local Politics in 2015

Independent Progressive

I am happy to wave goodbye to political year 2014. It was not a good year for progressives, and a worse year for America. Defying logic, the party of no and dysfunction at the federal level and a root cause of the collapse of the middle class won broad victories in the ballyhooed midterms of 2014.

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Looking at the Sky

McLean High School sophomore Sean Yongjoo Lim prepares for violin competition in Switzerland.

Hours of practice are adding up and paying off for Sean Yongjoo Lim, a McLean High School sophomore who was recently selected to compete in the International Boris Goldstein Violin Competition in Bern, Switzerland.

Tertell, Harrell Engaged

Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Madeleine Tertell of McLean are happy to announce the engagement of their daughter, Trish Tertell, to Tom Harrell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and Robin Harrell of Alexandria. A May wedding is planned.

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Holidays Celebrated at McLean Children’s Academy

The preschool students from McLean Children’s Academy performed for their families at the McLean Community Center singing and acting out holiday songs and decorating the tree with child made ornaments. Students are from McLean, Great Falls, Arlington and Falls Church.

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Grace Han Wolf Appointed to Park Authority

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust has appointed a replacement for Park Authority Board Member Richard “Rip” Sullivan who resigned effective Dec. 11, naming as his replacement Grace Han Wolf, who assumes the post as of Dec. 12, 2014. Sullivan’s resignation comes on the heels of his recent election to the Virginia General Assembly where he will serve as Virginia State Delegate for the 48th District.

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New Shoes for Children at Hutchison Elementary

The Council for the Arts of Herndon joins with the Dranesville supervisor’s office every holiday season to gather new shoes for children at Hutchison Elementary School in Herndon. Hutchison is a Title I school serving many students with challenging social and economic issues.

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2014 in McLean: A Year in Review

Metro, sidewalks and the 100th birthday of MCA.

In the last 365 days, McLean has gone through historic changes. In just a year, the community has become the home of a handful of Metro stations and has begun the process of revitalizing the central area’s walkability.

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‘Peter Pan’ Recreated

Herndon High produces “Peter Pan,” or the “Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.”

What do fairy dust, a vengeful pirate, and a flying boy have in common? The answer would be Herndon High School’s production of “Peter Pan,” or the “Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.” The show, debuting in London in 1904, was J.M. Barrie’s most famous work, along with his 1911 novel version of the same story.

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2014 in Great Falls: A Year in Review

Groundwater contamination and a swell in volunteerism.

In the past year, the village has gone through changes that will impact the future of the community. 2014 in Great Falls saw an uptick of volunteer support, walkability in the village center and a corrective action plan for the Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) groundwater contamination.

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Jones Branch Connector Hoped to Relieve Tysons traffic.

The proposed Jones Branch Connector may be the answer to some of the congestion issues on Route 7. During the public hearing on Dec. 10 at Spring Hill Elementary for the pending transportation project, Project Manager John Dresser said it would be a pressure valve for the increasingly heavy traffic through Tysons Corner during rush hour.

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Artists on the Green Showcase Their Work at Great Falls Library

This winter, artists from the Artists on the Green Studio and Gallery in Great Falls will gather to showcase their work at Great Falls Library. The exhibit will go through January, and visitors can stop in to see impressive work by artists in their own backyard.

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Ellen Findley Honored with Herndon Good Neighbor Award

Another winner of the Good Neighbor Award was named at the Dec. 9 Town Council meeting.

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Parisot: Running with Purpose

Colleagues say delegate candidate Craig Parisot’s ‘got his priorities straight.’

Craig Parisot can juggle. Whether that means candy canes or work-life balance, he catches everything that comes his way. With a growing new family, a growing list of leadership roles in the community and an active campaign as the Republican candidate for Delegate of the 34th District, this is a job that requires both hands.

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Gifts for the Home

Local shop owners offer suggestions to make holiday shopping easier.

While holiday shopping is part of the spirit of the season, for some choosing a present for everyone on their list can be overwhelming. Local small business owners come to the rescue with gift ideas for the home.

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November Herndon Elections Approved

May elections nixed, two year terms stay.

Herndon elections will transition into a November election schedule. Herndon Town Council voted to amend the town charter at the Dec. 9 meeting to allow for the elections to be held in November rather than May after four public hearings.

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Langley Principal Leaves for South County

Matthew Ragone created “Saxon Country,” says school family network committee co-chair.

For six years, he was the glue that brought Langley High School (LHS) together. LHS Principal Matthew Ragone has left the school to boost South County High School’s academics as its new principal.

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Irresistible? How Karen Garza Creates Change in Fairfax County Schools

Karen Garza is a good listener. And once she’s listened, she is, admittedly, not very patient. “If there's a real issue, I don't think it has to be debated for 10 or 15 years,” Garza said in an interview. “Either we're going to do something about it or not.”

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2014 in Herndon: A Year in Review

Rezoning, trail lighting and November elections events of the year.

In the past year, Herndon made sure to make small steps to make the future brighter and easier to plan. Between rezoning downtown for future revitalization and creating more inclusiveness in the community by giving a voice to minority groups, the town is paving its way into the next 20 years.

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FCPS Chief Karen Garza and Her Previous Life in Texas

“When I hired Karen in 2005,” former Superintendent of Houston Independent School District (HISD) Dr. Abelardo Saavedra said, “the position of chief academic officer had been open several months. I went looking for her. I’d never met her but I’d heard about her. There is a big difference between a mid-sized district and a larger one; the dynamics are completely different. I was taking a risk because she came from a mid-sized one of about 40,000 in Corpus Christi, and ours was much bigger. She adjusted very quickly.”

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2014 in Reston: Metro Comes to Town

Metro brings change on community’s 50th anniversary.

Reston has gone through historic changes in the past year. 2014 brought Phase One of the Metro’s Silver Line and community input to redevelop all of Robert’s Simon’s village center visions on the 50th anniversary of his namesake.

Saving Historic Homes

Residents could live virtually rent-free in exchange for repairing and maintaining homes.

Fairfax County might soon breathe life into historic homes that have fallen into disrepair. If an ordinance adopted by the County Board of Supervisors last month becomes law, the county will be one step closer to establishing a resident curator program.

2015 New Year Remodeling Resolutions

Improving long-term living needs and future home value.

After all the holiday festivities have passed and the ball has dropped to ring in the New Year, many homeowners are inspired to tackle resolutions that relate to their living space. 2015 may be the year you want to remodel your home to allow for the changes occurring in your life.

Fairfax County Public Schools Needing Community’s Help

Superintendent Karen Garza begins and ends her Listening Tour meetings with a plea to those in the room — parents, teachers, employees, unions — to help her achieve what needs to be done for their school system. “I am going to need your help,” she says to audiences who voice concerns about class size, resources for special education, and teacher salaries.

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza Bio

Current Position: Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent

Timeline of Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza’s career in education.

1986-1991: Elementary School Teacher, Yoakum, Texas (1,539 students, 38% white and 50% Latino and spends about $8,000 per pupil).

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Widening Continues On U.S. Route 1 in Mount Vernon

Douglas White is the “unofficial mayor” of Accotink Village, he said. He was at the South County Center on Dec. 10 to hear project updates from members of the U.S. Route 1 Improvements project team handling the widening of the major roadway.

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Franconia Nonprofit Koinonia Engages More with Business Community

Mary Tinsley of Alexandria pushed the loaded shopping cart right out the door and into the parking lot where Marcia Reid of Woodbridge was pulling her car around. Mid-morning sun pierced through trees overlooking the parking lot behind Franconia United Methodist Church. Reid was picking up groceries for a Springfield-based client of Koinonia, a local nonprofit outreach organization.

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Burke Church Volunteers Assemble Birth Kits for Haiti

Meg Hanrahan of Burke and Melinda Engelbrektsson of Fairfax Station have each faced life-threatening complications with childbirth. Thanks to the medical resources available to them and “the grace of God,” said Engelbrektsson, they and their children survived. Many women in third world countries including Haiti don’t have the same opportunity.

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Skating Fun for Burke Centre at Fairfax Ice Arena

Michael and Emmett Pellegrino of Burke didn’t have to wait much to see Santa. Just long enough to have their ice skates tied. The Burke Centre Conservancy had rented out Fairfax Ice Arena and asked the jolly old man to make an appearance.

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Burke Church Hosts Hypothermia Prevention Shelter with FACETS

This week, the doors at Burke United Methodist Church (BUMC) swing open a little wider. Each year since 2006, the congregation at BUMC has hosted a hypothermia prevention shelter in its large fellowship hall. The church is one of nearly 30 faith communities in Northern Virginia running shelters in partnership with FACETS, the Fairfax-based nonprofit fighting local poverty.

Editorial: Merry Christmas

A message of peace and joy.

Merry Christmas. It’s a magical time of year, and perhaps Connection Newspapers has over indulged in displaying the many rituals of Christmas on our pages in the past few weeks. In events around the area, a sense of community has infused holiday parades, Christmas tree lightings, menorah lightings, choral performances, singing of carols and other traditional events with warmth and joy.

Thursday, December 18

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Reston Garden Club Hosts Decoration Workshop

Garden club creates holiday decorations for Reston community.

December usually brings a holiday decorations workshop of some kind. The Reston Garden Club, an active community organization, held their decoration workshop at the Walker Nature Center in December on Glade Drive.

