Stories for March 2014

Stories for March 2014


Friday, March 28

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Robinson Baseball Rallies to Beat Marshall

Rams score three in the seventh for walk-off win.

The Robinson baseball team improved to 3-0 Thursday with a 6-5 win over Marshall.

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‘Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles’

Liberty Middle presents the musical, ‘Fiddler on the Roof Jr.’

Featuring a cast and crew of 45, Liberty Middle School presents “Fiddler on the Roof Jr.” Show times are Thursday-Saturday, April 3, 4 and 5, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door and during school lunches.

Spring in the Offing

Power tool retailer celebrates season.

On the day before spring arrived this year, a stubborn bank of snow signaled the “pre-season” event held at Virginia Outdoor Power Equipment Co.

Thursday, March 27

Classified Advertising March 26, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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ArtStream Performances Return

Inclusive Theater Companies debut original musicals.

This spring, two original theatrical productions are hitting the stage of Gunston Theater One in Arlington. Brought to audiences by the non-profit organization, ArtStream, the productions have casts of talented adults with a range of disabilities.

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McAuliffe Talks Medicaid Expansion

Patients share stories at Medicaid expansion roundtable.

Just a few days before the Virginia General Assembly convened in a special session in Richmond to decide on the budget and the possibility of Medicaid expansion, Gov. Terry McAuliffe met with patients of Alexandria Neighborhood Health Services in Arlington, as they shared with him how Medicaid expansion would change their lives for the better.

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Flight Trampoline Park Opens in Springfield

Kids and adults welcome for spring fun.

The area surrounding Interstate 95 off of Fullerton Road in Springfield isn’t exactly known for a variety of activities for fun. Filled with warehouses and industrial parks, the area has been in need of a fun activity for the whole family for some time now.

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Commemorate Women’s History in Lorton

Workhouse Prison Museum details the women’s suffrage movement.

March may be designated as Women’s History Month, but the Workhouse Prison Museum, located in Lorton, is open all year long to those who wish to learn more about women’s fight for the right to vote for more than just one month.

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Fairfax County Hosts Students from Japan

23 students also visited Japan last summer.

Last summer, 23 students studying Japanese at Lake Braddock, Hayfield and South Lakes High Schools received a full scholarship to visit Japan for ten days as part of the KAKEHASHI Project, a cultural exchange program that aims to connect students from Japan and the U.S.

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Rogers Honored As ‘Driving Force’

Joan Rogers has served as president of Friends of Fairfax Station for 19 years.

Described by members as driven, passionate and a pleasure to work with, Joan Rogers, the outgoing president of the Friends of Fairfax Station, was honored for her contributions at the group’s annual meeting on March 24.

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Lee High School Students Visit Port Isobel

IB environmental systems and societies students learn about the Chesapeake Bay.

Before beginning their trip to Port Isobel, an island in the Chesapeake Bay, students in Rachel Clausen’s International Baccalaureate (IB) environmental systems and societies class at Lee High School had to do something that today is almost unheard of: turn in their cell phones and watches and spend some time without technology.

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Area Residents Depend On Medicaid Coverage

Surovell, Puller host Medicaid expansion town hall.

Before heading to Richmond to debate what Sen. Toddy Puller describes as the “biggest battle” that will occur during this session of the General Assembly, Puller joined Del. Scott Surovell and Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel to discuss Medicaid expansion and its possible impact on the Mount Vernon and Lee communities.

In Search of ‘Game Changing’ Ideas

Local legislators reflect on social issues addressed by Virginia General Assembly in 2014.

At a presentation hosted by SALT [Social Action Linking Together) on March 22, more than 50 community activists gathered to hear local legislators offer brief comments on social progress in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s 2014 General Assembly session. The presentation was hosted at American Legion 180.

FCPS Students Earn 27 National Scholastic Awards

Fairfax County Public Schools students earned 27 national awards in the National Scholastic Art Awards program sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Nima Jeizan of Marshall High School earned an American Visions Medal—equivalent to a best in show for the nation—and Elisabeth Hughes of Oakton High School earned a Gold Medal and Best in Grade Award. Gold Key award-winning entries from the Fairfax region were judged at the national level against winning artwork from across the country where they earned Gold Medals, Silver Medals, American Visions Medals, and Best in Grade Awards. National medalists will be celebrated at an award ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City in May. Select national award winning work will be included in an exhibition in New York, and a traveling exhibition over the coming year.

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Giving Haitians New Smiles

It has been nearly four years since an earthquake killed hundreds of thousands in Haiti. Much aid has been given to Haiti, yet the country still struggles with security and health care issues. Pastor Randy Beeman recently led a group of 16 people from the Antioch Christian Church, 1860 Beulah Road in Vienna on the latest mission trip to Delmas, Haiti, the largest suburb of Port-au-Prince. Robert Morabito, a dentist in Falls Church, his staff, and family, took more than $10,000 worth of supplies and toothbrushes. Their information can be found at

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Fire Ball Auction Hottest Ticket in Town

First-responders volunteered to raise funds for Vienna Volunteer Fire Department.

More than 100 friends and citizens came out on March 21 to support the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department’s fundraiser, the 2nd Annual Fire Ball Auction. Community businesses donated prizes for the silent auction and the raffle, and dedicated firefighters and EMTs donated themselves in a live auction. Bidding for an organized group dinner-date with a first-responder started at $40 and guests sent the bidding in the hundreds of dollars. Twelve firefighters and EMTs volunteered as auction prizes.

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‘We Felt Like We Deserved It’

Vienna teen competed in synchronized ice skating Nationals.

Since age 5, ice skating has been a huge part of Brynn Thomas’s life – and the Madison High freshman wouldn’t have it any other way. She does synchronized skating and, she said, “The thought of going on slippery ice on tiny, thin blades is thrilling to me.” In synchronized skating, team members skate to music in unison while demonstrating their teamwork, speed and ability to perform intricate formations and challenging step sequences. And Thomas and her teammates on the Arlington-based Capitol Steps competed recently in the Synchronized Skating National Competition in Colorado Springs.

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Creek Restoration Project Honored

The Community Appearance Alliance of Northern Virginia (CAA) last week honored the Wolftrap Creek restoration project. Town of Vienna and Fairfax County representatives accepted an award recognizing the two entities’ partnership that transformed a section of Wolftrap Creek in Vienna’s Wildwood Park. Because of it, the creek was changed from a deeply incised channel with eroding banks to an environmental benefit for people and animals. The work restored more than 2,500 feet of the Creek by reshaping the stream banks to a gentle slope and planting vegetation.

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Wolftrap Elementary Wins Odyssey of the Mind Competition

Students from Wolftrap Elementary School competed at the NoVa North Odyssey of the Mind Region 9 Tournament, which took place at Oakton High School on March 8. Wolftrap Elementary's Division II Team competing for Problem #3,“It's How We Rule” placed first for the second year in a row, and will advance to the State Tournament in Rocky Mount, Va. on April 26. This was the first year that the sixth grade team participated in Division II where they competed against sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams from across the region. Team members are: Kiran Gowda, Wendy McHone, Ruhi Mehta, Valerie Nayak, Michael Shi, Katarina Stefanik and Lauen Van Stone, coached by Rachelle Stefanik and Tracy McHone.

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Charles "CJ" Soschin, Erin Rose Searer Engaged

Nancy and Alan Soschin of Springfield announced the engagement of their son, Charles Jay to Erin Rose Searer. Charles, "CJ" Soschin is a 2000 graduate of West Springfield High School and a 2005 graduate of George Washington University. Charles earned his J.D. from Widener University School of law in 2009.

Goldfish Swim School Now Taking Pre-registration

A swim school that has turned a non-swimmer into a triathlete in 15 months is headed to Reston.

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Final Days of Voting in RA Election

Election results will be released on April 8.

Eight candidates filed to run for open seats on the Reston Association Board of Directors this year. The Board of Directors determines the Reston Association’s goals and policies. The candidate for the Apartment Owners Representative position is Ellen A. Graves.

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GRACE Opens Emerging Visions Exhibit

Art of local high school students on display.

At the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), a new exhibit has opened displaying the art of 62 students from three area high schools, Herndon, Oakton, and South Lakes. The exhibit, “Emerging Visions: Complexities” is the second exhibit GRACE is showing to celebrate Youth Art Month. The gallery is immersed with artwork including drawings, paintings, mixed media works and photography. “I am hoping to go to Rochester Institute of Technology,” said Ellie Hughes, a senior at Oakton High School who has a sculpture piece on display in the exhibit. Hughes also participated in the 2013 art exhibit held at GRACE for high school students. “I am mostly interested in photography,” said Hughes. “That’s her love,” said her father, Jim Hughes who was impressed with the quality of the art exhibit.

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Reston Chorale Celebrates Founder Bob Simon

Reston and Bob Simon are celebrated at March 23 concert.

“It is wonderful to be here,” said composer Donald McCullough. “It was a really exciting experience because what Bob has created here is really quite astounding.” McCullough was at the South Lakes High School stage in Reston. He had been commissioned by the Reston Chorale to create a work that musically expresses what makes Reston a special place. On Sunday, March 23, the audience heard the premiere performance of McCullough’s “The Essential Life.”

Column: A Letter from Sandy Hook

On the fourteenth of each month, the anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy, I join dozens of others at a vigil at the National Rifle Association headquarters to remind everyone of the need for sensible gun safety measures. After the most recent vigil, I got an email from Erin Nikitchyuk which I share with her permission to remind us of how we all need to be concerned about this issue.

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Local Student Starts Foundation

Katharine Jiang’s contribution grants 100 D.C.-area students notebook-laden backpacks.

Few high school students can say they have created a foundation. Sixteen-year-old Katharine Jiang of Great Falls is one of those few.

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Langley High Orchestra Inspires Florida School

The smiling high school senior held her violin in her outstretched hands, offering to show the 6-year-olds how to play it. As she plucked the strings, a child recoiled in surprise, afraid that he was close enough to hurt the instrument. Twenty minutes later, that same child was holding the violin and the bow, exclaiming,"I want to play this."

Letter: Lying Already?

To the Editor: [Barbara] Comstock is not even on the ballot and already she’s throwing lies around in a letter designed to raise Republican hackles and raise money for her primary. She reported that John Foust, Dranesville Supervisor on the Fairfax Board and her likely opponent for the 10th District, “just voted last night for an 8.5 percent tax hike on homeowners.” Truth is that Foust actually voted for a cap on property taxes, which was agreed to by Republicans and Democrats working together on the Board. Really, Barbara, a bald-faced lie, and one so easy to catch, doesn’t help your image.

Mental Health and the Expansion of Medicaid

There is a growing consensus forming in the General Assembly that now is the time to improve the safety net for mental health services. Both the House and Senate budgets increase funding for these services by millions of dollars (House proposed a $10 million increase and the Senate $20 million) above the proposed budget of $36 million that Governor McDonnell presented in December.

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Churchill Road Science Olympiad Team Wins First Place at the Regional Tournament

The Churchill Road Elementary School Science Olympiad team turned in a fabulous performance at the Virginia Science Olympiad Regional Tournament on Saturday, March 1, at Madison High School in Vienna. Competing against 20 other teams from area elementary and middle schools, Churchill Road’s team won First Place. The school’s fifth and sixth graders competed against other fifth and sixth graders, as well as seventh and eighth graders, in science topics that included Life Science, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Technology and Inquiry and Nature of Science. CRS students placed in the top five in 14 events, and they placed in the top 10 in most other events.

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Churchill Road Elementary Receives Safe Community Coalition Grant

Churchill Road Elementary School received a $1,000 grant from the Safe Community Coalition (SCC). Debra Maes, Churchill Road’s Environmental Studies Educator, said that the grant will be used to help maintain the cold frames built by the fifth grade students. These cold frames protect the plants from freezing.

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Fun Fair at Chesterbrook Elementary

Chesterbrook Elementary School held its Fun Fair on Saturday, March 15. One of the booths at the Fair was developed as part of Chesterbrook's Service Learning Project. Through the Atitlan Education Project, a non-profit program of Congressional District Programs, Chesterbrook students help Escuela Caracol, a school in Guatemala. The booth had informational materials and also sold handcrafted goods that were made in the Guatemalan village where Escuela Caracol is located. Chesterbrook teacher, Betsy Butler, staffed the booth and also sold scarves she had knitted. The funds made from booth sales will be used by Escuela Caracol to help support scholarships for the local Mayan children and for books and art supplies for the school. For more information about Escuela Caracol, visit

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Disaster Recovery Practiced in McLean

Last week, McLean was flooded with AT&T Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) trailers, trucks and vans. Luckily, there was no disaster.

McLean HS Crew Team Mulch Madness

The 2014 team of rowers and coxswains from McLean High moved 16,000 bags of mulch over a two day period and still managed to finish several hours early. They did this with just under 70 Crew roster members, parents, siblings, friends and faithful alumnae. The event could not be hold without the parents who loaded, drove, chased and cleaned the trucks, prepared food, handled the organizational tasks and sat security detail with the mulch, trucks, and equipment overnight.

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Celebrating Chaplin’s 125th Birthday

The Alden in McLean will celebrate Charlie Chaplin’s 125th birthday with an evening of silent films with live musical accompaniment on Wednesday April 16, at 7:30 p.m. A star of the silent era, Chaplin was a British comic actor, filmmaker and composer who rose to fame with such films as “The Gold Rush,” “City Lights” and “The Great Dictator.” Tickets are $10, $6 for MCC district residents. The theatre is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue, inside the McLean Community Center.

Bestselling Author to Keynote Women's Leadership Forum

Christina Daves, author of "PR for Anyone: 100+ Affordable Tips to Easily Create Buzz for Your Business" will keynote the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce's Regional Women's Leadership Forum on Tuesday, April 29. Held at Capital One Bank Headquarters (1680 Capital One Dr, McLean). The event will run from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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The Alden Awards 15 Local Students Fine Arts Scholarships

Fifteen high school students received scholarships for successfully competing in the 2014 James C. Macdonald Fine Arts Scholarship Competition.

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Lynn Goldstein Wins Best-In-Show

Two other artists get honorable mention at Workhouse Arts Center’s Collectors Showcase.

Jack Rasmussen, the curator and gallery director of the American University Museum at the Katzen Center in Washington, D.C., recently selected Lynn Goldstein’s pastel painting “Dusting” as best-of-show among the works displayed for the Workhouse Arts Center’s Collectors Showcase.

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Groundbreaking Held For Vinehaven Homes

Evergreene Homes to construct houses in downtown Herndon.

“This is the first new development in downtown Herndon in nearly a decade,” said Mayor Lisa Merkel. Merkel participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Vinehaven homes development held March 19. This development is near the W&OD Trail and is located on Vine Street, close to the ArtSpace Herndon, the local community art gallery.

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Harris Corp. Opens New Herndon Facility

Harris consolidates seven offices into one Herndon location.

In July 2013, Harris Corporation signed an 11-year lease to consolidate several of its divisions into the 161,000-square-foot Arboretum II office building at 2235 Monroe St. in Herndon. Offices from Chantilly, Dulles, Falls Church, Fairfax and Reston were relocated to the 161,000-square-foot Arboretum II office building.

Dance-A-Thon, A Cappella Concert at Floris UMC

There’s going to be music and dancing and more music this weekend at Floris UMC, as the church hosts two fundraising events to support the 2014 Feed A Child campaign. The campaign is a youth initiative by area students under 25 years old to raise $20,000 in support of the children of the Child Rescue Centre and patients of Mercy Hospital, both located in Bo, Sierra Leone. The campaign, which is taking place through a partnership with the non-profit organization Helping Children Worldwide, kicked off on Feb. 16, and will conclude on March 30. All of the money raised will go directly to feeding, educating, clothing and attending to the medical needs of children in Bo.

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Oak Hill Elementary Gets Energized By Einstein

Mark Spiegel presents Einstein Alive!

How do you get a cafeteria full of kids wildly engrossed in and energized about some pretty complex scientific subject matters? You call in Albert Einstein to explain and demonstrate - that’s how. OK. Not the Albert Einstein, of course. But Marc Spiegel’s performance of Einstein Alive! did the trick.

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Floyd’s 99 Barbershop Opens in Fairfax

Floyd’s 99 Barbershop, the original rock n’ roll barbershop for men and women, is expanding its brand into Virginia with the grand opening of a new shop at the Mosaic District located in Fairfax on Feb. 7.

Walk, Candlelight Vigil Honors Crime Victims

The free event to kick off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 6-12.

Fairfax County remembers local people who’ve been victims of crimes. And on Sunday, April 6, at Fairfax Corner, they’ll be honored via the second annual 5K Walk and Candlelight Vigil.

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Fairfax Apartment Fire: $2 Million in Damage

A two-alarm fire Monday afternoon at a Fairfax apartment building displaced some 25 residents and caused an estimated $2 million damage. Roughly 80 City of Fairfax firefighters raced to 4311 Bob Court, March 24, around 3:45 p.m., after a report of a fire with people trapped in the building.

‘The Taklimakan Desert Is in Which Country?’

Fairfax boy, 10, to compete in state Geography Bee.

Rohil Bhinge is one, smart boy. A fifth-grader at Mosby Woods Elementary, he’ll represent his school, April 4, in Farmville, at the state Geography Bee.

FCPS Students Excel at Science and Engineering Fair

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students earned top honors at the 59th annual Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair held March 14-16 at Robinson Secondary School. Winning individual grand prizes were:

Mothers and Daughters Tea at Burke United Methodist Church

Mothers and daughters, come together to enjoy bingo, crafts, games, refreshments and more. Bring your favorite teacup and wear your best tea party hat for special contest categories. The cost is $25/couple with an extra $5 for each additional sibling.

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New Superintendent Hopes to Cut the Numbers of Suspensions in Half

Black male students suspended at disproportionate rates.

Less than a month into office, new Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Alvin Crawley is taking on the challenge of reducing the number of suspensions by half.

Wednesday, March 26

President Rebuilding Together Alexandria

Her memories are vivid. She loves Alexandria. And she loves her home. After living in the city for 71 years, Mary* not only appreciates the city’s rich history but grows with it. In fact, everywhere she looks, she recollects memories from different parts of her life. As a native Alexandrian who grew up on Queen Street, Mary remembers when Quaker Lane used to be mud lands, and when shops on Mt. Vernon Avenue had to close due to the floods. As a private nurse who often worked at the Goodwin House during her 30-year career, she met and cared for many well-known people and their family members, including a relative of Jackie Kennedy. She experienced segregation during the Civil Rights era but felt that outside of school, boundaries faded and kids got along. This was especially the case during a family tragedy. When her brother drowned as a young boy, the entire community came together working to find him.

Letter to the Editor: Advice on Road Sand

To the Editor: To follow up on several recent letters regarding collection and disposal of residual road treatment sand from this winter's snows, I have the following suggestion:1. remove shovel and push broom from garage (1 minute)2. sweep sand from road into gutter (5-10 minutes)3. use shovel to scoop sand from gutter and place in low spots in yard or in flower beds, etc. (don't put it where the kids play or in your vegetable garden) (5 minutes)

Even Mean Speech Is Protected

The matter of free speech surely, completely and without exception is certainly alive and well. Contrarians and other questioners need only remember the name of Fred Phelps. Phelps is the odious man who masqueraded as a Baptist preacher. He pushed the limits of saying what you want, when you want, no matter where you are or who you hurt. To the utter astonishment, but truly proper perhaps, the U.S. Supreme Court backed up his rantings. I have known, met and worked with hundreds, probably thousands of ecclesiastical types all of my life from all sorts of denominations. Fortunately I never met a man or person of the Phelps ilk or who personified such hate as this disbarred attorney. There are certainly other malicious and despicable public personages in the United States and around the world, not attempting to pass as members of the cloth.

