Stories for February 2015

Stories for February 2015


Saturday, February 28

Tease photo

Experienced Woodson Boys' Basketball Team Bounces Back from 3OT Loss in Conference 7 Final

Cavaliers beat Robinson in opening round of 6A North region tournament.

The Woodson boys' basketball team beat Robinson 70-55 Friday night.

Friday, February 27

Tease photo

All in the Family for Alexandria

SSA to honor generations of giving.

’Twas the night before Christmas, literally, when a man walked into the Senior Services of Alexandria office and handed an envelope to then-executive director Janet Barnett. The year was 2007 and the man was Ron Bradley. “Ron asked how he could help the seniors of Alexandria,” Barnett said. “When I explained that the city did not provide meals to seniors on holidays, Ron stepped in with $10,000 to fund a holiday meals program. But he had a condition — that they could not be ordinary meals. He wanted our seniors to enjoy a festive meal just like we do at home.”

Tease photo

Play Monopoly and Help Others

Annual tournament raises close to $8,000 for Lorton Community Action Center.

On a cold, snow-approaching Saturday, nearly 100 men, women and children hunkered down to play three rounds at the 8th Annual Ron K.’s Monopoly Tournament hosted at the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton.

Gayle Reuter: Fostering Del Ray’s Small Town Feel

Helping to celebrate Del Ray.

You won't go far in Alexandria's Del Ray neighborhood before seeing signs of Gayle Reuter. If it's a rare quiet day, you might see her on her front porch just off "The Avenue" or at a local restaurant or business — always with a smile and a friendly greeting. More likely you will see her working, always managing to make a difference in the wonderful neighborhood she helped create.

Bird Feed Cafe in Fairfax Station

The night before the snowstorm Terrance Moran of Fairfax Station prefilled his bird feeder. Around 7 a.m. a cardinal perched on the deck rail and noticed that seed was available. After eating a few bites the cardinal took off.

Tease photo

Movement Determined to ‘Save the Park’

Since the beginning of February, the Movement has generated a petition with more than 8,900 signatures and counting to save the Park.

“When the anonymous letter showed up in our neighborhood mailboxes many of us began to wonder and worry. A few of us started talking and soon a meeting was scheduled with Pat Herrity and the Park Authority,” said Leigh Claypool, committee chair of the Save Burke Lake Park movement.

Tease photo

Kana Sushi Opens in Springfield

A newly opened Kana Sushi, located on Old Keene Mill Road in Springfield, strives to offer authentic Japanese food at affordable prices. The establishment opened Dec. 1 and is near Springfield Plaza, and right next to Noodles & Company. The small restaurant is owned by Haeri Kim.

Letter: Breastfeeding is About Life

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: As a fairly new Virginia resident, I like reading your summaries of county and state government actions that impact us all, including the General Assembly’s crossover bills featured in your February 19-25 issue. I’d like to share one more. HB1499 protects mothers who breastfeed their babies in public; Del. Dave Albo is one of the co-patrons.

Tease photo

From Veterinarian to Art Photographer

The Art Guild of Clifton hosted its first art show of 2015 by highlighting the photographs of Jamie Netschert. Netschert started taking photographs as an undergraduate student at Weber State University where he received a degree in Zoology.

Mount Vernon's Robert A. Clark: World War II Navy Carrier Ace

Robert A. (Bob) Clark, 91, born Jan. 17, 1922, New York, N.Y., retired U.S. Navy carrier fighter ace and 48-year resident of Mount Vernon, died on Jan. 21, 2015, of pneumonia.

Thursday, February 26

Westfield Boys’ Basketball Wins Conference Championship

Bulldogs beat Herndon to win first conference/district title since 2008.

Westfield beat Herndon in the Conference 5 boys' basketball championship game.

Dates Set for Trial Of Jesse Matthew in Murder Case of West Potomac Alumna Hannah Graham

Jesse Matthew, the man charged with abducting and murdering West Potomac High School alumna Hannah Graham, will have his day in court.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce to Install New Chairman

Sean O’Connell looks to expand and increase dialogue among membership.

In his 30 years as a certified public accountant with the firm PBMares, Sean O’Connell has worked in Harrisonburg, Fredericksburg and spent close to the last decade in northern Virginia.

Tease photo

Fairfax County Swimmers Shine at States

Swimmers from 36 high schools from around Virginia competed in the Virginia High School League 6A state championship held in Richmond on Feb. 20.

Tease photo

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova Bulova to Create Transparency Review Commission

Group would include citizens, legal community and other organizations.

When Alexandria resident Natasha McKenna was removed from life support and died on Feb. 8, the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office posted a release on the county website.

Tease photo

Fairfax County Park Authority Passes on Commercial Proposal for Burke Lake Golf Park

Burke resident Meg Hanrahan likes Topgolf in Alexandria. “To go out on a date with my husband,” she said, “but it’s not some place I want to go when I want to mentally prepare to go out on a course and play 18 holes.”

Tease photo

Community Reviews Plans for Silas Burke Property

Members of the Burke and West Springfield communities were invited to review the plans of Sunrise Development, LLC to build an assisted living facility on the property of the Silas Burke House.

Fairfax Station Woman Raises Support for Orphaned Ole Miss Student

At first, Fairfax Station resident Julia Ross only knew Alex Shields, a junior at the University of Mississippi, as the boy who dated her daughter Emma and friend to other students she knows.

Tease photo

Pet Connection 2015

Adorable pet photos submitted by our readers.

Adorable pet photos submitted by our readers.

Tease photo

Oak Knolls Project Makes Big Changes in Fairfax

New proposal swaps apartments for condos.

There’s a plan afoot to redevelop the Oak Knolls Apartments. But the proposal has changed significantly since it was presented last spring to the Fairfax City Council.

Tease photo

Big Changes Planned for Lotte Market in Fairfax

New façade, better parking, less big trucks and traffic.

For many years, the Lotte market in Fairfax has been a popular grocery store, especially with its Asian customers. But its exterior has been an eyesore to the public.

Saving Sarge

Sarge, a 2-year-old brown tabby, was found recently by an exterminator in a crawl space of a foreclosed home. He is partially blind and deaf. A good Samaritan took him from the exterminator and rushed him to the veterinarian who then called a local cat rescue group, Helping Homeless Felines. "He was almost dead" said Val Garcia, president of the local rescue group. "I saw the vet records and can confirm the seriousness of his condition. I ended up fostering Sarge initially to help him heal."

Meet LuLu of Fairfax

Do you ever feel like your dog’s trying to tell you something? You might see these clues in body language, hear how a dog barks, or maybe your dog will get an object that represents what it wants, such as a leash.

Tease photo

Fairfax County Animal Shelter Gets Creative to Save Lives

Since 2013, Fairfax County has been the largest jurisdiction in the United States with a placement rate of animals above 90 percent. Last year alone, nearly 2,500 animals were adopted, which is nearly double the adoptions just two years earlier.

Finding Forever Families for Felines

Nonprofit helps Animal Shelters with overflow.

Jacquie Barker saw the problem with the normal animal rescue cycle. Ideally, animal rescue starts with the rescue, followed by a period of sheltering, and finally, adoption. But often rescue organizations’ efforts get stuck during the sheltering or fostering phase.

Wednesday, February 25

Arlington County Manager Avoids Tax Rate Increase

Homeowners to face rise in property taxes through higher assessments.

Beneath the surface of the County Budget there are several notable changes that could have a sizable impact on the lives of many Arlingtonians.

Collaboration Over Competition for Alexandria Nonprofits

Alexandria non-profit organizations unite for city budgeting.

As Alexandria’s nonprofits prepare for the March 3 release of the County Manager’s proposed budget, things are going a little differently this year.

Tease photo

Alexandrians Of Two Minds

Zoning amendment for memory care center draws crowd of supporters and opponents.

After seven hours of debate in Alexandria’s City Council meeting, the room was still deeply divided between those in favor of rezoning a property on King Street to create a memory care facility and neighbors to the property entrenched against it.

McLean Gymnastics Wins 6A State Championship

Highlanders first Fairfax County champ since Langley in 2004.

One year after finishing state runner-up, the McLean gymnastics team won the 2015 state title.

Tease photo

Conference 7 Title Business as Usual for West Springfield Girls' Basketball

Spartans beat South County to win fifth conference/district title in six years.

The West Springfield girls' basketball team beat South County 55-37 Tuesday.

Tease photo

House Passes Keam’s Bill on Food Allergies

The Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation this week to require restaurants in Virginia to train their employees to be aware of customers with food allergy and safety issues. Del. Mark Keam’s House Bill 2090 and its companion Senate Bill 1260 introduced by Senator Creigh Deeds passed both chambers of the Virginia Legislature with overwhelming support. Both bills are now headed to the Governor’s desk.

Letter: Question To Ask About Library

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: In January, 2015 the Library Board of Trustees was given a document from the Department of Public Works that indicates Reston Regional Library will be rebuilt at its current location. At the September, 2014 Library Board meeting Library Director Sam Clay stated that a task force had been appointed to oversee planning of the new library, and he had been appointed to that task force. We would encourage Supervisor Cathy Hudgins to inform the community about the composition of the task force and to let us know how many Restonians are on it.

Letter: Monkey Business Is Deadly Business

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Maybe I missed hearing about it the last time a monkey attacked its owner. But I sure remember each time an estranged husband or boyfriend blows away his wife or girlfriend and her innocent children. I feel the pain and disgust in my gut.

Tease photo

About Riley’s Life

Riley was a good puppy. He was trained to walk on a leash. He had lots of friends, played with them and had lots of bones and chew toys. Then he grew up to be a big dog he got very happy and then he got cancer and got sick.

Letter: Oversight Needed in Police Shooting Cases

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Kudos and thanks for your recent editorials voicing the concern of many Fairfax County citizens in connection with the investigation of police shootings.

Classified Advertising February 25, 2015

Read the latest ads here!

Tease photo

Herndon Village Network Hosts Wine Tasting

Herndon Village Network (HVN), a nonprofit organization in Herndon that will help to improve the lives of the 55+ seniors living in the community, hosted a Wine Tasting Fundraiser - an evening of wine, food, music and art on Feb. 15 at ArtSpace Herndon.

Competing in Agility Contests

Great Falls resident Sophie Young, 15 and her 3-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Lexi, participated in the AKC Junior Agility Competition on December 12, 2014 in Orlando, Fla., where they received a “Clean Run” and “Second Place” in the 8” Jumpers Category. Sophie and Lexi were among 86 Junior handlers (18 years old and under) from all over the United States.

‘Sweetest’ Pets of Vienna

Vienna pet-parents talk about the special bonds they share with family pets – living or in-memory.

Tease photo

Preschoolers Celebrate Valentine’s Day

The St. Francis Creche preschool in Great Falls recently celebrated Valentine’s Day with several class activities.

Tease photo

Special Screening of Honor

Film screening March 16 to help WWII veterans travel to their monument.

The Honor Flight Network transports aging veterans to visit memorials built in Washington D.C. in their honor. Caroline Healy and 11 of her peers in Girl Scout Troop 3651 based in Great Falls are hosting a screening of "Honor Flight" at AMC Worldgate 9 Theaters in Herndon on March 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Providing Ride to Those Who Can’t Drive

Reston Community Center seeks volunteer drivers.

Reston Community Center (RCC) has announced the launch of NV Rides Reston, a transportation program that offers reliable, personalized transportation to Reston adults 55 years and older who cannot drive. This program provides door-to-door rides to help get older adults to important engagements, ranging from social and enrichment activities to medical appointments.

Tease photo

Reston’s Pet Gallery

Reston's pet gallery.

Microchip Reunites Pet With Owner

On the night of Wednesday, Jan. 28, a cat invited itself into the home of a McLean resident, bringing with it a mystery spanning several months and almost a hundred miles. An ODAHC client watched with awe as a friendly black cat with a white chest, or "Tuxedo" cat, walked in through her garage and made itself at home. When she saw that her visitor was sneezing, had an infection in both of its eyes, and was suffering from a recent puncture wound through its ear, the kind-hearted client knew she had to take action: she called and made an appointment.

Budget Town Hall Meetings

Budget town hall meetings.

Aldrin to Celebrate Read Across America Week

Aldrin Elementary School will be celebrating Read Across America Week with a weeklong series of events. Students will dress in themes for each day of the week including: Red and White Day, Foxiest Socks Day, Wear Your Clothes Inside Out Day, Pajama Day, and Cat in the Hat Day.

Virginia Secretary of Trade and Commerce to Keynote Chamber Gala

The Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce announced that Maurice A. Jones, Virginia Secretary of Trade and Commerce, will keynote its Winter Gala and Board Installation on March 12, 2015 at the Gannett Conference Center (7959 Jones Branch Drive, McLean).

