Stories for January 2015

Stories for January 2015


Friday, January 30

Editorial: Outlook

Many bright spots will be overshadowed in the coming budget season.

Long awaited, the opening of the Silver Line promises to bring transformation to Tysons and around the current station in Reston, with another Reston station and Herndon to come.

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Delegates, State Senators Hold Springfield Town Hall Meeting

Residents bring questions for legislators.

State senators George Barker (D-39), Linda T. “Toddy” Puller (D-36), Adam P. Ebbin (D-30), Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-43), and Supervisor Jeffrey C. McKay (D-Lee District) held a town hall meeting on Saturday, Jan. 24 at the Thompson Center in Alexandria. More than 40 people attended despite the overcast, drizzly weather. The panel acknowledged Puller, who announced her retirement earlier this month, and her work in the Virginia senate before talking about bills and issues they are working on during this short session of the General Assembly, which is scheduled to end Feb. 28.

A Chat with the Event Chairman

Leslie Herman is this year’s Chocolate Festival committee chairman, and she and her committee of more than a dozen people have been hard at work on the event since the fall. They represent several of the organizations involved in the festival events, including the Fairfax Bar Association, Fairfax City Regional Library, Friends of Fairfax, GMU Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, Independence Day Celebration Committee, Kiwanis Club of Fairfax, Fairfax County Retired Educators, Patriot Harley Owners Group, Woman’s Club of Fairfax and the City of Fairfax.

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Two Lee HS Students Get Full Ride to College

Yishak Desta and Sarah Neufcourt receive Posse Foundation scholarship.

Seniors Sarah Neufcourt and Yishak Desta received four-year scholarships to college from the Posse Foundation. The Robert E. Lee High School students were chosen among 16,000 students nationally. Neufcourt, 17, plans to study animal science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Desta, 17, is headed to Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and plans to study engineering.

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All That Glitters Caters To the Fashion-Conscious

In addition to jewelry, Clifton store sells designer handbags, home décor, scarves, bath products.

All That Glitters, located in the Town of Clifton, is an accessories and jewelry boutique that specializes in fashion-forward pieces and vintage designs. Located in the historic Weaver House, at 7144 Main Street across from the Trattoria Villagio Restaurant, the store is owned by Alexandra Soper, who took over three years ago from Martha Mikeska.

Joining Fairfax One

New maintenance supervisor comes from Afghanistan.

Fresh from the cold, brown hills of Afghanistan for the past three years, Bill Reynolds is still getting acclimated to his warm, bright, comfortable new work environment at the helicopter hangar off of West Ox Road. A native Texan, Reynolds is a cheerful, grateful man and says he’s “tickled” to be doing a job he loves “a little closer to home”.

Sweet History Tour of Historic Fairfax

New this year is a Sweet History Walking Tour of Old Town Fairfax’s Historic District. It’s slated for Friday, Jan. 31, from 4:30-6 p.m., and allows participants to step back in time for a peek at Fairfax’s past. The tour begins at the Ratcliffe-Allison House, 10209 Main St. The City’s oldest standing house, it was built in 1812. Furnished with period pieces, this home depicts the lives of everyday residents in 19th-century Fairfax.

Letter to the Editor: Urging Delegates to Vote ‘No’

To the Editor: This Friday, members of the Constitutional Law Subcommittee of the Courts of Justice in the House of Delegates will vote on HB2321 — a dangerous and unconstitutional 20-week abortion ban. My legislator, Del. Dave Albo (R-42), is the chair of this subcommittee, and his leadership and opposition to this legislation is crucial to the sanctity of a woman’s deeply personal healthcare decisions.

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Murder Mystery Marks Annual Meeting

Burke Historical Society presents 1918 murder of Eva Roy.

The Burke Historical Society marked its annual meeting on Sunday, Jan. 25, at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Burke, with the unsolved murder of 14-year-old resident Eva Roy in 1918. Speaker Cindy Bennett became interested in the Eva Roy case while going through a list of people supposedly killed by the Bunny Man, an urban legend figure which gained prominence in Fairfax County in the 1970s.

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Reboot for Youth

Local high school students provide computers to families in need.

Technology plays a prominent role in classrooms throughout Fairfax County, but the reality is that many students are still unable to afford personal computers of their own to use for basic things like homework. But a team of students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) has made it their goal to eradicate cost as a barrier to technology for low-income families.

Rodney V. Colbert Named Deputy Fire Chief

Fire Chief Richie Bowers has selected Battalion Chief Rodney V. Colbert for promotion to deputy fire chief, effective Jan. 24. Chief Colbert will be assigned as the Chief Training Officer. Since July of 2011 he has been assigned as a field battalion chief in the Operations Bureau.

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Fairfax’s Annual Chocolate Lovers Festival Feb. 7-8

Heaven for chocolate aficionados – that’s the City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival. And this year’s 23rd annual extravaganza is set for Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 7-8. The scrumptious and fun-filled weekend features everything from a competition to see who can make the most beautiful and creative chocolate sculptures, cakes and cupcakes to a chocolate-themed movie and a luscious sampling of chocolate treats from area vendors. It’s also a chance to buy mouthwatering presents for Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Festival Event Schedule

Saturday, Feb. 7

Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast and Bake Sale 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Fire Station 3, 4081 University Drive Join the Kiwanis Club of Fairfax for its Chocolate Lovers Pancake Breakfast. The menu features pancakes (regular and chocolate chip) and sausage. Coffee, juice and milk also will be served.

A Children’s Classic Comes to Life

Fairfax Academy student has lead role in “Beauty and the Beast.”

A beloved children’s story comes to life when Centreville High presents the Disney musical, “Beauty and the Beast.” And playing one of the lead roles is senior Nick Ingargiola, who attends the Fairfax Academy for musical theater. “The actors have just blown me away,” said Director Mike Hudson. “We had a preaudition last May, and we had no idea we’d get this level of talent. About half the kids are choral students, but we’re also blessed with theater students who can sing.”

Open Houses, Exhibits during Festival

Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, 10209 Main St., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., This building was constructed in 1873 with bricks made at the Farr property across Main Street. The oldest brick, two-story, school building remaining in Fairfax cost just $2,750 to build. Stop in for chocolate treats while learning about the City’s colorful history; free admission.

Thursday, January 29

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New Health Club in Alexandria/Mount Vernon Offers ‘Judgment Free Zone’ delete

“Biggest Loser” finalist attends ribbon-cutting.

Planet Fitness, the health club franchise known for its “judgement free zone,” opened its second club in in December. Located at 5960 Richmond Highway, the club celebrated with a ribbon-cutting party on Jan. 14. Special guest, “The Biggest Loser” finalist, David Brown, was available to talk about fitness tips, and his own fitness philosophy.

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New Health Club in Alexandria/Mount Vernon Offers ‘Judgment Free Zone’

“Biggest Loser” finalist attends ribbon-cutting.

Planet Fitness, the health club franchise known for its “judgement free zone,” opened its second club in in December. Located at 5960 Richmond Highway, the club celebrated with a ribbon-cutting party on Jan. 14. Special guest, “The Biggest Loser” finalist, David Brown, was available to talk about fitness tips, and his own fitness philosophy.

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Growing a Ministry in Chantilly

With 25 years of experience, Lynn Miller leads King of Kings.

Lynn Miller, 51, of Chantilly is the new senior pastor of King of Kings Lutheran Church, a congregation with 220 worshipping members off Route 50 in Chantilly. Miller was a parish pastor for 20 years with three calls in Pennsylvania and one call in North Carolina.

‘It’ll Be Another Challenging Year’ in Fairfax County

Frey discusses the state of the Sully District.

Money — and the lack of enough of it to do everything needing to be done — is at the heart of Fairfax County’s problems. And Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) doesn’t expect the situation to change anytime soon.

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Navy Band To Visit Arlington's Yorktown High School

Concert to include students.

At the upcoming performance of the U.S. Navy Band, the uniformed professionals will be joined by members of the event host, Yorktown High School Band. The free concert will be held in Yorktown’s auditorium this coming Saturday evening.

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Arlingtonians Eat Healthy, Hearty Food To Survive the Season

Local chefs and nutritionist share their favorite tips for cooking healthy comfort food.

Hearty comfort food doesn’t always get the respect nutritionists say it deserves. That’s because the image the often comes to mind is artery-clogging, fat-laden fare, but it doesn’t have to be that way. And let's face it, when temperatures barely crawl high enough to melt ice on the sidewalk, a dinner of arugula and pine nuts drizzled with olive oil falls flat.

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And Now in Arlington …

Cherry Blow Dry Bar to open Friday.

Until now, a mediocre blow dry would cost $40. A good one, $55 and up. And if one’s hair was unruly, some salons wanted $75. It was time to have the blow dry bar concept in town.

Commentary: Economy, Budgeting Top Opportunity Agenda in Arlington

Senator Ebbin’s Weekly Richmond Report

Last week, my fellow Democratic Senators and I unveiled our 2015 legislative priorities, an “Opportunity Agenda,” which focuses on six core principles. They are Economic Security; Voter Access and Participation; Equality; Education for a Brighter Future; Restoration of Faith in Government; and Leading Healthier and Safer Lives.

Commentary: Economy, Budgeting Top Opportunity Agenda for Alexandria

Senator Ebbin’s Weekly Richmond Report

Last week, my fellow Democratic Senators and I unveiled our 2015 legislative priorities, an “Opportunity Agenda,” which focuses on six core principles. They are Economic Security; Voter Access and Participation; Equality; Education for a Brighter Future; Restoration of Faith in Government; and Leading Healthier and Safer Lives.

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Army Force Reduction Coming: Fort Belvoir community voices concerns

Members of the Fort Belvoir community —civilians, active duty, retirees of each military branch — gathered Jan. 23 to learn about the future of the garrison. The listening session titled “Army Force Structure and Stationing” was one stop on a 30-installation tour to gather community input for the Army senior leadership as it prepares to further reduce the size of the force.

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Mount Vernon High School Hosts ‘Care Packing’ for Deployed Soldiers

There are all kinds of flash mobs. Instead of a marriage proposal or elaborate dance routine, more than 200 Mount Vernon High School students and members of the community descended on the school’s cafeteria on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to assemble care packages for deployed soldiers.

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The Changing Face Of Mount Vernon

Land use (re)development highlights.

A look at land use changes and proposals targeting the Mount Vernon area.

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Barbara Birra, charter member of Yacht Haven Garden Club in Mount Vernon, turns 100.

At 100, longtime Yacht Haven resident Barbara “Bobbie” Birra still lives independently, enjoys gardening, playing Bridge, being part of her church community and exercising.

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ECHO Volunteer and Springfield Resident Turns 90

Mary Stuart of Springfield has been volunteering at ECHO for over a decade. She works in the linens and housewares departments of the faith-based charity (Ecumenical Community Helping Others), putting together donated sheets, towels and bathmats for clients.

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The Changing Face of Springfield

Land use (re)development highlights.

GSA: The largely vacant warehouse off Loisdale Road in Springfield is currently in the running to become the new headquarters of the FBI.