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Chefs Discuss Spring Vegetables

When Dara Yaffe Lyubinsky was growing up in Potomac she always enjoyed cooking, whether it was with her family and friends, or for her synagogue. Today, she’s passionate about cooking fresh, seasonal meals. Lyubinsky, like many chefs and culinary enthusiasts, is looking forward to strolling through farmers markets and creating fanciful spring dishes with the season’s freshest bounty, especially as she prepares to return to D.C. from New York. However, she and other chefs are making the most of the available spring produce even if warm weather seems a like a distant dream. “Since it’s still so chilly outside, and the forecast is still calling for snow, we’re incorporating some of spring’s newest produce into some heartier, cold weather dishes,” said Lyubinsky, a professional personal chef and the owner of Tastes Like More Personal Chef Service (, a boutique culinary service. She’s also a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and the University of Maryland, as well as a 2001 graduate of Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville.

Walk, Candlelight Vigil Honors Crime Victims

Fairfax County remembers local people who’ve been victims of crimes. And on Sunday, April 6, at Fairfax Corner, they’ll be honored via the second annual 5K Walk and Candlelight Vigil. The free event, in front of the movie theater at 4100 Monument Corner Drive in the Fairfax Corner shopping center, kicks off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 6-12. Each April, law-enforcement agencies, along with organizations and communities, join together to observe this week. The goal is to promote victims’ rights and honor crime victims and the people who work advocating on their behalf.

East All-Stars Beat West All-Stars in 10th Suburban Classic

McLean’s Prock named East MVP; South Lakes’ Jensen scores 22.

McLean's Cami Prock and South Lakes' Caitlin Jensen had big afternoons during the Suburban Classic.

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East All-Stars Beat West in 10th Suburban Classic

Centreville’s Green named West team MVP.

Centreville point guard Jenna Green scored 13 points in the 10th Suburban Classic.

Bishop O’Connell Softball Suffers Rare Defeat

After losing two all-Americans, Knights fall to Lake Braddock.

The Bishop O'Connell softball team recently suffered its third loss in three years.

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East All-Stars Beat West in Suburban Classic

West Springfield’s Berglund wins 3-point shootout.

West Springfield senior Amy Berglund won the 3-point shootout at the Suburban Classic.

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Lake Braddock Softball Beats Bishop O’Connell

Bruins pitcher Flesch tosses one-hitter against Knights.

The Lake Braddock softball team started the 2014 season with a 2-1 win over O'Connell.

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Best in Show

Katie’s Cars and Coffee pulls hundreds of the best DMV cars.

The biggest buzz about Katie’s Coffee in Great Falls comes from much more than the free flow of caffeine. Every Saturday, hundreds of rare and classic cars from all over the east coast gather in the parking lot to talk shop for an early morning event dubbed Katie’s Cars and Coffee.

Letter: More on Great Falls Trails

More on Great Falls Trails

Thank you for your article in the March 19-25, 2014 issue of the Great Falls Connection ("Great Falls Citizens Association Talks Ticks and Trails"). We did, however, want to clarify a few points. The presentation by Robert Mobley focused on trails, not roads, where the question of surface material has been a matter of much discussion.

Letter: Taking Exception on ‘Citizens Involvement’

I'm not sure I understand the letter from Eric Knudsen ("GFCA Appeals for Greater Citizens Involvement," Great Falls Connection, March 19-25, 2014). He seems to suggest that if more people attended the meetings of the Great Falls Citizens Association, we could have prevented the ridiculous projects such as the narrowing of Walker Road from five lanes to two, walkways to nowhere that were not shoveled all winter, or the speed-traps on Georgetown Pike. He erroneously indicates that previous letters in the Connection "complain about the lack of public notice," when in reality they reflect the futility of participation in groups that know best.

Letter: Neighbors’ Side of Story

To the Editor: Reference: Special permit application for a riding stables business at 815 Blacks Hill Road.

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Cornwell Farm Tours Generate $3000 for Lift Me Up!

A beautiful warm spring day set the backdrop for a successful day of tours of Cornwell Farm on March 8. The tours of the historic home and grounds generated over $3000 for Lift Me Up’s "Good Fences" project. The Lift Me Up! door prize was won by Janice Thrush of Great Falls. Ms. Thrush won a "Winner’s Circle Package" from Lift Me Up! which includes a section of fence, a copy of Secretariat’s Meadow, a Lift Me Up! hat/t-shirt and a Lift Me Up! calendar, a $200 value.

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The Fort Hunt Athletic Association Championship Game

The Fort Hunt Athletic Association fifth grade basketball championship game was played March 15 at Waynewood Elementary School between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils.

Arlington Lifestyle Blooms in the Spring

The days are getting longer, the temperatures are on the rise, and Arlington residents are ready to finally enjoy the benefits of their urban neighborhoods. After what felt like an exceptionally long winter, people throughout Arlington have paid their dues and are planning their recreational activities for the upcoming months. Longtime locals and newer transplants to the area agree that a world of opportunities opens up in Arlington as springtime weather approaches. Whether in search of an endorphin rush, or somewhere to mingle with other Arlingtonians, places to go are aplenty and the area has more luster after the snow banks melt and the air loses its bite.

The Great Falls Farmers Market is Back

Neighbors and vendors alike thoroughly enjoyed a beautiful winter season in the warm protection of the Great Falls Grange Hall. With warm apple cider, hot empanadas, artisan bakery, raw vegan, green-house, tunnel and field grown veggies and lots of music on stage, we now all share some very warm memories of a very cold and unforgiving winter.

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Nurturing Talent at Forestville

As Fairfax County considers reducing the number of assistant principals, Marietta Arbach -- Assistant Principal at Forestville Elementary -- seems too busy to think about it. Her day begins at 7:15 with a walkthrough of the school. She then "greets the children with hugs and high fives," according to PTA President Jamie Finch.

Editorial: Challenging Budgets

Local Government should be able to access income taxes to give relief on real estate taxes.

Northern Virginia governments are facing shortfalls in the classic budget sense: projected revenues are less than last year’s expenditures plus increases in costs.

Another Milestone

March 30, 2014. My age 59 and a half (9/30/54 is my date of birth). The age at which money deposited into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) can be withdrawn without incurring a 10 percent early-withdrawal penalty from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Not that I’m retiring. I am remembering though when this cancer-centric life of mine began.

Brief: Spring Hills Celebrates Nutrition Month

Using 21st century technology, the senior residents of Spring Hills Mount Vernon Assisted Living, 3709 Shannons Green Way in Alexandria, are celebrating National Nutrition Month by creating indoor vertical aeroponic growing systems to harvest homegrown, fruits, vegetables and herbs to serve at their dining tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the senior community.

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New Food for Spring

When Dara Yaffe Lyubinsky was growing up in Potomac she always enjoyed cooking, whether it was with her family and friends, or for her synagogue. Today, she’s passionate about cooking fresh, seasonal meals. Lyubinsky, like many chefs and culinary enthusiasts, is looking forward to strolling through farmers markets and creating fanciful spring dishes with the season’s freshest bounty, especially as she prepares to return to D.C. from New York. However, she and other chefs are making the most of the available spring produce even if warm weather seems a like a distant dream.

’Tender Napalm’ at Signature Theater

Signature Theater is staging the Washington premiere of the violent and sexually charged “Tender Napalm” by playwright Philip Ridley now through May 11. Directed by Matthew Gardiner, the show is the story about a man and a woman at a crucial point in their relationship in the aftermath of an extraordinary loss. Using fantastical and dreamlike language, it is a multifaceted exploration of their love in scenes wrapped in allegory and metaphor. “It's a very simple love story, told in a very original way,” said Gardiner. “My hope is that the audience will be willing to open their ears and eyes to a very unique and remarkable playwright.”

Commentary: Closing Healthcare Gap

As the General Assembly attempts to complete work in Richmond on the $90 billion state budget, the looming obstacle to an agreement is how to close the health insurance gap or cover uninsured Virginians. There are an estimated one million uninsured adults in Virginia today or about one in every eight Virginians.

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Chantilly High’s International Celebration

Featuring food and entertainment, Chantilly High’s International Night was Wednesday, March 19.

Mount Vernon Rec Center Offers Spring Break Camps

With Spring Break for public and private schools coming up on April 14 and April 21, the Mount Vernon Rec Center at 2017 Belle View Blvd. in Alexandria offers spring break camps, spring classes in ice skating and ice hockey and many opportunities to have fun.

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‘Mount Vernon Revisited’ Captures Community’s History

Whether a history buff or a photography enthusiast, local residents will find something of interest in the newly released “Mount Vernon Revisited.” Journalists Michael K. Bohn and Jessie Biele co-authored the book which features more than 215 photographs, paintings and maps covering 340 years of Mount Vernon’s history. The book is available at Mount Vernon retailers and bookstores and online book outlets such as It is also available through Acadia Publishing at 888-313-2665 or “Mount Vernon Revisted” is a part of Acadia Publishing’s Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series.

Roundups for 3/26/14

The editor presents the roundups for the week of 3/26/14.

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Underscoring Importance of Early Education

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner visited The Child and Family Network Centers’ West End facility on March 7 to discuss President Obama’s 2015 budget proposal to invest in high quality early education for all children. Duncan, Sebelius, Moran and Warner received a tour of CFNC’s site and met with the children in their classrooms.

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Let the Music Play

In support of students enrolled in music classes throughout the city, First Night Alexandria announced contributions to the music programs at three Alexandria City Public schools. During a recent pyramid concert performed by the bands, orchestras and choirs of Francis Hammond and George Washington Middle Schools and T.C. Williams High School, First Night Alexandria presented contributions totaling $3,000 to support the music programs at the three schools.

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Virginia Bluebells: Native Spring Beauty

Carpets of bluebells coming soon to a park near you.

The Virginia Bluebells are coming. In early Spring, these native wildflowers will burst into bloom profusely throughout much of the Washington area. Botanically named Mertensia virginica, one of a number of species of Mertensia, Virginia Bluebells can be found in many moist, woodland areas, especially along streams and rivers. Depending on the weather, they first appear in early April as light pink buds, and then open into several shades of pink, blue and even white. In some areas along the local rivers they bloom in stunning profusion, creating a veritable carpet of color.

Letter: Time To Plan — And Build

To the Editor

‘Sea Surface Full of Clouds’

WMPA, NOVA Community Chorus to debut work of local composer.

At a recent rehearsal of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, composer Lawrence Edward Ries observed the orchestra as it performed his cantata “Sea Surface Full of Clouds.”

Letter to the Editor: Join with Earth Hour

To the Editor: At 8:30 p.m. on March 29, hundreds of millions of people will turn off their lights in a worldwide display of commitment to protect our planet. Earth Hour is a visual reminder that the world's environmental issues don't have to overwhelm us; we all can do something. This single act of turning off the lights is uniting businesses, governments and communities while provoking discussion, capturing imaginations and empowering people to make a difference.

Wagner Ready for NYU

Come August right-handed power hitter David Wagner will be packing his bags and heading to New York University. “I’ve spent my whole life working towards earning a college baseball career. It was very rewarding to finally reach my goal and play for New York — my top choice. New York is the ‘coolest’ city in the world.”

Spring Fun for Dogs

Say goodbye to the dreadful polar vortex and ring in warmer weather with your dog at James Hunter Park.


ST. PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATIONS The Irish Breakfast Band, a group of local musicians, held a lively session at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub on Mt. Vernon Avenue on the evening of Monday, March 17.

Letter to the Editor: Amusings

George Washington had a brilliant mind and many interests. Among them was his love for words and, specifically, anagrams. As you know (or maybe not), an anagram is a word or phrase which is created by rearranging its letters to form another word or phrase. As an example, the word "horse" can be "anagrammed" into "shore."

Letter to the Editor: True Cost of Medicaid Expansion

To the Editor: State Sen. Adam Ebbin’s constituent report highlighted the proposed state Medicaid expansion which has forced a special session because the legislature’s two houses, under the control of different parties, cannot reach agreement. In this liberal state senate district, most constituents likely support Senator Ebbin’s stance.

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The Wood Frogs Are Calling

One of the sure signs of Spring is hearing the duck-like calls of numerous Wood Frogs from a little puddle or vernal pool.

“Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for April 7-12. Senior trips: Monday, April 7, U.S. Botanic Garden, D.C., $8; Wednesday, April 9, Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, Pa., $35; Friday, April 11, Lee-Fendall House and Garden, Alexandria, $13. Call Arlington County 55+ Travel, 703-228-4748. Registration required.

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‘Carmen’ Comes to Area

Virginia Opera brings "Carmen" to Center for the Arts.

Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, will present Georges Bizet’s sultry tragedy about opera’s most famous femme fatale, "Carmen." The opera has enthralled audiences for more than a century and is one of the most popular. "Carmen" follows Don José and his ill-fated obsession with the alluring Carmen who tosses him aside for another man leading to jealous rage.

‘To Spot Kids in Crisis’

Police, others take suicide prevention training.

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

African American Heritage Tour Stops in Alexandria

“Welcome to Alexandria,” called out the Alexandria Town Crier as 200-plus visitors stepped out of four tour buses at the Charles Houston Recreation Center last month.

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Compassion Award

The Virginia Federation of Humane Societies has selected the state’s top animal shelters and programs that made a difference in the animal welfare in 2013.

Commentary: Mental Health and Expansion of Medicaid

There is a growing consensus forming in the General Assembly that now is the time to improve the safety net for mental health services. Both the House and Senate budgets increase funding for these services by millions of dollars (House proposed a $10 million increase and the Senate $20 million) above the proposed budget of $36 million that Governor McDonnell presented in December.

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On to State Competition

The Odyssey of the Mind Regional Competition was held at West Potomac on Saturday, March 15. West Potomac was well represented by two teams, both of which qualified to compete at the state competition.

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Kicking Off the 19th Annual Kick Butts Day

Nearly 30 members of the Influence Club at T.C. Williams High School participated in a walking tobacco audit of local stores on March 19.

‘Goal Is To Spot Kids in Crisis’

Police, others take suicide prevention training.

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

Spring's Must Do List

Mark the calendar for fun things this spring.

Obit: Elsie Taylor Jordan Dies at 87

Family, friends mourn community activist and leader.

Elsie Taylor Jordan (Ms. Elsie) died peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by her family at the Birmingham Green long-term care facility in Manassas on Feb. 7, 2014.

March for Meals: Bringing Attention To Senior Hunger

Mayor Bill Euille, City Council members Del Pepper and John Chapman and a team of Senior Services of Alexandria volunteers delivered meals to homebound seniors as part of the Meals on Wheels Association of America’s “March for Meals” Campaign.

Charles ‘Tony’ Gee Joins LLA Board

When Charles "Tony" Gee’s appointment to the Living Legends of Alexandria board of directors was announced, LLA President Pam St. Clair told the board, “When Tony was called to say he had been selected as a 2014 Living Legend he said ‘Thank you’ in his first breath and ‘How can I help?’ in the second.”

Spring Fun: The Ninja Gym

Looking for something a step up from the traditional gym? Urban Evolution in Alexandria offers parkour classes for ages 6 and up.

Creating a Bridge to Employment

ServiceSource assists people with a range of disabilities.

He attributes his turnaround to ServiceSource, a non-profit organization that provides a range of support and opportunities for people with a broad spectrum of disabilities, including a program for wounded veterans.

Spring Days Bring Outdoor Fun

Taking advantage of a sunny Saturday.

Spring is upon us, and when we get a warm day like Saturday — children and adults alike just can’t wait to get outside to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and springtime temperatures.

State of the Art

Organizations make 2014 a year to celebrate.

Now known as The Old Town Theatre, the historic venue on King Street leads a list of more than 16 arts organizations celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2014.

Friday, March 21

Celebrating Inclusion

Board of Supervisors Names March Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Inclusion Month.

The Board of Supervisors has designated March "Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Inclusion Month" in Fairfax County. Both those with disabilities and those without have their lives enriched when people with disabilities are fully included in the community. This special month seeks to help those with disabilities find ways to be involved in the community, and bring awareness to others of these engaged neighbors.

Thursday, March 20

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 53 homes sold between $1,700,000-$193,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: February, 2014

Springfield Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 109 Springfield homes sold between $725,000-$145,000.

Springfield Home Sales: February, 2014

Reston Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 57 Reston homes sold between $970,000-$157,000.

Reston Home Sales: February, 2014

Mount Vernon Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 99 homes sold between $1,435,000-$117,800 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: February, 2014

McLean Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 69 homes sold between $3,100,000-$140,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: February, 2014

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 46 homes sold between $1,425,000-$182,000 in the Herndon and Oak Hill area.

Oak Hill, Herndon Home Sales: February, 2014

Great Falls Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 7 Great Falls homes sold between $2,470,000-$514,900.

Great Falls Home Sales: February, 2014

Fairfax Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 48 Fairfax homes sold between $1,700,000-$28,500.

Fairfax Home Sales: February, 2014

Centreville Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 47 Centreville homes sold between $1,235,140-$175,000.

Centreville Home Sales: February, 2014

Chantilly Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 13 homes sold between $768,000-$48,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: February, 2014

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

In February 2014, 46 homes sold between $1,237,522-$137,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

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

Burke Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 34 Burke homes sold between $675,000-$222,500.

Burke Home Sales: February, 2014

Arlington Home Sales: February, 2014

In February 2014, 167 Arlington homes sold between $2,600,000-$135,000.

Arlington Home Sales: February, 2014

Alexandria Home Sales: February, 2014

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

Alexandria Home Sales: February, 2014

March Madness, Then and Now

At this time of the March Madness, Steve Guback, a resident at Greenspring retirement community in Springfield has vivid memories of the 1959 tournament in which California beat West Virginia, the 1976 reigning, undefeated season of Indiana University, and the 1979 famed Magic Johnson vs. Larry Byrd showdown. He experienced these in person.

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Greenspring Residents Donate 600 Books, Read to Local Children

Residents at Greenspring retirement community recently donated 600 books to Crestwood Elementary School in Springfield. On Friday, Feb. 28, several residents visited Crestwood and read some of the donated Dr. Seuss books to first and second graders in recognition of Dr. Seuss Day and also Read Across America Day, as sponsored by the NEA (officially Monday, March 3).

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Springfield Art Guild Holds a Birthday Party

The reception room of the Richard Byrd Library in Springfield hosted a festive anniversary on March 12: The Springfield Art Guild (SAG) celebrated 45 years as an organization of artists in Fairfax County by honoring one of their founders and longest standing member, Judy Wengrovitz. Judy and her husband Sy spoke about life in Springfield 45 years ago and Judy's role in the founding of the Springfield Art Guild. Judy shared the story of the handful of artists who decided they needed to organize into a group. From their determination and vision, Springfield Art Guild was conceived and grown to over 100 members. It continues to add new artists to its rolls as a non-profit group.