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End Of the Year Fun in Reston and Herndon

Winter entertainment at various locations in Northern Virginia.

At the end of December and early days of January, residents in the Reston and Herndon area have a variety of local options for fun and entertainment. Some of these include the local art galleries, as well as options at the local community centers and regional parks.

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Crafts Displayed at Herndon Community Center

Volunteers promote turnout at Herndon craft fair.

Herndon Community Center, located at 814 Ferndale Avenue hosted its Annual Arts and Crafts Show Sunday, Dec. 7. The event was well attended, and both staff and volunteers from the Herndon Woman’s Club helped direct visitors to locations where crafts were on display.

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Reston South Lakes Hosts Winter Concert

Students perform “Sounds of the Season.”

Reston’s South Lakes High School choral department presented their free winter concert “Sounds of the Season” at the school auditorium on Dec. 11. Music preformed included both sacred and secular selection, and was an opportunity for family members and friends to hear the results of many hours of practice and rehearsal.

Roundups for Centreville and Chantilly

Important safety and community information for Chantilly and Centreville

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When Dad (or Mom) Is High School Sports Coach

Local coaches and athletes share their feelings about the relationship between parent/coach and child/athlete.

Classified Advertising December 17. 2014

Read the latest ads here!

Wednesday, December 17

Centreville Man Charged with Murder

Three days after a Centreville man was killed in his home in the Meadows community, Fairfax County police have charged one of his roommates with his murder.

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Wootton Girls’ Basketball Edges Rival Churchill

Patriots’ Addison, Bulldogs’ Karim-Duvall with big games.

Sheri Addison’s late bucket lifted the Wootton girls’ basketball team to a 54-52 victory over rival Churchill on Dec. 12.

Betters Said Than Done Helps You Tell Your Story

As the new year approaches, people may begin to ponder what resolutions they will make for 2015 - losing weight, getting a new job, quitting smoking, eating healthier. What about learning the art of storytelling as the means to self-improvement?

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Retiring ‘Hero’

Author and master of Potomac Master Plan, Callum Murray, retiring from Montgomery County Park and Planning.

Whatever one likes about Potomac, Callum Murray probably had something to do with keeping it that way. That was the message at last week’s West Montgomery County Citizens Association meeting, marking Murray’s plan to retire.

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Solving Foot Pain

New store focuses on keeping people moving.

A new store in Rockville can help manage the pain. Good Feet, a franchise store, is committed to helping to alleviate foot pain and make people feel better about moving, exercising and walking. Good Feet provides custom fitting of feet with various levels of foot supports. The store carries 350 different sizes and 25 different styles to fit every type of foot.

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Protecting Dogs in the City of Fairfax

City Council passes one-hour maximum tethering ordinance.

When the Fairfax City Council last week passed one of the most stringent tethering laws in the state, it pleased many residents and animal advocates. “It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of work,” said Fairfax resident Tim Parmly, who directs an equine-welfare group. “It’s an ordinance much-needed to protect the dogs in this City.”

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Accepting Differences

Congregation B’Nai Tzedek hosts holiday party for Jewish Foundation for Group Homes’ adults with disabilities.

Sixth grade religious students at Congregation B’Nai Tzedek (CBT) were taught by members of their Special Needs committee about differences that the disabled adults who live at the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (JFGH) might have — and the importance of accepting the disparity among people’s abilities.

Letter to the Editor: Opposing the Pipeline

To the Editor Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has proposed that, in four years, a 550 mile natural gas pipeline, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, be built throughout Virginia. Although Virginia will house most of the pipeline, it will also travel through North Carolina and West Virginia. McAuliffe boasts that thousands of jobs will be created and sustained by this pipeline.

‘The American Dream’

The story of success via hard work makes the book a good gift.

Merrifield Garden Center has been a magnet for Northern Virginia gardeners since the store was founded by entrepreneurs and friends Bob Warhurst and Buddy Williams in the Merrifield area of Fairfax County in 1971. Since then, the company has expanded to two more stores in Northern Virginia: Fair Oaks in Fairfax and Gainesville in Prince William County.

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95 Express Lanes Open

Transportation project culminates after a decade and four governors.

The 95 express lanes opened on Sunday, Dec. 14, after a decade of planning and since breaking ground almost two years ago. Gov. Terry McAuliffe--joined by Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, members of the Fairfax, Prince William, and Stafford counties board of supervisors, and representatives from VDOT and Transurban--cut the ribbon on Wednesday, Dec. 10 in Alexandria.

Letter to the Editor: New Level of Accountability

To the Editor: As a Christian, I believe we are all made in the image of God - and that means every life matters. However, our justice system is currently sending black people the message that their lives do not matter the same way that others do.

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ODB’s Thank You to Combined Properties

Combined Properties donated store space at Courthouse Plaza in Fairfax City so that Our Daily Bread (ODB) and six other local organizations could conduct Fall Food Drives every Saturday from Nov. 1 through Dec. 13. This is its sixth year of supporting these food drives.

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“Operation Lifesaver Santa Trains” Returns to Area

On Saturday, Dec.13, Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Virginia’s commuter rail service, held its 18th annual “Operation Lifesaver Santa Trains.”

It’s Four Lanes All the Way from Chantilly to Centreville

Newly widened Stringfellow Road opens to traffic.

It’s been a long time coming but, on Monday, Dec. 15, Stringfellow Road became four lanes all the way from Route 50 in Chantilly to Route 29 in Centreville. And the newly widened section opened to drivers six months ahead of schedule.

Cappies Review: Near Miraculous Production

“The Miracle Worker” at Paul VI Catholic High School.

“Helen, the chick has to come out of its shell sometime…you come out too!” For Helen Keller, life was a black void of ignorance. Almost sealed off from the outside world, pampered by her parents, she understood only desire and reward.

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Taste of Braddock Kicks Off Holidays

The annual Taste of Braddock reception was held at Supervisor John Cook’s office on Dec. 10. It was a wonderful time for community members to come together to kick off the holiday season and share in some delicious food from Braddock District businesses.

Letter to the Editor: Giving Pets a Loving Home

To the Editor: It is evident that the influx of cats and dogs in shelters is a problem. With so many animals and not enough families to adopt them, a solution needs to be implemented to decrease the population being brought in.

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Cartoon: Torture

One Small Step, Torture

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ONC Volunteers Make Like Santa’s Elves in Centreville

Volunteers with Our Neighbor’s Child gathered up and packaged Christmas gifts, Dec. 11, for nearly 800 local families.

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Springfield's Doodlehopper Sells Toys that Enlighten

For toys, books, and baby and toddler gifts that tend to enlighten the child this holiday season, be sure to check out Doodlehopper 4 Kids, located in the Huntsman Square Shopping Center off of the Fairfax County Parkway in Springfield.

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One-of-a-Kind Art Gifts on Display at Workhouse

The Workhouse in Lorton offers a wide selection of artistic creations that would delight friends and family in this gift-giving season.

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Virginia Railway Express Riders Donate Toys for Tots

Virginia Railway Express riders gave from their hearts and wallets and donated a truck full of toys and nearly $19,000 in the commuter rail agency’s annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign.

Santa Lives in Springfield

Greenspring resident starts a new career impersonating St. Nick.

He may be retired, but Jim Weedon still wears a suit…a Santa suit! A resident of Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, Weedon recently started a new career impersonating St. Nick.

Cappies Review: Thought-provoking and Inspirational

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” at Robert E. Lee High School.

R.P. McMurphy has always been the bull goose of wherever she goes. She is the wildest, lustiest, strongest woman in the world and, as long as she’s stuck in this cuckoo’s nest, the craziest too, the unquestioned bull goose loony. But when she finds herself butting heads with Nurse Ratched and his relentless iron fist of control, it’s not just fun and games anymore.

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Bringing Smiles to Military Families in Lorton

Operation Homefront, in partnership with Northrop Grumman, held a Holiday Toy Party for children of enlisted soldiers in Lorton. Five hundred families registered online to be part of the festivities on Sunday, Dec. 14.

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Ho Ho Holiday Show in Chantilly

Westfield High’s children’s theater presents its annual “Ho Ho Holiday Show,” Friday, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 20, at 2 p.m.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 70 homes sold between $2,000,106-$250,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: November, 2014

Springfield Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 94 Springfield homes sold between $860,000-$155,000.

Springfield Home Sales: November, 2014

Reston Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 53 Reston homes sold between $960,000-$167,500.

Reston Home Sales: November, 2014

McLean Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 71 homes sold between $3,725,000-$133,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: November, 2014

Column: A Level That’s Anything But

This is not a home improvement reference, but this is most definitely a do-it-yourself column.

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 48 homes sold between $1,362,713-$167,500 in the Oak Hill and Herndon area.

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: November, 2014

Great Falls Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 16 Great Falls homes sold between $2,500,000-$650,000.

Great Falls Home Sales: November, 2014

Fairfax Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 60 Fairfax homes sold between $1,545,000-$187,500.

Fairfax Home Sales: November, 2014

Chantilly Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 15 homes sold between $710,000-$220,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: November, 2014

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

In November 2014, 38 homes sold between $1,300,000-$176,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

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

Centreville Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 57 Centreville homes sold between $885,000-$158,000.

Centreville Home Sales: November, 2014

Burke Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 36 Burke homes sold between $680,000-$214,000.

Burke Home Sales: November, 2014

Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 81 homes sold between $1,890,000-$85,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: November, 2014

Arlington Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 182 Arlington homes sold between $1,825,000-$105,500.

