Stories for July 2015

Stories for July 2015


Friday, July 31

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Cartoon: Mission Accomplished

NASA discovers new rocky planet outside of the solar system, Kepler 425b.

Alexandria and Mount Vernon Sports Brief: Senior Olympics Offers Variety of Events

The 2015 NVSO will be held Sept. 12-25 at 23 venues throughout Northern Virginia. More than 50 events are open to adults 50-plus years of age living in a sponsoring jurisdiction. NVSO is sponsored by the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Fauquier and Prince William.

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Weekend Fun in Fairfax County - July 31-Aug. 9, 2015

A roundup of entertaining things to do this weekend.

A roundup of fun things to do this weekend in Fairfax county.

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Potomac Snapshot: Game of Strategy

From left: Mark Chen, Amber Tien looking on, and Nathaniel Tessema, play a game of chess on Saturday, July 25 at the Potomac Library. Their game ended in a stalemate. The Potomac Chess Group invites participants of all ages to play chess at the library on Saturdays from 3 to 5 p.m.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Mount Vernon teen Will Shute, far right, delivers food donated by Mount Vernon area residents to UCM’s Food Pantry

Thursday, July 30

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Burke: Residents of Olde Forge-Surrey Square Rally for Playground

The original public playgrounds in Olde Forge-Surrey Square -- dating back to the 1960s -- were past repairs and upgrades. For the sake of safety and continued fun for children and their parents, they needed to be replaced.

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Fairfax Station and Clifton: Teens Charged in Little Rocky Run Car Fires

Four teenagers from the Centreville and Clifton area were charged with setting fire to vehicles, Fairfax County Police announced July 23, associated with 11 vehicle fires in the Little Rocky Run neighborhood over the last several weeks.

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Fairfax Station: Saving the Whitehall Family Farm

Growing responsibly and benefitting veterans

As Fairfax resident Jeff Waters guided his nimble four-wheeling cart over a bumpy dirt path through the woods on his family’s 200-plus-acre farm, he said confidently, “It’s a lot closer to being done than it looks.”

The Week in Springfield

Thomas R. Lienau, 53, of Springfield was charged on July 24 with the second degree murder of Mohammed Moshin Najim, 25, according to Fairfax County Police.

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Fairfax County Ad Hoc Commission Subcommittees Report

“It is well past time for the Fairfax County Police Department to start providing timely, honest and effective communications with everything it does.” When former director of Fairfax County public affairs Merni Fitzgerald delivered the final report and recommendations of the communications subcommittee of the Fairfax County ad hoc commission to review police practices, commissioner Joseph Cammarata responded immediately to those words in report’s introduction.

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Fairfax: Special Grand Jury Begins Hearing Testimony in John Geer Case

Since shooting John Geer dead in the doorway of his Springfield home on Aug. 29, 2013, PFC Adam Torres of the Fairfax County Police Department has remained at work, albeit out of the field, but undisciplined by police and unprosecuted for any criminal wrongdoing.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: July 31-Aug. 9

Events in and near Alexandria and Mount Vernon.

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Fairfax County School Board Honors Retiring Leaders, Adopts Budget Review and Audit Plan

In their last meeting of the summer, Fairfax County School Board members began by remembering former superintendent Dr. Robert Spillane, who recently died, and recognizing outgoing members of the school system’s leadership team.

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Mount Vernon: Fort Hunt High School Alumni Gather for Reunion

Alumni dedicate engraved memorial garden.

Approximately 250 alumni, teachers, administrators, parents and family participated in dedicating a memorial garden at Carl Sandburg Middle School on July 25 to memorialize the old Fort Hunt High School and those alumni who died.

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Tons of Trucks’ Drive to Success

Event sparks memories, old and new.

Passing showers could not keep away the hundreds of eager people searching Chinquapin Park for long lost loves and new found interests in every day city vehicles. The inaugural event on Saturday, July 18 hosted seven departments including the fire department and Alexandria County Public Schools.

People At Work: City’s Sign Fabricator

Meeting an ever-increasing need for signs.

The black wedge jerks back and forth, making small cuts in the shiny red vinyl. Two or three minutes later Abraham (“they call me Abe here”) Kifle, sign fabricator for the City of Alexandria, cuts off the 24-inch rectangle from the large roll with his sharp blade.

Letter: Executive Interference?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Following the unjust and unprovoked shooting death of unarmed David A. Masters on Nov. 13, 2007 by Fairfax County Police Officer David Scott Ziants who was ultimately fired for “improper use of deadly force,” I organized the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc., as a nonprofit corporation.

Letter: Understanding Development

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: What is there about the simple words "by right" that retired science educator Martin Tillett doesn't understand [“By Right Development, opinion, July 23-29, Mount Vernon Gazette].

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Alexandria: Frontlines Falter

... in city’s affordable housing war.

While the city prepares to gain a little over 100 affordable housing units at Potomac Yard and The Filmore, one of the city’s bastions of affordable housing is in the process of pricing out residents, formerly protected by a rent freeze, who can’t keep up with rapidly rising rent costs.

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Alexandria: Interning at Horatio Alger Association

High Point University rising junior Blake Pohanka is working with the Horatio Alger Association at her summer internship in her hometown of Alexandria.

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Arlington Weekend Fun: July 31-Aug. 9

Events in Arlington, Va.

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Alexandria: Visiting Community Lodgings

Lynn Thomas (near left), executive director of Community Lodgings, discusses the challenges of providing low-income and affordable housing with U. S. Rep. Don Beyer (D) (right) after they toured the nonprofit's transitional housing unit on Friday, July 24.

Letter: Change in Leadership

Coverage of plans for a Bill Euille write-in campaign have emphasized that Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg defeated the mayor by a narrow margin. While true, accompanying commentary has missed the larger point: 65 percent of those who voted in June 9 Democratic primary voted for a candidate other than the incumbent mayor.

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Alexandria: Old Colony Inn Faces Setback

Developer and neighbors go toe-to-toe over hotel expansion.

The Old Colony Inn in North Old Town off of the George Washington Parkway has a major upgrade planned. The two-story Best Western Hotel is planning to double its height and expand to include a restaurant on the corner.

Letter: Appropriate Recommendations

Although historical fact is close to objective, historical interpretation is very subjective. As painful as a lot of American history is, as Americans we need to be regularly reminded of it to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Letter: Revisiting Primary

It has been most amusing to read the letters in this paper about the Democratic primary and the results.

Letter: Is City ‘Well-Run?’

This replies to the letter to editor of July 23 [“City’s Wise Investments”] stating that Alexandria “cannot get any better” city finances; “we have an amazingly well-run city” and that “[w]e should re-elect our current City Council, including a write-in vote for Mayor Bill Euille ….” Really?

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Alexandria: 2015 Julia Johns Award of Distinction

Inova Alexandria Hospital CEO Susan Carroll, the Jones, Brock and Miller families join with the 2015 recipient of the Julia Johns Award of Distinction Allessandro Ghidini, M.D. at the 23rd annual 1872 Society membership reception on June 2.

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Alexandria: Smith, Ridgway Engaged

Lauren Elisabeth Smith met James Alan Ridgway, Jr. during March Madness (2014) on eHarmony.

Alexandria Brief: Shooting Victim Hospitalized

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred in the 1200 block of North Quaker Lane on Friday, July 24. At approximately 9:52 p.m., officers responded to an apartment complex for reports of a shooting.

Alexandria: Renaming Confederate Relics

A step towards reconciliation, really?

Renaming of streets and monuments of Confederate soldiers and generals some say would be a step in the right direction towards racial reconciliation. Besides the nightmarish logistics of renaming major thoroughfares, I question, for a moment, the optimism (even idealism) of the desired outcomes.

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Commentary: What Point-In-Time Count Means for Homelessness

On Jan. 28, 2015 the City of Alexandria counted 267 persons experiencing homelessness within the city during the annual Point-in-Time count, the exact same number as last year. While this number is just a one night snapshot of those who are either living on the streets or temporarily housed in shelters, it is full of meaning that needs to be carefully examined.

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Commentary: Value of New Next to Old

The debate rages in Alexandria about what our new waterfront should look like. It is an issue that our next mayor will be dealing with. One argument says that new buildings should fit in with existing brick buildings, mainly the two-story homes and townhouses that were built with local clay from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. This idea has been the guiding light for every building built in Alexandria for the last 20 some years. Every office building must be built with an outer brick shell.

Alexandria: Masked and Hungry Critters Are Coming Down to Earth

One of your neighbors might be a raccoon.

This is the time of year when Alexandrians might step out into a yard or alley and encounter a masked creature, wearing stripes. Raccoons, born in the trees in spring, are descending to street level to search for food.

Alexandria: 10 Things To Know about Local Drinking Water

Virginia American Water joins thousands of water utilities across the country in the release of its annual water quality report available on line at In honor of the occasion, Virginia American Water offers this list of the top 10 things everyone should know about their drinking water.

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Potomac Weekend Fun: July 31-Aug. 9

Events near Potomac for July 31-Aug.9

Alexandria Brief: City Benefits from Bond Ratings

After both major rating agencies reaffirmed the City of Alexandria’s top bond ratings, the city earned favorable interest rates on the competitive sale of new bonds and the refinancing of existing bonds.

Alexandria Brief: Street Improvements Underway

As part of the city’s Complete Streets and Street Resurfacing programs, safety improvements will be made at several locations in Alexandria this summer.

Alexandria Brief: Sheriff’s Office Reaccredited

The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office has been reaccredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). The office received its formal reaccreditation at a ceremony Saturday, July 25, during CALEA’s summer conference in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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Alexandria: Owen Retires from Marine Corps

Acknowledging that he would miss his colleagues in the Naval Aviation Training Systems Program Office (PMA-205), U.S. Marine Corps Col. David Owen, the Marine Corps department head for PMA-205, marked his retirement from the service July 10 during a ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md.

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Alexandria: Cold Treats for the Summer Heat

Gelato, ice cream shops rise to the occasion in the throes of summer.

Tucked half a block off of King Street in what was formerly a private residence at 111 S. Payne St., Casa Rosada’s pink-hued façade beckons pedestrians and drivers alike. The gelato café – whose name means “Pink House” in Spanish, an homage to the presidential residence of Argentina, the country where Casa Rosada’s owners hail from – has certainly made itself at home in Old Town in its 13 months of life.

Wednesday, July 29

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Alexandria Q&A: T.C. Williams Grad Holland to Play at Fairmont State

QB helped Titans reach playoffs in 2013, snapping 22-year drought.

Q&A with T.C. Williams graduate Darius Holland.

Chantilly: Westfield Grad Wants to Bring Back Girls’ Golf Team

Kara Moore recalls the benefits of golf during her time at Westfield.

Kara Moore was a four-time regional qualifier for the Westfield girls' golf team.

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Q&A: McLean’s Norton Committed to Indiana as Sophomore

Catcher is superstitious, listens to 30-song playlist on game days.

Q&A with McLean rising senior catcher Bella Norton.

Burke: Illinois De­-Commit Ohanian Faces Uncertain Future

Bishop O'Connell rising junior softball player and Burke resident Patty Maye Ohanian de-committed from the University of Illinois this summer.

Letter: Alexandria Strong

Letter to the Editor

In this great country, we have a system in place that allows its citizens to elect their representatives at all levels of government. With all of its flaws, it remains the best democratically representative system in the world.

Letter: Upcoming

Letter to the Editor

In “City’s Wise Investment,” [letter to the editor, July 23-29, Gazette Packet], the writer indicated that the City of Alexandria’s debt is “not an issue.” Of course it is not a current issue, since Alexandria has revised its debt guidelines recently to accommodate a $35 million budget deficit that would have otherwise required significant adjustments.

Letter: Don’t Oversimplify City Debt Issue

Letter to the Editor

A letter was printed last week citing the city’s AAA bond rating as evidence that (the) “City’s debt isn’t an issue.” The author, promoting a Bill Euille write-in campaign, characterizes other candidates who are talking about the need for better defined policy regarding debt limits, as “complaining,” and admonishes them

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Alexandria: The World of Accordion

City hosts the accordionists’ festival.

The performers hugged their bellows, and like a sigh of relief, the instrument breathed out its reedy melody. The New Jersey-based all-accordion orchestra, made up of 25 men and women, performed at the Holiday Inn ballroom, in front of fans, family, and fellow musicians at the American Accordionists’ Association Festival, July 8-12.

Column: On A Tangent

Not that I live day-to-day or even month-to-month, but I do live – in my head anyway – quarter-to-quarter; that interval representing the usual and customary time between my recurring diagnostic scans. The time when the rubber hits my road.

Obituary: Charlotte Elaine Kline Rixse


Charlotte Kline Rixse, 97, died on Sunday evening, July 19, 2015 at Goodwin House in Alexandria.

Obituary: Marcella Anderson


Marcella Anderson, of Alexandria, died in her home on Sunday, July 26, 2015.

Governor’s School Students Complete Research

Six students from high schools throughout Virginia — including West Potomac High School’s Hayden McCloud — presented their summer research projects at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science on July 17 in front of an audience of mentors, parents, peers, and members of the VIMS community.

Face of True Evil

To the Editor: Sometime prior to July 16 of this year Sully Plantation Historic Site, a Fairfax County park, hosted what it called a World War II "Bivouac."

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Fairfax: Family Sports Challenge Benefits ODB's Backpack Program

In spite of the morning rain, a Family Sports Challenge was held Saturday, July 18 at Van Dyck Park in the City of Fairfax to benefit Our Daily Bread's Collect for Kids Back to School Program.

Mount Vernon: West Potomac’s Gallagher Commits to Fresno State

Rising junior helped Wolverines reach Conference 7 final.

Martha Gallagher enjoyed her first trip to the West Coast enough that she decided to plan for a lengthy return.