Springfield Man Charged in Sex Crimes Investigation

An arrest was made as a result of an ongoing investigation conducted by detectives from the Child Exploitation Unit along with agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations Washington.

Will the Board of Supervisors Honor A Compact With the Community?

A move by EnviroSolutions in South County, including Lorton and parts of Fairfax Station and Springfield, to extend the life of its construction debris landfill by 22 years and dramatically increase the facility’s size has led to a growing controversy. The core issue is whether residents can trust the Board of Supervisors to honor and enforce the terms of a past agreement that was made between a corporation, the local community, and the Board of Supervisors.

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Arts Career Fair Held in Fairfax

George Mason hosts internship and career fair.

Students and alumni of George Mason University had the opportunity to attend an internship and career fair with a focus on the entertainment and consulting sectors. This event was held in February at the Fairfax campus at Mason Hall, hosted by the George Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts Alumni Chapter and University Career Services. "We have 23 employers attending," said Ryan Braaten, assistant director of development with the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University.

Route 123 Bridge Work Starts Soon

Construction work to replace the old bridge over Accotink Creek on Route 123/Chain Bridge Road at Kenmore Drive is slated to start in late March. So both motorists and pedestrians will have to be alert to some route changes.

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Connolly Kicks Off Campaign at St. Patrick's Day Fete in Fairfax

Don Beyer top vote getter at event's eighth District Straw Poll.

Pledging to continue to fight on Capitol Hill for the values and rights of Northern Virginians, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11) kicked off his campaign for a fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives Monday night before a packed house of supporters at his 20th annual St. Patrick's Day Fete. More than 1,000 supporters from Fairfax, Prince William, and across Northern Virginia defied the aftermath of the region's latest snowfall, which dropped between 5 and 10 inches across Fairfax, to attend Northern Virginia's largest annual Democratic gathering.

Our Daily Bread Receives Grant

Our Daily Bread (ODB) is always helping people in need; now it’s receiving a helping hand to continue carrying on its work. The Fairfax nonprofit has just been awarded a $25,000 grant by the United Way of the National Capital Area (NCA). The money will expand ODB’s ability to provide grocery cards via its Food Bridge Program. These cards are given to Fairfax County residents participating in ODB’s supplemental delivered-food program, as well as to people referred to the organization for emergency food assistance.

Baking a Difference for Children

Icing Smiles to be featured at cake show in Fairfax.

Icing Smiles, an organization that provides custom cakes for critically ill children, will be highlighted at The National Capital Area Cake Show at Fairfax High School.

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Drummond Is ‘Hitting the Pause Button’

Fairfax Councilman not running for re-election.

It wasn’t a conclusion he reached easily. But after much consideration, Dan Drummond’s decided not to run for re-election to the Fairfax City Council.

Seniors Porter, Jeanpierre to Participate in All-Star Game

Suburban Classic will be held Sunday, March 23 at Oakton.

Mount Vernon seniors Samantha Porter and De'Ja "DJ" Jeanpierre will participate in Sunday's all-star game.

FCPS Students Earn 27 National Scholastic Awards

Fairfax County Public Schools students earned 27 national awards in the National Scholastic Art Awards program sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Nima Jeizan of Marshall High School earned an American Visions Medal—equivalent to a best in show for the nation—and Elisabeth Hughes of Oakton High School earned a Gold Medal and Best in Grade Award.

Commentary: Let’s Be Fair about Route 1

As we’re about to see the Route 1 widening project get underway, it’s worth a review of what brought the need to widen the road in the first place. Contrary to what some of us are given to understand, Fort Belvoir’s growth under the Base Realignment and Closure did not bring about the need to widen Route 1. It did, however, play a critical role in getting the project funded.

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Promoting Financial Literacy

Student run credit unions at 26 NoVa High Schools compete to recruit the most members.

As the National College Athletic Association launches its annual national basketball tournament, students at more than two dozen Northern Virginia high schools kick off a March Madness of their own. Instead of scoring baskets, they are scrambling to sign up the most new members this month to their school’s student run federal credit union in a competition sponsored by Apple Federal Credit Union.

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Helping Students Fully Recover

New concussion legislation goes before the Governor for signature.

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn’s bill, HB 1096, which places language for "Return to Learn" protocol into the Virginia Board of Education’s concussion guidelines passed the House of Delegates and Senate unanimously this General Assembly Session. It will now go before the Governor for signature. Current guidelines spell out protocol for student athletes returning to the playing field, but do not include information for the students returning to the classroom.

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TC Seniors Carter, Schedler To Participate in All-Star Game

Suburban Classic will be held Sunday, March 23 at Oakton.

T.C. Williams seniors Tykera Carter and Angie Schedler will be teammates in Sunday's all-star game.

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Children of Eden at the Burke Stage

Burke youth wow community audiences at the Burke Presbyterian Church.

Senior and junior high school youth from Burke Presbyterian Church presented the musical Children of Eden in four performances on March 13-16. The free events were open to the community. The Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, and other stories of the Old Testament were brought to life on the stage

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Having Fun, Raising Money

Life Time holding Zumba-Latin Fusion dance class for MDA.

Peter Callas is living a happy and productive life, both personally and professionally. But it wouldn’t have been possible without his own determination, the love of his family and support from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

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Landfill Decision Deferred to April 3

Group to discuss a compromise is now underway.

On March 13, the Fairfax County Planning Commission was set to make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on whether EnviroSolutions should be permitted to continue dumping construction debris at their landfill in Lorton until 2040. However, at that meeting, the Planning Commission deferred the decision to April 3 in order for a group to be established to discuss the issues at stake between those on both sides of the debate.

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Gartlan Center to Open March 27

CSB integrates primary and behavioral health care at Gartlan Center.

According to a 2006 study, people with a serious mental illness, on average, die 25 years earlier than the rest of the population. The study, conducted by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, found that about 60 percent of these deaths were due to conditions like cardiovascular and pulmonary disease.

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‘Unsung Heroes of the School’

Robinson students create yearbooks year after year.

Although they’ve faced multiple snow days this year, staff members of Above and Beyond, Robinson Secondary School’s high school yearbook, are well on their way to completing the 2014 edition.

Wednesday, March 19

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Hunters’ Unplanned Renovations

It was just before 9:30 p.m. on a snowy Sunday night at Hunters Bar and Grill in Potomac Village. In the pub, no one was sitting at the table closest to the front window, and Fred Berman was sitting with his wife and daughter at a table between there and the bar. Then there was a huge explosion as a car drove through the front wall, smashing through glass, brick wall and tables. “I thought I was dead,” said Fred Berman, who owns the restaurant with his brother Murray. “Somebody drove a car through our window and then it went out as fast as it came in.”

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Community Welcomes Homeless Into New Homes

FACETS TRIUMPH II Housing is part of the 100,000 homes campaign.

As part of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, FACETS welcomed 18 previously chronically homeless individuals into housing on March 18 at a housewarming celebration.

Seven Scouts Achieve Eagle Rank

The largest group of Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 167 in Arlington to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout was honored for their achievement on March 1 at Mt. Olivet Methodist Church. Those attaining Eagle Rank were: * Brian Claeys – junior, Gonzaga College High School, * Spencer Cobb – senior, Yorktown High School, * Nicholas Goryachev – junior, Yorktown High School, * Ross Kocher – junior, Yorktown High School, * Callan Rogers – senior, HB Woodlawn Secondary Program, * Andrew Schweser – senior, Wakefield High School, * David V. Wein-Kandil – senior, HB Woodlawn Secondary Program. The Scouts have been friends for several years and elected to participate together in the Eagle Court of Honor — the first time in the troop’s history to so honor a group of young men.

Obituary: Adrian Eugene Miller

Adrian Eugene Miller, 75, of Lake Monticello, died on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at Hospice House in Charlottesville. Born on April 2, 1938 in Alexandria, he was the son of the late Clancie Hope Hamilton Miller and David M. Miller. He was also predeceased by his brother Richard M. Miller.After eight years in the National Guard as a Spec4, he worked for 37 years as an insurance agent and manager for Peoples Life Insurance, now Monumental Life. In 2002, he and his wife retired to Lake Monticello, after working and raising their family in the Alexandria area. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and belonged to many clubs including the Gold Hounds, of which he was treasurer.

Honoring Sully’s Steve Pollard Wednesday, March 12

Steve Pollard, former co-chair of the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee was honored during the Wednesday, March 12, CAC meeting.

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Fishing between Snowstorms

Ben Dunkley (back right) takes his nephews fishing on a 65 degree day last month. C.J. Harris is back left with Jeremiah Harris in front of him.

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Yorktown Girls’ Lacrosse Team Facing New Challenges

After eight straight National District titles, Patriots move to Conference 6

The Yorktown girls' lacrosse team won eight straight district titles before the VHSL's six-class re-alignment.

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Sophomore Rizzo, Senior Pitchers To Lead Oakton Baseball Team

Cougars won Concorde District, reached states in 2013.

The Oakton baseball team reached the state semifinals in 2013.

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Lake Braddock Baseball Looking for Missing Pieces

Bruins graduated five Division I players from last season.

The Lake Braddock baseball team reached the state semifinals in 2013 and won a state title in 2012.

Never Giving Up

New play at Workhouse about Alice Paul and the Suffragettes.

"When you put your hand to the plow, you can't put it down until you get to the end of the row." American Suffragette and life-long crusader for Women's voting rights Alice Paul (1885-1977) used this phrase as her watch words. It was a metaphor for never giving up.

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Nowruz Celebrated At Reston Town Center

Third annual Persian New Years festival brings thousands.

"This event is basically the Iranian New Year’s festival," said Ashkbous Talebi, who was assisting with a display representing the Ghashghaic tribe, from southern Iran. Both Talebi and his wife have attended the celebration of Nowruz at Reston Town Center since it was first hosted in March of 2012. The event was a day-long celebration, with the Pavilion serving as the presentation hub throughout the event.

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First NOVA Makers Faire Held At Reston

Inaugural event brings visitors to explore hands on science and tech.

"This last week has been really intense, but we would say it was a success," said Brian Jacoby, a resident of Reston and founding member of NOVA Labs. Jacoby had just finished operations for the inaugural NOVA Makers Faire hosted at two locations, South Lakes Highs School and Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston. The event sold over 3,000 tickets, and more than 300 volunteers helped guide visitors to various displays related to technology and engineering.

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A Tribute to Bob Simon

Reston Community Orchestra Concert celebrates 100th birthday of Reston’s founder.

On Sunday, March 16, approximately 200 people went to Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods to an afternoon performance by the Reston Community Orchestra. The event was an early celebration of the 100th birthday of Reston founder Robert "Bob" Simon. Also attending the event were Delegate Ken Plum (D-36), state senator Janet Howell (D-32), and Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill).

Terraset Elementary Students Win Odyssey of the Mind Award

Students from Reston's Terraset Elementary School won the Ranatra Fusca Award at the 2014 Odyssey of the Mind Regional Tournament on March 8. The Fusca Award acknowledges the effort, exceptional creativity and teamwork displayed by a team in completing its project.

Column: Making the Grade

At a time when quality reviews and accountability measures result in more activities being given a letter grade, it is appropriate that legislative sessions receive the same treatment. At the risk of seeming to cop-out, I give the session an "I" for incomplete because we have not yet completed the basic requirement of passing a biennium budget in the even-numbered years. We are back in Richmond in special session now to meet that requirement. Taking the budget out of the equation, I would give the session a "B"—a higher grade than I would have given sessions in recent years. Some important work got done. Growing out of the recent tragedy of Senator Deed’s family and with lingering memories of Virginia Tech, mental health laws were strengthened. Legislation extends the time a person can be held involuntarily under a temporary detention order from 48 to 72 hours. The state will maintain a "real time" online registry of available psychiatric beds in public and private hospitals. Emergency custody orders will be extended from six to 12 hours with the state assuming responsibility to find a bed for a patient after eight hours. A four-year study will be undertaken to determine what other reforms are needed.

Column: Are You Ready for Spring in Reston?

It’s St. Patrick’s Day. So, faith and begorrah, spring cannot be far behind. I love snow, but even I have pretty much had enough!

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Plan For Herndon Parkway and Sterling Road Intersection Approved

Council members hope plan will relieve congestion and improve safety.

Recently the Herndon Town Council and Mayor Lisa Merkel have been addressing several infrastructure issues, amongst them the overcrowding of students at Herndon Elementary Schools. With developments of Silver Line and soon completion of phase 1 for the Silver Line, the Town Council has been brought to address the traffic flow situations at the Herndon Parkway and Sterling Road intersection.

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Herndon Awaits Construction Of New Mural

New mural to depict animals in downtown Herndon.

While the region has been anticipating the incoming Silver Line, the Town of Herndon has taken steps to become an art friendly town. Some of these steps include the design of murals. The Council for the Arts of Herndon, the Town of Herndon’s officially designated local arts agency orchestrated the design of another mural in downtown Herndon. The next project will be one at the Dominion Animal Hospital at 795 Station Street.

Letter: Incorrect Assertion

In a letter ["A Manufactured Crisis," Connection, March 12, 2014] Jack Kenny states that the ObamaCare Medical Devices tax applies to fishing poles and tires, and that "the Department of Health and Human Services has asked retailers to not show the tax on your sales receipt."

Letter: Concerned About Cell Tower

Many families with children at Colvin Run Elementary School (CRES), and with homes near the school, are concerned about a proposed 120-foot cell tower very near the school. Great Falls and Vienna residents' children attend CRES.

Fire Ball Auction Takes Bids on Firefighters and EMTs

Vienna Volunteer Fire Department hosts live and silent auctions on March 21.

Here’s an opportunity to win a group dinner "date" with a Vienna Volunteer Fire Department EMT or firefighter, as well as a diversity of prizes. On Friday, March 21, the VVFD holds a live auction featuring bids on the department’s emergency responders and a silent auction for prizes donated by area businesses, from restaurants, spa treatments and vacation rentals to services and jewelry. Twelve firefighters and EMTs will be auctioned off and bids start at $40. The auctions begin at 7 p.m.

Vienna Arts Society Exhibits the World, Honors Springtime

‘Great Escapes’ gives way to ‘Music to My Ears.’

The Vienna Arts Society does much more than bring local artists together. It reaches out to the community with art classes for adults and children, fine arts competitions, art camps for kids, and gallery exhibitions of quality pieces that change monthly. March’s exhibition of "Great Escapes," runs through March 29.

Vienna Town Manager Unveils Budget Plan

Proposal keeps real-estate tax rate the same.

Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton has unveiled his proposed budget for FY 2014-15. What happens to it next is up to the Town Council and the residents.

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Career Ministry Serves Community

People find support and encouragement at Career Network Ministry at McLean Bible Church in Vienna.

In the metro D.C. area, job clubs and networking events have been long used as tools for persons on the job hunt. One weekly job event that has grown over the years is the Career Network Ministry, hosted at McLean Bible Church at 8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna. "I hate to see our ranks grow, because it means so many are unemployed," said Mallard Owen, "yet I also think it is a shame that there are not more of these groups across the country." A resident of Ashburn, Owen does not attend McLean Bible Church, yet has helped with operations at the Career Network Ministry (CNM) for approximately five years.

Letter: A Reasonable Decision on Oakcrest School

Your article on the recent SEA approval for Oakcrest School ["Supervisors Clear the Way for Oakcrest School Relocation," Connection, March 5-11, 2014] regrettably repeats disinformation from Steve Hull and the Hunter Mill Defense League (HMDL). Contrary to their claim, I did not "agree" to the conditions imposed by the Board of Supervisors in their original approval. Supporting Oakcrest’s right to build on their own property was certainly not tantamount to agreeing to any conditions that might be imposed on someone else’s property. I was not a party to the negotiations resulting in the final conditions, dated the day of the hearing, nor were they even made available to me until a week after the approval.

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Local Students Spice it Up

Students from McLean, Robinson, and Woodson High Schools compete in culinary competition.

Student chefs from the Fairfax County school culinary program gathered last Thursday afternoon for the second annual Real Food for Kids Culinary Competition. The contest allowed students from the county’s four culinary academies to compete for a chance to have their vegetarian entrées used in the county’s school lunch program.

3 Minutes Matter

Three minutes of advocacy could make a difference. For years, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has said it needs a new water intake pipe in the center of the river. “Water quality in the middle of the river is much more stable,” said Doug Brinkman, an engineer who testified for WSSC before the Montgomery County Planning Board Thursday, March 13. The current intake on the shoreline is “adversely impacted by its location on the Potomac River shoreline,” he said. “Especially during storm events, sediments and debris, particularly from Watts Branch, cause source water quality to change dramatically, and affect the plant operations,” according to WSSC.

Column: Is Severance The Main Suspect?

Ruthanne Lodato, 34 days, unsolved. Ronald Kirby, 147 days, unsolved. Nancy Dunning, 3,757 days, unsolved. Alexandria Police Tip Line: 703-746-4444. The best news source and report in the Alexandria murder cases apparently come from West Virginia. Investigators locally may have hit a stone wall, again, in the Ruthanne Lodato murder. They've been stymied for some time now in the November shooting death of Ronald Kirby and the Dec. 5 2003 killing of Nancy Dunning. No facts seem to be forthcoming.

10th District Democrats Nominate John Foust

Democrats cancel convention uniting for Dranesville Supervisor for Congress.

The field of GOP contenders vying for retiring U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf’s seat is still crowded, but the Democratic pool of political hopefuls dwindled to one on Monday: Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville).

News Brief: SSA Receives Subaru ‘Share the Love’ Grant

Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) received a Meals on Wheels Association Award of $1,500 for its participation in the Subaru’s “Share the Love” campaign. SSA, an Alexandria-based non profit, delivers Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors within the City of Alexandria. SSA partnered with Beyer Subaru in Alexandria to raise awareness about the Meals on Wheels program available to homebound seniors and encourage the community to serve as volunteers in delivering meals.

Letter to the Editor: Frustrating Focus

To the Editor: I read with interest the recent commentary submitted by Del. Scott Surovell in the March 13-19 edition of the Mount Vernon Gazette. I was enlightened, frustrated and saddened by the 20 point commentary written by Delegate Surovell. While many of the 20 items Mr. Surovell discussed were noteworthy and reflected sound logic and value to Virginia citizens, several of the 20 items saddened and frustrated me. In item 9 Mr. Surovell complained about not being successful in removing the Virginia ban on same sex marriage. In short why is our legislative time and money being wasted on such an issue? Gay marriage is offensive and in no way can legislative time and effort and resources be justified in dealing with nothing more than politically correct activity to please a few when so many other pressing issues face our state and our country.

Letter to the Editor: Stop Higher Taxes Now

To the Editor: Speak up now or face higher Fairfax County real estate taxes. After April 29, it will be too late because the Board of Supervisors is making final decisions on the FY 2015 budget that includes property tax rate.By now you should have received the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) tax assessment notices for 2014. They show that assessments have increased over last year for most homeowners. According to county information, County-wide assessment values for 2014 have increased 6.54 percent and a typical household will see their real estate taxes increase by $331.67 over last year. Of course some will pay more because their tax assessment increased more than for the average household and if the current tax rate of $1.085 per $100 of assessed value is not reduced.