Arlington Home Sales: November, 2014

Alexandria Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 133 Alexandria homes sold between $1,445,000-$122,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: November, 2014

Potomac Home Sales: November, 2014

In November 2014, 31 Potomac homes sold between $1,680,000-$575,000.

Potomac Home Sales: November, 2014

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‘Santa Run’ Brings Joy to Vienna Neighborhoods

Vienna fire department volunteers cruise through community with Santa and candy canes.

When Santa Claus cruises through Vienna-area neighborhoods on an antique fire truck, siren and holiday music blaring through loudspeakers, when North Pole elves dress up as Vienna Volunteer Fire Department [VVFD] EMTs handing out candy canes and dog biscuits, it marks the season of VVFD’s annual week-long Santa Run in the days running up to Christmas.

Letter: Parisot will Stand with Vets

To the Editor

To the Editor: Selfless service to our great country is the highest honor and privilege anyone can have, and it is an invaluable background for an elected officeholder to have.

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Dream Team Vienna Wins State Trophy

At the recent First Lego League VA/DC Robotics ChampionshipTournament, a team of sixth graders, named Dream Team Vienna, won the FLL Championship Research Project Award.

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Arts Council, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Move to a New Home

The Arts Council of Fairfax County and the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra have moved to Merrifield, thanks to a space proffered by HITT Contracting, Inc. to the County.

Column: On the Agenda

One of the most frequently asked questions of me this time of year is, “What will the General Assembly be doing when it meets?” The question is understandable with the regular session of the legislature scheduled to begin on Jan. 14, 2015.

Christmas Market in Tysons

The Tysons Christmas Market is in its second year, this year taking advantage of the new plaza area connecting the mall to adjoining buildings. Lured by the scent of roasting nuts, bratwurst, mulled cider, and baked goods, shoppers will also find an excellent selection of gifts, warm hats, leather, wood and other crafts.

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Food, Supplies for Children in Need in Vienna

Madison High language honor societies help those who go hungry.

Members of the Spanish and French Honor Societies at James Madison High School collected non-perishable foods to distribute to 20 children at Marshall Road Elementary School.

Colonial Day at Churchill Road

On Friday, Dec. 12, Churchill Road fourth graders stepped back in time to the 19th century and participated in the school’s annual Colonial Day.

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‘The Nutcracker’ at Reston Stage

Last week more than 100 students ages 4 to 18 took audiences on a magical adventure in the Conservatory Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.” For more than a decade, fighting mice and triumphing over the evil Mouse King has marked the start of the holiday season for South Lakes High School (SLHS) Senior Colin Lamoureux.

Obituary: Beverly Anne Schupfer Morris Dies

Beverly Anne Schupfer Morris, 84, passed away Nov. 23, 2014 in Idaho Falls, Idaho from complications of Parkinson’s Disease She was born June 13, 1930 in Lewiston, Idaho to Herman and Alberta Schupfer.

Oakton Resident Helps Older Cats Find Forever Homes

County shelter volunteer Stefani Sacripante maintains Facebook page dedicated to shelter pets.

Stefani Sacripante of Oakton is a trained chef teaching at Culinaria Cooking School, a mother of school-aged children, a college student in art history, and a volunteer with the Fairfax County Animal Shelter (FCAS)

Letter: Thankful for Support

To the Editor

To the Editor: To the McLean, Vienna and Great Falls communities: The Woman’s Club of McLean would like to express its gratitude for supporting the club’s 48th annual Holiday Homes Tour and its MarketPlace.

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Church Without Walls Finds Its Way

Church of the Apostles continues despite losing “The Meeting Place.”

Not all those who wander are lost. The Church of the Apostles has offices in Fairfax but it has held services in different locations since losing “The Meeting Place” in Pickett Road in 2012, where it had been since 1974.

Tuesday, December 16

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Herndon Coach Hall, Wife Host Weekly Study Hall

HHS athletes meet weekly for dinner, studying, fun.

Herndon High School athletes meet weekly at the Reston home of head boys' basketball coach Gary Hall.

Wolf Honored as Defender of Human Rights, Dignity

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) delivered the following speech on the House floor on Dec. 10, 2014, honoring retiring U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10): Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia will cast his last vote this week, capping off a remarkable 34-year career of altruistic deeds, selfless service, bold humanitarian initiatives, and durable achievement.

Great Falls Church Offers ‘A Very Musical Service’

If you haven’t heard, there are some wonderful sounds coming from the Great Falls United Methodist Church next to the fire station on Georgetown Pike. There are some seats remaining in the choir loft for anyone interested in joining in what is becoming a very musical Sunday service. At times, the musical program will include brass, string and percussion instruments.

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An Essay To Remember

Local educators offer advice on acing independent school admission essays and interviews.

While many are knee-deep in wrapping paper and eggnog, some students are holed up with computer keyboards and books of quotations. In addition to driving to the mall for holiday shopping, some parents are throwing rapid-fire questions at their children to make sure they are fast on their feet.

Commentary: Helping People without Homes

The weather has turned colder and the holidays are in full swing, which means it’s the time of year when people ask “what can we do for the homeless now that it’s so cold?” Or “how can we help the homeless have a good Christmas?”

Editorial: Holidays Are for Giving

In the scramble to finish Christmas shopping, remember tens of thousands of local children are short of food as well as presents.

The holidays are for giving. Christmas and Hanukkah are about children and family, about sharing, about joy, about being thankful and about faith and appreciation. Here in Northern Virginia, many of us see few signs of families in need as we go about our daily lives and holiday shopping. Our neighborhoods are largely segregated economically; we mostly see the people who are most like ourselves economically.

Sunday, December 14

Connolly To Hold 22nd Telephone Town Hall Meeting for Fairfax County, Prince William County and City of Fairfax

The representative is just a phone call away. Rather than cramming thousands of constituents into a single room, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) is hosting his 22nd “telephone town hall meeting” where people call in for an hour-long virtual session. The event is set to take place Dec. 16 at at 8 p.m.

Friday, December 12

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Holiday Mischief at the North Pole

Encore presents musical show, “3 Days ’til Christmas!”

Reindeer, elves and dancing snowflakes are all part of the holiday joy in Encore Theatrical Arts Project’s upcoming musical extravaganza, called “3 Days ’til Christmas!” it’ll be presented at NOVA’s Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike in Annandale.

Centreville and Chantilly Roundups

Volunteer opportunities, free services, updates on road closures and other important community information for the Centreview community.

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Stone’s Panther Drop-Off, Community Help ONC in Centreville

The nonprofit, all-volunteer Our Neighbor’s Child (ONC) is collecting presents for local families in need to give to their children on Christmas. To donate new clothes or toys, or to help with the deliveries, this Sunday, Dec. 14, email

House Fire Leads to Teen’s Arrest

Believing he set fire to his own home, authorities arrested a 19-year-old Fairfax man last week and charged him with arson. They did not release his name, but the incident occurred Tuesday, Dec. 2, around 8:30 p.m. and caused an estimated $250,000 damage.

Brief: Stringfellow Road Opens To Four Lanes Monday

Paving, striping, signal work this weekend to open six months ahead of schedule.

On Monday, Dec. 15, drivers will enjoy two lanes in each direction from Fair Lakes Boulevard to Route 50 on the newly widened two-mile section of Stringfellow Road, a milestone for the project that is six months ahead of schedule.

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‘Hour of Code’ at Keene Mill

Elementary school students write lines of code during the school day.

With the increasing demand for software developers in today’s job market, and what some say is a decreasing interest in computer science at the college level, schools around the country and world worked to peak students’ interest in computer science during a weeklong learning initiative called the “Hour of Code.”

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Gifts of History at Gunston Hall Museum Shop

Looking for the perfect gift for a local history buff? The Gunston Hall Museum Shop, located in the visitor's center of Gunston Hall Plantation, offers one-of-a-kind gifts, historical books, food and locally crafted items.

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Fairfax City Offers Unique Holiday Products and Services

Instead of driving to one of the malls take a venture to the town of Fairfax. There you will be delighted with thoughtful gift ideas and services. In a visit to Fairfax Town Center, nestled by diverse dining options on University Drive and Main Street, one can find a handful of small businesses offering unique products.

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Cameron's Chocolates Has Scrumptious Gifts

Store in Fairfax Circle Shopping Center employs people with intellectual disabilities.

Looking for holiday gift ideas of hand-dipped chocolates and fresh-baked-from-scratch muffins, try Cameron's Coffee and Chocolates located in the Fairfax Circle Shopping Center. Owners Jim and Ellen Graham of McLean named their store, which opened Oct. 1, 2013, after their daughter Cameron, 24, who has intellectual disabilities.

‘Every Storm Has its Challenges’

City of Fairfax prepares in advance for snow removal.

Because last winter was so severe, the City of Fairfax had to remove a larger amount of snow and ice than it had anticipated. Staff cleared nearly 40 inches of snow, costing $502,000 and causing a drain on city resources.

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Christmas Cookies, Carols and Crafts

Children enjoyed lunch with Santa, Christmas music and holiday crafts, Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Sherwood Center in Fairfax.

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95 Express Lanes, a Preview

All signs point to getting an EZ Pass.

Like a long-awaited summer blockbuster, signs on billboards along Route 1 and banners hanging on bridges that cross I-95, tease commuters about the coming of the nine-mile extension of the 95 express lanes.