Sixteen-year-old South County Student Battles Brain Cancer, Wins $1,000

While spending a month in Philadelphia, Catherine and Serena Lommasson of Lorton found the best cheesesteak in town. Beck’s Cajun Cafe, a vendor in the train station won their favor with andouille sausage added to the iconic sandwich.

The Changing Face of Fairfax Station, Lorton and Clifton

Land use (re)development highlights.

In largely residential areas, land use officials in the offices of Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) and Jeff McKay (D-Lee) say to expect to see more “infill” redevelopment in the future.

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Derelict Barge Remains in Belmont Bay, South of Lorton

This ship hasn’t come in: A 50-foot, steel-hulled landing craft resting about 110 feet offshore in Belmont Bay has held its position for years. The WWII-type landing craft was used as a barge to haul materials for constructing the Fairfax Yacht Club in the 1980s.

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Eileen Filler-Corn Holds First Mid-Session Office Hours in Springfield

Though Del. Eileen Filler-Corn made headlines in the first week of the General Assembly for her proposed legislation on how sexual assault on college campuses is reported, she was game for any topic at her first mid-session office hours.

The Changing Face of Burke

Land use (re)development highlights.

Terra Centre Elementary School renovation: The project by Henley Construction Company, Inc., includes renovating the 68,500 square feet of the previous school building, as well as 20,500 square feet of additional space. Completion is expected around June this year.

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Friends of Sadie Blood Drive Enters Sixth Year in Burke

Sadie Lauer’s Neuroblastoma is in remission. She still has a tumor, buried near the top of her lungs, however it has no active cancer cells. Aside from “late effects” of her chemotherapy treatment, Sadie is a happy, healthy five-and-a-half-year-old girl.

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Fairfax County Supervisors Defer Decision on Salary Adjustment

How should a county supervisor be compensated for his or her service? That question continues to be up for discussion, as the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to defer voting on a compensation adjustment that would take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

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Alexandria Working Against a Slowdown

Alexandria developments hope to reverse job loss trends.

When asked how Alexandria’s doing, interim City Manager Mark Jinks’ reaction is tepid. The good news is that income is high, as is hotel occupancy, but it basically stops there.

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Reston’s Beaver Gate

Reston Association seeks to address Reston’s busy beavers.

The Glade Stream Valley in Reston has been home to beavers for over 25 years. Reston Association’s environmental resource manager, Claudia Thompson-Deahl said beavers originally entered the stream system from the Twin Branches end, probably traveling up from the Potomac River via Difficult Run.

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Herndon, Reston Galleries Attract Art Lovers

Exhibits at ArtSpace Herndon and Reston GRACE on display through February.

In January, both the ArtSpace Herndon and Reston GRACE community art galleries opened new art exhibits at their locations. ArtSpace Herndon located at 750 Center Street in downtown Herndon opened the soloist exhibit “In Warm Observations: People and Places” by artist Jill Banks.

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Area’s Silver Lining

Reston, Herndon area residents mindful of transportation changes.

On July 26, 2014, Phase 1 of the Silver Line opened. Metro General Manager Richard Sarles introduced a list of speakers at the dedication ceremony in a tent at the new Wiehle-Reston East station in Reston.

Wednesday, January 28

Alexandria: T.C. Williams Gymnastics Has Sights Set on Regional Berth

Defending conference champs field 2nd complete team in 3 decades.

T.C. Williams gymnastics won a six-team meet at West Potomac on Jan. 22.

Fairfax’s Barborek Wins All-Around at W-L Invite

Conference 6 championship meet scheduled for Monday, Feb. 2.

Fairfax senior Rachel Barborek is the defending Conference 6 all-around gymnastics champion.

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School Holds Bullying Prevention Week

The week of Jan. 12, Churchill Road Elementary School students participated in Bullying Prevention Week. Organized by school counselors Jamie Meyers and Alex Mantel, peer mediators created thematic posters and fifth and sixth grade students filmed anti-bullying skits that were aired on the morning Bobcat News broadcast.

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Herndon Girls Win Conference Championship

Herndon swim and dive had senior night against Centreville on Jan. 23, with the Hornets’ boys’ and girls’ teams winning. All Herndon seniors will advance to the Conference meet Jan. 30-31.

A Challenge for Garza: Excessive Homework

To the Editor: Your article “How Does She Do It” - Karen Garza’s vision: the irresistible force moving immovable object of Fairfax County Public Schools (The Connection,December 24-10, 2014) showed FCPS Superintendent Dr. Garza as a force for change. In the Fairfax County school system, students demonstrate excellence by collaborating and achieving good grades with the assistance of teachers.

Letter to the Editor: Better Safe Than Sorry

To the Editor: This letter is in response to a recent letter to the editor in opposition to Fairfax County's Fall Cankerworm (FCW) spraying program.

A 700-year-old Legacy Comes to Vienna

Local entrepreneur bottling family’s Greek olive oil, putting it out to market.

A Vienna man has lassoed his dream, bringing to Vienna – and the U.S. – the legacy of 11 ancestral generations of Greek men and women --- olive oil extracted from Spartan olive trees 700 years old. Pericles “Perry” Konstas left a career as a CEO in 2014 to produce and export olive oil made from his family’s olive groves outside Sparta, Greece.

Letter: Sex Offender Serving in the House

To the Editor

To the Editor: Tracking the last eight months or so of Del. Ken Plums' Opinion columns in the Connection Newspapers, the bad topics are the Tea Party (Defender of a balanced budget, right to own a gun, and worshiping our Creator), and certain (but not all) ethics of political figures. According to Plum only some political positions are bad.

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Two Vienna Students Named Semifinalists in Science Competition

Referred to as the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition, the Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS), a program of Society for Science and the Public, has granted prize money to some of today’s leading thinkers and scientists, and two Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) students from Vienna are among just 300 high school seniors selected to move on to the semifinalist stage of the competition.

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Nysmith School Students Tackle Cybersecurity in Nationwide Competition

The security of the internet is a hot topic in the news these days – think hacks into retail credit card data, student identification and information, personal correspondence a la Sony, and even more worrisome, infiltrations like the recent “CyberCaliphate” hacking into the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. Central Command. With

Letter: Colonel’s Modesty

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: I learned in your obituary of Col. Pete Hilgartner, last week, that for service in Vietnam he earned the Silver Star - the third-highest military combat decoration, awarded for gallantry to a small fraction of a percent of Soldiers and Marines.

Its Time for a “Place”

The Great Falls Historical Society, founded in 1977, is a relatively young organization with memories of teams of volunteers working on substantial historical accomplishments together – memories often buried or lost, but that occasionally return to view.

Reinvigorating Virginia’s Economy

Virginia is well on its way to economic recovery for many families, but working families across the state are telling me and other legislators that they feel like the recession never ended. Even in Northern Virginia, home to some of the wealthiest localities in the country, too many families struggle to earn enough to pay for basic necessities despite having full-time jobs.

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Tysons Chamber, LearningRx Kick Off Job Shadow Program

Maureen Loftus, executive director of LearningRx of Vienna and Reston is leading the kick-off of the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce (TRCC) job shadow program for 11th and 12th grade students of Oakton, Madison and Marshall high schools in Fairfax County, where students will shadow professionals in various industries in January and February.

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What do you like and dislike about the new Metro stations?

Tysons Corner Station riders share what they like and dislike about new service.

What do you like and dislike about the new Metro stations?

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McLean’s Silver Lining

New Metro stations bring benefits, some disadvantages to McLean.

For riders and users of the Silver Line, the impact of the new stations, which opened on June 23, are on accessibility and options. Michael Caplin, executive director of Tysons Partnership, an association of business, government and community leaders, said that the Silver Line “turbo-charged the community.”

Great Falls Grange to Reopen on March 7

National Grange president comes to Great Falls Grange on march 11.

The newly renovated, handicap-accessible Grange will be reopened on March 7 at 10 a.m., during the Great Falls Farmers Market. John Foust, and Fairfax County Park Authority officials will be present to welcome a new era of community activity and cut the ribbon on the newly renovated facility.

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Cartoon: Elephant in Diplomacy Shop

Diplomacy Shoppe

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Supporting Cornerstones

On Sunday, Jan. 18, the Women's Club of Greater Reston celebrated its 45th anniversary. WCGR president Susan Ragland presented a check in the amount of $450 to Gail Greenberg of Cornerstones.

McLean Theatre Company Earns 21 National, State and Local Recognitions

McLean High School Theatre Company (MTC) recently earned 21 national, state and local theater recognitions from the YoungArts Foundation, Virginia Thespians and respectively. Nearly all recognized appear in MTC’s upcoming regional premiere of “Big Fish,” running February 16, 19–22 at McLean’s Burks Auditorium.

Supporting Kent Gardens PTA

The Community Charity Champions Fundraiser for Kent Gardens PTA was a success. The organizers would like to thank everyone for coming to Pulcinella in support of Kent Gardens PTA and contributing to that success in raising $2,170. Pictured: The Cline-Thomas family and Kent Gardens principal Holly McGuigan.

Vienna Residents Embrace the Wintry Months

Not just Vienna, but, the area surrounding it, as well, shifts gears in the winter months. There may be fewer events in Vienna to participate in, but Vienna residents find activities to keep their spirits up, their minds busy, and their bodies healthy. Here, some Vienna neighbors share their seasonal lifestyle.

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Girl Scouts Learn about Law Enforcement Jobs, Internet Safety

More than a dozen Herndon-based Girl Scouts of Troop 6080 got a rare look at law enforcement careers during a visit from Postal Inspectors on Monday, Jan. 12, at Crossfield Elementary School.

Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center to Hire More Than 100 Employees

Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center, located in Tysons Corner, anticipates it will be hiring more than 100 employees. The new hotel, which is expected to open in winter/spring of 2015, is accepting online applications for positions in sales, room service, food and beverage, management, culinary, engineering, and more. The online application process is now available.

Column: Traffic Caught

If I were writing this column in Massachusetts – where I was born and mostly educated (K-12), and had a thick Boston accent, that’s how court would likely be pronounced; changing a noun into a verb.

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Arlington Aiming To Rebound

Arlington looks for new industries, double-downs on contracting.

With an average of 20 percent office vacancy across the county, it’s clear that the exodus of federal government jobs has impacted Arlington. Local neighborhoods have struggled with their own losses and have, in turn, found a diverse range of solutions to try and rebound.

Tuesday, January 27

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Schools to Expand by $856 Million

Capital Improvement Plan approved, rising enrollment causes concerns about classroom space.

Five more school buildings and renovations for several existing ones may be approved by 2020. The Fairfax County School Board approved the $856 million Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at the Jan. 22 meeting to set priority on the projects the school system wants done in the next five years.

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Outlook: Downtown Herndon Takes Shape

Washington and Old Dominion Trail to become “centerpiece,” says mayor.

This year will be all about creating a livelier, more energetic downtown. The town council will take their plans to make the historic area more business-friendly from resolutions to reality this year.

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McLean Festival Finds a Sweet Spot

Chocolate Festival gets ‘smoother and smoother’ every year.

