Stories for January 2014

Stories for January 2014


Thursday, January 30

An Evening of Enduring Music and Song

"MJO's Simply Swingin' with Sinatra and Friends."

It will be a memorable evening for the golden age of pop standards and tin pan alley as the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra (MJO) and vocalist Steve Lippia bring the Great American Songbook to life at George Mason University's Center for the Arts. It will feature music that has "depth and weight ... the kind of event that will stay with you long after it's over," said Jim Carroll, MJO artistic director. The Great American Songbook is the short-hand name for the influential and well-loved popular songs of the mid-20th century. The enduring music and lyrics were written for Broadway shows, Hollywood films and touring artists. They were songs about love and life, with a rhythm and rhyme all their own.

Confused and then Infused

Since March 6, 2009, nearly five years now, save for nine months when I was taking an oral chemotherapy medication at home, every three weeks I have been infused with some sort of chemotherapy drug. In that time, I have certainly become familiar and fairly well-known to the various staff at The Infusion Center. What follows is the most recent exchange with the receptionist in Oncology, as best as I can recall it.

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West Springfield Renovations Still Years Off

Citizens question Capital Improvement Program funding.

West Springfield High School freshman Rylie Smedley said her school’s need for renovation doesn’t impact her everyday life at school too much, but that repair is obviously needed. “A lot of the bathrooms don’t work,” said Smedley. It was this state of disrepair that led Eric Hawkins, a resident of West Springfield since 2001, to join other parents and community advocates in 2008 to create SOAR, a group dedicated to ensuring West Springfield High School renovations by 2016.

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Winter Fun with Local History

Take a break from the cold to learn about the Franconia Museum and Laurel Grove School.

If tired of spending another cold winter day at the movie theatre or bowling alley, try something educational for a change. Take a step back in time this winter by visiting the Franconia Museum, located at the Franconia Government Center on Franconia Road. This museum, founded in 2006, offers information about the Franconia area that dates back to the Civil War. Pictures, artifacts and stories are abundant in the museum, bringing visitors back in time to an era when life was simpler. The Franconia Museum has a simple mission: to promote the heritage of the Franconia area. The museum is heavy in Civil War memorabilia.

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Winter Fun in Lorton

Bundle up and enjoy the outdoors this winter.

Fairfax Station and Lorton residents have the Workhouse Arts Center, Gunston Hall, and several other arts and historic sites at their disposal for winter fun this season.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Fairfax Man

Accused of producing child pornography.

A 46-year-old Fairfax man is facing more than a decade in prison after being indicted last week by a Federal grand jury in Alexandria. He is Padraic Collins, and he was indicted Thursday, Jan. 23, on a charge of production of child pornography.

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Fairfax City Treasurer Given Fond Farewell

Moloney honored for three decades of service.

It’s always tough starting a new job. But when Steve Moloney became the City of Fairfax Treasurer, 31 years ago, things were far from ideal.

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‘I Made It a Reliable Office’

Moloney reflects on his 31-year career.

Before Steve Moloney started college, his dad advised him to take business and accounting — something he could use in a future career. “I think he wanted me to spend his college money well,” joked Moloney.

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Staying Warm and Entertained in Burke

Check out GMU’s Center for the Arts for winter fun.

Burke Residents have been interacting with members of the George Mason University Fairfax Campus for some time. One of the benefits of this relationship includes use of Mason’s many cultural and entertainment events at the Patriot Center and the Center for the Arts.

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Taking a Trip Back in Time

Burke Historical Society leads lectures on area history.

If it weren’t for a group of concerned citizens in the 1950s, Burke could have very well been the site of a major airport. This revelation, along with many others concerning Burke’s opposition to an airport, was the topic at the latest meeting of the Burke Historical Society.

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Spend Winter at the Workhouse

Lorton’s Workhouse Arts Center offers activities for friends and families to enjoy.

Spending your weekends at home on these blistering cold days becomes boring after a while. Bundle up and venture off to the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton for a range of activities such as viewing art exhibitions, watching theatrical classics, laughing out loud to stand-up comedy, and creating your very own dinner from scratch with an experienced chef. Here is a list of events going on at the Workhouse Arts Center at 9601 Ox Road in Lorton.

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Debate Over School Budget Continues

Later start times, class size among topics at School Board public hearing.

Later start times, class size, and cuts to needs-based staffing were major themes of the testimony given at the Jan. 27 public hearing on Superintendent Karen Garza’s proposed budget.

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Board Cites Lack of Funds for School Renovations

Aging schools collide with increasing student enrollments.

While the 2015 to 2019 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) passed at the Fairfax County Public School Board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 3, many board members expressed concerns with the program.

Sharpshooting Richards Leads West Potomac Past TC

Senior guard scores 22 points, makes six 3-pointers.

The West Potomac boys' basketball team beat rival T.C. Williams on Jan. 25.

Aggressive Auslander Leads Herndon Boys

Talented Hornets have state-title aspirations.

The Herndon boys' basketball team has won 14 of its first 16 games.

Lake Braddock Boys’ Basketball Beats Woodson

Bruins, Cavaliers have become Conference 7’s top teams.

The Lake Braddock and Woodson boys' basketball teams each have one conference loss.

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Alexandria Fire Chief Takes Role as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security

Adam Thiel to leave Alexandria and join McAuliffe administration.

When Adam Thiel became chief of the Alexandria Fire Department in 2007, he took over an agency that was clinging to the past — and not just the antiques at the Friendship Firehouse Museum.

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Jim Moran: The $15 Million Congressman

During his years in Congress, Moran raised and spent about $1 million each campaign cycle.

One of the first things that happened after U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) announced he would not be running for reelection this year was that he cancelled a fundraising event.

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Hotel Virginia on the Alexandria Waterfront

City Council approves 120-room hotel on waterfront.

The Alexandria waterfront plan is like the 1970s Eagles hit, "Hotel California." You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

Wednesday, January 29

Youthful Guards Hatch, Meyers Spark Vikings

Sophomore, freshman lead Whitman girls’ basketball to win.

The Whitman girls' basketball team defeated Quince Orchard on Jan. 23.

Yorktown Gymnastics Wins National District Championship

W-L wins Invite title, places second in district standings.

The Yorktown gymnastics team snapped Washington-Lee's streak of National District championships.

Mandela’s Three-Point Play Lifts Bruins to Win

Lake Braddock girls’ basketball edges Woodson.

The Lake Braddock girls' basketball team defeated Woodson 40-37.

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TC Gymnastics Places Third at W-L Invitational

Titans compete as team for first time this season.

T.C. Williams' Holland Cathey placed third in the all-around competition during the W-L Invite on Jan. 25.

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Centreville Girls’ Basketball Avenges Loss to Chantilly

Green scores 20, Wakefield’s defense praised.

The Centreville girls' basketball team defeated Chantilly on Tuesday night.

Letter to the Editor: Consider Redistricting

To the Editor: Alexandria’s School Board has spent a year dodging decisions about Jefferson-Houston School, including opportunities to pause and evaluate whether the new $44 million building was needed given documented east-side classroom overcapacity and the school’s academic slump since 2008. But this avoidance must give way in the face of an emerging crisis.

Ethics and Marriage Equality Dominate News

The major news story that broke last week was the 14-count felony indictment filed against former Governor McDonnell and his wife for ethics violations. There is no question that public confidence in government officials has diminished. The people of Virginia expect accountability from their elected officials, and my colleagues and I have invested a lot of time and effort in crafting legislation to meet that expectation. Many provisions I proposed have been endorsed by the Senate Rules Committee.

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Winter Fun for Every Age and Interest in Arlington

Places to go, things to do.

Winter weather may make getting out and about a little harder, but it will not stop Arlingtonians from having fun. Whether enticed by sports, art, literature, movies or music, Arlington has a plethora of exciting activities to beat, or embrace, the cold.

“Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for Feb. 10-15.

Cooking for the Cold

Local chefs suggest hearty, bone-sticking recipes

On a frigid winter day, you might find Chef Cary Prokos preparing chicken for a long soak in a red wine marinade for Coq au vin, standing over a cauldron of bouillabaisse to ensure that his scallops, rockfish and other seafoods are seasoned with hefty proportions of saffron and garlic to create a hearty soup. His goal is to create meals with enough brawn to stand-up to the ravenous, cold-weather induced appetites of the patrons at his Potomac restaurant, Normandie Farm.

Toy-buying Changes with the Times

After 20 years in Potomac, the specialty toy store, Toys Unique, will be closing in March, leaving a hole in the hearts of area residents of all ages. Since it opened in 1994, the neighborhood shop has been supplying locals with a variety of high quality classic toys expertly selected by its owner and displayed in an old-time setting.

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Music Loft Distributes Donated Instruments For Students

Teachers collect instruments at Music Loft.

On Friday, Jan. 17, school music teachers collected instruments at the Music Loft in Herndon. These musical instruments had been collected by the Council for the Arts of Herndon Play it Forward instrument drive. “We start the Play it Forward Campaign again in April,” said Laura Readyoff, who is on the board of directors for the council and the co-owner of the Music Loft.

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Savor the Audacious

NextStop's unexpected take on Shakespeare's "Richard III."

A daring performance of Shakespeare's "Richard III" is coming to Herndon. "This is something that has never been done and an amazing opportunity to bring Shakespeare back to Herndon in a bold new way ... It will be an experience that is not to be missed,” Evan Hoffman said, artistic director of NextStop Theatre's production of "Richard III." "Our work has so often been about pushing the envelope and being just as bold with the classics as we are with newer works," Hoffman said. In this instance, he is describing a production that will feature a deaf actor in the lead role of Richard, one of the Bard's most charming bad boy villains.

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Ted’s Bulletin To Open at Reston Town Center

Family-owned restaurant opens Jan. 30.

On Jan. 30, the restaurant Ted’s Bulletin at 11948 Market Street will open at 7 a.m. to the public. “Ted’s is going to be a favorite in Reston Town Center,” said waitress Rachel Dillon. “We can modify any food order, and we are very customer friendly. It is a family-based business,” said Dillon. The restaurant is at the location of the former Uno Chicago Grill, and it is the first in Virginia. Owners Mark and Ty Neal, also behind DC's Matchbox restaurants, named the restaurant after their father, a West Virginian who was the unofficial "cook of the neighborhood." The restaurant chain, known for their comfort food and homemade pop tarts, will open another site in Merrifield.

Broom Wins Young Artist Competition

McLean resident Joe Broom, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, has won the U.S. Air Force Band’s Colonel George S. Howard Young Artist Competition for 2014. In addition, Broom recently learned he’s been selected as a finalist in the U.S. Marine Band Concerto Competition to be held next month. “This was one of the best competitions we’ve ever had,” said Captain David Alpar, Officer in Charge of the U.S. Air Force Concert Band. “The level of play was very high. Joe’s performance was excellent — truly enjoyable.”

ArtSpace Hires New Executive Director

Lawrence Verbiest has been named executive director of ArtSpace Herndon. On Jan. 8, the Herndon Foundation for the Cultural Arts’ board of directors voted to offer the position to Verbiest. He accepted the position and began work on Jan. 21.

Gathering for International Night

Centreville Elementary School held its 3rd annual International Night after-school on Friday, Jan. 10.

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Families Spend Snow Days Together

With Fairfax County Public School off for most of the week, residents skate at ice rink.

Reston residents seemed to enjoy some time off after Northern Virginia was hit with about six inches of snow on Tuesday, Jan. 21. With Fairfax County Public Schools and many offices closed from Tuesday to Thursday, Fairfax County residents were able to take a few days off to rest. Most stayed in on Tuesday, as roughly six inches of snow came down and covered the roads.

Beatty Earns Statewide Honor

CVHS teacher named outstanding mathematics educator.

Kathy Beatty, a math teacher at Centreville High School, has been named the recipient of the 2014 William C. Lowry Outstanding Mathematics Educator of the Year Award by the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Obit: Dennis Haywood Tyler

Dennis Hayward Tyler; caring and compassionate teacher, devoted husband and father, and friend to all died on Jan. 14, 2014.

Letter: Scam Alert

I wanted to alert residents of the Sully District Station about a telephone scam.

Roundups for 1/29/14

The editor presents the roundups for the week of 1/29/14.

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Newly Acquired Resolute Racing Shell Christened

More than 100 rowers, crew alumnae, parents and friends gathered in the McLean High School gymnasium on Saturday, Jan. 10 for the christening of the newly acquired Resolute racing shell named in honor of Ken Meade, father of Cammie and Allie Meade who rowed for the McLean High School Crew Club (MCC).

An Interview with Michael League

Following Snarky Puppy’s Jan. 26 Grammy victory for Best R&B Performance, the band’s founder, Centreville High grad Michael League, responded to the following question.

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Camp Keeps Students Busy During Teacher Workdays

Herndon Community Center will hold a two-day camp on Jan. 30-31 for children ages 6-11.

The Herndon Community Center has an answer for parents wondering how to keep their children busy during the teacher workdays on Jan. 30 and 31. What youngster doesn’t love a day packed with swimming, sports, games and science experiments?

Freezin’ for a Reason Returns Feb. 1

It’s time for the mid-winter tradition when hundreds of individuals dressed in crazy costumes will converge on Lake Anne Plaza in Reston for the 7th Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip on Saturday, Feb. 1. The event will kick off at 1 p.m. with family-friendly activities and warm-up — with the dip scheduled to take place starting at 2 p.m. Each year the event draws record crowds of both spectators and jumpers raising more than $70,000. Registered participants will take a chilly full dive or a “Chicken Dip” to raise funds for Camp Sunshine, a national year-round retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

MPA Welcomes Development Director, Board Members

McLean Project for the Arts welcomes Krista Vita as its new Development Director. Vita has worked in non-profit development for more than 10 years. She is a member of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and manages a volunteer writing workshop for high school seniors.

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Fun Winter Activities for the Family

Keep your family busy with winter fun events in Great Falls during the colder months.

It’s easy to stay in during these cold months thanks to snowy weather and the holidays, but every once in a while families need to get out of the house to enjoy themselves. Great Falls has plenty to offer for everyone, from live music and dancing to workshops about chocolate and making one’s own maple syrup.

Senior Center’s Newly Elected Board

The Great Falls Senior Center membership elected a new board of directors in December. The new board, half of whom are serving for the first time, named its officers at its Jan. 16 meeting. The new officers are David Kondner, Sr., president; Joyce Trickett, vice president; George Newman, treasurer, and Carol Blackwell, secretary. Other members of the new board are Mary Davis, Diane Drewry, Margaret Johnson, Robert Lundegard, Marietna (Mimi) Mascolo, Jackie Taylor, Sondra Taylor and Carol Wright. The board members and officers will serve for two years. Terms of the current officials run through Dec. 31, 2015.

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Troop 673 Delivers Books to Walter Reed

Six Boy Scouts from Great Falls Troop 673 visited Walter Reed Medical Center on Dec. 4 and delivered 10 bags and boxes of new, donated books and movies. The Friends of the Great Falls Library had contacted the Warrior Family Coordination Cell at Walter Reed who said they would be delighted to receive the donation. The donation consisted of a variety of new books donated to the Friends for its bi-annual book sale which went unsold. The Scouts and their drivers delivered the books to Tranquility Hall, a residence for recovering warriors and families. While waiting to meet with their primary contact, Staff Sgt. Alicia Watkins gave the group a brief tour of the building. The Scouts visited the Warrior Café where Watkins showed them the POW/MIA table which is present in every military cafeteria. She explained the meaning of the various items on the table: the white tablecloth symbolizing the purity of soldiers’ motives in answering the call to duty; the rose representing the life of each missing person and his or her loved ones; a slice of lemon to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured and missing; a pinch of salt to symbolize the tears of the missing and their families; an empty chair and other symbols.

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Cartoon: 10 to 20 Years

10 to 20 Years

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Winter Activities in Herndon to Keep Families Active

Keep all family members busy with variety of events around Herndon during the colder months.

Between snow days and teacher workdays, it’s easy to worry that your family may spend the day indoors with nothing to do. Luckily, the town has a variety of classes and children’s activities to offer at the Herndon Community Center, live music at downtown restaurants, and plays to be seen performed by the town’s own professional acting company. Here are some ideas to get started for winter fun plans:

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Winter Food, Fun and Entertainment in McLean

Stay active with a variety of events around McLean during the colder months.

It’s easy to stay in during the colder months, but every once in a while families need to get out and have fun. McLean has plenty to offer, with plays and musicals, teen dances, and even a few chances to get out of town with neighbors to ski resorts and museums. Here are some ideas to get you started for your winter fun plans:

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Writers Group Crafts Publishing Workshop

The Writers Group to host a panel of publishing and marketing professionals.

For any writers living near Great Falls who have wondered what it takes to get their short stories or book ideas published, the next meeting of the Great Falls Writers Group may be able to help. On Thursday, Feb. 6, the Writers Group will meet at Great Falls Public Library for a publishing workshop, complete with a panel of published writers and self-marketing experts.

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Vienna-Oakton Moms Run This Town

Local women’s running group has 600-plus members and growing

While most of local life was inside trying to stay toasty-warm during January’s big freeze, one group of Vienna-Oakton women braved the frigid temps, the snow, the ice, to maintain their daily runs. Vienna-Oakton Moms Run This Town, a group of 600-plus “moms,” ran as many as 18 miles in a single day. Sarah Talley founded the Vienna-Oakton group, an arm of the free-to-join international network of Moms Run This Town. “The power of a group is motivating,” said Talley, who belongs to several running groups. “We are having fun. Because if you’re not having fun, why do it?”