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Fairfax: ‘Master Plan Wasn’t Finished Document’

City Council, Planning Commission discuss Fairfax Boulevard’s future.

In April 2012, the City of Fairfax adopted the Master Plan vision for the redevelopment of Fairfax Boulevard. It transformed this 3.5-mile corridor from transportation-oriented to more pedestrian friendly.

Fairfax: New Funding Rules for Road Projects

City must amend its Comprehensive Plan to qualify for state money.

There are now new rules jurisdictions have to follow to get state money for transportation projects. So if the City of Fairfax wants to obtain future funding, it’ll have to make some changes.

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Summer Reading: More Than Just a List of Books

The Summer Reading Program runs from June 19 to Sept. 5 and is open to children from birth to twelfth grade. Participants in sixth grade or younger are to read 15 books, and those in grades seven through twelve read six. Upon completion, the readers may bring their list into the library and submit it in exchange for an extensive coupon booklet, as well as getting to write their name on the local library wall of fame.

Column: Wind Energy

Wind energy needs to be a part of the renewable mix of energy sources in Virginia and the nation.

With the federal Clean Air Act requiring higher air quality standards, many fossil-fuel power plants will be closing or converting to other fuel sources.

Column: Keeping the Lid on in Fairfax County

We continue to experience cruelty and violence in this country in ways tragically unique in modern, industrialized societies.

Commentary: Scrap Toll Plan

This letter [dated July 21] is to respectfully request that you terminate plans to place a toll on I-66 inside the Beltway to fund the walking trails, bike paths and other multi-modal projects inside the Beltway described in your March 12, 2015 public presentation on this subject.

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Centre View: Troop 1548: Through All Kinds of Weather

Troop 1548, led by Scoutmaster Phil Quinn, is known as the All Weather Troop.

Centre View: Christopher D. Brown Attending Virginia Tech

Christopher D. Brown will be attending Virginia Tech as a member of the Corps of Cadets/Air Force ROTC and majoring in meteorology starting this fall.

Centre View: Mentored by Wynton Marsalis

Westfield student participates in Summer Jazz Academy.

Dylan Cooper, a jazz pianist from Centreville, will perform with the Summer Jazz Academy, directed by Wynton Marsalis, at the Castleton Festival this weekend.

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Chantilly: A Group Gathers to Break into Guinness Book of World Records

Crime Prevention Officer Michelle Alexander and School Resource Officers Joe Woloszyn and Josh Kennon helped break a world record on Thursday, July 23 at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.

Letter: ‘Is Nothing Sacred?’

The massacre of nine African-Americans in Charleston, S.C., by a suspected domestic terrorist has left the entire nation shell-shocked and horrified.

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Centreville: Homes Instead of Offices at Trinity Centre

Developer wants to build 355 apartments at the Trinity Centre.

As the area office market continues to stall, more and more land-use applications are proposing to replace planned office uses with residential communities. One of the latest proposals is at the Trinity Centre, off Route 29, in Centreville.

Centreville/Chantilly Roundups for the Week of July 29

Certified technicians from the Sully District Police Station will perform free, child safety carseat inspections Thursday, July 30, from 5-8:30 p.m., at the station, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly.

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Chantilly: Getting a Look At Officer Training

Residents tour county’s Criminal Justice Academy.

About 30 local residents recently got a behind-the-scenes look at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy. They learned what recruits go through to become police officers and participated in a training scenario.

Column: Reforming Liquor Control in Montgomery County


Today [July 28] the County Council unanimously passed a resolution that asks our state delegation to reform a significant part of the county’s antiquated liquor control system.

Potomac: Focusing on Accessible Taxicab Services

The County Council approved bills Tuesday, July 28, to provide opportunities to have more taxicabs available and address working conditions for some drivers.

Potomac: Senior Connection Seeks Volunteers

Equipped with RideScheduler, a web-based system for scheduling transportation to seniors in Montgomery County, Senior Connection’s 136 volunteer drivers have given 5,636 rides at no charge to 387 clients since last August.

Tuesday, July 28

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Vienna: Riverdogs Advance to Cal Ripken League Semifinals

Vienna to face three-time defending champion Baltimore Redbirds.

The Vienna Riverdogs will face the Baltimore Redbirts in the CRCBL semifinals.

Letter: Lift U.S. Ban On Oil Exports

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Forty years ago, at the height of the 1970s energy crisis, Congress passed a law banning exports of oil from the lower 48 states. The law was intended to limit America’s dependence on imported oil by keeping domestic oil from leaving the country. It was not successful – oil imports continued to climb for decades. But the law stayed on the books.

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Riverbend Park’s Summer Attraction: Kayaking

Riverbend Park is a popular outdoor destination as its fishing and hiking trails exhibit the diverse wildlife in Great Falls, yet kayaking is the biggest hit during the summer months.

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Seeing Red: After Four Years In Limbo Arlington Will Have New Retail Plan

Arlington County approves new retail plan.

After nearly four years, Arlington’s new retail plan passed through the County Board on a 4-1 vote. But despite its “flexible new approach,” many in the county took issue with the plan’s restrictive “Red Streets.”

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River Bend Swimmers Excel at All-Star Meet

Sunday, July 26 at Westwood Country Club was not a usual swim meet. It was the All-Star meet, where the best of the best competed in a total of 48 individual events.

Summer Reading Made Fun at Dolley Madison Library

Children break free of their parent’s hand and saunter into the library, chin up and grinning from ear to ear, and trade their Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) summer reading logs for a coupon booklet.

Arlington: “Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for Aug. 3-7.

A View from Wiehle-Reston: D.C. Gets Closer

Taking a train from Reston: Commuters express satisfaction and some criticism.

These are some of the mixed emotions coming to light in conversations with commuters reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the new Silver Line Metro operation.

Letter: Virginia Hospital Center ‘Rocks’

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: In my mind, there is no uncertainty as to why Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) is one of the top 100 hospitals in the country.

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‘Impressive’ Change

Commuters discuss conveniences of Silver Line.

July 26 marked the first anniversary of the Metro’s Silver Line opening.

Arlington: Strain, 76, Sways to the Music

And dances the night away.

Arlington resident, Robert (Bob) Strain, 76, has not let the “golden years” slow him down.

Happy Birthday Silver Line, and Many More

Reactions to the $3 billion project up and down the line.

”Herndon is ready,” said Mayor Lisa Merkel, regarding Herndon’s future Silver Line stop. Merkel dubbed Herndon, “A Next Generation Small Town.”

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Happy Birthday Silver Line, and Many More

Reactions to the $3 billion project up and down the line.

”Herndon is ready,” said Mayor Lisa Merkel, regarding Herndon’s future Silver Line stop. Merkel dubbed Herndon, “A Next Generation Small Town.”

Vienna Art Center Hosts Young Chinese Art Students

Children from Hope Chinese School Fairfax and from Beijing participate in art center’s evening workshop.

The Vienna Art Center, on Thursday, July 23, hosted a group of young Chinese art students, most from the Northern Virginia area but some from Beijing, as well.

Vienna Art Center Hosts Young Chinese Art Students

Children from Hope Chinese School Fairfax and from Beijing participate in art center’s evening workshop.

The Vienna Art Center, on Thursday, July 23, hosted a group of young Chinese art students, most from the Northern Virginia area but some from Beijing, as well.

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Tony Lucca and ZZ Ward Rock Tysons Plaza

Fans of all ages gathered on the Tysons Corner Plaza last Friday for good music, laughs and stunning views of the sunset.

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Sew What?

Visiting Miss Cathy’s Sewing Camp in Great Falls.

Scintillating seams and life lessons abound during a two-week sewing camp helmed by Cathy Moran — local business wiz, born teacher, and mother to four vivacious red-heads — as part of The Great Falls Foundation for the Art community summer programs.

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Arlington: Retirement Party

But of course she will never retire.

It was the retirement party for Gail Arnall, executive director for 10 years of Offender's Aid and Restoration (OAR). "But," as her friend from 1973, Belle O'Brien, said as she is putting flowers on each table, "if you believe she is retiring, you don't know Gail."

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Arlington: Program Targets 'Deadbeats'

Arlington County pursues child support payments.

You should always pay your child support. But if you live in Arlington, you might want to take special care that the check in the mail makes it out on time. If you’ve been ignoring the court warnings about falling behind on payments, there’s a good chance your face could be on the Arlington Sheriff’s Office’s “Deadbeat Parents” wall.

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Arlington: TACT Finishes Run with ‘Twelve Angry Men’

After 20 years of local theater productions, company set to close shop.

The American Century Theater (TACT) in Arlington is staging "Twelve Angry Men" as its final play, now through Aug. 8, at Gunston Theatre Two — culminating 20 years of staging local theater productions, and finishing off with the one show that began it all.

Friday, July 24

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Potomac: Squeals on Wheels Welcomes New Piglets

The Squeals on Wheels mobile petting zoo in Potomac has two new baby piglets that were born on July 10. For more inofmration on Squeals on Wheels, visit

Thursday, July 23

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Burke: Terra Centre Elementary School Renovation Nearly Completed

Molly Field, of Burke, is going on her 13th year as a Terra Centre Elementary School parent. Her third of three children will be in sixth grade there this fall. And though the educational experience hasn’t been lacking for her, friends have referred to the school as “The Shire,” a subtle dig at the mid-1970s design to be more efficient and environmentally friendly by using a green roof and sealing off many opportunities for natural light in favor of heating and cooling cost savings.

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Springfield Athlete to Compete in Special Olympics World Games

Karen Dickerson has run 16 marathons, well on the way to reaching her goal of completing one in every state in America. At 29, Dickerson has been a Special Olympics athlete for 18 years.

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Fairfax Station: New Christ Church to open in August

This is what the founders of Christ Church first envisioned in the mid-1980s. Though they first met in elementary schools, including Silverbrook Elementary school in Fairfax Station, the idea was always to form a regional church with a major road presence, said the current church executive director Debra Merrill.

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Springfield: Cottontail Swim Team Raises Money for Haiti

Members of the Cottontail Cobias summer league swim team know that not everyone has a 25-meter pool to swim in -- much less clean water to drink.

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Burke & Springfield: New Giant Draws from Virginia Farms

Last month, a new 50,000-square foot Giant Food grocery store opened in the Kings Park Shopping Center at 8970 Burke Lake Road in Springfield.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon: July 24-Aug. 2

Events near Alexandria and Mount Vernon, Va.

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Arlington Weekend Fun: July 24-Aug. 2

Events in Arlington County, Va.

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Potomac Weekend Fun: July 24-Aug. 2

Upcoming events near Potomac.

Wednesday, July 22

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Fort Hunt Team Brings Home District Championship

11 years since the last title for this age group.

It’s two hours before the District 9 Championship game and Head Coach Terry Trenchard is going for a swim.

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Centre View: ‘Impeccable Work Ethic’

Police PFC Earl Culbertson is honored as the Officer of the Month.

Reliable, a team player and a skilled motorcycle rider — that’s how Lt. Tim Burgess describes police PFC Earl D. Culbertson. In fact, as Culbertson’s supervisor, Burgess thinks so highly of him that he nominated him for Officer of the Month.

Alexandria Firefighter a Pass-Catching Force for D.C. Divas

Whisonant won bodybuilding title at World Police and Fire Games.

The D.C. Divas will play on July 25 for a chance to go to the WFA national championship game.

Centre View: Crime Report for the Week of July 21

The following incidents were reported by the Fair Oaks District Police Station.

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Centre View: ‘Experimental Bar’

Dominion Foundation is donating $125,000 to support the Children’s Science Center Lab’s “Experimental Bar” at Fair Oaks Mall.

Alexandria: Harold John Berman, Local Dermatologist, Dies at 87

Active in the Alexandria Medical Society.

Harold John Berman, a dermatologist who practiced in Alexandria for more than 54 years, died June 28 at Suburban Hospital of respiratory complications. He was 87.

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Arlington: Yorktown Graduate Wood Plays in Third Ripken League All-Star Game

6-foot-6 slugger totaled 8 home runs, 32 RBIs at WVU in 2015.

Yorktown graduate Shaun Wood hit eight home runs and totaled 32 RBIs for the West Virginia University baseball team in 2015.

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Alexandria: Land, Air, Sea

EYA reveals historic influences for Robinson Terminal South development.

Despite a long struggle with local residents, plans for Robinson Terminal South’s redevelopment into an apartment and retail space are moving forward.

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Burke: Lake Braddock Grad Owens Plays in Ripken League All-Star Game

Former ECU middle infielder to play at Virginia Tech.

Vienna River Dogs infielder and 2014 Lake Braddock graduate Jack Owens played in his first Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League all-star game.

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Alexandria: Assembling Social Justice League

Social Services Advisory Board regroups and refocuses.

Everyone on the Social Services Advisory Board was there for different reasons, and most have concerns related to a specific human services need.

Column: 'Abyssful' Ignorance

Hopefully not. But you never know – per last week’s column, until you know. And the preferred pattern seems to be that waiting to be spoken to in person, a week or so post-scan, is the best the process can be; or at least, that’s the process that suits the doctor/HMO.

Letter: Silence from Morrogh?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: On Feb. 3, 2015, Natasha McKenna, a mentally ill woman, was shot four times with a taser by a guard at the Fairfax County jail.

Letter: Violate 5th Amendment?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: I have appreciated the opportunity to share my opinions with Gazette readers in hundreds of letters to the editor. Out of respect for Gazette readers, I make best efforts to ensure that the factual underpinnings of my opinions are accurate, complete and documented. If the Gazette held other frequent contributors to the same standard, perhaps I wouldn’t find it necessary to submit so many letters and articles for publication.

Column: By Right Development: Does It Work for Chesapeake Bay?

Time to reconsider public policy in the area of land use controls.