Chocolate covered bacon, chocolate covered marshmallows, chocolate gelato... And the list goes on. The fourth annual McLean Rotary Chocolate Festival attracted hundreds of sweet tooths to the community on Sunday, Jan. 25, to indulge in their favorite treats.

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Referendum for Reston Land Purchase

Former Visitor Center property could be bought back.

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.

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Reston National Golf Stays the Course - for Now

Appeal decision to be announced April 15.

Julie Bitzer moved to a home near the Reston National Golf Course so she can indulge in her favorite past time as often as she likes. “I’m a golfer,” she said. “I was ecstatic I could live at and see the golf course and the open space.” With a home that faces the expansive greens of the 18-hole course, she felt her lifestyle and home were at risk when RN Golf - owned by Northwestern Mutual - appealed the Fairfax County Planning and Zoning staff’s decision that the course could not be converted to a residential area. She was not the only one to be concerned by the appeal.

Arlington: Host Washington-Lee Wins Barbara Reinwald Invitational

W-L, Yorktown to compete with McLean for regional berths.

The Washington-Lee gymnastics team won its invitational meet on Saturday.

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Outlook: Reston Master Plan Takes Shape

Village Center updates, national golf course appeal mean big decisions.

Restonians may see their ideas become resolutions on paper this year. Community leaders are saying residents can look forward to new village center plans, the beginnings of a new Lake Anne Village Center and a decision on whether Reston National Golf Course wins the appeal on residential zoning.

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Great Falls Outlook: Facing Hot Issues

Keeping up-to-date on toxic plume, deer management, Turner Farm House, Route 7.

Great Falls residents will see the results of past resolutions and actions in the next 12 months. Community leaders said the biggest topics the village will discuss this year include deer management, the Route 7 expansion and possible Independence Day fireworks.

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McLean Outlook: Developing the Community

Completion of community centers, pedestrian improvements.

McLean community leaders will be busy this year. Between the looming pedestrian improvements and downtown development residents have a lot to look forward to.

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Great Falls: Langley Girls' Basketball Team on a Roll

Hard-nosed defense, Coach Baker’s preparation key during 13-1 start.

The Langley girls' basketball team defeated Langley 44-25 on Jan. 23 to improve to 13-1.

Monday, January 26

Strategy to Succeed

Students master their own learning styles to overcome challenges.

Students who have learning and financial challenges often also face challenges getting into and attending college.

College Prep for All

The ANA Project offers college test preparation tools to students at all income levels.

Amir Mousavi of Arlington, owner of Langley Prep, a provider of private, in-home tutoring for standardized tests, says students with limited financial resources are often at a disadvantage when it comes to preparing for college admissions examinations such as the SAT and the ACT.

Commentary: Addressing Sex Trafficking in Northern Virginia

Four years ago, I introduced my first piece of legislation to address an issue that I thought happened everywhere but here in Northern Virginia; sex trafficking. According to the Polaris Project, a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking, over 100,000 children are victims of the sex trade in the United States each year. The Polaris Project ranks Virginia 7th in the nation in the percentage of calls received reporting human trafficking.

Puller Will Not Seek Re-election

Just as the Virginia General Assembly kicked off its 2015 January session, state Sen. Linda T. “Toddy” Puller (D-36) announced her decision to not run for re-election later this year. “It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve the people of the 36th district in the Senate of Virginia,” Puller said in a Jan. 14 statement. “Now, with the encouragement, love and support of my family I have made the decision to step down.”

Editorial: Baby Steps, Not Enough

Supervisors should take action, not defer to “outside expert,” on absurd and outrageous behavior of police department.

Finally, now that the Fairfax County Police Department has taken stonewalling into the arena of the absurd, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has at least said it is time for change. It is a step, but a step that continues the appearance of obfuscation if not outright obstruction.

Sunday, January 25

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Computers, Radios, Vehicles, Firearms Center Renovation

Pardiny makes his pitch for budget funds.

Everyone wants a piece of the City of Fairfax budget pie, including the Police Department. Below are some of the items its leader requested during a Dec. 2 joint work session of the City Council and Planning Commission. The first thing on Police Chief Carl Pardiny’s FY 2016 CIP list was money for information technology. “We’re replacing the department’s 22 servers and office computers, plus the mobile laptops used by the officers in their cruisers,” he said.

Two Years Probation for Fairfax Resident

Created phony stamps; defrauded Postal Service.

A local man has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service. He is Brian Kim, 38, of Fairfax. This past summer, he pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding the U.S. Postal Service. He admitted doing so by counterfeiting and selling approximately $76,000 in postage stamps at two packaging centers he owned and operated in Northern Virginia. One’s in Fairfax and the other is in Arlington.

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Burke Sweethearts Take the Long Road to the Altar

Chris Rowson, Kellie McDonald engaged.

Chris Rowson, 29, and Kellie McDonald, 27, from Burke, got engaged on Saturday, Jan. 17 at Fairview Elementary School in Fairfax Station, where the couple were both students. McDonald was in shock when Rowson proposed, as she had suspected that he would do it in February during a planned trip to Florida. But despite being “taken off guard,” she said that it could not have been a more perfect time and place.

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Board of Supervisors Recognizes Global Arts Initiative

On Tuesday, Jan. 13, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized the Arts Council of Fairfax County for its new Global Arts Initiative for which the organization received an Arts Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Saturday, January 24

Filler-Corn Announces Legislative Agenda

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41) recently unveiled the legislation she has introduced for consideration by the 2014 General Assembly. Among Delegate Filler-Corn’s legislative priorities are education, public and campus safety, workforce development, childcare safety, creating the new Virginia economy and looking out for our seniors.

Art Gives Comfort to Hospice Patients

”People who dedicate their time to hospice patients are extremely kind and generous,” said Sophia Youn, creator of heARTpiece, a program at Optum Palliative and Hospice Care in Fairfax, formerly Evercare Hospice, that encourages meaningful interaction between volunteers and patients through art.

Bleachers, HVACs, Tile, Paving, Walls and Roofs

Noonan explains the City schools’ needs.

At the recent, joint meeting of the Fairfax City Council and Planning Commission, Schools Superintendent Peter Noonan detailed the City Schools’ five-year CIP. “We have outstanding students and teachers and world-class facilities,” he said. Yet several needs still exist, including the following:

VRE Announces Operations Board Officers

The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board instilled its 2015 slate of officers at its monthly meeting. The following were unanimously approved by the Operations Board in December and took on their new roles: Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock), as chairman; Gary Skinner, Spotsylvania County Supervisor, as vice chairman; Paul Smedberg, City of Alexandria Councilor, as secretary; Maureen Caddigan, Prince William County Supervisor, as treasurer.

Board Approves Supervisor Cook's Proposal on Electronic Data

Last Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a board matter submitted by Supervisor John C. Cook (R-Braddock). The submission directs the County Executive to provide the Board with a recommended policy to govern the County's collection and retention of electronic data. With advances in technology comes the ability of the government to collect and retain significant amounts of electronic data.

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Fairfax Firefighters Provide Coats for Underprivileged Children

The City of Fairfax Firefighters, IAFF Local 2702, the City of Fairfax Fire Department and the City of Fairfax School Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan, teamed up to provide brand-new winter coats to over 50 children at Daniels Run and Providence elementary schools in partnership with Operation Warm, a national non-profit dedicated to warming the hearts, minds and bodies of children in need.

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GOP Women of Clifton Support Tragedy Assistance Program

At its 2015 officer installation and annual Christmas celebration, the Republican Women of Clifton (RWC), presented a check for $3,300 to TAPS - Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of our Fallen Heroes. The check was received by Brian Bauman, Director of Special Events, who said the money will be used to support the Grief Camp for children of fallen heroes.

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‘An Evening in Prague’ at GMU

New musical work for a special evening with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra.

"Orchestral music is such a fantastic art form, " said Chris Zimmerman, music director, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) in a recent interview. "And, I am committed to performing music by living composers" and full-scale masterpieces of the great classic composers.

Friday, January 23

Political Jockeying in Mount Vernon

With Puller’s retirement, the race is on.

Soon after state Sen. Toddy Puller’s retirement announcement, candidates for the vacated seat are already emerging.

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Colleagues Praise Mount Vernon's Puller

State senator to retire at end of current session.

Calling State Senator Linda T. “Toddy” Puller’s announcement to retire “bittersweet,” Del. Mark Sickles explained that it is “bitter because her absence will leave a gaping void here in Richmond; sweet because nobody has done more in one life to deserve less hectic years at home with friends and family.”

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Business: Cedar Knoll Inn To Reopen in Mount Vernon

Renovations will need to meet zoning restraints.

The Cedar Knoll Inn restaurant, located on the banks of the Potomac river, and a few minutes drive on the Mount Vernon Parkway from George Washington’s estate, closed this past November.

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Alexandria: Final Performances

The 2015 cast of Aldersgate Church Community Theatre presents the final performances of their production of “Shrek, Jr.” this weekend. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday evenings, Jan. 23 and 24 at 7:30 and Sunday, Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. A special matinee performance is on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale at:

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LTA Presents 'The Game's Afoot' in Alexandria

It's a cross between an Agatha Christie murder mystery and a Ken Ludwig modern farce.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria is presenting the witty and fast-paced "The Game's Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays," Jan. 17 through Feb. 7.

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Lower Price, Higher Demand in Alexandria

The appearance of gas for under $2 a gallon at the new Liberty gas station at 442 North Henry St. in Alexandria attracted enough attention that regular ran dry while this photographer was trying to fill the tank.

Thursday, January 22

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Fairfax County Delivers Geer Documents

Thirty days after a court order by Fairfax Circuit Court judge Randy Bellows, Fairfax County has produced documents concerning the shooting death of John Geer.

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People At Work: On Route, Collecting Trash in Alexandria

It was 7 a.m. and 25 degrees in the truck yard. The hose on the trash compactor at T.C. Williams high school had frozen up and city resources for trash collection were reconfigured on the spot.

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‘The Journey to be Free’ in Alexandria

It was standing room only in City Council Chambers as the 26th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. poster exhibition program began on Monday afternoon. The contest, originating in 1990 by the Alexandria Society for the Preservation of Black History, Inc. (ASPBH, Inc.), highlights the artwork of Alexandria City Public School students.

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Herndon Residents Air Concerns to Legislators

Town Hall meeting addresses concerns about elections, Dulles Toll Road.

Education, town elections and transportation. Those and more were the topics Herndon residents asked about during the town hall meeting with Del. Tom Rust (R-86) and state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-33) on Jan. 17.

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Demolition at Langley Begins

Three-year renovation project will update local school.

Phase one of Langley High School’s renovation project has begun. The building, built in the 1960s, will receive its first major overhaul in an effort to update the building to create a more effective learning environment for students.

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Mathews Win Final 2014 Herndon Good Neighbor Award

The final Good Neighbor winner was awarded at Herndon Town Council’s Jan. 13 meeting. Shannon and David Mathews, Summerfield Drive, were awarded due to their helpful nature and big hearts.

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Claudette Ward of Centreville: 80 Years Young

Family, friends celebrate her birthday on Sunday.