Herndon's November Election in Jeopardy

It is well known and scarcely debated that more voters participate in November elections than in those held in other months. This is certainly true in our town. I believe that we are best governed when everyone has a chance to participate in our democracy. I believe that elected officials should make elections as accessible and convenient as possible for all voters. To that end, the Herndon Town Council voted in December to move our elections from May to the more traditional month of November, starting in 2016.

Making It to Top 10

The Wise Investor Group at Robert W. Baird & Co., a team of experienced financial professionals offering financial planning, portfolio management, investment analysis and account services, announced that Director and Financial Advisor Nancy Osmond Popovich has been named in “On Wall Street” magazine’s Top Regional Advisors Under 40 List for 2015.

Tease photo

Lake Anne Revitalization Poised for Approval

County Board to vote March 3 on plan that includes 1,000 new residences and 193,000 square feet of retail and office space.

Ana Carranza, a single mother of two daughters, told Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Feb. 17 what the Crescent Apartments has meant to her family and to her neighbors. One of Carranza’s neighbors earns $32,000 a year and still manages to pay for her son’s college tuition, some semesters with a credit card, she said.

Knueven Voices ‘Concern of Great Importance’

The Planning Commission’s Public Hearing for the Reston Comprehensive Amendment has been set for April 22, 2015. Ken Knueven, president of the Reston Association, voiced a recent concern. “A concern of great importance has recently arisen,” Knueven wrote to the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning on Feb. 11.

Tease photo

Helping on Deadline

Reston, Herndon, Great Falls and McLean reporter Ken Moore, of Potomac, with his 14-year-old tabby Trilke. "Don't forget to feed me on your way out to deadline!"

Fern and Otter Come to ‘Work’

“My dogs Fern and Otter, both adopted from the Fairfax County Animal Shelter. They love to come to work with me at the shelter.

Tease photo

People and Pets Love Stories

t’s that time of year again! Nope, not a holiday - although perhaps it should be! It’s that anticipated edition when the Connection Newspapers celebrate the furry, or finned or feathered or scaled or clawed creatures that make themselves a cherished part of the family. Although Reston and Herndon probably number as many pets as people in their populations, sadly we’ve only got room to introduce you to a few – so here we go!

Tease photo

McLean Student’s Artwork Featured at the Smithsonian

High school senior would like to use art to help others.

Maya Chung, of McLean, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), is the youngest of 56 artists selected to have their art displayed in the “Artists at Work” exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center in Washington, D.C. Chung’s black ink drawing titled “Redbay (Persea borbonia)” was inspired by a botanical sample collected in the museum’s butterfly garden, and is in the style of a scientific drawing.

Letter: Supporting Deer Management

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Thank you for the excellent article on deer management in Fairfax County (“A Time to Hunt?” - Connection, February 18-24, 2015). One deer can carry 1,000 ticks, and approximately 25 percent of ticks in our county carry an infectious agent.

Priceless Puppies, Future Service Dogs

Photographer Joan Brady of Great Falls volunteers with a nonprofit called which raises and trains service dogs, including psychiatric assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD and assistance dogs for children with disabilities. Brady documents the dogs from birth.

Celebrating Black History Month

This week in Reston.

Letter: Survey, Video Document Deer Challenge

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Ken Moore's article on the impact of growing deer herds on our local forests (“A Time to Hunt?” - Connection, February 18-24, 2015) was a good overview of the issues facing our community and a description of some of the ways in which residents can help ensure that our local forests remain for the next generation.

When Sam Met Frodo

“Sam and Frodo are both rescue cats. Frodo, the big orange guy with the furry feet, came from Home Alone Feline Rescue in 2011. He is part Maine Coon and part American bobtail. Lou and I had been thinking about getting a second cat as a companion for Frodo when I ran into Lee District School Board member Tammy Koufax at a community event in Springfield in August 2013..."

Letter: Del. Rust’s Votes Against Herndon

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Unfathomably, Del. Tom Rust (R-86), The Town of Herndon’s representative in the Virginia General Assembly (GA), voted against the Town’s bill to change the language in our town charter to reflect Town elections to occur in November instead of May.

Commentary: Efficiency Over Effectiveness

At the time of this writing, the General Assembly seems to be on course for an earlier than scheduled Feb. 28 adjournment date. For a part-time legislature that in recent years has found it difficult to stay within its 60-day session in the even-numbered years and 45-day session in the odd-numbered years, finishing work ahead of schedule would be unprecedented.

Wise Investor Group Raises More than $21,000 for Hopecam

The Wise Investor Group at Robert W. Baird & Co., a team of financial professionals offering financial planning, portfolio management, investment analysis and account services, announced that their Annual Seminar raised more than $21,000 for Reston-based nonprofit Hopecam.

Tease photo

Herndon Forbidden to Govern Itself?

Virginia House squashes Town’s move to November elections.

The Virginia House of Delegates blocked the Town of Herndon’s plan to move town elections from May to November. The change would have begun in 2016. Despite passage through the Virginia Senate with a unanimous 39-0 vote on Jan. 26, the House of Delegates never voted on Herndon’s bill. After the bill cleared the Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns, the House voted to sent it to the Committee on Privileges and Elections on Feb. 20.

Rio Comes Back from College

Tory Cheshire, of Great Falls, on her horse, Rio, who is meeting her family’s german shepherd puppy, Hunter at the barn. Cheshire loved her horse so much that he went with her to college and lived at a barn near Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., for four years.

Tease photo

Best Friends of Great Falls

The late British-American writer Christopher Hitchens once wrote, "Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods."

Tease photo

Honored for Optimism

The Optimist Club of Greater Vienna recently hosted a communication contest for deaf and hard of hearing children with three neighboring clubs on Feb. 4 at P.J. Skidoos restaurant in Fairfax. Four hearing impaired students from Canterbury Woods Elementary school made a presentation on "How My Optimism Will Help Me Press on to Greater Achievements in the Future" utilizing the Optimist International contest guidelines.

Tease photo

Vienna Woman Raising Puppy for Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence – a national nonprofit organization that provides assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, is proud to announce that Vienna resident Barbara Weigand recently began raising an assistance dog in-training for Canine Companions for Independence.

Tease photo

Yes, Cats Can Be Trained Too

Reston cat trainer Lisa-Maria Padilla gives techniques to train feline friends to do tricks.

Lisa-Maria Padilla, 53, of Reston was recently in Del Mar, Calif., close to San Diego, for the largest cat show in the West coast, called the San Diego Cat Fancier's Show, which featured more than 400 cats. She took her cat named Racy Mooner, a blue Abyssinian ("Abys") who has a Facebook page, there to do cat tricks and introduce people to training techniques.

Tease photo

McLean Loves its Pets

Pets connect owners to the wild world around them.

When it comes to pets, McLean is much like other communities. Our pets are pampered, doted on, and loved. And with good reason. According to these McLean pet owners, the unconditional love they give in return is immeasurable.

McLean High Crew Wins Top Honors

McLean High School rowers won a total of seven gold medals, two silver medals and four bronze medals at the 2015 MidAtlantic Erg Sprints, hosted by TC Williams High School on Jan. 31. Many of McLean High medalists are now headed to Boston to compete in the C.R.A.S.H -B Sprints on March 1st. (

Tease photo

Cartoon: Winter


Tease photo

Bark and Call

Mobile Pet Grooming Comes to You

Marzi Sharifi started HoPPooH in Fairfax, a mobile pet grooming service, in 2013. With her two vans and groomer, Sara, HoPPooH—which means little dog or dog in Persian—will come to the pet owner’s door to groom and style man’s best friend…or his cat.

Shelter Gets Creative To Save Lives

Volunteers, social media assist in pet adoptions.

Since 2013, Fairfax County has been the largest jurisdiction in the United States with a placement rate of animals above 90 percent. Last year alone, nearly 2,500 animals were adopted, which is nearly double the adoptions just two years earlier.

Column: Not So Late This Time

But real-time once again: February 20, 11 hours, approximately, after our regularly-scheduled, post-scan meeting with the oncologist at 10:00 this morning.

Tease photo

TC Celebrates National English Honor Society Induction

T. C. Williams High School held the induction ceremony of the school’s chapter of the National English Honor Society on Jan. 27.

Letter: Caring for Veterans

Letter To The Editor

The VA and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) are now researching possible complementary treatments for veterans that will be more holistic, patient-centered, and less drug-based.

Port City Playhouse Stages ‘Shining City’

Set in Ireland, play tells of troubled human relationships and a ghost story.

Port City Playhouse in Alexandria is staging "Shining City," a story of troubled human relationships overlaid with a hint of a ghost story.

“Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for March 9-12

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for March 9-12.

Tease photo

South County Boys’ Basketball Wins First Conference Championship

No. 7 (lowest) seed Stallions upset No. 1 Woodson in 3-OT classic.

The South County boys' basketball team won its first conference championship Tuesday night.

Potomac: Sports Briefs for February 25, 2015

The Whitman girls’ basketball team won three games in five days to complete an undefeated regular season.

Tease photo


NASA Administrator gives Jefferson-Houston students a taste for science.

For many children, “astronaut” is one of the quickest answers when asked what they want to be when they grow up. A visit to Jefferson-Houston School on Feb. 13 from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden aimed to encourage those students to hold onto that answer.

Cats and Children Connect Through Reading

Animal Welfare League of Arlington launches Paws and Read program.

Schoolchildren in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas have an opportunity to improve their literacy by reading books to shelter cats through the Paws and Read program

Tease photo

Full Circle

Back home to savor a few more green summers.

It happened slowly at first. Simple thoughts of a horse I had once owned began appearing in my mind.

‘Adopt It Forward’ at Animal Welfare League of Arlington

Select shelter animals receive boost they need for adoption.

For people who cannot adopt themselves but want to help shelter animals find homes, Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Adopt It Forward program offers a special opportunity to help shelter animals who may be harder to place and often spend a long time in the shelter.

Tease photo

Misty Blue Says Good-bye to Former Owner

Unconditional love.

In the Aug. 28, 2010 edition of The Almanac, an article featured the "shared custody" of a husky named Misty Blue.

Tease photo

LTA Stages ‘God of Carnage’

Parents behave badly as the gloves come off in this side-splitting free-for-all.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria is staging "God of Carnage" Feb. 28 to March 21. The Tony Award-winning play centers around a playground altercation between two boys which brings two sets of parents together for a meeting to resolve the matter.

Letter: Stop the Stonewalling

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors must do their own job. They continue to look elsewhere for answers to the lack of leadership instead of within themselves.

Tease photo

40 Years of Photography

Photoworks’ anniversary celebrates commitment to artistry and education.

Photoworks, the not-for-profit resource for all-things photography, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year as one of Glen Echo Park's art studios.

Picking Up Protects People and Pets

Both people and dogs can get sick from a variety of pathogens that can be found in dog poop — Giardia, Salmonella, Parvovirus, and round and hookworms to name a few.

Letter: Matter of Judgment

In my letter published in the Feb. 12, 2015 Gazette, I highlighted several votes taken by Del. Scott Surovell (D-44th) that he needs to explain as he seeks to be elevated to the State Senate. Jeff Carver responded to my letter last week. After describing himself as loathe to quote himself from earlier letters, he did so.

Tease photo

Nadia Saad-Miller: A Life of Valor, Dedication

From the Middle East to Potomac.

Potomac resident Nadia Saad-Miller’s adventurous life-story could be made into an action film including danger, intrigue and romance. In her 40 years with the United Nations and World Bank, she was dedicated to improving social and economic conditions of the poor and underdeveloped people around the world.

Mount Vernon Crime Report for the Week of February 25

The following incidents were reported by the Mount Vernon District Police Station.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon Wrestler Adusei-Poku Wins 138-Pound State Title

Mount Vernon wrestler Bill Adusei-Poku used his loss in the 2014 132-pound state championship match as motivation entering his junior year. He hasn’t lost a VHSL match since.

Addressing Campus Sexual Assault

By Adam P. Ebbin - State Senator (D-30)

With only a few days left in this year’s legislative session, the General Assembly has finished much of its business. Republicans have defeated commonsense proposals to raise the minimum wage, close the health care coverage gap, and my bill to keep guns away from toddlers. Negotiators from the House and Senate are inching closer to a final budget deal. Governor McAuliffe has already begun signing some bills into law. Even so, a handful of high-profile issues have yet to be resolved. Notably, we are still working towards a final compromise on how best to prevent and respond to sexual assaults at our colleges and universities.

Tease photo


Many dog and cat adoption opportunities in Mount Vernon.

