Stories for February 2016

Stories for February 2016


Monday, February 29

Vienna Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Town of Vienna Police Department from Feb. 19-25.

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Vienna: Outstanding Teacher

Corey Thornblad of Kilmer Middle School honored by FCPS.

Corey Thornblad, social studies teacher at Kilmer Middle School, has been named the Fairfax County Public Schools 2016 Outstanding Teacher.

Wolf Trap Has New Superintendent

George Liffert, a national park manager with 28 years’ experience, will lead Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

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Area Skaters Go National

Vienna, McLean skaters participate in 2016 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.

Piper Williams of Vienna, Nina Sebastien of McLean, Elaine Zhang of Vienna, and Taylor Olson of Falls Church represented our area at the 2016 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in Kalamazoo, Mich. last week.

UVA Backs Students’ Research Projects

From examining how James Joyce’s work relates to civil unrest to quantitative eco-labeling schemes, and from researching Roman property law to analyzing the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, 50 University of Virginia undergraduates will pursue 46 grant-funded research projects this summer.

Great Falls: People and Pets

Chelsea Becomes a ‘New Dog’

We bought an English setter puppy from an excellent breeder.

Great Falls Friends and Neighbors Present a Check to Shelter House

On Feb. 10, Great Falls Friends and Neighbors presented a check to Jolie Smith, the representative from Shelter House

Obituary: Dr. Samuel Burton Rentsch, Jr. Dies

Dr. Samuel Burton Rentsch, Jr. passed on Feb. 24 at age 87 of congestive heart failure.

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Great Falls Preschool Launches Innovative New Art Studio, Yoga Classes

A new art studio has opened for children at the St. Francis Creche Episcopal Preschool and the school has also added a yoga class to its after-school curriculum.

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Great Falls: Marshall High School Students Win Virginia LifeSmarts Competition

Jessica Lewis, of Great Falls, along with Marshall High School classmates Ethan Epstein, Sam Hassett, Thea Prevalsky and Quiana Dang took top honors in the Virginia LifeSmarts competition, held in Richmond.

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Great Falls: Trompeter to Address Great Falls Writer’s Group

It began with a camera and a Christmas tree.

Great Falls: Author Faces Death but Chooses Life

Robert F. Dorr to speak to the Great Falls Writer’s Group (GFWG) on Thursday, March 10, at the Great Falls Library.

As a writer, this is the singular word that Robert F. Dorr remembers most vividly; the word his doctor used last fall, on the day of his diagnosis, to describe the type of tumor they had just discovered in his brain.

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Great Falls: Dwelling Detectives

Great Falls Historical Society hosts presentation on researching the history of your Fairfax County house.

Many residents of Great Falls have asked on many occasions how to research the history of the Fairfax County home they are living in.

Great Falls: Awaiting Brooks Farm Decision

Planning Commission scheduled to make recommendation to Board of Supervisors at this Thursday’s hearing.

Great Falls awaits the Planning Commission’s decision on the potential rezoning of Brooks Farm off Springvale Road.

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Meet the Best Friends of Great Falls

From dogs to cats to birds to gerbils, bunnies, crocodile skinks, fish and miniature horses, kids in our region love their pets.

Saturday, February 27

6A North Roundup: Westfield, Battlefield Advance to Tournament Final

West Potomac, West Springfield to play in third-place game.

Westfield and Battlefield won on Friday night.

Friday, February 26

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Burke, Fairfax Station, Springfield and Mount Vernon legislators reflect on battles won, lost and tabled after General Assembly “Crossover”

Tuesday, Feb. 16 marked “crossover,” the milestone during the current session of the Virginia General Assembly session in Richmond where bills passed by the House of Delegates move to the Senate for debate and either approval or rejection, and vice versa.

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Springfield Veterinary Holistic Center offers extension to conventional medicine

Bettejeanne “BJ” Hammond much prefers the term “body work” to massage. “Open wine and get out the candles, that’s what people think of massage,” she said. “They think it’s to relax, but it’s so much more than that.”

Week in Springfield

Weekly happenings in Springfield

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Springfield: Education, Economy Top Concerns

Education funding and economic development headline Town Hall in Springfield.

On Saturday Feb. 20, local representatives from the General Assembly, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and the Fairfax County School Board answered questions from citizens and discussed legislative priorities for 2016.

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Springfield:Guide Dog in Training

Leading the fast break, Marla, age six months, is training with local volunteers for Guiding Eyes for the Blind to work as a Guide Dog for a blind master.

Commentary: Electronic Textbooks, Sunshine and Other Bills Moves

As we pass the midpoint of this General Assembly session, many bills are moving. After a 30-minute debate, the Senate approved my bill prohibiting the use of electronic textbooks in public schools without a plan to provide school broadband and digital devices to every student required to use an electronic textbook.

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Fairfax Station: A Life-Changing Hobby

What started out as a part-time hobby has changed my life forever. Growing up in Ireland, I never imagined leaving home, coming to the United States and starting a small business.

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Fairfax Pets

The best friends of Fairfax.

Week in Fairfax

Week in Fairfax

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Fairfax: Film Studies Progress at GMU

Student media at Fairfax George Mason University.

On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20-21, more than 80 students and community members took part in the weekend Virginia Production Assistant Training for Film and TV co-hosted by GMU FAVS at the Harris Theatre.

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Fairfax: Our Daily Bread Seeks Submission of Art Works

Fairfax-based nonprofit Our Daily Bread, Inc. is seeking submissions of art works by artists throughout the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area for its second annual juried art show and community event, Artful Living: Seeing the Beauty Within.

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Fairfax: What to Do with the Paul VI Site?

Residents receive information, give comments during meeting.

Seeking a larger campus with room to expand, Paul VI High School will move from its longtime home in the City of Fairfax to a 68-acre site in Loudoun County in 2020.

Fairfax: Looking Out for Children’s Safety

Fairfax City Council adopts bike-helmet ordinance.

Bicycle-riding children in the City of Fairfax will now be a bit safer, thanks to a helmet ordinance just adopted by the Fairfax City Council.

Elizabeth Myrick Nichols, 1920-2016, Dies

Elizabeth (Betsy) Nichols, longtime resident of Springfield (Crestwood) and Burke, passed away on Feb. 4 with family members by her side. She was 95.

Burke and Springfield: Children Semifinalists in Military Child of the Year

Madeline Gabriel, 18, Alexsandra Corrigan, 17, of Springfield, and Bridget Ray, 17, of Burke, are semifinalists in Operation Homefront’s 2016 Military Child of the Year.

Week in Burke

Weekly happenings in Burke.

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Burke: Diary of a Cat

Diary of a cat

‘Godspell’ at Burke Church

Burke Presbyterian Church (BPC) youth are presenting “Godspell” (2012 revised version) this weekend, Feb. 25-28.

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Arlington: Wakefield Headed to Third Region Final in Four Years

Warriors defeat Potomac Falls, will face Potomac in 5A North final.

The Wakefield boys' basketball team defeats Potomac Falls in 5A North region semifinals.

Thursday, February 25

Week in Reston

Scout Collects Home Welcome Kits for Formerly Homeless

Weekly happenings in Reston.

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Smokey the Toy Poodle of Reston

We have a 10-year-old toy poodle by the name of Smokey. He is the smartest, nicest dog you'll ever meet.

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Lake Fairfax Neighbors Oppose Septage Proposal

Reston’s Richard Sheehe spent more than 90 minutes hearing engineers and county officials try to convince Reston residents why moving a Septage Receiving Site to a portion of Lake Fairfax Park would be ideal.

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Finding That ‘Special Someone’ at Lake Anne

Reston adoption fair matches cats, families.

On Feb. 21, the Feline Foundation of Greater Washington (FFGW) arranged chairs, tables and cages in preparation for their monthly Reston cat adoption fair in the Just Cats Clinic at Lake Anne.

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Breaking Ground for New Community at Reston Heights

Walkable residential, retail will span eight acres near future Metro.

The JBG Companies broke ground on VY, a 385-unit apartment community—along with 89,000 square feet of retail—in this next phase of the mixed-use neighborhood at Reston Heights.

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Garage Fire Damages Reston Townhouse

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responded to a fire on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 18 that started in the garage of a townhouse in the 11800 block of Mediterranean Court in Reston.

Art of Driving Scholarship Expands Eligibility Outside Fairfax County

After the first few years being open only to Lake Braddock Secondary School Students, the Art of Driving college scholarship in honor of Lake Braddock student Ashley Thompson expanded to all Fairfax County High Schools.

Longtime Springfield Estates Elementary School Teacher Marian Davenport Dies at 87

Marian Brant Davenport of Kingstowne died Feb. 13 at age 87. The Columbus, Ohio native taught kindergarten to third grade at Springfield Estates Elementary School from the early 1970s until she retired in 1985. “She was very committed to her kids,” said Davenport’s son Bill, who now lives in Houston, Texas. “She loved the little kids, loved teaching them to read.”

Commentary: Education as the Priority

All the important bills the General Assembly considered in the first half of its annual session pale in comparison to the most significant action it will take this week in adopting a $100 billion budget for the biennium.

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Herndon: Winners Announced in Photo Competition

Late winter events at ArtSpace Herndon.

Each year ArtSpace Herndon invites photographers from Virginia, D.C. Maryland, and West Virginia to participate in their annual Fine Art Photography Competition.

Herndon Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Herndon Police report from Feb. 8-14.

Herndon: Water Meters, Automated Splash

The Town of Herndon will replace existing residential water meters in the middle of March and upgrade to an automated meter reading (AMR) system.

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Construction Begins in Herndon

Mayor Lisa Merkel began to “seriously consider running” for Town Council in 2009, when a project to redevelop the Busch Motors property was voted against. On Monday, Feb. 22, Herndon’s downtown revitalization began at the corner of Elden and Monroe.

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Herndon’s Top Shot Competes in Navy National Championship

Allison Maxwell, a senior at Herndon High School, made Herndon Navy JROTC history.

Week in Vienna

Superintendent Karen Garza, accompanied by the regional assistant superintendents, will provide an update on the budget, Strategic Plan, classroom initiatives, and other happenings in FCPS and listen to ideas, comments, and questions from the audience on Tuesday, March 29 at Madison High School.

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Mount Vernon Column: Hosting 6th Annual Amundson Institute


Recently, I recognized the sixth annual Amundson Institute scholars on the floor of the Capitol in Richmond. The Amundson Institute provides an educational opportunity for high school juniors and seniors who live in or attend a school located in the 44th district on the role of the Virginia state government and top government relations professionals. We had two students from Mount Vernon High School and two students from West Potomac participated in this year’s program.

Mount Vernon Column: Electronic Textbooks and Other Bills


As we pass the mid-point of this General Assembly session, many bills are moving.

Mount Vernon Letter: Postal Service Response

Letter to the Editor

The Postal Service would like to respond to a customer’s letter to the editor [“Mail Delivery Failures,” The Gazette, Feb. 18], which we believe deserves acknowledgement.

Mount Vernon Letter: Wrong Side Of the Issues

Letter to the Editor

Once more, this week, state Sen. Scott Surovell has demonstrated that he is out of the mainstream of even his fellow Democrats.

Alexandria Letter: In It To Win It For Hillary

Letter to the Editor

As a young liberal, I want a candidate for President who is able to get things done, work across the aisle, and continue the progress that we started in 2008.

Alexandria Letter: Knowledge and Vision

Letter to the Editor

I am voting for Hillary Clinton in the Primary Election on March 1. How could I not vote for her?

Alexandria Letter: Why Bernie Next Tuesday

Letter to the Editor

Unlike most elections in our fair City, next Tuesday's Presidential primary is largely flying under the radar, since most of the local Democratic establishment views Bernie Sanders as a threat to politics as usual. For us, the choice to support Sen. Sanders, based on his energy, vision and hope, is crystal clear.

Alexandria Letter: In Support of Hillary

Letter to the Editor

I wish to add my voice to the many supporters of Hillary Clinton for President here in Alexandria.

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Alexandria: Butting Heads on Ramsey Homes

Sudden reversal in saga of Alexandria affordable housing.

After seven hours of debate, the decision not to rezone Ramsey Homes on Saturday was rendered moot when one City Council member announced three days later that he’d changed his mind.

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Alexandria: Call a Taxi for the Dog

VIP Pet offers grooming, spa services and a dog taxi. Guzal Arslanova, owner of the pet salon, said, "Some people are so busy and they don't want to deal with traffic. So our dog taxi delivers our clients to doggy school at Olde Towne School for Dogs, to the vet or doggie day care. We have doggie seat belts for very little tiny dogs to big ones. We get a lot of people staring at the van."

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Alexandria: Birders Protest Chemical Treatment at Monticello Park

Warbler watch set to begin in this migration spot.

It's almost March 1, the official beginning of this year's warbler watch at Monticello Park in Alexandria.

Alexandria: Tucker Modified Calendar Yields a Win-Win

Intersessions provide remediation or enhancement.

The school year is just half over. Rene Paschal, principal at Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School, says the school's modified school calendar has worked well for everyone from school children to teachers to parents.

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Alexandria: Jinks Presents Budget Plan

2017 proposed budget focuses on funding schools, but sets aside pre-k programs.

With Fairfax County looking at raising its real estate tax rate by 3 cents and Arlington County lowering it by a half cent, the main theme of City Manager Mark Jinks’ FY 2017 budget was surviving somewhere in the middle while providing funding to enhance schools, the fire department, and parking.