Centreville High School Graduate Wins Grammy

R&B Performance: Michael League and band Snarky Puppy.

Sometimes, good guys do finish first — and Centreville High grad Michael League and his band Snarky Puppy are proof. Besides making music, they pass on their knowledge to young musicians worldwide. And Sunday, Jan. 26, they won a Grammy award for Best R&B Performance.

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STITCH Art Exhibit Opens at Reston GRACE

New exhibit displays the art of needlework.

“I am really thrilled with the level of artists we were able to bring to this exhibition,” said Holly McCullough, executive director and curator of exhibitions at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE). “The work is such varied interpretations of needlework that it makes you rethink your preconceptions of what needlework is … the artists reverse our expectations of the medium.” The exhibit STITCH is a group exhibition of needlework and its incorporation into forms of contemporary art. On Thursday, Jan. 16, an opening reception at the GRACE art gallery was attended by many of the exhibiting artists. “Negative space often plays a role in my work,” said Pam Rogers, a resident of Bethesda, Md. “I make my paint out of soil in minerals in my art work … often I sew into the work, creating new planes, repairing embellishing the images.”

Town Buys De-Icing Salt, OKs Drainage Contract

The many times snow has fallen this winter has prompted the Vienna Town Council to order nearly $60,000 worth of road de-icing salt to keep the local roads as safe as possible in inclement weather. “The past light winters lulled us into a false sense of complacency about the need for salt,” Director of Public Works Dennis Johnson told the Council during its Monday night, Jan. 27, meeting. As a result, he didn’t bring a request to the Town Council to fund this item in its budget. Otherwise, it would have been a routine renewal of the contract.

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Wexton Supporters Ensure Victory Despite Weather

Voters brave bad weather in state senate election.

By 12:20 p.m. more than 680 votes had been cast at Herndon Elementary School. “The turnout has been medium, fairly steady” said Robert Walker, chief election officer at the Herndon Elementary School. “One of the touch screens was acting up, so we took it out, it did not have any votes on it.”

CVHS Choral Cabaret Nears

Event includes music, silent auction, raffle and desserts.

Featuring young, musical talent and homemade desserts in a cozy, intimate atmosphere, Centreville High presents its 10th annual Choral Cabaret.

Letter: Bonuses for All County Employees

To the Editor

Letter: Restore and Destroy?

To the Editor

Ziegler Earns Rank of Eagle Scout

Four brothers have attained Scouting’s highest honor.

Gregory D. Ziegler, 16, of Virginia Run in Centreville was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor ceremony on Dec. 29, 2013 at the Virginia Run Community Center.

Letter: Where's School System's Focus?

To the Editor

Consulting Companies Create Alliance

Local consulting companies, Full Suite Solutions and Red Apple Consultants, LLC, are ringing in 2014 with the announcement of a strategic alliance. Full Suite Solutions was founded in 2006 by Cait von Schnetlage, MBA, and has since provided marketing materials for almost 3,000,000 square feet of commercial real estate in Northern Virginia, as well as: business plans, investments packages, SEO, and marketing strategy services to clients from around the world. Red Apple Consultants, LLC was founded in 2012 by Arsalan Sajjad and has landed contracts as the preferred vendor for federal government contractors throughout the region.

Greater Vienna Babe Ruth Baseball

Registration is now open for the spring 2014 season: Offering Prep League for 13’s, American League for 14’s and 15’s, Senior League for 16-19’s, and Senators travel teams. Returning players, register online at New players must register in person on Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St SE, Vienna. Early-bird discount applies to everyone registering in person. More information at

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Quilt Exhibit on Display at ArtSpace Herndon

”Something Blue” on exhibit until March 2.

Fine textile art with quilts of many shapes and designs are showcased in the exhibit “Something Blue” at ArtSpace Herndon. The show features 75 pieces of quilt art, and it was organized with the help of Dorry Emmer and Sarah Entsminger. Twenty-three quilters have lent their work to be hung on display at this exhibit, which will continue until March 2. “I do believe that there is now an increase in interest in learning textile arts as compared to the 1980s and ‘90s,” said Dorry Emmer, a resident of Great Falls. “Within quilting a subsection has sprung up called ‘modern quilting’ and this is attracting younger people as they see it being more contemporary. But really, modern quilting has more similarities to traditional quilting than differences.”

Eight Family Adventures To Brighten Winter Days

Some ideas for getting out of the house.

Bundle up with hats and mittens, head out of the house, and take advantage of these cold days with some new adventures.

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Churchill Road Team Excels at Langley Invitational

The Churchill Road Science Olympiad Team participated at the Langley Invitational on Dec. 15. Under the direction of mentors Jennifer Ezzell (5th grade teacher) and Rajee Ramesh (parent), the Churchill Road team was the top-ranking elementary school team, placing fourth overall among the 21 middle and elementary teams. The sixth graders Ian Palk and Christopher Sole placed first in the Solar System category. The team members are looking forward to the Regionals later this spring.

Letter: Costly Expantion

To the Editor

Holidays Are Over, But Need Still Exists


We live in a community comprised of people from many diverse backgrounds. What a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. We are able to live in culturally vibrant communities, teach our children how to live in a multicultural world and we are able to learn tolerance and respect for others. God wants every individual to know that he is loved and valued. Jesus said in Luke 10:27 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with your entire mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Letter: Learn About CHD

To the Editor

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Winter Fun for All in Reston

Try these fun ideas for food, fun and entertainment around Reston during the colder months.

Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean resident have to stay indoors. Reston has much to offer for families during February and March, with everything from plays, musical performances and art workshops to new restaurants and wine tastings at Reston Town Center. Here are some ideas to get started:

Letter: Lights Would Benefit Students

To the Editor

Local Students Perform in ‘Beauty and the Beast Jr.’

Musical to be presented by Bravo@Kat.

Bravo@Kat (Kensington Arts Theatre) will present Beauty and the Beast Jan. 31-Feb. 2, at the Randolph Road Theatre, 4010 Randolph Road, Silver Spring.

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Library, Falls Salon Win

The Celebrate Great Falls Foundation presented both winners with certificates and a cash prize.

There’s nothing that brings a community together like a bit of friendly competition — at least that’s the idea behind the Celebrate Great Falls Foundation’s annual Holiday Decorating Contest. The foundation presented awards to both the Friends of the Great Falls Library and The Falls Salon on Thursday, Jan. 23, for their holiday spirit displayed in their storefronts and buildings. The two winners were chosen by a community vote that found them both equally deserving of the cash prize of $400.

‘A Children’s Story Come to Life’

“It’s about a dragon who wants to write poetry and not fight, and the little girls who becomes his friend,” said Monk. “But the townspeople think all dragons are bad and want to slay him.”

Fun in Winter

No lack of activities — indoors and out.

Fun Things To Do in Winter

Overdue Ethics Reform


For the first time in a history that goes back to Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, a Virginia governor has been indicted on federal corruption charges. Although information on the activities of the federal grand jury had been leaking out for many months, the former governor and his wife who was indicted with him and their stable of taxpayer-paid-for attorneys were able to stave off the formal indictment until he left office. But the alleged wrong doing took place while he was in office during which time he and the first lady accepted a total of at least $165,000 in cash, loans and lavish gifts from the CEO of a diet supplement company.

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Chili Bowl Cook Off Held at Herndon Trinity Presbyterian

Eighth annual chili bowl competition brings community together.

The 8th Annual Chili Bowl Cook Off was held Sunday, Jan. 26, at the Fellowship Hall in Herndon’s Trinity Presbyterian Church. This year there were 12 contestants who brought their homemade chili, in addition to other guests and congregants who brought items including cornbreads and salads. “Every year it has gotten a little bigger, and competition grows, but it is also a lot of fun,” said Pastor Stephen Smith-Cobbs, a resident of Herndon.

CHS Art Students Win 31 Awards

Chantilly High students won a total of 31 awards in the recent FCPS Regional Scholastic Art competition. Winners were announced Monday, Jan. 27.

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Winter Fun Guide

From theatre to cooking to music and the arts, Vienna-Oakton offer diversity of pastimes.

Maybe there is not a plethora of outdoor activities — there are some — but there are a myriad of indoor activities and events that appeal to adults and to children. Chances are you will find something here to do next week … and the week after. The Vienna Theatre Company presents “This,” a humorous take on the tribulations of friends of a certain age — 40-ish. The five characters face great changes in their lives, from the birth of a child to the death of a spouse to the search for love, with infidelity thrown into the mix. “This” has adult language and is not appropriate for children under 16. Tickets are priced at $13 each for adults and are available for purchase at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street, SE, or at the door on performance day. Shows are on Jan. 24, 25, 31, and Feb. 1 at 8 p.m., and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 2 and 9. Call the community center at 703-255-6360 for weather cancellations. For more details on the production, go to PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW TRIP sponsored by the Town of Vienna Department of Parks and Recreation, Wednesday, March 6. A charter bus leaves the Vienna Community Center at 8 a.m. and returns at approximately 7 p.m. The 2014 Flower Show is a collaboration of flower show designers and the nation’s great art museums, turning the Pennsylvania Convention Center into a 10-acre canvas of landscapes, gardens and floral arrangements. The cost of the day trip is $69 for Town of Vienna residents and $86.25 for out-of-town participants. Cost includes transportation and admission to the show with all-day re-entry privileges. Registration required. For more information, call Vienna Parks and Recreation at 703-255-6360 or register online at “SOUVENIR: A FANTASIA ON THE LIFE OF FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS” opens at 1st Stage on Feb. 7 and closes on March 2. The production centers on the life of an eccentric real-life heiress who could not distinguish fantasy from reality. As bad as her voice was, she packed recital halls. She even performed at Carnegie Hall in 1944. Show times for “Souvenir” are Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. General admission is $27. Student and military tickets are $15. Group discounts are available. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the 1st Stage box office at 703-854-1856. “Souvenir” is appropriate for all ages. 1st Stage, a professional theatre, is located in an industrial center in Tysons, at 1524 Spring Hill Road, Tysons Corner. For the season’s schedule of plays, go to Casino Night to benefit The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Fairfax County region. The Ritz-Carlton of Tysons Corner is hosting a benefit on behalf of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Fairfax County Region, on Friday, March 7, from 6:30-11:30 p.m. The event is open to the public. Casino night admission includes an open bar, dinner buffet, gaming, and dancing. Live and silent auction prizes include weekend get-a-ways, dinner at award-winning restaurants, hotel-dinner-limo packages, sporting event tickets and more. Guests receive funny money and a bidder number. Use the winnings from Black Jack, Texas Hold 'Em, Craps towards raffle tickets for prizes. Tickets are priced at $95 per person or $175 per couple. The Ritz-Carlton offers a Casino Night overnight room rate specially-priced at $119. Free artist demonstration sponsored by the Vienna Arts Society on Thursday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to noon. Prominent artist Chica Brunsvold creates her whimsical, colorful and complex paintings on yupo paper. The March exhibition at the arts center highlights “Great Escapes,” featuring paintings inspired by her travels. Enjoy light refreshments served. The Vienna Arts Center is located at 115 Pleasant St., NW, Vienna. Phone 703-319-3971 or see for information and schedule of events. Vienna Choral Society sings lullabies from around the world on Saturday, March 15, at 4:30 p.m. at Vienna Baptist Church. To set the sleepy-time mood, VCS singers will perform in pajamas. The performance will appeal to children and grown-ups alike. Tickets are priced at $25 for adults, $20 for seniors (65+) and for students (15 - 18); free for youth 14 and younger with a paying adult. Purchase tickets at door. Vienna Baptist Church is located at 541 Marshall Rd., SW, Vienna. For more information, see ON-GOING Culinaria Cooking School From hands-on workshops of the foods of the world to children’s cooking classes and wine-pairing dinners, Culinaria embraces the fun and diversity that is food. On most Saturday mornings, a kids’ class is offered. There are couples-dinners, ladies’ night out, themed ingredients and a romantic Valentine’s Day wine dinner. Feb. 6 features a chocolate-making class, while Feb. 12 features healthy eating. Culinaria is “recreational” cooking instruction at its most sublime. Prices for individual classes begin at $65. Culinaria Cooking School is located at 110 Pleasant Street NW, Vienna. For more information on classes, go to or e-mail The school’s phone number is 703-865-7920. Live music at Maplewood Grill Jazz, pop piano, and blues music are performed at Maplewood Grill in the bar. Tuesday through Saturday evenings, 8 to 10 p.m. Maplewood Grill is at 132 Branch Road S.E. in the Danor Shopping Plaza. Phone 703-281-0070 for dinner reservations. Weekend “jams” at Caffe Amouri Neighborhood coffee house Caffe Amouri hosts “The Beat” on Saturday nights with scheduled musical artists. Admission is free. Friday night is “club night.” Caffe Amouri plays records – yes, records, and lays out games for patrons to use. Saturday night features “The Beat,” a hosted open mic night. Usually a host is there to introduce the scheduled line-up of musical artists. It’s open to the audience, as well, what the Hawaiians call “kanikapila.” It’s been a popular Saturday night resource in Vienna. See www.caffeamouri for schedule of entertainment. Vienna-Oakton Moms Run This Town While many local people cannot imagine running in 25 degrees — some cannot even imagine going outside to pick up the newspaper at 25 degrees — it's evident that many runners here love winter runs. And the Vienna-Oakton chapter of “Moms Run This Town” maintain a daily schedule of runs throughout the winter months. Membership is open to any woman although most of the runners are “moms.” It’s a tight-knit group. When a NoVa member was struck and killed by a drunk drive in mid-January, the Vienna-Oakton chapter dedicated a run to her. To join, go to The Barns at Wolf Trap offers musical programming through the spring. Artists range from the jazz pianist John Eaton to world music and oldies singers such as Chad & Jeremy. The Oakridge Boys, Hapa and David Crosby are counted among the headliners. Ticket prices vary. The Barns of Wolf Trap is located at 1635 Trap Road, Vienna, in a rustic setting. Visit for schedule and ticket sales. Especially for Children Jammin’ Java Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings — and, occasionally, on Sundays — Jammin' Java hosts children shows with performances by the region's most favorite performers, from Rocknoceros to The Great Zucchini and a multitude of popular artists in between. Tickets are $5 each for guests over two years old and a $1 service charge applies on internet reservations. 227 Maple Ave E., Vienna. For schedule of shows, go to or phone 703-255-1566. Patrick Henry Library offers programming for pre-schoolers, from storytime to music and dance. 101 Maple Avenue East Vienna, VA 22180-5794 Telephone: 703-938-0405 for hours and event schedule. Oakton Library offers storytime and activities for preschoolers. 10304 Lynnhaven Place Oakton, VA 22124-1785 Telephone: 703-242-4020 Culinaria Cooking School offers Saturday morning children’s cooking classes: Pasta-making, tapas, global cuisine and baking. Mexican food and pizza are popular with the youngsters. Prices range from $60 per student to $95 for both parent and child. Culinaria Cooking School is located at 110 Pleasant St. NW, Vienna, in a low-rise brick building. The facility is state-of-the-art. For more information on classes, go to or e-mail The school’s phone number is 703-865-7920. The Vienna Arts Society and Patrick Henry Library co-sponsor the Annual Free Children’s Printmaking Workshop on Tuesday, March 25, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the library’s conference room. A dozen local artists will assist children ages 7 - 12 as they print a fish, create relief prints, mono-prints, and other prints. Contact the Children's Librarian to register: 703-938-0405. Patrick Henry Library is located at 101 Maple Ave. E, Vienna

Models to Walk Runway for Families Touched by Autism

Arts for Autism enlists fashion community and students in event to benefit the Autism Society of Northern Virginia.

The Autism Society of Northern Virginia will hold its fourth Arts for Autism gala and fashion show on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Tower Club Tysons Corner.

’80s Day

Sponsored by the SCA, Lake Anne Elementary School.

Lack of Funds for School Renovations

Aging schools collide with increasing student enrollments.

While the 2015 to 2019 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) passed at the Fairfax County Public School Board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 3, many board members expressed concerns with the program.

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Proposed Art in Silver Line Keeps Communities in Mind

Planned public art to be displayed at Silver Line station on Jan. 23.

WMATA Presents Proposals for Silver Line Public Art in Reston Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has unveiled its plans for public art to be placed outside of metro stations built in Phase I and Phase II of the Silver Line project. Among the proposed projects are a colorful, light-reactive glass display outside of the Tysons Corner station by Philadelphia artist Ray King; a series of lighted metal and concrete columns at the Greensboro station by Iowa artist David Dahlquist; and a 30-foot tall, light-integrating metal work by Arizona artist Barbara Grygutis for the Spring Hill station. The proposed display for the Wiehle–Reston East station will feature blue and orange mirrored panels of stained glass by New York artist David Wilson. The panels, designed with a relaxed feel, will appear around the walkways to the station over the Toll Road.

Winter Fun at the Mount Vernon RECenter

Get in shape and learn to skate this winter.

Although it’s open all year round, the Mount Vernon RECenter is perfect for the winter months.

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Honoring Beautification Efforts Along Route 1

SFDC presents businesses with Mary Thonen Awards.

Mehr is among several other business owners along Richmond Highway who were honored for their beautification efforts at the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation Open House and Mary Thonen Awards.