Thinking of acquiring a pet dog or cat for yourself or the family? If so, then consider the dog and cat rescue organizations in the area who offer for adoption a multitude of healthy animals of different breeds, types, ages, and sizes.

Sports Briefs

Dominique Tham, a senior on the Wakefield boys’ basketball team, and head coach Tony Bentley were recognized as the best in Conference 13 this year.

“Flourishing After 55” for the Week of March 9-12

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for March 9-12.

Tease photo

Arlington Boy Wins President's Day Contest

Gavin Ohler, 10, of Arlington, won third place in LearningRx Nat’l President’s Day Contest, by reciting the U.S. Presidents in order while playing Hannon on the piano.

Tuesday, February 24

Tease photo

Centreville Wrestler Love Repeats as 195-Pound State Champ

Wildcats place second in team standings, Westfield produces two champs.

Centreville's Tyler Love ended his high school career with three state championship between wrestling and football.

Tease photo

McLean Wrestler Grammes Wins 152-Pound State Title

Junior’s confident approach pays off with championship.

McLean had two wrestlers reach the final at Friday's state tournament.

Tease photo

Vienna: Oakton Girls’ Basketball Continues Winning Ways

Cougars win 10th conference/district title in last 11 years.

The Oakton girls' basketball team defeated Chantilly on Monday to win the Conference 5 championship.

Tease photo

Priceless Puppies, Future Service Dogs

Photographer Joan Brady of Great Falls volunteers with a nonprofit called which raises and trains service dogs, including psychiatric assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD and assistance dogs for children with disabilities.

Editorial: Managing Mental Illness in Jails

Natasha McKenna’s death provides window on national concern.

A national report released on Feb. 11 highlighted the prevalence of people with mental illness incarcerated in local jails.

Tease photo

Fairfax County School Board Discusses New AAP Center at Poplar Tree

Board seeks more community feedback before taking action.

Greenbriar West Elementary School is far from the only Fairfax County Public School with an overcrowding problem.

Monday, February 23

A Powerful Musical on Reston Stage

Reston Community Players producing “Sunset Boulevard.”

“It is a huge production, but at the very heart it is an intimate story of people in conflict,” said Mark Hidalgo, director of the Reston Community Players’ upcoming musical “Sunset Boulevard.” “The characters are all struggling with the impinging outside world.”

Friday, February 20

Tiny Dancers Summer Camp

There’s something afoot at Tiny Dancers in Fairfax City this summer, as they offer their award-winning program of themed, week-long camps. Each session includes daily instruction in dance, a snack, fine motor exercise through a theme-related craft, and ballet camps include a favorite story with dress-up dance interpretation.

Team Members Teach Children with Autism

Besides participating in robotics competitions, team Robowiz also did community outreach via the START (Spreading Technology And Robotics Together) program. It partnered with the Autism Society of Northern Virginia (ASNV) to encourage children with autism to develop an interest in robotics.

Tease photo

Another Bank to Open at Cardinal Forest Plaza

New TD Bank expected to open in June 2015.

Come Summer 2015, Cardinal Forest Plaza will be the home of a new TD Bank, making the new bank the sixth one to be located near the intersection of Old Keene Mill and Rolling Roads. Also not far from the intersection is a SunTrust Bank, making for a total of seven banks in the area.

Tease photo

‘You Start with a Box of Metal’

Local robotics team heads to two state championships.

It’s a big deal when a team, academic or athletic, reaches the state championships. But it’s even more impressive when that team does it in two, different states. Meet team Robowiz – 10 local students who’ve reached that level in both Virginia and Maryland. The eight boys and two girls live in Centreville, Chantilly and Fairfax and are in grades eight through 10.

Letter: Beneficial Choices

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: The cab drivers who seek protection from the government against Uber and other ride-sharing companies have this all wrong. Cab drivers who are dissatisfied with their work hours or earnings are free to either remain cab drivers or to seek another way to earn money.

Tease photo

Winner, Runner-up of Local Spelling Bee

Kaia Liese Lehenbauer won Local Scripps Spelling Bee for home schooled students held at Harvester Teaching Services in Springfield on Feb. 9 and will advance to the Fairfax County Spelling Bee to be held at Lanier Middle School on March 22.

Tease photo

Just Pictures?

Randolph-Macon Professor presents on African-American Art at Workhouse.

How do we articulate the challenges of our experience in life? Randolph-Macon College art history professor Dr. Evie Terrono explores this question through the eyes of African-American artists, spanning from the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement to modern day.

Weichert, Realtors Recognizes Burke/Fairfax Station Office Associate

Bruce L. Green, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, announced Sales Associate Youssef Zeroual of the Burke/Fairfax Station office was individually recognized for his exceptional industry success during the month of January.

Tease photo

School’s 10th Anniversary Includes Alumni Reunion

The Howard Gardner School hosted an Alumni Reunion on Jan. 9 as part of its 10th anniversary celebration. Founded in 2004, HGS is an independent school with graduating classes that average 12 students. One quarter of HGS alumni attended the event to see each other and their former teachers.

Tease photo

Asian Grill Celebrates Chinese New Year

The Asian Grill restaurant on Rolling Road in Springfield is celebrating the Chinese New Year now through March 8 with fresh, traditional Chinese dishes in an updated menu that are sure to wow the crowd. Owned by Darrin Ho and his wife Jenny, the restaurant with a staff of seven in the West Springfield Shopping Center is offering a Chinese New Year feast for $65.95 per person.

Tease photo

Inaugural Celebration of Gospel Event Held in Burke

Last Wednesday, Feb. 11, the Lake Braddock Secondary School (LBSS) welcomed the Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University (HGC) to headline its first musical Celebration of Gospel. The concert was sponsored by the Minority Parents for Excellence in Education (MPEE), a parent-led organization that has been active at LBSS for almost 30 years.

Thursday, February 19

Potomac: Whitman Girls' Basketball Eyes Undefeated Season

Vikings motivated by 2014 playoff loss to Kennedy.

The Whitman girls' basketball team is 17-0.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 61 homes sold between $2,391,677-$199,900 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: January, 2015

Springfield Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 76 Springfield homes sold between $785,000-$157,000.

Springfield Home Sales: January, 2015

Reston Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 50 Reston homes sold between $1,700,000-$120,000.

Reston Home Sales: January, 2015

McLean Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 52 homes sold between $2,575,000-$210,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: January, 2015

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 40 homes sold between $985,000-$165,000 in the Oak Hill and Herndon area.

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: January, 2015

Great Falls Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 9 Great Falls homes sold between $2,875,000-$675,000.

Great Falls Home Sales: January, 2015

Dead or Alive: Virginia General Assembly Lawmakers Pick Their Legislative Highlights at the Crossover

HB1872: Would have required the Board of Education to arrange a special training program for principals working with struggling schools.

Fairfax Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 54 Fairfax homes sold between $1,225,000-$165,000.

Fairfax Home Sales: January, 2015

Chantilly Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 16 homes sold between $625,000-$35,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: January, 2015

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 48 homes sold between $2,100,000-$215,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: January, 2015

Centreville Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 62 Centreville homes sold between $802,000-$153,000.

Centreville Home Sales: January, 2015

Tease photo

Virginia General Assembly Reaches Crossover

Bills live, die or fold into other legislation before review by the opposite chamber.

As the current meeting of the Virginia General Assembly neared the one-month mark, legislators in the House of Delegates and Senate had to finalize work on bills they would send to their counterparts for consideration.

Burke Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 33 Burke homes sold between $1,150,000-$160,900.

Burke Home Sales: January, 2015

Tease photo

New Civil War Marker Honors African-American Woodcutters in Burke

Centreville resident Debbie Robison hasn’t chopped a cord of lumber or laid a railroad trestle. But for more than a year she’s done hard labor at the National Archives and Records Administration, researching Civil War-era railroad workers in Northern Virginia.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 69 homes sold between $3,500,000-$100,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: January, 2015

Tease photo

Public Hearing Scheduled in Burke to Discuss Potential VRE Fare Increase

Increased operation costs are forcing the Virginia Railway Express to consider a 4 percent fare increase.

Arlington Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 146 Arlington homes sold between $2,300,000-$40,000.

Arlington Home Sales: January, 2015

Tease photo

Citizens Hold Meeting on Burke Lake Golf Park

Though not typically a winter sport, talk of golf is heating up a chilly February.

Alexandria Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 126 Alexandria homes sold between $2,700,000-$127,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: January, 2015

Potomac Home Sales: January, 2015

In January, 2015, 27 Potomac homes sold between $5,500,000-$330,000.

Potomac Home Sales: January, 2015

Tease photo

Randolph-Macon Professor presents on African-American Art at the Workhouse in Lorton

How do we articulate the challenges of our experience in life? Randolph-Macon College art history professor Dr. Evie Terrono explores this question through the eyes of African-American artists, spanning from the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement to modern day.

Tease photo

Lorton Community Action Center to Hold 8th Monopoly Tournament

Aspiring Donald Trumps and Warren Buffetts will have their chance to compete for pretend real estate stardom, all for a good cause, as the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC) and Ron Kowalski Real Estate Group host the eighth annual Monopoly tournament in Lorton.

Tease photo

New Aldi to Open on Backlick Road in Springfield

German grocery fills vacancy left by Fischers True Value.

For years, the family-owned Fischers True Value hardware store on Backlick Road was a Springfield mainstay.

Tease photo

‘Stuff the Bus’ in Springfield Brings in 1,200 Pounds of Food for Koinonia

For the past five years, Fairfax County has put together “Stuff the Bus: Helping Fairfax Families” food donation events in collaboration with local grocery stores, nonprofit organizations and Fastran buses with drivers from MV Transportation.

Tease photo

Faces of Gum Springs, Alexandria

Residents reflect on their historic community.

Of the current residents of Gum Springs, several hundred are descendants of the original families who bought land and settled in one of northern Virginia’s oldest and historically black communities.

Police Investigating Body Found in Ditch in Mount Vernon

Fairfax County Police are investigating the death of a man found in a drainage ditch in a wooded area near the 7500 block of Vernon Square Drive.

Wednesday, February 18

Tease photo

West Potomac Wrestler Joshua Carter Wins 160-Pound Region Title

Wolverines Jeremiah Carter, Holzworth qualify for states.

The West Potomac wrestling team qualified three for states.

Tease photo

Centreville’s Love Repeats as 195-Pound Region Champion

Westfield produces three individual wrestling champions.

Centreville wrestling produced two region champions on Feb. 14.

Tease photo

Fairfax: Robinson’s DePasquale Escapes Defeat at Regionals

Lake Braddock’s Haskett wins third region championship.

Robinson wrestling placed third at the regional tournament.

Tease photo

McLean Gymnastics Wins 6A North Region Championship

Senior Brown-Kaiser qualifies for states in all-around.

After finishing runner-up to Washington-Lee three straight years, McLean breaks through with a region title.

Tease photo

Arlington: Washington-Lee’s Sophie Hatcher Wins Region All-Around Title

Yorktown’s Kane places 2nd in AA, W-L finishes 3rd in team standings.

The W-L gymnastics team had its streak of three straight region titles snapped.

Tease photo

Fairfax’s Barborek Wins 6A North Region Floor Title

Senior qualifies for states on floor, bars, vault.

Fairfax's Rachel Barborek won the region floor title on Feb. 11.

Tease photo

Springfield: Hayfield’s Overstreet Shows Toughness in Return to States

Junior wins 6A North region bars title, qualifies for states in all-around.

Hayfield gymnast Molly Overstreet will compete in the all-around at the state meet.

Tease photo

Alexandria School's Space Odyssey

NASA Administrator gives Jefferson-Houston students a taste for science.

For many children, “astronaut” is one of the quickest answers when asked what they want to be when they grow up. A visit to Jefferson-Houston School on Feb. 13 from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden aimed to encourage those students to hold onto that answer. Bolden and other NASA leadership spoke to adults on how to cultivate an interest in math and science, and showed how by fielding questions from Jefferson-Houston students on life in space.

McLean Native Serves Aboard USS Mustin

A 2010 McLean High School graduate and McLean native is serving aboard the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89), living and working at the Navy’s forward-deployed base south of Tokyo. Ensign John Nowell is a surface warfare officer aboard the destroyer operating out of Yokosuka, which is located approximately 35 miles south of Tokyo and accommodates the United States’ furthest forward-deployed naval forces.

Tease photo

Reston Lions Honor Bland Contest Winners

Winners of the James A. Bland Music Competition, co-sponsored by the Reston Lions Club and the Reston Community Center, on Tuesday, Feb. 3, were as follows: Vocal competition: Cecelia Steffen McKinley, first place; Nicole Marie Frank, second place; and Allison Gabrielle Engel, third place. Instrument competition: Gabrielle Li, first place; Jasper de Boor, second place; and Angela Anting Xu, third place.