More than 100 family members and friends gathered Sunday afternoon, Jan. 18, in Centreville United Methodist Church’s fellowship hall to celebrate Claudette Ward’s 80th birthday.

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Chocolate Lover’s Paradise in McLean

Chocolate Festival returns on Sunday, Jan. 25.

One day every year, McLean Community Center is a chocolate lover’s dream. The McLean Chocolate Festival will host 17 vendors selling decadent artisan chocolate goods on Jan. 25, ranging from candies to chocolate dipped bacon.

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The Dream is Alive

Reston Community Center holds annual celebration for MLK holiday.

Reston Community Center is keeping the dream alive. RCC’s annual Hunters Woods luncheon program to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and analyze current issues in racism was held on Monday, Jan. 20, with keynote speaker Anna Deavere Smith’s series of monologues showing Restonians how Americans have reclaimed grace in the face of adversity.

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McLean Residents Air Concerns to Legislators

Town Hall meeting held in McLean Community Center.

Six local state legislators listened to the concerns of a room full of people last Saturday. Several delegates and state senators took part in a Town Hall meeting on Jan. 17 at the McLean Community Center to talk about some of their bills and find out what issues their constituents thought were important.

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Reston Phase II Working Draft to Be Presented

The working draft for phase two of Reston’s master plan will be presented on Jan. 29. The second phase focuses on improving residential neighborhoods and village centers.

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Chantilly: Otal Named Elementary School Counselor of the Year

Brookfield’s Otal Honored

Brookfield Elementary counselor Carole Zendle wanted to nominate Kathleen Otal, the previous school year, for the FCPS Elementary School Counselor of the Year. But, saying she doesn’t do her job for recognition, Otal wouldn’t let her. This school year, though, Otal — also at Brookfield — relented. Zendle nominated her and Otal won.

Phony Stamps in Fairfax: Two Years Probation

A local businessman has been sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service. He is Brian Kim, 38, of Fairfax.

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A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. in Arlington

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Arlington County held its 46th annual tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday evening, Jan. 18, at Washington-Lee High School.

West Potomac High School Receives Grant To Support At-Risk Students

The Virginia Department of Education awarded West Potomac High School a $68,000 grant, to be used this school year to benefit 50 students with college and career preparation.

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Could Fairfax County End Veteran Homelessness in 2015?

Chairman Bulova, Fairfax County take on national Mayors Challenge.

The transition from serving in the armed forces to civilian life is often not simple. While in Fairfax County there are more than 12,000 veteran-owned businesses, indicating a significant measure of success, for others the path is far more difficult.

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Supporting Music in Alexandria Schools

Award-winning violinist helps Alexandria Public Schools play its biggest concert.

Every elementary, middle, and high school in Alexandria, 18 schools in total, came together on Janu. 7 for the biggest concert in the school system’s history: 370 students, 200 of them from local elementary schools, 170 from middle and high schools, participated in Electrify Your Strings (EYS).

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Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bulova Releases 2015 State of the County Address

Despite a projected shortfall of nearly $100 million facing Fairfax County going into the FY 2016 budget, Board of Supervisors chairman Sharon Bulova remains encouraged by a 2014 that she said was full of accomplishments.

Planning Commission to Decide on Silas Burke House Property

The fate of a nearly 200-year-old house and its property may be decided in about a week. When the Fairfax County Planning Commission meets on Jan. 29, redevelopment of the Silas Burke property is on its agenda to make a decision regarding amending the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

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South County High School Students Perform with United States Navy Band

A dozen members of the South County High School band program got a taste of what it’s like to perform with one of the country’s premier service ensembles.

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Clifton Lions Club Donates Over $30,000 in December

The 65-member Clifton Lions Club has just about matched its headcount with donation recipients in the last year: 58.

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Human Trafficking Forum To Be Held at West Springfield High School

Fairfax County Police refer to the definition of teen sex trafficking as “the act of manipulating or forcing anyone under the age of 18 to engage in a sex act in exchange for anything of value (money, drugs, shelter, food, clothes, etc.).”

Wednesday, January 21

Public Information Meetings on Transforming I-66

Work is underway to transform Northern Virginia's I-66. Under the proposed plan, I-66 would be improved to provide:

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Appalachian Trail: As ‘Wild’ as It Gets for Area Hikers

Film boosts interest in hiking.

After hiking a few miles into the Appalachian Trail's southernmost point in Georgia, Yorktown High School alumnae James Randle came to a realization of what an enormous task he was taking on, attempting a thru-hike on the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

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Oakton High Drama Explores Propaganda

Oakton students to perform in “Signature in the Schools 20th Anniversary Festival.”

"We are so proud to be part of the ‘Signature in the Schools 20th Anniversary Festival,’” said Vanessa L. Gelinas, Oakton High School Theater Arts teacher. "It is a tremendous opportunity for the students to perform and learn."

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Vienna Theatre Company Says, ‘Be My Baby’

If there are hallmarks of a typical “romantic comedy,” they may include a couple falling in love in spite of themselves, and, maybe, a bit of “misdirection,” in which something that was predicted to happen, does not. There’s a happy ending to the quagmire. The Vienna Theatre Company’s production of award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig’s “Be My Baby” embraces the common attributes of the genre. And, it’s fun to be drawn into the story arc.

Vilma L. Musk, 77, of Reston, Dies

Vilma L. Musk, age 77, died Dec. 7, 2014, in her home in Reston. She has been a Reston resident for 13 years and is missed by her many friends.

Sue W. Erickson, 79, Dies

Sue W. Erickson, age 79, of Ashburn, formerly of Reston passed Jan. 14, 2015. Beloved wife of late Robert D. Erickson. Loving mother of Michael (Karen) Erickson of Mont Vernon, N.H., Donna (Ricki) Church of Ashburn, Jerry (Nancy) Erickson, of Reston.

Building a New Virginia Economy

Candidate Terry McAuliffe campaigned on a platform of “building a new Virginia economy.” His theme clearly resonated with voters who elected him and with those who were concerned with Virginia’s sluggish recovery from the Great Recession. Following his campaign closely, I was impressed with his grasp of the issues and his commitment to resolving them. With his usual exuberance, the Candidate and now Governor made clear that he broadly defines the elements of a new economy.

Ethics Reform Tough in Virginia—Despite McDonnell

There is a lot of talk in the media that serious ethics reform could happen in this session of the Virginia General Assembly. Don’t count on it! Too many legislators regard special interest gifts as entitlements. While they profess to support limiting “tangible” gifts to a minimal value and more reporting, they fiercely guard their rights to certain gifts which supplement their incomes.

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Marshall Academy CyberPatriots Advance to the National Competition

Students from Marshall, a Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Academy, are advancing to the national round of the annual CyberPatriot Competition. They are doing so after two teams were awarded first and third place in the state competition, and after a long day of regional competition that took place on Saturday, Jan. 17.

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New Additions at Tower Club

The Tower Club at Tysons Corner, a ClubCorp property, has recently unveiled its expansion as part of the continued development at Tysons Corner Center. For the unveiling of the club’s new Crescent Lounge and upscale restaurant Reserve, members were invited to the Tower Club’s winter wonderland re-opening celebration on Jan. 8.

Perform in Honors Orchestra Concert

Eleven students represented Langley High School in the District XII Honors Orchestra Concert on Jan. 10, at Wakefield High School.

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Lady Saxons Hold Skills Tournament for Special Olympians

The Lady Saxons — Langley High School’s Varsity Basketball Team — is doing its part both on and off the court. Last Saturday, the Lady Saxons traveled to Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg to help run an afternoon Skills Tournament for Special Olympics basketball athletes. The athletes worked on shooting, dribbling, passing and having fun.

Two Potomac School Seniors Honored for Science Research

It's been a banner year for Ashley Rodriguez and Josh Tarplin, two seniors in The Potomac School's Science and Engineering Research Center (SERC) program. Over the past few months, Rodriguez and Tarplin’s two-year independent research projects have earned them awards and scholarships from some of the most prestigious competitions in the country.

McLean Community Foundation Announces Grants Recipients, New Grants Cycle

The McLean Community Foundation (MCF) has announced the following grants recently awarded to organizations benefiting the citizens of McLean:

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A Musical on Challenges of Growing Up

“13,” the musical, arriving on the Alden stage.

"I face the world for what it is, and not what I wish it could be" are key lyrics from the McLean Community Players (MCP) production of the musical "13." With rock-infused music and thought-provoking lyrics by Tony Award winning Jason Robert Brown, "13" is about the challenges of growing up.

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Where ‘New McLean’ Met ‘Old McLean’

Carole L. Herrick publishes a new book on McLean local legends.

”There’s old McLean and there’s new McLean,” said Carole L. Herrick, author of “Legendary Locals of McLean” which went on sale on Jan. 19. Old McLean are property owners who once owned expansive farms or dairies, while new McLean are people who settled in the area when the Central Intelligence Agency came in 1961. For a while old and new McLeans coexisted, new Cadillacs would be parked next to beat up old Chevy trucks used in the farms.

Theresa K. Robinson of Reston Dies

Theresa K. Robinson of Reston, passed away Jan. 3, 2015. She is survived by her daughters Lisa Robinson and Wendy Fox; brother Raymond Konisky Jr.; sister-in-law Lorraine Konisky; nephew Raymond Konisky III; nieces Cindy Konisky and Kathy Mitsin; great-niece Alexandra Konisky and great-nephew Brian Konisky.

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Herndon Author Writes New Book on Sports Training for Young Athletes

According to Wendy LeBolt, Ph.D., in her new book “Fit 2 Finish – Keeping Your Soccer Players in the Game” the cycle of success boils down to “Develop – Balance – Observe – and repeat” to keep our young athletes fit and on the field, and taking their sport as far as their interest and skill can take them. Herndon resident LeBolt has some real skin in the game of soccer – literally.

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Four Brave Girls Take Immediate Action to Help a Friend in Distress

One year ago, on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, during their lunch hour at Fox Mill Elementary School in Herndon, four fourth grade Junior Girl Scouts jumped to the aid of their classmate as she found herself choking on a piece of food. Using the skills that they had just learned a few months prior, in a First Aid class they attended with other Junior Troop’s members from Fox Mill, the four girl scouts (ages 9 and 10) immediately jumped into action.

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Bald Eagles at Great Falls Rebuild Fallen Nest

New nest is visible from Potomac, Md. or Great Falls, Va. national parks.

The current pair of adult Bald Eagles at Great Falls have rebuilt their nest, which fell or blew down last spring. For at least 20 years, Bald Eagles, although surely not the same two birds, have been nesting on Conn Island, which is the large tree-covered island in the middle of the Potomac just above the cofferdam, up river from the Great Falls themselves.

Col. Peter L. Hilgartner, 87, of Great Falls, Dies

Col. Peter L. Hilgartner, USMC retired, died at Brightview Assisted Living on Jan. 8, 2015, in Great Falls, at 87 years of age. Funeral services are being held Saturday, Jan. 24 at 10:30 a.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 10550 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls.