Big Brother at School Stage

Lake Braddock High produces George Orwell’s “1984.”

There is no freedom of expression. Individuality does not exist. The Inner Party harnesses supreme power, and there is no hope of toppling the government. Every action is recorded. Every thought is monitored.

Commentary: Changing Society’s Perception of Sexual Assault

Recently, headlines across the country involved another sexual assault tragedy. This time at the University of Virginia. While a great deal of controversy surrounds this latest story, it is important to not lose sight of the fact that stories of sexual assault are filling our newspapers all too regularly.

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Five Star Jewelers Has Unique Jewelry Gifts

Looking for fine jewelry gifts this holiday season? Five Star Jewelers in Burke is the place to find all of your "bling." This family-owned business belonging to Helen and Toby Fitzkee has operated in the Burke Centre Shopping Center in Burke since 1987.

Weichert, Realtors Recognizes Burke/Fairfax Station Office, Associates

Bruce L. Green, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, announced the Burke/Fairfax Station office was recognized for outstanding performance in November. The office led the region, which comprises offices throughout Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier and Delaware counties, for new home dollar volume.

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Weichert, Realtors’ Burke Office Launches Toy Drive

With the season of giving upon us, Nick Brown, branch manager of Weichert, Realtors’ Burke office, has announced the start of their annual holiday toy drive to benefit children associated with “Kristi’s Christmas” – a nonprofit program that is supported by the West Springfield Rotary Foundation, which is devoted to helping disadvantaged children in Fairfax County that may be overlooked by other county, state, and federal programs.

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Holiday Mischief at the North Pole (and in Annandale)

Encore presents musical show, “3 Days ’til Christmas!”

Reindeer, elves and dancing snowflakes are all part of the holiday joy in Encore Theatrical Arts Project’s upcoming musical extravaganza. Called “3 Days ’til Christmas!” it’ll be presented at NOVA’s Ernst Community Cultural Center, 8333 Little River Turnpike in Annandale.

Thursday, December 11

Classified Advertising December 10, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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Arlington: Marymount Packages 10,000 Meals

Seventy Marymount University students and staff members packaged 10,000 meals to be sent to the impoverished West African nation of Burkina Faso on Nov. 18. The event, called Helping Hands, was a collaboration between Catholic Relief Services of the Arlington Diocese and the organization Stop Hunger Now.

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Arlington: Honoring Leaders

At a sold out event with almost 300 people in attendance, Leadership Arlington held its first annual 40 Under 40 at Army Navy Country Club on Dec. 4 recognizing 40 emerging leaders under the age of 40 who demonstrated impact personally and/or professionally through their leadership in the D.C. metropolitan region.

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Arlington: Snapshot

Ready for Santa at 1713 N. Quebec St.

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Mount Vernon: Local Film Maker Shines at International Film Festival

Story focuses on life after high school.

After growing up in Tennessee, and a three-year stay in Greece when he was 14 through 17, Chris Kiros came to Alexandria. He now lives in Belle View with his wife, Christina, and seven-year-old son, Lucas.

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Redemption through the Power of Love in Chantilly

Chantilly High presents “A Christmas Carol.”

A timeless, holiday classic comes to life when Chantilly High presents Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.”

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Ushering in Holiday Season in Centreville

CVHS presents choral concert.

Centreville High’s Choral Department will present its annual Winter Concert on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the school theater. The concert is free to all, and refreshments will be served afterward.

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Herndon Celebrates Winter Holidays

Weather does not hinder holiday celebrations.

Wet weather did not prevent celebrations planned on Saturday, Dec. 6 in downtown Herndon. Although it rained throughout most of the day, spirits remained bright at the Industrial Strength Theatre and Herndon Fortnightly Library, where winter holiday events were taking place.

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Reston Lake Anne Hosts Holiday Event

Weather does not hinder traditional Reston event.

Umbrellas and rain gear were all the fashion on Saturday, Dec. 6. Despite wet weather, parents and children still waited by Lake Anne Plaza in Reston for the visit by Santa Claus.

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Lake Anne Business to Relocate

Board of Supervisors approves Lake Anne Redevelopment LLC proposal.

A proposal passed by the Board of Supervisors could temporarily displace Just Cats Clinic. The board unanimously passed a proposal at the Dec. 2 meeting to amend the county’s comprehensive plan calls for the demolition of the Millennium Bank building, among other requests, to provide a better view of Lake Anne Plaza once revitalized.

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County Superintendent Listens to Reston

Dr. Karen Garza’s listening tour stops at Hunters Woods Elementary.

She’s listening. At the last stop of 2014 for her listening tour, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza listened to parents, students, teachers and residents about their concerns about the school system, ranging from cyberbullying to teacher pay on Saturday morning at Hunters Woods Elementary.

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Fighting for Common Sense

Colleagues say Kathleen Murphy is compassionate and dedicated.

According to her friends and colleagues, Kathleen Murphy is dedication and compassion personified. The cancer survivor and former military child is turning her experiences into action by running for a second time for the state House of Delegates 34th district - this time with more wisdom.

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Holiday Season Begins at Mesmeralda’s in McLean

One of McLean's oldest shops is getting in the holiday spirit. Brimming with candles, cards decor and a host of holiday and hostess gifts, Mesmeralda’s is a store where a visitor can pick up something for everyone on their list.

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Garza on School Matters

School system superintendent addresses citizens’ concerns.

Dressed in a black skirt suit and a maroon blouse, Dr. Karen Garza was ready to take on questions and comments from concerned area residents. At the last event of McLean Citizens Association, the Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent was invited to talk to residents about pressing education matters like overcrowded classrooms and budget concerns at the McLean Community Center on Dec. 1.

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Senior Safety Summit Held at the Herndon Harbor House.

Area senior citizens got a lesson on safety from the professionals. The first of two Senior Safety Summits was held on Friday, Dec. 5 at the Herndon Harbor House to show the area’s oldest residents how to remain safe for the holidays and beyond.

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Community Behind Potential Garden Plots in Herndon

Community gardens in Herndon are a step closer to becoming a reality.

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Herndon Florist Ready for the Holidays

The shop boasts red, green and white arrangements and decor.

As a shop that has been a local institution for nearly 40 years, Herndon Florist has experienced the holiday season many times. The shop is stocked with its usual items that have grown to be popular for holiday shoppers as the temperatures drop.

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Saddling Up to the Holidays in Great Falls

The Saddlery has gifts for all, equestrian or not.

Tucked inside of a Walker Road shopping center is a local equestrian’s holiday secret. The Saddlery, a shop that specializes in equestrian gear and clothing for women, is brimming with hostess gifts, stocking stuffers and presents for nearly all women.

Arlington: “Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for Dec. 14-20.

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for Dec. 14-20.

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Residents Speak Out Against Cluster Development

Basheer and Edgemoore representatives meet with residents for discussion.

More than 150 residents showed up on a Wednesday night to speak against cluster development proposal seeking rezoning. The Citizens for the Heart of Great Falls, among other area residents, left unsatisfied with Basheer and Edgemoore’s answers on Dec. 3 at Forestville Elementary about their development proposal, many stating they would prefer to have the zoning kept to 5 acre lots rather than splitting them.

Arlington: FBI Offers $15,000 Reward

Chief Doug Scott, Arlington County Police Department, represents one of nine law enforcement agencies combining efforts to identify and locate a suspect responsible for multiple robberies spanning multiple jurisdictions.

Arlington Brief: Whipple Named to State Board

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has appointed former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple to the Virginia Board of Health. Whipple is currently employed as the regional director for community and member outreach for the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Whipple will fill the seat vacated by Eric Deaton, who resigned his seat on the board to take a position outside of Virginia.

Arlington Brief: Park Supporters Submit Petition

Friends of Thomas Jefferson Park has collected 2,330 signatures in a three-month petition drive from citizens who visited its information tables at events, viewed its web site at, and met directly with petition supporters, including 1,575 signatures from Arlington residents.

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Centreville Football To Face Ocean Lakes in 6A State Final

Wildcats beat Westfield, repeat as 6A North region champs.

Centreville is headed back to the state championship game.

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Hill Drops Opener as T.C. Williams Head Coach

Wakefield dominates Titans in second half.

The T.C. Williams boys' basketball team lost its season opener to Wakefield by 28 points.

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Mount Vernon Pulls Out Overtime Win Against Rival West Potomac

Jones’ dunks excite crowd, Banks scores 10 in OT.

Mount Vernon improved to 3-0 with a 72-63 overtime win against West Potomac on Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 10

Citizens Coalition Petitions DOJ, Calls for Investigation of Fairfax County Police.

Nicholas Beltrante is trying to put even more pressure on the Fairfax County Police Department. The Mount Vernon resident and executive director for the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability (CCPA) recently filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights division to investigate the FCPD.

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Where to shop in Mount Vernon?

Occasionally Cake, 8859 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, Gingerbread man cookies $3, cupcakes $2.75-$3.25, cakes $4.50 per serving plus additional design work, own line extracts and flavorings $12.50-$15. “We’ve reached that age where we have so much stuff, people like to find unique, consumable things they don’t have to dust,” said owner and cake designer Sabrina Campbell. “We’re doing a lot for December birthdays, business celebrations and inter-office giving.”