Explore Offerings at City’s Recreation Centers

Winter classes and club activities are underway at most of the city’s recreation centers.

The Day Virginia Cried

Whatever the facts prove to be, federal corruption charges leveled against Virginia's 71st governor are nothing short of astonishing. No such thing has ever occurred in the state known as the "Mother of Presidents."

Major General Marcia Anderson

Highest-ranking African-American female Army officer reflects on achievements.

Major General Marcia Anderson of the Army Reserve at Fort Belvoir is the Army’s highest-ranking African-American female.

Her Harp Provides Musical Therapy

Debbie Doyle eases stress at Mount Vernon Hospital.

Deborah Mary Doyle has been playing the harp for patients and staff of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital for the past three years.

Hybrid Tax Repealed, Senate Shakeup and Death Penalty

The second week of the General Assembly Session saw the end of the Hybrid Tax, sharpening rhetoric on Medicaid, debate on firearms safety and the death penalty, and brought clarity on the composition of the Senate.

Helping Military Families

Three weeks into session and the excitement continues, each day bringing a new group of constituents and advocates who visit my office and impress me with their passion and commitment to a wide range of social and economic issues.

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Arlington Officials Release Previously Secret Construction Bids

County leaders change position on secrecy of bids; refuse to reveal expectations.

New documents released by Arlington County officials show the four bids for the new aquatics center at Long Bridge Park range from $81.9 million to $82.8 million.

Friday, January 24

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Brothers Are National Taekwondo Champs

Before they’ve even graduated from high school, two Chantilly brothers — Sohwon, 17, and Siwon Kim, 15, have each won national taekwondo titles.

Roundups: Chantilly/Centreville — Jan. 22, 2014

News briefs and community notes.

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CYA Collects Presents for Pediatric Party

CYA and DC Candlelighters united to make the holidays brighter for pediatric oncology patients at Inova Fairfax Hospital. CYA collected more than 300 presents for the DC Candlelighter families whose children are fighting cancer.

‘We Investigate Crime Scenes and Accidents’

Police detective discusses the job of the Crash Reconstruction Unit.

Fairfax County Police Det. Josh David minored in physics at GMU, and it’s come in handy in his job. A 13-year member of the Police Department, he’s been with the Crash Reconstruction Unit for five years now. And, he said, “I realized how much math, physics and science is involved in what I do.”

Challenges of a Lean Economy

Could a meals tax be the answer to fund the schools?

The school budget, roads and money were the main topics Monday night, Jan. 20, when Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) gave his annual, “State of Sully” address.

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Chantilly Speech Team Takes District Title

The Chantilly High Speech Team won the district title for the second year in a row, on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Westfield High.

Letter: Feels Betrayed

The roundabout issue for western Fairfax County seems to have a bonus hidden inside of it.

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Visitors flock to 251 S. 18th St. to participate in Crystal City ArtJamz on Jan. 12. Families with children ages 3 and up enjoyed drinks, pizza and music while creating art on a canvas.

Local Photographer To Exhibit at Sugarloaf Festival

Tomlinson’s nature photos on display.

Arlington resident Peter Tomlinson’s nature and wildlife photos will be displayed at the 2014 Sugarloaf Crafts Festival from Friday, Jan. 24 until Sunday, Jan. 26 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly.

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Crafting Mental Health Legislation

Across political divide, students find common ground.

Two University of Virginia students, Jarrod Nagurka and Rachel Deitch, both of Arlington, helped craft a bipartisan mental health bill that Del. Patrick Hope (D-47) and Del. Joseph R. Yost (R-12) have introduced to the Virginia House of Delegates. The legislation, officially called HB 206, will require Virginia institutions of higher education to dedicate a portion of their websites to mental health resources available to students on campus.

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Rare Arctic Snowy Owl Brings Birders to Arlington

Every afternoon for the last two weeks, for about an hour or so before dusk, the area between the parking lot at Gravelly Point in Arlington and National Airport fills up with folks carrying tripods, cameras, spotting telescopes, and binoculars.

Richmond Report: State Budget Considerations Begin

Last week, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia’s 8th District announced he would not seek re-election. For 23 years he has ably represented the progressive values of the people of Northern Virginia. He has been an advocate for our environment, a fighter for equality and a strong champion of universal health care. Northern Virginia is a better place to live and work because of his leadership. I am proud to have been represented by him in Congress, and to have represented him in Richmond. After his many decades of service to our community, I wish him a long and happy retirement.

Brief: Name Own Adoption Fee This Month

Through Jan. 31, the Montgomery County Humane Society, located at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter, 14645 Rothgeb Drive, is allowing adopters to name their own adoption fee for the shelter’s cats, dogs and other animals.

Brief: Advice on Weathering Freezing Temperatures

With below-freezing temperatures in the forecast this week, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue offers a few simple steps to keep your family safe and your home’s pipes from freezing.

Brief: Libraries Launch New Online Services

Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) has kicked off the New Year by launching three new online services — Zinio for Libraries, 3M Cloud Library e-book lending system and Learn4Life.

Brief: Board Seeks Nominees for Service Awards

The Montgomery County Board of Education is seeking nominations from the public for its 17th Annual Awards for Distinguished Service to Public Education.

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Mount Vernon Girls’ Basketball Showing Improvement

Majors have won 4 of 5, including victory over Oakton.

The Mount Vernon girls' basketball team is 9-3.

Herndon Gymnast Bradley Knocks Off Rust

Freshman wins all-around at Jan. 16 home meet.

The Herndon gymnastics team placed second at a home meet on Jan. 16.

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Changing of the Guard?

Centreville girls’ basketball wins third straight over Oakton.

The Centreville girls' basketball team has won three straight against Oakton.

Thursday, January 23

Classified Advertising January 22, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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Rescued Owl Released

Great Horned Owl takes flight back into her territory after rescue.

A group of curious well-wishers looked on as a Great Horned Owl spread her formidable wings and lifted off from the arms of her rescuer back into the Potomac forest. It was a happy ending to a brief saga that could have ended much differently.

Springfield potter Kerri Henry’s works will be showcased at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival

Local Springfield potter Kerri Henry will be displaying her birdhouses and other functional Stoneware at this year’s Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, from Jan. 24-26 . Among the pieces Henry will be showcasing at the Festival, she will display some of her birdhouses that are molded into a fish shape. “I was excited by the opportunity to display my work with high caliber artists who show at the Festivals. I’m looking forward to offering the new birdhouses I’ve designed this year. I’ll also have my full line of functional art,” Henry said.

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Democratic Women of Clifton Learn about Foster Care and Adoption

Children need permanent families in Fairfax County.

In Fairfax County, there are 265 children in Foster Care. That number may sound like a lot, said Nannette Bowler, director of Fairfax County Department of Family services, but that number was at over 3,000 children 10 years ago.

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Don’t Take Safe Drinking Water for Granted

In the wake of the chemical spill in West Virginia, weighing the threats to local drinking water.

Most of the 5 million residents in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area have no idea that their drinking water comes from the Potomac River, said Hedrick Belin, president of the Potomac Conservancy. “Until last week, the same could have probably been said for 300,000 residents in Charleston, W. Va.,” Belin added.

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New Leadership for the Workhouse Arts Center

Board of Supervisors continue to debate future success of the center.

Laura McKie, a volunteer at the Prison Museum at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center, said she doesn’t expect the museum’s everyday operations to change too much as Fairfax County takes greater control over the center.

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Saving the Environment, One Cafeteria at a Time

Silverbrook Elementary School runs effective recycling program.

Students at Silverbrook Elementary School in Fairfax Station are learning the value of recycling and helping the environment, thanks to school media specialist Valerie Finney, other teachers, and volunteers who are assisting in the effort to reduce waste.

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Volunteers Spend Day Off Cleaning Up Park

Girl Scouts and their friends volunteer at Mason Neck State Park on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

After volunteering at Mason Neck State Park during the 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Laura Douglas, who leads Cadet Girl Scout Troop 340 in Lorton, had such a great time that she decided it needed to happen again in 2014.

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Jazz to Brighten a Winter Night at the Workhouse

Pianist Bobby Jasinski and vocalist Lena Seikaly perform this weekend.

Live cabaret is now a regular mainstay at the Workhouse. "The intimate and very population cabaret-style performances regularly sell-out" according to Joey Walden, Workhouse Performing Arts Director. "The popularity of the series has drawn interest from DC talent, as a result the caliber of entertainment you may experience at the Workhouse rivals established metro area venues in the same genre."

‘I Never Saw Another Butterfly’

A theatrical tribute to the Holocaust through the eyes of children.

Sovereign Grace Church Co-op Drama Club will present “I Never Saw Another Butterfly,” a play based on real-life stories of Jewish children and their families living in the Terezin ghetto in Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust.

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Area Girl Scouts Embark on Trip of a Lifetime

Girl Scouts from Burke, Springfield and Fairfax Station learn leadership skills while raising money for their trip.

Under the leadership of Troop Leader Sandy Latta, Girl Scouts from Burke, Springfield, Fairfax Station and the Fredericksburg area will be traveling to Europe this summer.

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A Chocolate Lover’s Dream

Fairfax’s annual festival is Feb. 1-2.

Chocolate — candy, cake, sauce, pancakes, fudge, ice cream and even a chocolate fountain or three — they’re all part of the City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival. And this year’s event, the 22nd annual, is Saturday, Feb. 1 through Sunday, Feb. 2.

Richmond Diary: Delegate Filler-Corn’s Shares Observations from 2014 Virginia General Assembly

Today marked the opening of the 2014 Virginia General Assembly Session. The Session kicked off with the 48th Annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast, where I joined 900 other Virginians to offer prayers for our country, armed forces, and legislators. It was an early start to a busy day, but an inspiring way to kick off the new Session. During the first floor session of 2014, all the new and returning members took our oath of office to serve our country and our Commonwealth.

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‘Family-Friendly, Magical and Heartwarming’

Robinson presents children’s play, “The Snow Queen.”

Based on the same Hans Christian Anderson tale as the Disney movie, “Frozen,” Robinson Secondary presents the children’s play, “The Snow Queen.”

Wednesday, January 22

Barrett Teacher Receives Presidential Award

Charles Barrett Elementary School Math Teacher Stephanie Chlebus is one of 102 mathematics and science teachers named as recipients of the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. A panel of scientists, mathematicians and educators selected the winners following an initial selection process done at the state level.

Officer Involved in Shooting Cleared

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh has informed Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., chief of the Fairfax County Police Department, that he finds no basis for criminal liability on the part of the officer who discharged his weapon in the fatal shooting of James Bryant on Oct. 30, 2013 at 9155 Richmond Highway.

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Two New Deputies in the Alexandria Sheriff's Office

Two new deputies have joined the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office. On Thursday, Jan. 16, the recruits received their badges and credentials and then were sworn in at the Alexandria Courthouse by Clerk of the Circuit Court Edward Semonian

A Chaplain, a Clown, a Magician

In a world besieged with serious issues, problems and tragedies, Theodore White provides a special touch that impacts those around him in positive ways. White has served as a volunteer chaplain at Inova Alexandria Hospital since the early 1990s.

Letter: Comparing Winter Road Maintenance

To the Editor: After driving some 70 miles today (Tuesday, Jan. 21), I found Alexandria's snow removal/road treatments was disappointing.

Proclamation Celebrates Harry Lee and Robert E. Lee

The following proclamation was issued by Mayor William Euille on Jan. 10.

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Participating in the Inaugural

Over the weekend, Chantilly Governor’s STEM Academy was among the three schools selected state-wide to participate in the inaugural ceremony for Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

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Cartoon: Your Safety is Our Utmost Concern

Your Safety is Our Utmost Concern

Challenges of a Lean Economy

Could Meals Tax Be Answer To Fund Schools?

The school budget, roads and money were the main topics Monday night, Jan. 20, when Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) gave his annual, “State of Sully” address.

Local Photographer To Exhibit at Sugarloaf Festival

Arlington resident Peter Tomlinson’s nature and wildlife photos will be displayed at the 2014 Sugarloaf Crafts Festival from Friday, Jan. 24 until Sunday, Jan. 26 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly.

Letter to the Editor: Feels Betrayed

The roundabout issue for western Fairfax County seems to have a bonus hidden inside of it. When any government representative actually shows contempt and arrogance towards the constituency, the time has come to replace that representative.

Investigating Crime Scenes

Police detective discusses the job of the Crash Reconstruction Unit.

Fairfax County Police Det. Josh David minored in physics at GMU, and it’s come in handy in his job. A 13-year member of the Police Department, he’s been with the Crash Reconstruction Unit for five years now. And, he said, “I realized how much math, physics and science is involved in what I do.”

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Speech Team Takes District Title

The Chantilly High Speech Team won the district title for the second year in a row, on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Westfield High.

Artist’s Work on Display at Sugarloaf Crafts Festival

Springfield potter’s works at juried show.

Local Springfield potter Kerri Henry will be displaying her birdhouses and other functional stoneware at this year’s Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, from Jan. 24-26.

Animal Shelter Shines in 2013

Fairfax County Animal Shelter adoption initiatives resulted in the shelter having its most successful year yet, saving a record number of animals’ lives.

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CYA Collects Presents for Pediatric Party

CYA and DC Candlelighters united to make the holidays brighter for pediatric oncology patients at Inova Fairfax Hospital. CYA collected more than 300 presents for the DC Candlelighter families whose children are fighting cancer.

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Burke Target Employee Killed by VRE Train

A cashier at the Burke Target was hit by a Virginia Railroad Express Train traveling from Washington to Manassas on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

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Churches, County Organize Blanket Drive to Aid Syrian Refugees

Blankets collected in Northern Virginia’s Blanket Drive for Syrian Refugees will soon be arriving in Turkey, where a local relief agency will distribute them to Syrian refugee families in the Adana refugee camp. More than 18,000 blankets were collected. These blankets were donated by residents of Northern Virginia through grass-roots efforts organized by local elected officials in conjunction with the Fairfax County Interfaith Council. Residents were asked to drop off clean and folded blankets at locations throughout Northern Virginia. In Fairfax County, seven meetinghouses of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) served as donation collection points, as well as two Islamic Centers, and offices of several members of the county Board of Supervisors. Chairman Sharon Bulova joined volunteers at one LDS meetinghouse and publicly thanked the church for its efforts in supporting the effort.

City of Fairfax News

News in the Fairfax area.

Engagement Announcement

Mr. and Mrs. Craig S. Wagner of Fairfax Station are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Lindsey Ann to Matthew Edward David Witham, son of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher J. Witham of Newark, Del.

Hybrid Tax Repeal On Its Way


The General Assembly is now in full swing with action on major bills starting to move through. The first bill I introduced was the repeal of the $64/year tax on hybrid vehicles – HB4. In the last few days, the Senate approved the repeal of the Hybrid Tax. A vote by the full house comes later this week.

Letter: Don't Frack the GW

The Forest Service is under intense pressure from the oil and gas industry to lift the ban on fracking on the George Washington National Forest.

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SSSAS Latin Students Excel

A group of St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School classics students took home more than 100 awards at the annual Virginia Junior Classical League state convention, held in Richmond in November. During the convention, junior Daniel Marshall was elected VJCL vice president, becoming the third state officer in a row from SSSAS.

Work on Display

Local woodworker participates in Sugarloaf Crafts Festival.

Alexandria woodworker Benjamin Leatham will be among the more than 250 jury selected artists showcasing their works at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival from Jan. 24-26 at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly.

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Into the Budget Fray

Bulova highlights accomplishments, challenges in annual address.

Despite the lingering impact of an anemic economy, and the regional ripple effects of federal sequestration, Fairfax County residents will see some concrete signs of progress this year.

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‘Ella’ Opens at MetroStage

“Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song” opens this week at MetroStage. It is the story of young Ella literally dancing in the streets and winning a talent contest at the Apollo Theatre when she was 15 years old. She headlined with Chick Webb and his Orchestra at the Savoy Ballroom, performed Live at the Cote D’Azur and so much more. She discovered that she could “scat” and mastered a new art form called “bebop.” It is a fascinating journey of a legendary artist.

Editorial: Extend Health Coverage in Virginia

Standing on what is essentially scorched earth, Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly have condemned hundreds of thousands of poor Virginians to living without health coverage even though it would be fully funded by Federal money for the next three years, and with Virginia paying 10 percent after five years.

Friends Forever

Since it had been more than a few months, today I summoned up the courage to Google my long-time friend and fellow stage IV lung cancer survivor, Suzanne. Suzanne and I had been years out of touch (for no real reason other than initiative and the geographic consideration that she lived in Barnstable, Ma. and I live in Burtonsville, Md.) and recently back in touch – due to our identical cancer diagnoses. I learned that she had succumbed to her disease back in October, 2013. We last had contact electronically back in the summer. She was extremely weak then, she said, too weak to talk, so e-mailing was best. In that e-mail, ultimately her last, she wrote that the most recent chemotherapy drug with which she was infused was no longer effective and that her oncologist had no other drugs left to recommend. Not that she said it in so many words, but at that point her prognosis was grim. She offered that her two boys were with her and from them she would gain great comfort. The news was very unsettling to me and I was afraid that this e-mail might be our last – and so it was.

Roundups for 1/22/14

The editor presents the roundups for the week of 1/22/14.