Tease photo

Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Honors Volunteers

To thank the multitude of community volunteers who contributed 29,000 hours of service in 2014 to the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department [VVFD], the department hosted an “appreciation” banquet on Feb. 7 in the station’s Flame Room. More than 160 guests came to support award-winners, volunteers and new elected officials as they were sworn in by Vienna vice-mayor Edythe Kelleher.

Tease photo

Vienna Church Takes Ash Wednesday Message Outdoors

On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18, Emmanuel Lutheran Church will be offering Ashes and Dashes, a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition, in its church parking lot (at 2589 Chain Bridge Road) from 6:45-8:30 a.m. Emmanuel is part of a new nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people stepping outside of churches to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by in parking lots, at transit centers and on street corners with ashes and encourage them to gain a better sense of self by examining their humility and mortality, and seek renewal.

Tease photo

Supporting Children in Haiti

For the fourth consecutive year, sixth grade Girl Scout Troop 1588, based at Churchill Road Elementary School, organized school supplies and toiletries for 3rd grade teacher Sarah Finger's annual mission to Haiti.

Tease photo

Alexandria's George Mason Elementary Left Behind

Superintendent and parents clash over school modernization priorities.

For parents at George Mason Elementary School, all of the talk of modernization and improvements isn't resonating.

Tease photo

Seniors Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Dinner and Dance

Town Recreation Department and SCOV partner at Vienna Community Center.

More than 120 “seniors” filled the auditorium at a Valentine’s Day dinner-dance on Feb. 13. The event was sponsored by the Town of Vienna Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna [SCOV]. The Tallwood Trio played pop music and standards and many couples danced. They boogied to “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and held each other close to “Embraceable You,” some men mouthing the words as they danced.

Tease photo

Leslie Anthony’s ‘Horse and Hound’ on Exhibit at Katie’s Coffee House

Leslie Anthony is the guest artist exhibiting at Katie’s Coffee House (the Old Brogue), 760 Walker Road, Great Falls in March 2015. Titled “Horses and Hounds,” the show consists of oil paintings mostly of Virginia Equine scenes plus one acrylic surprise. “There is so much energy when one paints horses, whether running, jumping or sniffing a hound, or even just standing there.

Tease photo

Every Generation Under Two Roofs

Approval for new Lewinsville Center expected March 3.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the long-planned renovation of the Lewinsville Center on March 3, 2015. "The existing facility needs to be replaced; it's very old and our senior citizens deserve a better senior center," said Dranesville Supervisor John Foust.

Tease photo

Competing for ‘We the People’ Title in Herndon

Rachel Carson Middle School takes aim at national title.

Rachel Carson Middle School in Herndon has every reason to be proud. For the second year in a row, History and Social Studies teacher Cynthia Burgett’s special Civics class took home first place in the “We The People Competition” (WTP) at the state level and have their eyes on the big prize at the WTP National Invitationals Title round to be held on the campus of George Mason University between April 17-20.

Tease photo

Alexandria: Tone and Tune Presents Concert

Sumitra Barua stood at the entrance of the Lee Center auditorium and handed out a rose to each guest who entered on Feb. 14.

Column: Staying Ahead of the Feds

The federal government is not always wrong. At the same time, the state government is not always right.

The Virginia House and the Senate have penned similar but competing mid-point versions to the 2014-2016 biennial budget.

Three Local Keller Williams Teams Among Top 100 in USA

Ron Cathell, the owner and operating principal, and Amina Basic, CEO of Keller Williams McLean/Great Falls office, announced three teams made 2014 “TOP100 Teams” Nationwide for Keller Williams. The following teams made it to the top 100 nationally: The Belt Team, HBC Realty Group and Ron Cathell Team ranked among the best in the country out of more than 100,000 associates. All three teams consist of a long time area residents.

Column: Come to the NoVA Mini Maker Faire March 15

Recently I had the great pleasure of meeting several people who are energizers and organizers of the NoVA Mini Maker Faire coming to Reston on March 15. The first question many of you may have is likely: What is a Mini Maker Faire? I’ve heard it best explained as a bringing together of “an amazing collection of tech enthusiasts, engineers, woodworkers, artists,…craftspeople” and would-be inventors to show and tell what they are making.

Tease photo

Black History Month Celebrations

Local students learn about the history and accomplishments of African-Americans.

Fourth grade student Eli West crafted a poem this month that was modeled after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous, “I Have a Dream” speech.

Tease photo

Stalled Labor Market Slows County Budget

Proposed budget calls for no real estate tax rate increase, but average homeowner would pay $184 more.

Supervisor Jeff McKay pointed out an irony in County Executive Ed Long’s proposed $3.8 billion budget. Three planning positions would be eliminated from the budget even though Long suggested the county needs more efforts to raise revenue from commercial and industrial venues.

Tease photo

Super-Insulation Talk Attracts Homeowners in Reston

How to lower electric, gas and water bills?

The Rose Gallery at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne in Reston was the venue for a well-attended presentation by Rich and Marian Taschler on proper home insulation and its mostly unknown benefits. The program was offered under the auspices of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at George Mason University.

Tease photo

Oh Deer! What Can the Matter Be?

The county Park Authority used aerial infrared surveys via fixed-wing airplanes to count the number of deer inside parks and within a small distance in the surrounding neighborhoods on Feb. 6, 2014 and Dec. 27, 2013, according to the 2014 Annual Report on the Environment for Fairfax County.

Tease photo

Great Falls Grange Reopens

President of National Grange to speak at Great Falls Historical Society Program on March 11.

In a special program to celebrate the reopening of the Great Falls Grange building and to explore the history of the National Grange movement, Ed Luttrell, the 22nd President (Master) of the National Grange will be the keynote speaker at the March 11 program of the Great Falls Historical Society.

Tease photo

Scoring Baskets for Haiti in Great Falls

GF Hoops sponsors “Shots for Shots,” to help vaccination effort in Haiti.

GF Hoops shoots way beyond any basket by taking on an initiative to provide immunization shots for school-age children in Haiti. The children of Haiti are not permitted to attend school unless they have been immunized. The cost to immunize a child for a year? $1!

Bradford C. Smith of Oak Hill Dies

Bradford C. Smith of Oak Hill passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 4, 2015. He was the beloved husband of Maria E. Smith and devoted father of Melina Smith and Silvana Smith.

Whitman Girls' Basketball Eyes Undefeated Season

Vikings motivated by 2014 playoff loss to Kennedy.

The 2013-14 Whitman girls’ basketball team, which had won 20 games in row, picked a terrible time to lay an egg.

Tease photo

Researching Alexandria’s African-American Ancestors

Two genealogists help African-Americans in Alexandria trace their families’ roots.

Tracing genealogies is not only impossibly frustrating for many African-American families, but many of the results they find are predictable and grim. But for two genealogists who hosted events at Alexandria’s Black History Museum, that idea obscures the powerful histories and proud legacies of many families.

Column: Real-Time, Really Late

I’m not a night owl. More of an early bird, worms notwithstanding. But given the contents of last week’s column, “Scantsy,” I find it difficult to write about anything else while waiting for the results of my CT Scan.

Incremental Defeats

Northern Virginia Democrats face major defeats and minor victories.

Halfway through every session of the Virginia legislature, bills from the House are sent to the Senate for a vote and vice-versa. The event is called crossover, and in 2015 this will be marked by the complete absence of major reforms the Democratic minority hoped to push through.

From ‘Warm Room’ to Warm House

Where AIRE makes a difference.

During these cold winter days, I sometimes think back — not fondly — to the place in our home that we called the “warm room.” We bought our 1942 colonial in Arlington more than 30 years ago.

Alexandria Celebrates International Women’s Day

Ten Thousand VIllages Sales Benefit Alexandria’s Domestic Abuse Program

Thirteen year old Sage Boucher knew it was International Women’s Day on March 8th. She alerted her family to the fact when she checked her social media in the morning: “TUMBLR had it, and I always checks GOOGLE graphics first thing because if something is going on the graphic will hint at it.” They were going to get cupcakes to celebrate. Sage loves the idea of celebrating women.

Chalice Theatre presents “Children of Eden” in Arlington

It’s a Family Affair

Chalice Theatre of Arlington is putting on the musical “Children of Eden” through March 15th.

Library Lovers Month’ Highlights Programs, Services

Kaydee Puppeteers to present two shows Feb. 28.

To Celebrate February as “Library Lover’s Month,” the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, Potomac Chapter, will sponsor Kaydee Puppeteers on Feb. 28 at 10:30 a.m.

Protecting Dominion’s Monopoly Earnings

This past week marked “Crossover” in Richmond, after which time each chamber of the General Assembly only works on legislation passed by the other chamber. Ten of my bills have passed the Senate and now await consideration by the House of Delegates.

More than Meets the Eye

Arlington siblings want to provide support and insight for other dyslexics while having fun.

Jack and Sara Jane Owens are like many brothers and sisters. They get along, they help each other out, they playfully tease each other and know when to let the other shine. They share one more thing that other people can't tell from a quick glance: They're both dyslexic.

Tease photo

School’s 10th Anniversary Includes Alumni Reunion

Two of the alumni are now teachers at HGS. Hope Peele, Class of 2007, holds a B.A. in human services from Elon University and serves as the HGS internship and community service coordinator.

Column: A Recipe for Economic Revival


Just six years ago, Maryland was ranked a healthy third in the nation as a “New Economy” state burgeoning with technology companies and awash with capital.

Students Create Golf Apparel

Using a grant from the cotton industry, Marymount University fashion design students worked in teams to create golf apparel in the junior and young men’s size range for high school students.

Tease photo

Standing Up 2 Cancer in Arlington

Celebrating the one-year anniversary of surviving “major league” cancer, Alexandria resident and retired Air Force veteran Pat Malone held a 24-hour marathon fundraiser at Fire Works American Pizzeria & Bar in Arlington.

Friday, February 13

Tease photo

‘The Sidewalk Will Increase Safety’

City Council Votes to Improve Section of Roberts Road in Fairfax

Pending receipt of the necessary funds, the west side of Roberts Road in Fairfax – between Main Street and Sager Avenue – will be getting a new sidewalk, curb and gutter. The Fairfax City Council approved this action at its Jan. 13 meeting. Not all the residents are happy about it and not all the Council members are in agreement. But in the end, it’s believed that the project will make the city more walkable and this portion of Roberts Road safer.

Tease photo

Auditions to Be Held for Metropolitan School of the Arts

Students interested in attending the Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) of Alexandria and Lorton, can audition on Sun., March 1 at MSA Lorton Campus at 9601 Ox Road. Auditions are required as part of the 2015-2016 academy registration. The MSA Academy audition is for performing arts students from sixth to 12th grade.

Tease photo

Good Citizenship Honored

The Daughters of the American Revolution's Thomas Lee (Fairfax) chapter, in an event held at the Army Navy Club in Fairfax, awarded their 2015 Good Citizens award to Clifton resident and Robinson senior Elizabeth Telford. The award recognizes a high school senior who stands out among their peers and possesses the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.

Tease photo

Town of Clifton Holds First Table Tennis Games

The Clifton Betterment Association held its first table tennis tournament on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Clifton Town Hall. The competition was the brainchild of CBA members Michelle Stein, Lynne Strang, Steve Bittner and Jim Witt. Strang said it is a way to “provide a variety of activities, have fun and get fit” during the winter.

Inova to Create a New Center in Fairfax

Fairfax County-based Inova Health Systems will take over the ExxonMobil headquarters building in the Merrifield area of the county to house the Inova Center for Personalized Health. The center will make Fairfax County “a community known worldwide for genomic science,” said Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) at the

Tease photo

Thousands Throng to City of Fairfax

Annual Chocolate Lovers Festival was Feb. 7-8.

Tease photo

A Contemporary Kitchen

Local family transforms their home with a red, black and white kitchen.

When a Springfield couple decided to remodel their 1960s home, they wanted to think outside the box, especially when it came to the kitchen. “Originally confined to a small kitchen ‘box,’ crunched in the back of their house, this couple wanted to expand and modernize their … house to a contemporary, European design,” said Stephanie Brick, associate architectural designer at Nicely Done Kitchens in Springfield.

Tease photo

Woodson High School Inducts 2014-2015 Hall of Fame Athletes

W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax welcomed eight new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Grand Atrium Banquet Venue in Tysons Corner. This is the third Hall of Fame “class” for Woodson. The honors program was established in conjunction with the school’s 50th anniversary in 2012.