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Mount Vernon Taco Bell wins Mary Thonen Award

When she first heard Taco Bell had won, Yolanda Frye was shocked. “It means a lot to our Taco Bell,” said the regional general manager for the chain.

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Lake Accotink Park in Springfield Features Horse-drawn Hayrides and Santa

One day a year, Jim Hickey does a different kind of volunteering at Lake Accotink Park. The Springfield resident works at the Merrifield Post Office and gives a lot of his time to the park as a member of the Friends of Lake Accotink Park organization. For 20 years he’s done various things, and currently does announcing for the popular Braddock Nights summer concert series, as well as the cardboard boat regatta.

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Looking for Gifts in Springfield?

Games Workshop, 6810 Bland St, Springfield, offers The Hobbit game starter package, Dark Vengeance starter package, Warhammer starter package $110-$125.

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Fairfax Station Railroad Museum Hosts 25th Holiday Train Show

Adriano Oddi is 5, and he likes that he can control whether his trains “go fast or slow.” The Burke resident was mesmerized by an N gauge model train whirring around a handmade landscape, designed by the Northern Virginia NTRAK model train club to resemble local surroundings.

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‘Gloomy’ Weather Doesn’t Ruin Clifton Christmas Cheer

It rained on their parade, but it didn’t rain them out. Chilling precipitation forced the Clifton Horse Society to cancel their costumed stroll down Main Street in Clifton on Dec. 6. But despite the weather, the other components of the annual Clifton Christmas Candlelight Homes Tour continued as planned.

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Buying Gifts Locally in Clifton

Cupcaked, 12644 Chapel Rd, Clifton, offers cupcakes for $3.50. “Cupcakes are great gifts because they’re cute, pretty and everyone loves a cupcake,” said owner Kristina Baranowski, who makes a new batch each morning. “It’s not too much, not too little.”

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Looking for Gifts in Burke?

The Picket Fence, 6025 Burke Centre Parkway, Burke, offers Charles Viancin silicone lid, $9-$14; Michel Design soaps $12 and decorative trays up to $54.

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Burke Community Church Christmas Program is About High Energy

Imagine Randy Travis singing “Away in a Manger,” re-imagined as reggae. Darren Brown can’t, either, but he’s practicing it anyway for an interactive portion of the Burke Community Church Christmas program on Dec. 13. The West Springfield resident was formerly the music director and is now executive pastor and worship pastor.

Arlington News Briefs: Police Investigate Two Deaths

The Arlington County Police Department’s Robbery/Homicide Unit is investigating the suspicious deaths of two Arlington County residents.

Arlington Brief: Ameriprise Addresses Hunger

Ameriprise Financial advisors, employees and clients recently came together to help ensure Arlington area families have nutritious meals to share this holiday season.

Potomac: Sports Briefs for December 10

The Whitman girls’ basketball team opened the 2014-15 season with a 56-51 victory over Good Counsel in Dec. 5 in Olney.

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Potomac: ‘Tis the Season for Garden Club’s Tradition

A tradition established in 1978 by the women comprising Potomac’s Little Farms Garden Club continued on Dec. 1 when over two dozen of its members enhanced the historic Great Falls Tavern with a bounty of verdant foliage.

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Potomac: Market at River Falls To Open

McWorter, Abadian to oversee business.

Potomac residents James McWorter and Yasmin Abadian will be opening The Market at River Falls this month in the space vacated by the River Falls Seafood Market.

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Cartoon: 'I Can't Breathe'

'I Can't Breathe'

PenFed Realty Joins Forces With Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Both companies have demonstrated the ability to achieve impressive growth goals.

It wouldn’t be stretching the truth to describe this partnership as a potential match made in heaven. On Dec. 4 the press releases went out, announcing that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, was officially welcoming regional powerhouse Prudential PenFed Realty into the fold, where it will now operate as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty.

Editorial: Make a Plan, Talk About It

Here is help in keeping impaired drivers off the roads.

The holiday party season is upon us, and with it an increase in drinking and driving. It’s up to you to make a plan to get home safely.

Area Business Leaders Inducted into Washington Business Hall of Fame

The 2014 Washington Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held on Tues, Dec. 2 at the National Building Museum. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are:

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Last-minute Gift Ideas Make the Season Bright

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … and Chanukah and New Year’s Eve …. Here are ideas to wrap up your gift-giving opportunity for the season, from gifts under the tree to hostess gifts. Gifts of food are always welcomed so we’ve included sweets and savories, as well, for parties or “thank-you” acknowledgements. There’s a plethora of community restaurants, as well as Culinaria Cooking School, that offer gift certificates, so, start dropping hints now.

Letter to the Editor: The Story My Grandma Told Me

To the Editor: This summer, I visited Bangladesh, the country where my parents grew up, for the first time in six years. When we visited the small village where my father grew up and my grandparents still live, my grandmother told us stories about the immense poverty in which most of her neighbors were living, including the story of one man whose wife was very ill.

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Clemyjontri Park Celebrates Renewal

Community honors Adele Lebowitz who died last week at the age of 98.

After spending nearly $1 million on renovations to repair Clemyjontri Park’s worn-out surfacing, the park is ready to fully reopen. The Fairfax County Park Authority celebrated the renewal this past weekend at the park, hosting a holiday-themed event that included pictures with Santa, a craft table for making ornaments, collections for the Toys for Tots program, and a visit by several farm animals from Frying Pan Farm Park.

Commentary: A Legislator's Holiday Season

The multiple celebrations that make up the holiday season bring travel, big meals, and family and friend reunions. For state legislators the end of the year and the holidays bring an additional dimension: preparation for the next legislative session.

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Pakistani Ambassador Keynotes Interfaith Event

Local organization seeks to promote religious harmony and cooperation throughout the world.

A Hindu, a Presbyterian, and a non-denominational Christian were sitting at a table listening to a speech by Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States... The occasion was a fundraiser for Reach Out International (ROI), a nonprofit interfaith organization founded by Restonian Sam Mall.

Column: Senators Weigh In on Fairfax Police Killing

We have positive developments in the still unexplained slaying of John Geer by a still unidentified Fairfax County police officer on Aug. 29, 2013. Fairfax Police Chief Ed Roessler refuses to release the shooter’s name or any information. Commonwealth Attorney Ray Morrogh, who is responsible for investigating police criminality but is usually more a mouthpiece for the cops, declined to investigate at all. Citing a mystery conflict of interest, he passed the case to the U.S. Attorney.

Cappies Review: Fictional Town, Real for Viewers

Madison High’s production of “Our Town.”

Plays can transport one to new places, perhaps a magical land, a pivotal point in history, or perhaps the small town of Grover's Corners. While it might sound stale, “Our Town,” produced by James Madison High School, is a phenomenal play that always pulled me into the lives of these small town people.

WinterFest Parade Held in McLean

The 2014 McLean WinterFest Parade was held Sunday, Dec. 7 along Old Chain Bridge Road between Fleetwood Road and Elm Street in downtown McLean. Because the parade fell on Pearl Harbor Day, it saluted WWII vets with representatives of American Legion Post 270 acting as Grand Marshalls.

Health Fair on Dec. 13

Antioch Christian Church and Everest College Nursing Students will host a fun filled carol sing-a-long and informative Health Fair on Dec. 13. This health fair will be a four-hour Open House event held on Saturday at Antioch Christian Church located at 1860 Beulah Road in Vienna.

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Potomac: Holiday Cheer at Great Falls Tavern

Gilmore’s Light Ensemble recreates Civil War-era music.

The sounds of 19th century dulcimer music filled the Great Falls Tavern on a sunny, temperate Sunday, Dec. 7. Hikers, cyclists, walkers, passers-by and families gathered to hear the seasonal tunes played by Gilmore’s Light Ensemble – a group of authentically-dressed musicians who entertained with the music of long-ago as well as holiday songs and an invitation to “Sing-along.”

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McLean Community Center Hosts Holiday Craft Show

The 32nd annual McLean Holiday Crafts Show featured 72 juried crafters from across the U.S. last weekend, Dec. 5-7, at the McLean Community Center.

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Arlington Celebrates Richard Thompson

Local cartoonist’s work exhibited in film and book at Arlington Central Library

Nick Galifinakis and David Apatoff had a problem. They wanted to keep meeting at the home of fellow cartoonist Richard Thompson, creator of Washington Post comic Richard’s Poor Almanac and his nationally syndicated comic Cul de Sac, to chat and to pour over his work, but were afraid that Thompson would kick them out if they didn’t come up with a good reason to stay. This was the origin of “The Art of Richard Thompson.” Though likely apocryphal, the story is indicative of the reverence and humor with which the editors compiled the collection.

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McLean Holiday Homes Tour Attracts Hundreds

A ribbon cutting on Dec. 4 kicked off the Woman’s Club of McLean’s 48th annual Holiday Homes Tour at Tour House No. 1, in Langley Farms. Designer Doug DeLuca, honorary tour host, together with McLean Chamber of Commerce Chairman Marcia Twomey, cut the ribbon to open the tour.

Herrick Named Chairman of History Commission

Carole Herrick was recently selected to serve as chairman of the Fairfax County History Commission. The commission helps to identify, document, record and preserve the county's historic past.

Column: ‘Quality of Life’

If I’ve heard it once – from my oncologist – I’ve probably heard it a dozen times over the last nearly-six years.

Cheery and Cheeky Humor Coming to the Alden

“A Kodachrome Christmas” at the Alden Theatre, Dec. 19-21.