The Great Falls Farmers Market at the Historic Old Schoolhouse until the Grange Re-Opens

Every Saturday morning, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., this winter the historic Old Schoolhouse comes alive with devoted vendors bringing their wares, set up beautifully, anticipating the visits of farmers market devotees, new discoverers of the market, and occasional visitors.

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Offering ‘Fresh Food Fast’

Postmodern Foods finds a more permanent home in Great Falls.

Perhaps you have seen Virginia native Denise Hicks, founder and CEO of Postmodern Foods, at the Great Falls Community Farmers Market on Saturdays or at one of the other popular markets around the D.C. Metro region. Offering a variety of organic and freshly made cold pressed juices, fruit and vegetable smoothies, entrees, and desserts, her focus has been to promote a healthy lifestyle with the mantra "Eat More Plants.”

Letter: Volunteer for the Games

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: I love this community. There are so many ways to serve a community as diverse and as vibrant as ours. I recently competed in a special election to succeed Congresswoman Comstock. While I came up short in the vote count, largely due to the unfortunate weather on Election Day, I am as inspired to serve as I was on that day. My passion to serve others only strengthens with each pursuit.

West Potomac Softball Clinic

West Potomac High School will host a winter softball clinic.

Alexandria: Senior Guard Hill, Rebounding Propel Titans in Second Half

TC beats West Potomac to improve to 5-1 in Conference 7.

The T.C. Williams boys' basketball team will face Woodson on Friday.

Column: Seasonal Seven Dwarfs

Sneezy, Coughy, Phlegmy, Stuffy, Achy. No-Sleepy and Post-Nasal Drippy; and no Doc, which is possibly what led to this column being written.

Tuesday, January 20

Chocolate Lovers Festival Returns Feb. 7-8

Indulge in America’s favorite confection at the City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival Feb. 7 - 8, in Old Town Fairfax.

Letter: A Silent Crisis

To the Editor

Hunger is a silent crisis in the USA. Every day, children in every county in the United States wake up hungry.

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Equipment Replacement and ADA-Compliancy

Parks and Recreation and Historic Resources offer CIP proposals.

With an eye on the upcoming City of Fairfax budget decisions, various department heads recently presently their FY 2016 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) wish lists to a joint work session of the City Council and Planning Commission.

GOP Women of Clifton to Hear Two Speakers on Middle East Conflict

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.

General Assembly Session Approaches

Delegates, senators, community leaders reflect on priorities.

With the sentencing of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell fresh on their minds, many northern Virginia members of the delegation to the state General Assembly expect ethics reform to be a focal point at the session beginning Jan. 14.

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Mount Vernon Lee Chamber Discusses Development in the Area

Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce January Business Breakfast featured presentations on development throughout Fairfax County with a special emphasis on the greater Richmond Highway corridor

Clean-up of Tire Dump in Lorton Ongoing

In early December 2014, the Fairfax County Fire Marshal issued a notice of violation to AAAACo Used Auto Parts in Lorton for more than 1,000 used tires on their property and overflowing into Giles Run, according to Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department spokesman Dan Schmidt.

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Francis, Scanlon Help Westfield Pull Away from Herndon

Bulldogs use 16-2 run to blow open close game.

The Westfield boys' basketball team is 13-1.

Fire Department Presents Planned Capital Projects

They include fire station, training-center needs, plus traffic preemption.

During a Dec. 2 joint work session of the Fairfax City Council and Planning Commission, Fire Chief Dave Rohr presented his department’s proposed FY 2016 CIP (Capital Improvement Program). He said the funds are needed for three projects.

Metro School of Arts Students Present ‘The Last Five Years’

Students of the Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) of Alexandria and Lorton will debut their first, student-directed, produced performance on Fri., Jan., 16 at 7:30 p.m., Sat., Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at The Atlas Performing Arts Theatre at 1333 H Street., NE, in Washington, D.C.

Arlington: Adams’ Career-Best Performance Leads O'Connell to Victory

Junior scores 30 points, including game-winner against Gonzaga.

Bishop O'Connell came from behind to beat Gonzaga on Monday.

Backyard Dreaming

Local tastemakers say winter is the best time to plan an idyllic backyard retreat.

Spring may seem light years away from the frigid January temperatures, and lounging in your backyard is probably the last thing you want to do at the moment, but landscape designers say now is the time to start planning a summer retreat.

2015 New Year Remodeling Resolutions

Improving long-term living needs and future home value.

After all the holiday festivities have passed and the ball has dropped to ring in the New Year, many homeowners are inspired to tackle resolutions that relate to their living space.

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Honoring Harlem Renaissance

Jasmine Guy and the Avery Sharpe Trio come to GMU Center for the Arts.

In the years following WWI, Harlem became the heart and soul of the African-American Community in New York.

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Fairfax's Sovereign Grace Co-op Drama Presents 'Our Town'

Sit back and take a breath of fresh clean New Hampshire air, as you meet the characters inhabiting the small town of Grover's Corners.

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Bald Eagles and Winter Waterfowl at Burke Lake

Winter is a great time to see Eagles.

A pair of nesting bald eagles and often colorful, transient, wintering waterfowl are two of winter's best attractions on the 218-acre Burke Lake, at Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station.

Brief: Schoeneman to Run for Sully Supervisor

Will resign from Fairfax County Electoral Board.

Fairfax County Electoral Board Secretary Brian Schoeneman is running to fill the seat being vacated by Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully), who announced his retirement Monday night.

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Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey Not Running for Reelection

‘You reach a time where change is appropriate.’

After giving his State of Sully address Monday night, Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) said his next words almost matter-of-factly. “Regarding the upcoming elections in November, I will not be seeking reelection,” he said. “You reach a time where change is appropriate, and that time has come for me.”

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Scott Surovell (D-44) Announces Bid for State Senate

Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) used his blog and e-newsletter to make his intention known: Less than a week after Sen. Toddy Puller (D-36) announced she would not look to serve another term, Surovell declared he would run for the vacant seat on Sunday, Jan. 18.

Friday, January 16

McLean Gymnastics Looking for Return to States

Highlanders finished state runner-up in 2014.

The McLean gymnastics team finished state runner-up last year.

Alexandria Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

Alexandria Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

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A Kitchen with a View in Arlington

Cramped space transformed into open, airy oasis.

When a local couple decided to purchase a home to accommodate their growing family, they settled on a property in north Arlington. While the charm of the 1960s’ home appealed to them, some of its quirky spaces needed new faces, particularly the kitchen.

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If the Shoe Fits... in Arlington

Encore Stage & Studio presents “Cinderella.”

A young girl, nicknamed Cinderella by her stepsisters, dreams of leaving her work behind and becoming a princess in this classic musical being presented by Encore Stage & Studio.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon: Timely Donations

Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce collected and donated winter coats, sweaters, hats, scarves, and gloves to local non-profits that help the homeless. The "Warmer Winter" initiative was headed by Jane Gandee, owner of ServiceMaster Restore and a member of the Chamber Board of Directors.

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Preparing the Roads in Alexandria

It is 7 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 14 and Mike Haynes is checking in with a City of Alexandria truck driver after dumping in 2 tons of salt from his loader. The trucks had been out working since 1 a.m. preparing for predicted snow and sleet.

News Briefs: Pedestrian Killed on Route 1 Alexandria

Fairfax County Police Department crash reconstruction detectives are investigating a crash that took place at around 11:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13. John Henderson, a 40-year-old Alexandria area man, was reportedly sitting in the center of Route 1 northbound just prior to Southgate Drive outside of the crosswalk.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 119 homes sold between $1,954,870-$198,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: December, 2014

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People At Work: Making Pasta - and More - in Alexandria

In the kitchen with Chef Jenrri

Flour sprayed through the air as Chef Henry Jenrri sprinkled the metal ravioli mold before spreading the sheet of pasta over the top. He filled each indentation with spinach filling, folded the large sheet of pasta over the top and pressed the rolling pin back and forth to separate the raviolis.

Springfield Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 128 Springfield homes sold between $816,000-$160,000.

Springfield Home Sales: December, 2014

Reston Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 82 Reston homes sold between $1,220,000-$171,500.

Reston Home Sales: December, 2014

McLean Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 90 homes sold between $4,065,309-$135,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: December, 2014

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 67 homes sold between $1,220,000-$173,000 in the Oak Hill and Herndon area.

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: December, 2014

Great Falls Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 23 Great Falls homes sold between $2,400,000-$573,000.

Great Falls Home Sales: December, 2014

Fairfax Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 81 Fairfax homes sold between $1,200,000-$176,000.

Fairfax Home Sales: December, 2014

Chantilly Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 16 homes sold between $700,000-$59,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: December, 2014

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

In December 2014, 76 homes sold between $965,000-$176,500 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

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

Centreville Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 69 Centreville homes sold between $1,050,000-$175,000.

Centreville Home Sales: December, 2014

Burke Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 52 Burke homes sold between $959,999-$137,990.

Burke Home Sales: December, 2014

Mount Vernon Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 114 homes sold between $2,495,000-$79,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: December, 2014

Arlington Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 243 Arlington homes sold between $2,282,280-$50,000.

Arlington Home Sales: December, 2014

Potomac Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 57 Potomac homes sold between $2,500,000-$412,000.

Potomac Home Sales: December, 2014

Alexandria Home Sales: December, 2014

In December 2014, 182 Alexandria homes sold between $3,495,000-$145,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: December, 2014

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Open Door, Open Hearts at Rising Hope in Alexandria

Homeless and needy come in from the cold for a Merry Christmas

“We had a spectacular Christmas!” declared the Rev. Keary Kincannon of Rising Hope United Methodist Church, which serves the homeless and needy along the Route 1 corridor.

Virginia Senator Toddy Puller (D-36) Will Not Seek Re-Election

Just as the Virginia General Assembly kicked off its 2015 January session, state Senator Linda T. “Toddy” Puller (D-36) announced her decision to not run for re-election later this year.

Thursday, January 15

Reston, Oak Hill and Herndon Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

Reston, Oak Hill and Herndon Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

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Celebrating Life of Aldo Leopold in Alexandria

The Northern Virginia Conservation Trust sponsored a Read-a-Thon in honor of the 128th birthday of environmentalist Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 10.

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ACCT To Present ‘Shrek, Jr.’ in Alexandria/Mount Vernon

The Aldersgate Church Community Theater is bringing children’s favorite ogre to the stage. Based on the Oscar-winning film, “Shrek The Musical Jr.”

Great Falls and McLean Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

Great Falls and McLean Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

Vienna and Oakton Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

Local Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales in Vienna and Oakton

Masonic Memorial in Alexandria Turns Blue

In recognition of National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, the George Washington Masonic Memorial was illuminated in blue throughout the evening of Friday, Jan. 9 to show support for Alexandria's law enforcement officers and Project Blue Light.

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Alexandria: Amazing Grace

APD mourns loss of first female police K-9.

For more than a year, it looked as if she would defy the odds, but on Christmas Eve, Gracie, Alexandria’s first female police K-9, lost her battle with kidney cancer. “Gracie was not only an outstanding police dog, she was a great family dog,” said APD K-9 officer Steven Escobar.