Council Escapes History Buffs

A couple of weeks ago news broke that Councilman Justin Wilson, of historical Del Ray, the city's sin capital a century ago, introduced a bill that some old-timers thought would banish naming city streets for Confederate generals who many consider heroes. Second reading on Mr. Wilson's proposal is scheduled this Saturday (Jan. 25). Along with the no naming, council will also eliminate an old ordinance preventing lewd co-habitation in the city. No squawks on this.

Letter to the Editor: Reconsider Fee Increase

I was recently made aware of the fact that ACPS was raising the fees for community use of school facilities. Why ACPS would do this without considering the full spectrum of implications is mind-boggling. An email was sent out by Alexandria Little League stating that they were canceling their six-week winter baseball clinic due to the inflated prices.

Two-Alarm Apartment Fire Displaces Family

The Alexandria Fire Department, assisted by Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Metro Washington Airports Authority Fire Departments, responded to the report of smoke and fire showing from a top floor balcony of a townhouse on Jan. 19 at approximately 11:20 a.m.

Free Tax Preparation for Qualifying Residents

The City of Alexandria is offering free tax preparation to qualifying residents. Taxpayers are eligible if their income is below approximately $35,000 for individuals and $51,000 for families. Expert volunteers from Community Tax Aid, Inc. will ensure that taxpayers apply for all applicable credits and deductions, especially the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which people often don’t realize they are eligible to receive.

Obituary: Ronald Alan Bordeaux

Ronald A. Bordeaux, 51, of Washington, D.C., died on Jan. 15, 2014. Before moving into northwest D.C. over 10 years ago, he and his family lived in Arlington then Alexandria for over 15 years. A native of Peoria, Illinois and a graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Bordeaux was a distinguished international tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers for nearly two decades. All who knew him will long remember his powerful intellect, his boundless curiosity and his great zest for all things tax, tennis, and family.

In Memory of Robert Steidl

Robert Steidl was born on Aug. 14, 1940 in Linz, Austria. Linz was occupied by the Nazi German party at that time and Robert’s family had the courage to give safe haven in their home to the Jews who were being hunted down. Robert had an early memory of an American soldier who was stationed in Linz after the Nazis were gone.

Tuesday, January 21

‘Broadway Magic’ To Be Shown at Herndon High

A “crazy colorful, an explosion of fun” show.

“When you guys land, land on the balls of your feet, don’t land with your feet flat. Then pivot on right foot, but sing the melody,” Dana Van Slyke said. Herndon High School’s Choral Director Van Slyke was speaking to students in the school auditorium practicing choreography for a song from the musical “South Pacific.” The cast and crew conducted a weekend recital to prepare for the annual cabaret show. “The cabaret show is about an hour and a half production of songs from classical musicals all the way to contemporary shows,” Van Slyke said.

Del. Comstock Shares Her Notes on Opening Week

A new beginning, a new chairmanship and a new legislative session.

It is always an honor to be part of the oldest continuous legislative body in the western world. On Jan. 8, we began a new session with a new Administration. The session is always kicked off early in the morning (7 a.m.) with the annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast. In keeping with tradition, outgoing Governor McDonnell and incoming Governor McAuliffe and senior government officials attend. This year I had the honor of offering the prayer for State Legislators at the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast. The breakfast also features guest speakers every year and everyone was moved by the powerful testimony of Thomas Haynesworth, a truly inspirational man, who was exonerated in 2011 after being wrongfully imprisoned for 27 years for crimes he did not commit. Mr. Haynesworth spoke of his faith sustaining him throughout this unjust ordeal.

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‘This Is the Town’s Building’

Vienna Community Center will receive addition, renovation.

For nearly half a century, Vienna’s community center has served its residents. Whether hosting classes, meetings or special events, it’s one of the most heavily used buildings in town. Since its dedication on April 17, 1966, it’s been renovated three times. But the last time was in 1998 and, now, it’ll be repaired again, and enlarged, as well.

Norine McGraw Swaminatha


On Thursday, Jan. 2, Norine Mcgraw Swaminatha, 65, a 34-year resident of the Town of Vienna passed away at home. Beloved and devoted wife to Kris Swaminatha, mother to Tara Swaminatha (Robert Kaplan), Sheela Myers (Stephen), Meara DeRose (Paul) and Neala Swaminatha and sister to Regina McGraw; grandmother to Arin and Molly Kaplan, Emily and Mason Myers, and Vinny and Lucy DeRose; The Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, Jan. 10 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Vienna. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Norine's memory to the American Brain Tumor Association (on Norine's page at, by phone 773-577-8750, or by mail at 8550 Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 550, Chicago, Illinois, 60631-3225).

Floris United Methodist Opens Doors to Area Homeless

Members of Floris United Methodist Church (FUMC) in Herndon have participated in programs assisting the area’s homeless for years, mostly through food and clothing donations and by volunteering to serve meals at shelters and seasonal food pantries and kitchens. Last year a number of the congregation who have given their time to those efforts decided to see if FUMC would take their involvement to the next level by agreeing to literally open the church doors for one week as part of the annual Hypothermia Prevention and Response program coordinated by local non-profit FACETS. The response by FUMC leadership and worshipers alike was overwhelmingly positive.

Musical Approach to Family

"La Cage aux Folles" arriving at Alden Theater.

Musical director John Edwards Niles will have an orchestra of 10 to perform the score of 16 songs. Choreography is by Duane Monahan.

Comstock Image Versus Record

To the Editor: Regarding the Connection article "Comstock runs for Congress," Connection, Jan. 15, the Virginia legislature gerrymandered the 10th Congressional District to ensure that Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34) lived in that district so that when Congressman Frank Wolf retired, she would be in a position to run for his seat. In her two terms as a delegate in a body dominated by her party, she has focused on a number of "mom and apple pie" issues like lyme disease (she's against it) and more slots for Northern Virginia students at state universities (she's for that but proposes no way to pay for the increased cost to the universities). In the meantime, she voted against the historic, bi-partisan transportation funding compromise last year, and also opposed the state budget that included greater funding for higher education and teacher pay raises. She also voted numerous times to allow greater access to guns. Yet, when speaking in McLean, she invariably fails to mention these votes and skirts any questions.

Reston Residents March to Commemorate King’s Legacy

Community joins together in weekend of music, fun, and community service.

Reston resident Denver Lovett was part of the first March on Washington on Aug. 8, 1963, while he was a student at Howard University. He also attended the 20th, 30th, and 50th anniversaries of the event in Washington D.C. But this past Sunday, Jan. 19, Lovett had a chance to spend the day marching with his Reston neighbors for a half-mile beginning at Lake Anne Village Center to commemorate the historic day. “If you get a lot of individuals taking action and trying to change things rather than sitting around complaining about how bad things are, it can create a powerful movement for good,” said Lovett.


Independent Progressive/Master Plan for Transit Station Areas — Outgunned

It never looked like a fair fight. In the fall of 2009, when Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins assembled her Task Force of 25 or so to prepare a Comprehensive (Master) Plan for the Dulles rail corridor, it was clear the community was at a disadvantage. A handful of Reston volunteers faced a phalanx of hired gun slingers, men (100 percent men!) representing commercial developers and their lawyers. The gunslingers were pros doing their jobs, unified in a clear sense of purpose — to maximize profit. Most had worked “community” task force gigs before and knew the county staff advising the Task Force. None lived in Reston.

Showing Appreciation

Old Brogue Irish Pub hosts monthly dinners, where donations are matched to contribute to military veteran organizations.

In a packed house at The Old Brogue Irish Pub in Great Falls on Jan. 13, all in attendance stood up at the request of Bob Nelson, the man who put together the event. Nelson had asked any guests with family members who had served in the military, however distant the relation might be, to please stand.

Broom Wins Young Artist Competition

McLean resident Joe Broom, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, has won the U.S. Air Force Band’s Colonel George S. Howard Young Artist Competition for 2014. In addition, Broom recently learned he’s been selected as a finalist in the U.S. Marine Band Concerto Competition to be held next month.

Development Taking Wrong Direction

To the Editor: Thanks for the great article about The Most Important Issues in Great Falls, including the "Walker Road Diet Project." At last we can put a face and an organization on the most ridiculous waste of tax-payer dollars since the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere." Reducing a four-lane road with unobstructed visibility at the main commercial intersection in town, to two lanes with hazardous parallel parking and no turn lanes for customers or semi-trailer delivery trucks is not only irresponsible, but dangerous. I sincerely hope the first accidents will not include fatalities, but the risk of youngsters darting from parked cars, or drivers trying to back into parking spaces or opening doors into traffic is obvious. When I first saw the plan for the project posted in the Library a couple years ago, I thought it was a joke and posted my comments. I was sure that sound minds and austere budgets would prevail. But, I was wrong and never dreamed of "stimulus dollars." I have talked to many neighbors, residents, and business owners/managers and have not found a single person that thinks the project is a good idea. In fact, all of them would like to see the project stopped immediately, and Walker Road restored to its original configuration.

Herndon High Cadets Head to National Championship

Herndon High’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) cadets did not let a cold and dreary day stand in the way of their pursuit of the February 2014 Orienteering National Championship. As one of only two corps with five teams to have completed their courses successfully, the Herndon NJROTC secured an overall 4th place finish in the highly competitive Area Five Orienteering Championship.

Petersen Proposes Amendments, Bills

Over the next couple months, the General Assembly will be dissecting the biennial state budget proposed by the outgoing governor. Individual members may propose amendments, and state Sen. Chap Petersen did so on Jan. 10. “They are all relatively small amounts, but could have a critical role,” Peterson said.

Art and Function

New MPA exhibit unlocks hidden beauty in everyday gadgets, contraptions, or refuse.

McLean Project for the Arts hosted a reception on Jan. 16, to celebrate the opening of its latest exhibition, “Contraptions: Reflections on the Almost Functional.” The exhibition also includes solo shows by artists, Melissa Burley, and Eric Celarier.

Cadette Troop 1111 Earns Silver Award

The girls in Girl Scouts Cadette Troop 1111 have been busy doing more than selling cookies this past year. They recently earned the organization’s Silver Award — the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette is eligible for. By planning and completing a 50-hour community service project, Friendship Across Generations, the girls demonstrated leadership, organization and a commitment to community service.

What’s Next for I-66

VDOT will hold a public information meeting on the next steps to identify potential traffic improvements in the I-66 Corridor. It’s set for Thursday, Jan. 30, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Oakton High School, 2900 Sutton Road in Vienna. (If cancelled due to weather: Tuesday, Feb. 4). VDOT and the Department of Rail and Public Transportation have identified 10 concepts to increase capacity within the I-66 corridor, plus options to increase travel-mode choices, improve individual interchanges, address spot safety needs and enhance travel efficiency.

Greater Vienna Babe Ruth Baseball

Registration is now open for the Spring 2014 Season. Offering Prep League for 13’s, American League for 14’s and 15’s, Senior League for 16-19’s, and Senators travel teams. Returning players, please register online at New players must register in person. Two sessions are planned, Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St SE, Vienna, VA 22180. Early-bird discount applies to everyone registering in person. More information at Play ball!

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Public Weighs Options for Park Land Swap

Officials reveal three alternatives for Langley Fork Park land swap.

McLean residents may see an upgraded Langley Fork Park within the next year, but some are more excited than others about 55 potential new acres of synthetic turf fields, lights, and the crowds that will come with it.

MPA Welcomes Development Director, Board Members

McLean Project for the Arts welcomes Krista Vita as its new Development Director. Vita has worked in non-profit development for more than 10 years. She is a member of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and manages a volunteer writing workshop for high school seniors. MPA also elected four new board members: Debbie Jardot, a longtime McLean resident, formerly MPA development director and manager for government relations for the Walt Disney Company; Derrick Swaak, supervising broker for the McLean office of TTR Sotheby’s and is involved in McLean community affairs; George D. Swygert, Jr., currently a regional executive in local distribution for Capital One Bank and also serves on the board of the Phillips Collection; and, Brittany Yam, formerly director at Project 4 Gallery and administrative coordinator for Arlington Arts Center.


Nathan F. Holeman

Nathan F. (Red) Holeman died on Dec. 24, 2013. He was born July 16, 1925 to George and Hazel Holeman in Tuxedo Junction on the outskirts of Bartlesville, OK.

Music Loft Distributes Donated Instruments For Students

Teachers collect instruments at Music Loft.

On Friday, Jan. 17, school music teachers collected instruments at the Music Loft in Herndon. These musical instruments had been collected by the Council for the Arts of Herndon Play it Forward instrument drive. “We start the Play it Forward Campaign again in April,” said Laura Readyoff, who is on the board of directors for the council and the co-owner of the Music Loft.

Going Dark?

Funding needed for Great Falls July 4 fireworks.

“Last Friday’s meeting didn’t result as we had hoped it would,” said Sharon Rainey, president of Neighbors Foundation. The Great Falls based Rotary Foundation notified Neighbors Foundation that they would not be taking over the annual 2014 July 4th Fireworks event.

Richmond Diary

Governor McAuliffe Sets the Stage

Each year the Governor of Virginia addresses a joint assembly of the House of Delegates and the State Senate in a speech not unlike the President’s State of the Union address except that the Governor provides a “State of the Commonwealth” as well as his recommendations for legislative action. Last week I heard the 35th such speech since I have been a member of the House of Delegates. I think Gov. Terry McAuliffe made the best of any of the speeches I have heard over my career in the legislature.

Churchill Road Team Excels at Langley Invitational

The Churchill Road Science Olympiad Team participated at the Langley Invitational on Dec. 15. Under the direction of mentors Jennifer Ezzell (5th grade teacher) and Rajee Ramesh (parent), the Churchill Road team was the top-ranking elementary school team, placing fourth overall among the 21 middle and elementary teams. The sixth graders Ian Palk and Christopher Sole placed first in the Solar System category. The team members are looking forward to the Regionals later this spring.

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Young Speaks about Civil Rights, King’s Legacy

“A Continuing Legacy” speaking series came to McLean Community Center’s theater.

HALFWAY THROUGH, the former U.N. ambassador opened the event up to questions from audience members. Chuck Smith of Reston asked how he thought President Obama could deal with vast income inequality within the U.S. due to a majority of the income being owned by the super rich. Young responded that it was difficult for any leader, himself included, to deal with 1 percent controlling all of the country’s money, but that the president could still work to enable the poor with economic opportunity. He cited his own history of using international investment to fight poverty, and said that the same approach could be applied to African countries with slow economies and high poverty.

‘This’ Opens in Vienna

Vienna Theatre Company presents comedy-drama exploring challenges of a certain-age.

On Jan. 24, the Vienna Theatre Company debuts “This,” a drama with a humorous take on the tribulations of life at about 40 years old … give or take a year or two in either direction.

‘Helping Hungry Kids’

Saturday food drives at Herndon and Reston grocery stores provide weekends meals for area students.

Every Saturday leading up to Feb. 17, customers walking into the Fox Mill and North Point shopping center Giant grocery stores will be able to provide food for hungry elementary school children in Herndon and Reston. The Helping Hungry Kids program kicked off its Stuff the Bus food collection program Jan. 18, at area grocery stores, complete with shopping carts and a stack of food ready to be purchased for generous customers. Volunteers at the front of the store handed out flyers to customers and asked them to help by purchasing $11 bags filled with child-sized portions of items like macaroni and cheese, granola bars and sugar-free applesauce. “A lot of the people who come here just take the bag and prepare it themselves,” said Colleen Cavitz, a Chantilly resident who has been volunteering each month for three years.

Broadway Night Comes to South Lakes High School

South Lakes students prepare for musical show.

This past weekend students in the South Lakes High School were rehearsing and preparing for the ninth annual Broadway Night show at 7 p.m. Jan. 24-25 (weather depending) at the school’s Little Theatre. Cast and crew were at the school making sure everything was ready for opening night. “This is my first year doing costume design, but my third year doing production for the play,” said South Lakes senior Allison Scheler.

Vandal Damages Windows of Council Chamber Building

Police arrived at the Herndon Town Council Chamber building Friday night, Jan. 17, to find that several large windows around the outside of the building had been smashed. Witnesses reported seeing a tall black male throw an object at the Council Chamber building in downtown Herndon at 10:45 p.m. before taking off running toward Grace Street.

Preserve School Quality

To the Editor: Our teachers are bringing home less money in their paychecks today than they did in 2010. Seventy percent of teachers at McLean High School need to have second jobs to make ends meet. We’ve cut our county school support staff to student ratio levels to 50 percent lower than any other school district in the metro area. Fairfax County gets $1,855 per pupil from state aid while other school districts in the state get on average $3,420 per pupil due to an antiquated state allocation calculation. And, we continue to look for ways to cut costs in the school operating budget.

Cornerstones and GRCC Reveal Best of Reston Honorees

Reston’s business and nonprofit leaders were among those gathered for 23rd Annual Best of Reston Kickoff Reception.

In a colorful, well-lit lit room of the Google Reston Town Center office, a shining bronze statue of 99-year-old Reston founder Bob Simon sat about 10 feet away from the man himself.

Police Identify Body Found in Creek off of Locust Street

A resident reported finding the body of an adult male in downtown Herndon.

Herndon Police determined late Friday, Jan. 17, that a body found in a creek bed at the intersection of Locust and Center streets in downtown Herndon was that of 30-year-old Damien Patrick Scanlan.

Certificates of Congratulations Given at Council Session

Pride of Herndon Marching Band and John Mosesso recognized.