Take a sleigh ride of speeding fun with the “Queen of Rural Media” this holiday season as "A Kodachrome Christmas" barrels into the Alden Theatre at McLean Community Center. "Kodachrome" is written by Pat Hazell who wooed audiences last year with his "The Wonder Bread Years."

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Colonial History, Hands-on

Churchill Road fourth graders visited Jamestown on Nov. 13 as part of their study of Colonial times.

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Gifts for the Season Entice Shoppers

The cold weather would not deter hardy cyclists from riding. Dave Meyer said that gift cards, children’s bicycles, and warm clothing are popular gift items at his store, Green Lizard Cycling, located at 718 Lynn Street, Herndon.

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Herndon High Wind Ensemble Honored in Norfolk

On Nov. 20, the Herndon High School Wind Ensemble, comprising 81 students, performed at the 2014 Virginia Music Educators Association (“VMEA”) In-Service Conference in Norfolk. After Herndon High Director of Bands Kathleen Jacoby submitted a recording of the Wind Ensemble state assessment performance to the VMEA last Spring, the Wind Ensemble was one of only three high school bands selected to perform for over 400 music educators from across the state of Virginia.

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Potomac: Victory for The OwlBots, The Woods Academy Robotics Team

The Woods Academy Robotics teams, the OwlBots and the Green Machine, participated on Dec. 6 at the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Qualifier held at Glen Elg Country School in Ellicott City. 21 teams competed.

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Seneca Hill Animal Hospital Hosts Santa Picture Event for Pets

This past Saturday, Seneca Hill Animal Hospital, Resort and Spa kicked off the holiday season by hosting their annual Santa picture day for families and their dogs. Though the business is located in Great Falls, people came from all around to meet Santa and do a little holiday shopping.

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Great Falls Village Centre Hosts Open House

In the midst of a hectic month of holiday shopping, Great Falls offered a quiet solace for people searching for the perfect gift. The Great Falls Shopping Center Open House took place this past Saturday, and promoted shopping from local businesses in a calm and relaxing environment, according to Celebrate Great Falls.

Potomac: Tree Sale

Volunteers working at Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department’s Christmas Tree sale include (from left) Elisabeth Kan, Coley O'Brien, Rachel Bojarski, Shane Andersen and Zach Ebaugh.

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Great Falls Kicks Off the Season with Celebration of Lights

Despite the constant rain throughout the day, dozens of Great Falls residents braved the weather and headed out to the 24th annual Celebration of Lights. The free event kicked off with Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving on their sleigh, an antique fire truck with reindeer perched on the hood.

Tuesday, December 9

Nai-Tetteh's Defense Leads Robinson to Comeback Win over Lake Braddock

Senior's two steals, 14 fourth-quarter points propel Rams to victory.

Robinson beat Lake Braddock 65-59 Monday.

Monday, December 8

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Tham-Led Warriors Blast Titans in Season Opener

Wakefield no longer intimidated by T.C. Williams.

Wakefield defeated T.C. Williams 74-46 on Saturday.

Friday, December 5

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Hooray for Small Business in Alexandria

Celebrating community role of small businesses.

On 2012’s Small Business Saturday, President Barack Obama visited One More Page Books in Arlington and set a trend for politicians in the Washington area: small Northern Virginia bookstores are the place to be on Nov 29. That tradition continued in Hooray for Books! on this year’s Small Business Saturday when U.S. Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet , U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, and local politicians converged to emphasize their patronage of the King Street bookstore.

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‘Skate with Santa’ at Fairfax Ice Arena

Beginners, experienced skaters enjoy the adventure of ice skating.

For some ice-skating is a challenge, especially for those of us who didn’t grow up in colder climates. Trying to stand on ice skates, stopping, and turning takes some practice. For others ice-skating is part of being in a hockey league or improving one’s skills in competitive skating. And for some it’s a special time to return to the ice and introduce their children to the fun of skating. And so it was for one family this past Sunday at Fairfax Ice Arena.

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Lee High, South Lakes Compete on ‘It’s Academic’

Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, and South Lakes High School in Reston competed on the 54th season of “It’s Academic.”

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Working toward English Literacy in Alexandria

Campagna Center program helps immigrants.

"Good morning ladies." Marcia D'Arcangelo stands in the large central room greeting teachers and students as they walk by, headed for their English classes. She is director of the New Neighbor ELL program in Alexandria funded by the Campagna Center. "We have nine different levels here. We recently added a new entry level of literacy when we discovered some people didn't know the basics of the English language, like the alphabet," D'Arcangelo said.

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Fairfax Station Girl Plays Clara in Kennedy Center Nutcracker

How many people can say they’ve truly lived out their fantasy? And of those, how many by age 11?

Clifton Home for the Holidays

Christmas Candlelight Homes Tour returns Dec. 6.

Driving through neighborhoods lit by Christmas lights is a time-honored tradition but in historic Clifton, residents take it a bit further. Each year as part of a candlelight homes tour, the public can enter five preserved and restored homes and two churches, done up for the holidays.

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National Small Business Saturday shopping promotion in Alexandria

Alexandria City Councilwoman Del Pepper stands with Chamber of Commerce staff Members Shari Simmans-Bolouri and Maria Ciarrocchi at Pork Barrel BBQ in Del Ray Nov. 29 as part of the national Small Business Saturday shopping promotion.

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Exploring the Magical World

Providence Players present “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.”

Time for a family theater event full of wonder. The Providence Players of Fairfax are presenting a show that "families can all enjoy together about a magical world; the world of Narnia," said Brian O'Connor, director of the upcoming "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe."

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‘Dream Come True’ for Lamb Center

City Council paves way for move to new site and building.

Since 1992, The Lamb Center in Fairfax has served as a place of refuge for the poor and homeless. It’s a daytime, drop-in shelter providing hot meals, showers, laundry services, and recovery and employment counseling.

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Fairfax City Council Supports Lamb Center Project

During the Nov. 18 public hearing on The Lamb Center’s request to move to a new building in a different part of Fairfax City, people spoke on both sides of the issue.

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Facets New Executive Director Brings Perspective and Experience

Margi Preston started as Executive Director of Facets of Fairfax officially on Nov. 17. But she attended its fall fundraising event, A Taste of Fall, on Nov. 15 and witnessed the dedication of Facets staff and supporters in helping individuals and families experiencing poverty in Fairfax County.

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Battling Holiday Bulge

Nutritionists offer tips for avoiding weight gain.

With the merriment of the holidays comes food, friends and fun. But from office parties to family dinners, opportunities for overeating and weight gain abound. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reports that the average American gains an extra pound every year that he never loses. Those pounds add up over a lifetime of holidays, but a few local nutritionists offer the skinny on weight-gain culprits and strategies to keep them at bay.

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GMU Chosen To Join Healthy Campus Initiative

George Mason was recognized for its commitment to health and wellness.

George Mason University’s well-being and wellness programs recently received national recognition when the Fairfax-based university was chosen as the first higher education institution in Virginia to join the Healthy Campus Initiative, an effort to encourage colleges and universities to make their campuses healthier by adopting guidelines around food and nutrition, physical activity and programming.

Handling Family Dynamics During the Holidays

Local experts offer suggestions on how to diffuse family tensions.

Last month, Linda and Tom Bullen traveled from Boston to Arlington, to celebrate Thanksgiving with their son Matt, daughter Rachel and her partner Grace Knight.

Thursday, December 4

Classified Advertising December 3, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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Alexandria Church Holds Prayer Vigil

Hundreds gather at Alfred Street Baptist Church for Michael Brown, Jr.

Alfred Street Baptist Church, an African American Baptist Church founded in 1803, held a special prayer vigil on Nov. 25 for Michael Brown, Jr., the African American 18-year-old male who was fatally-shot in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9, by Police Officer Darren Wilson.

Alexandria Letter to the Editor: City’s Priorities?

Not only can North Old Town now boast a new monstrosity — the Harris Teeter with its garish gigantic red neon illumination — but this new red light district is going 24/7. This in a neighborhood with quite a few individually owned restaurants, some of them cozy fixtures of decades, three blocks away from the waterfront. Already during a hearing at City Hall, another onslaught on local culture, food trucks, was opposed not only by restaurant owners but also by many of their patrons

Alexandria Letter to the Editor: Enough Arch-O-Speak

If you have ever suffered through a hearing before the Board of Architectural Review (BAR), whether it be for the Old and Historic District or the Parker Gray District, you may have been surprised at the strange rhetoric used by many of the board members, especially the architects.

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Living Legends of Alexandria: Fifer: Focusing on Key Community Needs

Co-founder of Alexandria Volunteer Bureau, now Volunteer Alexandria.

When you ask Lissette Bishins, executive director of the Carpenter’s Shelter, about Lee Fifer, she will tell you that he “is a lifelong Alexandrian who is a passionate advocate for those in need. His touch is all over Alexandria. He loves this city and the people in it; he is philanthropic and drives others to follow his lead.”

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Brightening Start of Holiday Season for Seniors in Alexandria

Senior Services of Alexandria

The holiday season can be a lonely time, especially for seniors who may not have a local support system of family and friends. With this is mind, Senior Services of Alexandria came up with several community projects during Thanksgiving week which were designed to provide a sense of security and well-being.

Alexandria Letters to the Editor: Schools Need Independent Audit

To the Editor: Your Nov. 13, 2014, article on the costs of the tennis courts at T.C. Williams understated the scope of the problem.