Letter to the Editor: Bone-Rattling Potholes

To the Editor: I live in the Del Ray-Rosemont area and each day when I drive to work I am reminded of a serious shortcoming of my local government: the local roads. Driving around the city is literally a bone-rattling experience due to the poor condition of the roads. Weather-created potholes aside, the streets are in horrific shape. I can’t imagine the amount of damage being done to cars as they navigate the bumpy and distressed streets. Where are my tax dollars going? They are certainly not going to road maintenance.

Letter to the Editor: Negative Impacts

To the Editor: Re: “Green Energy or Closed Landfill,” March 13. I wish EnviroSolutions’ plans for the Lorton landfill meant Green Energy for Fairfax County. Unfortunately and disappointingly, after vigorous research and investigation, the Mt. Vernon Council has learned that their proposal largely means increased methane pollution for our air, negative impacts on recycling construction and demolition debris (CDD), the likely killing of eagles, and the greening of ESI’s wallets


St. Baldrick’s Sign-Ups A St. Baldrick’s Day event is slated for Sunday, March 23, at 4 p.m., at Fast Eddie’s in the Newgate Shopping Center, at Routes 28/29 in Centreville. The event raises funds for childhood cancer research. People volunteer to have their heads shaved and raise money in advance for the privilege. Then all those being shaved get it done together while others cheer them on. Sign up at In addition, Valvoline Instant Oil Change in Centreville is giving a 10-percent discount on services and 10 percent back to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation when customers mention St. Baldrick’s.

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Langley, Cooper Orchestras Share the Spotlight

On the evening of March 13, the Langley High School Orchestra and Cooper Middle School Orchestra shared the stage in the annual Pyramid concert. Before the concert, a dinner was held to welcome the Middle School students and give them a chance to mingle with the older musicians.

‘Highly Motivated and a True Leader’

A 26-year veteran of the Fairfax County Police Department, MPO Ray Ordonez is the Sully District Station’s and its Citizens Advisory Committee’s 2013 Officer of the Year. He was honored as such last Wednesday, March 12, at the station, and every one of his roll-call officers turned out for the ceremony.

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Cub Scout Pack 2011 At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Scouts from Centreville’s Cub Scout Pack 2011, Owen Proper and Jonathan Faupel, lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier while den leader, Col. Tom Faupel, U.S. Army (Retired) and Connor Gary watch on with the rest of the Pack.

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STEMtastics: Inspiring Middle School Girls to Pursue STEM Careers

Fifty McLean students from Longfellow and Cooper Middle Schools joined students from 35 other schools on March 8 at STEMtastics, a career day event designed to educate and inspire the students to consider careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

Loving Pi and Pie

The 16-year-old McLean resident Kira Becker created a video about why students and teachers love Pi Day.

March 14 means two important things to both students and math geeks: a time to recite the digits of pi and eat even more pie.

Del. Comstock Accepting Applications To The Young Women's Leadership Program

Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34) has officially launched the second year of her Young Women's Leadership Program, which provides young women enrolled in middle school and high school the opportunity to meet and interact with women in leadership positions in government, politics and business. Through this program, young women will be able to learn about career opportunities in various fields, develop their leadership skills, identify their strengths and interests and practice effective communication with others to help realize their future educational and career goals.

Letter: GFCA Appeals for Greater Citizens Involvement

In recent weeks several letters have raised questions about the construction of the Walker Road "Diet Plan," which is reshaping the road between Great Falls’ two shopping areas.

Great Falls Historical Society Seeks Nominations for Jean Tibbetts History Award

The Great Falls Historical Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the area, invites community members to submit nominations for the Jean Tibbetts History Award, an annual award that honors outstanding contributors to the research, articulation, dissemination and preservation of the history of life along the Potomac River corridor from McLean to west of Dranesville and south through Herndon.

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Great Falls Citizens Association Talks Ticks and Trails

Town Hall Meeting addresses ‘Deer Management’ and the future of ‘Trails, Paths and Sidewalks’ in the village.

Braving frigid gusts of wind that left some of them without power at home, residents came out in force for the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) Town Hall Meeting on the night of Wednesday, March 12. The agenda consisted of only two topics – "Deer Management" and the future of "Trails, Paths and Sidewalks" in the village, but there was enough material and discussion to fill the three hours allotted.

On CBS: Chicken Broadcasting System?

Bill Geist, host of CBS Sunday Morning, came to Potomac on Monday, March 10, to interview Tyler Phillips and Diana Samata, owners of, a business that rents egg-laying hens and everything needed to gather eggs. The segment is scheduled to air on Sunday morning, March 23 at 9 a.m.

Editorial: Income Gap Alive and Well

Statistics make life in the area sound idyllic, but many families are left out in the land of plenty.

Northern Virginia is a place of wonder and plenty. So says the New York Times this past week in, "Income Gap Meet the Longevity Gap," (March 15, 2014).

No Know. No Problem.

I felt a bit of a dope this week when, after reading last week’s column, "Whew!", multiple friends called to inquire specifically as to the "Tony-the-Tiger Great" news I wrote that I received from my oncologist, and I couldn’t answer them in any detail: shrinkage, less fluid, "partial stable remission"? Nothing. And though I tried to get my oncologist to explain to me exactly what was so encouraging about this most recent CT Scan – compared to the one I took three months ago (as opposed to the one I had nine months ago which was mistakenly compared to this most recent scan and resulted in the "Some better, some worse. I’ll explain more on Friday" e-mail I received from my doctor and talked about in "Whew!") – I was rebuffed. Rebuffed in the best possible way: being told instead how great I was doing, how great my lab results were (for this most recent pre-chemotherapy) and how I could live a long time like this (presumably continuing to be infused with Alimta) – it was almost disconcerting; especially when you consider the original e-mail assessment we received and our less-than-positive interpretation of it. Moreover, the oncologist’s exuberance and smiling countenance, along with his offer of a congratulatory handshake led me away from the missing facts and immediately into these new-found feelings.

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How To Prepare for New SAT

Local experts say working hard in class is the best way to be successful.

Linda Mitchell and her 15-year-old daughter, Alexis, say they don’t really know what to expect when Alexis sits for the SAT college admissions exam in 2016, but they’re not too worried at this point. Two years is a long time.

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‘Oh Dad, Poor Dad’ To Debut in Arlington

The American Century Theater is presenting the Arthur Kopit farce, “Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad,” March 21-April 12 at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two, in Arlington. Described by the playwright as “a Pseudoclassical Tragifarce in a Bastard French Tradition,” this antic, absurdist black comedy about the most dysfunctional family imaginable was an Off-Broadway sensation in 1962 and a hardly-watched 1967 film starring Rosalind Russell, Barbara Harris, and Jonathan Winters. A farce in three scenes, “Oh Dad, Poor Dad …” tells the bizarre tale of wealthy, domineering mother Madame Rosepettle, who travels to a luxury resort in a Cuban hotel, bringing along her stuttering son, a man-eating Venus Fly Trap plant, a piranha, and her deceased husband, preserved and in his casket.

School Notes

Fairfax County Public Schools named 64 students to the 2014 Virginia All-State Band, and 86 FCPS students have been named to the 2014 Virginia All-State Orchestra. Both groups will perform at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, at the new Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Fairfax County Public School students from 22 high and secondary schools were named to the band or orchestra. Centreville High School: Alison Dettmer, Flute; Edward Chung, Violin; Joy Kim, Violin; Yehyun Kim, Violin; Joshua Pak, Violin; Jihun Yom, Violin. Westfield High School: Chandler Comer, Tenor Trombone; Daniel Park, Violin.

Commentary: Will Supervisors Honor Compact with the Community?

Former publisher of the Chronicle Newspapers A move by EnviroSolutions in South County, including Lorton and parts of Fairfax Station and Springfield, to extend the life of its construction debris landfill by 22 years and dramatically increase the facility’s size has led to a growing controversy. The core issue is whether residents can trust the Board of Supervisors to honor and enforce the terms of a past agreement that was made between a corporation, the local community, and the Board of Supervisors.

Sledders Enjoy the Snow

Sledders of all ages took to the hillside beneath the George Washington Masonic Temple on Monday, March 17, enjoying the newly fallen snow.

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Art Educators, Galleries Celebrate Youth Art Month

Experts say art can teach valuable life skills.

Brightly colored self-portraits, landscapes dotted with spring flowers and hand-carved sculptures fill a gallery at the McLean Project for the Arts in McLean. All of the art was created by local school children. Meanwhile, in Alexandria, parents and tots dip their fingers in glue, clay and paint to create collages, sculptures and paintings.

Letter to the Editor: Historical Society’s Role in Arlington

I wish to commend “Arlington Connection” for the excellent article by Steve Hibbard (“Exploring Arlington History,” March 12-18) about efforts to capture and relate the history of Arlington County. The attention to the Arlington Historical Society (AHS), as well as the Center for Local History (CLH) at Central Library, the Black Heritage Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, and the County Office of Historical Preservation will benefit all Arlingtonians by letting them know what is going on and where to find out more about programs. It is worth mentioning that the Arlington Heritage Center, originally intended as a “one-stop” introduction for visitors to Arlington, could become a reality if space were to be found in the planned County building that will be part of redeveloped Courthouse Square.

Synetic Theater Stages “Hamlet”

Synetic Theater is remounting Shakespeare’s “Hamlet … the rest is silence,” the abstract and wordless show that struck gold for them in 2002 when it debuted in Washington. This silent rendering stars Alex Mills, 24, as Prince Hamlet, Irina Tsikurishvili as Gertrude, Iraakli Kavsadze as Claudius and Irina Kavsadze as Ophelia. To help celebrate the Bard’s 450th birthday this year, Synetic took an abstract approach to the tragedy set in Denmark by using sparse sets, minimal props (originally by Georgi Alexi-Meskhishvili), dramatic lighting design (by Brittany Diliberto), minimal black-and-white costumes (Claire Cantwell) and intense sound design (Irakli Kavsadze). Synetic is best known for fusing the classical elements of drama, movement, mime, dance and music. The storyline of “Hamlet” centers on the revenge the grief-stricken Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering Hamlet’s father, Claudius’s brother. He succeeds to the throne and takes his wife Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother. The play explores everything from incest to revenge to madness and corruption.

Democrates in the 10th District Nominate John Foust

The field of GOP contenders vying for retiring U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf’s seat is still crowded, but the Democratic pool of political hopefuls dwindled to one on Monday: Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville). The Tenth Congressional District Democratic Committee (10th CDDC) announced Monday, March 17, it had cancelled its April 26 convention after Foust became the only candidate to file to seek the Democratic nomination for Congress. “To win this race in November we needed to avoid a costly primary and coalesce around a nominee as soon as possible,” said Committee Chairman Charlie Jackson in a statement regarding the decision. “We’ve done that and we couldn’t be happier that John Foust will become our nominee and have the ability to hit the ground running right away as our standard bearer.”

Two Sully Police Officers Honored

Because snow cancelled February’s meeting of the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee, two officers of the month were honored last week. Station Commander Ed O’Carroll recognized PFC John Kolcun for February and PFC Joe Compher for March. He and the CAC feted both officers during the CAC’s March 12 meeting at the Sully District Station. O’Carroll said Kolcun was being acknowledged for “his diligence out on the streets. He’s permanently on night duty so, when we’re all home sleeping and safe, he’s out there fighting crime.”

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CVHS Film-Production Classes Inspired Him

A 1996 Centreville High grad, Jason Corgan Brown is the producer, director and co-writer of the independent film, “Falcon Song.” And it’s having a sneak preview, this Sunday, March 23, at 2 p.m., at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Ashburn. Tickets are available now at Fresh from the Santa Barbara Film Festival, where it premiered in February, the PG-rated movie is a contemporary western in which a guitar-playing drifter helps a rancher's granddaughter find her true calling. It explores themes of land conservation and soul searching in a world filled with quirky, colorful characters and magical realism. The ensemble features Gabriel Sunday (“Year One”) with Rainey Qualley (daughter of Andie MacDowell), plus Martin Kove (“Karate Kid”), James Storm (“Dark Shadows”), Michael Yebba (“R.I.P.D.”) and David Hayward (“Matlock”).

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The Annual Shamrock Crawl

Clarendon Boulevard was filled with participants on the annual Shamrock Crawl on Saturday. March 15.

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Mathnasium Makes Learning Math Fun

The husband and wife team of Keni and Punam Patel has brought the Mathnasium concept of learning to Centreville area students. The Mathnasium opened in February in Centreville Square II near the Party Depot. Inside the storefront, an open area is filled with tables and games; oversized math “scribbles” decorate the walls. Keni Patel received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from Boston University and was subsequently an Advanced Studies Research Fellow at MIT. He is currently an applied mathematician in the Advanced Technology Group at Boeing Defense in Fairfax.

Obituary: Howard Hollis “Bo” Callaway, Sr.

Howard Hollis “Bo” Callaway, Sr., died Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Columbus, Ga. Callaway, age 86, was Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation in Pine Mountain. He was the son of the late Cason and Virginia Callaway, co-founders of Callaway Gardens.Callaway was born April 2, 1927, in LaGrange, Ga. He graduated from Episcopal High School in Alexandria. From 1944 to 1945, he attended Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta leaving there to become a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point earning letters in boxing, tennis, and squash. He graduated in 1949 with a degree in Military Engineering.During his military career, Callaway served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was a platoon leader in Korea, an instructor in tactics at Fort Benning, Ga., and was the recipient of the Combat Infantry Badge, three Campaign ribbons, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. Callaway ended his military service in 1953 to return to his home in Hamilton, Ga., and help his father develop and manage Callaway Gardens, a nationally recognized 6,500 acre garden and resort in Pine Mountain.

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United Way Awards $259,862 to Nonprofits

United Way of the National Capital Area recently awarded 20 grants totaling $259,862 to member organizations serving Arlington. The funds came through designations to the Arlington Community Impact Fund in United Way NCA's annual workplace giving campaign. Each of the grants addresses programs that fall within United Way NCA's focus areas of education, financial stability and health.In total, $1.7 million was raised through Community Impact Funds in United Way NCA's eight regions thanks to the support of employees from more than 800 workplaces with more than 3,000 locations throughout the Washington, D.C. region.

Letter to the Editor: ‘The Eminent Domain Council’

To the Editor: On Saturday I attended the public hearing on approving the Special Use Permits (SUPs) of two used car dealers whose businesses are located on the 1300 block of King Street. The city in all its wisdom has decided that these two used car lots are non-conforming uses for King Street. They did however give them until October to find alternate spaces elsewhere in the city. This is easier said than done as finding affordable alternative and accessible sites elsewhere is almost impossible.

Letter to the Editor: MVCCA Opposes ESI’s Request

To the Editor: An article in last week’s Gazette (“Green Energy or a Closed Landfill”) seemed to miss the purpose of EnviroSolutions’ (ESI) request for a Special Exception Amendment, which is to substantially expand the capacity of the Lorton construction and demolition debris (CDD) landfill and extend operations for 22 years. The Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’ Associations’ Environment and Recreation Committee, which I chair, was asked to review this application by ESI’s representative, Conrad Mehan. We worked closely with colleagues in the South County Federation (which opposes the SEA request) and with ESI, and conducted our own research to understand this complex and contentious case. Majorities of MVCCA Environment and Recreation and Planning and Zoning Committees voted to support a resolution opposing ESI’s request, which was adopted by the full Council on Feb. 26 (see ).

Letter to the Editor: Making a Trial Run

To the Editor: The conditioned vote on the King Street bike lane was a heartening start to using compromise to produce a better solution. Vice Mayor Silberberg and Councilman Chapman are to be commended for their outreach efforts that created a bike lane pilot project whose performance at the end of 18 months will contribute to the final configuration for combining pedestrians, vehicles, bikes, and residential needs.

Letter to the Editor: Fiscal Blindness

To the Editor: I enjoyed Annabelle Fisher’s Feb. 13 letter on business as usual in City Hall. She was spot on, the $100,000 spent on civic engagement, it is equivalent to losing about $10,000,000 in the real estate tax base. It is truly a complete waste. However what can we expect from a city government whose secret motto appears to be “We don’t listen, and we don’t care.” This abuse of the taxpayer is typical of Alexandria politicians.

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CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s Contributions to Arlington Free Clinic Top $1 Million

March 05, 2014 - Baltimore — CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) plans to contribute another $110,000 to Arlington Free Clinic to help the Northern Virginia health clinic better coordinate care during the next year for more than 500 uninsured patients – many of who have chronic diseases that require increased monitoring and adherence to strict medication schedules. Arlington Free Clinic intends to use CareFirst’s latest funding to strengthen its relationship with its network of community medical partners, equip diabetic patients with more resources and education to help them control their disease, and increase its patients’ compliance with recommended immunization schedules.

Commentary: Iron Mike, Two Wash Basins and Me

Years ago I was a member of a gym (or “Health Club”) located on Wisconsin Avenue in Chevy Chase. Joining this gym was an easy choice for me, since the gym occupied the penthouse floor of the same building in which my office was located. For a time, in the late 1990s — when he was past his heyday as the heavyweight boxing champ of the world — Mike Tyson occasionally visited my gym. He would arrive in the early afternoon, I was told, accompanied by his trainer and a couple of bodyguards, and spend a couple of hours working out. Because I could schedule my visits to the gym only after work, in the late afternoon or early evening, I never laid eyes on Mr. Tyson myself.

Letter to the Editor: Unacceptable For 2014

To the Editor: The article on March 13 regarding extending and expanding the construction debris landfill at Lorton raises yet again the question of why Fairfax County is even considering revising the current deal, which calls for the landfill to cease operations in 2018.

Obituary: William "Bill" Hopke, Jr.

William "Bill" Hopke, Jr., of the William B. Hopke Company Inc. died Saturday, March 1. Beloved husband of Joan M. Hopke; father of Patricia Hopke Casey (the late Rob), Michael W. Hopke (Ann) and Frank J. Hopke (Carla); brother of James T. Hopke; grandfather of Kristen, Shannon, Ryan and Brenna Casey and Brooke, Scotty, Matt and Michelle Hopke.

Commentary: U.S. 1 Version 2.0: Public Hearing Next Week

On Wednesday, March 26, at 6 p.m., the second public hearing regarding the U.S. 1 Multimodal Transit Alternative Analysis Study will take place at the South County Government Center. The study was funded by a $2 million budget amendment secured by Sen. Toddy Puller and I last session and is being administered by Virginia’s Department of Rail and Public Transit. It is probably the most important study for the future of our area to ever take place. The purpose of the study is to consider all factors clearly define the key transportation needs for our community, consider a range of multimodal transportation solutions to address the needs, and arrive at a recommended program of transportation improvements and accompanying land uses to lay the groundwork for development in our area through the year 2035.

Letter to the Editor: Support Angel Fund

To the Editor: We would like to thank Edgar Espinosa and the staff at Picante! Restaurant in Chantilly for their very generous offer to Angel Fund. Mr. Espinosa sent us coupons enabling customers to donate 10 percent of their meal’s bill to Angel Fund. Readers may visit our website: to print out the coupons or write Lu Ann McNabb at for copies.

Eleanor Bune Celebrates Her 96th

Sharp as a tack and mentally “with it” as a younger person, Eleanor Bune, an Arlington resident, is not missing a beat. On March 14, she turned 96-years-old. With a full head of her own hair that often draws compliments from strangers, she had her hair done on her birthday and wanted to look her best for a night out on the town. Her birthday was celebrated at Essy’s Carriage House in Arlington with her daughter, Karen L. Bune, and friends.