Nagle, Arya to Address GOP Women Meeting

Chet Nagle, Naval Academy graduate, Cold War pilot, CIA agent and author will speak at the January meeting of the Republican Women of Clifton on the conflict in the Middle East and vulnerability of the US electrical grid to EMP and cyber-attacks. This topic bears on the cyber theme of Nagel’s latest book Lazarus Man, which expounds on these issues using fact-based fiction. Golala Arya, Kurdish Iranian refugee, will contribute her insights on the conflict in Iran.

Our Daily Bread Launches ‘Keep the Heat On’ Campaign

The Fairfax-based Our Daily Bread (ODB)charity launched its “Keep the Heat On” crowdfunding campaign on Feb. 1 in hopes of raising $15,000 or more by the end of the month to increase the organization’s capacity to help Fairfax County area residents who are struggling to make ends meet get through the coldest months.

MATHCOUNTS Regional Winners Announced

The Northern Virginia Regional MATHCOUNTS competitions were held on Saturday, Feb. 7, at Glasgow Middle School in Alexandria, and at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Arlington. This year, because of the exceptionally large number of students participating, the Regional competition had to be split between two venues.

Tease photo

Colonial Day at Cherry Run Elementary

Cherry Run Elementary School fourth graders in Burke held Colonial Day on Jan. 16. Students dressed in the styles of the 1700s. They learned the Virginia Reel and invited their parents in to the dance. Parents put together stations where students could stencil on cloth, hammer tin punch decorations, shake cream to make butter, and play games such as hopscotch, jacks, marbles and cat’s cradle.

Thursday, February 12

Tease photo

Herndon Firefighters Prepare to Move to Temporary Fire Station

After years of inquiry and study, preparations have been made to close the building of fire station Herndon Station #4. The Horn Motor's lot on Locust Street, at the intersection of Center Street in Herndon will host a temporary fire station.

Tease photo

Busy February at Herndon High

Students stay active at Herndon HS with extracurricular activities.

In addition to sports teams and athletics, Herndon High students have had the opportunity in February to be involved in various school activities. These have ranged from the February science fair to performing arts related groups.

Burke, Fairfax Station, Springfield and Mount Vernon: Describe your ideal Valentine's Day Date

Sev Kerat, senior at South County High School, Springfield resident: “We’d go ice skating, or something else active to move about and set the mood. Doing an activity makes me feel relieved instead of uptight.”

Tease photo

Winter Harvest in Arlington

Half a dozen vendors set up tables laden with winter fruits and vegetables, handmade jams and jellies, grass-fed meats, eggs and home cooked foods, freshly baked pies and breads at the Sunday farmers market on Columbia Pike.

Tease photo

Sixth Friends of Sadie Blood Drive in Burke Draws More Than 200 Donors

For the sixth year in a row, Burke resident Amy Dozier celebrated Valentine’s Day by helping manage a blood drive. Her daughter Madeline, barely a tween for the first Friends of Sadie drive in 2010, is now a 16-year-old sophomore at Robinson Secondary School. She’s old enough to drive and old enough to donate blood for the first time.

Tease photo

Grace Presbyterian in Springfield Hosts Holy Land Film Series

For more than three generations, peace has eluded Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, an area known as the Holy Land.

Tease photo

Stuffing the Bus in Clifton and Lorton

For members of the South County High School JROTC program, Saturday’s “Stuff the Bus” food donation event was as much about community service as it was about “service learning.”

Tease photo

Fairfax County Supervisors Approve Model Airplane Field at I-95 Landfill in Lorton

Robert Freas of Fairfax Station can’t fly his model aircraft in his backyard. In fact, he has to drive to a field about 50 miles away for a facility that meets Academy of Model Aeronautics standards for planes like his. The fixed-wing fliers Freas and members Northern Virginia Radio Control (NVRC) club pilot can go up to eight feet long.

First Art Steffen Scholarship Awarded to student in Centreville

For nearly three decades, Edward Arthur “Art” Steffen taught at Fairfax County Public Schools.

Tease photo

Uber prominent at state Sens. Marsden and Saslaw joint town hall in Falls Church.

Though over a dozen taxicabs sat in the parking lot of Sleepy Hollow Elementary School, inside it was clear everyone drove themselves.

Tease photo

Fort Hunt Elementary School in Mount Vernon celebrates diverse student body.

Fort Hunt sixth grader Elizabeth Hutchison was looking forward to principal Thomas Fitzpatrick’s soda bread. With her family also representing Ireland, she planned to bring some herself, as well as some shamrock decorations, to the elementary school’s second annual Dance Around the World winter festival.

Tease photo

Matthew Charged In West Potomac Alumna Hannah Graham Murder

Suspect faces life in prison.

Nearly five months after the disappearance of University of Virginia sophomore and West Potomac High School alumna Hannah Graham, the primary suspect in her death investigation has been indicted by a grand jury in Albemarle County.

Tease photo

Combining Health and Mental Health

Community Services Board provides emergency services, prevention and treatment.

One teenager who attempted suicide revealed that if anyone had asked him beforehand whether he was thinking of hurting himself, he would have said yes.

Tease photo

Mount Vernon and West Potomac High School Students Attend Amundson Institute

Earlier this month, six students from West Potomac and Mount Vernon High Schools traveled to Richmond to experience state government first-hand.

Fairfax County Judge Orders More John Geer Materials Released

Family’s lawyer’s motions supported.

Though extensive, the thousands of pages of documents, dozens of audio files and handful of videos released last month by Fairfax County, documenting the shooting death of Springfield resident John Geer, aren’t exhaustive.

Wednesday, February 11

Tease photo

Arlington's ‘Love the Run You’re With’

Valentine’s Day race draws a crowd.

After weeks of miserable cold, the weather warmed up just enough to make the Pacers Running “Love the Run You’re With” 5 kilometer race in Arlington bearable.

Letter: Reward This Performance?

Letter to the Editor

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has delayed action on raising their current annual salary of $75,000 until March 3, leaving the record open for comments. According to the County Executive, the fiscal impact of $205,000, if approved, the annual Board of Supervisors salary will total $95,500 or a 27.33 percent increase. Only supervisors Herrity (R) and Symth (D) opposed considering a Board of Supervisors pay raise.

Letter: Failing in Their Duties

Letter to the Editor

I applaud your editorial on the Geer murder (“No Justification for Secrecy, Delay on Geer Shooting,” Connection, February 4-10, 2015). The Connection has done yeoman’s work in keeping this tragedy in front of the public, unlike other newspapers which are johnnie-come-latelies.

Editorial: Not the First or Only Time

Secrecy around police shootings has been a problem for at least a decade.

The official position of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on the need for changes in policy after the shooting of John Geer by police in Springfield in August of 2013 appears to be that this is the first time police policies have been a problem: “Policies for handling police-involved incidents, which served us well for decades, were inadequate in this complicated situation.”

Tease photo

The McLean WinterFest Presents Check to Share

The McLean WinterFest parade presents a check for $2,000 to Share of McLean. Share has been the beneficiary of the WinterFest parade for the past six years.

Tease photo

Stem Night at Great Falls Elementary

Great Falls Elementary students put their science skills, as well as imaginations, into action at the school’s third Annual STEM Night on Feb. 3. The Children’s Science Center brought its Mobile Labs to the school where students and their families got the opportunity to try various hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experiments and activities.

Tease photo

Fan Quest for Special Olympics

Oakton High Hosts McLean High in basketball game and other fun activities.

Oakton High School's gym was filled to capacity with a standing-room only crowd of 700 for Fan Quest 2015 last Saturday, Feb. 7, when Oakton challenged McLean to a game of Special Olympics basketball plus other exciting activities. In addition to the Special Olympics Virginia basketball game where McLean beat Oakton, 42-24, the event, sponsored by Booz-Allen Hamilton and Grant Thornton, gave athletes the chance to shoot layups, free throws, and three-pointers in the Papa John's Pizza Shoot Out to win free pizza coupons.

‘American Spiritual’ at Alden

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, described by The Boston Herald as one of “America’s most inventive string bands,” will lead audience members in a bona fide revival when they bring “American Spiritual” to The Alden in McLean for a single performance on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 8 p.m.

Tease photo

Freezin' for a Reason at Lake Anne

Some flipped. Some jumped. Some flopped. Many yawped. Most shivered. And all 400 jumpers braved Lake Anne's 33 degree icy water Saturday, Feb. 7, to raise money for Camp Sunshine, a national year-round retreat for families with children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

Celebrating Valentine’s with Classical Ballet

On Feb. 13, at the Reston Community Center, Classical Ballet Theatre (CBT) will be presenting “An Evening with Classical Ballet Theatre.” For the last 25 years, CBT has been educating and inspiring children through the art of classical ballet in Northern Virginia, thanks to the vision, commitment, and dedication of its founder and Executive Director, Cynthia Donavin.

Tease photo

Hand & Stone Opens in Reston

Affordable spa offers facials, massage, waxings with five-star service.

A new Hand & Stone Spa opened in the South Lakes Village Shopping Center in Reston off South Lakes Drive on Sunday, Feb. 1. Owned by Darielle Danver, 25, and her father Eric Danver, 52, of Medford, N.J., the franchise spa decorated in warm earth tones and ambient lighting in nine rooms specializes in facials, hot stone massages, skin peels, waxing, eyebrows, hand therapy, and hot towel foot treatments with scrubs and lotions, and more.

Column: At the Half

The General Assembly has reached “crossover,” the point on the legislative calendar when each house must have completed work on bills introduced into its respective chamber. That point was Tuesday for all bills except for adjustments to the budget that will be considered on Thursday.

‘A Legendary Celebration’ in McLean

Dancer, actress and singer Chita Rivera to perform at the Alden Theatre on Feb. 24.

A legendary talent will soon arrive at the Alden Theatre to entertain and enthrall; the incomparable dancer, actress and singer Chita Rivera. In her six decade career, Rivera has been honored with two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and six additional Tony nominations, received a Kennedy Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American culture and a Presidential Medal of Freedom among many honors.

Tease photo

I-66 Improvements Draw Crowd in Oakton

Public Information Meeting held at Oakton High.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in partnership with the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) recently held several informational meetings on the “I-66 Outside the Beltway Improvements Project” to give the public the opportunity to better visualize its scope and ask questions of the people really in the know. One of these meetings was held at Oakton High School on Feb. 3 and drew a crowd of several hundred to the school cafeteria to learn more about the project that covers a 25 mile path from the 495 Beltway to Route 15 in Haymarket.

Chamber Promotes from Within

Simmans-Bolouri, Ciarrocchi named vice presidents.

The Alexandria Chamber of Commerce announced the promotion of Shari Simmans-Bolouri and Maria Ciarrocchi to the offices of vice president.

What To Do To Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Some suggestions for a one-of-a-kind day.

Valentine’s Day is this Saturday.

Tease photo

Joshua Lian Wins Geography Bee Contest

Churchill Road crowned a new Geography Bee champion. On Friday, Jan. 23, nine Churchill Road fourth-sixth graders competed in the finals of the school’s National Geography Bee. During the final competition, the students competed in five rounds of questions to determine the top two finalists.

Remodeling Expands Amount of Useful Space

Trend emphasizes open designs.

Open, airy and clean — that’s the look that a Potomac family wanted when they decided to remodel their dark and dingy, 1970s era kitchen.

Tease photo

Exploring the Truth, Doubt and Consequences

1st Stage presents “Doubt.”

1st Stage has given audiences a beautifully accomplished, soaring production of “Doubt, a Parable.” Directed by Michael Dove, “Doubt” is a courageous act of intellectual and emotional honesty that is rare in its presentation of power, gender and ambiguity. It is rich in passionate dialogue to hold your attention.

Top Firefighter To Keynote Breakfast

Friendship Firehouse event kicks off Parade Day celebrations.

U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell Jr. will be the keynote speaker at the annual Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association breakfast Feb. 16 to kick off the citywide George Washington Birthday Parade day celebrations.

Tease photo

60 Years of Wedding Bliss

Marie and Walter Washburn of Vienna are celebrating ​60 years of marriage on Feb. 12. They originally were to have a Valentine’s Day marriage back in 1955 but a huge winter storm forced them to marry days earlier. They met after a blind date set up by Marie's sister and brother-in-law and have lived locally in the same house since 1958 in the town of Vienna.

Focusing on Residents’ Priorities

It's an honor to serve you as your Maryland state delegate, representing District 15.

Letter: Support ATC Budget

Letter to the Editor

The Alexandria City Public School budget is currently being deliberated and the Superintendent’s budget calls for cuts to the Community Partners program from which the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC) funding is drawn.

Lewin’s Art on Exhibit at Photoworks

Local artist conveys emotional perspective in her photography.