Letter to the Editor: Help Shape Eisenhower West in Alexandria

The exciting improvements in store for the Potomac River waterfront are grabbing headlines, but other significant planning efforts are also underway in Alexandria. Eisenhower West was identified by City Council in 2013 as our city’s next significant planning opportunity. Geographically, Eisenhower West is the part of our city west of Holmes Run and south of Pickett Street.

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Alexandria: Thousands Turn Out for 2014 Turkey Trot

Two days out from Thanksgiving, more than 5,000 people had registered for the annual Turkey Trot in Alexandria.

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Alexandria: Raising the Bar on Giving

For the 4th year, Keller Williams Realty has reached out and given back to the community at Thanksgiving.

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Alexandria: Snapshot

10:44 a.m., Nov. 28: Friends and neighbors gather at Lee Street Park for the annual Turkey Bowl flag football game.

Alexandria: Decorate Those Doors

Members of the Old Town Walled Garden Club will be strolling down the streets of the Old and Historic District of Alexandria the week of Dec. 7, identifying the most striking door decorations in town, and choosing the winners of the 47th Annual Holiday Door Decorating Contest.

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Herndon Residents Discuss Possible Town Charter Changes

Town Council to decide on Nov. elections, four year terms Dec. 9.

Citizens lined up after a long night to argue for or against changing the town’s charter. The proposal to change aspects of the town election was discussed during its third public hearing at Herndon Town Council’s Nov. 25 meeting.

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Alexandria: Annie B. Rose Crafters

Dozens and dozens of brightly colored knitted caps filled the table beside a Christmas tree in the lobby of the Annie B. Rose House on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 2.

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Alexandria: Bows, Baskets and Bikes

The Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association held its third annual Bows, Baskets and Bikes event Nov. 20, bringing together area event planners and hotel partners to help build bicycles for needy families and announcing its new partnership with Volunteer Alexandria.

Alexandria Editorial: Be Part of Children's Gazette Packet 2014

Annual edition showcases youth art and writing.

During the last week of each year, The Gazette Packet devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children. The results are always remarkable. It is a keepsake edition for many families.

Alexandria: Correction

In last week’s People at Work column, “Creating a Floral Centrepiece,” The caption for the photo at the top of the article should have read: Scott Marchand adds an accent of circus roses.

Alexandria Commentary: Improving Academic Achievement

Academic achievement is not accidental but rather the result of a sustained focus on rigor, relevance, engagement and coherence. At its best, academic achievement reflects a relentless determination to reach and teach all students.

TC Senior Girma Qualifies for Foot Locker Nationals

T.C. Williams senior Anteneh Girma will compete in the Foot Locker national cross country meet.

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Langley Boys’ Basketball Enters 2014-15 with Increased Depth

Saxons have just one senior on the roster.

Langley has five players who are listed at 6 feet 3 or taller.

Aghayere Leads South Lakes Girls’ Hoops into 2014-15 Season

Seahawks last season won first conference/district title since 1997.

South Lakes girls' basketball is the defending Conference 6 champion.

Oakton Girls’ XC Places 4th at Nike SE Regional

Madison harriers compete at Foot Locker South.

Oakton sophomore Casey Kendall finished 15th at the Nike SE regional.

Wednesday, December 3

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George Washington’s Mount Vernon opens Christmas program with camels, chocolate.

They came for the camel. Alberto, Daniela and their daughter Josephine Rendon of Alexandria have yearly passes to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, so, “We come here almost every weekend,” said Alberto. “We love to walk around and see the animals.” On this visit in particular, the animal of note was Aladdin the camel.

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Mount Vernon Church Tree Sale Breaks Sales Record

In five years of selling Christmas trees, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria has never sold more than this year. According to Ted Boling with the church, they surpassed last year’s numbers by over 40 percent each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. “We attribute it to great weather and a great reputation for fresh, full Fraser firs,” he said.

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Geer Lawyer Expects Hearing Before New Year On Springfield Shooting

Out of 128 requests for the production of documents made by the Geer family lawyer Michael Lieberman, all but two have been denied by Fairfax County.

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Small Business Springfield

Local stores offer expertise, exclusivity and community.

When Jahangir Raja moved to Springfield over a decade ago, it wasn’t a favorable time for a heavily bearded Muslim native of Pakistan to find a job in America. He came shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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Burke United Methodist Church begins Christmas season celebration.

A tuba-playing shepherd broke from playing Christmas carols to snap cell phone pictures of a tall sheep and two young girl-sized shepherds. The “Selfie” station with biblical-themed costumes was the first stop for Edie, Olive and Tommy Webster of Fairfax at the Burke United Methodist Family Advent Celebration.

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Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Signs On for $403 Million Loan

Low-interest federal loan will help finance Phase 2 of Silver Line.

Phase two of the Silver Line construction got a boost towards its 2018 estimated completion date. After nearly a year of discussion, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize a federal loan agreement to the tune of $403 million.

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Burke Racquet & Swim Club Craft Fair Helps Food for Others, Women at Risk

Beaded jewelry, brass rubbings, crocheted and knitwear, birdhouses and quilts are just a few of the craft gift items on offer at the Burke Racquet & Swim Club this weekend.

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Reston Holiday Parade Launches Festive Season

Representatives of Herndon and Reston communities attend November parade.

Reston Town Center hosted the 24th Annual Reston Holiday Parade, a signature Reston event, on Friday, Nov. 28. Beginning at 11 a.m. the parade along Market Street launched the festive season.

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Fairfax County Facing More Budget Strain

County Executive and FCPS Superintendent present adverse forecasts.

Days before the traditional loosening of belts for Thanksgiving, Fairfax County officials discussed the need for tightening theirs.

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Herndon Hosts Turkey Trot

Herndon residents attend annual November race.

Residents from communities surrounding Herndon attended the annual Herndon Turkey Trot 5K on Saturday, Nov. 22. Over 1,100 runners, eight elementary school running groups, 50 plus volunteers, Town of Herndon staff, and many local and national sponsors contributed to the success of the race.

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Lake Braddock XC Sends Two Harriers to Nike Nationals

Corbett, Murphy place fifth in respective SE regional races.

Lake Braddock's Alex Corbett and Kate Murphy will compete at Nike nationals on Dec. 6 in Portland, Ore.

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Warriors Trying for Third Straight Appearance at States

Wakefield senior Tham named region POY in 2014.

The Wakefield boys' basketball team opens at T.C. Williams on Friday.

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Westfield Throttles Lake Braddock in Region Semifinals

Bulldogs will face Centreville in region final rematch.

Westfield will face Centreville on Saturday in the 6A North region football final.

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Centreville Senior Wakefield Offensive-Minded in Victory

First-year point guard scores 22 in win over Mount Vernon.

The Centreville girls' basketball team won its season opener against Mount Vernon on Tuesday.

Tell Teens ‘Things Will Get Better’

Fairfax High hosts meeting about youth suicide.

In light of recent suicides by students from Fairfax, Woodson and Langley high schools, Fairfax High hosted a meeting Nov. 19 to discuss the problem and search for solutions. The idea was to begin an ongoing exchange between parents, students, staff, community members and mental-health professionals.

Letter to the Editor: Fairy Tale on Medicare Money

To the Editor: Virginia voters are not stupid. However, Delegate Ken Plum continues to espouse the Jonathan Gruber, purported architect of the Affordable Care Act (ObamamCare), fairy tale that Virginia is somehow losing money (“Protracted Legislative Session,” Reston Connection, November 19-25, 2014).

Letter to the Editor: A New Kind of Candidate

To the Editor: Craig Parisot is a new kind of candidate running to succeed Barbara Comstock in the upcoming special election for the 34th Virginia House of Delegates District.

Shine Your Light

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, recalls the victory—more than 2100 years ago—of a militarily weak but spiritually strong Jewish people over the mighty forces of a ruthless enemy that had overrun the Holy Land and threatened to engulf the land and its people in darkness.

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Vienna Community Center Renovation Details Revealed

Slated to open in April 2016, the enlarged and renovated Vienna Community Center will be a state-of-the-art facility with a new, regulation-sized gym. And on Nov. 17, the Vienna Town Council approved its revised site plan.

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How Three Individuals Became a Family

November is National Adoption Month. Here's the story of how adoption created one family in Chantilly. To learn more about adopting through foster care in the D.C. Metro area, email the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments at:​.

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Homelessness, a Year-round Issue

Gov. McAuliffe serves Thanksgiving lunch at Shelter House.

“Do you like the stuffing? I made it,” said Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thanksgiving, as he mingled with guests of Shelter House. Earlier, the governor donned a hairnet and served lunch to invited clients and residents at the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax.

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McLean to Host Holiday Crafts Show

The McLean Community Center’s 32nd Annual McLean Holiday Crafts Show features an exciting mix of handmade items that express a fresh, new take on the traditional. Expect to see bonsai and bamboo trees, sculpted exotic eggshells, hand-dyed batik and all-natural salad dressings, along with the wreaths, ornaments and stained glass windows.

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Uncovering Family History

A note of warm greetings from Mark Turner III.

I would like to thank everyone who attended last Wednesday’s Great Falls Historical Society program. It was great to see new & old faces and be able to share the history of my family who resided at the Turner Farm property on Georgetown Pike and Springvale Road from 1840 until the time the last five acres with the farmhouse was sold to the Fairfax County Park Authority in 2011.