Happily Ever After

MVCCT presents “Once Upon A Mattress.”

Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairytale, "The Princess and the Pea," comes to the stage as a musical comedy in the Mount Vernon Children’s Community Theater spring production “Once Upon a Mattress.”

Tuesday, March 18

Classified Advertising March 19. 2014

Read the latest ads here!

Monday, March 17

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Casino Night at Ritz-Carlton for Boy and Girls Clubs

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, Fairfax Region runs clubs that serve children and teens in Mount Vernon and Falls Church, and held its inaugural Casino Night at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons on Friday, March 7. About 200 attended and enjoyed gaming, good food, music and live and silent auctions for a good cause.

Friday, March 14

Potomac Home Sales: February, 2014

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

Potomac Home Sales: February, 2014

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Hog Wild

Sweet Fire Donna's opens in Carlyle neighborhood.

It took a bit longer than expected because of weather and permit delays but it was worth the wait as BBQ fans lined up Feb. 27 to sample the fare at the opening of Sweet Fire Donna's, the latest offering from "Mango Mike" Anderson, Bill Blackburn and Anderson's wife Donna.

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Rotary Club Accepting Grant Applications

Deadline is March 31.

The Rotary Club of Alexandria is currently accepting applications for its annual grants to organizations that provide services to Alexandria's children, seniors and families in need.

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High on the Hog

Pork Barrel BBQ Hosts Meat Week challenge.

Skinny jeans were nowhere to be found as five contestants bellied up to the bar at Del Ray's Pork Barrel BBQ Jan. 29 to compete in the second annual High on the Hog Challenge as part of Meat Week 2014.

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Springfield Teens Support Ellie's Hats

Washington Irving Middle School eighth grade students, Alexandra Belk and Alana and seventh grader, Stephen Goodwin raised over $1300 for their Service Learning Project for Ellie's Hats. The eighth project, needed to include at least 15 hours each, and had to benefit their schools or community and they decided to choose a project that helped both.

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Hayfield Secondary Teacher Wins Milken Educator Award

Elizabeth Galinis, a geosystems and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) teacher at Hayfield Secondary School, has been named a winner of the Milken Educator Award by the Milken Family Foundation. Galinis is one of up to 40 educators nationwide selected to receive the award along with a $25,000 unrestricted cash prize. The announcement was made at a surprise assembly by Mike Milken, co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, and attended by Patricia Wright, state superintendent of public instruction.

Amanda Rosemary Zinn, Stephen Thomas Boyd to Marry

Michele and Alan Zinn of Springfield announce the engagement of their daughter, Amanda Rosemary to Stephen Thomas Boyd both of South Boston, Mass. Steve is the son of Marian and Walter Boyd of Greenfield, Mass. The future bride graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, College of William and Mary, and from Boston University with a Master's in Public Health. She is project manager in the Patient and Quality Group at Boston Children's Hospital.

Letter: Taking Exception on Medicaid

The Editorial in last week’s Connection ["Taking the Money"] does not include important facts about the risks of expanding Medicaid in Virginia:

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Providence Players Receive a WATCH Award

The Providence Players of Fairfax County received an award from the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater. The Providence Players perform at the James L. Community Center Theater, 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church.

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Mayor Silverthorne Kicks Off Re-election Campaign

City of Fairfax Mayor Scott Silverthorne kicked off his re-election campaign Sunday afternoon, March 9, at Red Hot & Blue. Attendees included Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th), Del. David Bulova (D-37th) and former Fairfax mayors, John Mason and Rob Lederer.

Potomac Real Estate: Top Sales in January 2014

In January 2014, 26 Potomac homes sold between $2,675,000-$293,000.

Potomac Real Estate: Top Sales in January 2014

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‘Proud of Our Young People at Woodson’

It was standing room only last week in Woodson High’s auditorium when some 1,100 people, mainly parents, gathered for comfort and advice in the aftermath of two student deaths.

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Help Offered in the Wake of Tragedy

Organizations provide information, guidance.

Woodson parent Karen Cogan called the March 5 meeting "a good first start. A lot of us were here to band together and let everyone know we’re there for each other." "It was a great community turnout, and I appreciated the school-system support services being here to give us some guidance," she said. "They told us what’s available to parents and kids and what [comprises] a crisis team." Parents also gave written answers to questions they’d received before the meeting. They shared their ideas to better support students, plus what resources could help. Students answered similar questions.

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Del. Filler-Corn Passes Legislation for Military Spouses

House Bill 1247, aimed at reducing burdensome red tape for military spouses, has passed the House of Delegates and Senate with unanimous bipartisan support and now awaits signature from the Governor. Sponsored by Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41) and supported by the Administration, HB 1247 would require the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation to expedite the review process for temporary licenses from 30 to 20 days for military spouses that already hold the equivalent license in another state.

Letter: Protecting the Arctic Wildlife

The influx of snowy owls this winter to the Lower 48 has everybody talking, and here in Northern Virginia it’s no different.

Letter: More on School Budget

This letter is in response to the letter published in the February 13-19 edition entitled: "School Budget: How to Pay?" submitted by Christopher Thompson of West Springfield. In this letter, Thompson suggests that the reason for rapidly increasing enrollment in the Fairfax County schools is the rapidly increasing number of children of illegal aliens in the system. Up to this point, I think he hit the nail right on the head... add to this the rapidly increasing number of English as a second language students- except that the number of children of illegal aliens in the system far exceeds the 6,000 number he quotes. Minus these children there would be no school budget crunch and I agree that those who are here or remain here must be educated.

Thursday, March 13

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Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Experts suggest a yearly spring maintenance check-up.

With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s time to focus on your home.

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Getting Your Garden Ready for Spring

Local experts tell you what you should do now, in spite of the cold weather.

It doesn’t feel like spring. Last week’s snow made it seem like warm weather might never arrive, so planting a garden might be the last thing on your mind. However, local gardening experts say this is the ideal time to start preparing your landscape to yield colorful spring foliage. Bill Mann, of Behnke Nurseries in Potomac, Md., said spring garden preparation plans differ from year to year. "It depends on the landscape beds you have and whether or not you’re planning to put in a vegetable garden," he said.

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Whimsy Meets Elegance

Potomac designer creates playful yet polished home for family of five.

When an active family of five approached Potomac interior designer Sharon Kleinman and asked her to give their home a makeover, they wanted a whimsical yet polished space.

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Kitchen Confidential

From light-filled to dramatic, local designers create dream kitchens.

When Allie Mann of Arlington, a designer and senior interior specialist at Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. was tasked with giving the first floor of a McLean, Va., home a face lift, she had to think free-flowing and airy.

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Arlington Family Outgrows Home but Stays Put

Family builds addition to accommodate their growing needs.

When a family of five realized that they’d outgrown their home in the Cherrydale neighborhood of Arlington, they pondered two options: purchase a new home or build an addition onto their existing home. They decided to stay in their home.

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15th Biennial Ikebana Show at the Art League

Twenty-five members of the Washington, D.C., branch of the Sogetsu School participated in the 15th biennial Ikebana Show at the Art League in the Torpedo Factory last week.

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Near Zero Temps Call for Back-to-Basic

What mid-winter maintenance can reveal about your home’s needs.

While common sense suggests that home improvements should be put off to warmer weather, a sustained period of colder temperatures often reveals systemic problems that will need correction sooner or later. As temperatures dropped precipitously several weeks ago, all Reston homeowner Craig Mattice knew was that his original mansard roof was plagued with ice dams and his 10-year-old, 600-square-foot addition was so cold the pipes were freezing. Moreover, no amount of thermostat adjustment improved the situation much.

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Supervisor Herrity hosts Budget Town Hall

County Executive, Chief Financial Officer answer questions.

At this year’s Springfield Budget Town Hall, County Executive Ed Long said he is much more optimistic about this year’s budget than the past. “Whatever we do with the budget, it has to be sustainable,” Long said. “There is no need to panic because of the challenges that are out there.”

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FIRST Robotics Team Prepping for Competition

Students build robots, use passion for engineering.

Every Monday, Friday and Saturday, members of the AIM Robotics and RTR Team Robotics meet in Lorton to prepare for the upcoming Greater D.C. Regional competition on March 27. The teams, both part of FIRST Robotics, share a space provided by Shirley Contracting. Students work on parts, coding and more to prepare for the competition.

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Green Energy Triangle Versus Closed Landfill

Community members, stakeholders debate future of Lorton Landfill.

On Thursday, the Fairfax County Planning Commission was set to make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors on whether EnviroSolutions should be permitted to continue the operation of the Lorton Landfill until 2040. However, according to Troy Manos, the communications director of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, a motion is expected to be made by a planning commission member to delay the vote in order to establish a group to discuss issues at stake between those on both sides of the debate.

Award-winning Composer Coming to Fairfax

The Fairfax Choral Society is sponsoring a Morten Lauridsen residency, March 20-23.

Morten Lauridsen, a renowned choral composer who is the subject of the 2012 award-winning documentary “Shining Night” and who was named an “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2006, is coming to Fairfax next week.

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Northern Virginia's Growing Debt Burden

Local governments use debt as a tool to build for the future.

Back in the 1920s, Harry Byrd became governor of Virginia on what he called a "pay-as-you-go" platform.

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Bike Lane Controversy Creates a King-Sized Debate in Alexandria

City Council set to take up proposal to remove parking and install bike lanes.

Months of bitter accusations and counter-accusations are set to culminate this weekend as members of the Alexandria City Council take up a plan to remove four blocks of parking spaces on King Street to make room for a bike lane in each direction.

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Wiggle Room on the Alexandria Tax Rate

Council members advertise half-a-penny increase in tax rate, allowing more flexibility.

Although Alexandria City Manager Rashad Young issued a proposed budget that keeps the current tax rate, members of the City Council voted this week to advertise a tax rate that's half a penny higher.

Wednesday, March 12

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TC Boys’ Soccer Looking for Deep Run at Regionals

Last season, Titans lost in PK shootout to Mount Vernon.

The T.C. Williams boys' soccer team lost to eventual state champion Mount Vernon in last season's region quarterfinals.

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Madison Girls’ Lax Motivated to Repeat as State Champs

Warhawks have won two of the last three state titles.

The Madison girls' lacrosse team enters the 2014 season with many experience athletes.

Dowling Enters First Season as McLean Head Baseball Coach

Virginia Tech-Bound Sullivan is Highlanders’ Top Pitcher.

John Dowling spent two seasons as Lee head coach before coming to McLean

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Wakefield Boys' Basketball Team Loses in State Semifinals

Tham scores 26 points, grabs 22 of Warriors’ 30 rebounds.

The Wakefield boys' basketball team lost in the state semifinals for the second straight season.

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Woodson Boys’ Basketball Loses in State Semifinals

Cavaliers struggle offensively against Landstown.

The Woodson boys' basketball team scored a season-low 37 points against Landstown in the state semifinals.

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Empty-Nesters Re-invent the Family Home

Built-ins, cleverly articulated interior increase usable space without need to add-on.

Sometimes life’s second act requires a bold set change. How else are others to know that the featured players have moved on, embracing new beginnings?

Van Metre Wins Sales, Marketing Awards

Van Metre Homes won eight Silver Awards at the 2014 National Sales and Marketing Awards, hosted by the National Sales and Marketing Council.

Classified Advertising March 12, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

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The D.C. Design House Designers Announced

Some of the area’s top designers competed for an opportunity to donate their talent to transform a local, grand home into a showcase home. Local designers chosen to help transform the 2014 DC Design House include:

Weichert, Realtors’ McLean/Old Dominion Office Recognizes Top Associates

Bruce L. Green, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, announced Sales Associate Patricia Derwinski of the McLean/Old Dominion office was individually recognized for her exceptional industry success during the month of December. Top producer, Derwinski led the region, which comprises offices throughout Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier and Delaware counties, for resale dollar volume. This top neighborhood specialist can be reached in Weichert’s McLean/Old Dominion office at 6257 Old Dominion Drive or by phone at 703-821-8300. Additionally, Sales Associate J.D. Callander of the McLean/Dolley Madison office was individually recognized for her exceptional industry success during the month of December. A top producer, Callander led the region for resale listings. She can be reached in Weichert’s McLean/Dolley Madison office at 1313 Dolley Madison Boulevard or by phone at 703-760-8880.

Great Falls Historical Society Seeks Nominations for Jean Tibbetts History Award

The Great Falls Historical Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the area, invites community members to submit nominations for the Jean Tibbetts History Award, an annual award that honors outstanding contributors to the research, articulation, dissemination and preservation of the history of life along the Potomac River corridor from McLean to west of Dranesville and south through Herndon. Candidates for the Jean Tibbetts History Award are selected from annual nominations to Great Falls Historical Society and the award includes a stipend of $200.

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Garden Club of Virginia Celebrates 81st Tour

House and garden tours will take place across Virginia during the 81st Historic Garden Week. Garden week runs from Saturday, April 26-Saturday, May 3.

Photo Contest and Exhibit at Community Center

The Vienna Parks and Recreation Department's annual Photography Contest and Exhibit will be held Saturday, March 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, March 16, from noon to 3:30 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street, SE.

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St. Patrick’s Day at the Old Brogue

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at your local Irish pub, The Old Brogue. Come out to listen to Sunday Night Snuggery Concerts with Pennywhistle on March 16 at 4 and 6 p.m. The cost is $15 per person. Or join in on the fun on Monday, March 17, for The Snuggery’s Irish Concerts, featuring Pennywhistle (Barry, Donal & Leonard Nelson) straight from County Donegal, Ireland. Includes lunch or dinner. For reservations call 703-759-3309

Editorial: Voting Against Virginia?

Local proponents of expanding health coverage for poor people have a point about those in the General Assembly voting against it.

When Delegates Scott Surovell, Charniele Herring and Rob Krupicka, along with Sen. Adam Ebbin got together to make the case for expanding Medicaid in Virginia, they brought slide presentations, charts, spreadsheets, poll results and more.

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‘We Formed Bonds of Friendship at Archer’

Elementary school celebrates 75th anniversary.

Past and present came full circle last week when alumni joined current students, their parents and teachers to celebrate Louise Archer Elementary’s 75th anniversary. Sixth-graders proudly gave visitors tours of this historic school, while attendees looked at old class photos and other mementos in a museum in the library.


Originally, this column was to be a discussion about the communication process between my doctor and this patient. Specifically, the time lag between when tests are performed/completed and when those results are communicated to the doctor who in turn – per this patient’s request, e-mails them to me. In the olden days, results were most likely offered up in person; in the post-olden days, more likely a phone call was made; presently, at least in my experience, results most likely will be e-mailed. I imagine an enduring problem for the patient – during all three "days," has been the time waiting for test results and hearing about them from your doctor. Excruciating is one of the most accurate characterizations of that delay, combined with an unhealthy dose of helplessness. Eventually, if you live long enough, you sort of become accustomed to the process and learn to roll with the punches, both figuratively and literally. Nevertheless, the patience and experience you learn can’t totally stop the rampant speculation that keeps you up at night and sleepy during the day.

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Clifton Dinner Theater Presents ‘Death at The Devereux’

Performances are March 20-22 at Clifton Town Meeting Hall.

The cast of “Death at The Devereux," the spring performance of the Clifton Dinner Theater, will take audience members back to the 1920s in this musical-murder-mystery-comedy. The musical, written by director Charlotte Yakovleff of Centreville, follows the grand re-opening of “The Devereux,” Bobby Lyle's speakeasy.

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Trout Fishing Derby Held In Herndon

Families fish at Sugarland Run Trail.

Beginning Saturday at 7 a.m. at Sugarland Run Trail in Herndon, parents and children arrived to participate in the annual fishing derby. The Town of Herndon’s Parks and Recreation Department coordinated the event. Other volunteer groups assisting at the event included members from the Town of Herndon Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 64 and Trout Unlimited. “This is our fifth time participating in this event,” said George Paine, a resident of Reston and secretary of the Northern Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited (NVATU). Members of NVATU helped families clean and prepare the fish after they had been caught. NVATU is a diverse group of residents from the Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Prince William County, who enjoy fishing and associated activities to enhance fishing opportunities. The chapter holds regular meetings the first Thursday evening of every month at the Vienna Firehouse, in Vienna.

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Mr. Horejsi Goes to Richmond

In the fight for social justice with patience and persistence.

Every year, dozens of high-priced lobbyists descend on Virginia’s state capitol.

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Kings’ Jesters Perform ‘Annie Jr.’

Performances are March 18-20 at Kings Glen Elementary.

Members of the Kings’ Jesters at Kings Glen Elementary School in Springfield, as well as staff and parents, have been preparing for the annual spring musical since November. Now, it’s almost time for the group of fourth through sixth graders to perform “Annie Jr.” next week, March 18-20.

Race to Watch - II

To the Editor: There were a few errors in my letter published in the Connection of March 5th [“Race to Watch”]. I stated that Barbara Comstock spent $1.4 on her race and won by less than 52 percent of the vote. She actually spent $1.4 million and received 50.6 percent of the vote, a margin of only 422 votes. I also understated Bob Marshall's margin of victory. He won by 495 votes, not close to 400 votes. Sue Rosenberg Vienna

Del. Comstock Accepting Applications To The Young Women's Leadership Program

Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34) has officially launched the second year of her Young Women's Leadership Program, which provides young women enrolled in middle school and high school the opportunity to meet and interact with women in leadership positions in government, politics and business.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures: A Local Teen Looking to Make a World of Difference

George C Marshall High School sophomore, Taylor Lane, of Dunn Loring, had listened her whole life to amazing stories of people who had made a difference in the world through courageous acts of heroism or selfish acts of compassion. Both of her parents had lived through the Rwandan genocide, now marking its 20 year anniversary, and led the evacuation of innocents out of the country. From their experiences, Taylor had been taught to believe in the “power of one,” that anyone could make a difference in the world.

GRACE Hosts Young Artists

Gallery celebrates Youth Art Month with art of local students.

Greater Reston Art Center [GRACE] has opened its new exhibit “Art: Works from Participating Schools” which will run from March 7 to March 15. This exhibition highlights artwork from the GRACE Art program. Over 40 area schools participate in this program, in which classroom volunteers deliver an interactive art history lesson with visuals followed by an engaging hands-on art project designed to reinforce the lesson. Selected student projects from seventeen participating schools are presented at GRACE, promoting the impact of this visual art literacy program.

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Youth Art on Display

33rd Annual McLean Project for the Arts Youth Art Show kicks off with a crowd.

Over three decades ago the McLean Project for the Arts began lining its gallery walls with artwork from the Mclean youth and 33 years later, the tradition has continued on as the gallery’s annual Youth Art Show. Saturday marked the opening reception of the youth art exhibition at the McLean Community Center that featured the artwork of hundreds of students from eight McLean elementary schools.

Stephan Quinn Cassaday Named Barron’s #1 Financial Advisor in Virginia

Cassaday & Company, Inc. announced that Barron’s, a leading financial publication, named Stephan Quinn Cassaday, CFP, CFS as the number one financial advisor in the state of Virginia on its annual list of America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors: 2014 State by State. This list includes both independent advisory firms and large wirehouses. Previously, Stephan Quinn Cassaday was ranked fourth from 2010-2013. He was also ranked in 2009.