Arlington Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

Arlington Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

Delegates, senators and Fairfax County community leaders reflect on priorities for the General Assembly

With the sentencing of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell fresh on their minds, many northern Virginia members of the delegation to the state General Assembly expect ethics reform to be a focal point at the session beginning Jan. 14.

Potomac Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

Potomac Real Estate: 2014 Top Sales

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Founding Fathers Visit Reston and Herndon Schools

Reston couple funds further education in American history.

School children in eight Fairfax County Public elementary schools had the opportunity to hear and speak with Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry in January. Historical re-enactors Bill Barker and Richard Schumann, respectively, assisted with the experience.

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Mount Vernon School Board Member Dan Storck Addresses Concerns Over CIP

It was standing room only at one point in the Sherwood Regional Library. Parents concerned over the significant boundary changes outlined in Fairfax County Public Schools proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for FY 2016-2020 had gathered on Jan. 10 to hear from School Board Mount Vernon representative Dan Storck.

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NoVa Mini Maker Faire Returns To Reston

Tickets available for NoVa Mini Maker Faire at Reston South Lakes High School.

A family-friendly showcase of invention and creativity will return to Reston on March 15. Tech enthusiasts and innovators will gather March 15, in Reston as the second annual NoVa Mini Maker Faire meets at South Lakes High School and Langston Hughes Middle School.

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General Assembly Fairfax Delegation Holds Public Meeting Prior to Session in Richmond.

Justin Dolan addressed the state delegates and senators from his wheelchair rather than the podium. The 34-year-old Falls Church resident has cerebral palsy, and received an Individual & Family Developmental Disabilities Support waiver.

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Facebook-organized Protesters in Fairfax Demand Justice for John Geer

Supervisors’ responsibility also highlighted.

Cars honked in acknowledgement as Centreville resident Jason McCormack stood alongside Chain Bridge Road in Fairfax, near the Fairfax County Courthouse, with a handmade sign that read “Cops Are Bound By The Law, Too.”

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Burke Author Sherry Harris Launches Mystery Series

Sarah Winston found two bloody shirts in a bag of clothes from a garage sale. She knew one belonged to her ex-husband, the other to the woman he was sleeping with.

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Howell, Plum Meet With Residents

Citizens get chance to voice concerns before General Assembly session.

This General Assembly session will be a tough year to budget, according to two local legislators. State Senator Janet Howell (D-32) and Del. Ken Plum (D-36) met with local residents Jan. 8 at Reston Community Center - Hunter Mill to talk about the upcoming session and hear what their constituents thought are the issues to focus on.

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Reston to the Rescue

Rescue Reston hopes to save local golf course.

Rescue Reston wants to see a sea of yellow T-shirts on Jan. 21. The organization wants supporters to show that local residents do not want the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals to allow Reston National Golf Course to be bulldozed.

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Deadline for School Audit Committee Changes

Citizens Association wants community members added to School Board committee.

McLean Citizens Association (MCA) wants the county School Board to add community members to the audit committee. MCA voted on a resolution Jan. 7- stemming on a resolution made by Fairfax County Public School board members recently - to make changes to the audit committee by July 1.

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Fairfax County Supervisors Seek Outside Help with Transparency

“Independent expertise” to advise on information disclosure policies.

Eight days after offering the public the first of any kind of official explanation for officer-involved shooting of Springfield resident John Geer, the Board of Supervisors took another step.

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Herndon Residents Praise Town Services

Locals give high scores to golf course, community center in survey.

Herndon residents are extremely satisfied with their quality of life in the historic town. According to a survey conducted by Continental Research Associates (CRA), residents find most town services to be exemplary.

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The $2.4 Billion Question

FCPS Superintendent presents next year’s budget.

Fairfax County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza is proposing a $2.4 billion budget for the 2015-16 school year. The proposed Fairfax County Public Schools’ budget includes funds for full-day Mondays, teacher compensation and later high school start times while still finding room for $55.4 million in cuts.

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A Taste of Europe in Herndon

New location means a growth in clientele for Europa restaurant owners.

Europa isn’t new. It’s just new to Herndon. The Mediterranean restaurant, operated by the Fuentes family, moved from Tall Oaks Village Center and found a home on Station Street.

Wednesday, January 14

Fairfax Gymnast Barborek Dominates in Final Home Meet

Senior wins all-around by more than 3 points.

Fairfax gymnastics team finishes runner-up to McLean.

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Vienna: Oakton Sophomores Royle, Connolly Provide Paint Presence

Royle scores career-high 18 points against Westfield.

Oakton defeated Westfield 63-46 on Jan. 9.

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Alexandria: T.C. Williams Boys’ Basketball Firing on All Cylinders

Titans beat 2014 region finalists Woodson, Lake Braddock.

T.C. Williams defeated Lake Braddock 69-58 on Tuesday night.

Letter: Steps To Prevent Gun Violence

Letter to the Editor

Legislators convening for the 2015 Virginia General Assembly session this month have a great opportunity to make the Commonwealth a safer place for us all by voting in favor of the modest and responsible recommendations recently put forth by Governor Terry McAuliffe regarding gun violence prevention.

Letter: County Shouldn’t Spray Against Fall Cankerworm

Letter to the Editor

This letter is in response to a recent letter to the editor about Fairfax County’s Fall Cankerworm Insecticide Spraying Program.

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Cartoon: GEOpees


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Vienna Theatre Company Presents ‘Be My Baby’

Vienna Theatre Company will present Ken Ludwig's “Be My Baby,” directed by Suzanne Maloney, opening on Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. “Be My Baby” is a romantic comedy that tells the story of John, an irascible Scotsman and an uptight English woman, Maud, and how they're brought together when his ward marries her niece and the young couple decides to adopt a newborn baby.

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Forestville Elementary Girls Perform on the Elipse Stage

Kendall Ladd, Erin Kearns and Christina Barton -- fifth graders at Forestville Elementary - submitted an audition tape and were chosen to perform on the Ellipse Stage at the National Christmas on Dec. 13. They chose to sing "You're a mean one Mr. Grinch."

Troop 55 Boy Scouts Earn President’s Medal

“To encourage more individuals to embody the spirit of volunteerism that makes this country so great” is the goal of the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Jeff Ye, a Patrol Advisor with Boy Scout Troop 55 from Great Falls, worked with the Troop 55 leadership and introduced the award to the Boy Scouts this past Fall.

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Vienna Business Association Honors Park and Recreation Department

At its Friday, Jan. 9 breakfast meeting, the Vienna Business Association (VBA) paid tribute to the Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation Department for their support and contribution to the community in providing services and equipment to the various functions in partnership with the VBA.

Fun in the Snow

Churchill Road second graders enjoyed some fun in the snow just after winter break. George Gaulding made snow angels while classmates Sydney Diao and Annalee Borden prepared to make snowmen.

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Renovation, expansion include new gym and fitness center.

On Jan. 10 elected officials, County staff, contractors and members of the community celebrated the completed expansion and renovations of Spring Hill RECenter with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The RECenter is located at Lewinsville Road and Spring Hill Road in McLean.

General Assembly Underway

The General Assembly convened for its annual session on Jan. 14. Although the session scheduled to adjourn at the end of February is termed “the short session,” it will have a full agenda of opportunities and challenges.

Mr. and Mrs. Pileated Enjoy the First Snow

Recently -- the pileated woodpecker has been voted in as the official bird of Reston. Erica Stoecker snapped this photo of Mr. and Mrs. Pileated enjoying on her Reston deck, on the first snow day of 2015.

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

Bruce L. Green, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, announced the McLean/Old Dominion office was recognized for outstanding performance in December. The office led the region, which comprises offices throughout Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier and Delaware counties, for resale dollar volume.

Great Falls Trailblazers Win State Gardens Christmas Tree Decorating Contest

The theme tree was decorated with a silver and blue trail around the tree which had several animals hiding in the branches. The answer to the question How many animals can you find along the trail was 8: one squirrel, two snowy owls two chipmunks, two fawns with a cardinal for the tree top.

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Blurred Lines

McLean doctor writes about what he knows.

The unassuming house right off Chain Bridge Road in McLean has a small sign bearing Dr. Robert Comunale’s name in the front yard. For passersby or the mailman, it is just a sign to indicate who lives in the house.

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Backyard Dreaming

Local tastemakers say winter is the best time to plan an idyllic backyard retreat.

Spring may seem light years away from the frigid January temperatures, and lounging in your backyard is probably the last thing you want to do at the moment, but landscape designers say now is the time to start planning a summer retreat.

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Children Collect Food for Cornerstone Food Bank

Lake Anne Elementary donated over 20 boxes of food to Cornerstone Food Bank/Cornerstones Housing Corporation. The school selected this food drive because of the Cornerstone work with Reston Interfaith that helps the school community.

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‘Welcome to Virginia’ Sign Unveiled at Dulles International Airport

On Jan. 6, Governor Terry McAuliffe unveiled a new “Welcome to Virginia” sign at Dulles International Airport (IAD), welcoming travelers to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Dulles is a major hub for domestic and international travel, servicing about 22 million travelers a year traveling to 83 nonstop domestic and 50 nonstop international destinations. The new signage is the first of its kind at IAD.

Column: $32.99 Plus Shipping

For one box of 54 petite Belgian waffle cookies in three delicious flavors: milk chocolate, dark chocolate and vanilla; an extravagance to be sure, available during the holidays; this recipient (actually, my wife, Dina, was the recipient) very happy to oblige and indulge.

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Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna Donates to Local Charities

For the last 16 years, the Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna (SCOV) has been hosting their Community Thanksgiving Service along with participating congregations. The money raised from the service offering is then distributed to two local charities. This year’s recipients were Our Daily Bread Fairfax and The Committee for Helping Others.

Nysmith Students Meet Cyber Defense Challenge

Two teams of middle school students from The Nysmith School of Herndon recently finished second and 12th out of 200 U.S. and Canadian teams participating in the seventh Annual CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

Amy Brass and Michael Macintyre to Wed April 2015

Mrs. Renee Brass and Mr. and Mrs. Steve Macintyre of Reston are pleased to announce the engagement of their children, Amy Brass and Michael Macintyre. Both grew up in Reston and graduated from South Lakes High School.

James Paul Rainey, 84, Dies

James Paul Rainey passed away peacefully on Dec. 31, 2014 at the age of 84. At the time of death, Jim was living in Great Falls, having recently moved there from Naples, Fla. Born in Weirton, W. Va., Jim’s family moved to Pennsylvania and Ohio where he graduated from Lakewood High School in 1948.

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Four Reston Scouts Earn Eagle Rank

Four local boys who became Cub Scouts together 11 years ago were recognized recently for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest advancement award the Boy Scouts of America offers to Scouts. Troop 1313, chartered by Sunrise Valley Elementary School PTA in Reston, held a quadruple Eagle Court of Honor to recognize seniors Vijay Iyer, Tom Joyner, Jonathan Lee, and Charlie Quinn on Jan. 7.