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Potomac: Jolly Fat Man’s Run’ Promotes Spirit of Giving

Fun run benefits Operation Second Chance.

In 2004, a close friend of Cindy McGrew’s was deployed to Iraq. When his fellow soldiers were injured and heading to Walter Reed, she visited them, searching for a way to help the soldiers and their families.

Holiday Shopping Event Supporting The Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna

Volunteers from the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna (SCOV) took a break from the fundraising event to gather in front of the Talbot’s store at the Tyson’s Center Mall.

Great Falls Celebration of Lights on Saturday

The 24th Annual Celebration of Lights will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6, 5:30-8 p.m. at the Great Falls Village Centre Hill (behind the Post Office). The schedule of events includes:

Commentary: The “T” Word

Governor Terry McAuliffe will address the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees on Dec. 17 in a statutorily required report on the state’s finances. The news will not be good nor will it be surprising. For the last two years the state has seen a steady erosion of its revenue base.

Letter: Two Ideas to Address Rape

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: As many of us recoil from the recent UVA sexual assault article in Rolling Stone, tremendous accusations are being thrown at the university and others like it across the country. While UVA is not innocent and its infamous privileged “party culture” is partly to blame, there are two clear pieces of the story that no one seems to be addressing.

Letter to the Editor: Two Ideas to Address Rape

To the Editor: As many of us recoil from the recent UVA sexual assault article in Rolling Stone, tremendous accusations are being thrown at the university and others like it across the country. While UVA is not innocent and its infamous privileged “party culture” is partly to blame, there are two clear pieces of the story that no one seems to be addressing.

Editorial: Be Part of Children's Connection 2014

Annual edition showcases youth art and writing.

During the last week of each year, The Connection devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children. The results are always remarkable. It is a keepsake edition for many families.

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Eagle Scout Projects at Churchill Road Elementary School

Four Eagle Scout candidates from Troop 128 have recently completed their service projects at Churchill Road Elementary School. During October and November, Langley High School junior Jake Holzapfel created a gravel bed for the school’s four composters.

Public Meeting on Resource Management, Environmental Impact

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Southeastern States Field Office announced the schedule of four public meetings for the Draft Southeastern States Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

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‘Great Falls in the Evening’ at Katie’s Coffee

Great Falls photographer, Walt Lawrence, opens a new exhibit at Katie’s Coffee. The exhibit entitled “Great Falls in the Evening” opened on Dec. 1 and runs through the month of December.

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Potomac: Clara Barton Center To Host Craft Show

From artists to authors to crafters.

The Clara Barton Craft Show is a “must-do” for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts as well as the perfect present for that “hard-to-buy-for person” – or the “I can’t think of anything for him or her – and they won’t give me any suggestions” person.

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Strolling in the Rain at Vienna’s Church Street

Residents, neighbors enjoy traditional season kick-off.

It started 18 years ago when the Historic Vienna organization and Vienna merchants decided to close Church Street for one night and bring holiday cheer.

Area Students to be Featured in Sleepless in America

Students from Langley High School and Oakton High School, Superintendent Karen K. Garza, and Fairfax County School Board member Sandy Evans will be featured in Sleepless in America, a television show on sleep deprivation produced by the National Geographic Channel, premiering Sunday, Nov. 30, at 8 p.m.

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Great Falls Studios to Host Holiday Art Show and Sale

Show and Sale Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13-14 at the Center for Education at Wolf Trap.

Holiday shoppers, fine art collectors, Secret Santas and even good Saint Nick, don’t miss “Art meets Architecture”, Great Falls Studios’ Annual Holiday Art Show and Sale on Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days, at The Center for Education at Wolf Trap, 1645 Trap Road, Vienna.

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Rugby Fundraiser Held in Great Falls

Gary Coetzee gives back by supporting spinal cord injury research and recovery.

Twelve months ago Gary Coetzee dove head first into a rugby pile and fractured his neck. Luckily a surgeon was on the pitch and was able to stabilize him. The fracture caused him to lose his ability to use his arms and legs.

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Potomac: Shops Prepare for the Holidays

A variety of gift ideas.

The interior of Cabin John Mall is one of Potomac’s best kept secrets for holiday gift shopping.

Churchill Boys’ Basketball To Focus on Teamwork

Bulldogs had multiple key players transfer.

Robert Bean enters his second season as head coach of the Churchill boys’ basketball team without four players who were set to return following the 2013-14 campaign.

‘The Angels of Christmas’ at Immanuel Presbyterian in McLean

The angels and the music will be soaring this Christmas season at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in McLean. “A lot of the stuff comes from old Christmas carols. Really, really old Christmas carols.” That’s what Immanuel’s Director of Music for the past 16 years, Brian E. Wilhour says about some of the text for a six movement cantata titled “The Angels of Christmas.” which will be presented on Sunday, Dec. 7.

Vienna Making Plans for 125th Anniversary

Town of Vienna was founded in 1890.

The Town of Vienna’s 125th anniversary is next year, and plans to commemorate it are already beginning. In fact, the Town Council has already allocated $10,000 for it.

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A Show With Great Heart in Herndon

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” at Industrial Strength Theatre.

It's that time of year. Time to "try to catch snowflakes on your tongue" as a live edition of that animated favorite, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" comes to the Industrial Strength Theater by way of Herndon's NextStop Theatre.

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One-of-a-kind Gifts on Display in Vienna

Every Thanksgiving weekend, the Vienna Community Center hosts the three-day juried holiday craft show presented by the Northern Virginia Handcrafters' Guild.

Potomac Opinion: Be Part of Children's Almanac 2014

Annual edition showcases youth art and writing.

During the last week of each year, the Potomac Almanac devotes its entire issue to the creativity of local students and children.

Potomac: Pesticide use restrictions proposed

Montgomery County Council Vice President George Leventhal recently introduced legislation restricting the use of certain chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) that are dangerous to human health and are not necessary for a healthy, lush, green lawn.

Potomac: A Brilliant Success with One Exception

The Potomac Subregion Master Plan has for the most part been a brilliant success story.

Column: Since It Ain’t Broken...

Apparently, at least in the near term, we’re (meaning my oncologist) not going to fix it. And by fix it, I am referring to my chemotherapy infusion, which will continue to be every three weeks, as it has been for almost six years; save for a year or so when I was able to take pills at home, and on-site infusions were not necessary.

Potomac: WMCCA

Next WMCCA Meeting

The next meeting of the West Montgomery County Citizens Association will be held at the Potomac Community Center, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 7:15 p.m.

Potomac: Schools Seek Increase in Construction Budget

The Board of Education unanimously approved amendments to the district’s six-year Capital Improvements Program in November, adding $221 million to help Montgomery County Public Schools manage its current and future enrollment growth.

Potomac: School Board Sets 2015-2016 Calendar

The Board of Education adopted the calendar for the 2015-2016 school year.

Tuesday, December 2

Arlington: Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Arlington Small Business Saturday promotes local entrepreneurs.

For many small businesses, making their way in the world today takes everything they’ve got.

Arlington: Board Defers Apartments’ Demolition

An application to the Arlington County Board to demolish the existing Key Boulevard Apartments and construct a new affordable housing project has been deferred.

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Arlington: Saints Participate in United Cerebral Palsy Design-a-thon

Michelle Bendit had no idea what Cerebral Palsy was like until the Marymount University senior put on a thick pair of gloves and tried to remove a pencil from a bag.

Arlington: Bravo for Opera NOVA

Sean E. Waxman, Arlington

I was an attendee and volunteer at Opera NOVA’s production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” as described in as described in the article in The Connection: “A New Audience for a Beloved Tale,” a Nov. 19 article by Amber Healy.

Arlington: A Read-Aloud with Delegate Lopez

The children gathered around on the floor of the community room at Columbia Grove for a Thanksgiving story on Monday, Nov. 24. State Del. Alfonso Lopez opened Eve Bunting’s book, “A Turkey for Thanksgiving,” and began the tale.

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Arlington: ‘The Nutcracker’ In Rehearsal

Dancers were a-flutter on stage as fairies, soldiers, dancing princesses, mice, princes and the rest of the cast of “The Nutcracker” prepared for the upcoming BalletNova holiday show.

Arlington: “Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for Dec. 14-20.

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for Dec. 14-20.

Arlington Opinion: On Fracking

The U.S. Forest Service has reversed course and paved the way for hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the George Washington Forest.

Arlington Brief: Winning Human Rights Award

Barbara Amaya, Stephen Fowler, The Reading Connection, Animal Welfare League, and Doorways for Women and Families are this year’s winners of the 2014 James B. Hunter Human Rights Award, according to the Arlington Human Rights Commission.

Arlington: Health Initiative Focuses on Veterans

Teaching health-care providers to ask about patients’ military backgrounds.

Chamberlain College of Nursing in Arlington co-sponsored a veteran’s health awareness campaign last month, shedding light on health issues that more prominently affect veterans than the average civilian.

Monday, December 1

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Merriment Entertainment

Gilbert and Sullivan's “H.M.S. Pinafore” from Virginia Opera at GMU Center for the Arts.

Fresh as ever in a world in which "things are seldom what they seem" the irreverent comic musical, "H.M.S. Pinafore" from the franchise of Gilbert and Sullivan will soon dock at the Center for the Arts. It is helmed by the Virginia Opera.