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Longfellow Middle, TJHSST Win Regional Science Bowls

Science Bowl teams from Longfellow Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) won first place in the regional Science Bowl held in Newport News, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Longfellow team placed first in a field of 16 middle school teams, winning a $750 prize to support science programs at the school. Team members are Nicholas Begotka, Aditya Sarkar, Franklyn Wang, Wenbo Wu, and Fred Zhang. Longfellow science teacher Jim Bradford coaches the team.

Week in McLean

Two Die in Merrifield Area Crash Around 1:50 a.m., on Monday, Feb. 3, a police officer attempted to stop the driver of a 1999 Dodge Neon, for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. The Neon was west bound on Hilltop Road when it attempted to flee. The Neon lost control near the intersection with Old Lee Highway and ran off the road, striking a tree.

Spelling Bee Championship Held at Churchill Road

On Feb. 24, Churchill Road Elementary crowned a new champion in the school’s sixth annual Spelling Bee. Sixth grader Brandon Torng won the championship after 13 rounds by correctly spelling the word “glockenspiel.” Of his spelling bee experience, Brandon said: “It was really exciting to win and it was a great experience. It was hard work (studying for the bee), but it was worth it.” Brandon will be representing Churchill Road at the county Spelling Bee later in March. Congratulations also to the first runner up, fifth grader Eliana Schoenberg, and second runner up, fourth grader Nia Brockelman. The winner of the Fairfax County Bee will advance to the Scripps National Bee in Washington, D.C. The school is thankful to parent Shivu John and the many parent volunteers for organizing this event and to second grade teacher Cindy Zemke for serving as the Bee’s pronouncer.

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Great Falls Writer’s Group to Host Smithsonian Curator Dr. William L. Bird

On Thursday, March 20, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Great Falls Library, the Great Falls Writer's Group (GFWG) will host Dr. William L. Bird, Smithsonian Curator of the National Museum of American History and Director of the Division of Political History.

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Search for Community

Uncovering the building blocks of African-American community in Fairfax County in the Post-Civil War Era.

The Great Falls Historical Society (GFHS) February program featured “micro historian and ethnographer” Marion Dobbins as guest speaker. As a “micro historian” Dobbins focuses on a narrow spectrum of history concentrating on community and contributions of African Americans in Fairfax County. Dobbins presented original research on the Great Falls African American community and surrounding areas. Her research challenges conventional paradigms about the formation of community and reveals new contributions from “connected” African American communities within Fairfax County.

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Touring Artist Series Continues in Reston

Tickets still available for CenterStage performances in dance, music and theatre.

Reston Community Center (RCC) continues its 2013-2014 Professional Touring Artist Series at the CenterStage with an eclectic mix of musicians, dancers and theatre performers. RCC Arts and Events Director Paul Douglas Michnewicz says that his choices for his inaugural season were personal. He specifically chose many of these performers for their intriguing backgrounds and how that has inspired the work they present. “The personal stories and backgrounds of these artists are as fascinating and compelling as the performances they present on stage,” Michnewicz says of the season. “My hope is that audiences will personally connect with both the artists and the art they present.”

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Boy Scouts Earn Science Merit Badge

Boy Scouts from Troop 55 build an electroscope at the Great Falls Elementary STEM Fair.

On Feb. 3, Boy Scouts from Troop 55 assisted Great Falls Elementary by setting up a booth at their STEM Fair. The booth demonstrated how to build and use a homemade electroscope. Using copper wire, a glass jar and aluminum foil, Troop 55 Boy Scouts constructed the electroscope, and then helped participants generate static electricity using balloons rubbed on hair, scarves and vinyl notebooks.

Defeating Obamacare


In a speech on the floor of the House of Delegates recently I spoke of experiences I had in my first years as a member when others in the House smoked during the daily floor sessions. One member was notorious for lighting up a long cigar. A cloud of smoke hung over the House chamber. I explained that I was reminded of that cloud of smoke when in recent weeks I have listened to a series of speeches by members of the majority party explaining why they do not support expansion of Medicaid. You can listen to my speech at http://youtube/Vl6Bky8zjWE.

Reston Man Pleads Guilty to Exporting Unlicensed Goods to Iran

Vahid Hosseini, 62, of Reston, pleaded guilty to two felony counts arising from his involvement in exporting various unlicensed goods from the United States to Iran.

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Celebrating Space

Herndon Cub Scout Pack 157 celebrates space with visits from the Empire and Orbital.

Cub Scout Pack 157, based at Herndon Elementary School and chartered by Herndon United Methodist Church, celebrated its annual Blue and Gold Banquet on Friday, Feb. 21, with a focus on space. Held throughout the United States in February, Blue and Gold Banquets are an opportunity for the youth and families that participate in scouting to get together with food and fun.

Aldrin Elementary, Giant Announce Partnership

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

County Recognizes 2013 DESIGNArlington Winners

The Arlington County Board honored the winners of the county’s DESIGNArlington awards on Feb. 25

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Superman Comes to McLean

Theater Unspeakable presents ‘Superman 2050’ at Alden Theatre.

That iconic comic-book super-hero Superman is coming to the McLean Community Center. He is ready to save the day from his foe Lex Luther. Superman and the gang will be live and in person as performed by Theatre Unspeakable in the new "Superman 2050." "The moment I saw 'Superman 2050' at a conference in Philadelphia last year I knew I had to book them for the Alden. The show is just so unique," said Kathleen Herr, director of Youth Programs, Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center.

Obit: Emma Virginia Reeves

Emma Virginia Reeves entered life on July 30, 1922 and died on Feb. 27, 2014. Emma (Ginny) was born to Edward and Viola Owens in Alexandria.

Wellness On Wheels Bus Begins

Students from Patrick Henry Elementary School together with school staff and city officials cut the ribbon on a mobile health care unit Monday morning, March 10, at the school.

Fighting for Her Neighborhood Led to School Roles

Shirley N. Tyler bridged racial divides.

For more than 40 years, Shirley Tyler has been a community leader in Alexandria.

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Celebrates 70 Years

Three themes: Community, accessibility and connection.

The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year by expanding its outreach efforts.

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Remembering Segregation in McLean and Vienna

Longtime resident reflects on life in McLean and Vienna during uncertain times.

Deloris Evans remembers the excitement of riding the bus with students from The Madeira School. She was thrilled because they were going to see Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 inauguration parade. She was also delighted because this was her father’s bus. He was the chauffer for Lucy Madeira, head and founder of The Madeira School. And for this event, he was given permission to bring his young black daughter onto a bus full of white students to see the historic parade.

Reston Community Players Win WATCH Award

Mary-Anne Sullivan named Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play.

The Reston Community Players received an award from the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater. In its 47th season, the Reston Community Players perform at CenterStage, Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston.

Two Days' Difference

On Thursday, March 6, birders (left) bundled in many layers braved below-freezing temperatures at Riley's Lock in Potomac to look out at 1,000 water birds, many of them unusual to the upper Potomac River. Two days later, with temperatures in the 60s and sunny weather on Saturday, March 8 providing a welcome contrast to ice, snow and low temperatures near zero just a few days before, many people in Potomac took to the outdoors, like this stand-up paddle boarder (right) on the Potomac River at Riley's Lock. With water temperature in the river at 41 degrees, however, the wetsuit was essential.

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Kindness on Display at Diva Central

More than 200 teens flocked to the 12th annual Prom Dress Giveaway.

Kindness can turn an ordinary day into one that captures the happily-ever-after feeling of a Disney movie. Reston Community Center played Fairy Godmother over the weekend, giving hundreds of girls their Cinderella moment. More than 200 teens flocked to the center’s Lake Anne location for free prom dresses, jewelry and shoes during Saturday’s 12th annual Diva Central Prom Dress Giveaway.

C&O Canal Trust, C&O Canal National Historical Park Receive Award

Canal Quarters, a program that preserves and provides public use of historic lockkeepers’ houses along the 184.5-mile Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal, received the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation in a Capitol Hill ceremony on March 7.

Novelist To Share Latest Book

Author Jon Skovron debuts his novel “Man Made Boy” at Potomac Library.

Skovron will showcase “Man Made Boy” at the Potomac Library’s author talk on March 29 at 1 p.m.

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Fine Art Photography Winners Announced

Juror D. B. Stovall announced the competition winners during the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 8, before a crowd of 130. Cash awards were given for first place: Look-up Eiffel by Jeffrey Miller; second place: Blue by Claire Carroll; and third place: Ariel by David Segal. Honorable mentions were given to Ybor at Night by William J. Faeth; Black Bute by Peter Foiles; and Vintage Aviation by Rhett Rebold.

Serving Up Smorgasbord of Local History

There’s a lot going on in Arlington’s history — this being the 150th anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery, and the 200th anniversary of the burning of Washington. And there’s a lot going on in the Arlington Historical Society (AHS) as well.

Initiative for Public Art-Reston Exhibition at Dulles International Airport

Celebrates Reston’s Public Art and the Community as a Cultural Destination

The history, dedication and achievement of art in Reston is on display for the world to see. “Reston: The Art of Community,” an exhibit focusing on Reston’s contribution to the arts and coordinated by the Initiative for Public Art-Reston (IPAR), was installed in October 2013 and is currently on display until May 31, 2014 at Washington Dulles International Airport, which serves more than 21 million passengers, including 7 million international travelers, annually.

Historic Arlington Events

A collection of historic events occurring in Arlington.

Letter: Ospreys Have Returned

To the Editor

Historical Events in Arlington

A selection of historical events occurring in Arlington.

Hog Wild

Sweet Fire Donna's opens in Carlyle neighborhood.

BBQ fans lined up Feb. 27 to sample the fare at the opening of Sweet Fire Donna's, the latest offering from “Mango Mike” Anderson, Bill Blackburn and Anderson's wife Donna.

LTA Stages "Proof"

Drama explores love and relationships, mental illness and mathematics.

The Little Theater of Alexandria is staging "Proof," a dense and compact drama/comedy written by David Auburn about mathematics and mental illness that starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Anthony Hopkins in the 2005 film adaptation.

Why Not Recall Retired Homicide Detectives?

Since retired judges are always available for further bench duty, why aren't retired detectives and other officers accessible for recalled duty?

Emma Virginia Reeves


Emma Virginia Reeves entered life on July 30, 1922 and died on Feb. 27, 2014. Emma (Ginny) was born to Edward and Viola Owens in Alexandria.

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Magdolna Iranyi-Gondor M.D.

Magdolna Iranyi-Gondor M.D., beloved pediatrician to thousands of children in the Alexandria area, died on March 8, 2014 after a long battle with cancer.

Alexandria Theater Companies Earn WATCH Awards

The Port City Playhouse, The Little Theatre of Alexandria and Aldersgate Church Community Theatre each took home honors from Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in community theater.

Arlington Theater Company Earns WATCH Awards

Dominion Stage took home multiple honors from Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater.

Fighting Childhood Cancer

St. Baldrick’s fund-raiser is March 23.

St. Baldrick’s Day events try to raise as much money as possible toward finding a cure for childhood cancer.

We’re (Almost) Done

State Budget Still Unfinished

The General Assembly’s 60-day legislative session adjourned on Saturday without a completed budget for the new fiscal year starting July 1.

Three Plays for Price of One

Centreville High One-Acts take the stage.

Two dramas and a comedy are on tap for Centreville High’s annual One-Act Play Festival. Presented will be “13 Ways to Screw up a College Interview,” “10,000 Cigarettes” and “The Lottery.”


Mary Ribble Cranwell

Mary Ribble Cranwell's obituary and her life in Alexandria.

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Letter: Support for the Alexandria Seaport Foundation?

Citizens of Alexandria: a strong "yes"; Alexandria planners and leadership: a strong "?"

I am a solid supporter and board member of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation (ASF) and very proud of the help we provide at-risk and underserved youth. It is a great and satisfying feeling to see our apprentices develop the career and life skills that will help them become contributing members of the community.

Farewell to Anne and Ramon Martinez

PAINT (Potomac Artists in Touch) hosted a farewell luncheon March 5 for long-time residents Anne and Ramon Martinez.

Letter: Ride On

To the Editor

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Winter’s Avian Bounty at Seneca Creek

Cold winter brings more unusual birds to the Potomac River.

The 2014 “Winter of our Discontent,” has been difficult for North American waterfowl as well. Ducks, geese, swans, and grebes gather in large groups/flocks on lakes, rivers, ponds, and such to pass the winter before the spring breeding season.

Letter: Consider Alternatives

To the Editor

Letter: Right Advice

To the Editor

Letter: Slaters Lane Proves Benefit

To the Editor

Hog Wild

Sweet Fire Donna's opens in Carlyle neighborhood.

Sweet Fire Donna's opens.

Are LEDs the Bulbs of the Future?

Local experts shed light on the issue.

Light bulbs. It used to be easy. Walk into the hardware store and pick out the wattage you need. But, for those of us who have recently found themselves part of the bewildered throng gathered in front of the new LED (light-emitting diode), CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) and halogen light bulb displays, there is hope as local experts weigh in on the issue.Idrissa Bagouda knows a lot about the subject.

Letter: Let Civility Prevail

To the Editor

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Rotary Club Accepting Grant Applications

Deadline is March 31.

The Rotary Club of Alexandria is currently accepting applications for its annual grants to organizations that provide services to Alexandria's children, seniors and families in need.

Really, Lying Already?

To the Editor: [Barbara] Comstock is not even on the ballot and already she’s throwing lies around in a letter designed to raise Republican hackles and raise money for her primary.

A Manufactured Crisis

To the Editor Visit your local sports equipment store to purchase a $100 fishing pole. You may not know that Medicaid will collect an additional $2.83 in what used to be known as a Federal Excise Tax – reserved for luxury goods and services- now an ObamaCare Medical Devices tax. Buy a new set of tires for $500 and you pay an additional $14.15 on the Medical Devices tax. This is just another, in a long string of hidden provisions of a bad law. Go figure how a new set of tires or a fishing pole is a medical device. The Department of Health and Human Services has asked retailers to not show the tax on your sales receipt! Why an open, transparent Federal Government would ask that is beyond this writer.

Chantilly High School Celebrates Diversity

International Night is slated for March 19.

Chantilly High is holding its annual International Night next Wednesday, March 19, in the school theater.

Week in Herndon

MOMS Club to Host Spring Swap

The MOMS Club of Herndon will host a Spring Swap on Thursday, March 20, from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church (651 Dranesville Rd, Herndon). All Herndon (zip codes 20170 and 20171) stay at home mothers are encouraged to come and meet other at-home mothers.

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High on the Hog

Pork Barrel BBQ Hosts Meat Week challenge.

Meat Challenge held at local BBQ. Skinny jeans were nowhere to be found as five contestants bellied up to the bar at Del Ray's Pork Barrel BBQ Jan. 29 to compete in the second annual High on the Hog Challenge as part of Meat Week 2014.

Week in Vienna

Councilwoman Laurie DiRocco has filed to run for Town of Vienna mayor, following the death of long-time Mayor M. Jane Seeman. Town Council members Michael Polychrones and Laurie Cole are not running for re-election, but Edythe Kelleher is.

Classical Ballet Theatre Dancers Make the Most of their Evening

Classical Ballet Theatre (CBT) dancers dazzled their enthusiastic audience during “An Evening with Classical Ballet Theatre,” held at the Reston Community Center on Feb. 21. This evening of classical ballet and contemporary dance performances proved to be one to celebrate—for the audience, the dancers, and the choreographers.

Letter: Adding to National Debt

To the Editor

Tax Relief Deadline April 1

Both the Town of Vienna and Fairfax County offer real estate tax relief for low-income homeowners who are 65 years old and over, or permanently and totally disabled. To qualify, the following requirements must be met: *Total household income of $72,000 or less. This amount excludes $6,500 of income of relatives, other than the spouse, who reside in the household. Also excluded is $7,500 of any income received by a disabled homeowner. 100 percent tax relief is given for total combined income of $52,000 or less, 50 percent tax relief between $52,001 and $62,000, and 25 percent tax relief between $62,001 and $72,000.

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Looking Back at Louise Archer

Louise A. Reeves Archer was born on Oct. 23, 1883, and grew up in North Carolina. She attended Livingstone College, taught school in Southampton County and moved to Washington, D.C., in 1922. That year, she became the teacher and principal for the one-room, segregated Vienna Colored School. She devoted her life to educating African-American children and often drove them to school, herself.

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Citizens Air Opposing Opinions on Molsters’ Stable

Great Falls Land Use and Zoning Committee Hearing draws a large crowd.

It was standing room only at the Great Falls Grange assembly hall on Monday night, March 10 and occasionally emotions ran a bit high as residents and other interested parties turned out in force for the Great Falls Citizens Association Land Use and Zoning Committee’s (GFCALUZ) hearing on a Special Permit application by the Molster family to operate a riding stable on their property at 815 Blacks Hill Road.

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Winning Championship, Honors

The McLean fifth grade girls' basketball team won the Division 2 championship with a 36-25 victory over Gainesville on Saturday at Liberty Middle School in Centreville.

McLean Community Center to Hold Hearing on Programs

The McLean Community Center Governing Board will hold its annual Public Hearing on Programs at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26. The board is seeking comments and suggestions on Center programs and services from residents of the Dranesville Small District 1A tax district, which it serves. The regular monthly meeting of the Governing Board will immediately follow the hearing. All meetings of the board are open to the public. The Center is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue.

Great Falls Resident Wins Conference Championship with MIT

Tim Higgins of Great Falls is a member of the 2013 – 2014 New England Men’s and Women’s Conference (NEWMAC) championship basketball team. Higgins, a freshman, plays for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) men’s basketball team. After winning four games and losing four games during February, MIT went on a roll and swept the conference playoffs beating last year’s champion WPI in a semifinal game, and outlasting Springfield College in the championship game. With the NEWMAC conference win, the MIT Engineers received an automatic bid to the NCAA basketball tournament. Tim attended and played basketball for Paul VI high school in Fairfax and was part of their 2012 undefeated team.

The Artists’ Atelier to Host Book Signing Event

The Artists’ Atelier will host a reception and book signing for local author, Debra Sue Latiolais. Her recently published children’s book “Polly and her Pigtails” has received the highest honor awarded by the Mom’s Choice Awards. “Polly and her Pigtails” is the first book in a series of generational storytelling. The reception is open to the public and will be held on Sunday, March 16, 2-4 p.m. at The Artists’ Atelier Gallery, 1144 Walker Road, Suite G, Great Falls. Books will be available for purchase. To learn more about Debra and her book visit

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Paying Tribute to Multiple Generations for Giving Back

This year’s honorees demonstrate that one’s involvement in volunteering, charity, and giving back can have a strong influence on the younger generation that may have a far reaching, sometimes unexpected, and even international, impact. Patty and Kate Moran are both devoted to the Alexandria Community, and particularly the Del Ray neighborhood.

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Elden Street Players Win Five WATCH Awards

The Elden Street Players received five awards from the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) for artistic and technical excellence in Community Theater. The Elden Street Players performed in Herndon for over 25 years. In September 2013, the Elden Street Players became the professional level NextStop Theatre Company performing at the Industrial Strength Theater, 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon.

Lawson, Lodato Among Ten To Be Honored

Ten women recognized by Alexandria Commission for Women for their accomplishments in civic life.