Vienna: Flint Hill Student Wins Grand Prize in Coding Competition

Victor (Vale) Tolpegin, 16, won the grand prize in the international computer programming competition, Google Code-In. Tolpegin is a sophomore at Flint Hill School in Oakton.

Vienna Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Town of Vienna Police Report from Feb. 12-18.

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Vienna Pet-Pal Stories

Every pet-family has a story, some happy, some poignant.Their stories are a reminder of the unconditional love and devotion that pets bring into a home.

Vienna: On the Way to Forever Homes

The Korffs of Vienna foster dogs who wait for a family to love them.

For many families, watching the family pup frolic and play around is fun.

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McLean and Vienna: Hope on Ice at Tysons Ice Rink

The first Hope on Ice took place last weekend at the Tysons Corner Ice Skating Rink.

Letter: Cooper Students Support Students in Afghanistan

To the Editor

About two years ago I attended an event in Washington, D.C. where the First Lady of Afghanistan, Ms. Ashraf Ghani, spoke on behalf of the Aschiana Foundation.

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McLean and Great Falls: Supreme Court Inspires Case Day at Langley

Justice Antonin Scalia remembered at Langley during Case Day, which he helped originate.

United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin “Nino” Scalia helped former Langley teacher James Catlette develop Case Day into an annual academic gift to each Langley graduating class.

Week in McLean

Weekly happenings in McLean

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McLean:Mickey and Watson

Mickey, formerly known as Sherlock, and Watson were adopted separately at a Lost Dog and Rescue Fair on the same day in Falls Church.

Obituary: Helen Mary Semenuk, Dies

Helen Mary Semenuk was a resident of Falls Church and member of St. James Church for 63 years.

McLean: Chase Murphy Semifinalist in Military Child of the Year

Chase Murphy, 17, of McLean, is a semifinalist in Operation Homefront’s 2016 Military Child of the Year.

Week in Great Falls

Weekly happenings in Great Falls

Great Falls: A Gentle Giant

This is our dog Duke in a familiar pose.

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The Pets of Great Falls

Great Falls pets and their friends.

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Letter: To Animal Lover

To the Editor

Like most kids, I always wanted a puppy to hug, play with, and love. My parents promised me my first pet when I turned 10

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Fairfax County Schools to Close March 1 for Super Tuesday

Concerns about parking and traffic, as well as new guidance from the Virginia Department of Education caused the Fairfax County School Board to reconsider closing schools for the March 1 Presidential primaries.

Editorial: Bad Bills

General Assembly has potential to do lots of damage in a short period.

From pressing for use of a barbaric form of execution, the electric chair, to codifying discrimination, to stripping localities of the major tool for ensuring infrastructure is in place for new development, to hiding more and more critical public information from the public, the Virginia General Assembly is poised to do harm to the Commonwealth.

Alexandria: It Takes a Village to Recover Lost Shelter Beagle


A shy two-year-old beagle with large, sweet eyes provided an adventure for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria that its staff and volunteers won’t soon forget.

Wednesday, February 24

Classified Advertising February 24, 2016

Read the lastest ads here!

Burke: Lake Braddock’s Butler Scores 40 in Final High School Game

Bruins fall to Stonewall Jackson in opening round of regionals.

James Butler scored 40 points in Lake Braddock's loss to Stonewall Jackson in the opening round of the regional tournament on Tuesday.

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Mount Vernon: West Potomac Boys Win Conference 7 Championship

Wolverines beat top seed West Springfield in final.

The West Potomac boys' basketball team wins the Conference 7 championship.

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Alexandria: T.C. Williams Girls Win Conference 7 Championship

Titans, down to five players, win in double overtime.

The T.C. Williams girls' basketball team won the Conference 7 championship.

Column: General Assembly Reaches Halfway Point


The 2016 General Assembly session has passed the halfway point. The House of Delegates is considering 552 bills that passed the Virginia Senate. The Senate is considering 983 House bills. Among these, the House passed 24 bills and one resolution that I introduced — more than any other member of the House and Senate. I appreciate the support of Republicans and Democrats in the House of Delegates in passing these initiatives.

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Chantilly: Groomers Pursue Voluntary Certification

Featherle Pet Care, a small, family-run business, operates two salons in Chantilly and Sterling, Canine Clipper School of Pet Grooming in Dumfries and Wash and Wag of Culpeper.

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Michael League, in His Own Words

Following Snarky Puppy’s Feb. 15 Grammy victory for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, the band’s founder and leader, Centreville High grad Michael League, participated in this interview:

Mountain View Grads Succeeding Despite Obstacles

Mountain View honors four students with special awards.

During Mountain View High’s winter graduation last week, four students were honored with special awards. They were Sara Mendez, Jada Jones, Reynaldo Gonzalez Martinez and Brenda Rivera.

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Mountain View Principal: ‘You Can Achieve Anything’

Success stories shared at Mountain View’s graduation.

Mountain View High’s motto is “Family, Love, Respect,” and it was on full display during the school’s winter graduation, last Tuesday, Feb. 16, at Centreville High.

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Centreville High Grad Wins Second Grammy

Michael League’s band has Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

A 2002 Centreville High grad, Michael League is a living example of the importance of fine arts in the school system. Besides being a four-year member of Centreville’s Theater Department, he played bass in the school’s orchestra, jazz band and choir back-up band.

Alexandria Letter: Examining ARHA Proposal

Letter to the Editor

We are writing in regards to the recent Alexandria City Council decision to deny rezoning [editor’s note: since rescinded] for the Ramsey Homes, owned by the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority (ARHA).

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Arlington: Thirty-one Rescued Birds Survive Oil Spill

Survivors to be returned to site.

The Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research’s Oil Spill Response Team was activated by the Coast Guard on Thursday, Feb. 4 to respond to birds covered with oil from the newly-discovered Potomac River spill.

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Arlington: Saying Goodbye to Kai

Making that final decision.

Kai‘s fancy “kennel” name was Sojourner, Summer of Storms. He was born in 2006, a summer full of rain and thunder. But “Kai” suited him best.

Arlington Snapshot: Blessed

Boone joined our family in June 2015 after being picked up as a stray and ultimately connected with Lab Rescue.

Tuesday, February 23

Whitman Girls Ready for Another Deep Playoff Run

Vikings beat Paint Branch despite slow offensive start.

The Whitman girls' basketball team is ready for another deep postseason run.

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Great Falls: Saxons Shoot Their Way to Conference 6 Title

Langley makes nine 3-pointers against South Lakes.

The Langley boys' basketball team won the Conference 6 championship.

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Great Falls: Langley Girls Win First Conference Title Since 1988

Saxons upset previously unbeaten Fairfax.

The Langley girls' basketball team defeated Fairfax 42-38 on Saturday to win the Conference 6 title.

Monday, February 22

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Alexandria Appetite: Three Coffee Shops to Get the Chill Out

Beat the wintertime blues with some hot coffee around town.

The faces of Alexandrians across the city display their query plainly: Will this snowy winter ever end? While waiting for warmer climes to make their appearance this spring, here are three venues to warm up with a hot cup of joe in the meantime.

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Alexandria: Port City Playhouse Stages ‘Fool for Love’

Play is an exploration of pleasures, perils and consequences of sexual chemistry.

Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love" will be staged by Port City Playhouse from Feb. 26 to March 12 in Alexandria.

Arlington: Protecting Pets Helps Their Owners Too

Local animal shelters offer help to families in distress.

When her husband locked the family cat in a cage, submerged it in a bathtub filled with water and tried to drown it, a Fairfax County mother jumped in to save her beloved feline.

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Arlington: Palette 22 Combines Working Art with International Flavors

Diners can watch art in progress.

Palette 22 at 4053 Campbell Ave. in Shirlington combines international street food with work stations for local artists where diners can watch art work in progress.

Sunday, February 21

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West Potomac to Face West Springfield in Conference 7 Championship Game

Coach Houston making third trip to conference final in 12 years with Wolverines.

West Potomac beat Woodson on Saturday.

Saturday, February 20

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Scanlon, Francis Lead Westfield to Conference 5 Championship

Bulldog seniors combine for 56 points in win over Chantilly.

The Westfield boys' basketball team defeated Chantilly in the Conference 5 championship game on Friday.

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Vienna: Oakton Girls' Basketball Wins Conference 5 Championship

Cougars outscore Herndon 17-0 in opening quarter.

The Oakton girls' basketball team defeated Herndon for the Conference 5 title on Friday.

Friday, February 19

Commentary: Building on Success

Congress passes more legislation to fight human trafficking.

Congress continues to work together in a bipartisan manner on an issue that grabs headlines throughout the country and here in Northern Virginia.

Weichert, Realtors McLean/Dolley Madison Office, Two Associates Recognized

Bruce L. Green, regional vice president of Weichert, Realtors, announced that the McLean/Dolley Madison office was recognized for exceptional performance during the month of January.

Week in Herndon

Weekly happenings in Herndon

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Herndon: Red Sunday Goes Mobile

LifeJacket provides food, shelter for homeless.

In December, LifeJacket successfully completed its eighth annual Red Sunday event. The goal of the nonprofit is to eradicate hunger and homelessness by reaching out to assist residents in the immediate and surrounding areas.

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Reston: Valentine’s on Ice

Skaters swirl across the outdoor rink, despite the sub-freezing chill, contrasting with a slow Saturday afternoon at the Reston Town Center (RTC).

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County Budget Presented, About $300 More per Household

County Executive: Revenue growth is insufficient to fund all priorities. Schools still $68 million short.

County Executive Ed Long recommended a four-cent increase to the real estate tax rate.

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NOVA Medical Education Campus Holds Dental Service Event

The Medical Education Campus (MEC) of Northern Virginia Community College hosted the 2016 Give Kids a Smile event (GKAS) on Friday, Feb. 5.

Thursday, February 18

Commentary: Regional Gas Tax, Digital Divide, and Identity Protection

The fifth week of the General Assembly Session brought some long days and nights as we rushed to complete work on bills before our mid-session deadline called “Crossover.”

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Lorton: Cultural Diversity Sculpture

Work by Foon Sham on display at Workhouse Art Center.

Arts Council of Fairfax County Strauss Fellowship recipient, and internationally-renowned artist Foon Sham, who lives in Fairfax County, has created the large scale detailed work entitled “Culture House.”

Week in Fairfax

Weekly happenings in Fairfax

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Fairfax: For Love of Art and Companionship

Local artists and art lovers gathered in Old Town Hall Gallery for a reception hosted by the Fairfax Art League.

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Fairfax: Volunteers Honor Dr. King’s Legacy

ICF International, a Fairfax-based management consulting services company, sponsored community event, in which more than 500 volunteers came out for Volunteer Fairfax’s Annual Give Together, a Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service at JCC of NoVa.

Girls on the Run Spring Registration Open

Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia is registering girls in third through eighth grade for its curriculum-based after school program. By using a curriculum that creatively integrates running with life lessons, Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia supports girls in developing the confidence and character they need to become strong, healthy women.

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Fairfax: "Fantasia" at Mason

Legendary animated ‘Disney Fantasia: Live in Concert’ at Center for the Arts Feb. 27.

“If you like Disney today, you owe it to yourself to see the beginnings of what came before contemporary Disney features such as ‘Frozen’ or ‘Toy Story,’ said Rob Farr, professor, Film History, George Mason University in a recent interview.

Fairfax: Roads and Redevelopment

City Council and staff discuss various projects and proposals.

Pedestrian and driver safety, the City/GMU charrette and various redevelopment projects were among the items discussed during the Fairfax City Council’s Jan. 12 mini-retreat at the Blenheim Interpretive Center. Also on hand were members of City staff.

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Fairfax: Messages of Hope, Love at New Lamb Center

It was 19 degrees outside when about 100 people gathered Saturday afternoon at the site of the new Lamb Center for a beam-signing. But inside the building still under construction, it might as well have been 90 degrees – warmed by all the love and well wishes of those attending.

Free Community Education Helps Take Stress out of Tax Season

If you cringe when you think of tax season, you’re not alone. Each year Northern Virginia business owners rally to get their W2s and 1099s mailed by the Jan. 31 deadline while employees and independent contractors begin gathering their documents to take to their tax preparer.

Obituary: Leah Angela Socha, 66, of Fairfax, Dies

Leah Angela Socha was born Aug. 28, 1949 in Meriden, Conn. to George Kakis and Evelyn Mitchell. She attended High School in Wethersfield, Conn. then moved to Massachusetts where she met her husband Bernie.

Lake Braddock Graduate Recognized as International Expert

Fairfax Station native and Lake Braddock Secondary School graduate Candace P. Sharkey received the Richard J. Kerr Government Award from the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) at its annual Achievement Awards ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

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Reston: Conference Champions

Paced by record-setting performances in the 500 meters, seniors Golden Kumi-Darfour and Skander Ballard led the South Lakes High School indoor track and field teams to Liberty Conference titles in both the boys and girls divisions Friday, Feb. 5 at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Md.

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Three Madison Wrestlers Win Region Titles

Three Madison wrestling win region championships.

Week in Reston

The Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) Waste Water Collection Division staff completed their Septage Receiving Site Feasibility Study

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Reston Community Center Hosts Taste of Arab World

A Diversity of Art at Reston Community Center.

Reston Community Center (RCC) hosted “A Taste of the Arab World” at Hunters Woods Friday, Feb. 12.