Our system of federal, state and local governance all have roles in providing public services for the citizenry.

Great Falls: Langley Boys’ Lacrosse Coach Brewer Retires After 21 Seasons

Brewer totaled 288 wins, 4 state titles with Saxons.

Long-time Langley boys' lacrosse coach Earl Brewer retires after 21 seasons with the Saxons.

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Mount Vernon: Fresh Produce

Every Saturday morning, Oliver Keckler wakes up early to load a truck full of fresh fruits and vegetables and bring them to a farm stand located on Fort Hunt Road.

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Mount Vernon: Not Willing To Wait

Elected officials and candidates discuss Bus Rapid Transit and Metro expansion timetables.

Waiting at least 11 years for implementing a Bus Rapid Transit system along the Route 1 corridor and 25 years to extend the Metrorail Yellow Line to Hybla Valley is too much time.

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Vienna: Koshuta Twins Overcame ACL Injuries

Kelly will play basketball at Virginia Tech, Joe to play football.

The Koshuta twins each suffered an ACL injury while at Madison, but each will play a sport at Virginia Tech.

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Fairfax Residents Have Concerns about 80-Condo Project

Worried about water runoff, building height and view.

Although IDI-RJL Development LLC hoped the Fairfax City Council would green-light its condo project in June, both the Council members and local residents voiced many concerns.

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Mount Vernon: Students Receive Battelle-UCM Scholarships

United Community Ministries (UCM) and Battelle awarded their Battelle-UCM Scholars for 2015.

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Mount Vernon: UCM Presents Valencourt Scholarships

United Community Ministries (UCM) has presented its Valencourt Scholarship Fund awards for 2015.

Mount Vernon: Human Remains Discovered In Mount Vernon Area Woods

A man walking in the woods near Woodlawn Park discovered decomposing human remains and contacted police.

Arthur V. ‘Art’ Fox, Alexandria Waterfront Commissioner, Dies at 72

Fourth of July celebrations in Alexandria are traditionally low key as the city formally celebrates its own birthday a week later with a fireworks display over the Potomac River. The exception was the Old Town home of Art Fox, where for years an invitation to his annual Independence Day party was one of the most sought after in town.

Rowing for Loyola

Lillian Lane, a 2015 West Potomac High School graduate, committed to row for the Loyola University Maryland crew team next year.

Alexandria: AWLA’s Got Seoul

A local response to global issue.

It is hard to imagine that dogs in some parts of the world are being prepared for brutal deaths to become human food.

Alexandria People at Work: Midwife Says Full Moons Bring on the Babies

Jennifer Argueta has first call for 24 hours beginning Saturday at 10 p.m. "First call almost always means a baby," Argueta said. She is a midwife at BirthCare & Women's Health on King Street in Alexandria.

Alexandria: Summer Tips for Pet Lovers

From the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

Be sure your pets have access to fresh water and shelter from the sun. Fair-skinned dogs or those with light coats and exposed skin should wear sunscreen or be kept inside during peak hours of sun exposure.

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Alexandria: AWLA Hosting 2016 Alexandria Animal of the Year Contest

Does your dog look at a camera and smile, or do your cats like to snuggle together? Or maybe your guinea pig shares dried papaya with your cockatoo? If your pet is especially adorable, capture the moment, and he or she could become the 2016 Alexandria Animal of the Year.

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Children’s Science Center Lab Opens in Fairfax

Hands on STEM experience at the mall.

The Children’s Science Center Lab opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax on Monday, July 20.

Letter: Empty Rhetoric

Letter to the Editor

Having recently questioned the Gazette for its silence on the ongoing saga of Hunting Point aka The Bridgeyard, I was happy to see the coverage on the Planning Commission’s approval of the proposed clubhouse there.

Letter: City’s Wise Investments

Letter to the Editor

The City of Alexandria just received a bond rating upgrade — to AAA stable. You cannot get any better than this!

Alexandria: ‘Senior Academy’ To Launch This Fall

Senior Services of Alexandria

Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) along with the City of Alexandria is reaching out to seniors 60 and over to participate in a 4-week “Senior Academy.” The Academy’s goal to inform Alexandria residents about the various city government programs and services available to seniors and to encourage them to get involved in all that the city has to offer.

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Alexandria: ‘Listening’ to Vesey Folk Opera

At Black History Museum

"It was a much-needed break from technopoly," said one theatregoer at a recent Wednesday evening at The Black History Museum in Alexandria. Technopoly is a term often used today to describe how technology monopolizes our daily lives.

Letter: Reminders of Oppression

Letter to the Editor

The recent controversy over Confederate memories has really made me to start thinking about our memories that are preserved. Then I realized that here in the USA, especially the East we have so many reminders of an old regime of which we are no longer apart.

Letter: Rules for The Road

Letter to the Editor

When will Alexandria take a cue from Arlington County with the portable "State Law" pedestrian crosswalk signs. From eastbound Braddock Road at the crosswalk/train tracks, to Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray/Arlandria and elsewhere, they are constantly moved into lanes of traffic presumably by pedestrians and I'm guessing transit bus drivers.

Letter: Ignoble Cause

Letter to the Editor

The flying and subsequent removal of the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds in Columbia, S.C., has focused attention on symbols of the Confederacy elsewhere.

Editorial: What’s Special about Alexandria?

Share tips in upcoming Newcomers and Community Guide.

The Gazette Packet’s annual Newcomers and Community Guide will publish Aug. 26. A bevy of interns, plus staff writers and editors, are preparing this year’s editions, but we need help from our readers.

Tuesday, July 21

Centre View Area Roundup

Centre View Area Roundups for the week of July 19.

Letter: Issues over Improving I-66

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: The following was approved by the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations’ Executive Committee as its June 30, 2015 meeting.

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A Business Tailor-Made for Potomac

Transplanting a business from Iowa to here.

Two and a half years ago, Sung Lee and his wife Jung Park hung a sign over their new business — Potomac Custom Tailor, located in the heart of Potomac Village in the townhouses just up the hill from the Giant.

Centre View: Crime Report for the Week of July 21

The following incidents were reported by the Sully District Police Station:

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Centre View: Wanted: 2,300 School Backpacks

WFCM asks community to help local children in need.

Once again, Western Fairfax Christian Ministries (WFCM) is collecting new backpacks for local students in need. Its goal is to provide backpacks for 2,300 qualified, low- income children attending schools in the Centreville, Chantilly and Westfield high school pyramids.

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Centreville/Chantilly: Recognizing Local Police and Firefighters

A look at Centreville High’s First Responders Support Club.

High schools offer a variety of extracurricular clubs for students, such as chess, language and robotics. But at Centreville High, students may also join the First Responders Support Club.

Arlington: “Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs, for July 27-Aug. 1.

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Centre View: Scouts Host Bicycle Rodeo

Sully District, of the National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, held a Bicycle Rodeo as part of its Summertime Activities Program.

Week in Great Falls

Weekly happenings in Great Falls

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Enjoying OCEAN at McLean Central Park

Jennifer Cutting’s orchestra enchants McLean residents.

Jennifer Cutting’s Celtic OCEAN Orchestra mesmerized the audience at the McLean Central Park this Sunday, blending rock ‘n’ roll rhythms, Celtic jigs, and Classical influences into one exhilarating performance.

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Arlington Swim Notes: WGCC Goes 4-0 In Dual Meet

On July 14, the Washington Golf and Country Club (WGCC) Lightning swim team hosted their cross-town rivals, the swim team from Army- Navy in Country Club Swimming and Diving Association (CCSDA) Division-A action.

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Potomac: Former Resident Offers Patented Self-Tied Bowties

Bowties witness growing market.

A former Potomac resident and self-described East Coast person at heart, Janice Howard has discovered how to tie a better bowtie.

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Great Falls: Claude Moore Colonial Farm Hosts 2015 Market Fair

Visitors from all over attended the 18th Century Colonial Fair, immersing themselves in the colonial times through food, merchandise and traditional activities.

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Potomac: Chapstick, the Healing Cat

The mysteries of life are all around us. Sometimes the most inexplicable things happen. So it goes with the story of the sudden death of a beloved child and the unexpected appearance of a starving cat. While neither could ever be replacement for the other, the synchronicity of these two events cannot fail to inspire. Life is infinitely bigger than we can possibly grasp. So the story goes.

Week in Vienna

Weekly happenings in Vienna.

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Arlington: County Board Plans to Turn Parking Lot into Park

County Board approves advertisement of “National Mall-like” Courthouse plan.

Big changes are coming for the Courthouse Sector. A new civic building and a new county administration building are among the proposed additions to the site, as well as expansions onto nearby promenades and streetscapes.

Remembering Mac

This is my favorite picture of Mac, our family dog, and me. The picture was taken in 2011, shortly before I left for my freshman year in college.

Opinion: After One Year, Silver Line is Changing the Face of Northern Virginia

If you were among the thousands descending upon Tysons Corner Center this summer for the grand opening of the new Hyatt Hotel, which included a concert and fireworks, you experienced firsthand the transformation taking place there and throughout the Dulles Corridor thanks to the arrival of Metro’s Silver Line.

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Yorktown Graduate Wood Plays in Third Ripken League All-Star Game

6-foot-6 slugger totaled 8 home runs, 32 RBIs at WVU in 2015.

After graduating from Yorktown High School in 2011, Shaun Wood spent the next two years working toward his goal of playing baseball at the Division I level.

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Vienna: Cigar & More Truly Offers ‘More’

New specialty tobacco shop features premium cigars, shoe-shine, and history.

There’s a bespoke new store in Vienna, right on Maple Avenue, and here’s the unique aspect of Cigar & More: it is cigars and more.

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Potomac: Addressing Pet Overpopulation in the County

How the county and McPaw are helping, and how residents can make a difference.

If interested in adding a new pet to the family or if simply just like animals, consider making the drive to Derwood to visit the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center.

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Summer With Books in Great Falls

Great Falls Library promotes summer reading program.

Getting children to pick up a book over the summer is no easy feat. But the Fairfax County Public Libraries aim to do just that in their Summer Reading Program running from June 19 to Sept. 5.

People and Pets of Herndon

The Jensen family loves their new pup Ginger, a two-and-a-half-year-old beagle-dachshund mix. Ginger lives in Herndon with her family of four, who have been her proud owners for two months.

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Mary Anne Hampton Named 2015 ‘Friend in Deed’

Friends of the McLean Community Center recognize the ‘go to’ Board member.

The Friends of the McLean Community Center (FMCC) organization has named Mary Anne Hampton the recipient of its 2015 “Friend in Deed” award.

Letter: Real Problems Vs. Assumed Problems

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Ever heard the old joke about the definition of an HOA? A group of nervous ne'er-do-wells scared to death that somebody in their community is about to do something useful.

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Reston’s Best Friends Meet at Baron Cameron Park

The Reston Dog Park located on Baron Cameron Avenue has been a favorite spot for local residents, as the location has fostered a growing community of pet owners in Northern Virginia.

Potomac Brief: Hoeber Launches Exploratory Committee

Republican Amie Hoeber of Potomac announced Monday, July 20, the creation of an exploratory committee to examine running for Congress in Maryland’s 6th District.

Potomac Brief: Detectives Arrest Private School Teacher

Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division detectives have been investigating the report of inappropriate sexual contact between a private school teacher and two students that occurred to one student beginning in 2012 and to the other student beginning in 2015

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Reston: Ribbon Cutting Held For Robert E. Simon, Jr. Children's Center

Robert E. Simon, Jr. Children's Center, called a "hidden treasure" in Reston, held a grand opening on Saturday, July 18, at 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive in suite 120.

Column: Traveling Abroad

While I am far from a world traveler, I find the trips I take to other countries to be relaxing, fun and educational. I agree with those who stress the value of traveling abroad to a complete education.

Meet Best Friends of McLean

Best friends of McLean

Arlington: Muslims Gather in Dar al Hijrah Mosque as Ramadan Ends

Local Muslims count their blessings.

It was 8:38 on July 13, and it was Laylat al Qadr, or the Night of Destiny, at the Dar al Hijrah in Falls Church.

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Marymount Physical Therapy Students Honored for Fundraising Work

Physical Therapy students at Marymount University raised $5,700 for research in their field and were honored by the Foundation for Physical Therapy with an honorable mention award at its annual gala, held last month in National Harbor, Maryland.

People and Pets in Great Falls

People and Pets in Great Falls.

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New Pure Barre Studio Coming to Vienna

A studio workout routine fit for anybody that also works to give back to the community.

A new boutique fitness studio is coming to town. Nicholette Dunleavy and her husband Michael Dunleavy are opening a Pure Barre studio in Vienna.

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Arlington’s Role in South Korean Dog Rescue

Helping rescued dogs acclimate.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington took in three of the 23 puppies rescued by Humane Society International from a South Korean dog farm earlier this year. In just a few months, all three of the dogs had made it new, safe homes.

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Arlington: Local Muslims Celebrate at End of Ramadan

A month for spiritual renewal.

This Friday marked the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, for Muslims. For many area Muslims, Ramadan has meant going without food and drink from sunrise until sunset. Many evenings were spent at their local mosques praying, visiting with others, and eating iftar dinner, the first meal after breaking a day’s fast.

Arlington Leads Animal Shelters in Lives Saved

Volunteers’ efforts praised.

Saving lives since 1945, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington has been named the top of the area’s animal shelters with a 95 percent success rate for 2015 thanks to more than 500 volunteers contributing more than 25,000 hours.

Monday, July 20

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Weekend Fun in Fairfax County - July 24-Aug. 2, 2015

A roundup of entertaining things to do this weekend.

A roundup of fun things to do this weekend in Fairfax county.

Editorial: What’s Special about Your Community?

Share tips in upcoming Newcomers and Community Guides.