Most every mother can relate to the constant, plaguing worry that Potomac artist Na’ama Lewin expresses in her latest photo exhibit, “A Day at the Pool.”

Universal # 1 Lodge Honored

Celebrating its 170th anniversary, members of the Universal #1 Lodge gathered in City Hall council chambers on Tuesday evening, Feb. 10, to receive a proclamation.

Bills on Protecting Child Support, SOL Flexibility Pass

The third week of the “short” session of the General Assembly brings us to “Crossover.” “Crossover” is the midpoint of the session when both houses must complete work on their own bills and begin work on bills from the other chambers.

Deadline Nears on Awards

The Alexandria Commission for Women seeks nominations of women who have made exceptional contributions to the City of Alexandria for its 35th Annual Salute to Women Awards Banquet.

Letter: Reward This Performance?

Letter to the Editor

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has delayed action on raising their current annual salary of $75,000 until March 3, leaving the record open for comments.

Letters: Votes Need Explaining

Letter to the Editor

Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) has announced his intention to run for election to replace the retiring Sen. Linda "Toddy" Puller (D-36) in the Virginia Senate.

Which WPHS Teacher Is on Jeopardy!?

Colin O’Grady competes in Teachers Tournament.


City Manager Presents Disheartening Property Assessment

Slow-growing tax base to affect city budget.

While the city’s residential tax base shows modest growth, acting City Manager Mark Jinks says the commercial sector has remained stagnant.

Seeking Funds for Schools’ Capital Improvements

School Board seeks $4 million more than council’s cap.

The Alexandria City Public School Board approved Superintendent Alvin Crawley’s $305 million 2016-2025 Capital Improvement Plan Budget, including $42 million for the 2016 fiscal year, at its Feb. 5 meeting.

Caring for the Potomac

Developers have major role in maintaining and improving river’s health

It might sound counterintuitive, but the health of the Potomac River might be improving thanks to large-scale development in places like Tysons Corner and Rockville.

Two More Candidates

Hyland’s announced retirement yields more supervisor candidates.

Two additional candidates are interested in running for the Mount Vernon district supervisor seat as a result of Supervisor Gerry Hyland’s retirement announcement. This brings the total of announced candidates, all from the Democratic party, to four. Earlier, community activist Jack Dobbyn and School Board member Daniel Storck announced for intent.

Memorable Debate Inbound for City Council

A Special Use Permit for a Memory Care Center on King Street, immediately adjacent to the Ivy Hill Cemetery, became the biggest topic of contention in the Feb. 3 Planning Commission meeting.The Planning Commission approved the special use permit, but the debate is expected to continue when the issue is brought up again at the Feb. 21 City Council Public Hearing.

It’s Time for a “Place”

The community of Great Falls is abundant with creative talent. Our ability to socialize our children into many layers of being in the world is truly remarkable: the home and school, the beach, the mountains and ski slopes, the world of the spirit, the arts, the sciences, technology, philosophy…exploration in nature, taking walks, journeying on the river, photographing nature, looking out the window while doing homework - connecting with the tree spirits, the herd of deer, the birds outside the window, all hanging out in the same tree. Our children have access to the knowledge of the world through the centuries on their phone, laptop or computer.

Tease photo

Pinball Kevin, Pinball Wizard

McLean man hosts state pinball championships.

Kevin Stone took out a loan to buy the 15 pinball machines in his McLean basement, the site of this year's Virginia state pinball championship. Virginia was one of 33 states to take part in the simultaneous championships on Saturday, Feb. 7. Stone's Harlem Globetrotters machine was built in 1979, others from Stern Pinball and Jersey Jack Pinball are contemporaries.

Preventing Heart Disease in Women

A cardiologist speaks to the McLean Woman’s Club.

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, the Woman’s Club of McLean welcomed its monthly speaker Rachel L. Berger, M. D., a cardiologist at Virginia Heart, a practice with several offices in Northern Virginia. Berger, who is board certified in cardiovascular disease and echocardiography, has expertise in general cardiology and women’s heart health.

Tease photo

Herndon Advances at National Dance Team Competition

The Herndon High School Varsity Dance Team recently returned from Orlando, Fla., where they competed in the Pom and Jazz categories at the 2015 National Dance Team Championship on Jan. 31 - Feb. 1. With over 350 high schools competing, Herndon advanced, for the first time ever, to the final round in the pom category and they are ranked 17th in the Nation.

Tease photo

Riding for a Cure

McLean man gives cancer some fighting words.

Andrew Reed’s path has not been smooth since he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer three years ago, shortly after his father died from prostate cancer. After two years of chemotherapy, six surgeries, and the death of his beloved mother this January, also from cancer, the McLean resident continues to face challenges as he fights the disease that has greatly affected his life.

Tease photo

Great Falls Spa Offers an Alternative

Open house held at Fontaine de Jeunesse.

When Dr. Jeanette Coutin brought her Fontaine de Jeunesse medical spa to Great Falls in the summer of 2013, she was sure it would be a terrific location to offer services in the field of aesthetic medicine. She was right. "People in Great Falls are very conscious of their health," she said.

Tease photo

McLean Community Foundation Grant Helps Longfellow Go Green

On Feb. 5, Longfellow Middle School celebrated the arrival of new recycling bins, made possible through a grant by the McLean Community Foundation (MCF). Students and staff thanked MCF President, Amee Burgoyne, for supporting Longfellow’s recycling efforts.

Column: ‘Scantsy’

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to characterize the feelings I regularly experience during the final few weeks leading up to my every-three-month CT Scan, and even more so the feelings I experience waiting the following week or so to see my oncologist to discuss the results.

Nominations Open for Citizen of the Year

Reston Citizens Association has opened nominations for the 2014 Reston Citizen of the Year Award. The tradition of honoring the Reston Citizen of the Year began in 1976, and was reintroduced in 2008 as a way to spotlight the work of dedicated citizen volunteers and civic activists who work tirelessly behind the scenes, providing them the recognition and appreciation they have earned through their hard work and dedication to the Reston community.

Award-Winning Storyteller to Speak at AAUW McLean Area Branch Event

The McLean Area Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) will host an entertaining and informative program on Saturday, Feb. 21, featuring Gary Lloyd, award-winning storyteller. The program will be held at the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Drive, McLean, starting at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.

Tease photo

Lorton: Burgess Overcomes Injury, Wins Conference All-Around Title

South County gymnastics wins first Conference 7 championship.

South County won the Conference 7 gymnastics title.

Spelling Bee Champion

Great Falls Elementary fourth through sixth grade students took the stage at the school’s annual Spelling Bee on Feb. 4. After 33 rounds of spelling words ranging from "ignominious" to "quintessential," sixth grade student Ariana Sanjideh became the champion with the word "synthesis."

Tease photo

Langley Rowers Earn Gold, Silver and Bronze

The Langley High School Crew team excelled at the Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints, the largest indoor rowing event for juniors (18 years or younger) in the United States. From Langley, Sophie Rogers took home the gold in the Junior Women Lightweight (age 16) category.

Fairfax: Young, Burda Lead Robinson Gymnastics to Conference 5 Title

Rams win second straight championship, third in four years.

Robinson gymnastics repeats as Conference 5 champions.

Tease photo

Langley High Orchestra to Present Spring Concert

The Langley High School Orchestra presents their "Start Spreading the News" concert on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. Due to the undergoing renovations at Langley High School, the concert will be held at the nearby Oakcrest School at 850 Balls Hill Road, McLean.

Tease photo

Local Chef Takes Kids Around the World

Marilena Leavitt preaches and teaches the basics of the Mediterranean diet to Culinaria teens.

”How to Feed a Growing Kid” sounds like the name of a Judy Blume tween novel. It’s not … it’s a mission that impassions professional chef Marilena Leavitt, mother of three, and Culinaria Cooking School’s kids’-cooking class instructor. It’s not enough to prepare healthful meals for kids; you have to make something healthful that they will eat. That’s what Leavitt teaches and espouses in classes and in life.

Scott, Tejada To Move on

Two Arlington Public Figures announced that they will finish their term of service in 2015. Arlington Police Chief M. Douglas Scott will retire in March after 12 years as Arlington’s Chief of Police. County Board member Walter Tejada has decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for another term in office.

Groundbreaking Set on New Affordable Housing

With this week’s closing of construction financing for The Springs Apartments at 555 N. Thomas St., Arlington, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) has scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony for March 11, 1-2:20 p.m., and completion will be in fall 2016.

Democratic Committee Backs Primary

At its monthly meeting, the Arlington County Democratic Committee voted unanimously in favor of a primary for local candidates in the November 2015 election.

Board Revisits Plan To Address Growing Enrollment

Goal of 725 new elementary school seats no later than September 2018.

The Arlington School Board responded to the County Board’s decision not to approve a new elementary school site with a statement expressing the School Board’s renewed commitment to engaging with the community to find a solution.

Only Days Left To Enroll

ENROLL-Virginia’s certified navigators and in-person assisters will be extending their work hours this last weekend of open enrollment in to assist last-minute walk-ins from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14, and from 1 - 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Kenmore Middle School.

Synetic Stages Its 11th Wordless Shakespeare

Presents the comedy, "Much Ado About Nothing," with no dialogue.

Synetic Theater in Crystal City is staging the Shakespeare comedy, "Much Ado About Nothing," set in the 1950s Las Vegas, from Feb. 11 through March 22.

‘Love the Run You’re With’

Valentine’s Day race draws a crowd.

After weeks of miserable cold, the weather warmed up just enough to make the Pacers Running “Love the Run You’re With” 5 kilometer race in Arlington bearable.

Selling Land for Affordable Housing

Approximately 200 commissioners of the National Capital Presbytery gave unanimous approval on Jan. 27 for Arlington Presbyterian Church to sell its property to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) to build approximately 140 units of affordable housing on the church site along Columbia Pike.

Police Warn of Telephone Scam

The Arlington County Police Department and Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a missed jury duty telephone scam targeting residents.

Tease photo

W-L’s Guenther, Yorktown’s Kappel Win Wrestling Titles

Generals tie for fourth, Patriots finish sixth at conference tournament.

The Washington-Lee and Yorktown wrestling teams were well represented in the final round of the Conference 6 championship tournament Saturday at Hayfield Secondary School, but each school managed to win just one individual title.

Legislating Against Discrimination

I passed several bills last week that would advance equality for women, gay and lesbian married couples, and LGBT state employees.

News Brief: Only Days Left To Enroll

ENROLL-Virginia’s certified navigators and in-person assisters will be extending their work hours this last weekend of open enrollment in to assist last-minute walk-ins from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14, and from 1 - 6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Kenmore Middle School.

Tuesday, February 10

Tease photo

Arlington: W-L’s Guenther, Yorktown’s Kappel Win Wrestling Titles

Generals tie for fourth, Patriots finish sixth at Conference 6 tournament.

Washington-Lee and Yorktown each brought home one individual title from the Conference 6 tournament.

Tease photo

McLean Wrestling Wins Conference 6 Championship

Conor Grammes’ pin delivers team title for Highlanders.

McLean beat Madison by 1.5 points to win the Conference 6 wrestling title.

Herndon Gymnast Bradley Wins Conference 5 All-Around Title

Sophomore leads Hornets to second-place finish, regional berth.

The Herndon gymnastics team earned a berth in the 6A North region championship meet.

Monday, February 9

Tease photo

Stories of Good Times, Bad Times

NextStop presents “Love, Loss and What I Wore.”

"Who did I think I was when I bought this?" a voice says. A mother's voice reverberates, "Is that what you are going to wear?" These words will be front-and-center at NextStop Theatre's regional premiere of a comedy that is not for women only.

Saturday, February 7

Reston International Center Changes Hands

Reston International Center Acquired by American Real Estate Partners

American Real Estate Partners and Square Mile Capital Management LLC announced on Feb. 2 they acquired the Reston International Center, a 15-story building from JBG Companies.

Vienna: Koshuta-less Madison Snaps Langley's 14-Game Win Streak

Junior guard McWeeney helps Warhawks avenge loss to Saxons without injured star forward.

The Madison girls' basketball team beat Langley 46-38 Friday.

Friday, February 6

Commentary: Donate to Those Less Fortunate During National Canned Food Month

It seems that as the memories of the holiday season fade away, so does our urgency to give. Many of us return to our daily routines, and we seem to forget that our neighbors continue to struggle to provide meals for their families. And although many continue to be in need after the holiday season, food donations drop and our food banks face shortages.

Tease photo

Facets Helps People Come in from the Cold

Hypothermia program gives shelter this winter.

People experiencing homelessness arrived in groups on Tuesday, Jan. 13 at Pender United Methodist Church in Fairfax for a hot meal and a warm place to sleep for the night. When they leave the next day, they will have their clothes cleaned and washed and a bag lunch for the day.