Reston Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Fairfax County Police Blotter from Feb. 8-12.

Reston Pleads for Governor’s Veto

Reston Association and Reston 20/20 weigh in on proffer controversy.

Reston Association and the Reston 20/20 Committee asked Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to veto a bill about proffers that passed the Virginia General Assembly.

Commentary: Classrooms to Courtrooms

A report of the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) released last year included some eye-opening findings for Virginia: The Commonwealth leads the nation in student referrals to law enforcement, and minority students and students with disabilities are more likely to be suspended, expelled, or referred to law enforcement.

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Three McLean Gymnasts Qualify for State Meet

Defending state champs place third at regionals.

Three McLean gymnasts qualified for states.

Commentary: Super Tuesday is Coming: Farewell Barack, Welcome Donald?

Independent Progressive

Have you heard? The United States will elect a new President this year.

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Herndon Church Hosts Chocolate Festival

The 25th chocolate festival held at Herndon Floris United Methodist Church.

Despite cold weather, families from around the Herndon area attended the Saturday chocolate festival hosted by Floris United Methodist Church.

Herndon Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Herndon police report from Feb. 1-7.

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Hayfield’s Overstreet Wins Region Bars Title

Senior gymnast headed to fourth state meet.

Hayfield senior Molly Overstreet wins the region bar title.

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Herndon: Connections Between Sisters On Stage and Off

NextStop to present ‘Crimes of the Heart.’

The relationship between sisters can be so powerful.

Sports Roundups

Sports happenings in Vienna, Great Falls and McLean.

FCPS Open Enrollment for Two-Way and World Languages Immersion Programs

Fairfax County Public Schools' online registration for the countywide lottery for two-way and world language immersion programs will open on Monday, Feb. 22.

FCPS Students Win Awards in 2016 Scholastic Writing Competition

Fairfax County Public Schools students at 22 schools won regional awards in the 2016 Scholastic Writing Awards Competition.

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West Springfield Gymnastics Earns State Berth

Spartans finish runner-up at regional meet.

The West Springfield gymnastics team finished region runner-up.

Tysons Chamber Names Francis Gary Powers, Jr. Acting President

Lori Lopez, Chairman for the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce (TRCC) announced that Francis Gary Powers, Jr. has been hired as the Acting President effective Jan. 15, 2016.

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1st Stage Receives Six Helen Hayes Nominations

The Helen Hayes Awards, now in its 32nd year, recognizes outstanding achievement in more than 90 professional theatres across the Washington metropolitan area, including Northern Virginia.

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Arlington: Cool-Headed Hays Helps Yorktown Win Region Title

Freshman places first in all-around, beam, floor.

The Yorktown gymnastics team won the 6A North region championship.

Week in Vienna

Weekly happenings in Vienna.

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Lieutenant Louis “Lou” Forges Retires from the Vienna Police Department

On Feb. 1, Lt. Louis “Lou” Forges retired from the Town of Vienna Police Department.

Vienna Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Vienna Police Report from Feb. 5-11.

Letter: Overzealous Spenders

To the Editor

For decades the incessant grab for increasing revenues by local jurisdictions has been evidenced by larger and larger, more creative grabs by localities, some even illegal.

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Vienna Business Association Installs New Board Members

The Vienna Business Association installed its 2016 Board of Directors, headed by chairman Mary Kay Claus, on Feb. 12, at the association’s luncheon meeting.

Vienna: From Green Bean to ‘Green’

Caffe Amouri wins Virginia Green Restaurant of the Year award.

From cold cups made of corn starch rather than plastic, fettucine coffee stirrers (big hit with little kids), windows that open in warm weather, and coffee grounds set out in a bin for free use by local gardeners, all underscore Amouri’s commitment to sustainability.

BASIS Independent to Open in Tysons Corner

In preparation of the opening of BASIS Independent McLean (which is Tysons Corner’s first prek-12th grade school), Basis.ed’s co-founder Michael Block will speak at an introductory session on Monday, Feb. 22 at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel at 7 p.m.

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Burke, Fairfax: Filler-Corn Promotes Child Care Safety in the General Assembly

In the 2016 General Assembly Session, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41) has offered two bipartisan bills continuing her work in making child care safer in Virginia.

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Langley Hockey Celebrates Senior Night with Win over Lake Braddock

The Langley Saxon Hockey Team celebrated Seniors Night on Friday, Feb. 5 with a 7-4 win over Lake Braddock.

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McLean: Langley High Orchestras Tour Spain

Langley musicians perform two concert, tour three cities.

From Feb. 3—9, members of the Langley High School orchestras (Freshman, Sinfonietta, Symphonic and Philharmonic) traveled to Spain, where they performed two concerts and toured the cities of Madrid, Segovia and Barcelona.

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Mount Vernon: Changes at Fort Belvoir

Garrison Commander Mitchell renews Community Covenant, gives overview at business breakfast

Uniformed members of the West Potomac High School JROTC color guard paraded into the dining room at the Belle Haven Country Club as classmates in a chamber choir sang the national anthem to open the February Business Breakfast of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce.

Week in McLean

Weekly happenings in McLean.

McLean Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Fairfax County Police Blotter from Feb. 8-12.

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Valentines for Veterans

Churchill Road kindergarteners in Barbara Lewis’ class got into the spirit of the holiday by making “Valentines for Vets.”

Week in Great Falls

Weekly happenings in Great Falls

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Feb. 19-28


Events near Alexandria, Va.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 68 homes sold between $1,556,775-$182,000 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna, Oakton Home Sales: January, 2016

Springfield Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 97 Springfield homes sold between $800,000-$157,000.

Springfield Home Sales: January, 2016

Reston Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 70 Reston homes sold between $920,000-$134,985.

Reston Home Sales: January, 2016

McLean Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 59 homes sold between $2,850,000-$160,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean Home Sales: January, 2016

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 39 homes sold between $1,111,684-$195,000 in the Oak Hill and Herndon area.

Oak Hill and Herndon Home Sales: January, 2016

Great Falls Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 7 Great Falls homes sold between $1,285,000-$839,000.

Great Falls Home Sales: January, 2016

Fairfax Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 55 Fairfax homes sold between $1,360,000-$169,000.

Fairfax Home Sales: January, 2016

Chantilly Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 13 homes sold between $755,000-$189,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly Home Sales: January, 2016

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Potomac Weekend Fun: Feb. 19-28


Events near Potomac, Md.

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 49 homes sold between $1,230,549-$130,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton Home Sales: January, 2016

Centreville Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 43 Centreville homes sold between $615,000-$169,000.

Centreville Home Sales: January, 2016

Burke Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 41 Burke homes sold between $660,000-$230,000.

Burke Home Sales: January, 2016

Mount Vernon Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 76 homes sold between $775,000-$97,500 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon Home Sales: January, 2016

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Arlington Weekend Fun: Feb. 19-28


Events in Arlington Co., Va.

Arlington Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 146 Arlington homes sold between $1,688,270-$124,900.

Arlington Home Sales: January, 2016

Alexandria Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 97 Alexandria homes sold between $2,785,000-$135,000.

Alexandria Home Sales: January, 2016

Mount Vernon: Local Author Creates ‘Jack Spade’

Second novel reflects influence of film noir.

In “Jack Spade: Dream Detective,” computer programmer James Harper takes on the persona of a 1940s detective, Jack Spade, in his dreams. The story follows Spade and his partner Joe Sawyer as they try to solve a missing person’s case.

Potomac Home Sales: January, 2016

In January, 2016, 24 Potomac homes sold between $3,500,000-$585,000.

Potomac Home Sales: January, 2016

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Supporting UCM Progreso Center

Enjoying the Valentine Dance and Dinner on Feb. 6, hosted by Good Shepherd Catholic Church, are UCM Progreso Center volunteers (from left) banker Ruth Esum, her sister attorney Joyce Williams, and attorney Janet Smith.

Mount Vernon Letter: Mail Delivery Failures

Letter to the Editor

The following open letter was addressed to David E. Williams, chief operating officer and executive vice president, U.S. Postal Service.

Mount Vernon Letter: Unconscionable Lack of Communication

Letter to the Editor

Recently the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability, Inc. (CCPA), a Virginia nonprofit corporation, proposed that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors appoint a Citizen Complaint Oversight Board, comprised of Fairfax County citizens who would accept and investigate citizen allegations of police abuse or misconduct and report its findings and recommendations to the Chief of Police or the Board of Supervisors.

Mount Vernon Column: Regional Gas Tax, Digital Divide, and Identity Protection


The fifth week of the General Assembly Session brought some long days and nights as we rushed to complete work on bills before our mid-session deadline called “Crossover.”

Mount Vernon Column: About the Potomac Oil Spill


Over the last several weeks, our area has been subjected to an oil spill fouling the Roaches Run waterfowl sanctuary and the Potomac River. Dominion Power claimed responsibility for a 13,500-gallon spill of mineral oil from the Crystal City substation, of which about 500 gallons contaminated the Potomac River. It is working with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and US Coast Guard to clean up the remaining oil.

Alexandria Letter: We Are All Americans

Letter to the Editor

If George Washington was alive today, and someone asked him if he was a Democrat or a Republican, what would he say?

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Fairfax: Northern Virginia Youth Winds Win Dominion Rising Star Award

The Northern Virginia Youth Winds, a division of the City of Fairfax Band Association, was awarded the Dominion Rising Star Award for their work effectively bringing together arts and education.

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Burke and Fairfax: Good Shepherd Players mark 35 years with “Oklahoma!”

Carol St. Germain of Burke has theater in her blood. She and her husband met working on productions at Lynchburg College, she followed him as he pursued a career in theater design and together, they’ve worked to bring shows to life with the Good Shepherd Players for the last three decades.

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Clifton Woman Aids Refugees During Impromptu Trip to Greece

As Kathy Hertz saw women and children being pushed to the front of the overcrowded dinghy approaching the shore, she thought, “This is what I’m seeing on TV. Oh my God, this is real.”

Letter: An Appeal to Save Marmota Farm

To the Editor

Marmota Farm is the only remaining open space in the heart of Great Falls. Park land in the center of a community imparts a special charm and character to that community.

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Tire Fire at Lorton Landfill Causes Estimated $600,000 in Damage

Firefighter units from across Fairfax County responded to a large tire fire at the Fairfax County Landfill in Lorton on Feb. 6 around 11 p.m., a release from the Fire and Rescue Department said.

Springfield Man Charged with Murder in Feb. 10 Stabbing

Though the investigation is ongoing, Fairfax County Police said they have arrested and charged 20-year-old Dilshad Dosky of Springfield with murdering Shaki E. Phillip.

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Great Falls: Could Bond Referendum Save Marmota Farm?

Price tag is clear and visible on old dairy farm; negotiations underway to turn property into 11-house subdivision.

Betty Nalls Swartz rolls the windows down when she drives along Old Georgetown Pike by the Grange, Old Schoolhouse and Lift Me Up therapeutic riding program. Marmota Farm, 22.78 acres and once a dairy farm, “still smells like a farm,” she said.

Langley High Graduate Shines on Opera Stage

Dunigan graduated from Langley High School in 2010.

Great Falls Teen Wins DAR Essay Contest

The Thomas Lee Chapter (Fairfax) of the Daughters of the American Revolution honored Mary Paige Fotopoulos of Great Falls with a certificate in recognition of her first place essay in the Christopher Columbus essay contest.

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Fairfax County: Parents, Community Supporters Rally to ‘Invest in Kids’

Emotional independent outbursts and communal chants of “Fund our schools” and “Invest in kids” echoed through the grand amphitheater just beyond the entrance to the Fairfax County Government Center.

Alexandria Letter: Skepticism Warranted

Letter to the Editor

Councilmembers Lovain and Smedberg are right to be skeptical of the proposal for a City Ethics Commission.

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Alexandria Snapshot: President's Day

In honor of Presidents Day — with thoughts of liberty and justice.

Alexandria Letter: ARHA Proposals Flaunt Regulations

Letter to the Editor

I would like to share my opinion on disturbing development proposal of Ramsey homes in City of Alexandria.

Alexandria Letter: Expand Advisory Group

Letter to the Editor

I am a native Virginian, a retired Army Veteran, a resident of Fairfax County since 1995 and a long-time member of the Bull Run Civil War Round Table.

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Alexandria: TC Honors Its Titans

Hall of Fame inductees include serviceman killed in Iraq and “Remember the Titans” coach Herman Boone.

For one of T.C. Williams High School’s biggest celebrities, Coach Herman Boone made a quiet entrance to the Alexandria City Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony. He worked his way apart from the crowd, finding and greeting some of the men he used to coach in football. Boone was among the athletes inducted and coaches honorarily inducted into the ACPS Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Feb. 12.

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Alexandria: And Now for Something Different–Consensus

Council and School Board agree on capacity priority.

Here’s how budget sessions go: the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) puts together a list of funding requests. The city puts its budget together and tells the school system to get its numbers lower. There’s some haggling over prices and priorities, with the city eventually transferring a little more money into the schools and the schools announcing cuts to various programs or plans to reach the city’s funding requirements.

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Alexandria: Residents Displaced by Church Expansion Assured Housing

The Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley presents affordable housing relocation plan.

“One of our missions is to sustain affordable housing,” said the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley at a meeting with the local residents on Feb. 11.”This affects people and families. It’s not something we take lightly.”