The Connection’s annual Newcomers and Community Guides will publish Aug. 26. A bevy of interns, plus staff writers and editors, are preparing this year’s editions, but we need help from our readers.

Friday, July 17

Buying Fresh Produce at The Clarendon Farmer's Market

Another afternoon of rain in Arlington: Stan Lou has stopped on his way home at the Wednesday afternoon Clarendon Farmer’s Market to pick up corn on the cob. He packs it on top of the tomatoes in his bicycle saddlebag.

Thursday, July 16

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 173 homes sold between $2,368,591-$200,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: June, 2015

Springfield Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 238 Springfield homes sold between $1,176,000-$160,000.

Springfield Home Sales: June, 2015

Reston Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 126 Reston homes sold between $1,500,000-$165,000.

Reston Home Sales: June, 2015

Potomac Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 95 Potomac homes sold between $3,350,000-$213,593.

Potomac Home Sales: June, 2015

Mount Vernon Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 144 homes sold between $1,670,000-$86,500 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: June, 2015

McLean Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 142 homes sold between $8,300,000-$229,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: June, 2015

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 128 homes sold between $1,470,000-$155,500 in the Oak Hill and Herndon area.

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: June, 2015

Great Falls Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 26 Great Falls homes sold between $1,700,000-$470,000.

Great Falls Home Sales: June, 2015

Fairfax Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 123 Fairfax homes sold between $1,020,000-$174,900.

Fairfax Home Sales: June, 2015

Chantilly Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 31 homes sold between $950,000-$50,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: June, 2015

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

In June, 2015, 102 homes sold between $1,320,000-$128,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

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

Centreville Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 144 Centreville homes sold between $1,154,015-$154,000.

Centreville Home Sales: June, 2015

Burke Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 96 Burke homes sold between $660,000-$140,000.

Burke Home Sales: June, 2015

Arlington Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 354 Arlington homes sold between $3,650,000-$7,000.

Arlington Home Sales: June, 2015

Alexandria Home Sales: June, 2015

In June, 2015, 269 Alexandria homes sold between $2,675,000-$104,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: June, 2015

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Baptist Youth Campers Repair Lorton Homes

Jeff Moten started the week with 31 teenagers on his lawn. Baptist youth from around Virginia arrived at his Lorton property around 9 a.m. on Monday, July 13. By 10, they had cleared much of the natural overgrowth in his front and back yards, begun stripping his home’s roof and removing debris from a rear room where the floor had collapsed.

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Burke: Volunteers and County Workers Recognized at Best of Braddock Awards

Thanks to Jim Watkins, a striking statue of a barracuda emerging from the water now graces the Commonwealth Swim Club. Watkins and other volunteers, members of the club, have helped maintain and repair areas of the facility, including restoration of the storm runoff channel, new lighting and landscaping.

Woman Reportedly Robbed and Shot in Fairfax

Fairfax County Police said detectives are currently investigating a robbery and shooting that took place on Kenerson Drive in Fairfax. Around 11:50 p.m. on July 11, a man and woman reportedly drove up to their home after spending the evening at a casino.

Fairfax County Police Release Updated In-Car Video Program Guidelines

In a January 2015 informational video, Fairfax County Police said around 600 of the department’s cruisers, spread across all eight law enforcement districts, were equipped with in-car video recording devices.

Lorton Woman Reportedly Robbed and Touched Inappropriately

A 33-year-old woman was robbed outside her car in a Lorton apartment complex around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday, July 5, according to Fairfax County Police and the Crime Solvers community program.

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: July 17-26

Events in Alexandria & Mount Vernon this week.

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Arlington Weekend Fun: July 17-26

Events near Arlington this week.

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Potomac Weekend Fun: July 17-26

Events near Potomac Md. for the week of

Wednesday, July 15

Q&A: TC Williams Rising Senior Tovsky Committed to Elon Baseball

Titan pitcher listens to Katy Perry, Kesha before games.

Q&A with T.C. Williams rising senior Andrew Tovsky.

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Q&A: Centreville Grad Newell To Play Lacrosse at JMU

US Lacrosse All-American fan of “Remember the Titans.”

Q&A with Centreville grad Caroline Wakefield.

Q&A: Madison’s Favero Committed to BYU Baseball

Pitcher nicknamed ‘Shooter’ after ‘Happy Gilmore’ character.

Q&A with Madison rising senior Matt Favero.

Fairfax: Billy Coulter Rocks Lake Royal

Fairfax locals gather for night of Americana music at lake hillside, for the first of Braddock Nights’ summer concerts.

Picnic blankets and lawn chairs coated the hillside at Lake Royal Friday, July 10, as dozens of Fairfax residents attended the first of Braddock Nights’ free musical performances this summer.

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Fairfax: Family, Friends Raise Cancer-Research Funds in Jimmy Breslin’s Name

A Fairfax County firefighter for 28 years, Jimmy Breslin died of cancer last year at age 55, but he’s never far from the thoughts of his friends and family. And in tribute to him, they raise money for and participate in The Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Lower Water Bills for City of Fairfax Residents

Fairfax Water equalizes rates 18 months earlier than expected.

Usually, as time goes on, people end up paying higher prices for everything. But that’s not the case for residents of the City of Fairfax. From now on, their water bills will be lower.

Glow-in-the-Dark Miniature Golf Opens in Springfield

Glowgolf, an operator of indoor, glow-in-the-dark,miniature golf courses based in Wichita, Kan., has opened a new location at Old Keene Mill Shopping Center.

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Q&A: Langley Grad West to Play Football at Lafayette

Running back listened to Lil Wayne before games.

Q&A with Langley High School graduate Tyler West.

Column: 'Scant' Know For Sure Anymore

After six years, four months and two weeks since being diagnosed with stage IV, non-small cell lung cancer (the “terminal” kind), I can say with certainty that I have no sense of what my next CT scan, scheduled for July 15th, will indicate. Previously (multiple scans over multiple years), I’ve felt something in my upper chest/lungs where the largest tumors are located and the subsequent scan showed nothing of consequence.

Q&A: West Springfield’s D’Anna Committed to IUP Hoops

All-region post player enjoys country music, scary movies.

Q&A with IUP commit Maura D'Anna.

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Q&A: Woodson Grad Breslin to Play Soccer at R-MC

Goalkeeper enjoys eating calamari, watching ‘Braveheart.’

Q&A with Woodson graduate Brian Breslin.

Letter: Ignoring Will Of the People?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Dan Storck, a current Fairfax County School (FCPS) Board Member from Mt. Vernon District is running for supervisor of that district. Will he listen to you and use essential reliable information to make informed decisions on issues, particularly controversial ones, if elected?

Letter: Anger and Disappointment

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: I would like to share with you a very disturbing scene that I witnessed over the weekend. I have not been able to shake the anger and disappointment that I have felt ever since, and so I am reaching out to you to help shed light on this issue.

Column: By Right Development: Does It Work for Chesapeake Bay?

By right development refers to projects that are permitted under their current zoning and do not require any legislative action by the Board of Supervisors or the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Obituary: Georgia Marie Peters Bruch

Georgia Marie Peters Bruch, beloved wife, mother and friend, died on July 7, 2015 in Richmond, Va.

Mount Vernon: New Commander at District Station

Captain Shawn Martin oversees Mount Vernon.

This month the Fairfax County Police Department promoted Lieutenant Shawn Martin to captain and assigned him as the new commander of the Mount Vernon District Station.

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Mount Vernon: Police Chief Provides Timeline on McKenna’s Death

Report sent to Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Natasha McKenna died while in the custody of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department on Feb. 8, 2015.

Q&A: McLean Lacrosse Standout Koehl Headed to Louisville

Former Highlander hates losing, loves pizza, chocolate.

Q&A with McLean High School graduate Elise Koehl.

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Alexandria: 2015 PLTI National Training Participants

For the fourth year in a row, the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) hosted the National Facilitator’s Training between July 10-12

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Mount Vernon: Police: Beware of Door-to-Door Tree Trimmers

Summer brings out scam artists.

An elderly widow recently answered the doorbell in her suburban Mount Vernon home. Standing on her porch was a stranger who offered tree care services and noted that he had worked for a neighbor across the street. The man then added that limbs on a large maple behind her house posed a danger to her and her house.

Alexandria Brief: ‘At Large’ Representative Sought for Fort Ward

The Fort Ward Management Plan Implementation Monitoring Group is now accepting nominations for an “at large” representative. On July 11, City Manager Mark Jinks announced that nominations could be submitted to Julie Fuerth at by July 20.

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Observing Ramadan in Alexandria

Holy month strengthens spiritual core.

Visit any area mosque these days and it’ll be abuzz.

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Mount Vernon: Free Meals During Summer

Virginia First Lady and NFL Player highlight Summer Food Service Program for Children.

Visiting with children at Hollin Meadows Elementary School, Dorothy McAuliffe playfully reminded them that as First Lady of Virginia, she’s not, in fact, Michelle Obama. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) wife was joined at the Mount Vernon-area school by San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith to meet with the children and hand out free lunches as part of the Summer Food Service Program.

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Alexandria: Framing History

From George Washington to today’s White House.

It was just about three weeks ago when Gary Eyler got a call on Tuesday to be in the White House briefing room on Wednesday for the unveiling of a replica of the original White House Correspondents Charter. The original had disappeared in 2007. Eyler had been asked to recreate it.

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Alexandria Appetite: A Taste of Ethiopia Near Home

Alexandria boasts several Ethiopian restaurants well worth your time and money.

Alexandria: Zarek Honored for Service with The Twig

Starlet G. Zarek of Alexandria was honored last month for her 25 years of service to The Twig, the junior auxiliary of Inova Alexandria Hospital.

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Alexandria: First Alexandrians

Alexandria celebrates its 266th and 13,000th birthday.

While many Alexandrians celebrated the city’s 266th birthday on July 11, in truth, residents have lived and commuted here much, much longer. No one at the festival could trace their roots to the first Alexandrians, and little to no written history remains to give detailed accounts of their lives, but historians at the Alexandria Archeology Museum examine flakes of stone tools and broken pottery to piece together what life was like for American Indians living in what is today Alexandria before colonists arrived.

Alexandria: Hunting Point is Trading Park For Clubhouse

Hunting Point plan reduces open space, raises community ire.

Following approval from the Alexandria Planning Commission, Hunting Point Apartments is moving forward with a plan to construct an 8,000-square-foot residential amenity building between the two apartment towers. But the new amenity comes with its own share of hidden costs, and not everyone at Hunting Point Apartments is happy with the addition.

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Alexandria: Mourning Loss of Sydney-Chanele Dawkins

Filmmaker, arts advocate dies at 47

Sydney-Chanele Dawkins, an award-winning filmmaker, film festival producer and former chair of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts, died July 8 at her home in Alexandria of complications from breast cancer. She was 47 years old.

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Weekend Fun in Fairfax County - July 17-26, 2015

A roundup of entertaining things to do this weekend.

A roundup of fun things to do this weekend in Fairfax county.

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Alexandria: City Celebrates 266th Birthday

ASO, fireworks highlight festivities.

The City of Alexandria celebrated its 266th birthday July 11 as more than 15,000 people enjoyed food, music and fireworks at Oronoco Bay Park.

Alexandria: Gathering Includes Banjos and Poetry

At “Wailin’ Ghosts of the Civil War,” a small group of Alexandrians gathered to hear the music and poetry of the Civil War on July 9 at the Athenaeum. Edgar Poe, a South Carolinian banjo player, performed songs from the Civil War between poetry from the era read by Peter Lattu, a local poet.

Alexandria: Backpacks for All

Thousands of students will begin school this fall at a disadvantage; help now so they have the basics.

The first day of school each year is fraught with anticipation and anxiety. Many local students will be concerned about what they wear, who they will see, what it will be like. They’ve already had multiple shopping trips, online and otherwise, to be sure they have the supplies and extras they need. We live in an area where many if not most families have the means and desire to do almost whatever it takes to give their children the best chances for success.

Alexandria: Helping a Model Citizen

Eve’s a homeowner who lives in a historic, beautiful home that was built in 1893. This fits Eve, a former model and caterer who is gracious, poised, and looks 20 years younger than her 77 years. Originally from Michigan, Eve came to visit D.C. in the 1960s and was taken with its charm. She finally moved in to Old Town in 1996. She loves the compliments the city receives. She worked at Mt. Vernon for 11 years, and often heard visitors from around the country say: “This town is so great I want to live here!” Even her son in law who lives in Connecticut regularly comments: “You live in the most charming city in the United States.” And she agrees.

Letter: Historic Lessons

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Regarding “Learn from History” [letter, July 9], the writer makes a case that, quite frankly, appalls me. Maybe he should take a little more time to seriously look at history in regards to the Civil War. He states that a “small fringe” of flag adherents use it as a racist hate symbol while the “vast majority” regard it as a symbol of other things. Not sure where his support for this statement comes from. A significant problem I have with this interpretation is that he is suggesting that all of the factors he names, “family/ancestral heritage, rebellion against central authority, local anatomy, hierarchical rather than (Marsian) egalitarianism, social order, resistance to abuse of power, etc.” should deserve equal status.

Letter: One Nation ... Indivisible

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: I was surprised at a letter last week [“Learn from History”], but then I realized that writer must be a young man. Those of us who lived through the ‘50s and ‘60s lived through the history of the Confederate flag being used as a symbol of defiance to the Supreme Court decisions on equal rights and desegregation as well as the Federal Government’s use of force to enforce these decisions. The Confederate flag did not fly over the South Carolina capitol building until that time, and I remember clearly the searing images of policemen in the south wearing the flag on their helmets, white supremacists using the flag as a clear symbol of opposition to what was happening, and simmering racism boiling over into the streets in many locations.