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Revealing Wonders of Science

McLean High School student Shivani Gupta started off an afternoon session of Wonders of Science at the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Shop on Feb. 1 with examples of bones and fossils that she collected as an 18th century natural scientist.

Roundups for 3/12/2014

The editor presents the roundups for the week of 3/12/2014.

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AWLA in Midst of ‘Care and Transform’ Campaign

Funds will expand facility for cats and small animals.

Animal Welfare Leagues animals getting a new home.

His Name Is ‘Fronkensteen’

The Alliance Theatre presents ‘Young Frankenstein.’

A rollicking, Mel Brooks comedy will burst upon the stage when The Alliance Theatre presents “Young Frankenstein.”

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Understanding WWII Decisions

Yorktown High junior studies military history in Normandy and New Orleans.

“On Omaha Beach, there were bunkers everywhere. And tons of it is still there. They still have the craters.”

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Third Graders Learn About Black History

Learning about Black History

Dozens of children gathered to listen to a story from Reading Is Fundamental’s newly launched Multicultural Book Collection.

Students Named Global Finalists

Two TJHSST teams selected for 2014 Spirit of Innovation Challenge competition.

Two teams from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology have been chosen as global finalists to compete in the 2014 Spirit of Innovation Challenge competition.

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Ageless Beauty Peers over Lee Highway

An eye-catcher on display.

Model T Ford on display at Mr.Tire.

Gala Raises $125,000 for Center

The Center for Alexandria’s Children, a public-private partnership that serves abused and neglected children, raised a record $125,000 in proceeds at its Fifth Annual Gala Benefit on Friday, Feb. 28, at Virtue Feed & Grain in Old Town.

Picture Perfect Pieces

Student art on display at Central Library.

Scholastic Award winning pieces return to the Central Library.

State Budget Still Unfinished

Why the General Assembly’s 60-day legislative session adjourned on Saturday without a completed budget for the new fiscal year starting July 1.

Van Metre Homes Receives National Awards

Van Metre Homes, based in Fairfax, are the recipients of a number of National Sales and Marketing Awards for 2014.

Fundraiser To Benefit Wounded Warrior Project

Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) and Chantilly Youth Association (CYA) are joining forces to host the first "LAX for a Cause: Purple vs. Red" marathon.

Saturday, March 8

Braunstein Retiring from CSB

He led agency through transformation, advocated for mental health services.

George Braunstein said he entered the field of mental health services almost accidentally. “My first college degree was in history and education. I was going to be a high school history teacher,” Braunstein said.

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Lake Braddock Boys' Basketball Falls to Colonial Forge in 6A State Semifinals

Bruins struggle with Eagles' strength, athleticism at VCU's Siegel Center in Richmond.

The Lake Braddock boys' basketball team finished the season with a 23-5 record.

Thursday, March 6

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Arctic Snowy Owl at Springfield Mall

"Snowy Owl at Springfield Mall," the subject line read on the Virginia Society of Ornithology’s birding hotline, on Feb. 4. The winter of 2013-2014 had seen an unprecedented irruption of Arctic Snowy Owls into the mid-Atlantic states. Dozens, or hundreds were being seen from Maine to the Carolinas, and even one in Florida. Mostly they showed up on Atlantic barrier islands, or at airports (two were seen at Washington National Airport) which look like their native tundra.

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Be Dazzled

The now and the future of dance comes to Mason.

The dancers are coming! The dancers are coming! The Winter Olympics isn't the only venue to see agility, power, speed, strength and beauty. And you won't need to know the difference between a double Lutz and a triple axel. Soon Fairfax County will be welcoming five hundred of another type of athletes: 500 dancers from dozens of colleges and universities showcasing and competing with dreams of appearing at the Kennedy Center this May. It is the American College Dance Festival with a grand opening by the famed Joffrey Ballet. "We are very excited to be hosting this year’s mid-Atlantic festival and opening our beautiful facilities to our talented guests," said Susan Shields, professor, Mason School of Dance. "At Mason, the arts are highly valued throughout the campus and the curriculum."

‘I Have to Protect Society from You’

Requejo sentenced to five years in prison.

Even if Eduardo Requejo was sexually molested himself, as a child, that didn’t give him the right to do it to anyone else. That was the message Judge Brett Kassabian gave him last Friday in Fairfax County Circuit Court. He then sentenced Requejo, 23, of Fairfax, to five years in prison for sexually molesting an 8-year-old girl.

Work Beginning on Ashby Pond Trail

It’s full speed ahead for the construction of the Ashby Pond Park Trail. Work was set to begin Monday, March 3, with construction expected to last approximately 90 days, until May 31. The park will be closed during construction and, weather permitting, should be open again in June.

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Fairfax City Budget Proposal Unveiled

Includes no increase in property-tax rate.

The City of Fairfax is on firm financial footing and the real-estate tax rate is not proposed to increase in the coming fiscal year. That was the message City Manager Bob Sisson brought to the City Council last Tuesday, Feb. 25, when he unveiled his proposed FY 2015 budget.

Message To Teenagers: Things Do Get Better

Catie Warren is a 2009 Woodson High grad and her brother is a freshman there. Now a writer, after last week’s tragedies she wrote the following about high-school life in general on Yesterday, a student from my former high school died tragically. He was 15. Just a baby in the grand scheme of things; a young boy with his whole life ahead of him. A life filled with graduations and relationships and jobs and little ones. A life filled with happiness and joy and precious moments, laughter that makes your belly roar, silliness that makes your cheeks hurt, and love that makes your heart skip beats. He had his whole life waiting for him. Instead, he chose to end it. His death marked the fifth suicide at this school in four years. And. It. Has. Got. To. Stop.

Trying to Stay Strong Through the Grief

Woodson High community mourns two students.

Tears, sad faces, hugs, stunned silences, churning emotions and unanswered questions – all are part of the reaction of the Woodson High students in the wake of last week’s tragedies: Two of their classmates have died.

Editorial: Take the Money

No downside to gaining health care for 200,000 or more; 30,000 jobs and millions of dollars for hospitals from expansion of Medicaid.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is right to make expansion of health coverage part of the budget process.

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Tour Of Silver Line Reston Station

Despite delay work at Reston station continues.

In February, Metro authorities with the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) released a statement that key criteria had not been met by Dulles Transit Partners (DTP), who submitted their notice of "substantial completion" to MWAA on Feb. 7.

Local Author Turning Book Into Screen Play

Great Falls Writers Group: Evening with the Authors.

A local author is planning to put the story of her life on the silver screen. Sixty-one-year-old Mindy Mitchell of Reston is writing a screenplay based on her book, "Lube of Life: A Tribute to Sex, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness in the Boomer Age," which she released last year along with her co-author, 63-year-old Edward Land of Hampton, Va. "The content [and] energy contained in our book, ‘Lube of Life,’ would adapt easily to film: a comedic yet poignant tale of late-in-life love," said Mitchell. "A ‘When Harry Met Sally’ all grown up."

Q&A with David Harris, Reston Association’s New Chief Financial Officer

Reston Association has hired longtime Northern Virginia resident and public accounting professional David Harris as their new chief financial officer. Harris took a few minutes on Friday afternoon to discuss his background and what his plans are for managing RA’s finances and information technology department as he settles into his new role.

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Project BEST Brings Fun Science to Middle Schools

The nonprofit started last year by five Thomas Jefferson High School students brings its youth conference to Langston Hughes Middle School.

Thomas Jefferson High School senior Robert Young peered over a table of middle-schoolers gathered in a cafeteria on Saturday morning to observe their progress dissecting a brain made of Jell-O. The students’ mission in this activity was to simulate a precise act of brain surgery, using only tweezers and the steadiness of their hands.

Marriage Equality Moves Forward

As one who has worked on human rights issues for many decades, I am excited about the positive changes that are occurring at such a rapid pace in laws and in peoples’ attitudes about sexual orientation, especially same-sex marriage. Most of the people I talk to under age 30 don’t understand why this is even an issue. Unfortunately because of some of my colleagues in the legislature, action by federal courts will be necessary to bring about changes in the law. As time passes there will continue to be residual harsh and discriminatory feelings on the part of a minority who cling to the past as there has been with every advance in civil rights, but most will look back in bewilderment over what people were thinking in refusing to grant the same rights to all people.

Teachers Undervalued, Dominion Owns Legislature

Fairfax County is preparing to stick it to our public school teachers again, as they have done for several years. New Superintendent Karen Garza has submitted a 2015 budget to the nominally Democratic Board of Supervisors, a budget including serious cuts (though not so much in fat central admin) and a modest 2 percent pay boost for teachers who’ve not had one in last three years, counting the year they got a nominal salary raise more than offset by an increase in their retirement contribution. But, the Supes promptly pleaded dire poverty in this county with incomes averaging over $105,000/year. The Supes say they will cut the budget.

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Greater Washington Dance Center Brings a Fresh Perspective to Reston

Gretchen Vogelzang, founder and owner of the Greater Washington Dance Center (GWDC) in Reston will be the first to tell you that if you are looking for a studio where your child will be prepped to participate in elaborate performances for every season, then her place is probably not the one for you and yours.

Be a Hero!

A Purim message.

Close your eyes and imagine the Jewish nation in Persian times (519–465 BC), unwanted guests of an frosty host. An exiled nation still licking its wounds following Nebuchadnezzar - King of Babylons sacking of Jerusalem, and the destruction of Solomon's Temple a mere fifty years prior. As though matters were not bleak enough, Haman, a powerful man in the Persian Empire, and a sworn enemy of the Jewish People, seeks to destroy them.

Mosaic Harmony Sings at Herndon Senior Center

Community choir performs inspirational music.

"Feel free to please sing along with us," said David K. North, director of Mosaic Harmony Community Choir since 1996. North drove to the Herndon Senior Center from Maryland to direct the Feb. 28 concert performance. Twenty-five members of Mosaic Harmony performed in the show, which was also attended by Herndon town council member Sheila Olem. The concert was sponsored by the Council for the Arts of Herndon.

ArtSpace Herndon Launches Children’s Book Series

Book Look seeks to develop kids’ literary desire.

On March 9, ArtSpace Herndon will continue its Book Look Literary Series for Children with a reading by author and Herndon resident Kwame Alexander. The Book Look series is a new addition to events operating at ArtSpace Herndon, and began in February with a reading by author Debbie Levy.

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ArtSpace to Announce Photo Competition Winners

The competition pool, narrowed down from 87 entrants to 37 finalists, features photographers from the DMV area.

Those who turn out to ArtSpace Herndon on Saturday, March 8 from 7-9 p.m., will have a chance to see a colorful exhibition of images by 37 photographers from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. In addition to the exhibition, longtime photographer and competition juror D.B. Stovall will announce the first, second, and third place winners of ArtSpace’s 2014 Fine Art Photography Competition during an awards ceremony. Stovall narrowed down the competition pool of 400 submissions by 87 photographers to 37 finalists in a difficult process of elimination that he described as a "series of difficult cuts."

Petersen Report: Senate Addresses Health Care

Last Thursday, Feb. 20, we rolled out "Marketplace Virginia," an idea conceived by Sen. John Watkins (R-Powhatan). "Marketplace" takes the $2 billion in taxes paid by Virginians under the Affordable Care Act and keeps it in Virginia, where it can provide insurance for the 400,000 Virginians not currently covered.

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Clifton Resident in Skiing Competition

Keeler Lambertson and mother Jacquie share perspectives on skiing.

Keeler Lambertson, an 11-year-old Clifton resident, competed in the Pennsylvania Alpine Racing Association U12 (under 12) Derby from Feb. 28-March 2 at the Silver Springs Ski Resort in Pennsylvania. Keeler is part of the Liberty Mount Racing Team, located outside of Gettysburg, Pa.

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Sex Trafficking in Our Backyard

Fairfax County detective, trafficking victim testify at Congressional hearing.

Since its creation in October 2013, the human trafficking unit of the Fairfax County Police Department has received over 70 tips and leads about human trafficking in Northern Virginia.

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Pets Receive Luxury Treatment

Olde Towne Pet Resort provides fun and relaxation.

Olde Towne Pet Resort is no ordinary boarding service. Dogs and cats at this resort, with locations in Springfield and Dulles, receive walks, time in a lap pool, spa treatments, massages, and more.

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Honored for Promoting Peace

The Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County honors 22 students.

The Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County, presented by the Herndon Friends Meeting, honored a group of 22 juniors and seniors who were nominated for their dedication to peace and conflict resolution on March 2.

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Debate Over Lorton Landfill Continues at Public Hearing

Decision on application deferred until March 13.

The debate over the future of the Lorton landfill continued as community members commented before the Fairfax County Planning Commission at a public hearing on Feb. 27.

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Shark Tank Racing Squad Swims for Cancer Awareness

The team raised $18,900 for breast cancer research.

Patty Friedman, a coach and co-founder of the Shark Tank Racing Squad, shared some alarming statistics at the beginning of the team’s breast cancer marathon on March 2 at the South Run Rec Center in Springfield.

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Lake Braddock Secures State Tournament Berth

Bruins beat South Lakes, finish region runner-up.

The Lake Braddock boys' basketball team will travel for the state semifinals.

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Woodson Boys’ Basketball Wins Back-to-Back Region Titles

Cavaliers overcome adversity, beat Lake Braddock.

The Woodson boys' basketball team will face Landstown in the state semifinals.

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Should Royal Street Become a Bicycle Boulevard?

Alexandria hires consultant to consider ways to encourage more bicycle traffic.

Pedestrians and bicyclists clash with vehicles up and down Union Street, a concern for city leaders who want to find a way to move cyclists to Royal Street.

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Alexandria School Board Selects Interim Leader to Head Division

Alvin Crawley to take control of city schools at critical time.

Turns out, the national search for a new superintended wasn't able to find a candidate as good as the guy who is already sitting in the chair.

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Arlington Schools Scramble to Fund Enrollment in Challenging Budget Environment

$439.4 million budget represents a 3.1 percent increase over last year.

Arlington Superintendent Patrick Murphy's proposed budget for the coming school year would scale back a program aimed at helping students older than age 22, add trailers to deal with the crush of new students as well as add four new bus drivers and create a new coordinator for transporting special-equation students.

Wednesday, March 5

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Chantilly Forensics Team Heads to States

The Chantilly High School Forensics team, pictured with coach Barbara Clougherty, captured the Regional Championship on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at Hayfield Secondary School.

Still Counting Unsolved Alexandria Tragedies

There are still unsolved murders in Alexandria, VA.

Letter to the Editor: Elder-Removal Program

To the Editor: An approved city budget gives citizens a clear statement of our leaders’ preferences. The budget that the city manager has proposed sends a startling message. In this budget we would provide well for the young and athletic, but not to the old and infirm. There is a generous amount set aside for bike share and other programs that improve conditions for a relatively small group of people. That might be acceptable if the city were flush with cash which it is not. We are planning expensive bike amenities such as the “bike boulevard” on Royal Street while at the same time eliminating the senior taxi program entirely.

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Last Snowstorm of the Season?

St. Patrick’s Day brought a lot of white to the Northern Virginia area. All area schools were closed and school activities canceled. Different parts of Virginia and Maryland saw five to nine inches of snow. Snow began Sunday night and accumulated early quickly. St. Patrick’s Day was a more subdued affair since much of the area was a lot quieter. Along Collingwood Road in Alexandria, it seemed like only these male northern red cardinals were out surveying the effects of the storm while singing to other nearby birds.

Letter to the Editor: True Marriage

To the Editor:I was dismayed to read in former council member Lonnie Rich’s Feb. 27 Commentary piece that after voting to add sexual orientation to Alexandria’s human rights ordinance, then councilman Mike Jackson was thereafter refused communion. The Catholic Church has long held that all persons deserve to be treated with dignity. Such an addition to an ordinance is in line with Catholic teaching and approving and/or endorsing it should in no way jeopardize access to communion. I hope that this error was corrected and councilman Jackson was able to receive again.As for the message in Mr. Rich’s piece, it too dismays me.

Letter to the Editor: Conscientious Employee

To the Editor: Virginia Hospital Center excels in many medical arenas and is a stand-out in the region. However, aside from its outstanding medical reputation and recent glowing achievement of the hard earned Magnet Nursing status, it appears the hospital leaves no stone unturned when it comes to excellence. The Starbucks located in the lobby of the hospital is a well-attended gathering hole for popular drinks and good pastries. As a true lover of lattes, I am a frequent customer when I visit the hospital or adjacent medical offices.

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15th Annual Toast to Fashion

The Campagna Center’s Junior Friends hosted the 15th annual Toast to Fashion on Thursday evening, March 13, at the Belle Haven Country Club. Four service awards were presented to Junior Friends. Jeannine Ginivan received The Golden Halo Award for her fundraising efforts for the Campagna Center programs. Christine Stanton Lupo was awarded The Barbara Pratt Lee Heart of Gold for her leadership and personal dedication to the advancement of the Center’s mission.

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Country Club Manager Honored for Leadership

Bradley Cance, general manager and chief operating officer of the Bethesda Country Club was recently honored by his alma mater, Michigan State University with his selection into the 2013 Hall of Fame "Class of Mentors." Cance was chosen for the coaching and mentoring support he has given to students from the university. He has counseled and guided interns, and assisted future club managers in their searches for employment within the industry. He has also been one of the top two or three alumni in Destination Auction donations each year for 10 years. Cance received the award at the university’s annual Celebration of Leadership, held on Nov. 9, 2013 in New York City.

Letter to the Editor: Re-striping Would Improve Safety

To the Editor: Re: Plan to re-stripe Sherwood Hall Lane to prevent it from appearing like a four lane highway.

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Spring Fling at Swanson Middle School

The PTA at Swanson Middle School held its 2nd annual Spring Fling on Saturday, March 15, in the school gym. The juried arts and crafts show and sale featured jewelry, paintings, quilts, knitted items, birdhouses made from gourds, hand-painted glassware, vintage cards and more.

Commentary: Neighborhoods

BIKE LANES NOT WANTED Darlene and Dick Johnson sat bravely until 1:30 a.m. at the TRCA meeting to discuss possible bike lanes on King Street. The general opinion seemed to be unwelcoming, but the final word will come from Council which will have a public hearing March 15 at 9 a.m. Everyone may attend. CANDIDATES GATHERJim Moran's announcement of his retirement has ensured much activity among Democratic candidates.


Time To Spring Forward Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 9, at 2 a.m. So before going to bed Saturday night, residents are reminded to turn their clocks, watches and other electronic devices forward one hour. CAC Meeting on Drugs The Citizens Advisory Committee of the Sully District Police Station will meet Wednesday, March 12, from 7:30-9 p.m., in the Sully District Governmental Center, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. In an adults-only presentation, a detective from the Organized Crime and Narcotics division will talk about dangerous drugs in Fairfax County and what’s being done to combat them. R.S.V.P. to or 703-814-7018.

Letter to the Editor: Best Use Of Funds?

To the Editor:When I think of the money the city is spending to further the cause of bike riders in Alexandria I am appalled. I am particularly appalled because the city, in the name of inadequate funds, has cut staff and activities for other every-day citizen services.