Alexandria Letter: Alternatives to Wholesale Renaming

Letter to the Editor

I don’t support efforts to remove the Confederate statue from Washington Street, and rid Alexandria of Confederate street names. We can’t and shouldn’t erase the town’s past, even the unpleasant memories.

Closing Businesses: Ghost of Times Past?


Take a look at the list of businesses along our “Main Street” that have recently closed or announced their closing:

Alexandria Letter: Deal on Guns Falls Short

Letter to the Editor

I considered Gov. Terry McAuliffe one of the nation’s best governors on gun safety.

Alexandria Letter: Look to the Future

Letter to the Editor

As a born, raised and very proud Alexandrian, I watch with a heavy heart, the results of society trying to tear down and dispose of our American history in all respects. When America was being born, and it went through growing pains, people named towns, cities, streets, buildings, etc., after those who made impacts to this country.

Alexandria Letter: Church Expansion Deserves Support

Letter to the Editor

We feel very privileged to live here in Alexandria amongst neighbors so willing to "put community first."

Alexandria: Scholarship Honors Peter Williams

Application deadline Feb. 28.

Applications for the Peter Williams Memorial Scholarship are being accepted through Feb. 28.

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Alexandria: Presenting Move2Learn Grants

RunningBrooke awards $70,000 to local nonprofits.

Brooke Curran, founder of the RunningBrooke fund, presented $70,000 to 12 local nonprofits Feb. 10 as part of the 2016 Move2Learn grants awards.

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Alexandria: Caboose Café Wins Heart of Del Ray Award

Caboose Café wins 8th annual award.

Forget Iowa and New Hampshire. It was the Caboose Café and Bakery that came out on top once the votes were counted in the 8th annual Del Ray Business Association’s Heart of Del Ray award.

Alexandria Obituary: Anne Smith Paul Dies

Devoted preservationist, volunteer.

Anne Paul, a longtime resident devoted to the preservation of Alexandria’s history, died Feb. 14 at her home. She was 75.

Alexandria Column: The Pillars and the Princess

Commentary–Rebuilding Together Alexandria

Homeownership is often equated with success and the fulfillment of the American Dream.

Wednesday, February 17

Potomac Real Estate: December, 2015 Sales, $1,200,000~$1,769,500

In December 2015, 49 Potomac homes sold between $2,700,000-$560,000.

Potomac Real Estate: December, 2015 Sales, $1,200,000~$1,769,500

Chantilly Letter: Intolerance and Hatred

Letter to the Editor

Donald Trump — the fading hot topic of last year; currently known for being the frontrunner in the Republican presidential primaries along with his infamous bigotry. Throughout 2015, the media exploited all the ignorant acts he displayed towards any minorities, beginning with the Hispanic community and now moving on to Muslims, or anyone with a darker complexion for that matter.

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Centreville/Chantilly Snapshot: Chapter of National Charity League Seeks Members

Virginia Bluebell Chapter of the National Charity League, Inc. (NCL) is currently seeking new members from the Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton and the surrounding areas.

Centreville Letter: Oppose ICE’s Raids

Letter to the Editor

On the morning of Saturday, Feb. 6, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted residential raids in Centreville, taking one family member of a worker from the Centreville Labor Resource Center.

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Chantilly: Launching Mustang Sally Brewing Company

From dream to reality in 25 years.

Opening a brewery, a place for a community to come together and bond over cold glasses of craft beer, was the post-graduate dream of Fairfax County business owner Sean Hunt. Twenty-five years ago, a fresh out-of-college Hunt and his equally green work buddy talked about starting and running a welcoming place in Fairfax County where locals could swing by and enjoy a high-quality, reliably tasty beer or two.

Fairfax County Police: ‘We’re There to Help Them Out’

CAC learns about Police Department’s hostage negotiations team.

Each month, members of the Sully District Police Station’s Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) learn about a different section of the Fairfax County Police Department. Recently, they learned about hostage negotiations.

Potomac Letter: Beware of Puppy Mill Dogs

Letter to the Editor

While chocolates and flowers make great gifts for your sweetheart on Feb. 14, a puppy from a pet store, flea market, or purchased online is a terrible decision. When you buy a dog from one of those sources, you unfortunately do not know what you are going to get and are likely supporting a puppy mill. Puppy mills are inhumane, commercial breeding facilities where dogs typically live in deplorable conditions.

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Potomac: Teaching through Problem-Solving

Kumon relocates to Potomac Promenade Mall.

Karen Forng of Potomac is the owner of the newly renovated and relocated Potomac Kumon Math and Reading Center. Because of her first-hand experience with the Kumon program, she is a true believer — and she opened her business to share Kumon with the many students who need academic support in reading, math and study skills.

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Potomac Snapshot: Adding New Location

Kicks Karate is opening its 13th location at 9812 Falls Road in the Potomac Promenade shopping center. Kicks Karate has been serving both Montgomery and Frederick counties for more than 20 years and taught more than 50,000 residents the benefits of martial arts. Kicks Karate offers classes for students ages 3 and up and divides all classes by age and skill level. Adult Karate and Fitness Kickboxing is available for ages 13 and up. Visit

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Potomac Snapshot: Serving Refugees

Every year, Lutheran Social Service/National Capital Area welcomes hundreds of refugees from around the world to the U.S., averaging about 30 families a month.

Potomac Column: Manger Urges Support of Noah’s Law

Commentary–DUI Laws

On the day that Montgomery County Officer Noah Leotta died, Chief of Police J. Thomas Manger spoke about Leotta’s sacrifice. Manger talked about the driver who was under the influence of alcohol when he killed Leotta — the driver who had previously been arrested three times for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses.

Potomac Brief: Transforming into New York-Style Deli

Since 1975, Potomac Village Deli in Gaithersburg has been the “Go-To” full-serve restaurant and delicatessen in the heart of Montgomery County.

Potomac Brief: Peace Groups Sponsor Writing Contest

All Maryland middle school students are invited to enter a statewide writing contest focusing on the themes of peace and social justice.

Potomac: Black History Tour Registration Opens

An annual civil rights historic bus tour retraces the steps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights heroes.

Arlington Column: General Assembly Reaches Crossover


The Virginia General Assembly has finally reached “Crossover,” the halfway point by which each chamber must complete work on its own bills and begin considering legislation passed by the other body. Over 870 bills have passed the House of Delegates and over 700 made it through the Senate. We will be working diligently over the coming weeks to consider the remaining legislation, including 13 of my bills that have passed the Senate and await consideration by the House.

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Oil Spill Reaches Roaches Run, Potomac

Dominion Power working on remediation.

The unraveling of the oil sheen mystery on the Potomac River took Federal, state and Arlington County officials, the Coast Guard, multiple lab tests and days of speculation.

Arlington Letter: Public Input Encouraged

Letter to the Editor

Your recent article [“Completing the Street,” Arlington Connection, p. 2] on the county's new Neighborhood Complete Streets (NCS) Program misrepresents the program.

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Arlington Snapshot: Healthy School Award

The Marine Corps Marathon presented the Healthy School Award and a $1,000 check on Feb. 5 to Claremont Immersion Elementary School from MCM partner Sodexo.

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Arlington: ‘Helping Paws’ Entertains Seniors

A treat for the audience and treats for the performer.

When Charles and Patty Toftoy visit Arlington Mill Community Center with Zoe in their arms, the smiles and laughter begin almost the moment they enter the door.

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Hula Girl Brings Taste of Hawaii to Shirlington

What started as a food truck has blossomed into a full-fledged restaurant giving Hawaiians – and Hawaiian food fans – a taste of home.

Northern Virginia is home to innumerable cuisines. Salvadoran, Korean, Vietnamese, Southern barbecue, Ethiopian … the list goes on and on. But there’s been a dearth of Hawaiian cuisine in the region — until Hula Girl’s grand opening in Shirlington changed that.

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Arlington Budget Season Blooms

Looking at the basics of the 2016 Arlington budget.

The birds will be singing, the snow will be melting, and throughout spring, Arlington County staff and board members will spend most of their afternoons haggling over finances. On Feb. 23, the County Board will vote on County Manager Mark Schwartz’s proposed FY 2017 budget, and 2016’s budget session will officially kick off.

Tuesday, February 16

Editorial: Freedom of Information on Life Support in General Assembly?

Last week, the Assembly passed SB 202, which undid a major push eight years ago to ensure that all of our public spending was ‘online’ and searchable by ordinary citizens. This, of course, meant disclosing the salaries of public employees over a certain income level.

Editorial: Fairfax Presses Ahead with Diversion First

When police encounter someone in mental health crisis, they can transport them to Merrifield Crisis Response Center instead of jail.

Natasha McKenna died a little more than a year ago on Feb. 7, 2015.

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Diversion First Program Launched

Fairfax County officials announce Diversion First program designed to help individuals get treatment not jail time.

Kevin Earley said he’s living proof that Diversion First works. Earley has been living with bipolar disorder and had his last episode in 2007.

Uncovering the Roots of Slavery

Local student creates slave index to help descendants trace family history.

A local college student is spending much of her senior year scouring the last wills and testaments of residents of Northern Virginia.

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ServiceSource Helps People with Disabilities

Nonprofit ServiceSource helps people with disabilities.

In one section of the ServiceSource Chantilly Center, music therapist Myra Goodrich leads a group of budding musicians playing a cheerful song.

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Touching Many Hearts

Minecraft for a Mission – Touching Heart and their “Kids on a Mission” raise funds for children in foster care.

They say that charity begins at home. Helen Yi and Taylor, the mother and daughter co-founders of Touching Heart, a nonprofit aimed at educating and inspiring children to empathize with the needs of others and to take action to assist them, have no argument with that statement.

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‘Star Wars’ Fans Flock to Local Classes

Movie's popularity leaves fans wanting to feel "The Force."

Beams of neon light flash around a dark room. Young Star Wars fans from a galaxy not so far away wield light sabers and move with carefully choreographed steps.

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Time To Plan for Kids’ Summer Camp Adventures

Local camp fair offers sampling of summer programs.

Under a blanket of February frost, summer might seem light years away, but it’s closer than one might think.

Arlington: Screening of 'Princess Bride' Draws Full House

Annual “Princess Bride” Valentine’s Day screening at Arlington Drafthouse.

Love. Revenge. A clever hero. A beautiful princess. Sword fights. “The Princess Bride” has everything anyone could want in a Valentine’s Day movie, which is how the classic film became an annual tradition at the Arlington Drafthouse, which shows the movie, along with a magic show or stand up, every Feb. 14.

Saturday, February 13

West Potomac Dominates Early in Win Over South County

Wolverines improve to 9-1 in last 10 games, sit in 2nd place.

The West Potomac boys' basketball team defeated South County 59-45 on Friday.

Friday, February 12

Mount Vernon Snapshot: To Officers, With Love

Local children sent cards of holiday cheer and gratitude to the police officers at the Mount Vernon District Station in appreciation of their being on-duty during the holidays.

Alexandria Brief: Absentee Voting for Primary Open

Absentee voting for Virginia’s March 1 Democratic and Republican Presidential Primary is underway.

Mount Vernon Letter: Legalized Extortion

Letter to the Editor

Thank goodness we have the Dillon Rule in Virginia. That rule precludes localities such as cities and counties from taking any actions not specifically authorized by the state legislature. The House of Delegates and State Senate have both passed Bills (HB 770 and SB 549, respectively) the intention of which is to place limitations on the ability of localities to extract unreasonable proffers from property developers.

Mount Vernon Letter: Beware of Scam Artists

Letter to the Editor

Beware of IRS impersonation scammers. I received a telephone call in mid January 2016 that IRS was filing a suit against me and to call a call back number provided for more details.

Mount Vernon Column: Coal Ash Bill Fails, Other Bills Move Forward


As we move towards the midpoint of the General Assembly Session called “Crossover,” we are required to finish work on all bills in our respective chambers. Things are picking up in Richmond.

Mount Vernon Column: State Should Pursue Education Initiatives


Having grown up in the Fairfax County Public School system and with a daughter at West Potomac High School, ensuring Fairfax County students receive the highest quality education is a top priority of mine. Education is an investment that we make in our children to ensure that they are given the tools and opportunities to live up to their potential. We are fortunate to live in an area with a school system that is recognized for its excellence.

Mount Vernon Brief: ‘Stuff the Bus’ Benefits Koinonia Foundation

Fairfax County is promoting its annual "Stuff the Bus: Helping Fairfax Families" program through Feb. 15.

Mount Vernon Brief: Dental Office To Give Away Free Smile Makeover

Doctors Jimani Mwendo and Mike Nguyen and the team at Neibauer Dental Care – Fort Belvoir, 8626 Richmond Highway, are giving away one free smile makeover as part of My Free Smile.

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Column: Out-of-State Animals Find the Good Life in Alexandria


About once a week, Chestina Merriner loads four or five dogs into a white van and makes the 150-mile trip from Wardensville, W.Va., to Alexandria. Destination: the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA).

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Mount Vernon: Clinton, Kaine Win Straw Poll

Fresh off her victory in the Iowa caucuses, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton scored another win for the party’s nomination at the first northern Virginia Democratic Straw Poll of 2016, held Feb. 6 at Don Beyer Volvo on Richmond Highway.

Mount Vernon: Bus Aide Charged

Major Crimes Division Child Exploitation Unit detectives investigated the report from a 16-year-old student that a student bus aide, an acquaintance of hers, sent at least two inappropriate photos of himself to her electronically between November and December 2015.