The Chocolate Vendors

Chocolate Vendors

Tease photo

Hub Theatre Receives Helen Hayes Nominations

The Hub Theatre was nominated for seven Helen Hayes Awards presented by theatreWashington for outstanding achievement in professional theatre in the Washington metropolitan area. The awards are named for Helen Hayes, the legendary First Lady of the American Theatre. Nominated artists and companies exemplify the excellence found on Washington area professional stages.

Tease photo

Launching a Successful Career Path

NASA astronaut addresses Paul VI students at Career Day.

On Thursday, Jan. 29, the Counseling Department at Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax hosted its fourth annual Career Day for juniors and seniors. Former NASA astronaut Sandra H. Magnus was the keynote speaker. Magnus is a three-time recipient of the NASA Space Flight Medal, and was also awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Meals for Young Minds

The Chocolate Lovers Festival Committee is again supporting the Fairfax Kiwanis Meals for Young Minds Program with multiple, food drop-off locations during the festival. This program provides meals to local, elementary-school students who don’t have food to eat on the weekends.

Tease photo

Virginia Opera's Special Gift for Valentine's Weekend

“Salome” at George Mason University Center for the Arts.

Salome, a name that conjures unforgettable impressions: passion, desire, murder. The opera "Salome" is based upon a once shocking Oscar Wilde literary work. This Valentine's weekend the Virginia Opera is presenting a production about how love's obsession in the wrong hands can lead to the most unfortunate, unforeseen consequences.

Tease photo

Lake Braddock Band Goes National

Lake Braddock Secondary School Symphonic Band has been invited to perform at the 2015 Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, the nation’s most prestigious festival for school instrumental music ensemble. The 24th annual Festival will take place in Indianapolis, March 12-14.

Tease photo

Chocolate Cookbook and Valentine

It’s always fun to bring home souvenirs from the Chocolate Festival, and two of them are the official, Chocolate Lovers Festival Cookbook and the annual, commemorative Valentine.

Tease photo

‘It’s Such a Good Fit’

Naomi Project joins Our Daily Bread to help struggling mothers.

For the past 19 years, the nonprofit Naomi Project of Northern Virginia has worked with high-risk, pregnant women and new mothers to help them have healthy pregnancies and babies. It’s now become a program of the nonprofit Our Daily Bread (ODB) and, on Jan. 22, the two groups celebrated their union. “It’s a natural offshoot of what we’re already doing with moms,” said ODB spokeswoman Heather Webb. “This is another way that we can help them build families and get on a better financial footing.”

Tease photo

Pancakes, Candy, Fudge, Ice Cream and More

Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival is Feb. 7-8.

Get your sweet tooth ready – the 23rd annual City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival is this weekend, Feb. 7-8. Featuring delicious, chocolate fun for both children and adults, the event includes a Taste of Chocolate, a Chocolate Challenge, musical performances, a chocolate movie – “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” – fairy tales, a fire-safety puppet show, face-painting, a Chocolate Caper mock trial, cupcake-decorating, magic, juggling and open houses in historic buildings.

Tease photo

Del. Filler-Corn’s ‘CARE Act’ Passes the House

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn’s (D–41) HB 1413 passed the full House of Delegates on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. HB 1413 or the “CARE Act” addresses the important role of the informal and family caregivers and improved communication with them and medical providers. Specifically, the bill looks to improve healthcare and reduce preventable hospital revisits by having hospitals formally acknowledge a patient’s family caregiver at the time of admission and provide critical home care instruction before discharge.

South Lakes Wins Conference Championship

Both boys and girls win indoor track and field Liberty Conference championship.

Multiple event victories by sophomore Devyn Jones and domination of the relays, led the South Lakes High School indoor track teams to Liberty Conference championships in both the boys and girls divisions Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex Landover, Md.

Tease photo

Alexandrian WWII Veteran Remembers The Battle of the Bulge

‘We Were Annihilated’

It was one of the best kept secrets of World War II. When 20-year-old U.S. Army Medic Robert Wineland arrived in the village of Laudersfeld, the wooded countryside of far eastern Belgium was relatively peaceful, a quiet buffer zone disrupted only by occasional artillery fire and brief skirmishes between opposing infantry patrols. But on Dec. 16, 1944, the sleepy Ardennes front was about to wake up.

Tease photo

Young Professionals Program in Arlington

Leadership Arlington's newest class of the Young Professionals Program gathered Saturday, Jan. 24, for the first time at a day-long retreat sponsored by Marymount University.

Arlington Atheletes Participating in 30th Annual Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints

More than 1,700 rowers from 13 states and the District of Columbia participated in the Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints on Saturday, Jan. 31 at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria.

Potomac Sports Briefs for the Week of Feb. 4, 2015

Potomac sports briefs, week of Feb. 4, 2015.

Letter: Montgomery County Council To Decide On Pesticide Use

Spring is just around the corner and if the Montgomery County Council has its way, residents will learn to live with weeds, ticks, grubs and Mother Nature’s other irritants.

WMCCA Column: Defining and Ensuring Effectiveness

The proposed pesticide law pending before the Montgomery County Council and the National Park Service proposal to collect entrance fees from those using the C&O Canal National Historical Park present interesting challenges. We will learn more about the pesticide bill at WMCCA’s Feb. 11 meeting. C&O Canal Superintendent Kevin Brandt will discuss the fee proposal and other Canal issues at our March 11 meeting.

Tease photo

Workshop for Potomac Parents on Managing Family Stress

Feb. 11 event is part of Parent University.

Mental health specialist Elizabeth DuPont Spencer believes stress is a topic familiar to most busy families.

Tease photo

A Leafier Kind of Classroom in Potomac’s Backyard

Retired teachers taking their classroom skills to the great outdoors to introduce children to the C&O Canal.

An estimated one million children attend school along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, which stretches from Washington, D.C. through Virginia and Maryland and out to Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Through the C&O Canal National Historic Park, children have the opportunity to spend hours out in nature learning the importance of the canal to the nation's capital and surrounding region.

Tease photo

Potomac’s Oasis for Learning

Program targets 50 years and older.

Just moments away from Potomac is OASIS — a hidden gem offering lifelong learning, healthy living activities and social engagement. Many classes are held inside the Macy’s Home Store at Westfield’s Montgomery Mall, but others are located throughout the county. Its 51-page brochure lists a variety of opportunities that provide everything from exercise programs to volunteer opportunities, interesting and informative classes taught by local experts to technology training that will build confidence with the latest computer, iPad or Facebook challenge.

Thursday, February 5

Arlington County Celebrates Hispanic Heritage

Highlighting contributions by the Latino community.

Each September, the President of the United States proclaims “National Hispanic Heritage Month.” Nothing in the document says contributions by Hispanics must or should be restricted to a single month.

Tease photo

Separate But Equal Amenities for Alexandria

Class-segregated pool at proposed housing complex dampens council enthusiasm for affordable housing project.

A proposal for a mixed-use housing complex in Alexandria swiftly became an argument on classism when the developer revealed the pool would be off-limits to residents of the affordable housing section.

Tease photo

Working Toward Restorative Justice in Alexandria Schools

TC students take aim at suspension rates and new disciplinary policy.

A word of warning to students at T.C. Williams High School hoping to skip out on classes in the second half of their senior year: Don’t. A new policy implemented at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year gives teachers at TC final say over whether a student can pass or fail a class regardless of the final grade.

Tease photo

Northwest FCU Opens a New Branch

NWFCU Opens Herndon Location

Northwest Federal Credit Union opened a new Herndon location the morning of Saturday, Jan. 31. The new location is located at 2545 Centreville Road, at the Village Center outside the town of Herndon, Virginia.

Tease photo

Herndon Becomes More Welcoming

New welcome signs erected at the entrances to the town.

Despite cold weather the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 27, Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel and members of the Town Council, Planning Commission and staff gathered to unveil new gateway signs.

Tease photo

Gathering To Play the Energy Journey Game in Arlington

Is your water too hot? Did you know if you install a low faucet aerator you can reduce water use by as much as 50 percent in your home?

Tease photo

Construction Nearing for New Bridge at Woodlawn Park in Alexandria

Fairfax County expects the contractor Accubid Construction Services, Inc. to be moving forward soon with replacing the pedestrian bridge at Woodlawn Park.

Tease photo

Storck Talks Schools at Mount Vernon Town Hall

These things Dan Storck knows: Elementary school students are now in class the full day on Monday and older students will start later beginning next school year. The Mount Vernon school board member lead with these recent accomplishments in his presentation at the Mount Vernon Town Hall Meeting on Saturday Jan. 31.

Tease photo

Teen Sex Trafficking Information Forum Held at West Springfield High School

Amy DiGiulian of Springfield came to the meeting for general information on human trafficking. “I had an overall concern,” said the mother of students at Robert E. Lee High School, Key Middle School and Garfield Elementary School.

Tease photo

Del. David Bulova and Sen. Chap Petersen Hold Town Hall in Fairfax

Over 100 constituents and community members attended the annual joint town hall meeting held Jan. 31 by Del. David Bulova (D-37) and State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34).

Tease photo

Robinson Middle in Fairfax Takes on Rydell High in ‘Grease’

Though none of the actors are in high school, Katie Jenkins believes her cast will have no problem bringing the students of the famed, fictional Rydell High to life.

Tease photo

Empowering Nurses To Improve Patient Care in Arlington

What achieving Magnet Nursing Status means to Virginia Hospital Center.

With the current emphasis on patient experience and patient satisfaction in hospitals nationwide, Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) is part of that drive to excel.

Tease photo

Silas Burke House Stays, Sunrise Gets Closer

New language in rezoning application passes to supervisors.

Though once home to Burke’s enterprising namesake Silas, the stately white house he built circa 1824 and the property overlooking Burke Lake Road aren’t actually owned by the county.

Tease photo

Fairfax County Goes Public with Geer Documents

FCPD report confirms John Geer was shot while unarmed, hands raised.

Of the seven eyewitness accounts of the shooting death of John Geer, only one describes Geer quickly bringing his hands down to his waist. That was the perspective of PFC Adam Torres, the officer who shot Geer in the chest, killing him in the doorway of his home on Aug. 29, 2013.

Wednesday, February 4

Hayfield’s Overstreet Wins Conference 6 Bars Title Despite Back Trouble

Fairfax’s Barborek qualifies for regionals in all-around, wins beam title.

The 6A North region championship meet is scheduled for Feb. 11 at Lake Braddock.

Letter: An Open Letter to Virginia Delegates

Letter to the Editor

Many of you know our story well. We are the parents of Morgan Harrington. Morgan, a student at Virginia Tech, went to a rock concert in Charlottesville in 2009 and never came home. Her remains were found 100 days later.

Tease photo

Citizens to the Rescue

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy accepting applications.

The Fairfax County Citizens Fire and Rescue Academy, a free nine-week program to learn about the work of firefighters and paramedics, will begin its next session March 12, with the deadline for online applications closing on Feb. 16.

Free and Low-Cost Dental Care for Children

Special programs available as part of National Children's Dental Health Month.

Dental hygiene should start even before a baby’s first tooth emerges. That is one of the messages that dental professionals are hoping to convey this month.

Tease photo

Mental Health First Aid

County program offers insight into mental illness and teaches strategies for intervention.

Leslie Roberts recalls hearing a mother talk about getting her stepson admitted to a psychiatric hospital. “Her stepson was angry and acting out,” said Roberts. “She didn’t understand what her stepson was doing.”

Editorial: No Justification for Secrecy, Delay on Geer Shooting

Everything about this case erodes public trust and demonstrates police departments should not be allowed to apply “blanket” exemptions to release of information.

After waiting 17 months for any information about the investigation into the shooting death of John Geer, the information released last week is deeply troubling.

Tease photo

Strong Defensive Effort Propels Woodson Past Lake Braddock

Experienced Cavaliers look for third consecutive region title.

Woodson limits Lake Braddock to 14 first-half points.

Tease photo

Too Poor for Benefits in Alexandria

New advisory panel tackles lack of healthcare options for Alexandrians.

An estimated 5,000 people living in Alexandria are without access to healthcare. Without any assistance from the state, the struggle for many Alexandrians has potential to grow into a city-wide moral and financial crisis.

Tease photo

Tysons Corner Ice Rink Opens

Offers ice skating lessons, Cartoon Skate for kids, birthday parties, and fundraising opportunities.

The new 6,000 square foot Tysons Corner Ice Rink has officially opened for business. The opening took place on Black Friday, Nov. 28, and the season extends through March 11. The rink sponsored by CBRE Realty is situated on The Plaza next to Lord & Taylor on the second floor of the mall, and opposite the Shake Shack Restaurant. A new Hyatt Hotel is scheduled to open beside it in March.