Oberlin at Oakton Music Series on Jan. 25

On Sunday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m., three students from Oberlin Conservatory will perform at the 15th annual Oberlin at Oakton music series in Oakton. The accomplished young artists include pianist San Jittakarn, violinist Mana Imaizumi, and flutist Katherine Ma, in collaboration with pianists Allison Freeman ’16 and Allie Su.

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Pet Food and Adoption Center Opens at Reston’s Lake Anne

PetMac merges animal rescue and good nutrition in shop.

When PetMAC owner Cindy Williams moved her pet supply and adoption center to Reston’s Lake Anne, she took her business philosophy of community outreach and high-quality inventory to a lakeside shopping center abundant with small locally-owned businesses.

Three Reston Developers to Support Best of Reston

Cornerstones and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce have announced that Boston Properties, Comstock, and The JBG Companies, have joined together to serve as Chairs of the 2015 Best of Reston Awards for Community Service.

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Where is Mr. Higgins?

Reward for information leading to safe return of our cat, Mr. Higgins. He is a gray tabby cat with white chin, chest, and belly plus white paws, golden eyes,and a fluffy tail. May have black and white collar with tag.

Elizabeth Weil Oberdorfer, 96, of McLean, Dies

Elizabeth Weil Oberdorfer died peacefully on Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, surrounded by two generations of her family. She lived 96 vibrant years. Elizabeth was born in Montgomery, Ala. in 1918. She graduated from Smith College in 1939 and worked and lived in New York City for a short time following her graduation.

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Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department Wins Holiday Decorating Contest

Great Falls Volunteer Fire Department won $200 as the Celebrate Great Falls Holiday Decorating Contest winner

Friday, January 9

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Potomac: First Snow of New Year

A fast moving storm dumped a few inches of snow on Potomac and the rest of the region beginning before dawn and continuing through the rush hour on Tuesday, Jan. 6, bringing 4-6 inches of snow in some places, more than predicted, with temperatures in the 20s.

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Keeping Health and Fitness Resolutions in Potomac

Local experts offer advice about how to make resolutions last all year long.

Many Americans begin the new year with vows to lose weight, eat healthier and exercise. For some, keeping those resolutions can become a source of stress, and by February, gym memberships and new fitness equipment often sit unused.

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NBA Star Reaches Out to His Community in Potomac

Gheorghe Muresan leads a basketball clinic at Potomac Community Center.

At the Potomac Community Center, Gheorghe Muresan reached out to his local community on Jan. 4 with a basketball clinic. Muresan, originally from Romania with a height of 7’-7,” was an NBA basketball player for both the Bullets and Wizards and is now active in working with children in the community and on a global level.

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Origin of Mount Vernon Watersheds

Future of watersheds remains unresolved.

In a watershed, it is the tremendous diversity of life that makes it work. There is a trade-off when human intervention changes the way nature works. We have disconnected the water systems, the patterns of water in the landscape to which plant and animal life communities have adapted over millennia

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People at Work: Sweets at the Sugar Cube in Alexandria

Finding the right candy from throughout the U.S.

People at work: "Please pass the M&Ms," a small voice pipes up from his seat at the end of the table. He stares at his large white sugar cookie a moment before beginning his masterpiece. "M&Ms are new this year," says Alyssa Theodore, owner of The Sugar Cube on King Street in Alexandria. "I'm pretty sure they'll be the hit."

Alexandria Neighborhood


SHUTER’S HILL ECUMENICAL CAROLERS The carolers were rewarded with marvelous weather for their Christmas collection for Children’s Hospital.

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Mount Vernon, Alexandria Communities Mourns Death of Herb Harris

Former member of Congress, district supervisor.

Former Mount Vernon Supervisor and U.S. Rep. Herbert Harris died at his home in Mount Vernon on Dec. 24, 2014. He was 88 years old.

Bank Robberies in Reston and Herndon

Winter a busy season for bank robberies.

For the second time in two weeks, a supermarket bank in Reston was robbed in the late afternoon. Fairfax County Police report the PNC Bank inside the Giant at North Point Village Center was robbed at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 29.

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Alexandria: Saved from Dog Meat Farm

Rescued dogs from Korea arrive at animal shelter.

The vans pulled up a little after 8 p.m. at the delivery doors of the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter on Monday evening, Jan. 5. Eleven large traveling crates were removed and brought indoors.

Metro School of Arts Students Present ‘The Last Five Years’

Students of the Metropolitan School of the Arts (MSA) of Alexandria and Lorton will debut their first, student-directed, produced performance on Fri., Jan., 16 at 7:30 p.m., Sat., Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at The Atlas Performing Arts Theatre at 1333 H Street., NE, in Washington, D.C.

GOP Women of Clifton to Hear Two Speakers on Middle East Conflict

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 USChet 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. electrical grid to EMP and cyber-attacks.

Dort Duffy, 81, of Fairfax City, Dies

Loving wife, mother and friend to many, Dort Duffy, of Fairfax, passed away peacefully on Jan. 1, 2015. She was born in Troy, Ohio to parents Eugene and Carrie Brown. She graduated from Troy High School and went to work at Ohio Bell. She married her high school sweetheart Dennis in 1954.

Letter to the Editor: Giving Pets a Loving Home

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

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Top Fitness Trends for 2015

Here are some low-cost and mobile routines.

The beginning of a new year is often a time when many resolve to begin a fitness plan or to ramp up their current routine. Officials at the American College of Sports Medicine rang in the New Year by releasing the organization’s annual survey of the top fitness trends for 2015.

Editorial: Happy New Year

Focused on community.

Happy New Year. We need your help in 2015. As local, weekly newspapers, the Connection’s mission is to deliver news readers need close to home, to help readers enjoy great local places and events, to advocate for community good, to call attention to unmet needs, to provide a forum for dialogue on local concerns, and to celebrate and record milestones and events in community and people’s lives.

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Was Downtown Traffic Switch Successful?

City Council hears results of professional study.

To create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown area, in August 2006, the City of Fairfax reconfigured Main and North Streets from one-way to two-way. Now, though, the City Council wants to know whether it was a good decision or if it’s been detrimental to the Old Town area.

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Christmas Comes to the Hanley Shelter

Police officers from the Fair Oaks District Station, plus students from Chantilly and Centreville high schools, helped bring Christmas to the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter. On Dec. 19, they brought new, unwrapped toys to the Fairfax shelter, which serves mothers and young children.

Important Issues Facing the City of Fairfax

For its first issue of 2015, the Connection asked various local leaders what are the most significant issues and/or events facing the City of Fairfax in the coming year.

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Answering the Call to Action

Catholic Church of the Nativity in Burke helps Haitians.

Sixteen years ago Father Martin, the pastor of the Catholic Church of the Nativity in Burke, asked hypothetically, “How much money could be raised if each parishioner donated a small amount each week of Lent?”

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Celebrating the Holidays with Alexandria Seaport Foundation

Staff, friends and supporters of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation gathered for a final holiday party in the Duke Street workshop at the Robinson Terminal South on Dec. 9. The boats in progress were decked out with festive greens as the work tables were laden with food and wine. The ASF will vacate the current premises later in 2015 when demolition for redevelopment begins at the terminal.

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Warm Welcome in Alexandria

Owner Laurent Janowsky, left, welcomes California winemaker Merry Edwards to La Bergerie restaurant Dec. 9.

Thursday, January 8

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Ushering in the New Year in Alexandria

First Night fireworks light up Alexandria.

Fireworks lit up the sky over the Potomac River to usher in 2015 as part of the 20th anniversary of First Night Alexandria.

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Alexandria Civil Rights Pioneer Ferdinand Day Dies

The force behind the philosophy of “Every Student Counts.”

When Ferdinand Day was born in 1918, Virginia had just passed its first compulsory school attendance law for children ages 8-12. But with legalized segregation, funding for the education of African American students was sorely limited, with only four black public high schools in the entire state. It would take decades before one existed in Alexandria.

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Secret Santas in Alexandria

Departmental Progressive Club collects toys for Jefferson-Houston families

Members of the Departmental Progressive Club stopped by Jefferson-Houston Elementary School Dec. 15 to deliver more than 100 toys for students in need. “We are so thankful for what the Departmental Progressive Club has done,” said Jefferson-Houston principal Chris Phillips. “Each toy here means one more kid will wake up happy.”

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Bollywood Bistro Finds Home in Great Falls

Restaurant adds spice to shopping center.

Great Falls loves lamb - at least according to Bollywood Bistro owner Pankaj Sharma. The restaurant has been open for two months and already has regular clientele, he said.

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New Schools, Boundary Changes Possible

Proposed Capital Improvement Plan focuses on rising enrollment.

Several new schools may be added to the Fairfax County Public Schools system in the next decade. The School Board listened to an annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) presentation by Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey Platenberg on Dec. 18, 2014, describing the need for four more elementary schools and one high school to meet the demands of rapidly rising enrollment.

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McLean in 2015: A Lot to Look Forward To

Expect renovations, downtown development in McLean.

McLean has a lot to look forward to. Literally. Between the looming pedestrian improvements and downtown development, in addition to the yearly battle for their share of the county budget, McLean leaders will be busy this year.

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Looking Forward: Great Falls 2015

Plans to work with county on Route 7, curatorship program.

Great Falls has a lot to look forward to this year. Community leaders said the biggest topics the village will discuss this year include deer management, the Route 7 expansion and possible Independence Day fireworks.

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A Year Ahead: Herndon in 2015

Taking new downtown off paper and into reality.

This year will be all about creating a Metro-friendly downtown. While the town council focused on policies that will make the historic area more business friendly, 2015 will take them off paper and into reality.

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Looking Forward: Reston 2015

Village Center updates planned.

After an eventful year, Reston may see their ideas become resolutions on paper. Community leaders are looking forward to new village center plans, the beginnings of a new Lake Anne Village Center and a new district government center this year.

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Chanukah Celebrated At Downtown Herndon

Chabad of Reston-Herndon holds community celebration.

The Sunday evening of Dec. 21 members of the community assembled at the Herndon Town Square to celebrate Chanukah with the Chabad of Reston-Herndon. The event was open to the public and more than 35 persons came to attend.

Wednesday, January 7

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Christmas Cheer Shared At Herndon Police Station

HPD, Herndon FOP and community provide children with presents.

”I think this is a great example of what communities do, we help each other out,” said Town of Herndon Vice Mayor Jennifer K. Baker. Baker was at Herndon Police Department on Saturday, Dec. 20 for the annual Cops & Kids outreach event.

Route 1 Transit Study, Jeff Todd Way, Wegmans among top events and developments in Mount Vernon 2014-2015.

It may take the better part of 35 years, but the Route 1 corridor is in the process of receiving transit updates that include bus rapid transit and light rail. Fall 2014 saw the completion of a study by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) which was passed on to the Board of Supervisors by the Executive Steering Committee: “All the leaders agreed on a vision that affects everything, schools, housing, quality of life, environment, everything.”

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Adults Find Homes Through Grants to New Hope Housing in Mount Vernon

Thanks to a pair of federal grants, the Mount Vernon-based nonprofit New Hope Housing (NHH) can do one better than providing temporary shelter to chronically homeless adults. The grants, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, give NHH the opportunity to lease several Fairfax County and City of Alexandria apartments for up to 15 individuals.