Mount Vernon: Charges Against Teacher Updated

In September 2015, Michael A. Sweeney, 44, of Woodbridge, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Sweeney had been discovered with the victim, a 16-year-old girl from the Alexandria area of Fairfax County, in a vehicle that was parked in the parking lot of the 8800 block of Richmond Highway.

Alexandria Letter: City Deserves Ethics Commission

Letter to the Editor

There are several issues that are not addressed that are really at the center of the ethics controversy. Although the City Council unanimously approved its Transparency Resolution on Jan. 30, there are a number of shortcomings in its creation, inception and implementation.

Alexandria Letter: Washington’s Wider View

Letter to the Editor

Although George Washington traveled widely in what became the United States, he left the mainland only once, when he sailed to Barbados with his older half-brother Lawrence in 1751.

Alexandria Letter: Empathy, Please

Letter to the Editor

Enough. With regard to the recent letters that strongly support the installation of lights at the T. C. Williams football field, I ask you this: would you subject your spouse, your kids, your parents and grandparents to a loud speaker so obnoxiously loud that you have to give your kids earplugs to sleep?

Alexandria Letter: Advance City Ethics Code

Letter to the Editor

Mayor Silberberg and City Council may be commended for starting an effort to write the city’s elected officials an ethics pledge and code to present in about nine weeks.

Alexandria Mentor of the Month: At Wright to Read, Developing a Love of Reading

Ms. Jordan and I have worked together for three and a half years.

Alexandria History: Braddock’s Defeat Solidifies Washington’s Military Credentials

Braddock’s Defeat Solidifies Washington’s Military Credentials

In 1755, in midst of the French and Indian War, Major General Edward Braddock arrived in Virginia as commander in chief of the British forces in North America against the French

Alexandria History: George Washington, The Farmer

George Washington is remembered for being the father of the country, having served as an officer in the French and Indian War, Commander in Chief during the Revolutionary War, and founding President of the United States. However, for 15 years between the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, George Washington was a highly successful and innovative planter.

Alexandria Column: Building Strong Children at Community Lodgings

Commentary–Community Lodgings

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Alexandria Column: Three-Part Gun Deal Passes State Senate


As the fourth week of our legislative session drew to a close, all three pieces of legislation comprising Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s gun deal passed the Senate. The first component of the deal – SB610, introduced by Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) – restores and expands interstate reciprocity for the concealed carry of firearms, reversing Attorney General Mark Herring’s December decision that severed agreements to honor concealed handgun permits (CHPs) from 25 states with weaker restrictions than the Commonwealth.

Thursday, February 11

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Burke: Friends of Sadie Blood Drive Returns on Valentine’s Day

In early 2010, friends of the Lauer family in Burke pulled together and organized an impromptu blood drive to support three-month-old Sadie Lauer, who was then diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Sadie underwent several surgeries to remove the cancerous mass in her neck, which required a large supply of replacement blood. The drive fell on Valentine’s Day.

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Burke and Fairfax Station: Three couples making businesses and marriages run hand-in-hand.

Some find it harder than others to keep their work and personal lives separate. In the case of three Burke businesses, their owners have completely merged the two, and been living happily ever after.

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Fairfax County: Public Safety Committee meets to discuss Ad Hoc Police Review recommendations and the Diversion First initiative

Just over a year since Natasha McKenna died following multiple shocks from a taser, while in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention center, her name was never raised during the Feb. 9 meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee meeting. Two audience members stood on one side of the Government Center conference room, holding posters bearing a picture of McKenna’s face and text including “Black Lives Matter.”

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Fairfax County: Training Center Residents Relocated

They’re all gone. As of August 2015, there were still 55 residents with mental or physical disabilities receiving services at the state-owned and operated Northern Virginia Training Center on Braddock Road.

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Clifton’s Ping Pong Tournament a Smash Hit

The staccato of plastic meeting wooden table and rubber-clad paddle in rapid succession filled the Clifton Town Hall as little orange balls whizzed back and forth, competitors across a range of ages and skill levels vying for the title of Ping Pong Champion.

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Nearly 3,000 Pounds of Food Donated During Clifton Stuff the Bus Event

As shoppers hustled in the sliding doors at the Giant Food in Clifton, many on last-minute errands in preparation for Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, five-year-old Selena Padeway was eager to hand them another shopping list.

Wednesday, February 10

Springfield: Giving Back to Community

In 2011, Molly Everett graduated from West Springfield High School and was awarded a scholarship from Greenspring retirement community toward her studies in higher education.

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Lorton: More than a Game

In Lorton, Monopoly tournament tests skills against chance.

Almost 100 players gathered at the Woodbridge Moose Lodge 583 in Lorton on Saturday, Feb. 6 for the ninth year to play a friendly but serious game of Monopoly.

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Alexandria: Making of a Megachurch

Alfred Street Baptist Church prepares for 181,151-square-foot expansion.

On Sundays, Alfred Street Baptist Church, one of the city’s oldest black churches, is one of the most popular spots in Alexandria’s Historic District. According to Deacon James Garrett, the church has added more than 3,000 new members over the last eight years. If all goes according to plan, it’s going to get a little more spacious inside Alexandria’s historic Alfred Street Baptist Church, but some residents are concerned it comes at the cost of crowding their neighbors.

Week in Fairfax

Weekly happenings in Fairfax.

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Fairfax: Providence Elementary Presents Progress Report

Providence Elementary School (PES) principal Jesse Kraft presented his seventh State of the School report to the City of Fairfax School Board on Monday, Feb. 1.

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Alexandria: War of Passive Aggression

South rises again in Alexandria to fight renaming streets and moving memorial.

Speakers at a city meeting compared the potential plans to de-Confederate Alexandria to everything from the backlash against soldiers returning home to Vietnam to ISIS and the Taliban. At the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names, a public comment section sparked tensions and highlighted a deep divide in how Alexandrians still view a war over 150 years ended.

Fairfax: Paul VI Junior Earns a Perfect Score

Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax is celebrating junior Landon Labuskes for earning a perfect score on his AP Calculus AB exam.

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Alexandria People At Work: A New Man in Just 10 Minutes

Eden cuts hair for 50 years.

Fred Murphy walks through the door of the barber shop on his way to the post office and sits in the first chair by the window. Barber Don Eden says, "usual trim?"

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Fairfax: Chocolate Treats All Around

The Fairfax Chocolate Festival was Feb. 6-7.

Pictures from the Fairfax Chocolate Festival 2016.

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Alexandria: Rotary Club Accepting Grant Applications

Deadline is Feb. 26.

The Rotary Club of Alexandria is accepting applications for its annual Grants Program which provides financial support to nonprofit organizations that advance literacy for children and adults or improves the lives of children, youth, seniors and others with special needs in the Alexandria community.

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Fairfax: Bite Me Cancer Gets New Home

Nonprofit now headquartered in AFCEA building in Fair Lakes.

When Nikki Ferraro was just 17, she was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer. Since then, she’s fought it hard while also reaching out to help other teenagers battling the same disease.

Letter: Failure to Perform

To the Editor

I am a student at Lake Braddock Secondary School and was displeased by homeowners in my community who failed to remove their cars from the streets knowing that plows would be coming through or shovel their sidewalks.

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Alexandria: Crafting a New Industry

Microbreweries rise in Northern Virginia.

A change in legislation in 2012 helped fuel the growth of craft breweries. Before Virginia Senate Bill 604 became a law, brewers only could serve small samples of their beers to people.

Area Roundups

Volunteers are needed to drive cancer patients to treatment for The American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program in Northern Virginia.

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‘Mercy Street’ Shines Light on Alexandria

PBS series draws attention to Alexandria’s landmarks.

The Office of Historic Alexandria has joined Extraordinary Alexandria to celebrate the spotlight on its heritage and present new visitor experiences for fans of the PBS miniseries, “Mercy Street.”

Burke and Fairfax: House Passes Filler-Corn Legislation Helping Pediatric Cancer Survivors

Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn’s (D-41) bill, HB 475 passed the House of Delegates unanimously on Monday. The bipartisan bill requires the Department of Education to review regulations and suggest revisions to existing guidelines relating to a return to learn protocol for students who have been treated for pediatric cancer.

Letter: Lodge a Protest or Pick a President

To the Editor

On March 1 Virginia voters in the Democratic Presidential primary will choose between Senator Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Voters wanting a Democratic President should ask three questions.

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Alexandria: Homegrown Desserts and Dishes

Fitting the style at Killer ESP.

As part of the fixins’ bar inside Killer ESP coffee shop on King Street, there is a jar of washable spoons for stirring the coffee, giving customers an option to plastic or wood stirrers that might fester in a landfill for years to come.

Alexandria: City Health Department Offers Guidance on Zika Virus

Case of Zika virus in Virginia was imported from outside the U.S.

As of Feb. 8, there is one known case of Zika virus in Virginia, according to Alexandria Health Department Director Stephen Haering.

Alexandria Obituary: Ralph Horatio Grimm

Ralph Horatio Grimm, a lifetime member of Aerie 871 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Old Town, died Feb. 3, 2016 at the age of 89.

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Alexandria: Stowe Honored as Officer of the Year

American Legion presents inaugural award.

Alexandria Police officer Carl Stowe Jr. was presented with the 2015 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award Jan. 13 by American Legion Post 24 in Old Town.

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Arlington: Breaking Through

Yorktown gymnastics wins Conference 6 championship.

Yorktown won the Conference 6 gymnastics championship.

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Alexandria: A Pub for Presidents

Bulova authors history of Gadsby’s Tavern.

Ever since she graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in anthropology, Gretchen Bulova has been a fixture at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, her name becoming nearly as synonymous with the historic building as George Washington and John Gadsby himself. Now, after 25 years of walking those hallowed halls as its director, Bulova shares the story behind the preservation of the tavern in her book “Gadsby’s Tavern, Images of America.”

Alexandria: ASC to Host Aces’ DeSilva Feb. 16

David DeSilva, head coach of the Alexandria Aces, will join coaches from across the city at the Alexandria Sportsman’s Club’s High School Baseball and Softball night Feb. 16 at the Old Dominion Boat Club.

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West Springfield Gymnastics Wins Conference 7 Championship

Sophomore Levine, freshman Dotson finish 1-2 in all-around.

The West Springfield gymnastics team won the Conference 7 championship.

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Great Falls: Langley Boys’ Swim and Dive Wins Region Championship

Saxon girls finish region runner-up.

The Langley boys' swim and dive team won the 6A North region championship.

Week in Reston

Weekly happenings in Reston

Reston: Heading for State

The South Lakes girls 400 freestyle relay qualified for states with a time of 3:38.43 Saturday night, Jan. 30.

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Reston: Virginia Polar Dip at Lake Anne

Event draws 204 jumpers and raises $95,000 for Camp Sunshine charity.

With air temperatures at 48 degrees, and water temperature at 36 degrees, some 204 jumpers took part in the ninth annual Virginia Polar Dip on Saturday, Feb. 6 at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, raising $95,000 for the Camp Sunshine charity.

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Reston Robotics Proves Resistance is Futile

On a crackling crisp morning Miranda and JohnAngelo stand waiting for a door minder to let them into Nova Labs in Reston.

Reston Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Fairfax County Police blotter from Feb. 1-4.

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Reston: Grand Opening

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage affiliated agents and staff, their friends, family and clients as well as members of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce attended the grand opening of the Coldwell Banker’s new location in Reston Town Center.

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Reston Lions Honor Bland Contest Winners

Winners of the James A. Bland Music Competition, co-sponsored by the Reston Lions Club and the Reston Community Center, held on Tuesday, Feb. 2

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Reston: Bob Simon’s Post Office

More than 50 people showed up with letters and packages to send out from the new Post Office at Lake Anne.

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Alexandria: MetroStage Debuts Musical ‘Shake Loose’

Notes from the Producer

MetroStage is known for its original work on stage. The plays and musicals that we produce for our stage are an eclectic range, unique to our stage, placing us in a special corner of the theatre world.

Reston: Mary Poppins, the Musical’ Arriving at CenterStage

With magical playfulness and practical common sense all charged up with about 30 unforgettable musical numbers, such as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” be ready to welcome the next Reston Community Players production, “Mary Poppins, the Musical.”

Commentary: A Debatable Deal

Opponents of legislation to prevent gun violence have said for years that current laws on the books should be enforced before new laws were passed, but they quickly changed their minds when Attorney General Mark Herring moved to enforce Virginia’s law on recognizing concealed weapon permits from other states.

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Campaign Spending in Alexandria Election

The Virginia Public Access Project compiled the finance reports from the last City Council and mayoral races, giving the public a view of how much running for an office in the city can cost.

Classified Advertising February 10, 2016

Read the latest ads here!

Springfield 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 1,822 Springfield homes sold between $1,176,000-$157,000.

Springfield 2015 Home Sales

McLean 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 1088 homes sold between $8,300,000-$134,000 in the McLean and Falls Church area.

McLean 2015 Home Sales

Vienna and Oakton 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 1,235 homes sold between $3,400,000-$181,084 in the Vienna and Oakton area.

Vienna and Oakton 2015 Home Sales

Great Falls 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 211 Great Falls homes sold between $4,100,000-$439,500.

Great Falls 2015 Home Sales

Mount Vernon 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 744 homes sold between $3,500,000-$100,000 in the Mount Vernon area.