Commentary: Take Care of the Unisured

As Session winds down, we turn our focus to the budget. House Appropriations Chairman, Del. Chris Jones said it best — we are so close, we could knock this out in a day or two. Sadly, the chairman and other Republicans are threatening to hold the budget, and the Commonwealth’s financial health, hostage unless the Senate caves to their demands that we give our hard-earned tax dollars up to other states and force 400,000 Virginians — many of whom are veterans and children — to continue to live in fear of getting sick because they don’t have health insurance.

Letter to the Editor: Test Road Re-striping First

To the Editor: VDOT will soon repave Sherwood Hall Lane from end to end. The county has planned to restripe it for bicycle lanes, and would like to decrease accidents by narrowing the travel lanes and providing a bi-directional left turn lane where possible. Planners called a meeting at the police station on Parker's Lane to discuss it, and the discussion was animated and passionate.

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Hernandez Honored for Community Service

Giovanni Hernandez, a senior at Bishop Ireton High school, was presented with the Student Community Service Award by the Rotary Club of Alexandria at its Jan. 28 meeting at Belle Haven Country Club.

Commentary: Public Meeting To Discuss Health Coverage Gap

The 2014 General Assembly session has come and gone … sort of. While a great many things were accomplished this session, we adjourned on March 8 without a budget. Governor McAuliffe has set a special session for March 24. Details on this special session are still being hammered out.The sticking point is accepting federal dollars for Medicaid expansion, or purchasing private insurance through Marketplace Virginia. As I stated on the Senate floor and in previous articles, I am in favor of expanding health care coverage in Virginia and closing our coverage gap. I have heard from many of my constituents on this issue and the majority of you agree we must close the coverage gap and keep our tax dollars in Virginia, helping Virginians gain access to insurance. To those who want to separate this out from the budget, I say that is short-sighted and not practical.

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Capitol Steps Raises Funds for UCM

The Friends of UCM hosted a sold-out crowd at Knights of Columbus Hall in Alexandria for the 22nd annual Capitol Steps Benefit for UCM on Jan. 26. The event raised more than $66,500 for UCM to help impoverished families and individuals in the community.

News Brief: Storck Sets Community Office Hours

Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District School Board Member for Fairfax County Public Schools will host community office hours at the Sherwood Regional Library, Conference Room 3, on Saturday, March 8, from 12:30-2:30 p.m.

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St. Patrick’s Day Parade Fun Dog Show

Dr. Katy Nelson and Capitol Heel co-owner Bobby Mahoney took the stage at Market Square on Saturday morning, Match 1, announcing the start of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade Fun Dog Show. The canines were all registered and local Scout troops volunteered to escort the groups. Judging this year for people’s choice used an applause meter.

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Learning about State Government

Del. Scott Surovell hosted the fourth annual Amundson Institute — named after its founder former Del. Kris Amundson which offers student leaders in the 44th District the opportunity to learn about state government first hand. The group included Regine Victoria, junior at Mount Vernon High School; Colleen Grady, senior at West Potomac High School; Dorothy Bowerfind, junior at West Potomac High School; Nia White, junior at West Potomac High School, and Carla Castro Claure, senior at Edison High School.

The Role of The American Legion

It was 95 years ago, on March 15, 1919, when members of the American Expeditionary Forces convened in Paris, France for the first American Legion caucus. The American Legion was born. The Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States. Today, our membership stands at over 2.5 million in 14,000 posts worldwide. In The American Legion, a veteran was a veteran regardless of whether they were enlisted or commissioned, black or white, male or female. In fact, women Legionnaires were able to vote for Legion national commander before they could legally vote for the president of the United States The American Legion focuses on service to all veterans, service members and communities. It is about principles, not politics.

Commentary: One Week Left for General Assembly

We have one more week before the General Assembly Session is scheduled to adjourn, and pressure is mounting to finish our work. On Friday, live on WTOP, Governor McAuliffe signed legislation repealing the $64 per year Hybrid Tax and mandating refunds to everyone who paid. I am pleased that we will no longer be taxing virtuous conduct and that the wishes of 7,700 Virginians expressed in the petition I circulated with Sen. Adam Ebbin were honored. Closing the healthcare coverage gap or the Medicaid expansion continues to dominate the discussion in Richmond.

Letter to the Editor: Valuable Compromise

To the Editor: Much has been spoken and written about the King Street Traffic Calming project with bike lanes, since city staff proposed an early concept at a June 12, 2013 meeting of the Taylor Run Civic Association Executive Board. Let's assume that our goal is to provide the safest, most convenient, and most attractive solution we can find, and generally in that order. I would love for there to be parking, bike lanes, medians between lanes with turn lanes and trees, wide sidewalks with utility zones, and four driving lanes for that matter.

Letter to the Editor: Healthy Eating At Hospital Cafe

To the Editor: With a vast number of choices for dining out in the nation’s capitol, gourmet restaurants and economical eateries abound. The region provides a chef’s paradise and a variety of tastes to please the palates of a diverse population. Often overlooked are the hospital cafeterias that have, in the past, been the unfortunate victims of consumer disdain. However, with the advent of a focus on healthy eating and nutritional diets in recent years, a local hospital has become attuned to the reality of putting into practicing good health and wise nutrition. Inova Alexandria Hospital is at the forefront of this movement.

Classified Advertising March 5, 2014

Read the latest ads here!

Assembly Passes ‘Bailey's Law’

A woman walked into a pet shop in Fairfax City. She went there often, sometimes just to pet the animals. But that day she finally saw the puppy she wanted. It was one of the smallest dogs, white with brown spots. She took it home and named it Bailey.

Flint Hill School Ceramics’ Students Raise $10K to Fight Hunger

On Saturday, Feb. 22, Flint Hill School hosted the 4th annual "Empty Bowls," an event held to raise money to fight hunger by selling ceramic bowls made by members of the Flint Hill School community—students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff. Approximately 900 bowls were produced and sold for $15 each, bringing the total to nearly $10,000—the highest so far for this event—all to benefit DC Central Kitchen.

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Madison’s Koshuta Scores 39 in Playoff Game Against ‘Idol’ Floyd

Warhawks lose to Stonewall Jackson in region semifinals.

The Madison girls' basketball team lost to Stonewall Jackson in the 6A North region semifinals on Feb. 27.

Federal Convictions for Vienna Man, Parents

Filed false tax returns to conceal drug-dealing proceeds.

Many families enjoy doing things together. However, the Yeh family of Vienna chose to do something illegal – defraud the federal government.

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Motion, Distance, Flame Retardants and More

Students participate in Madison High’s science fair.

Madison High’s Feb. 5 science fair brought out the curiosity and creativity in the students participating in it. Below, some of them explain their projects:

Oakton Fire Causes $20,000 Damage

Fire officials say improperly discarded smoking materials caused an accidental fire in an Oakton home. Damage was estimated at $20,000. The incident occurred Monday, Feb. 10, at 2615 Hunter Mill Road.

Flint Hill School Wins Design & Communications Awards

Flint Hill School has earned recognition for delivering clear, concise, and creative messages to its school community and prospective families. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, District III (CASE III) announced Flint Hill as awardees in three categories: graphic design, annual fund publication, and magazine. Award winners were named at the organization’s annual conference, in Orlando, in mid-February. All of the awards are listed on the CASE III website.

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Vienna Honors ‘Mayor Jane’

Hundreds bid farewell to Vienna Mayor M. Jane Seeman.

"A life defined by faith, family and friends," was how Senior Pastor the Rev. Dr. Peter James of the Vienna Presbyterian Church (VPC) described long-time Vienna Mayor M. Jane Seeman at the services to honor her life and memorialize her passing. With an estimated 600 in attendance, by thirty minutes prior to the start of the 2 p.m. service on Friday afternoon, Feb. 28, the lower level of the VPC Chapel at 124 Park St. NE in Vienna was already full and those still arriving began filling in the upper galleries. The state flag was ordered at half-mast in the state capital on Friday, as well as at public buildings in Vienna, Fairfax City and around the county. Vienna Town offices closed at 1 p.m. to allow staff to attend and offer their personal farewells to the much-loved mayor.

SSA Speaker Series Highlights Things To Do

Spring is almost here! It’s time to think about getting out and exploring what our wonderful city has to offer in the way of recreation and cultural activities. There is something for everyone, especially for seniors. If you are curious about what’s out there, come to Senior Services of Alexandria’s next speaker series event to hear from Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and Alexandria Library about special programs for seniors. This free program will be held at Chinquapin Recreation Center at 3210 King St. on March 12 from 9:30 a.m. – noon. Light refreshments will be served and free parking is available.

Letter to the Editor: Impact On Parking

To the Editor: Parking spaces, parking spaces where have they gone? It seems that every time I say that parking in Old Town is becoming near impossible some uninformed member of one of our boards or commissions tries to tell me that that there are excess parking spaces in the Old and Historic District. Well, as all of you know that's not true. In fact, the parking situation is going to get worse as our esteemed transportation director continues to recommend to the council members that they take parking spaces away from us.The taking of the 27 parking spaces on upper King Street is a good lead-in followed by the taking of 66 parking spaces at the King Street Metro.

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Supervisors Clear the Way for Oakcrest School Relocation

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approves a special exception amendment Feb. 25.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a special exception amendment from the Oakcrest School on Tuesday, Feb. 25, providing for a traffic light at the intersection of Hunter Mill Road and Crowell. The decision ended a four-year back-and-forth between the McLean-based Oakcrest School, landowners near the intersection of Hunter Mill and Crowell roads, and the board of supervisors. With the approval of its special exception amendment, Oakcrest School can now begin building its new facility, which will include a heavily disputed driveway entrance on Crowell Road.

Commentary: Have You Scheduled Your Colonoscopy?

Colonoscopies save lives. Just ask Audrey Marcoe. The 83-year old Alexandria resident underwent a colonoscopy in December at Inova Alexandria Hospital due to a severe bout of anemia that left her exhausted and significantly underweight. Her doctors suspected she might be bleeding into her colon. The exam revealed a large cancerous tumor on her ascending colon that was likely causing her anemia. She would need surgery to remove it. “I was surprised at this, truthfully,” she said. “I just never thought I’d get it.” Cancers of the colon and rectum — part of the body’s digestive system — are unfortunately rather common, especially among Americans age 50 and older. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer among men and women combined. It will cause an estimated 50,000 deaths this year alone. Fortunately, those numbers have been declining for the last two decades thanks to proper screening, increased disease awareness (remember TV anchorwoman Katie Couric’s colonoscopy on the “Today” show?) and advances in treatments and surgical techniques.

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‘Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again’

Chantilly’s Emily Price has come a long way. In 2006, at age 14, she played Dorothy in The Alliance Theatre’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Now 22, she’s performing in the Broadway national tour of “Mamma Mia!” The hit musical is at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., March 4-9. In the story, a young woman named Sophie is getting married in Greece. She wants to learn who her father is, so she invites three former suitors of her mother’s to the wedding. “I play Ali, one of Sophie’s best friends, who’s come to the Greek island as a bridesmaid,” said Price. “Ali’s quirky, funny and excited to be reunited with Sophie. I love it; I get to jump around and have a blast every night with wonderful performers. The audience loves the show — we always get a great reaction.”

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Students Selected for the 2014 All-Virginia Band

The following West Potomac High School students were selected for the 2014 All-Virginia Band, Patrick Rhoads, alto saxophone; Kendell Haywood, percussion, and Erika Larsen, flute.

Letter: Race to Watch

Thanks for the well-documented article on the political trends in Virginia's 10th Congressional District ("How Red is the 10th District?" February 19-25, 2014). The conventional wisdom among political prognosticators is that the District leans Republican. However, recent voting patterns suggest that a strong Democratic candidate could be well within striking distance for a win. Consider the following: first, in the past two gubernatorial elections, the Republican nominee won the 10th District by only 1 percent. Second, the seat is now open, and retiring Congressman Frank Wolf’s name recognition and constituent service record are not in play.

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Making Mentoring Matter

It’s hard to believe that Erika Stratmann and Jenny have only known each other for a little over a year. Whenever they get together, they talk non-stop about everything and anything under the sun, from career opportunities to when Jenny’s going to be able to get her driver’s license. Jenny’s really excited to learn how to drive, even though she still has a few years to wait.

By George!

The questions were fast and furious as nearly 100 local Boy and Girl Scouts slated to march in Alexandria's Washington's Birthday Parade met with President George Washington (Alexandria re-creator Don De Haven) during a Feb. 16 reception at the Old Dominion Boat Club.

Letter to the Editor: Improving Public Safety

To the Editor: The stretch of what is now King Street from near the Metro Station and the Alexandria Train Station to Janneys Lane was originally used as a major road transporting farm commodities to warehouses in Alexandria. It was (Leesburg Pike) not built for cars or bikes, but instead for horse drawn wagons, and carriages. It was an early farm to market road promoting local transportation and commerce.

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Chamber Hosts Business of Baseball Forum

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Nationals hosted a sold-out breakfast Feb. 12, offering a behind the scenes look at the nuances of running a Major League Baseball team. Keynote speaker Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, one of the principal owners of the Nationals, highlighted the relationship the team has with the Dream Foundation and supporting the community immediately surrounding the stadium.

Letter to the Editor: Safety on King Street

To the Editor: At the February Traffic and Parking Board hearing, city staff presented a detailed plan that referred to the King Street Traffic Calming plan as nothing “cutting edge.” The plan implements standard and accepted practices for making a street safe. The common practices for King Street are part of the common practices in the city’s Transportation Master Plan. City staff is just following through.In its Pedestrian section, the city’s Transportation Master Plan (pages 2-7) states “Sidewalks along arterials should be wide and well buffered since these streets provide key transit access.

Letter to the Editor: Questionable City Budget Priorities

To the Editor: Any of us who thinks that Alexandria cares about its people is sadly mistaken. Just take a look at the 2015 proposed city budget and you’ll soon understand why this city’s priorities lie elsewhere. Look at the proposed cuts while the city continues rampant spending on a metro station, large legal and planning staffs, BikeShare program and premature waterfront landscape plans.

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The Carl Sandburg Middle School Science Olympiad Team

The Carl Sandburg Middle School Science Olympiad team participated in the regional competition in Charlottesville on Saturday, Feb. 22. The two teams that participated placed 5th overall in the middle school division.

Centreview Calendar for 3/5/14

Centreville calendar for 3/5/14

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Four Boy Scouts Receive Eagle Scout Medals

Robert Hefferon, Quan Pham, Eswar Sriram, and Sudharsan Sriram, members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 869 in McLean, received their Eagle Scout medals in a ceremony at Immanuel Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Feb. 22.

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The Langley School Presents ‘Annie’

Performances March 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s Sherman Arts Center.

Middle School students at The Langley School will present the Broadway musical, "Annie," in three evening performances March 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s Sherman Arts Center. Tickets may be purchased online at for $8 each.

Reading the Judge's Mail

Over time a lot of notes have been taken in courthouses, jails, political meetings and other venues where intellect sometimes is off the bubble.

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McLean Project for the Arts Honors Capital One

The McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) held a business leaders reception in their galleries honoring lead MPA ArtReach sponsor, Capital One on Feb 19.

Why Care about Ten Mile Creek?

For several months the County Council has been grappling with a Limited Master Plan Amendment for Ten Mile Creek. The Clarksburg Master Plan, adopted in 1994, staged development in Clarksburg so when triggers were met on stages I - III, the last stage could not go forward without assessing impacts of the first three stages on Ten Mile Creek. Even 20 years ago, planners realized the high water quality of this stream; one of three that empty into the Little Seneca Reservoir which was built in the 1980s to act as an emergency water supply in times of drought should the Potomac River flow drop too low to withdraw the massive quantities needed to supply our regional drinking water.

Letter: Common Sense Law Obstructed

Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people is just common sense – but sadly, in Virginia, our system is backwards and works to protect criminal access to guns.

Letter: Opposing Special Permit

Last week’s Great Falls’ Connection carried a story on a topic of interest to many: horseback riding in Great Falls and the role of Blacks Hill Stable, LLC, in providing a commercial riding venue ["Molster Family Stable Awaits Special Permit Decision"].

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A Sweet Lesson at Colvin Run Mill

Hundreds turned out to learn how maple syrup is made.

How much sap does it take to make maple syrup? For Colvin Run Mill Park’s miller Mason Maddox, the average answer is about 60 gallons.

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Encore Presents ‘Sherlock Holmes’

Join Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they set out to solve their first case in the 21st century. There they meet Marilyn Monroe, George Washington, Tarzan, Count Dracula, and other characters — or so they claim. Sherlock and Watson are in the Freudley Institute, so it’s no wonder Holmes gets treated like any other patient. Will Sherlock be able to prove he is the real Sherlock Holmes and solve a murder on the grounds of the Institute?

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Creating a Harmonious Family Life

Local experts offer tips for keeping your family happy.

As Elizabeth Rees drove her daughter and two of her daughter’s friends to a library reading group recently, the Alexandria mother of three admits that she felt like a chauffeur at first. But she had a change of heart after hearing sounds of laughter.

Not Yet, Really

While we’re exchanging pleasantries here, in semi real time – although this column will not be most read until March 6th (I need to submit it on Monday, March 3rd as we go to press on Tuesday, March 5th), I feel the obligation, given how last week’s column ended, to update you on the results from my February 26th CT Scan. Presumably, by the title you all have determined that as of this writing, Saturday, March 1st, I have not heard back from my oncologist. Typically, I would have already heard from him, electronically. But so far, not a peep, electronic or otherwise and believe me, I’ve been checking, as you might imagine.

Board Advertises Higher Tax Rate

Rate gives board flexibility, options in determining final budget.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8-2 Tuesday to advertise a higher real estate tax rate that could add about $100 to annual tax bills, which will be on top of the $332 county homeowners will see this year as a result of higher real estate assessments. Setting the advertised tax rate formally begins the two-month public process to adopt the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, and the rate represents the maximum potential tax rate for FY2015.

Preventing Teen Suicides

Recent deaths shine light on FCPS suicide prevention programs.

Every 15 seconds, a teen in the United States tries to commit suicide. Every 90 minutes, one succeeds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that the number of attempted suicides among teenagers increased from 6.3 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2011.

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Cox Charities Virginia Awards Area Nonprofits

Cox Communications awarded $160,000 in grants to 25 nonprofit organizations in Virginia through Cox Charities grants programs. The grants presented Feb. 21 are part of the nearly $8 million Cox contributes annually through cash and in-kind support to the communities where they do business.

Impasse over Medicaid Expansion

This week we enter what will hopefully be the last week of the 2014 legislative session. The Senate and House must agree on a budget before we adjourn, but Healthcare remains the issue where legislators are having trouble moving forward. Republicans are refusing to discuss any options that involve Medicaid expansion and they are turning around and accusing the Democrats of holding the budget hostage. It is one thing to have an honest debate on differences in opinion, but it is not acceptable to stonewall the other side of the aisle to score political points. I recently spoke on the House floor this week about the need to compromise on healthcare and the budget; video is available on my website Mental Health has been another one of the big issues this year. I co-patroned several bills this year relating to emergency detention. There has been some disagreement on how long we should extend the time for an emergency detention order, but the General Assembly has shown strong resolve to make real progress with our state’s mental health system and I am confident we will find a compromise to this issue.

Saturday, March 1

Emotional Win Puts Woodson in Tonight's Region Championship Game

Cavaliers will face Lake Braddock for fourth time this season.

The Lake Braddock boys' basketball team is 3-0 against Woodson this season.