Letter: Disappointing Coverage

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: I was disappointed that your July 2 cartoon pictured Miss Dixie, gazing at the Confederate flag, disrespectfully with her hoop skirt billowing up to show her undergarments. This was an unnecessary attack on a lady; she could have been portrayed in a more dignified posture. Or was this an attempt to put humor into the drawing? Of the adolescent variety if that. How does this drawing prove modern cultural superiority to that of the 19th century South?

Letter: Quantrell Avenue?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: As the city considers what to do about street names and monuments honoring the Confederacy, let me suggest that a good place to start is with Quantrell Avenue in the city’s West End. In 2011, the Office of Historic Alexandria pretty much confirmed what I had long suspected.

Alexandria: New Season Focuses on Symphonic Traditions

Where have all the symphonies gone? To the Silver Screen! Contemporary symphonic film composers are carrying on the tradition of Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Puccini by writing music that accompanies theatrical genres.

Letter: Preserve History

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: The Military Order of the Stars and Bars at its convention held on July 10, 2015 in Alexandria passed the following resolution: Resolved that: History should not be abolished or wielded in the pursuit of vengeance. It is a tool that is to be used to build a better future. The Confederate heritage community acknowledges that the battle flag has been inappropriately used and abused by certain hate groups. We will not surrender to hate, or abandon our heritage.

Letter: Reflect on This Monument

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: While we realize that there has been no official call to remove or move the memorial to Alexandria’s fallen Civil War soldiers, we write to express our point of view, which is of deep appreciation for this historic monument and the story it tells.

Alexandria and Mount Vernon: Keeping Guns from Criminals

Focusing on private gun sales.

What are you going to do about gun safety and gun violence? These were words I heard over and over again from constituents last year when I first ran for Congress. They couldn’t understand why in the world I would want to be part of a Congress they largely viewed as dysfunctional. And the next words out of their mouth would be an impassioned plea, dysfunction be damned, to reach across party lines and find a compromise — any incremental step — that would begin to make our society safer from horrific shootings.

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Arlington Author Shifts from Screenplays to Novels

Matthew Sullivan’s “The Orphans” launches a trilogy.

When author Matthew Sullivan decided two years ago to write his debut book, “The Orphans,” it wasn’t the first time he had crafted a story for the public.

Letter: Solemn Sentiment

Letter to the Editor

Calls to take down the statue of the Confederate soldier at the corner of Washington and Prince streets may be understandable, but ultimately misguided. In the wake of the Charleston shootings, the efforts to remove the Confederate battle flag from state houses, license plates and other venues is completely justified. The flag had been captured by racist elements and made deeply offensive to many Americans.

Letter: Reduce Power Plant Pollution

Letter to the Editor

Alexandrians deserve to learn of a recent act of political courage and wisdom on the part of U.S. Rep. Don Beyer.

Tuesday, July 14

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Great Falls: Seneca Hill Animal Hospital Hosts Dog Days 2015

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing quite like a barbecue and a swim to relax and have fun. That’s exactly what happened at Seneca Hill Animal Hospital, Resort and Spa last Sunday – except that this one was for the dogs.

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Great Falls Sixth Graders Visit Japan

Japanese Immersion class meets Japanese Prime Minister, U.S. Ambassador.

Great Falls Elementary School’s (GFES) sixth grade Japanese Immersion Program (JIP) participants returned from their cultural exchange trip to Japan on July 9.

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Centreville: Troop Honors New Eagle Scouts

Troop 30 of Centreville honored Devlin McDonnell and ColtonSorrells who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in an awards ceremony on June 28. Devlin, who just graduated from Westfield High School, and Colton, a rising senior at Westfield, were both recognized for their achievements and leadership in the ceremony at the troop's chartered organization, Centreville Presbyterian Church.

Chantilly: Crime Report for the Week of July 15

The following incidents were reported by the Fair Oaks District Police Station. BURGLARY, 3000 block of Saint Regents Drive, July 2. A resident reported someone entered the residence and took property.

Centreville Roundups for Week of July 16

Meeting on Route 28 Safety Study Residents are invited to attend a public inormation meeting at Centreville Elementary School, on Monday, July 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m. to learn about the results of a traffic operational and safety study to identify short-term recommendations to improve traffic operations on Route 28 (Centreville Road) from south of I-66 to Liberia Avenue. The study analyzed traffic data to identify locations where low cost improvements may be made to the corridor.

McLean: Summer on a High Note

Spring Hill Elementary School Orchestra Director’s Strings Camp remains McLean’s summer tradition.

Every summer, Spring Hill Elementary School orchestra director Ruth Donahue runs an orchestra summer camp for children to improve their music skills.

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Centreville: Commendation for ‘Job Well Done’

APO Tony Gul is honored as Officer of the Month.

Auxiliary Police Officer Tauheed “Tony) Gul” was recently honored as the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee Officer of the Month. And in the letter nominating him, his supervisor, Lt. Tim Burgess, explained why. “APO Gul has demonstrated strong teamwork traits, contributing significantly to community activities in the Sully District,” wrote Burgess. “He volunteered 298 hours of time in 2014, including events like Touch a Truck, DWI checkpoints and patrols.”

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Marta Sniezek: All-American

It’s not easy being the second youngest member of a family of 11.

For Marta Sniezek, ranked one of the top basketball players in the country, her parents and her siblings are her motivators in a family where success is a blueprint.

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Centreville: Music, Laughter and a Flying Car

Alliance Theatre presents “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

When eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts rescues an old race car from a junk heap, he decides to restore it with his children’s help. Little does he know then that it has the magical ability to fly and float. And once word gets out, an evil baron tries to get the car for himself.

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Healing Wall Puzzle Unveiled in Vienna

Vienna Arts Society exhibits art work from soldiers suffering from PTSD.

The Vienna Arts Society hosted a "Puzzled Again" reception on Saturday, July 11 at the Vienna Art Center with an exhibit of the Healing Wall puzzle. The artwork is from 24 soldiers on the mend at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The original puzzle, from 2014, was also exhibited, and the artwork will be on display through July 31 at 115 Pleasant Street, NW, Vienna.

Letter: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: A few weeks ago the House passed HR 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act. Sounds great, right? Wrong. The Ratepayer Protection Act is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and attacks EPA’s ability to curb climate change. Specifically, the Act goes after the Clean Power Plan, set to be finalized this summer, which would require states submit carbon reduction plans to the EPA.

Centreville: ‘She Started Shoving Me’

Kathy Smith assaulted while campaigning; woman arrested.

Add political campaigning to the list of things that can be hazardous to one’s health. At least that’s what Fairfax County Board of Supervisors hopeful Kathy Smith found out last Saturday. “I’m OK,” she said afterward. “But it was a scary situation.” So scary, in fact, that a local woman was arrested and charged with assaulting her and preventing her from making a 911 call.

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Vienna Enjoys Summer on the Green

The Town of Vienna offers up free concerts during the summer on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 6:30 p.m. at the Vienna Town Green, 144 Maple Avenue, East, Vienna. On Sunday evening, the Bluegrass group Bill Emerson and the Sweet Dixie Band performed to a delighted crowd. The concerts are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Vienna and Whole Foods of Vienna. Visit; in the event of inclement weather, call 703-255-7842.

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Centreville: A Beginning, Not an End

School Board approves “Ignite” Strategic Plan, new chairman and vice chairman.

Citizen Michael Ducharme has lived with dyslexia since he was a student. His two daughters both have dyslexia. The father, representing the parents’ movement Decoding Dyslexia, spoke at the July 9 school board meeting in support of the proposed Fairfax County Public Schools Strategic Plan that specifically addresses challenges in the schools facing students with dyslexia. “We’re now faced with the fact tomorrow is today, the fierce urgency of now,” Ducharme said. “It’s time for vigorous and positive action in this plan.”

Letter: A Woman I Will Never Forget In My Life

To the Editor

It began to snow in the morning. I arrived by bus at Reston Hospital for an X-ray. They told me the X-ray location was a half mile away.

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Buying Fresh at Herndon Farmers Market

Herndon residents come to the market to support local businesses and enjoy fresh food.

“There is none better! This is the best of the best, a great time! I love it!” This description is for none other than the Herndon Farmers Market. Held every Thursday in old town Herndon, the market is a place where members of the community come together to support local businesses and enjoy fresh food.

Commentary: Police View from Inside a Crown Vic

Last Friday, I participated in a “ride along” with a Fairfax County Police Officer from the Reston Station during an eleven and a half hour evening shift patrolling Reston and part of Great Falls. I sat next to my officer-partner’s computer in a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria cruiser.

Commentary: Paying for Our Schools

The recent tension between the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the School Board over approval of the budget for the public schools left one big factor out of the equation for funding schools—the role of state government in financing public education in the Commonwealth. Public education as defined in the state constitution is a partnership between state and local governments.

Opinion: Chamber Promotes Reston Businesses

Why business should do business with the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (GRCC) is changing the way businesses are connecting with each other.

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Dulles International Airport Challenges

A demand for change at Dulles Airport.

Washington Dulles International Airport, located in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Virginia, was once surrounded by farmland.

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Ukulele Festival Held at Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza

Aloha! Ukulele festival a success in Reston.

A signature summer event of Reston is the Lake Anne annual Ukulele Festival, held this year on Saturday, July 11.

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Snapshot: At Potomac River Festival

Kayakers participate in the Potomac River Festival’s Great Falls race on Saturday, July 11.

Potomac: County Commission Vacancy

Commission on Common Ownership Communities The deadline for application is July 23.

Brief: Potomac Cautions About Lyme Disease

News Brief

County health officials urge residents to learn about Lyme disease and how to protect themselves when they are outdoors.

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The Yu Crew of Potomac Wins National Awards

The Yu Crew, LLC, a Potomac-based public relations agency, walked away with some of the public relations industry’s and association’s top national awards last month. Its principal, Pattie Yu, has been a longtime resident of Potomac.

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Potomac: Following in Ancient Footsteps

A portion of the Sugarloaf Regional Trail will be dedicated in honor of the region’s Native American history.

A project more than 30 years in the making will see its completion on July 25, as a 25-mile portion of the Sugarloaf Regional Trail is dedicated to the area’s Native American tribes. Rain forced the postponement of the ceremony, which will feature dancers from the Piscataway tribe, but the delay was of little consequence to Margaret “Peg” Coleman, president of Sugarloaf Regional Trail. In the 1970s, she and Chet Anderson, head of the trails organization, began writing trail guides, publishing a series of books since 1974, providing a wealth of information on the historical properties in Montgomery County and the surrounding areas in the meantime.

Brief: Potomac Deer Hunt Program Proposed

News Brief

Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is proposing a pilot Archery Managed Deer Hunting Program at two parks from September through November 2015, and during January 2016. The pilot is being proposed to address the overpopulation of deer on parkland in urban communities where safety regulations prohibit the use of firearms. If approved, the proposed program will complement the department’s managed hunting and Park Police sharpshooting initiatives.

Brief: Potomac Scam Alert

News Brief

Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection warns property owners not to be fooled by a deceptive letter which encourages consumers to pay $99 to petition to have their property tax assessment reviewed. This direct mail solicitation gives the false appearance that it is from a state or local government agency, provides a return address that is, in reality, a mail-drop location, and fails to disclose that there is actually no cost for property owners in Montgomery County to personally petition for a tax assessment review.

Letter: Opposing Application for a Country Inn

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Recently, the owner of Old Angler’s Inn (OAI) in Potomac, Mark Reges, filed a conditional use application with Montgomery County to build a “country inn” on property which is adjacent to the restaurant. Our homeowner and civic associations strongly oppose this application and we wish to set the record straight as to information being disseminated about the proposal.

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Arlington Announcement: Levy, Griffin Engaged

Ms. Lynn Levy Spencer and Mr. James Sizemore are happy to announce the engagement of Ms. Spencer's daughter, Caroline Elizabeth Levy, to Steven James Griffin, son of Mr. and Mrs. James A. Griffin, III of Marshall, Va.

“Flourishing After 55”

“Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for July 20-25.

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Arlington: Local Author Shifts from Screenplays to Novels

Matthew Sullivan’s “The Orphans” launches a trilogy.

When author Matthew Sullivan decided two years ago to write his debut book, “The Orphans,” it wasn’t the first time he had crafted a story for the public.

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Great Falls: Woman of the Year

Raising more than a quarter of a million dollars for cancer research with 17 local events.

Katie Simmons Hickey’s daughter Rylie, 3, delivered the knockout punch in Hickey’s fundraising film for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Editorial: Backpacks for All

Thousands of students will begin school this fall at a disadvantage; help now so they have the basics.

The first day of school each year is fraught with anticipation and anxiety. Many local students will be concerned about what they wear, who they will see, what it will be like. They’ve already had multiple shopping trips, online and otherwise, to be sure they have the supplies and extras they need.

Letter to the Editor: Redistricting Matters

Letter to the Editor

Thank you for your insightful editorial headlining support for nonpartisan redistricting (“Yes to Nonpartisan Redistricting,” July 9).

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Backyard Vegetable Gardens Feed Multicultural Cuisines

In Fairfax County, tomatoes are a staple of local gardens along with peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, beans and herbs like mint, oregano and cilantro.

There’s nothing like a juicy red tomato fresh out of the backyard garden to brighten up a summertime salad or a sandwich — or a bittermelon, aronia berries or “paradise apple,” as persimmons are known in Bulgaria. The multi-cultural population in Fairfax County has grown roots in the backyard vegetable garden.

Arlington: A Panhandler’s Story

After a year of trading on “vet” status, panhandler goes to jail

Everyone noticed the young man who limped along the median running down the center of Glebe Road.

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Unscheduling Summer Play

Experts praise the benefits of free play for children.

What was once a time for catching fireflies, swimming and exploring has evolved into a period of elite day camps, academic enrichment classes and top-dollar sports clinics.