Mount Vernon 2015 Home Sales

Oak Hill and Herndon 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 954 homes sold between $1,590,000-$131,513 in the Oak Hill and Herndon area.

Oak Hill and Herndon 2015 Home Sales

Reston 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 1,153 Reston homes sold between $2,300,000-$79,900.

Reston 2015 Home Sales

Centreville 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 1,049 Centreville homes sold between $1,625,100-$137,000.

Centreville 2015 Home Sales

Potomac 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 343 Potomac homes sold between $6,150,000-$110,800.

Potomac 2015 Home Sales

Fairfax 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 1,026 Fairfax homes sold between $1,456,000-$125,000.

Fairfax 2015 Home Sales

Burke 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 632 Burke homes sold between $1,150,000-$118,000.

Burke 2015 Home Sales

Arlington 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 1520 Arlington homes sold between $3,700,000-$30,000.

Arlington 2015 Home Sales

Chantilly 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 259 homes sold between $1,285,000-$11,000 in the Chantilly area.

Chantilly 2015 Home Sales

Alexandria 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 1298 Alexandria homes sold between $4,020,000-$91,500.

Alexandria 2015 Home Sales

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton 2015 Home Sales

In 2015, 70 homes sold between $2,195,000-$10,000 in the Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton area.

Clifton, Fairfax Station and Lorton 2015 Home Sales

Tuesday, February 9

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Herndon’s Not Another Podcast

From a dining room table to community at large.

Once a week, Herndon resident Bill McKenna prepares his audio equipment for his weekly podcast. The podcast is usually recorded at his home in downtown Herndon, and from there u

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Herndon Drama Presents ‘Cinderella’

Family friendly production at Herndon school Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 13 at 10 a.m.

Hendon High school drama team presents the story of Cinderella this February at Herndon High auditorium.

Herndon Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Herndon Police reports from Jan. 25-31.

Herndon: Downtown, New Town Website and More

The Town of Herndon extended its deadline for proposals for the downtown development until Feb. 19.

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Pride of Herndon on Display

Herndon High Band students compete for All-Virginia Band.

Herndon High School made a strong showing in this year’s band competition, held at McLean High School on Jan. 9, that, in the words of director Kathleen Jacoby, “…rivaled any in memorable history.”

Centreville Obituary: Benjamin C. Judd, Jr.

Benjamin C. Judd, Jr. (“Pop”), 76, died Feb. 6, 2016 in Leesburg after a lengthy fight with cancer. He was a resident of Centreville since 1974.

Chantilly Snapshot: Triumphant

Chantilly High School’s Charger Dancers made a clean sweep in every category Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Gar-field High School “Sweetheart Invitational” Cheer and Dance Competition.

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Centreville: Joining Together to Help, Support Others

Meet Centreville High’s Wildcats vs. Cancer club.

Centreville High sophomore Valerie Nguyen founded the Wildcats vs. Cancer club at her school to help others. But for her, the battle against this disease is also personal.

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Chantilly: ‘Seeing What’s Changed ... And what has not’ since “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Westfield presents ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’

A volatile courtroom drama in 1930s Alabama comes to life in Westfield High’s production of the Harper Lee classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

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Celebrate Library Lover’s Month at Potomac Library

Activities for all ages.

Although we think of Valentine’s Day, President’s Weekend and snow days when we think of February, it is also Library Lover’s Month — a month for the Potomac Library to demonstrate its versatility in appealing to everyone from aged 2 to 102.

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Potomac: ‘Changing the World, One Child, One Community at a Time’

Potomac Kiwanis Club committed to help.

Would you like to help Wounded Warriors? Serve meals at the Children’s Inn? Tutor a child? If “yes,” then attend a meeting of the Potomac Kiwanis Club to learn about its commitment to making the community as well as the world a better place to live.

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Potomac: Running To Benefit Children with Special Needs

Friendship Circle brings youths together.

Seventeen-year-old, Reuben Winston ran the Miami Half-Marathon on Jan. 24, placing 90th out of nearly 15,000 runners.

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Potomac: ‘The Music Man’ Struts onto Har Shalom Stage

Performances set for Feb. 20-21.

There may be “Trouble in River City” according to Professor Harold Hill, but there will also be toe- tapping and singing along to the well-known tunes of “The Music Man” presented by the Har Shalom Players.

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Potomac Snapshot: Great Falls

Great Falls, Friday, Feb. 5, with the Potomac River nearly at flood stage.

Potomac Column: Better Ingredients, Better Outcomes

Improving food in Maryland schools.

The 436th Session of the General Assembly of Maryland convened on Jan. 13.

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Potomac: A Heartfelt Loss

Scotland’s Bette Thompson spent a lifetime fighting for her community, leading by example.

Potomac lost one of its most devoted community activists when lifelong Scotland resident Bette Thompson died last week. She was 80.

Virginia Cigarette Tax Remains Lowest in Nation

Opportunity for increase in cigarette tax blows up in smoke.

Dale Stein and the McLean Citizens Association couldn’t even raise a match before legislators in Richmond extinguished a possible increase in the cigarette tax for Fairfax County.

Editorial: Limiting Local Authority

Assembly rushes bill limiting proffers without addressing who will pay for infrastructure.

In Virginia, a Dillon Rule state, local governments have only the powers explicitly granted by the General Assembly. And what the assembly gives, the assembly can take away.

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Stylish Valentine’s Day Table Settings

Flowers and candles create romantic designs.

Fresh flowers and candles are an easy way to add elegance and romance to a Valentine’s Day table. From dramatic to understated, local tastemakers offer suggestions for setting the mood for a memorable dinner.

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Bringing Order to Household Chaos

Clever design solutions for hiding clutter.

Wires, cable boxes, soccer cleats, pet bowls and other items are life’s necessities, but they can be unsightly and disrupt the aesthetic of an elegant living space.

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Fairfax County School Board Approves $2.67 Billion ‘No Cuts’ Budget

Calls for general salary raises and additional $40 million for teachers, lowering elementary class sizes.

Members of the Fairfax County School Board have taken the next step in realizing Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza’s vision of no additional cuts in the Fiscal Year 2017 school system operating budget. T

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Arlington: Completing the Street

Public feedback potentially left on the roadside.

How’s your sidewalk? If you live near a road where there’s no sidewalk on either side of the street, or the sidewalk is incomplete, your street might be be receiving a makeover courtesy of Arlington County. The new Neighborhood Complete Streets Program, approved by the County Board at its Jan. 28 meeting, could have a radical impact on the lives of some Arlingtonians.

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Arlington: Mardi Gras Cooking with a Healthy Twist

Onion, green pepper and celery — “The Holy Trinity.”

"What do you think of when I say New Orleans?" Katy Strong, dietitian, nutritionist and Extension agent, asked her Mardi Gras Cooking class the question on the day before Fat Tuesday, the celebration of Mardi Gras before the traditional fasting of Lent begins. One voice says "spicy." Another offers "all those bands."

Arlington Snapshot: Award Winners

Otilia Danalache (left) of Vienna and Atharv Gupta of Arlington, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology freshmen, won a Best Delegate Award at The Ivy League Model United Nations Conference 2016. The conference, which took place Jan. 28-31 in Philadelphia, featured debate, discussion, and the opportunity for the world's future leaders to engage with and solve myriad issues. TJHSST's Model United Nations team won 9 Gavels, 9 Outstandings, 6 Honorables and 4 Verbal Awards, as well as the ILMUNC XXXII Outstanding Large Delegation Award.

Arlington Snapshot: Designer of the Year

Reem Acra’s designs epitomize global glamour, with European style, a sense of luxury and a modern aesthetic. She will be honored as Marymount University’s 2016 Designer of the Year at the school’s annual student fashion show, Portfolio in Motion, on April 28 in the Rose Benté Lee Center on Marymount’s main campus in Arlington, Virginia.

Area Students Shine in MATHCOUNTS Competition

The Northern Virginia Regional MATHCOUNTS competition was held on Saturday, Feb. 6, at George Mason University.

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Arlington Snapshot: Healthy School Award

The Marine Corps Marathon presented the Healthy School Award and a $1,000 check on Feb. 4 to Taylor Elementary School from MCM partner Sodexo.

Snowzilla Summit Ahead

Board names Fairfax County Animal Shelter for Michael Frey.

“What a difference a week makes,” said County Chairman Sharon Bulova (D), in case anybody had moved on from the 29.3 inches of measured snow at Dulles Airport during the recent blizzard.

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Honoring Black History

Fairfax County’s Cable Network presents programs in celebration of Black History Month.

Fairfax Public Access (FPA) will air a special series of movies and documentaries throughout the month of February in recognition of Black History Month.

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Helping Arlington Set a Course

Department of Parks and Recreation asks residents to weigh in.

Arlington residents were given four chances over the past week to weigh in on their parks, recreation, and natural resources. “POPS,” a Plan for Our Spaces, was initiated by the county’s planners and the Parks Department to solicit input from residents. They gathered on Friday, Feb. 5, at the happy hour at Whitlow’s on Wilson Boulevard to drink Dale’s Pale Ale and put green dots on the charts around the room.

Proffers in Danger?

Richmond caught the attention of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this week specifically with House Bill 770 (Gilbert) and Senate B 549 (Obenshain), bills Sharon Bulova says will place “significant restrictions” on development, specifically citing “unreasonable proffers.”

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Arlington: Consultants Unveil Draft Plan for Lee Highway

Residents indicate approval of direction but concern about unintended consequences.

The concepts of “Complete Streets,” “New Urbanism,” pop up parks, and TDR’s were new to many of the 183 residents gathered at Yorktown High School on Saturday, Feb. 6.

Arlington Brief: Awards Spotlight Architectural and Landscape Designs

Eleven architectural and landscape projects were selected to receive 2015 DESIGNArlington awards.

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Arlington Weekend Fun: Feb. 12-21


Entertainment in Arlington County, Va.

Monday, February 8

Letter: Safeguarding Others in Time of Need

To the Editor

“To be successful, there must be strong community will.”

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Haunting Wounded Souls, Interconnected Lives

For those seeking out a singular achievement into unapologetic mature themed theater, 1st Stage’s production of “When the Rain Stops Falling” will etch itself into audience thrall.

Barnes and Noble’s Teacher Contest Ends March 1

The Barnes and Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest ends March 1.

Week in Vienna

Weekly happenings in Vienna.

Vienna Teen Wins Best Delegate Award

Otilia Danalache, of Vienna, a freshman at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, won the Best Delegate Award at The Ivy League Model United Nations Conference 2016.

Vienna: Broadway Hits at Shepherd’s Center

‘Lunch ‘N Life’ event to feature singer Jocelyn Jackson.

Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna (SCOV) is hosting their first in 2016 schedule of Lunch n’ Life events. T

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Optimists Present $29,000 Donation to Growing Hope

At Feb. 3 dinner meeting, check presentation and installation of new members.

Northern Virginia, in support of local families confronting childhood cancer.

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Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Honors Volunteers

Fire department, Auxiliary recognizes selfless service in 2015.

Approximately 130 friends of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department came out on Feb. 6 to salute the department’s volunteers and staff for service to the community in 2015.

Oakton’s Bassett is Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital CFO

Laura Bassett, of Oakton, was appointed chief financial officer of Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital.

Ayr Hill Garden Club Meeting Set for Feb. 22

The Ayr Hill Garden Club will meet on Monday, Feb. 22, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 2589 Chain Bridge Road in Vienna.

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Vienna Church Starts the Holy Season of Lent with Ashes and Dashes

Emmanuel Lutheran Church at 2589 Chain Bridge Road will once again be offering Ashes and Dashes, a drive-thru service that quickly provides ashes and prayer to Christian observers of Ash Wednesday, in its church parking lot on Feb. 10, from 6-8:45 a.m.

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Langley Rowers Win Two Gold, One Silver

The Langley High School Crew excelled at the Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints, the largest indoor rowing event for juniors (18 years or younger) in the United States.

Week in McLean

Weekly happenings in McLean

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Potomac School Senior Commits to Swim for University of Chicago

Sydney Grube, a senior at The Potomac School, has committed to swim for the University of Chicago.

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Potomac School Senior Commits to Wellesley for Soccer

Emily Tran, a senior at The Potomac School, has committed to play Division III soccer for Wellesley College.

McLean Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Fairfax County Police blotter from Feb. 1-4.

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McLean and Great Falls Celebrate Virginia Merges with McLean Historical Society

McLean and Great Falls Celebrate Virginia, a statewide community organization organized by Del. Vince Callahan in 2003 to help with the commonwealth’s 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown by promoting its local history, has merged with the McLean Historical Society.

Letter: Helping Search for Best Solutions

To the Editor

At its Feb. 4 meeting, the McLean Community Center Capital Facilities Committee (MCC CFC) deferred a vote on whether to retain Maffitt Hall as a community meeting room or turn it into office and administration space.

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McLean Woman’s Club: Discussing Senior Nutrition

Dr. Lewis Suskiewicz, M. D., a distinguished local internist retired from Inova Fairfax and Fair Oaks Hospitals, spoke about senior nutrition to the Woman’s Club of McLean at its meeting on Feb. 2.

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McLean’s Family Feud?

What could constitute conflict of interest where best interest of McLean community is at stake?

By suspending discussion and asking the county attorney to intervene, chair Dennis Findley and the McLean Community Center’s Capital Facilities Committee turned a possible happy ending about Center renovation into a family squabble.