“We have several presentations this evening and we are very excited about all of them because this is the stuff that makes living in Herndon the great place that it is,” said Mayor Lisa Merkel. Merkel was speaking at the Jan. 14 Herndon Town Council Public Session, and she invited town councilmember Melissa Jonas to read the official Certificate of Congratulations for the Herndon High School's “Pride of Herndon” Marching Band.

Vienna Mayor to Retire in 2014

After 14 years at the helm, M. Jane Seeman will not seek re-election.

IT WAS 1996 when M. Jane Seeman stepped in to fill her husband’s unexpired term on the council after his death. She ran and won seats on the council in 1997 and 1999. When then-mayor Charles Robinson approached Seeman about running for mayor in 2000, she had some trepidation. “I was thinking I wasn’t capable at all,” Seeman said. “I felt as if I swallowed a rock. “If you really believe in something, you have to step forward and do it. I believe in Vienna and that’s what this was all about.” Seeman was diagnosed with lung cancer in spring, 2013, but her decision to turn the reins of the town over came a year before her diagnosis. Other than the cancer, she called herself a “healthy” person. Throughout Seeman’s administration and in the years before, the town’s emphasis was on maintaining Vienna’s way of life, a small-town feel with a family focus, Seeman said. “It’s paid off. We have all these young families moving to Vienna, raising their kids here.”

Donation Supports Box Turtles

Great Falls BSA Venturing Crew 364 presented a $250 check to the Fairfax County Park Authority on Dec. 11, providing a lifetime sponsorship of eastern box turtles at Riverbend Park. These turtles are used to educate children at the park and local Fairfax schools about wildlife and conservation. Their population in the wild has been declining in Northern Virginia. Presenting the check to Riverbend Park Naturalist Julie Gurnee is Natalie Gilbert, president of Venturing Crew 364. Joining in the presentation are: Camille Speer, the Crew's past president and adult advisors, Bill Canis and Gary Pan. Venturing is a youth development program of the Boy Scouts of America and provides opportunities for young men and women to participate in high adventure activities, serve their communities and become responsible and caring adults.

Outstanding Service

At the Reston Lions Club Holiday party held on Dec. 19, at the Hidden Creek Country Club, five members of the club were presented Melvin Jones Fellow plaques for dedicated humanitarian services. The awards were by the Lions Clubs International Foundation. The recipients with Club President Don Leas, are, from left, Gerry Washburn, Bob Meissner, Leas, Jim Ryan, Mike Moseley and Jack Gazlay. Melvin Jones was one of the founders in 1917 of Lions Clubs International which now has 1.35 million members in 206 countries. The Reston Lions Club supports sight and hearing programs and more in the Reston and Herndon areas

Friday, January 17

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 82 homes sold between $2,775,000-$204,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: December, 2013

Springfield Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 121 Springfield homes sold between $910,000-$130,000.

Springfield Home Sales: December, 2013

Reston Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 79 Reston homes sold between $1,475,000-$120,000.

Reston Home Sales: December, 2013

Potomac Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 48 Potomac homes sold between $2,198,000-$453,500.

Potomac Home Sales: December, 2013

Mount Vernon Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 106 homes sold between $1,750,000-$95,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: December, 2013

McLean Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 79 homes sold between $12,000,000-$158,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: December, 2013

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 57 homes sold between $1,365,433-$125,000 in the Herndon and Oak Hill area.

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: December, 2013

Great Falls Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 17 Great Falls homes sold between $2,000,000-$527,500.

Great Falls Home Sales: December, 2013

Fairfax Home Sales: November, 2013

In December 2013, 69 Fairfax homes sold between $974,900-$164,000.

Fairfax Home Sales: November, 2013

Centreville Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 71 Centreville homes sold between $763,000-$174,000.

Centreville Home Sales: December, 2013

Chantilly Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 25 homes sold between $680,000-$175,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: December, 2013

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

In December 2013, 65 homes sold between $1,850,000-$133,320 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

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

Burke Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 47 Burke homes sold between $767,365-$118,000.

Burke Home Sales: December, 2013

Arlington Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 219 Arlington homes sold between $2,260,000-$100,000.

Arlington Home Sales: December, 2013

Alexandria Home Sales: December, 2013

In December 2013, 183 Alexandria homes sold between $1,950,000-$110,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: December, 2013

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Continuing the Struggle for Equality

Lynne Garvey-Hodge delivers message of women’s equality at Workhouse Arts Center.

The Lorton Workhouse Arts Center hosted the first of its five-part lectures series "American Women: The Long and Winding Road," on Jan. 8.

Thursday, January 16

Classified Advertising January 15, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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Imagining a Transformed Springfield

Executive Director of Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce shares her thoughts on 2014.

Last year may have been a big year for Springfield, but according to Nancy-jo Manney, the executive director of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, 2014 will be even better.

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A National Memorial for Suffragists

Leaders raise money, advocate for Turning Point Suffragist Memorial in Lorton.

Not far down the road from where suffragists were imprisoned at the Occoquan Workhouse for picketing at the White House for the right to vote, members of the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association, in partnership with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, are continuing efforts to build a memorial at Occoquan Regional Park to honor those women.

Democratic Women of Clifton to Host ‘Our Children: Fostering, Mentoring and Adoption’ Program

The Democratic Women of Clifton and Northern Virginia will host a program titled Our Children: Fostering, Mentoring and Adoption in Virginia on Sunday, Jan. 19, from 3-5 p.m. at the Clifton Community Hall, 12641 Chapel Rd., Clifton, with special guests: Nannette Bowler - Director of the Department of Social Services for Fairfax County, Paul D. McWhinney - Director of Family Services for Virginia Department of Social Services, and Dr. Beverly Howard - Coordinator of Fairfax Families4Kids. They will talk about their work at the local and state level working and advocating for the welfare of children and specifically with fostering, mentoring and adoption. The attendees will hear how they can become involved and make a difference in the lives of children.

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Fairfax Academy Hosts MCT Festival

Eight annual MCT Fest displays students’ talents, leadership.

Students enrolled in Fairfax Academy’s Music Computer Technology (MCT) class impressed parents and teachers by hosting and performing original compositions at the Eighth Annual MCT Fest on Jan. 8 in Fairfax.

Chocolate Lovers Valentine Features ‘Old’ Fairfax High

The annual Chocolate Lovers Festival valentine this year features the original Fairfax High School building, drawn by Fairfax artist Jackie Liedl.

Education, Transportation, Mental Health

Del. Bulova unveils his legislative priorities.

Greetings from Richmond! The 2014 General Assembly is now in full swing. In addition to considering nearly 2,000 bills, we will adopt Virginia’s biennial budget, which must be balanced as required by Virginia’s constitution. Thanks to everyone who has contacted me about issues throughout the year. This session I have introduced 13 bills and several budget amendments. Below is a summary of issues and initiatives I will be working on during the 2014 session.

Brooke Hardin to Lead Development and Planning Department

The City of Fairfax announces the appointment of Brooke Hardin as the city’s director of the Community Development and Planning Department. Hardin, who has served as the city’s Planning Division chief since 2011, will begin his role immediately.

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Program Works to Restore Greenery

Trees still available for planting in communities along the Interstate 95 Corridor.

In an effort to restore greenery to areas that lost trees during construction of the 95 Express Lanes project, Transurban and Fluor, private partners of the project, launched "1,000 Trees in 1,000 Days" to encourage community members to plant trees in areas along the 95 corridor.

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Fairfax County Launches Sex Trafficking Prevention Campaign

Sex trafficking education materials also added to school curriculum.

In order to raise awareness to the fact that sex trafficking can happen anywhere, even in Fairfax County, a new prevention campaign and website raising awareness of this issue launched on Jan. 13.

Garza Proposes $2.5 Billion Budget for FY 2015

Proposed Fairfax County public schools budget would cut 731 positions, increase class size.

At the Jan. 9 School Board Meeting, Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza released the proposed budget of $2.5 billion for FY 2015. The budget proposal requires an additional $98.1 million, or 5.7 percent increase compared to FY 2014, from Fairfax County, which the school system says is due to uncontrollable factors such as enrollment growth, retirement rate increases and the structural deficit. The FY 2015 proposed budget is an increase of $59.4 million from last year’s approved budget.

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Keeping Homeless Out of the Cold

FACETS hypothermia prevention shelters continue for winter 2014.

Temperatures in Fairfax County have reached record lows over the past week and FACETS is continuing to run its hypothermia prevention shelters this winter. The shelters are hosted at churches throughout the area, and are intended to prevent hypothermia-related deaths, said Single Services Team Leader Abby Dunner. FACETS worked with other organizations to ensure that nobody was left in the cold during the bone-chilling weather last week.

Sharpshooting Berglund Leads Spartans in Blowout Victory

Senior guard scores 30 points, makes 13 of 14 attempts.

The West Springfield girls' basketball team improved to 13-0.

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Virginia Supreme Court Opens Access to Audio Recordings of Oral Arguments

Policy change overturns blackout instituted in 2008.

Members of the Virginia Supreme Court have a New Year’s Resolution — become more transparent.

Wednesday, January 15

T.C. Williams Gymnastics Hoping for Team Success

Titans have grown from Girard’s solo act during freshman season.

The T.C. Williams gymnastics team has four competitors this season after having just one two years ago.

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W-L Gymnastics Winning Despite Loss of ‘Fab Four’

Hatcher twins, freshman Shea lead Generals.

Washington-Lee is the two-time defending region gymnastics champion.

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South Lakes’ Aghayere, Rendle Dominate Boards in Victory

Madison’s Koshuta scores 28 points in defeat.

The South Lakes girls' basketball team defeated Madison 60-52 on Jan. 10.

Oakton’s Weaver Leads Gymnastics Team to Victory

Sophomore wins all-around competition.

The Oakton gymnastics team won a home meet on Jan. 9.

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Encore Presents ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’

Final performances of the Encore Stage & Studio Theatre’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

Tags from the Edge

Under the cover of darkness, soldiers and civilian contractors are taking to the walls of the Kandahar military base in Afghanistan. They're using spray paint and stencils, along with their sense of humor and expression, to make the beige concrete walls a little more colorful.


Allan R. Plumley, Jr.

Allan R. Plumley, Jr. died on Dec. 26, 2013 at Virginia Hospital Center, in Arlington, due to complications following a fall. He was 80 years old. A fourth generation lawyer, Mr. Plumley was born in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 14, 1933, and raised in Wilmington, Del., where his father, a patent attorney, was an executive with DuPont.

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Caring for People with Alzheimers, Dementia

As the number of senior citizens in Fairfax County continues to rise, so does the need for assisted-living facilities — and especially those focusing on people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. That’s why Artisan Land Group LLC wants to build just that in Chantilly.

Multiple Challenges

Mount Vernon district entering “a transformational era.”

This is the third and final part in the series on the accomplishments of 2013 and the priorities for 2014 for Mount Vernon. In this part, community leaders, appointed county officials and the district police commander offer their perspectives.

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Gerhard Honored as Officer of Month

As the Sully District Police Station’s crime-prevention officer, PFC Tara Gerhard normally knows in advance who’ll be honored as the station’s Officer of the Month at Citizens Advisory Committee meetings. But until the Jan. 8 meeting began, that name was kept under wraps. That’s because the person honored last Wednesday was she.

Affordable Housing for Low and Moderate Income Reisdents

Fairfax County Public Information Officer. Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA). Patterson stated that her agency does not have studies available that analyze the market for affordable independent rental housing for seniors in the Mount Vernon area.

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Alexandria Registrar Tom Parkins' Retirement

Alexandria Registrar Tom Parkins, second from right, was given a bi-partisan send off into retirement Dec. 12 as the Alexandria Democratic Committee and the Alexandria Republican City Committee came together at Port City Brewing Company to honor Parkins' 13 years of overseeing elections in the city.

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Cartoon: E.T. — The Extra Terranean

E.T. — The Extra Terranean

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Continuing Revitalization on Richmond Highway

Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation Has Big Plans for 2014

Route 1 revitalization has been a major topic in Southeast Fairfax County for several years now, and the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation will continue this effort into 2014. Edythe Kelleher, the executive director of SFDC, said that the group has a lot of plans that will impact residents and business owners along the Richmond Highway corridor.

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Chantilly Robotics Student Testifies Before Congress

Explains why it’s a valuable STEM program.

Chantilly High senior Brian Morris, CEO of Chantilly Robotics Team 612, testified in Washington, D.C., last Thursday, Jan. 9. He spoke before the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology, of the U.S. House of Representatives.

1/15/14 Roundup

The editor presents short roundups from the week of 1/15/14.

1/15/14 Roundups

The editor presents short roundups from the week of 1/15/14.


Crime Solvers Needs Help

Fairfax County Crime Solvers is seeking the public’s help in identifying whoever broke into a construction building and trailers in Chantilly and stole at least $15,000 in copper wire and caused about $60,000 in damage to the structures.

Board of Supervisors OKs Roundabout

It’s a go for the controversial roundabout planned for construction at the Braddock/Pleasant Valley roads intersection next to Cox Farms in Centreville. Tuesday morning, Jan. 14, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors endorsed Supervisor Michael R. Frey’s (R-Sully) motion of “no opposition” to it, by an 8-2 vote.

Sailing into Writing

Stephen Ryan authors “The Madonna Files.”

Stephen Ryan insisted on Landini Brothers on King Street to discuss his new book “The Madonna Files.” The city of Alexandria has a strong hold on the newly minted author’s soul. But like most people who grow up in the same town it was not always that way.

Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna Raises Funds for Two Local Charities

For the last fifteen years, the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna (SCOV) has been hosting their Community Thanksgiving Service along with participating congregations. The monies raised from the service offering are then distributed to local charities.

Residents Warned of Scam

Residents, beware. There’s a new scam happening in the local area and PFC Tara Gerhard, crime prevention officer with the Sully District Police Station, wants people to know about it.

New Exhibition Opens at Vienna Arts Society Center

Award-winning art showcased through January.

There are a lot of things the Vienna Arts Society [VAS] does well: it offers art classes to adults and children; it sponsors and hosts a major art show each fall; it supports a local nonprofit every year with art pieces donated by its artists; it provides children’s activities at community events. Its claim to fame, however, is probably the new exhibitions by local artists it produces every month.

Week in Vienna

Fairfax County police are looking for the person who robbed a BB&T Bank, last Wednesday, Jan. 8, in Oakton. The incident occurred around 11:29 a.m. when a man entered the bank at 2941 Chain Bridge Road.

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Mary Matalin Book Signing

Matalin and her husband James Carville were at the Barnes & Noble at 3651 Jefferson Davis Hwy. on Saturday, Jan. 11.

By the Numbers

The Montgomery County Council will hold full-day worksessions on Jan. 14, 15, 16 and 21, starting at 9:30 a.m. on the first proposed major changes in the County Zoning Ordinance since 1978

Week in Reston

January 25 at 10 a.m. is the date to mark on your calendars. That is when the American Association of University Women of Reston and Herndon jointly with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) will offer a special presentation on human sex trafficking in our communities.

Obituary:Frances Bliss Simmons

Frances Bliss Simmons, 89, of Alexandria, died on Nov. 13, 2013, at Mount Vernon Hospital surrounded by her family.

A Musical Keynote

Sweet Honey in the Rock to highlight Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration.

Reston Community Center presents the 29th Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 18-20. The highlight of this community-wide celebration will be a keynote address by Sweet Honey in the Rock. Audience members will enjoy a community lunch served family-style followed by a keynote address that explores how music and activism have contributed to civil rights movements over the years. The performance will also be sign-language interpreted. Rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music from the rich textures of the African American legacy and traditions, Sweet Honey in the Rock possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, hip hop, ancient lullabies, and jazz improvisation. Sweet Honey’s collective voice, occasionally accompanied by hand percussion instruments, produces a sound filled with soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms. The metaphor of "Sweet Honey in the Rock" captures completely the essence of these African American women whose repertoire is steeped in the sacred music of the Black church, the clarion calls of the civil rights movement, and songs rising out of the struggle for justice everywhere.

Reston Author Releases Third Book in ‘The Taker’ Trilogy

Alma Katsu speaks on her newest book, ‘The Descent,’ and beginning her second career as a writer.

Reston author Alma Katsu’s newest book, “The Descent,” published by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books division, hit bookstore shelves on Jan. 7. The book is the third installment in “The Taker” trilogy, a series of paranormal fantasy novels set in both 19th century and modern New England.

Obituary: Thomas Y. Johnson

Thomas Y. Johnson, 88, of Alexandria, died on Jan. 13, 2014 at Woodbine Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.Mr. Johnson was a former volunteer at Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department, a member of the Potomac Truck and Engine Company #2, and a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge #38.

And the Winners Are …

Trang Nguyen wins spelling bee competition at Herndon Middle School.

“Once you spell the word, there is no going back,” said Nancy Galm, English teacher at the Herndon Middle School on Locust Street. Galm was addressing a group of more than 20 students attending Herndon Middle School who had won or placed their way into the annual spelling bee competition. The competition was held on Jan. 8.

Comstock Runs for Congress

Comstock will run against state Sen. Richard Black (R-13) and Richard Shickle (Frederick) for the Republican nomination.

Virginia State Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34) will be running for the Republican nomination for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District election in 2014. Comstock issued an official statement Jan. 7 about her decision to run, citing her past three terms as a delegate successfully working within the limits of Virginia's state budget as a primary reason behind her decision to run.