Arlington: A-SPAN says, 'Don't Give Money to Panhandlers'

Most are not homeless: the money is not housing them but hurting them

"Most panhandlers are not homeless, and most homeless are not panhandlers," said Kathy Sibert, CEO of A-span, Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, located in South Arlington off Four-Mile Run.

Commentary: Keeping Guns from Criminals

Focusing on private gun sales.

What are you going to do about gun safety and gun violence? These were words I heard over and over again from constituents last year when I first ran for Congress.

A Gathering of Woodcarvers Happens Weekly in Arlington

It’s more about the company than the product.

Wilda Garrison will be 93-years-old in two weeks.

Arlington: County Board To Vote on Retail Plan

A number of new plans and funding approvals are scheduled for the Arlington County Board’s upcoming July 18 meeting.

Arlington: Outrage Avoided

Arlington School Board prohibits gender identity discrimination.

Two months ago, the Fairfax County School Board added “gender identity” to its nondiscrimination policy amid a hail storm of outrage from its community.

Monday, July 13

A Homeless Mother Finds a Home in Arlington

“Your past is not your future.”

Nellie Jane Downing welcomes her guest into a neat, light filled apartment in South Arlington. Behind her on the wall is a photograph of New York City’s George Washington Bridge. “That bridge,” she said, “is my story. Walking from one side to the other, making that journey. And those lights on the bridge are the people who inspired me to get across.”

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Arlington: Family Homelessness: Still a Major Problem

Decrease in numbers of homeless on the streets does not mean families are all housed.

Caroline Jones, of Doorways, an organization which is part of Continuum of Care and specializes in family homelessness, notes the Point in Time Count can be misleading. It’s a snapshot of what is happening on the street on a cold night in January.

Friday, July 10

Letter: An American Muslim’s Prayer in Honor of Independence Day

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: “Allah has made you brethren one to another, so be not divided. An Arab has no preference over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor is a white one to be preferred to a dark one, nor a dark one to a white one.”

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Weekend Fun in Fairfax County - July 10-19, 2015

A roundup of entertaining things to do this weekend.

A roundup of fun things to do this weekend in Fairfax county.

Thursday, July 9

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Burke, Fairfax, Lorton and Springfield: Synchronized Swimmers Compete in North Carolina

Lake Braddock graduate and Springfield resident Connie Polnow has been doing synchronized swimming since she was 9 years old. Her teammate and rising West Springfield freshman Angie Borkowski has only been at it for a year. But together, they were among 29 members of the Northern Virginia Nereids squad who participated in the United States Synchronized Swimming Junior Olympics between June 29 and July 4.

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Muslims at the Fairfax Islamic Center Break Fasts Together

One voice carries a melody in Arabic through the two-story hall of the Islamic Center Northern Virginia Trust, as over a hundred men bow their heads to the carpeted ground.

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Clifton Film Festival Returns to Workhouse Arts Center

Fairfax resident Dani Weinberg thought she wanted to be a journalist. That was until she joined the crew of her high school’s television program “Good Morning Robinson.” Combined with her photography for the Robinson Secondary School newspaper, Weinberg started getting “really into film.”

Rabid Fox Found Near South Run RECenter

Less than a month after a woman was injured by a rabid raccoon, police responded to reports of a fox “acting abnormally” in the same area: the South Run/Burke Lake Trail near the South Run RECenter.

Springfield Area Roundup

Eighteen-year Fairfax County Police Department veteran MPO Damien Cichocki has been cleared of any “criminal liability” in a September 2014 incident in which he shot a charging pit bull, police announced in a July 2 statement.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: July 10-12

Events in or near Alexandria and Mount Vernon, Va.

Arlington Weekend Fun: July 10-12

Events in Arlington County this weekend.

Burke Library Reading and Art Program Kicks Off

The Burke Centre Library Teen Advisory Board is hosting a Teen Art Competition this summer as part of the library’s annual summer reading program. This year’s theme is Read to the Rhythm.

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Fairfax: City of Fairfax Band Children’s Concert July 16

Each year, the City of Fairfax community band gives its youngest fans a chance to try their hand at the shiny, twisty and just plain loud instruments in the ensemble.

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Potomac Weekend Fun: July 10-12

Events near Potomac, Md. this weekend.

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Potomac: Churchill Grad Dubick Scores 3 Goals in All-American Game

Churchill graduate Louis Dubick helped the South team win the Under Armour All-America Game on July 3.

Wednesday, July 8

Q&A: SSSAS Grad Majure Competes in Under Armour All-America Game

Majure to play lacrosse at Duke, looking forward to watching Duke basketball.

Q&A with St. Stephen's & St. Agnes graduate Ellie Majure.

Q&A: MVHS Grad Balde To Play Lacrosse at Arcadia University

Majors won 10 games, reached conference final in 2015.

Q&A with Mount Vernon graduate Mouctar Balde.

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Q&A: UNC-Bound Wakefield Plays in All-America Game

Centreville graduate enjoys steak, Will Ferrell movies.

Q&A with Centreville grad Caroline Wakefield.

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Q&A: Rowlett Competes in Under Armour All-America Game

Robinson grad to play lacrosse at University of North Carolina.

Q&A with Robinson grad and Under Armour All-American Jack Rowlett.

Q&A: Hayfield Grad Schipper to Play Softball at Columbia University

Four-year Hawks catcher enjoys Miley Cyrus, Disney movies.

Q&A with former Hayfield catcher Bonnie Schipper.

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Q&A: Marshall Grad Brooke Headed to Coastal Carolina

Right-hander earned Conference 13 Pitcher of the Year.

Q&A with former Marshall pitcher Will Brooke.

Q&A: O'Connell Grad Sweeney to Play Softball at Mount St. Mary's

Vienna resident roots for Nationals, enjoys ‘classic baseball movies.’

Q&A with former Bishop O'Connell pitcher Erin Sweeney.

Column: My Manifesto, Sort Of

Being diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer (no, they’re not all “terminal”) is “a heck of a thing,” to extrapolate a bit from Jim Valvano’s memorable 1993 ESPY Awards speech given a few months before he succumbed to his cancer.

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Mount Vernon: New Citizens Celebrate First Fourth of July

100 citizens naturalized at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Journalists Alakbar Raufoglu and his wife Tamara Grigoryeva left their native Azerbaijan because the government was repressing them and their freedom of speech.

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Fairfax County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program Returns

Although young readers may have put down the books since leaving classrooms last month, the Fairfax County Public Library has kicked off its Summer Reading Program to nurture a love of pleasure reading during the vacation months.

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Mount Vernon: Church Awards College Scholarships

The Aldersgate Permanent Endowment Committee has awarded 10 scholarships for the 2015-16 school year, eight for college students and two $1,500 gifts for qualified Wesley Theological Seminary students.

Letter: Suport St. Jude And Shriners Hospitals

Letter to the Editor

I encourage everyone to donate to St. Jude Children’s’ Research Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children — two very worthy organizations that do so much for the children’s health and outlook on life.

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Sending Carlos Silva Home to Brazil

Investigator Carlos Silva is going home to his sister and daughter in Brazil. He died Thursday, July 2 in an accident during a bicycling event at the World Police and Fire Games. Two other athletes were injured in the crash.

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Mount Vernon: Care and Share Initiative Grows

This year Fort Hunt Elementary School started a Backpack Friday program as part of its new Care and Share initiative.

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Mount Vernon: Chamber Awards Scholarships to Local Students

The Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce honored the recipients of its 2015 Education Partnership Scholarships on June 2 at a reception hosted by The Hilton in Springfield.

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Alexandria: Community Lodgings Opens Doors for Those Facing Homelessness

Tours offered at Fifer Family Learning Center.

Community Lodgings seeks to promote self-sufficiency and break the cycle of poverty in the city. In operation since 1987, the nonprofit founded by a collective of Episcopal churches works with families to create stability.

Letter: Working for Improvements

Letter to the Editor

Remembering can sometimes be a radical act. Choosing between opinion and fact can be of vital importance.

Letter: Building Bridges

Letter to the Editor

The citizens of Fairfax County are most fortunate to have Colonel Edwin C. Roessler, Jr. as the Chief of Police.

Mount Vernon Column: Prompt Action Needed To Clean Potomac River


The Potomac River was once a bountiful asset and source of employment. In 1604, Captain John Smith wrote of fish so plentiful he could spear them with his sword, oysters that “lay as thick as stones” and schools of fish so plentiful that his men attempted to catch them with frying pans.

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Service and Brotherhood

Mentor of The Month

“The most rewarding thing about Space of His Own was the interaction with the kids and seeing them transform from the beginning of the program where everyone’s nervous and there’s a sense of formality, and seeing it evolve to where there’s a level of comfort between the mentor and the mentee.”

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Alexandria: Walking Aboard History

Lycee Rochambeau students, French expatriates, and many Americans visit L'Hermione

Students from the Lycee Rochambeau looked up at L'Hermione and called it “a ship with feelings.”

Committing to Cautious Driving

Senior Driving Tips

As the old saying goes, we are all creatures of habit. It’s true of life — and it’s definitely true of driving.

Letter: Place Plaque In Museum

Letter to the Editor

It’s about time we discuss whether the city should have a statue of a Confederate soldier facing south in the middle of Washington Street (“Confederate Concerns,” July 1). While that debate proceeds, another and more offensive Confederate marker needs to be removed

Letter: Testimony to History

Letter to the Editor

The Appomattox soldier should be left where is. The Confederate flag has unfortunately come to symbolize racial hate. But this soldier, facing south, with his back turned on the source of his troubles, has nothing to do with hate.

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Alexandria: Murder in Braddock Sparks Tension

Death of Shakkan Elliot-Tibbs sparks community outrage.

Shakkan Elliot-Tibbs had spent July 2 in Alexandria visiting his cousin. Elliot-Tibbs was on his way to the metro to meet his mother in Springfield when he was struck by gunfire. Police arrived at 11:30 p.m. responding to one of the many “shots fired” calls from the neighborhood, but that night found Elliot-Tibbs suffering from a gunshot wound.

Alexandria: ‘Open Heart and Open Home’

KidSave hosts Summer Miracles program.

KidSave, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding forever-homes for foster children and orphans in foreign countries, is bringing Tatiana from Colombia to Alexandria for the summer.

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Alexandria Mayoral Race Write-In Tightrope

Mayor Euille withholds support for either Silberberg or Write-In Euille.

One month has passed since Allison Silberberg was nominated as the Democratic candidate for nayor of Alexandria over incumbent Mayor William Euille and former Mayor Kerry Donley.

Alexandria: Petroleum Spill in Four Mile Run

Cause and extent of petroleum spill remain unknown

Four Mile Run is normally a scenic stream that divides Arlington and Alexandria, but on July 1, the public was told to stay away from the area due to contamination from a petroleum discharge.

Letter: Time To Rename Highway

Letter to the Editor

Regarding the unease over the Appomattox statue, the display of the Confederate flag on Lee-Jackson day, and the Jefferson Davis highway: to me, by far the most offensive, and indefensible, is the last.

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Alexandria: Development Briefs for the Week of July 8


226 The Strand, recently approved for demolition, may get a second chance at life. A petition to appeal the Board of Architectural Review’s (BAR) decision to approve demolition of the building has gained more than 25 signatures from local property owners in the Old & Historic District. The appeal will be taken to City Council in the fall.

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The Rotary Club of Alexandria Puts 'Service Above Self'

Rotary donates over $112,000 to local nonprofits.

The Rotary Club of Alexandria, in partnership with the Alexandria Day Nursery and Children's Home, continued its decades-long tradition of awarding grants to local nonprofit organizations

Letter: Restore Community Policing

Letter to the Editor

The recent homicide of Shakkan Elliot-Tibbs at the Andrew Adkins public housing project one block from Braddock Metro is a tragedy for his family and friends. But in a sense it was also a death foretold.

Letter: ‘Shots Fired’ Not Whole Story

Letter to the Editor

This morning there was an alleged Navy Yard incident, a report of gunshots fired. The report was said to be in error.

Letter: Importance of Camp

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Seems like a simple enough question. For those of us that work, live and visit this extraordinary City called Alexandria, we do not want it to become the focus nor experience the events that occurred in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore.

Letter: Work Together for Community

Letter to the Editor

This past Monday evening, July 6, I had the opportunity to attend a community meeting being hosted by Alexandria Police at the Charles Houston Recreation Center regarding last week’s deadly shooting of Mr. Shakkan Elliot-Tibbs.

Commentary: Legislation Combats Sex Trafficking

On July 1, legislation that I sponsored, HB1964, went into effect. This new law is Virginia’s first stand-alone human trafficking statute and creates stricter penalties for traffickers, greater protections for sex trafficking victims, and provides needed tools for prosecutors and law enforcement to stop human trafficking in Virginia.

Letter: Celebrating Marriage Equality

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: Today, we rejoice in the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the federal right of same sex partners to legal marriage in the cases of Obergefell v. Hodges, Tanco v. Haslam, DeBoer v. Snyder, Bourke v. Beshear.

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Alexandria: Wine Cellar Needs a Little Help from Friends

Elizabeth and Rick Myllenbeck have a vision for 207 King St. They want to turn the historic 1810 Bartleman house in the heart of Old Town into the Sonoma Cellar, a wine-tasting room, bistro, and gift shop.

Letter: Questioning VDOT On I-66 Plan

Letter to the Editor

The following is a statement by the 66 Alliance at the Virginia Department of Transportation’s public information meeting on the “Transform 66 Inside the Beltway Project” at the Arlington Public Library on June 17.