Virginia Cigarette Tax Remains Lowest in Nation

Opportunity for increase in cigarette tax blows up in smoke.

Dale Stein and the McLean Citizens Association couldn’t even raise a match before legislators in Richmond extinguished a possible increase in the cigarette tax for Fairfax County.

Claude Moore Farm Launches 2016 Junior Interpreter Program

The Claude Moore Colonial farm launched its 2016 Junior Interpreter Program for youths interested in experiencing work and life on an colonial 18th-century living history farm.

Week in Great Falls

Weekly happenings in Great Falls.

Letter: A Safe Space for Creative Leaps

To the Editor

I have been a resident of Great Falls for 26 years and my father has lived here for 36.

Great Falls Teen Brings Organ Back

Jack Wood, 16, is on a mission to take organists out of the endangered musician category.

Sixteen-year-old organist Jack Wood can pinpoint the exact moment when the grand instrument piqued his interest.

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Alexandria: Bagel Uprising Launches a Revolution at Farmer’s Market

Chad Breckinridge’s fresh-baked bagels often yield a line dozens of customers deep at Four-Mile Run on Sundays.

There’s an uprising happening, all right. A Bagel Uprising.

Thursday, February 4

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Fairfax Station and Mount Vernon: Arcadia’s veteran farmers-to-be report for first weekend training

Clifton Hoffler is embarking on his third career. A resident of the Greenbelt, Md. area, Hoffler spent 21 years in the U.S. Army, serving in Iraq twice, before transitioning into government sales. In 16 months, he will be a certified culinary chef.

Fairfax: Bulova and Petersen to Host Mid-Session Town Hall

Residents will have a chance to hear from and interact with state representatives Del. David Bulova (D-37) and Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34) at a Town Hall Meeting this Saturday, Feb. 6. The meeting is scheduled for City Hall in the City of Fairfax, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

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Wood Ranch in Springfield Town Center highlights new meat, veggie options

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill partner, managing chef and “Sultan of Smoke” Alejandro Benes is working to blend barbecue traditions, as well as cuts of meat.

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Clifton: Stuff the Bus Until Feb. 15

U.S. Rep. Comstock and Supervisor Smith to visit Clifton Giant for Stuff the Bus on Feb. 6.

Stuff the Bus, Fairfax County’s annual campaign to increase food donations and awareness for local, nonprofit food pantries, started in the middle of January and runs each weekend until President’s Day, Feb. 15.

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Fairfax County: Election Officers Still Needed for March Primary

Cameron Sasnett has one message for people concerned about the integrity of elections -- at least from a procedure standpoint: Get involved as an election officer.

Fairfax County: In-Custody Death Investigated

Paul Guida died Oct. 17, 2015, while in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. The 68-year-old Falls Church resident was charged with violating a protective order. He had been held without bond since Oct. 1, 2015.

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Combined Commissions for Women Host Human Trafficking Awareness Event in Fairfax

Thirty years ago, “Jen” was lured into a pornography ring and sexually abused by a man who initially pretended to be her friend.

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Burke, Lorton, Mount Vernon and Springfield: Kegs of Kerri’s Cure special ale kick within hours

Golden afternoon sun gleamed in through windows and lit up cold, grey cinder blocks, faces already beginning to blush after a beer or two, and lush flowers atop large barrels in memory of Kerri Rose. Rose and her husband Matt, Mount Vernon residents, own Forge Brew Works in Lorton. In August of 2015, she was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer. Kerri was also pregnant.

Wednesday, February 3

Week in Springfield

Weekly happenings in Springfield.

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Springfield: Honoring Life of Service

Arnold Sells, WWII Veteran and Purple Heart Recipient, receives Lifetime Achievement Award.

World War II veteran and Greenspring resident Arnold Sells was recently recognized by Chapter 10 (Arlington/Fairfax) of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) with the chapter’s first Lifetime Achievement Award.

Commentary: Firearm Compromise, Equal Rights Amendment Passes

The third week of the General Assembly saw a major agreement emerge on firearm violence issues, and action on several of my bills.

Week in Fairfax

Weekly happenings in Fairfax.

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Vietnam Combat Art Exhibit Extended Through Feb. 15

The traveling exhibition of “Vietnam Combat Art,” which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, has been extended through Feb. 15 at the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, 10209 Main Street.

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Fairfax: Connect or Not Connect?

Commission hears two hours of testimonies, mostly against 164-foot monopole in Fairfax neighborhood.

William Stefan asked the Fairfax County Planning Commission to pardon his nerves, evident in his voice as he talked about his Fairfax home of 23 years.

Grow Your Food, Grow Your Health

Fourth Grow Your Health Festival on March 5.

The Grow Your Health Festival will be on Saturday, March 5 at Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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Fairfax: Sweet Dreams to Entice

“Romeo and Juliet” at the George Mason University Center for the Arts.

Fall in love again this Valentine’s weekend with “Romeo and Juliet.”

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Mount Vernon: Officer Helps Freezing Child

PFC Chris Mamalis of the Mount Vernon District police station helped rescue a freezing nine-year-old boy from his neighborhood while off-duty on Jan. 21.

Mount Vernon Snapshot: Supporting UCM

The Bishop Ireton High School Swim and Dive Team is conducting monthly collection drives for UCM’s Food Pantry during its 2015 - 2016 season. Above, Swim Team Captain Emma Klein at UCM is making a delivery of tuna, rice, and other staples on the Friday morning before the blizzard hits. For information about donations to UCM’s food program, visit

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Mount Vernon: Skydiver Wins Gold at Championships

West Potomac High School graduate Trevor Woods won a gold medal last month at the 2015 U.S. Parachute Association National Collegiate Parachuting Championships, held at the Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales.

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Mount Vernon Brief: Seeking To Reduce Gun Violence

About 30 members and friends of Mount Vernon Unitarian Church lobbied state representatives in Richmond for stronger state gun laws on Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Jan. 18.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Block Advisors Opens

A ribbon cutting and grand opening for Block Advisors, 7584 Telegraph Road, was held Thursday, Jan. 14, by Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce.

Mount Vernon Letter: Why Change Felony Status?

Letter to the Editor

In last week's Gazette, I pointed out that the two most important issues our representatives in Richmond should be concentrating on are education and transportation.

Mount Vernon Column: Firearm Compromise, Equal Rights Amendment Passes


The third week of the General Assembly saw a major agreement emerge on firearm violence issues, and action on several of my bills.

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Fairfax’s Ober Wins 50, 100 Free

Fairfax junior Anna Ober won the 50- and 100 freestyle events at the Conference 6 championship swim and dive meet on Jan. 30 at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington.

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Mount Vernon Column: Legislation for Virginia’s Indigenous Tribes


Virginia’s 11 state-recognized American Indian tribes played an important role in Virginia’s history, specifically in the founding of European settlements at Jamestown. Without the early contributions of resources and knowledge that these tribes shared, settlements such as Jamestown would have failed.

Mount Vernon Brief: Support Santa Claus Yacht Club

River Bend Bistro & Wine Bar is announcing a Super Bowl fundraiser event Sunday, Feb. 7 for the Santa Claus Yacht Club, a charitable organization that provides assistance to children in Alexandria through providing food, uniforms, and gifts.

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Alexandria: Ethics Reform Roils Council

Progressive transparency or potential witch hunt?

One month into her term as mayor, Allison Silberberg got the process started on enacting a new set of ethics reforms. At its Jan. 28 meeting, the City Council voted to approve an Ad Hoc Study Group to examine ethics reform. It’s the first legislative step forward on an issue Silberberg had put forward as a centerpiece of her election last year. But on the rest of the council, feelings toward the new committee were a little more tepid, some even drawing parallels between Silberberg’s ethics reform and McCarthyism.

Snowzilla Summit Ahead

Board names Fairfax County Animal Shelter for Michael Frey.

“What a difference a week makes,” said County Chairman Sharon Bulova (D), in case anybody had moved on from the 29.3 inches of measured snow at Dulles Airport during last week’s blizzard.

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Racing for Cure

Project CUREage hosts Fun Run at Burke Lake Park.

Neither chilly temperatures nor snowy trails could deter nearly 100 runners who participated Sunday morning in a Fun Run at Burke Lake Park to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

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Arlington: Yorktown girls’ swim team wins first Conference 6 title.

Two Yorktown boys' records fall.

The Yorktown girls' swim and dive team wins the Conference 6 title.

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Kostbar: Bike Noise Is Epidemic

People at Work

A week after the big snowstorm, a blue and silver Trek Excalibur sits on a bike rack waiting for its one-year warranty tune up and replacement of the chain links for more speed. Garrett Kostbar, service manager of Spokes etc. on Quaker Lane, will check all the bolts to be sure nothing has loosened up, adjust the head set to prevent slop or play in the bearing assembly, check the brake adjustment, make sure the wheels are true since the braided stainless steel cable can stretch out and break.

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Alexandria: Two Republicans Enter Race Against Beyer

Incumbent gains Republican opponents.

It’s been a little over a year since U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8) took office, and both the first term congressman and his political opposition have been busy in that time.

Alexandria History: Creating the PBS Civil War Series ‘Mercy Street’

An interview with Filmmaker and Executive Producer Lisa Wolfinger.

The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in U.S. history with a death toll of 750,000, according to recent studies — more than twice the number of American troops killed in World War II and two percent of the population in the 1860s. If a similar number of Americans died in a war today, the toll would reach about 7.5 million. And two-thirds of Civil War deaths were from illness.

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Alexandria: NAACP To Honor Local Church Leader

The Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley to receive national award.

The Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC) in Alexandria was recently named a recipient of the 2016 NAACP Chairman's Image Award, “an award presented to individuals and organizations using their platforms to be agents of change in their communities.”

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Alexandria Letter: Clear Those Handicap Spaces

Letter to the Editor

As a long time disabled resident of Alexandria, I have seen that when we have a significant snowfall, the snow in parking lots is often pushed into the handicap parking spaces.

Alexandria Letter: Improve Communication

Letter to the Editor

Congratulations to Mayor Silberberg for proposing to establish an ethical standard to which our elected officials must adhere, and for choosing now — when there are no ethical conflicts or controversies — to design and implement this standard. Who in their right mind would oppose it?

Alexandria Letter: Supporting Hillary

Letter to the Editor

Hillary Clinton is my candidate for President.

Alexandria Letter: Stay Informed in Emergencies

Letter to the Editor

Last week, we went through an event that could overwhelm even the best-prepared municipalities. Some streets remained un-cleared a week later in every corner of the D.C. metro area, including here in Alexandria.

Alexandria Letter: Snow Removal Inadequate

Letter to the Editor

On Tuesday, the ever-shrinking lanes on the city's major roadways and left turn lanes on the city's major roadways had not yet been cleared. Residential streets were still being plowed/cleared on Wednesday morning.

Alexandria Letter: Unintended Consequences

Letter to the Editor

The law of unintended consequences is the controlling principle of human history, reminding us to be careful what we ask for lest getting it thereby sets the stage for something we consider even worse than what we tried to prevent in the first place.

Alexandria Letter: A Little Poem of Praise

Letter to the Editor

As I think of the snow and its pure beauty and its grace that is given; I'm thankful for each day given and all the little blessings that unfold.

Alexandria Letter: Snow Parking Suggestion

Letter to the Editor

I noticed that the center of most streets in Old Town were plowed with same size vehicles you see on highways, leaving 4-5 feet of hard-packed snow from the curb.

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Great Falls: Langley Boys’ Swim and Dive Team Wins Conference 6 Title

Saxon girls, McLean boys finish runners-up.

The Langley boys' swim and dive team repeated as Conference 6 champion.

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Alexandria Obituary: Recalling Diana ‘Dee’ Phillips

Longtime volunteer dies at 76.

Doug Phillips remembers the first time he set eyes on his wife Dee.

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Alexandria: Shea Takes Helm of Chamber Board

Robert Shea of Grant Thornton LLP officially took over as chairman of the board of directors of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce at the annual Chairman’s Community Reception Jan. 20 at Blackwall Hitch Restaurant.

Alexandria: Beyer to Keynote Breakfast

Event kicks off Parade Day celebrations.

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8) will be the keynote speaker at the annual Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association breakfast Feb. 15 to kick off the citywide George Washington Birthday Parade day celebrations.

Alexandria Column: Homeless in Alexandria–How Many and What To Do

Commentary–Carpenter’s Shelter

Imagine something goes wrong with your home during a blizzard like Jonas. Even worse, imagine you don’t have a home at all to protect your family from the blustering snow. This was a reality for the 61 adults and 21 children who sought refuge at Carpenter’s Shelter as 24 inches of snow blanketed Alexandria a couple of weeks ago.

Alexandria Column: We Pulled Together and We Pulled Through


Two quick updates. First, we had a little snowstorm recently. Okay, not so little since we got 22 inches of snow in about 36 hours, but who’s counting? It was in fact the worst storm since the Knickerbocker Storm of 1922, and we made it through without a fatality.

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Alexandria: SSSAS Grad Turns Love of Music into Career

Founds Cleod9 Music.

According to local music producer Ian McLeod, one of the biggest misconceptions about the music industry is that you have to move to New York City or Los Angeles in order to make anything happen.

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Column: Nondiscrimination Bills Pass State Senate

Council members spar over last minute additions.

As the snow thawed and the General Assembly went about its business last week, a number of developments occurred involving LGBT rights.