McLean Community Center Governing Board Meet

The Governing Board of the McLean Community Center will hold its first meeting of the year at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22. All Governing Board meetings are open to the public. The Center is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue. Tax district residents (Small District One A-Dranesville) who wish to speak during the “Citizen Comment” portion of the meeting are asked to call the Center at 703-790-0123, TTY: 711 to be placed on the agenda.

Capitals Blood Drive: Giving Blood

The Washington Capitals and Inova Blood Donor Services held the Capitals annual winter blood drive on Saturday, Jan. 4, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration in McLean Features Civil Rights Leader Andrew Young

In observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the Alden at the McLean Community Center is presenting Ambassador Andrew Young: “A Continuing Legacy,” at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17. Young, whose efforts have served and shaped the country for more than 50 years, will share personal memories of Dr. King and his years in the Civil Rights movement. Tickets are $20, $10 for MCC district residents. The Alden is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue, inside the McLean Community Center.

Tobacco Challenge

To the Editor: This month is the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report that let everyone know smoking was linked to cancer and other diseases. Much has changed since then, even in Virginia - smokefree restaurants, youth smoking prevention programs, federal tax increases, free phone counseling (1-800-QUIT NOW). All have helped lower adult smoking rates in Virginia to 19 percent.

Day of Service

Arlington for a Clean Environment coordinated volunteers to clean up Barcroft Park at 4200 S Four Mile Run Drive on Saturday, Jan. 4, as part of Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Commonwealth Day of Service events.

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student Achievement Committee (CPMSAC) held its 20th annual Martin Luther King Festival, Jan. 12, at Westfield High.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ at Congregation Har Shalom

A cast of 51 performs classic on Jan. 25-26 in Potomac.

Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the movie, The Har Shalom Players of Potomac is skipping down the yellow brick road with its theater-in-the-round production of L. Frank Baum’s classic “The Wizard of Oz” on Jan. 25-26.

Schools Budget Requires Tough Choices

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Garza’s proposed budget of $2.5 billion for FY 2015 will require an additional $98.1 million, or 5.7 percent increase compared to FY 2014, from Fairfax County.

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Bittersweet Gathering

Sherry Party pays tribute to founders Vola Lawson and Lois Walker.

More than 150 women from throughout the community gathered together Dec. 15 for the 43rd annual Women's Sherry Party, an evening made bittersweet by the recent passing of two of the event's founders. "It's hard to believe Vola and Lois are not here," said vice Mayor Allison Silberberg of Vola Lawson and Lois Walker. "I can still see Vola sitting in her usual chair and Lois checking everyone in at the door."

From Late Night Comedy to Your Bedroom

Why the General Assembly matters more in Virginia than most states.

The Virginia General Assembly began its annual session last week on Jan. 8. The actions of the Virginia General Assembly matter more to localities than it would in many other states. In Virginia, localities have only the power specifically granted by the General Assembly, the Dillon rule. So, for example, Montgomery County and Prince Georges County in Maryland recently voted to increase the minimum wage in those localities. They didn’t need permission from Maryland General Assembly to do so. Arlington and Alexandria might be inclined to follow suit (the District government also voted to increase the minimum wage) but do not have that power.

In Case Someone Is Wondering

I don’t mind being alive, really I don’t. Occasionally though, I receive well-intended inquiries – electronic and otherwise, from people (who know my cancer story) who are sort of wondering if perhaps I’m not. When people haven’t heard from me in a while – and this is a category of people with whom I don’t have regular/recurring interactions, but rather a group of people who reach out and attempt to touch me (figuratively speaking) every three or four months or so – there is a presumption on their part that my silence (so far as they know) is not in fact golden, but rather ominous, as in the cancer might have won and yours truly didn’t. And when I respond, their pleasure/relief at my not having succumbed to the disease is quite positive, generally speaking. Their honesty and joy in learning that I’m still alive is both rewarding and gratifying. Rewarding in that they care and gratifying in that I must be doing something right which enables me to sustain myself through a very difficult set of medical circumstances: stage IV, non-small cell lung cancer, the terminal kind (is there any other kind?).

Let Sun Shine on Virginia’s Financial Disclosure Laws

State legislators turn attention to ethics in wake of McDonnell gift scandal.

As members of the Virginia General Assembly convene for the first time since last February, legislators are stampeding to introduce ethics legislation in response to the gift scandal which engulfed then Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R). The revelations last spring about numerous undisclosed gifts and purported loans from businessman Jonnie Williams to McDonnell — including a $6,500 Rolex watch engraved to the "71st Governor of Virginia" and $35,000 in gifts and catering for his daughters’ weddings — shined a spotlight on Virginia’s porous financial disclosure laws.

Week in Great Falls

In early December, the Friends of the Great Falls Freedom Memorial Committee elected new officers: President - Andy Wilson; Vice President - Sandy Pidgeon; and Treasurer - Mike Kearney. The Friends of the Great Falls Freedom Memorial was formed in 2002 with the mission to build a memorial site in Great Falls dedicated to the residents who have given their lives for our freedom. That Memorial was dedicated on Nov. 13, 2004 and is located beside the Great Falls Library. The Friends supports the mission with yearly ceremonial events on Memorial Day, 9-11 Remembrance, and Veterans Day plus educational programs.

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Summer Camp: Start Planning Now

Applications for many camps open in January.

The frigid January temperatures can make summer feel like a distant fantasy of sunscreen and popsicles, but it’s actually not that far away. If you have children who want to attend camp after the current school year ends, now is the time to start planning, said experts. In fact, registration for many camps begins this month.

Potomac Library To Host ‘Love Crazy’ Author

Parents’ letters inspire memoir.

Looking for some indoor activities during the winter blast? This Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m., Selby Fleming McPhee will speak about her new book “Love Crazy” at the Potomac Library located on 10101 Glenolden Drive.

Foust Addresses ‘Good Morning McLean’ Meeting

Supervisor meets local business leaders, discusses county budget, arrival of metro and McLean projects.

The Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce met Thursday, Jan. 9, for a breakfast sponsored by Middleburg Bank at J. Gilbert’s in McLean to discuss the major issues facing the town in 2014. Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) addressed the chamber’s board of directors and spoke about a variety of issues, including the county budget for Fiscal Year 2015, the ongoing transformation of Tyson’s Corner and potential projects for local parks in McLean.


Five Million Dollars a Day

Virginia taxpayer dollars not returned to them has amounted to five million dollars each day since Jan. 1, and will continue at that rate each day that Virginia refuses to expand its Medicaid program. In addition, at least 400,000 working Virginians will continue to be uninsured.

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Creating Books with Children

Experts say helping little readers become authors can deepen a love of reading.

K.J., 8, and his sister Kalina, 3, love reading books, particularly books they’ve written themselves or with their mother. In fact, K.J. is an avid reader of both homemade and traditionally published books, and his sister is following in his footsteps.

‘Really Strong Dancers, Powerhouse Singers’

Oakton High senior is in the musical, ‘Cats.’

If Oakton High senior Shanelucas Ramsey has been acting a bit catlike recently, there’s a good reason. He has a featured role in the Fairfax Academy’s upcoming production of “Cats.” Featuring a cast and crew of nearly 85, it will burst upon the Fairfax High stage in what promises to be a treat for both the eyes and ears. It’s directed by Mike Replogle, director of the Musical Theatre Academy, and choreographed by Andrea Heininge, who heads the Dance Academy.

Week in McLean

The McLean Community Foundation is accepting proposals for its current grants cycle until Feb. 1, 2014. Applications can be found on the MCF’s website at

Vienna Day of Service Brings Together Nonprofits, Volunteers

More than 75 people explored service volunteering opportunities in the community.

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe created a day of volunteer service to kick off his term as governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. On Saturday, Jan. 4, more than 75 people came to the American Legion hall on Center Street to explore volunteer opportunities that make the community a better place to live in.

Reston Shelter Hosts Homeless on Coldest Days

Large numbers of Reston’s homeless at risk of contracting severe frostbite or hypothermia from subzero wind chills sought refuge at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter this past week. On Jan. 7, temperatures dropped to a record low of three degrees, with wind chills as low as 10 degrees below zero, according to a National Weather Service advisory from that day. The official record low for Reston on Jan. 7 was previously set at 8 degrees in 1988. Frigid conditions caused many to pack into the shelter from Jan. 6 to Jan. 8 due to sub-freezing daytime temperatures.

A Warm Day at Lake Anne

Enjoying a warmer-than-usual winter weekend the Letteri family, of Reston, took these pictures at Lake Anne. In the first photo (from left) Paul, Joseph, 14, Aaron, 10, and Raba Letteri pose with the Bronze Bob, a statute of the Reston founder Bob Simon. In the second photo: Joseph, Aaron and Raba Letteri, and Fred the dog.

Herndon High Students Broadcast ‘Herndon Live’

Students begin TV program with Herndon Community Television.

In January on Friday at 5 p.m. Herndon’s non-profit, cable access PEG station Herndon Community Television (HCTV) presented the first episode of “Herndon Live” a new program showcasing events, reviews, interviews and news. Assisting the production of the first episode were Herndon residents Nancy Rose, Blake Rose, and their son, Brian Rose. “I started volunteering and using the equipment at HCTV when I was about 9 or 10,” said Brian Rose. “I am there to give the Herndon Live group what they need to do their show whether it be advice or teaching them equipment... I am there to make sure things go smoothly.”

Historic Figures Come to Area Schools

Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry impersonators visit Reston and Herndon elementary schools.

Two unlikely historical celebrities paid a visit to Fox Mill Elementary School students on Wednesday, Jan. 8, for a special assembly. When Principal Mie Devers announced that Thomas Jefferson would be a guest at their school that day, the cafeteria filled with sitting children began buzzing with excitement; at the mention of his friend, Patrick Henry, a large number of the sitting students shouted excitedly. Jefferson, played by Bill Barker, and Henry, played by Richard Schumann, arrived at the school cafeteria at 1:30 p.m. Mr. Henry arrived first. After he introduced himself, he spoke of his undying love for the state of Virginia, as well as his recent visit to his good friend George Mason at his “Academy” just up the road. Just as he began to disparage the highly federalized country of France as compared to the United States’ new republic, President Jefferson interrupted, “I beg your pardon!” as he stepped into the cafeteria.

Churchill Road Team Excels at Langley Invitational

The Churchill Road Science Olympiad Team participated at the Langley Invitational on Dec. 15. Under the direction of mentors Jennifer Ezzell (5th grade teacher) and Rajee Ramesh (parent), the Churchill Road team was the top-ranking elementary school team, placing fourth overall among the 21 middle and elementary teams. The sixth graders Ian Palk and Christopher Sole placed first in the Solar System category. The team members are looking forward to the Regionals later this spring.

Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

Praise in Motion, of Shiloh Baptist Church in McLean, performed Sunday, Jan. 12, at the Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student Achievement Committee’s 20th annual Martin Luther King Festival at Westfield High in Chantilly. In photo, the group is dancing to the powerful song, “Break Every Chain.”

Sen. Warner, Rep. Wolf Meet Reston Business Leaders

Cyber security, budget cuts and national debt levels discussed at a Tech Town Hall on Friday, Jan. 10.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-10) spoke at a Tech Town Hall in Reston on Friday, Jan. 10, about the impacts of sequestration and the recently passed budget deal on North Virginia’s information technology and government services industries. Many of Reston’s technology industry executives attended the morning event, which was co-hosted by the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) and the Professional Services Council (PSC).


Mae Balboni of Reston Dies

Mae Balboni died Jan. 8 in her home. Mae was a resident of Reston for 13 years. She is survived by her daughters Mary Balboni and husband Chuck Norris of Reston; Anita Balboni and partner Steve Cooke of Schwenksville, Pa.; Lynda DiPasquale and husband Philip of Collegeville, Pa.; Catherine Balboni of Hatfield, Pa.; and her sons Joseph M. Balboni and wife Tammy of Eagleville, Pa. and Anthony V. Balboni of Cinnaminson, N. J.; her sisters Jane Ricci of South Weymouth, Mass.; Dorothy Wilson and husband Jimmy of Allison Park, Pa.; her brother George Goolsby and partner Rosalee Wiswall of Peobody, Mass; her sister-in-law Beatrice Birt of McKinney, Texas; her brother-in-law Al Rusas of Long Beach, Calif. Local Virginia memorial service is Friday Jan. 17, at 5 p.m. at Adams Green Funeral Home, 721 Elden Street, Herndon. Her final resting place will be in Norristown, Pa. on Saturday Jan. 25, at St Patrick Cemetery where she will be buried with her husband Joseph J. Balboni.

Del. Keam Introduces His New Legislation

Named to House Courts of Justice Committee.

Del. Mark Keam (D-35) began his third term in the Virginia General Assembly on a high note, garnering a new committee assignment and introducing 10 bills. He took the oath of office last Wednesday, Jan. 8, at noon.

Contemporary Art on Exhibit at Katie’s Coffee House

Shared Colors, a contemporary art exhibit showcasing fiber art and mixed media paintings, will be on display at Katie’s Coffee House in Great Falls through January 31. Cindy Grisdela, a contemporary quilt artist, and Jennifer Duncan, a mixed media painter, share studio space in Great Falls, where they have had many opportunities to enjoy one another’s work. Although creating in different media, they have marveled at the remarkable similarities in their use of color and design. This exhibit highlights the unique creative styles of each artist, while emphasizing the parallels in their work.

Lift Me Up! Shares History of Secretariat

The nonprofit kicks off its Good Fences Make Good Neighbors fundraiser in Reston and Great Falls.

Many know the story of Secretariat, a thoroughbred horse who overcame great physical limitations to win the 1973 Triple Crown, taking home wins at the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. However, many may not be aware of Northern Virginia’s historical ties to Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chennery, who rode for the equestrian team for the Madeira School in McLean before graduating in 1939.

Supporting Special Operations Warriors

The girls from Great Falls visited Walter Reed last Wednesday. Girls in picture, from left, are: Saanvi Singireddy, Lizzie Holt, Oksana Vickers, and Maddie Holt. The four made wristbands and sold them at lunch and in the morning at their school, Forestville Elementary, last spring, where the Forestville children and teachers donated close to $400 for the wounded soldiers. The girls are all now in middle school (Vickers and Holts at Kilmer, Singireddy at Cooper.) The girls hope to continue their fundraising in support of Special Operations warriors this year and encourage others to do the same.

The Great Falls Farmers Market Moves Indoors

In January and February the market will operate Saturdays at the Historic Great Falls Grange,

We made a collective decision to run a winter Great Falls Community Farmers Market based on a survey of summer farmers market shoppers. Most wanted an all-year market and agreed to shop year-round in support of the vendors. Everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday market in which many vendors sold out completely before the end of the market, delighting our community with their unique offerings. However, the Farmers’ Almanac predictions for a very cold winter have been proving true. The market cancelled on Dec. 14 due to predictions of a head-on snowstorm. The Jan. 4 market faced a parking lot of ice and snow. We tried to arrange a drive-thru, but people preferred to walk. This past Saturday, rains were heavy – the first (unrelenting) downpour our market ever experienced – definitely dampening the market in all respects.

Area Roundups

AAUW Program Kicks Off 2014—Jan. 25

January 25 at 10 a.m. is the date to mark on your calendars. That is when the American Association of University Women of Reston and Herndon jointly with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) will offer a special presentation on human sex trafficking in our communities.

Vienna Second Grader Chelsea Hu Performed at McAuliffe Inaugural Ceremony

Vienna Louise Archer Elementary School second grader Chelsea Hu performed “America the Beautiful” with her World Children’s Choir at the Saturday, Jan. 11 inauguration of Terry McAuliffe as the 72nd Governor of Virginia.

Sunday, January 12

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

The Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student Achievement Committee (CPMSAC) held its 20th annual Martin Luther King Festival, Jan. 12, at Westfield High.

Thursday, January 9

Classified Advertising January 8, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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Winter Concerts Wow Audiences At Herndon High

Herndon students display their musical skills.

In December, students in the Herndon High choir and band were very active. Members of the Herndon High School Band "Pride of Herndon" went to Hawaii to represent Virginia in the 2013 Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. The Pride of Herndon was awarded Grand Champion honors for their performance. The Herndon High School Choir Department has also been busy with choral groups putting on performances for the holiday season. This included an evening show on Dec. 7 at Herndon Town Square by The Herndon High School Madrigals and Herndon Brass Quintet.

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Wolf to Retire After 34 Years in Congress

Supervisor John Foust running for Democratic nomination, Republican nominee still up in the air.

After 34 years of representing constituents in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10) announced Dec. 17 that he would not seek reelection to the House of Representatives seat he has occupied for 17 terms. Wolf expressed his appreciation toward his family, staff and all of his constituents who supported his efforts in office.

2013: Banner Year in McLean and Great Falls

The total number of home sales in McLean and Great Falls is up in 2013 over 2012. Further every market segment is up year over year except for that in the under $750,000 category. The reason I believe that this segment fell short in terms of number of sales is due to lack of supply. Current inventory level is less than one month for homes to purchase for under $750,000 in McLean/Great Falls, which includes condos. Economists and other experts that analyze the real estate market typically consider a balanced market to be a 6-month supply, thus the current lower price market in McLean and Great Falls is in a seller’s market cycle. This is in line with market conditions experienced throughout 2013.

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First Night Welcomes 2014

Fireworks and Fun Hunt highlight New Year's Eve celebration.

Revelers from as far away as Paris celebrated the New Year in Alexandria as a dazzling display of fireworks lit up the waterfront to signal the arrival of 2014.