Springfield Town Center, Jeff Todd Way, Wegmans among top events and developments.

A crowd of eager shoppers gathered Oct. 17, 2014, for the grand opening of the Springfield Town Center, a completely revitalized version of the long dilapidated Springfield Mall.

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Glancing Back to 2014, Looking Forward to 2015: Springfield Town Center, World Police and Fire Games, Occoquan

A crowd of eager shoppers gathered Oct. 17, 2014, for the grand opening of the Springfield Town Center, a completely revitalized version of the long dilapidated Springfield Mall.

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Burke Centre Festival, World Police and Fire Games, and Neighborhood Enhancements among top events and developments.

The ever-larger two-day festival returned for its 37th year at the beginning of September 2014. Drumming, Japanese dancers, local dance groups, bands and Irish dancers comprised a live performance slate, while free and minimal cost activities including face-painting and a photo booth offered attendees plenty of ways to enjoy the pleasant fall weather.

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Fairfax County Releases Statement on Shooting of Springfield Man

It’s been more than 16 months since John Geer of Springfield was shot and killed by a Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) officer. And since the Aug. 29, 2013 shooting, scant information on the incident has been provided by the FCPD or the county Board of Supervisors, such as an explanation of what transpired up to and following the shooting, and the identities of the officers involved. They’ve kept this information from the media, the public and the Geer family, citing an ongoing federal investigation into the death.

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South County High School Swim and Dive Team Donates Toys at South Run

Before filling the pool for warm-ups, members of the South County High School Swim and Dive team filled the Toys for Tots collection box at South Run RECenter. The team decided to give collectively at their final dual meet before Christmas break, a Dec. 19 face off with the team from Robert E Lee High School.

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With End Of Year Businesses Rotate in Herndon and Reston

Businesses change hands in the Herndon, Reston area.

Change is a constant, and although some have remarked change is neither good nor bad, nostalgia is a powerful potion. At some locations, including cafes and eateries, we make memories and recall experiences with friends and relatives.

Laughter and Charm at Herndon Stage

NextStop Theatre presents “Gutenberg! The Musical!”

"This is the funniest musical script I have ever read. It leaves me crying with laughter every time I read it," said Evan Hoffmann, NextStop Theatre's artistic director as he described what is in store at the upcoming production of "Gutenberg! The Musical!" "The show is a great fit for NextStop and our audiences."

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Getting into the Spirit of the Holidays

Classical Ballet Theatre (CBT) shared some extra special holiday magic with this year’s presentation of “The Nutcracker,” performed at the 525-seat Ernst Theater in Annandale. A sellout, the production featured beautiful choreography, stunning costumes, and some of the most highly trained pre-professional talent in the Washington Metropolitan Area.

The ‘Dream’ Lives On

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday birthday events to be held at Reston Community Center.

For this year's 30th annual Reston Community Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday birthday celebration the renowned Anna Deavere Smith will be the keynote speaker at the Monday, Jan. 19 community event. Her address, “Reclaiming Grace in the Face of Adversity," will aim "to highlight the issues of community, character, and diversity in America."

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Gift Bags, Handmade

Churchill Road kindergartners in Erin Thurston’s class are proud of the gift bags they made for kindergartners at their buddy school, Dogwood Elementary in Reston.

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Comstock's Character Honored in McLean

In 1997, Barbara Comstock gave the first Character Does Count Award to The Honorable Ed Meese. At the time, Comstock was the first President of the Patriot Republican Women’s Club. Fast forward to the present, and Barbara Comstock, Congresswoman-Elect for Virginia’s 10th District, was herself honored with this year’s 2014 Character Does Count Award.

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A Perfect Score

Ellen Kim, 16, from McLean achieves perfect score on the PSAT.

Every year in October, roughly 3.5 million high school students across the country take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The test is used for entry into the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) Competition, which can provide college scholarships to eligible students who achieve high scores.

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Charles Clinton Thompson II Dies at 72

McLean resident was an award-winning journalist, decorated Naval officer.

Charles Clinton Thompson II, 72, of McLean died Dec. 15, 2014 at Perry Point Veteran’s Medical Center in Perry Point, Md., with his wife and sons by his side. Thompson, known as “Charlie,” was an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter for “60 Minutes,” author, and decorated Naval officer who served bravely in Vietnam.

Art Show to Honor Reston’s Official Bird

Friends of Reston is hosting a Children’s Art Show at the Walker Nature Center in celebration of the new Official Bird of Reston, the Pileated Woodpecker. Deadline for art is Saturday, Jan. 31 by 1 p.m. All submitted art will be displayed inside the Walker Nature Center’s Nature House from Sunday, Feb. 1 until Saturday, Feb. 7, and posted on its Facebook page.

Fairfax Cops Block Geer Killing Investigations

Finally some of the smoke is clearing. Sixteen months after unarmed John Geer was killed standing in his doorway by an unidentified Fairfax County Police officer we are getting an explanation of the wall of silence surrounding his death. In response to an inquiry by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney (prosecutor) Raymond Morrogh revealed why he failed to complete his investigation into Mr. Geer’s killing and took the unusual step of passing the case to the U.S. Attorney (U.S. Justice Dept.) a year ago.

Redistricting Remains an Issue

Although the drawing of legislative district lines is supposed to take place each decade after the federal census, the controversy over where and how lines are drawn keeps the issues alive every year. Most recently a federal court declared the current Congressional district lines in Virginia invalid because the way the lines are drawn discriminates against minorities being able to get elected. Essentially the black population is packed into one district.

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Murder Mystery at Reston Stage

Reston Community Players to present thriller “Rehearsal for Murder.”

"Be ready for a suspenseful murder mystery," said cast member Wilson Paine (Reston) describing the Reston Community Players next show, "Rehearsal for Murder." Mystery, love and being led in the wrong direction are central to what happens in this story about the search for the truth.

Letter to the Editor: Fairness for All – the Lake Anne RELAC Decision

To the Editor: As we turn the calendar to a new year, some of our Reston neighbors will be facing an important vote in January that affects their summertime comfort. Covenant 15 of the Reston Association Deed requires 343 households to use the 50+ year old Reston Lake Anne Air-Conditioning Corporation cooling system (RELAC), unless they receive an annual medical exemption -- a nightmare when the unit goes up for resale.

Letter to the Editor: Hateful Tweets Call for Action

To the Editor: I would like to applaud the Reston Connection for its coverage of FCPS Superintendent Garza's meeting with concerned parents on Dec. 3 (“County Superintendent Listens to Reston,” Connection, December 10-16, 2014).

Letter to the Editor: Taking Exception on Express Lanes

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

Anna Deavere Smith to Highlight MLK Birthday Celebration

Anna Deavere Smith will highlight Reston Community Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Birthday celebration at the Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Hunters Woods, Reston. Events are Sunday, Jan. 18 and Monday, Jan. 19.

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Collecting Toys for Tots, Donations for FISH

Reston's National Realty was again an official drop-off for the annual Toys for Tots campaign as well as donations to Herndon-Reston FISH. Both provide toys to local children.

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Spreading Holiday Cheer on Christmas Morning

These three "wise men" were spreading holiday cheer on Christmas morning by passing out free donuts, coffee and orange juice in front of Vienna Presbyterian Church (VPC).

Column: Down and Not Out, Yet

Thankfully (so far as I know, which isn’t very far), after a five-week interval between infusions, which included two additional weeks of pre-chemotherapy lab work and an out-of-the-ordinary 24-hour urine collection (“creatinine clearance”) to boot – to more accurately measure my kidney function in hopes of meeting a 1.6 threshold – muster was finally passed, and I was subsequently infused without any further adieu.

Vienna in 2015: Community Leaders Share Their Outlook

Political and business representatives address issues facing community in new year.

What’s on the horizon for the Vienna-Oakton community in 2015? What issues will local officials and business people address in the new year? Community leaders share their outlook for Vienna-Oakton in 2015.

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Vienna Welcomes 2015

VBA Partners with Town for First Night Celebration

Thousands of revelers – of all ages – stepped out in the seasonally-chilly weather to celebrate New Year’s Eve along Church Street in Vienna. Sponsored by the Vienna Business Association and the Town of Vienna, the second annual First Night Vienna celebration took over five venues – tent and indoors - to offer non-stop family-friendly entertainment.

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Remodeled Home Tour To Benefit Therapeutic Riding Program

Open house on Jan. 10 will help support disabled children and Wounded Warriors.

A tour of a recently remodeled Oakton home will benefit the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, a 30-year-old non-profit that provides horseback riding experiences to children and adults with disabilities. The tour and networking event will be held at the home of Bill and Ginny Craig on Jan. 10, noon-4 p.m. Craig, who is also an avid rider, serves on riding program's board of directors.

Overnight I-66 Closures in January

All lanes of Interstate 66 in one direction will close intermittently between midnight and 5 a.m. on several dates in January for the installation of gantries. Each closure will last up to 30 minutes.

Letter to the Editor: A Wonderful Article

To the Editor: What a wonderful article you wrote, Kareese (“How I Left…” by Kareese Akinloba, grade 8, Irving Middle School, Children’s Connection, January 1-7, 2015). Your writing ability is beyond your years.

Accidental Burke Townhouse Fire

Fairfax County Fire and rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, at approximately 10:20 a.m., in the Burke area of Fairfax County. The single-family townhouse is located at 6123 Pond Lily Court.

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Alexandria's Year of the Manhunt

Local law enforcement looks back on pursuing a killer and plans ahead for 2015’s goals.

For much of Alexandria’s law enforcement, 2014 was defined by a manhunt across state boundaries to catch a suspect in killings that haunted the city’s streets for 10 years. In 2015, the most immediate concern for the police and sheriff’s office is the no less complicated task of finding a way to maintain their efficiency with the prospect of a tightening budget from the city.

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Alexandria Budget Looms Over 2015 Plans

Alexandria city officials discuss goals and funding for 2015.

For Alexandria City Council, 2015 kicks off with a continuing discussion of the budget and the city’s priorities. With an anticipated decrease in federal spending, city officials are preparing for a difficult budget process.

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Addressing Growing Student Population in Arlington

New schools and boundary changes in the works in Arlington Public Schools.

While the rest of county moves into the new year, Arlington County Schools are finding themselves in the middle of a challenging one. Arlington schools have faced a 21 percent increase in student population over the last five years and anticipate a 19 percent increase over the next five. This has put a strain on school resources, and consequently has forced the schools to ask for budget increases. Meanwhile, the schools have begun plans to shift school boundaries to spread the student population as evenly as possible.

Tuesday, January 6

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Kathleen Murphy wins 34th District

Voters turn up despite snow storm.

Kathleen Murphy was greeted with cheers by more than a hundred supporters as she entered her victory party at McLean Community Center. The democrat won the 34th District seat of the state House of Delegates, 6,406 to 6,082, on Tuesday after Republican Craig Parisot conceded the race.

Thursday, January 1

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Children's Connection 2014

This week, the Connection turns over its pages to the youth and students.