Tease photo

Cartoon: Cavevolution


Column: Supervisors Priority No. 1- Pay Hike

Last Tuesday I drove to the Fairfax County Government Center (the Taj Mahal to friends) to attend a well-advertised Board of Supervisors hearing on the agreement for Crescent Apartments and Lake Anne redevelopment. I was prepared to testify in support of the plan if needed. Instead, it turned out to be a brief, pro forma hearing.

Tease photo

GMU Students Rally to Lower Student Debt

Members of GMU Student Power Travel to Richmond to voice concern over rising debt.

Twelve students from George Mason University traveled to Richmond with the Virginia Student Power Network, rallying and calling for debt-free education, and for increased educational opportunities for undocumented students. Rodrigo Velasquez, a junior at Mason from Springfield and GMU Student Power’s organizer, was one of the 12 from Mason who also went to Richmond.

Jewelry Showcase Features Wearable Art in a One-Day, Pop-Up Sale

Jewelry lovers and others can meet more than 30 carefully selected designers and artisans for a special day of shopping from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, when the McLean Community Center’s 8th Annual Jewelry Showcase will be held. Admission is $3 per person. The Center is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue.

Lake Anne Proposal Deferred

New public hearing for apartment redevelopment set for Feb. 17.

The county Board of Supervisors hearing on the zoning for the future Lake Anne Crescent Apartments was deferred last week. Because of a problem with Lake Anne Development Partners LLC’s affidavit, the public hearing was moved to Feb. 17. “We will have a public hearing on the case,” said Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. “I hope we have had enough thoroughness with the plan.”

Tease photo

Langley High Choirs Complete Fall/Winter Season

The Langley High School Madrigals recently completed a busy fall and winter season with a performance at the Providence Baptist Church Twelfth Night Feast on Jan. 8. The Madrigals, a small vocal ensemble that performs mostly Renaissance music with an emphasis on independent and a cappella singing, also took part recently in a Tallis Scholars Masterclass with Peter Phillips at Christopher Newport University in Newport News.

Week in Great Falls

Langley Pyramid Helps Stop Hunger Now

For the fourth year in a row, Langley pyramid schools are raising money for the Stop Hunger Now. This year the goal is to raise $25,000, which is enough money to purchase 100,000 meals for school age children. To contribute to this fundraising effort, visit Stop Hunger Now at Each 25¢ raised = 1 meal.

Tease photo

New Retirement Building and Community Center Open in McLean

75 apartments in Vinson Hall Independent Living all booked.

New senior living apartments in town will serve as home for 75 retired government workers. After a decade of design and construction, the Navy Marine Coast Guard and Vinson Hall Retirement Community held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new independent living apartment building and community center on Jan. 22.

Tease photo

Referendum for Land Purchase

A referendum for a parcel of land north of the Dulles Toll Road is being put forth by Reston Association. The parcel, owned by Tetra Properties, will be sold to Reston Association after a voting process that ends in May. “It seems to be a good way to get control of a property that, over time, can be subjected to a lot of pressure as the surrounding areas around it develop,” said Lake Anne-Tall Oaks Director Eve Thompson.

Deborah Jackson Named Learning Forward’s President

Deborah Jackson, special projects administrator in Fairfax County Public Schools, began her term as president of Learning Forward at the conclusion of the association's annual conference in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 10, 2014. Jackson succeeds Julie Blaine, executive director of the Central Regional Professional Development Center at the University of Central Missouri. Blaine now serves as past president.

Tease photo

Preparing Sandwiches for Martha’s Table

A snow day didn’t stop Churchill Road Elementary School third and fourth graders from making sandwiches for Martha’s Table, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. that serves sandwiches to those in need. Even though the event had to be rescheduled, an enthusiastic group of students and family members were able to make more than 2,100 sandwiches for this organization.

Tease photo

NextStop Theatre Receives Helen Hayes Nominations

Herndon's NextStop Theatre received two Helen Hayes Award nominations presented by theatreWashington for outstanding achievement in professional theatre in the Washington metropolitan area. NextStop Theatre was nominated for Helen Hayes Awards for co-productions with Forum Theatre Company and with Faction of Fools Theatre Company.

Column: Clash of Ideas and Ideals

As the General Assembly nears its midpoint for consideration of proposed legislation, the fissures of differences among the many stakeholders who have interests before the law-making body become evident. The clash of interests is much more complex than House v. Senate, Republicans v. Democrats, or rural v. suburban. Differences in ideas and ideals make compromise challenging.

Column: The Past Future is Now Present

Presumably, maybe even obviously, nearly six years into a “terminal” diagnosis, arrangements for a smooth transition of power should have been made already.

Tease photo

Fairfax Connector To Connect Even Better?

Proposal promises better connections with route changes.

Fairfax County Department of Transportation is working on a better system of buses for the Reston and Herndon area. Representatives from the county transportation team held a public hearing on route changes for the Fairfax Connector on Jan. 28 for a small audience at the Reston Community Center in Lake Anne.

Obituary: Aphrodite S. Hero, 87. Dies

Aphrodite S. Hero, 87, a Washington, D.C. arts and education activist since settling in this area in the 1950s, died peacefully on Feb. 1, 2015 in Charlotte, N.C. She was a 45-year resident of Alexandria and a 10-year resident of Reston. Mrs. Hero, a native of New York City, graduated from Columbia University and pursued graduate studies at NYU and George Mason University.

Brutsché and Heron Earn National Certification for Parks and Recreation

RCC staff members Karen Brutsché and Debbie Heron recently attained the status of Certified Park and Recreation Professionals (CPRP) as governed by the National Certification Board (NCB) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

Tease photo

Langley Alumna Ranks High at Air Force Academy

Sophia Vasiliadis named Wing Commander of school.

Four years ago, Sophia Vasiliadis was about to graduate from Langley High School and unsure of the direction she wanted to take in life. Since then, it has been up, up and away. Today, the 22-year-old student at the Air Force Academy (AFA) is now leading the entire student body as the new Cadet Wing.

Tease photo

Chesapeake Chocolates to Take Over Lake Anne Florist Shop

Longtime Lake Anne business owner Linda Fuller retired both herself and her shop, Lake Anne Florist, last week. The shop will reopen Saturday, Feb. 7 as an expanded Chesapeake Chocolates.

Tease photo

Impromptu Motion Struck Down

Singh resolution reaffirming Town position failed.

A prior incident between a councilmember and the town manager lead to an impromptu motion. Councilmember Jasbinder Singh motioned for a resolution at the Jan. 27 meeting calling for the town manager - currently Arthur Aselene - to give council members any material they want to decide on resolutions.

Tease photo

Vital Theatre’s ‘Pinkalicious’ at The Alden Feb. 14

Vital Theatre’s “Pinkalicious,” a musical adaptation of the book by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann, will come to The Alden in McLean for a single performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $15 for McLean tax district residents.

Tease photo

Polar Dip at Lake Anne on Feb. 7

Hundreds of men, women, and children dress up in crazy costumes and converge at Lake Anne every February for the Annual Freezin’ for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip. The event, in its eighth year, will take place on Saturday, Feb. 7 in the heart of Reston in the bone-chilling waters at Lake Anne Plaza. This mid-winter tradition event will kick off at noon with family friendly activities and warm-up - with the Dip scheduled to take place starting at 2 p.m. Each year the event draws record crowds of both spectators and jumpers raising over $85,000.

Gun Violence, Monkeys and Tax Loopholes

Thanks to all who attended my recent legislative Town Hall Meetings in Arlington and Lee District. We discussed issues including the budget, ethics reforms, gun safety, homelessness among our veterans, and transportation improvements on Route 1.

Call for Candidates for MCC Board

The McLean Community Center (MCC), an agency of Fairfax County Government, is seeking candidates to run for open seats on its 2015-2016 Governing Board. The Board provides oversight and guidance for MCC programs and facilities, which include the Robert Ames Alden Theatre and the Old Firehouse Teen Center (OFTC). The MCC is located at 1234 Ingleside Avenue.

W-L’s Sophie Hatcher Wins Conference All-Around Title

McLean wins team championship, W-L places second.

Members of the Washington-Lee gymnastics team swarmed Sophie Hatcher after judges posted the senior’s floor routine score during Monday’s Conference 6 championship meet at McLean High School.

After Defeat of Jefferson Site Project: What Next?

Unanswered questions divide County Board on proposal.

With the defeat of the proposed Thomas Jefferson Elementary School at the Arlington County Board, the public schools face overcrowding and a widening of the school “relocatables” program.

1st Stage Receives Helen Hayes Nominations

Tysons' 1st Stage was nominated for nine Helen Hayes Awards for outstanding achievement in professional theatre in the Washington metropolitan area. The awards are named after Helen Hayes, the legendary first lady of the American Theatre. Nominated artists and companies exemplify the excellence found on Washington area stages.

Suspect Arrested In Hit and Run

The Arlington County Police Department has taken into custody and charged a 39-year-old Fairfax woman, following a Jan. 27 accident in the 3600 block of Columbia Pike. The woman was denied bond and is currently being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility.

Tease photo

Update: Roadway Paving On Hold

VDOT to resume Georgetown Pike project with good weather.

Due to erratic weather conditions, roadwork on Georgetown Pike is moving slower than originally anticipated. The historic byway running through the village was supposed to be finished by the end of November. According to Virginia Department of Transportation Communications Representative Jennifer McCord, the exact date of completion will only be known when there is a break from threats of snow and ice.

Machete Attack Yields Life Sentence

A 30-year-old man was found guilty Jan. 29 of aggravated malicious wounding in the Arlington County Circuit Court for a machete attack on two victims outside of Central Library in June 2013. The jury sentenced Derrick Sutherland, of no fixed address, to life in prison without parole.

It’s Time for a “Place”

The community of Great Falls is abundant with creative talent. Our ability to socialize our children into many layers of being in the world is truly remarkable: the home and school, the beach, the mountains and ski slopes, the world of the spirit, the arts, the sciences, technology, philosophy…exploration in nature, taking walks, journeying on the river, photographing nature, looking out the window while doing homework - connecting with the tree spirits, the herd of deer, the birds outside the window, all hanging out in the same tree.

‘Little Gems,’ ‘Colors of Nature’ on Exhibit at Lake Anne Plaza

Reston Art Gallery and Studios (RAGS) presents “Little Gems” on exhibit from Feb. 2 until March 5, and all are welcome to the artists’ reception on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 2 until 4 p.m., at 11400 Washington Plaza West, Reston, at Lake Anne Plaza. The “Little Gems” exhibit features works no larger than 12” x 12”, created by the RAGS artists.

Lopez Studios Students Shine at the Junior Theater Festival

Students from Lopez Studios, Inc. Performing Arts School in Reston earned high praise at the 2015 Junior Theater Festival, held Jan. 16, 17 and 18 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Ga. The 17 students, ages 8-16, presented selections from “Once On This Island JR.” for Karen Sharp, education director at Seattle Children’s Theatre; and director, composer, music director, and performer Rob Rokicki (:Hairspray;” “Love, NY”).

McLean Theatre Company Presents ‘Big Fish’

The McLean High School Theatre Company (MTC) premieres the musical “Big Fish” to the Metro DC area this February. Led by Artistic Director, Amy Poe, and Music Director, Bobby McCoy (1st Stage, Keegan, McLean Community Players), the award-winning company brings this big-hearted musical of a father's story, a son's journey and life's epic adventure.

Tease photo

Puppy Erickson Comes to Vienna

Vienna resident raising puppy for Canine Companions for Independence.

Canine Companions for Independence – a national nonprofit organization that provides assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, has announced that Vienna resident Barbara Weigand recently began raising an assistance dog in-training for Canine Companions for Independence.

Tuesday, February 3

Arlington: Washington-Lee's Sophie Hatcher Wins Conference All-Around Title

McLean wins team championship, W-L places second.

Washington-Lee will compete for its fourth consecutive region championship on Feb. 11.

McLean Gymnastics Wins 4th Straight District/Conference Title

Green places second in all-around, Brown-Kaiser third.

McLean holds off Washington-Lee, Yorktown to win Conference 6 gymnastics championship.

Tease photo

Local Prep Football Coaches React to End of Super Bowl XLIX

Majority say they would have called a run play from 1-yard line.

Lake Braddock football coach Jim Poythress sticks up for Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Sunday, February 1

Wintry Snapshot in Arlington Cemetery

Stopping by a snowy cemetery....

Be Part of the Pet Connection

The Pet Connection, a bi-annual themed edition, will publish Feb. 25, 2015.