Association of Retirees Elects Officers

Dutzman honored for 15 years of service.

More than 70 members and guests joined Police Chief Earl Cook and Fire Chief Adam Thiel in attending the annual Alexandria Retired Police, Fire and Sheriff's Association holiday celebration Dec. 12, where the 2014 officers were sworn in for the coming year.

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‘Curtain Up!’

Edelen shines in Signature Theatre production of "Gypsy."

She was always more tease than strip, and ever since she first shared the stage with Tessie the Tassel Twirler in the 1920s, she was determined to be famous for more than feathers and falsies. She was Gypsy Rose Lee, the queen of burlesque, whose 1959 memoirs inspired the award-winning Broadway musical "Gypsy," now playing at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre.

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Alexandria's New Book Shelf

DreamDog Foundation creates citywide literacy program.

Passionate about sharing the gift of reading, the DreamDog Foundation intends to get books into the hands of every child in need in the City of Alexandria through its new literacy program called Alexandria's Book Shelf.

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Suspicious Death in Springfield

Serena Hansken-Vierimaa, 41, was found dead in her home on New Year’s Day.

Serena Hansken-Vierimaa, 41, of Springfield was found dead by police responding to reports of shots fired in a home on the 7100 block of Healy Drive on New Year’s Day. According to a report released by the Fairfax County Police Department Public Information Office, officers attempted to call the home several times and knocked on the door, but were unable to gain access until 9 p.m.

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Long-time Springfield Resident Shares His Story of Flying

Raymond Gilbert, who served in World War II, will turn 90 later this month.

As long-time Springfield resident Raymond Gilbert prepares to turn 90 years old on Jan. 23, he will continue working on his autobiography and reflect on his time in World War II and as a value engineer for the Department of Defense.

Republican Women of Clifton Launches New Year Speakers Program

The Republican Women of Clifton (RWC) launches its New Year program with two speakers: Louisiana state senator Elbert Guillory, who will talk about the "Presidential Report Card, a review of the President's Performance on National Policy," and Peggy Nienaber, Chief of Program for Faith and Action as well as President of the Capitol Hill Executive Service Club, whose topic is "Changing the hearts and minds of elected officials on Capitol Hill."

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Fairfax Water to Supply City of Fairfax Residents

The City of Fairfax completed the sale of its water utility to Fairfax Water, beginning the process of merging these two water systems.

Shelter Offers ‘Pet Haven’ Services

Many people may not be aware that domestic violence and animal abuse are connected. People may stay in dangerous and traumatic situations in fear of leaving their pets behind to an abusive spouse or partner. The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is launching an expansion of the "Pet Haven" program offering emergency housing, food, supplies and care for pets in domestic violence situations.

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Fairfax Academy Presents Eighth Annual MCT Fest

Original music created by students at Fairfax Academy will be featured at the eighth annual Musical Computer Technology (MCT) Fest on Friday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Sherwood Community Center in the City of Fairfax. Fairfax Academy is one of six high school academies in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

Leadership Fairfax to Host Annual Supervisors Breakfast

The Leadership Fairfax 23rd Annual Board of Supervisors Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 7 - 9:30 a.m. at Hyatt Fair Lakes in Fairfax.

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Starting the New Year with a Hike

Area residents spend New Year’s Day at Mason Neck State Park.

Park rangers led visitors of Mason Neck State Park through a series of hikes on Jan. 1 as part of America’s State Parks First Day Initiative. Mason Neck hosted three hikes on New Year’s Day, each of varying difficulty. Interpretive Ranger Kevin Koons led eager hikers on the third guided hike of the day, which included an easy one-mile walk along the Bay View Trail, providing views of marshlands and Belmont Bay. Koons said the park is famous for its bald eagle sightings.

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Legislators Head to Richmond, Address Upcoming Session

Proposed bills and priorities include ethics reform and ABC Transformation.

As the General Assembly convenes on Jan. 8, several delegates from Fairfax County have written bills that tackle some of the issues they believe are important to Virginians. Del. Dave Albo (R-42) proposed a bill that would get rid of the Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s three person board and would replace them with five citizens with business experience who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state legislature. Members of the current three-person board make six-digit salaries and are appointed by the governor. Albo’s plan would make the position part time and would pay 50 dollars per day.

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Debate Over Residential Studio Units Continues

Housing advocates, Fairfax County supervisors, area residents address affordable housing.

Fairfax County residents have yet to agree on the specifics of residential studio units and are continuing the debate on several aspects of the proposed amendment. As of Jan. 6, the Planning Commission proposed amendment defines residential studios as efficiency units that make up a multiple-family residential building, or part of a building, in which 80 percent of the units must be for those who do not make more than 60 percent of the median income of the area. In the Washington, D.C. area, that is $45,000.

Problem-solving on 2014 Agenda

I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with my Board colleagues and Braddock residents on a number of important issues. Here are some of the key issues that will affect Fairfax County residents in 2014.

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‘Mr. Mac’ Nominated for Grammy Award

Glen McCarthy vying for first-ever music-educator honor.

Glen McCarthy played trumpet in high school; but when his parents gave him a guitar for graduation, it changed the trajectory of his life. He’s played guitar in bands ever since then – yet what’s defined him most, he says, is being a guitar teacher.

Wednesday, January 8

‘Mr. Mac’ Nominated for Grammy Award

Glen McCarthy played trumpet in high school; but when his parents gave him a guitar for graduation, it changed the trajectory of his life. He’s played guitar in bands ever since then — yet what’s defined him most, he says, is being a guitar teacher.

Roundups for 1/8/14

Roundups for 1/8/14

Student History Buffs Wanted for Internship

Juniors in good standing at Chantilly and Westfield high schools and who are interested in history may apply for the newly established Margaret C. Peck Youth Internship program, sponsored by the Sully Foundation, Ltd. This paid, nine-month internship runs from April through December 2014.

Two Fires in Same Night

Local firefighters had their hands full, Saturday, Dec. 28, battling two residential fires in western Centreville on the same night. Both happened between 7 and 8 p.m.

Music Educator Award Details and Prizes

This award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who’ve made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.

Celebrating Legacy of Martin Luther King

For 20 years now, the Chantilly Pyramid Minority Student Achievement (CPMSAC) Committee has celebrated the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Letter: Improving Mental Health Services

The following open letter was addressed to the state senators and delegates representing Fairfax County.

CentreView Bulletin Board for 1/8/14

Bulletin Board for 1/8/14

NOVEC: Conserve Energy During Freeze

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative asks all customers to conserve energy during the cold snap this week by not using dishwashers, ovens, washing machines, and dryers.

Chantilly Teasers for 1/8/14

Chantilly Teasers for 1/8/14

Chantilly High Students Win State-wide Teen Stylin' Awards

Chantilly High students Mia Rickenbach and Diana Tsoy won design awards recently in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) Teen Stylin’ program. Both created dresses based on museum works of art.

Area Roundups

News in the area.

Living With My Decisions

On multiple occasions throughout my nearly five years of being treated for stage IV, non-small cell lung cancer, my oncologist has given me opportunities to stop and/or take a break from my treatment, or to consider alternatives to the normal protocols – for the expressed (literally) purpose of sustaining/enhancing the unexpected, above-average quality of life I have mostly experienced during my nearly non-stop, every three-week chemotherapy infusions which began in early March, 2009. The goal being to enable me to enjoy my life and not be subjected to/beaten down by the ravaging and debilitating effects of chemotherapy.

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Kitchen Organization for the New Year

Local organizers, designers and culinary experts offer smart tips for making space and clearing clutter.

If organizing an unruly kitchen, one where there never seems to be enough space for storage containers and pots and pans, is on your list of resolutions this year, the project might be less daunting than you think. From creating a system for grouping spices to keeping plates in easy reach, local experts share secrets for a well-maintained kitchen. Hang pots and pans inside pantry doors, says Sallie Kjos of GreyHunt Interiors in Chantilly. "It organizes them, but decoratively can look effective."

Real Estate

2013: Banner Year in McLean and Great Falls

The total number of home sales in McLean and Great Falls is up in 2013 over 2012. Further every market segment is up year over year except for that in the under $750,000 category. The reason I believe that this segment fell short in terms of number of sales is due to lack of supply. Current inventory level is less than one month for homes to purchase for under $750,000 in McLean/Great Falls, which includes condos. Economists and other experts that analyze the real estate market typically consider a balanced market to be a 6-month supply, thus the current lower price market in McLean and Great Falls is in a seller’s market cycle. This is in line with market conditions experienced throughout 2013.

Putting Always Kids First

McLean basketball community mourns the loss of John Micocci.

Both the first time and last time I saw John Micocci, I was reffing house league basketball in McLean. The first time was in 2002. I was a new ref, which is to say a ref who has not learned the limits or extent of the “power” of the position. John was the age-group coordinator for the high school girls’ house league in McLean.

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Top Designs of 2013

Local builders look back on their most impressive spaces.

From outdoor patios with the comforts of indoor family rooms to a stark white bathroom replete with Carrara marble flooring, local designers said they’ve created some spectacular living spaces in 2013. Their personal favorites may be surprising, and include a lot of kitchens and bathrooms.

Wolf Receives Character Does Count Award

U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-10) was honored by the Patriot Republican Women’s Club at their annual Christmas Luncheon on Saturday, Dec. 14tat Assaggi Osteria in McLean. The Character Does Count Award is given annually to an outstanding leader who demonstrates ongoing adherence to the highest moral and spiritual ideals in personal as well as public behavior. Rep. Wolf’s long and distinguished career in Congress, his outstanding record of promoting human rights around the world, and his expertise in protecting Americans both here and in U.S. foreign operations makes him the ideal recipient of this award. Wolf’s strong leadership continues as he works diligently to convince Congress to investigate the security and intelligence failures that lead up to the attack and death of American citizens in Benghazi.

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Bridge Work To Affect Route 29

Lane closures begin this week on Route 29 over Little Rocky Run, as the Virginia Department of Transportation replaces the structurally deficient bridge to improve safety and increase traffic flow.

Letter: Favoring Heavy Rail

Del. Scott Surovell has long advocated extension of the Metro Yellow line along the Richmond Highway through Mt. Vernon to Ft. Belvoir as the best solution to engender a long list of urbanistic, spatial, aesthetic, environmental and financial improvements to the entire corridor. He asked recently that others provide their opinion on the matter as the final steps in the study are reaching their conclusion and I am pleased to do so.

Letter: Ensure Qualified Appointments

At the Dec. 3, 2013 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, at Supervisor Hyland's request, the prospective re-appointment of Elizabeth Martin to an at-large seat on the County Wetlands Board was deferred and letters sent to the BOS in opposition to her re-appointment (including from me) were referred to the County Attorney's Office so that they can investigate allegations in those letters concerning actions by the Wetlands Board and Ms. Martin, and report back to the Board of Supervisors.

Letter: Improving Mental Health Services

The following open letter was addressed to the state senators and delegates representing Fairfax County: I apologize for not being able to attend this year’s hearing. I want to thank you all for once again allowing your constituents to voice our concerns and express our wishes for this new legislative session.

Learning To Cope with Death of Loved One

Centreville author pens memoir to help others.

At the age of 13, Mary C. Rosenthol found out her mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. By the time she reached her early 20s, her mother, Mary Ellen Brady, died on Dec. 23, 2001 and a year and seven months later her father, Charles Donald Brady, died from the same disease on July 23, 2002.

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Cartoon: Fly My Pretties... FLY!!

Fly My Pretties...

Trendiest Color for 2014: Radiant Orchid

Local designers offer tips on using this exotic hue tastefully and share their own color predictions.

It has been called exotic, vibrant and even magical. Now it has been named the 2014 color of the year: orchid, or radiant orchid to be exact.

Honoring Best in Business

New award recognizes outstanding non-profit organization.

Distinguished chamber members were recognized at the annual Holiday Biz Awards Celebration hosted by Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce.

ColumnL Planning for Your Family’s Future

Believe it or not, you have an estate. In fact, nearly everyone does. Your estate is comprised of everything you own — your car, home, other real estate, checking and savings accounts, investments, life insurance, furniture and personal possessions. No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate — and, as the old saying goes, you can’t take it with you.

Week in Alexandria: 1/08/14

Highlights from this week in Alexandria.

Flourishing After 55

Fun senior activities

Decriminalizing Suicide

General Assembly to consider abolishing common-law crime of suicide.

Suicide is illegal in Virginia, one of the few states that has not yet abolished the English common-law tradition of criminalizing the act of intentionally causing one's own death.

Arlington Bulletin Board for 1/8/14

Arlington Bulletin Board for 1/8/14

State Legislators Head to Richmond

Proposed bills and priorities include ethics reform and ABC transformation

As the General Assembly convenes on Jan. 8, several delegates from Fairfax County have written bills that tackle some of the issues they believe are important to Virginians.

Twisted Psychology

TC teacher sentenced to year for inappropriate contact with female students.

TC teacher sentenced to year for inappropriate contact with female students.

Arlington School Notes for 1/8/14

School Notes for 1/8/14

Independent Progressive

2014 More Interesting Than 2013

Apart from the Democrats’ sweep of Virginia’s top three executive branch jobs, 2013 wasn’t a very good year. Reston’s long-awaited rail service failed to make it to Wiehle Avenue on time. Not to be outdone, Supervisor Hudgins’ Task Force writing Phase One of the new Comprehensive/Master Plan for life with rail in Reston also failed to arrive on time—it was due for completion in 2010! And, the Reston Association Board veered off its tracks. It failed a test of its natural areas stewardship role in a deal so lacking in merit and transparency that most of RA’s own distinguished Environmental Advisory Committee resigned in protest.

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Caroling at Talk Oaks

On Dec. 7, a group of families (Gregory, Hansing, Miller, and Roggeband), from the community visited the Assisted Living place at Talk Oaks in Reston for Caroling. In addition to the Caroling the kids presented individual pieces of music on piano, flute and violin. The seniors enjoyed it and they were happy to see so many smiling faces at the end of the Caroling/Concert.

‘Task Force Smile’ To Help Critically Ill Military Children

For more than a decade, Alexandria resident and Realtor Linda Wolf has been collecting toys for hospitalized children in the Washington D.C.- metropolitan area. An independent volunteer and toy collection organizer at National Children’s Medical Center for 11 years, she moved her efforts over to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) with a program she started, “Task Force Smile,” under the non-profit America’s Adopt a Soldier.

New Year Celebrated At ArtSpace Herndon

Families and friends enjoy annual New Year’s gala.

“The ArtSpace is always packed for this event, everything from the children’s program to the jazz concert,” said Al Robertson, a Herndon resident and musician who preformed at the ArtSpace Herndon New Year’s Eve gala. “I thank the Town of Herndon and the Herndon Board of Directors and committees at ArtSpace for an outstanding community program.” Hundreds of visitors from around the

Week in Vienna

Town Offices to Observe Martin Luther King. Jr. Day Town of Vienna offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The Vienna Community Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; no classes, drop-in programs or activities will be held. Refuse collection will be collected as normal on Monday, Jan. 20. Public safety services will not be impacted.

Traditional Needlework Exhibit at Greater Reston Arts Center

Greater Reston Arts Center is pleased to present STITCH, a group exhibition examining the growing popularity of traditional needlework and its incorporation into diverse forms of contemporary art. The exhibition will run from Jan. 16 through March 1, at the gallery, located in Reston Town Center. Traditionally regarded as a craft or relegated to the category of “women’s work,” needlework—including stitching, embroidery, knitting, and crochet—has become an increasingly vital element in contemporary mixed-media compositions.

Toy Trains Displayed At Colvin Run Mill

Families enjoy annual train display.

During the last weeks of December, the interior of Colvin Run Mill parks barn was filled with 250 feet of train track, nine trains and more than 500 miniature imitation trees for the 24th annual train display created by Jim and his wife Jo Anne Stapleton. “This is the only hobby I’ve ever had,” said Jim Stapleton, a resident of Purcellville in Loudoun County.

Grateful to the Community

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 47th annual Holiday Homes Tour and MarketPlace. Preliminary estimates show that the two events successfully met our goals of providing essential support to local charities and nonprofits. The proceeds will be especially meaningful in this time of general need, which is felt most strongly in the holiday season. Thank you again for your generous support. Best wishes to all for the holidays and a fulfilling new year. Mildred Thompson, President Woman’s Club of McLean

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Supervisor Foust and the Council for the Arts of Herndon Deliver Shoes and Gift Cards to Hutchison Elementary School

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and Signe Friedrichs, executive director of the Council for the Arts of Herndon delivered an assortment of new shoes and gift cards donated by Dranesville residents and members of the Council for the Arts of Herndon to Hutchison Elementary School Principal Judy Baldwin on Monday, Dec. 16.

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Town of Vienna Poised for a Robust 2014

Town leaves 2013 on strong footing.

By all appropriate measurements – Moody’s, Standard and Poor, the Vienna Town Council and Town Manager – Vienna’s way-of-life and financial footing remain in the exceptionally healthy zone. Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton called 2013 a “successful year as typical for the town,” referring to the town’s financial position as strong and robust. “Our budget was reasonably put together with a goal in mind that the services residents expect be provided at the same excellent, prudent level that we’ve always had,” said Payton.

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Patricia Rae (Pat) Cochenour, 71, of Reston Dies

Patricia Rae (Pat) Cochenour, 71, died on Dec. 29, 2013, at her home in Reston, after a long battle with cancer. Pat was born in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 5, 1942, to Ada May (Thorowgood) Cox and the late Thomas E. Cox, Jr. She married James R. Cochenour on Aug. 20, 1980.