Letter: Leave Confederate Statue Alone

Letter to the Editor

I am writing to respond to the article about the Confederate statue at the intersection of Prince and South Washington streets (“Confederate Concerns, Alexandria’s Appomattox statute under scrutiny,” July 2). Our local politicians that were quoted (Democratic mayoral candidates Donley, Euille and Silberberg) should focus more on practical matters such as whether or not the city is being run efficiently and honestly.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon: Beer and Barbecue at Bilbo Baggins

In the Kitchen

Ancho chili pepper, garlic and onion powder are poured into the large aluminum pot already simmering with ketchup, vinegar and leftover pork drippings.

Letter: Effects of Redevelopment

Letter to the Editor

So the other day I decided to stop at Target (Hybla Valley store, and said to myself, boy they could really expand this store out to the side parking lot and still maintain adequate parking for its customers once Alexandria kicks out the retailers at Potomac Yards.

Letter: Cooperative Spirit

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor: The July 2-8, 2015 Springfield Connection article ("Coming Home to Queen of Peace") addressed an ongoing issue on how best to serve the needs of people in providing quality care services.

Commentary: Braddock Nights Concerts Kick Off July 10

Summer concerts series Friday evenings at both Royal Lake and Lake Accotink Parks.

Most people have fond, nostalgic memories of visits to the park. Perhaps celebrating family picnics and reunions, playing little league baseball games, enjoying quiet evenings in nature or even fishing and hiking with friends and family.

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City of Fairfax Theatre Company Presents “Hairspray”

Good morning, Baltimore. It’s 1962 and overweight white teen Tracy Turnblad is thrilled when her dancing talent lands her a spot on the Corny Collins TV show.

Fairfax: ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ Plus Magic

Robinson senior has title role in “Mary Poppins.”

Featuring a cast and crew of nearly 50, Westfield Summer Stage is bringing the beloved Disney musical, “Mary Poppins,” to life. And playing the lead role is a rising senior at Robinson Secondary School.

Letter: Streets Safer For All Users

Letter to the Editor

I write in response to the letter to the editor titled “Revisit the Bike Lanes” in the July 2, Alexandria Gazette Packet. The King Street Traffic Calming Project was aimed at making this portion of King Street safer for all users. The writer unfortunately focuses narrowly on the number of cyclists using the bike lines during a two-hour period on one particular day.

Herndon Coach Wins Two Medals

Police detective and youth wrestling coach earns two medals in World Police and Fire Games.

Most athletes never get a second chance to live their dreams. Twenty-five years after his last wrestling match Jay LaWalt was able to make that happen in front of his friends, family and a crowd of adoring young fans he’s been coaching for years.

Letter: Why Not Re-open Pool?

Letter to the Editor

In the article titled “Splash with DASH” [Alexandria Gazette Packet, July 2], there is no mention of the public pool located next to the Mt. Vernon school

Letter: Learn from History

Letter to the Editor

All of my ancestors arrived in the USA in the 20th century, so I don’t have any emotional relationship with the Confederate flag, monuments, statues, etc, but I do understand their integral part in our history.

Herndon Takes Part In World Police And Fire Games

Herndon police and residents cheer on 2015 Fairfax Games.

Reston Town Center has been serving as the central location for the 2015 World Police & Fire Games athletes as they arrived. Reston Town Center was selected to host the Athletes Village, and at the Town Center Pavilion, a variety of social activities and entertainment has been planned. Residents of neighboring Herndon have also been excited about the 2015 games.

World Police and Fire Games In Reston

Weekend events near Reston Town Center

Rain which lasted throughout Saturday, June 27 cancelled several outdoor events in the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games. Yet a sunnier Sunday permitted competitions continue in Fairfax County.

Tuesday, July 7

Fairfax County: Making Summer Reading Fun

Children who meet a reading challenge receive a prize.

Summer days are great for lounging by the pool, laying in the sun and relaxing with a good book. The Fairfax County Public Library is helping to make reading even more fun for families through the Summer Reading Program.

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Reston: Vigil Held for Investigator Silva

Sympathy and solidarity after athlete’s death.

A competitor in the Fairfax 2015 World Police & Fire Games Investigator Carlos Silva of Brazil was killed and two other bicyclists were seriously injured Thursday, July 2 after a front tire blowout caused a chain reaction crash at Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Va.

Suspects Identified and Charged in Recent School Vandalisms in Reston & Herndon

Detectives investigating two school vandalisms identified and charged four suspects – two adults and two juveniles.

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Herndon Celebrates Fourth of July

Fireworks and patriotic decorations in Herndon.

On Saturday, July 4 the Town of Herndon hosted their annual Fourth of July celebration welcoming hundreds of local residents.

Potomac: River Falls Celebrates Independence Day

The River Falls Fourth of July Parade was held on Saturday at noon, followed by an annual picnic.

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Celebrating the Fourth in McLean

Despite the gloomy weather, around 1,000 people attended the annual fireworks celebration by the McLean Community Center on Saturday, July 4 at Cooper Middle School in McLean.

Letter: Promote Freedom

Letter to the Editor

Reflecting on celebrating our nation’s independence, the question comes to mind: are we truly free?

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Vienna Celebrates the Fourth

Fireworks on the third, Family Fun on the fourth.

Vienna celebrated the Fourth of July in the Town Green with family-friendly activities. Red, White and Blue on the Green was part of a two-day Independence Day celebration, which started Friday with Rocking Independence Eve at Yeonas Park.

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Centreville: Local Woman Carries Special Olympics Torch

Centreville resident carries torch in Crystal City for Special Olympics World Games.

Alexis Guillett, 33, of Compton Village in Centreville had the thrill of her life when she got to participate in the Special Olympics Torch Run on May 28 in Crystal City.

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Great Falls Celebrates July 4th

5K run, parade attract hundreds on a rainy Saturday.

The rain wasn’t enough to keep people away from Great Falls’ Independence Day celebrations. More than 100 people lined up at the Freedom Memorial early Saturday morning to kick off the festivities with the annual 5K race.

Centreville/Chantilly: Frey Says, ‘It’s Been A Good Run’

Frey gives his final “State of Sully” address.

With Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully) opting not to run for re-election, his recent State of Sully address may well be his last one. He gave it June 24 to the Sully District Council of Citizens Association.

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Chantilly: ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ Plus Magic

Westfield Summer Stage presents “Mary Poppins.”

Featuring a cast and crew of nearly 50, Westfield Summer Stage is bringing the Disney musical, “Mary Poppins,” to life. This production also marks 15 years of summer musicals for this local, theater group.

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Vienna Arts Society and Soldiers on the Mend Collaborate on July Exhibition

Volunteer artists work with soldiers suffering from PTSD to express themselves visually.

Art, says Vienna Arts Society (VAS) artist Shari MacFarlane, is very healing. The process of creating art from experiences is healing.

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Vienna: A Journey of Faith

The Boone family of Oakton honors daughter by giving others a chance at football victory.

Youth football in Vienna and Oakton is an all-encompassing family affair, with players’ parents and grandparents running the concession stand and the chain gangs while cheerleading sisters wave pom-poms and younger brothers hustle during half-time to get the players water.

MacDonald Receives Sole Ownership for RE/MAX Gateway

Scott MacDonald, broker/owner of RE/MAX Gateway has acquired full ownership of all RE/MAX Gateway offices.

Potomac: Berliner’s Green Bank Bill OK’d

The County Council unanimously approved Bill 18-15, sponsored by Councilmember Roger Berliner, which creates the Montgomery County Green Bank.

Potomac: Board Revises Child Abuse Policy

The Board of Education approved changes to Policy JHC, Child Abuse and Neglect on June 29 which guides Montgomery County Public Schools procedures related to recognizing, reporting, and preventing suspected child abuse and neglect of students.

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Potomac: Yao Receives Outstanding Volunteer Award

Potomac Community Resources, Inc. (PCR), a Montgomery County organization providing programs for teens and adults with developmental differences, recently named Edward Yao 2015 Outstanding Youth Volunteer. The 17-year-old Winston Churchill High School senior received this award in March at PCR’s Annual Patricia Sullivan Benefit Dinner.

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Potomac Farm Market Offers Produce from Local Farms

Open through December.

At the base of the wide, sloping lawn of the Magassy family estate, sits the Potomac Farm market — a petite, colorful locale, with a single tent housing baskets of plump tomatoes, sweet potatoes, thick skinned cucumbers, water melons and more, all which are plucked from farms within 12 miles of the market.

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Arlington Courage Wall: Overcoming Fear To Achieve Dreams

The Courage Wall was unveiled in Ballston’s Welburn Square on Thursday afternoon, July 2. Ballston residents and visitors are invited to use a piece of chalk from one of the buckets hanging on the Courage Wall to share their wishes and express their joys and fears on the blank lines.

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Arlington: Rain Can’t Stop This Parade

Lyon Village hosts annual neighborhood parade.

It had been raining hard all morning. At 10:15 a.m. a Lyon Village e-mail bulletin went out: "July 4 Parade is On!"

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Arlington: On a Mission To Improve Water Quality

County leads state in pollutant reduction efforts.

Arlington County has met its 5 percent pollutant reduction requirements in just two years and has begun work on reducing the next 35 percent as indicated under the Clean Water Act permit obligations. The county has achieved 5.2 percent nitrogen, 22.8 percent phosphorus, and 13.7 percent sediment reductions in only two years.

Arlington: ‘Open Heart and Open Home’

KidSave hosts Summer Miracles program.

KidSave, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding forever-homes for foster children and orphans in foreign countries, is bringing Maria from Colombia to Arlington for the summer.

"Flourishing After 55"

"Flourishing After 55” from Arlington Office of Senior Adult Programs for July 13-18

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A House by the Sea

Design ideas for beach homes.

As the sweaty days of summer slog on, many are dreaming about a home by the sea, a wistful retreat where cares flow as freely as an ocean breeze.

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Big Upgrade in Little Package

Pair of luxury baths add comfort and charm to 30-year-old Arlington condo.

Approaching retirement, Kathleen David and her husband decided it was time to sell their multi-level townhouse and find a suitable one-level living option. The plan was a condominium that could be purchased at a favorable price and upgraded within a budget.

Petroleum Spill In Four Mile Run

Cause and extent of petroleum spill remain unknown.

Four Mile Run is normally a scenic stream that divides Arlington and Alexandria, but on July 1, the public was told to stay away from the area due to contamination from a petroleum discharge.

Letter to the Editor: The Path to the Paris Climate Talks


This truth is crucial to keep in mind as world leaders prepare to assemble in Paris this December to negotiate a new agreement to tackle global warming

Editorial: Yes to Nonpartisan Redistricting

Politicians shouldn’t be choosing voters.

Virginia’s Congressional map is unconstitutional because African American voters are packed into District 3, according to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The problem will have to be remedied by drawing new boundaries.

Thursday, July 2

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Coming Home to Queen of Peace in Springfield

Residents with disabilities move into new group house on Gresham Street.

Ten months ago, the unassuming single-level house on Gresham Street in north Springfield was a private residence. Today it’s the permanent home of four individuals with disabilities, and a fifth is on the way.

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Burke Optometrist Celebrates 30th Anniversary

In 30 years, Dr. Rick Katz has had over 100,000 patients. In some cases, he’s helped five generations of the same family to see better.

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Lorton and Mount Vernon Area Roundups

A 2-year-old boy was pronounced dead at Inova Fairfax Hospital on June 18, Fairfax County Police announced Friday, June 19.

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The Week in Springfield

Dead man found in Kingstowne pond, Torch caused house fire, 95 Express Lanes holiday schedule.

Fairfax County Police continue to investigate the death of Kenneth Duane Bernhardt, 36, of Falls Church, who was found Saturday, June 27 in a pond on South Van Dorn Street near Kingstowne Village Parkway.

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Local Farms Supply Alexandria Wegmans

Five Virginia farms are currently supplying the recently opened Wegmans grocery store in Alexandria with fresh produce.

‘I Have Words’

Two nights ago a car accident took the lives of two young men in the Wootton High School community. Yesterday I was with a group of their friends, who asked me for words of comfort. I had none to give. All I could do was sit with them in their pain, and share it. Today I have words.

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: July 3-5

Events in Alexandria and Mount Vernon for the July 4 weekend.

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Fourth of July Weekend Fun in Fairfax County

A roundup of entertaining things to do this weekend: July 3-5, 2015.

A roundup of fun things to do this weekend in Fairfax county.

Arlington Weekend Fun: July 3-5

Events near Arlington for the July 4 weekend.

Wednesday, July 1

Column: Quality of Life

Throughout my nearly six and a half years of cancer treatment, starting at the initial Team Lourie meeting on February 27, 2009, when my oncologist suggested I take that vacation I’ve always dreamed of (to which I exclaimed “WHAT!?”), my quality of life has always been important to him.

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TJ Grad Hits Bulls Eye Against Lyme Disease

As a Thomas Jefferson High School student in 2010, Temple Douglas recognized the possibility for a better Lyme Disease test. Several members of her family had Lyme disease and “I recognized the need,” she said.

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Leaving Fairfax With Something to Remember

Tawny Hammond led shelter to place 95 percent of animals in adoptive homes.

At some point in life, every person should hear gratitude the way the members of the Board of Supervisors expressed theirs to Tawny Hammond.

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Residents Mull Proposed Options to Improve Old Lee Highway

Since Old Lee Highway is one of the main streets of the City of Fairfax, its citizens have a vested interest in how well it looks and functions. So they’re being involved in its revitalization.

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Fairfax: Fireworks, Firefighters and Fun

Fairfax Fourth of July includes a parade and music, too.

Come one, come all, to the City of Fairfax’s 49th annual Fourth of July celebration. The festivities include a gigantic parade, a Firefighters’ Muster, live music and a spectacular fireworks display.

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Mt. Vernon: Many Made WPHS All Night Graduation Party Possible

Grads enjoy all night celebration supported by 80 local businesses.