Springfield: Spartans Present Opponents Pick-Your-Poison Outlook

West Springfield makes eight 3-pointers in win over Mount Vernon.

The West Springfield boys' basketball team is undefeated in Conference 7 play.

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Alexandria: Warehouse Sale Set for Feb. 6

Location moved to Westin Hotel.

The Old Town Boutique District will hold its annual Warehouse Sale Feb. 6 at the Westin Alexandria Hotel, a change in location from last year’s sale, which was held at the George Washington Masonic Memorial.

Area Roundups

Burke, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Lorton, Clifton and Springfield briefs.

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Mount Vernon Snapshot: Preparing for Renovations

Linwood Gorham, Fairfax County Park Authority board member, welcomed everyone to the groundbreaking ceremony on Jan. 30 that launched the renovation of the baseball fields at McNaughton Park. All four existing fields will be demolished, along with the current buildings, to make way for new, state-of-the-art facilities.

Classified Advertising February 3, 2016

Read the latest ads here!

Tuesday, February 2

Column: Doing the People’s Business in Richmond


It’s been a long week digging out from the #2 record snowstorm in our area. While many streets and roads were plowed within 24 hours, others took several days.

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Clifton Brief: Stuff the Bus Food Drive for WFCM

Western Fairfax Christian Ministries will be a recipient of the “Stuff the Bus for Fairfax” food drive which will be held Saturday, Feb 6, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Clifton Giant, 5740 Union Mill Road.

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Bite Me Cancer Gets New Home

Nonprofit now headquartered in AFCEA building in Fair Lakes.

When Nikki Ferraro was just 17, she was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer. Since then, she’s fought it hard while also reaching out to help other teenagers battling the same disease.

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Potomac: Students’ Proposal to Take Spaceflight

Bullis pair’s experiment selected for International Space Station.

As the winners of the Bullis Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), Amanda Kay and Skylar Jordan’s experiment will be launched on the spring/summer 2016 International Space Station (ISS) payload. What an accomplishment for these Bullis sophomores!

Potomac Brief: Confirming County Success on Ending Veteram Homelessness

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and United States Interagency Council on Homelessness recently confirmed that Montgomery County has effectively ended homelessness among veterans.

Potomac Brief: Pickleball Spreads to Potomac

A sport called pickleball is coming to Potomac. A launch is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Potomac Community Recreation Center. Center director Peter Selikowitz says the sport is similar to tennis, but is played at a slower pace making it attractive to seniors.

Potomac Column: The Revised Glen Hills Sewer Amendment

An epic hoodwinking.

It appeared to be a good decision by the Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee (T&E), but in fact it was outrageously bad.

Potomac Brief: Give ‘The Gift of a Lift'

Potomac Community Village is seeking volunteer drivers to take Potomac seniors to doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, social activities and other life-enriching engagements.

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Arlington: Gondola Project Gets Off the Ground

Board approves feasibility study for Rosslyn-Georgetown Gondola.

It's crazy enough that it just might work.

Another Opportunity to Talk About It

Super Bowl Sunday is Sunday, Feb. 7, and often more about the parties than the game.

Editorial: Economic Development in Virginia

The General Assembly prides itself in providing a pro-business climate, but refuses infusion of more than $3 billion annually.

Hundreds of bills before this year’s General Assembly session focus on “business climate,” providing incentives for businesses to locate and expand here, extending tax exemptions and tax credits, encouraging international trade, reducing regulation and many other approaches perceived as pro-business.

Marking American Heart Month

Month-long observance raises awareness about cardiovascular disease and the role of aerobic exercise in preventing it.

Music is thumping, sweat is dripping and hearts are pounding. In a packed aerobic dance studio, students move in the name of health.

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GRACE Celebrates Youth Art Month

Greater Reston Arts Center celebrates Youth Art Month with two exhibitions dedicated to the artistic achievements of the area’s youth.

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Making More out of Less

Empty-nesters find a better plan for space, makes downsizing easier.

The transition was surprisingly easy. In the previous act, John and Mary Millette were living with two growing sons in a 5,000-plus-square-foot house in Charleston.

Meditation Workshops at Greater Reston Arts Center

Beloved Yoga is presenting Meditation Workshops at Greater Reston Arts Center, “Contemplating Art: Thought Experiments, Black Holes, and Meditation” inviting all to experience firsthand Einstein’s “Thought Experiments” that formulated his Theory of Relativity.

Commentary: A More Realistic Minimum

Northern Virginia jurisdictions are among the wealthiest in the country.

Commentary: Reports of Lake Anne’s Demise are Premature

Things were looking a little bleak at Lake Anne in December as winter officially began.

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Herndon High Winter News

STEP Team, Marching Band, Writing Center active at the school.

The Herndon High Step Team performed at the Strathmore on Saturday, Jan. 16 to celebrate and honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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’Threaded with Green’ at ArtSpace Herndon

Winter exhibits at Herndon art gallery.

The quilts in ”Threaded with Green” on display at ArtSpace Herndon show the talent, dedication, and attention to detail from nineteen invited fiber artists. Every quilt in the show has an element of green.

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Cadets Answer Call of Duty to Senior Citizens in Herndon

Herndon NJROTC helps out.

Week in Herndon

Weekly happenings in Herndon

Reston: South Lakes, Storm Water and Collaboration

RA approves funding for independent study of stormwater flows between Cedar Cove Cluster and Wakerobin Lane.

When the Board of Supervisors approved a 40,000 square foot addition to South Lakes in October 2015, Terry Maynard of Reston 20/20 emphasized a failing stormwater management plan for the adjoining neighborhoods of Wakerobin Lane and Cedar Cove.

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Reston: Around the World in a Day

Google at Ideaventions: Reston academy keeps promises.

Ideaventions Academy for Mathematics and Science in Reston which opened in the fall of 2015, has celebrated several achievements over the past months.

Herndon Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Herndon police reports from Jan. 18-24.

Reston Crime Reports

Notable incidents in Reston from the Fairfax County police blotter from Jan. 19-29.

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’Scrappy’ Wildcats Fall to Undefeated Cougars

Centreville coach Watson upset about officiating.

The Centreville girls' basketball team lost to Oakton on Monday.

Reston Hospital

News from Reston Hospital

Week in Reston

Weekly happenings in Reston.

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Vienna: Oakton’s Marquis Scores 1,000th Point in Victory

Cougars remain undefeated with win over Centreville.

The Oakton girls' basketball team improved to 17-0 with a win over Centreville on Monday.

Volunteer Fairfax Seeks Nominations, New Deadline Feb. 9

Awards recognize the contributions of volunteers in the community.

Nominations are open for the 2016 Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards.

Vienna Crime Reports

Notable incidents from the Vienna police reports from Jan. 22-28.

Vienna Resident Recognized as ‘Best of the Best’

Vienna resident Ian Ladner was awarded the Defense Logistics Energy Employee of the Quarter (Oct-Dec 2015).

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Vienna: Cool Things to Do in Winter

When children are off from school in cold weather, there’s still fun to be found.

The children are off from school --- again. It’s winter and it’s cold, and, possibly, snowy. You’ve done the library (Patrick Henry and the Oakton Library), the movies (huge selection at Tysons AMC) and have taken the kids bowling (Bowl America is full of youngsters during “break”).

Langley Alum Thrives in Collegiate Waters

Langley High School 2015 graduate Fiona Muir, one of Emory University’s top freshmen swimmers is off to a fantastic start to her season.

Week in McLean

Weekly happenings in McLean.

Week in Great Falls

Weekly happenings in Great Falls.

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Arlington Snapshot: Heart Pillows for Heart Month

Woman's Club of Arlington is honoring Heart Month by making padded recovery heart pillows to be donated to those who have had recent heart surgery. From left are Sandy Newton, Vicky Gill, Kathleen Harrison and Club President Anne Kauzlarich. The American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day is Friday, Feb. 5.

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Arlington Enters Final Snow-Clearing Phase

The fallout of the 2016 massive snowstorm is coming to a close for Arlington.

Juggling Grandparenting in Baltimore and Arlington

Making schedules work across the generations.

It is Monday. That means that Mike and Dot Green are caring for their granddaughters Calliope and Thalia Willis in their home on N. 31st Street in Arlington. Dot Green says that Calliope at 3 is very funny and active. She has lots of facial expressions and loves to run … "has to run," Mike Green interjects.

Arlington Snapshot: Starting New Year Off Giving

Andrea Morici, a member of the Woman's Club of Arlington, knitted more than 300 items to donate in 2015: scarves, hats, baby and lap blankets. She delivered 40 hat/scarf sets to A-Span in Arlington recently, just in time for the cold weather. Lamont Coleman appreciates his new, bright set. A-Span staff noted there is an ongoing need for donations of coats for both men and women. See

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Arlington: Story of Radium Girls To Glow on Yorktown Stage

One-act drama co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters-Arlington and American Association of University Women-Arlington.

On Thursday, Feb 11, Ginny Mohler will be back at her old high school in Arlington, where she was a theater student 10 years ago. This time, she’ll be there as a prize-winning filmmaker, watching the Yorktown High School actors perform “The Girls Who Glow,” an adaptation of her screenplay. The one-act drama is a sister project of the feature film “Radium Girls” which Mohler co-wrote and is slated to direct this spring.

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Arlington: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Visits During Book Tour

Sharing his perspective on life, sports and religion.

“Life is short, but it’s very wide,” said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in response to a question during the recent Conversations with Tyler: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Arlington: TreeStewards Seek Volunters

County staff as well as school officials and staff encouraged to join.

Washington, Virginia, and Maryland have lost roughly 2.5 percent of tree canopy every decade since 1950. According to Casey Trees, only 35 percent of Virginia is tree canopy. Trees need advocates, and the TreeStewards, together with Casey Trees, the Park Service, and county officials, function as local advocates.

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Arlington: Braving Slippery Streets to Resolve to Run — or Walk

Thrive posts updated registration and clinic dates due to snow.

Chip Benjamin came to the happy hour at Pete’s Pizza in Clarendon on Jan. 20, because he was thinking of walking the 5K in honor of his friend, Judie Armington, who died of ovarian cancer this past year.

Arlington Column: Nondiscrimination Bills Pass Senate


As the snow thawed and the General Assembly went about its business last week, a number of developments occurred involving LGBT rights.

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Alexandria/Mount Vernon Weekend Fun: Feb. 5-14


Events near Alexandria and Mount Vernon, Va.

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Potomac Weekend Fun: Feb. 5-14


Events near Potomac, Md.

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Arlington Weekend Fun: Feb. 5-14


Events in Arlington, Va.

Monday, February 1

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Great Falls: Call to Save Marmota Farm

Answering frequently asked questions.

Town Meeting on Feb. 9

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The Langley School Crowns Geography Bee Champion

Ten students in grades 4-8 at The Langley School tested their geographic knowledge during the first round of the 28th annual National Geographic Bee on Jan. 14.

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McLean: Saving the Community Hall; Preparing for Closure

McLean Community Center likely to be closed for renovations in 2017 from April through November.

The McLean Community Center’s Central Financing Committee transformed a week of public worry into a probable solution for the center’s beloved and well-used Maffitt Hall community room.

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McLean: Days to Remember

With violin, viola and bass bows stowed into the overhead compartments of KLM flight 652 on Jan. 15, the McLean High School Philharmonic flew to Europe to participate in the 22nd exchange program with the Detmold, Germany Jugendorchester.

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‘Where’s the Chair’ Campaign Comes to McLean, Annandale

Virginia Dental Association (VDA) hosted "Where's the Chair?" event on Friday, Jan. 29.

New Programs Director for Tysons Partnership

Meghan Trossen, a native of McLean, is the new programs director at Tysons Partnership.

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Crowds Throng to McLean Chocolate Festival

McLean Rotary Club donates proceeds to local charities.

A large continuous crowd of chocolate lovers attended the fifth annual McLean Chocolate Festival on Sunday, Jan. 31 .

McLean Crime Reports

Notable incidents in McLean from the Fairfax County police blotter from Jan. 19-29.

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Arlington Players Mix Mystery, Plot Reversals and Humor

TAP presents “Deathtrap.”

The Arlington Players (TAP) will perform "Deathtrap," the longest running comedy-thriller ever on Broadway, Feb. 5-7 and 12-13, at the Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre in Arlington. The show is a blend of mystery, plot reversals and humor. Its author, Ira Levin, wrote both "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Stepford Wives."

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Brooks Farm: Decision Awaits in Great Falls

Planning Commission scheduled to make recommendation on proposal for 20 homes this week.

Twenty one hours and 37 minutes after he started his day on Thursday, Jan. 21, Great Falls Citizens Association president Eric Knudsen told the county’s Planning Commission the importance of Great Falls to the entire county and to the Chesapeake Watershed.

Lorton, Fairfax Station, Clifton: Neighborhood Development Outlook Update January 2016

Ox Road Estates Adare Drive, an infill project of ten single-family homes is under construction.

Burke: Neighborhood Development Outlook Update January 2016

Burke Junction, Guinea Road and Zion Drive area. The site plan is under active review for a development of 17 single-family homes.

Springfield: January 2016 Neighborhood Development Outlook Update

Here is a survey of new and ongoing changes and projects in Springfield.

Inova Sports Medicine Partners with Sports Clubs

Inova Sports Medicine partnered with Great Falls Soccer Club (GFSC) and Great Falls Lacrosse and Field Hockey Association (GFLA).