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Style and Harmony on a Bookshelf

Clever ideas for organizing bookcases.

Whether one’s bookshelves house a literary library or a mixture of photos and media equipment, most do double or triple storage duty. Because bookshelves are multifunctional, however, it is easy to end up with a chaotic and unorganized space.

Shakespeare Comes to Alden

American Shakespeare Center performs a double-bill of the Bard celebrating his 450th birthday.

In such a Shakespeare-rich area, "no one does it like the American Shakespeare Center...Shakespeare is so alive in their hands," said Sarah N. Schallern, Performing Arts Director, the Alden at the McLean Community Center. "They have quite a fan base, and to be able to host them in our beautiful, intimate Alden Theatre is a joy and an honor."

Setting the Tone

First redevelopment proposal of waterfront plan heads to City Council.

Developer Carr City Centers wants to build the Cummings Hotel, a five-story building with 120 hotel rooms, a restaurant and a meeting room.


People Notes

The Arlington Young Democrats held elections for their 2014 Executive Board at the NRECA Building in Ballston.

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Sugar Plum Fairy From South Lakes

South Lakes Senior Rebecca Mattern captivates audiences.

For the past 41 years, Conservatory Ballet dancers have ushered in the holiday season with their annual production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. This year more than 125 Northern Virginia elementary, middle and high school students filled the Center Stage’s dressing rooms and wings, eagerly awaiting their cue to take the stage.

Bathroom Organization for New Year

Simple strategies for storing bathroom essentials.

Cluttered bathrooms where the medicine cabinet contains everything from batteries to old toothbrushes and a linen closet where towels and sheets are intermingled with flashlights and scrub brushes can be the bane of anyone’s existence. However, a new year can offer a fresh start in one of the most-used rooms in one’s home.

Taylor Run Neighborhood

Caroling and the bird census at Taylor Run Neighborhood.

Children’s Connection: What an Inspiration!

To the Editor: I just finished reading the McLean Connection, Children's Connection 2013. I am so impressed by the children, what an inspiration they are! Thank you and the children for this special gift.

Week in Herndon

Sen. Warner, Rep. Wolf to Hold Town Hall

The Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) and the Professional Services Council (PSC) announced that Sen. Mark Warner and congressman Frank Wolf will participate in a town hall forum with members of the region’s technology and contracting community. During the event, Sen. Warner and Rep. Wolf will explain the budget deal and agreed-upon sequestration levels recently passed by Congress. In addition, they will discuss the impact these issues will have on the local economy. The event is schedule for Friday, Jan. 10, with registration and networking at 8 – 8:30 a.m. and the program with Sen. Warner and Rep. Wolf at 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. The event will be held at Sprint, 12524 Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston.

First Night Celebrated in Vienna

VBA estimates 3,500 to 4,000 party-goers took part in first annual town New Year’s Eve block party.

Between 3,500 and 4,000 local families and friends celebrated the last night of 2013 at the First Night Vienna block-party presented by the Vienna Business Association [VBA] and the Town of Vienna. Church Street closed down for five hours between Mill and Center streets as families strolled the road, stopping at fire pits to roast marshmallows, sample free hot chocolate and popcorn, and listen to the music presented at four venues. The kids’ tent, providing family-focused music and entertainment, offered face-painting, party hats and glow-sticks. Even on a cold night, the moonbounce had lines.

Week in Great Falls

Military Appreciation Monday to Honor Navy SEAL Foundation On Monday, Jan. 13, monthly Military Appreciation Monday dinner will be in support of The Navy SEAL Foundation. Make your reservation for either the 5:30 or 7:30 seating at the Old Brogue by calling 703-759-3309. Visit to learn more about this organization and the help it provides to injured combat veterans and their families. If not familiar with the MAM events, simply come enjoy a dinner at the Old Brogue in Great Falls. The cosponsors, the Brogue and Bob Nelson of Keller Williams Realty each make a ten percent donation based on how much you spend on dinner.

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Reston Business Honored at Event in Centreville

The Centreville Labor Resource Center (CLRC) has been open two years now, making a huge difference in the lives of the day laborers it serves. And on Saturday, Dec. 7, those involved in the center’s success celebrated its anniversary. The Centreville Immigration Forum is responsible for the center’s continuing operation, and during the ceremony, CIF President Alice Foltz presented framed certificates to several people, acknowledging their contributions to the CLRC.

New Leadership for Democrats

Clarence Tony elected chairman of the Alexandria Democratic Committee.

Only a few weeks ago, Democrats swept all five of Virginia's statewide offices — largely with the help of organizations from Northern Virginia.


Broken Promises

Last month the disAbility Law Center (dLCV) issued a report on the condition of mental health services in Virginia. It is an eye-opening report: Broken Promises, the Failure of Mental Health Services in Virginia. Its findings are direct: “Despite the promises of reform to the mental health service system in the last decade, Virginia’s mental health services system fails to serve many of those in need of its services.”

To Be a Jew in the Free World!

The challenges of freedom & identity in the modern era.

When the age of faith gave way to the age of reason and the modern world was launched, the Jewish people were profoundly affected. With the emergence of the United States and the enshrinement of religious freedom as a fundamental right of all citizens, the nature of Jewish life in the Diaspora entered a radically new era.

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Vienna Brick Builders Win First-place Award

A team of sixth grade Louise Archer students won the first-place award for Strategy and Innovation in Division 1 at the 2013 VA/DC First Lego League Robotics tournament. The Vienna Brick Builders team is composed of Mike Duncan, Justin Hu, Corey Lee, Sareena Miley, Neha Shirolkar and Aidan Wiktorowicz. According to First Lego League, the Strategy and Innovation award "recognizes a team that uses solid engineering practices and a well-developed strategy to design and build an innovative, high performing robot." This tournament is the world's largest robotics tournament.

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Lower Level Offers Multi-generational Solution

Remodeling a dark basement gives family spaces for grandparents on extended visits and play room for everyone.

Eric and Tina Park, both physicians, were already quite busy 10 years ago when they purchased a 3,400 square foot two-level neo-Colonial near McLean.

Letter: Lack of Common Sense

To the Editor

Letter: Signs of Safer Times

To the Editor

Letter: Culture of Arrogance

To the Editor

Letter: Arbitrary Cancellations

To the Editor

Letter: Possible Misperception

To the Editor

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Building on Its History

Arlington Unitarian Church dispalys its social justice roots.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington has built a place for meeting, singing and advancing social justice and responding to this need for a community connection.

Much To Be Done

Perspectives from those working on community’s front lines.

In this second in the series the leaders of private organizations also ranked transportation improvements, expansion of health care services, and funding the needs of public school programs at or near the top of their lists.

Association of Retirees Elects Officers

Dutzman honored for 15 years of service.

More than 70 members and guests joined Police Chief Earl Cook and Fire Chief Adam Thiel in attending the annual Alexandria Retired Police, Fire and Sheriff's Association holiday celebration Dec. 12, where the 2014 officers were sworn in for the coming year.

Alexandria's New Book Shelf

DreamDog Foundation creates citywide literacy program.

Passionate about sharing the gift of reading, the DreamDog Foundation intends to get books into the hands of every child in need in the City of Alexandria through its new literacy program called Alexandria's Book Shelf.

Gifts That Give Hope

Visitors attend the third annual Gifts that Give Hope Alternative Gift Fair inside Calvary United Methodist Church on Dec. 14.

Gifts That Give H

Visitors attend the third annual Gifts that Give Hope Alternative Gift Fair inside Calvary United Methodist Church on Dec. 14.

WFCM Thrift Store Closing

The WFCM thrift store will close August 15, 2014.

Bulletin Board for 1/8/14

Bulletin Board for 1/8/14

Alexandria Bulletin Board for 1/8/14

Winter Programs offered in Alexandria.

Surovell Offers Government Reform Bills

Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) is introducing five bills for consideration by the General Assembly designed to close loopholes identified by ethics abuses identified during 2013.

Calendar Events for 1/8/14

Calendar Events from 1/8/14

Calendar Events for 1/8/14

Calendar Events for 1/8/14

Capital Debate

Streetcar funding to take center stage during consideration of capital improvement plan.

For years, the debate over streetcars has been about planning and vision. Now members of the Arlington County Board are about to reach into the pockets of taxpayers, including the $300 million project in the capital improvement plan.

Aquatics Facility Underwater

County officials delay $80 million facility after construction bids bust the budget.

Construction bids came in "significantly higher" than estimates, so she would not be bringing the construction contract to the County Board in early 2014 as expected. Now county officials have launched an investigation to determine why the bids were so high and what the county's next steps should be.

Calendar Events for 1/8/14

Calendar Events for 1/8/14

Alexandria Calendar for 1/8/14

The Alexandria Calendar for 1/8/14

New Year’s Resolutions To Live By

New Year’s Resolutions To Live By

Local Ping-Pong Club Brings New Look to the Table

On the Job with Potomac Country Table Tennis Club President Herman Yeh.

Accordingly, during his club’s 2013 Fall Open at the Potomac Community Center, Yeh snapped a picture of more than 100 ping-pong competitors and fans in attendance. Then, using the image as masthead, Yeh set about creating a new website to encourage more people to join in the sport.

2014: Election Year

Candidate filing deadline in February.

With almost all state and local offices on the ballot in 2014, intense jockeying is underway between potential candidates for many offices.

School Notes for 1/8/14

School Notes for the week of 1/8/14.

Monday, January 6

On Bulova’s 2014 Radar Screen

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova discusses the issues she sees taking center stage in the county in the coming year.

Thursday, January 2

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Top Potomac Sports Moments of 2013

Here is a look at the top Potomac sports moments of 2013.

Top Reston, Herndon Sports Moments of 2013

Here is a look at the top Reston and Herndon sports moments of 2013.

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Top Great Falls, McLean Sports Moments of 2013

Here is a look at the top Great Falls and McLean sports moments of 2013.

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Top Arlington Sports Moments of 2013

Here is a look at the top Arlington sports moments of 2013.

Classified Advertising January 1, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

Wednesday, January 1

New Name, New Look, Same Community Coverage

Chantilly Connection, formerly the Centre View Northern Edition.

Welcome to the Chantilly Connection, formerly known as the Centre View Northern Edition. The new name and new look (The Connection newspapers have a full photo on the cover) are intended to clarify the mission of the paper and its place in the Connection family.

Top Local Issues for 2014

Centre View asked various, local leaders what they believe will be the top issues facing the local area in 2014.


Costly initiatives, a special election and steady rise in student enrollment.

In looking ahead for what Arlington will be facing in 2014, a number of issues have carried forward from last year.

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‘Task Force Smile’ To Help Critically Ill Military Children

Effort begins with Walter Reed.

For more than a decade, Alexandria resident and Realtor Linda Wolf has been collecting toys for hospitalized children in the Washington D.C.- metropolitan area.

Top Sports Moments of 2013

The year 2013 provided several exciting moments in local sports.

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Cartoon: 2014 - Already has Issues

Already has Issues

Ceramic Therapy for a Wounded Warrior

Art assists veteran’s recovery.

His treatment at Fort Belvoir includes vision and speech therapy, treatment to improve his memory and physical training. All of that is helping, Meadows said, but he surprises everyone when he identifies the key to his ongoing recovery — ceramics.

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Potomac Chapter of Virginia Native Plant Society Donates Flora of Virginia to Arlington County

Steve Young, vice president of the Virginia Native Plant Society’s Potomac chapter, presented a copy of the Flora of Virginia to the Arlington County Board at the Board's Dec. 17 meeting.

Bulletin Board for 1/1/14

Bulletin Board items for 1/1/14.

Jay Fisette to Serve as 2014 Arlington County Board Chairman

Arlington County Board Vice Chairman Jay Fisette will serve as the Board Chairman for 2014, outgoing Chairman J. Walter Tejada announced Tuesday.

Julie Crenshaw Van Fleet Dies at 61

Longtime Old Town resident Julie Crenshaw Van Fleet died Dec. 18, 2013 at her home in Alexandria.

Santa's Helpers

BFSPA makes holidays bright for area children.

BFSPA makes holidays bright for area children.

Priorities for ‘14

Elected officials cite accomplishments and challenges.

This is the first in a three-part series on the accomplishments of 2013 and the priorities for 2014 for Mount Vernon by local and state elected officials. Community leaders will share their observations in subsequent parts.

“Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs, Jan. 6-14.

Looking to Hear from Readers in New Year

As local, weekly newspapers, the Gazette Packet’s mission is to deliver news readers need close to home, to help readers enjoy great local places and events, to advocate for community good, to call attention to unmet needs, to provide a forum for dialogue on local concerns, and to celebrate and record milestones and events in community and people’s lives.

Alexandria Bulletin Board for 1/1/14

Alexandria Bulletin Board for 1/1/14.

Mount Vernon Military Notes for 1/1/14.

Mount Vernon Military Notes for 1/1/14.

Potomac Man Sentenced for Banned Services to Iran

A naturalized U.S. citizen born in Iran and living in Potomac was sentenced Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, to eight years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiring to illegally provide satellite related services to Iran in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and Iran Trade Embargo.

Wrapping up Joy for Christmas

Students, Scouts, police brighten holiday at Hanley Shelter.

The children living in the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter may not have many possessions; but on Christmas Day, they had presents.

Top Sports Moments of 2013: Potomac

The year 2013 provided several exciting moments in local sports. For Whitman High School, the girls’ basketball team won a region title before suffering a one-point loss in the state semifinals. The girls’ soccer team made it all the way to the state final --- and won. For Wootton, the golf team repeated as state champion while the field hockey team fell just short of a state title. Here is a look at the top moments in Potomac sports for 2013.

Letter: More People, More Cars

To the Editor

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board for 1/1/14

Mount Vernon Bulletin Board for 1/1/14.

Herrity’s Top Local Issues for 2014

Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) talks about what he believes will be the top issues this year in Fairfax County.

Hoping for an Angel

Rising Hope volunteer needs help for his son.

A volunteer with years of service at Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church which aids the needy along the Route 1 corridor, Abderrahim Lahlou believes people can be angels.

Holy Child Freshman Wins Junior Grand Prix Medals in Ice Dancing

Lorraine McNamara was 3 years old when she gingerly stepped onto the ice at a local skating rink while her mom was taking a lesson. Eleven years later, she is an accomplished ice dance competitor.

Zoning In On Deer?

Archery hunters to use bow and arrows 50 yards from homes?

Bill MC 5-14 is just one of the hundreds of Bills that Maryland’s Delegates and Senators will debate when the 434th session of Maryland’s General Assembly convenes at noon on Jan. 8, 2014 in Annapolis.

Letter: Targeting Seniors

To the Editor

Editorial: Looking to Hear from Readers in New Year

If you know of a person or an organization doing important work, something newsworthy or something that might make a good feature story, let us know.

Letter: Future of Woodlawn

To the Editor

Letter: Focus On Education

To the Editor

Letter: A Waterfront Parable

To the Editor

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Cookies, Cookies Everywhere

Centreville High SGA members brought in and packaged 6,240 cookies on Dec. 12 to donate to Our Neighbor’s Child for local families in need.

Letter: Importance of Compomise

To the Editor

Centreview Bulletin Board for 1/1/14

Centreview Bulletin Board for 1/1/14

WMCCA Looks at Local Drinking Water Supply

WMCCA Meeting at the Potomac Community Center

Holiday Cheer Spreads to Homebound Seniors

Senior Services of Alexandria’s elves were spreading holiday cheer to homebound Alexandria’s seniors.

Potomac Bulletin Board for 1/1/14

Potomac Bulletin Board for 1/1/14

Letter: City Did Not Listen

To the editor

A Look at Top Local Stories of 2013

Interesting, exciting and dramatic events happen all year long in the Centreville-Chantilly-Clifton area. Below were some of the top local stories of 2013.

Potomac Calendar for 1/1/14

Potomac calendar for 1/1/14.

Centreview Calendar for 1/1/14

Centreville calendar for 1/1/14

Arlington Calendar for 1/1/14

Arlington calendar for 1/1/14

Arlington County Board Accepts Updated Bluemont Neighborhood Conservation Plan

The Arlington County Board today accepted the updated Bluemont Neighborhood Conservation Plan, allowing the Bluemont Civic Association to pursue funding to transform the neighborhood to an “urban village” with slower traffic, better sidewalks and revitalized commercial corridors.

More Challenges For Metro Station

Series of setbacks have delayed Environmental Impact Study of Potomac Yard station.

The future is uncertain for the Potomac Yard Metro station, a long-planned stop on the blue and yellow lines between the Braddock Road station and the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport station.

Looking at the Year Ahead

In looking ahead for what Alexandria will be facing in 2014, a number of issues have carried forward from last year.

Alexandria Calendar for 1/1/14

Alexandria calendar for 1/1/14.

Centreview Roundups for 1/1/14

The editor presents the roundups for the week of 1/1/14.

Library Has Some Helpful Friends

Everyone needs friends, even a library. And the Friends of the Centreville Regional Library provide an invaluable service by buying items the library needs, but Fairfax County doesn’t fund.

Firefighters and Friends collect more than 3,500 toys for area children.

Christmas came a few days early for more than 100 children from local Head Start programs as they picked out toys during the annual Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue toy drive Dec. 17 at Penn Daw Station 11.