The West Potomac High School All Night Graduation Celebration provides a safe, fun, drug- and alcohol-free event for seniors following their graduation ceremony.

Mt. Vernon: Technology Helps Manage Volunteer Drivers for Seniors

Ride Scheduler software assists five elder village organizations to better serve those needing transportation.

Physical and social isolation comes quickly to those seniors 50 and over who, because of acognitive or physical handicaps, cannot drive to doctor or dental appointments, grocery stores, or quality of life activities that require one to use a car to get there and back.

Alexandria: Joy over Court Decision

Members of the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church (MVUC) congregation celebrate the extension of same-sex marriage to all 50 states by Friday's U.S. Supreme Court decision.​

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Mount Vernon Scouts Go Broadway

Scouts attend week-long camp with a Broadway theme.

More than 300 Mount Vernon scouts attended a week-long camp at Fort Hunt Park.

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Rail Is Better than Bus

I sit on the AT2X bus taking me home from work. It pulls out of Mark Center and onto the Seminary Road bridge over 395. I can see below four lanes of cars, packed and barely moving. It’s like this every day. North-bound lanes are busy too.

Letter: Spring Bank and Fairchild Park

Letter to the Editor

The history of seeking a park and restoring Quander Brook is easily understood with facts.

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Gala Celebrates 50th Reunion of Parker-Gray Class of ‘65

The Parker-Gray High School Class of 1965 hosted its 50th anniversary on June 12-13

Letter: Supporting Students

Letter to the Editor

Dan Storck is a hero for students and staff in Fairfax County Public Schools.

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Mt. Vernon: Surovell fundraiser photo

Cinco de Surovell

Del. Scott Surovell's Sixth Annual Cinco de Surovell fundraising event was held in May in Fort Hunt Park.

Alexandria: Port City Releases Derecho Common

Like the microwave, the pacemaker, and the Slinky, Port City’s Derecho Common is the fortunate, if accidental, byproduct of nature and some experimental science.

Alexandria: Confederate Concerns About Appomattox

Alexandria’s Appomattox statue under scrutiny.

With a national dialogue underway on the appropriateness of Confederate flags and imagery, some Alexandrians have begun questioning whether the Appomattox statue to Alexandria’s Confederate dead should remain on Prince Street.

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Alexandria: ‘Don’t Judge Me’ Music Video Promotes Tolerance

Kids Empowering Kids debuts music video.

Their voices were timid at first, but one by one students at William Ramsey Elementary School spoke up when asked how they have been judged by their friends and classmates.

Week in Great Falls

Historical Society to Hold Great Falls History Trivia Contest and Farmers Market to Serve July 4 Breakfast

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Alexandria: Splash with DASH

DASH to operate free service on pool bus route.

The Alexandria Transit Company (DASH), in partnership with the Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics, and the City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities, revealed a new initiative to get families and children to the Old Town Pool this summer. More than 20 local businesses, along with the support of the USA Swimming Foundation – Make a Splash, are sponsoring free rides during July and August on DASH’s AT10 route.

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Opinion: Many Reasons to ‘Keep the Greens’

In the last few days, homeowners abutting Reston National Golf Course have been alarmed to find red and white markings along the edges of their properties.

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Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Honors First Responders

Honoring first responders for their actions off-the-clock is the focus of the the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Above & Beyond Luncheon. More than 50 community members attended the luncheon on Monday to honor four service members who went above and beyond in their service to the community.

Alexandria: Tenants and Timeline Unclear for Landmark Mall

As city approves details for the mall redesign, other questions remain unanswered.

While City Council expressed support for new amenities and retail spaces at Landmark Mall, members of the public remain skeptical until more details emerge.

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Fairfax County: Play Bridge!

Fairfax County students play card game for Alzheimer’s awareness.

Fairfax County Public School students participated in a Bridge-a-thon on Sunday, June 21 at Beth El Hebrew Congregation in Alexandria. The event is part of The Longest Day, a team event to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Obituary: Clarissa ‘Lynne’ Simmons, 72, of Great Falls, Dies

Lynne Simmons, of Great Falls, died Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at the age of 72 after a three year battle with multiple myeloma/plasma cytoma cancer.

Column: Happy Fourth!

Our federal holiday the Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is known for fireworks, parades, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions and of course retail sales.

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ACCT Stages ‘Cheaper by the Dozen’

Comedy tells of efficiency expert who raises a family with 12 children.

Aldersgate Church Community Theater (ACCT) is staging the light-hearted classic comedy "Cheaper by the Dozen" July 3-19 in Alexandria.

Column: Democrats Unable to Field Team in Virginia

When it comes to winning control of the state legislature in Virginia, the Democratic Party of Virginia are the major league equivalent of a cellar-dweller, a last place finisher. At present, Democrats are unable to field a full team to even play the game.

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Alexandria: Rejoicing on Decision Day

Multifaith gathering celebrates national same-sex equality.

As Rev. Robin Anderson from Alexandria’s Commonwealth Baptist Church discovered this weekend, planning a party around a U.S. Supreme Court decision can be problematic. First, when Anderson began planning the Northern Virginia Multifaith Gathering for Marriage Equality, there was no set date for the decision. Decision day could have been anything between June 25 to June 29. And second, there was no way to determine the outcome of the decision. Hanging a festive banner could make for an awkward situation if the Supreme Court ruled against marriage equality.

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Alexandria: Wolfe Street Bares Teeth at Developer

Potential property sale stirs controversy.

The historic 415 Wolfe Street home hasn’t been sold yet, but even the possibility of a sale to a developer has some neighbors incensed. The owners of the historic property insist that the home is still on the market, and while a few developers have expressed an interest in the project, nothing is close to being finalized. Yet, some neighbors have already begun expressing concerns that a potential townhouse development could have a serious impact on the neighborhood.

Mount Vernon: Police Investigate Death of Man Found in Kingstowne Pond

A dead man was reported June 27 in a pond on South Van Dorn Street near Kingstowne Village Parkway.

Alexandria: Changing Face of Family-Friendly Dining

Quick: Think of a traditionally “kid-friendly” restaurant. It’s likely that one particular genre comes to mind: A loud establishment teeming with chaos, impatient servers, and a small children’s menu offering the usual fare for your little ones. But the face of “family-friendly” dining is changing, and some of the restaurants leading the way in Alexandria may surprise you.

Mount Vernon: Hyland’s Office Apologizes for Using County Email to Endorse Storck

When retiring supervisor Gerry Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) announced an endorsement for Dan Storck as his replacement, the release came through the email. The endorsement followed Storck’s victory over Tim Sargeant, Jack Dobbyn and Candice Bennett in the June 9 Democratic primary election.

Mount Vernon: Former Owner of ‘Sub Shop’ Convicted for Arson and Insurance Fraud

A jury has convicted former Fort Belvoir-area resident Lawrence Wayne Reese, 56, of nine offenses including arson, use of fire in commission of another federal offense and multiple counts of fraud related to submission of a fraudulent insurance claim.

Business Developments in Herndon and Reston

SkyBitz, and a changing economy.

Fairfax County is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, yet Virginia has been falling from grace on CNBC’s ‘Top States for Business’ ranking, dropping to number 12 on this year’s list.

Mount Vernon: 95 Express Lanes Schedule Adjusted for July 4

Around the Fourth of July, patriotic celebration throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area comes with heavy gridlock. To help alleviate some of the traffic into, out of and around the region for the holiday weekend, the 95 Express Lanes schedule will be adjusted, according to an Express Lanes spokesperson:

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Herndon Celebrates Completion of Station Street

Ribbon cutting at downtown Herndon street.

On Tuesday, June 16, residents of Herndon celebrated the reopening of the new and improved Station Street. Mayor Merkel, economic development manager Dennis H. Holste, Jr., former mayor Michael O'Reilly, Melissa Jonas and town councilmember Jasbinder Singh were some of the local officials who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at the corner of Station and Center Street.

Mount Vernon: Local Farms Supply Alexandria Wegmans

Five Virginia farms are currently supplying the recently opened Wegmans grocery store in Alexandria with fresh produce. Those include:

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International Songwriters Collective Concert Held In Herndon

Music and calls for art at Hendon art gallery.

On Thursday, June 25, the International Songwriters Collective (I.S.C.) Tour made a stop at ArtSpace Herndon. Three musicians-singer songwriters are on a one-month tour: Jimmy Robinson from New Orleans, Lily Kiara from Holland, and Floatstone (born Brick de Bois) from Antwerp, Belgium.

Letter: Debacle at Patrick Henry

Letter to the Editor

Just recently the city has begun the process of rebuilding our school infrastructure. Long overdue and neglected, the first project begins with Patrick Henry School. The school dates back to the 1950s and is currently unfit for educating our youth. The city has budgeted $38.7 million for this project with no firm budget for the accompanying recreation center ($6.9-$8.2 million have been tossed around). Without adequate discussion and public hearing, the School Board and the City Council have passed the buck and moved this project forward,despite the failure of the planning board and recreation department to deliver a viable plan for the recreation center. Dissension and hesitation on the part of the School Board and City Council have permeated the discussions and we are only in the second inning of this project with 11 more to follow. An inauspicious beginning.

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Reston Area Restaurants Closing And Opening

New dining in the Reston area.

Spring brought several new restaurants to Reston Town Center, including the NEYLA Mediterranean Bistro which replaced Paulo’s Ristorante, and Barcelona Wine Bar, a Spanish tapas restaurant known for its wine list. Bartaco, a restaurant with a beachy vibe and cuisine rooted in Mexican tradition opened at 12021 Town Square St., and has received over one hundred reviews on review site Yelp.

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Herndon's Hopeologist

William Bates, Herndon High School’s principal, gave a glimpse of the inspirational power of “hopeology” on June 23 before the Board of Supervisors.

Alexandria: Best for Vets

Alexandria tops list of cities for veterans.

The Military Times has named Alexandria as the top mid-size community for veterans in its first Best for Vets: Places to Live feature article.

Letter: Winning By Listening

Letter to the Editor

Winning precincts across the city from the West End to Parkfairfax to Old Town, Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg won the primary on June 9 by a convincing plurality to become the Democratic nominee for mayor of the city of Alexandria. She defeated the incumbent mayor, Mr. Bill Euille, who has served since 2003. She also defeated the former mayor, Mr. Kerry Donley, who served as mayor eight years prior to Mayor Euille. Against a combined 20-year incumbency as well as being outraised by both candidates, Vice Mayor Silberberg pulled off an upset. She won in an old-fashioned way. She actively listened to one voter at a time with the promise to bring new energy to the table.

Alexandria: Accountability Supports My Students

Kids, like the rest of us, want to know how they’re doing. As their teacher, it is also my job to know how they’re doing. What do they know? What do they still need to learn? I hold myself accountable for my students’ growth and it is with this data that I am best able to teach them and make sure of their progress.

Alexandria: Going the Distance for City’s Children

Parks, play and promising futures.

Summer vacation season is upon us. Vacations are not just fun, but can also be important for our health. We can return from time away with a renewed sense of vigor, fresh perspectives, and increased mental acuity. A break from the daily grind can relieve stress and increase productivity in all of us.

Letter: Disheartened Residents

Letter to the Editor

It’s really disheartening to live in this wonderful city I call home and watch it slowly lose its historic charm, ambience and cache. With each and every planning decision, we are slowly becoming just like every other city. And it’s all because current decision makers apparently have little concern about anything but getting things built.

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Alexandria: Brunch Benefits Surgical Services

The Board of Lady Managers held its annual brunch on June 21 at the Union Street Public House. The brunch raised funds for the purchase of two state-of-the art neurology microscopes for Inova Alexandria Hospital Surgical Services. So far over $5,000 has been raised towards the goal of $640,000.

Alexandria People At Work: Dancing the Afternoon Away

Dancing the Afternoon Away

Shiny silver heels glide over the polished wooden floor. Today Lioudmila Blinov will review the steps of the Argentine tango with Gregory and Lindsey Bearce from Alexandria who have been dancing there since January. You can do it "slow slow slow" or "slow quick quick slow. It's what you feel." They have already been through the foxtrot and other basics. "He bought me a dance lesson as an anniversary present,” Lindsey says. "And now it's kind of like a date night sort of thing," Gregory adds.

Letter: How Not to Run A Meeting

Letter to the Editor

The other night, I attended the Old Town Area Parking Study (OTAPS) group meeting at City Hall. The meeting started off with the chairperson asking for comments from the public. I was aghast, since not one item on the agenda had even been discussed. What were the citizens in attendance going to base their comments upon? As a result, only a few citizens commented at this meeting.

Letter: Bike Lanes Revisited

Letter to the Editor

Alexandria residents on King Street (Rosemont Avenue to Janney's Lane) look out on empty bike lanes that occupy 30 percent of the roadway. A year ago parking, available to residents when they bought their homes, was removed and the roadway was narrowed two feet to accommodate these bike lanes.

Centreville: Roundups for Week of 7/1

Free Carseat Inspections Certified technicians from the Sully District Police Station will perform free, child safety carseat inspections Thursday, July 16, from 5-8:30 p.m, at the station, 4900 Stonecroft Blvd. in Chantilly. No appointment is necessary. But residents should install the child safety seats themselves so technicians may properly inspect and adjust them, as needed. Because of time constraints, only the first 35 vehicles arriving on each date will be inspected. That way, inspectors may have enough time to properly instruct the caregiver on the correct use of the child seat. Call 703-814-7000, ext. 5140, to confirm dates and times.

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Centreville: ‘Let Your Experience Shape Your Future’

Centreville High Class of 2015 graduates.

Dave Jagels has only been Centreville High’s principal since January, but he’s already become a proud Wildcat. And his feelings were evident during the school’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday, June 23, at GMU’s Patriot Center.