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A Picture Perfect Home

Tips from the pros on boosting a home’s curb appeal.

When Realtors Marsha Schuman and Betsy Schuman Dodek drive up to a home to show it to a prospective buyer, they know that they have only one chance to make a good first impression. Potomac-based Dodek and Schuman of the Schuman Team of Washington Fine Properties say a home’s curb appeal matters. “When we think of curb appeal we think of the lawn and landscaping, front door, windows, roof and how it all looks,” said Dodek.

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South County Boys’ Lax Beats State Champion Chantilly

Stallions have sights set on competing for state title.

South County handed Chantilly its first loss since May of 2013.

Del Ray Realtor Honored for Community Leadership

Jen Walker receives the Marguerite Payez Leadership Award.

When Jen Walker moved to the Del Ray section of Alexandria in 1997 she received a warm welcome and felt an immediate sense of community.

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What to Expect

Real estate experts offer a forecast for spring.

Real estate agent Joan Caton Cromwell says she lost a home bidding war last week in Falls Church even though her client was a strong contestant.

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Realtors: Great Kitchens Help Sell Homes

Real estate experts offer tips for creating an appealing kitchen.

Designer Jacquelin Lluy, of Nicely Done Kitchens and Baths in Springfield, recently transformed the kitchen of a home in Mantua, in Fairfax, from a small, dark space to a light-filled, free-flowing culinary oasis.

Basheer & Edgmoore Wins Silver

The Maymont community in Vienna, Va. won a Silver Award for Basheer & Edgemoore at the National Sales and Marketing Awards for 2014. Hosted by the National Association of Home Builders, Basheer & Edgemoore took silver in the Community of the Year category.

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Spring Songbirds Arriving Now

Local bird groups and bird walks help beginning birders see colorful birds.

The birds are coming. The annual migration of often brightly colored songbirds from their winter homes in Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and the southern U.S. is underway now. Millions and millions of avian migrants fly northward every night and the come down to rest or nest every morning. Some of the birds are enroute to nesting areas far to the north; some nest right here or nearby.

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Region Sees Lowest Number of TB Cases in Decades

Outreach efforts get people in for tuberculosis treatment before it spreads.

When Dr. Barbara Andrino came to the Fairfax County Health Department in 2011, there were 137 cases of tuberculosis in Northern Virginia.

Week in Vienna

Vienna Tree-Planting Ceremony The Town of Vienna and the Community Enhancement Commission invite the public to attend the annual Arbor Day ceremony on Thursday, April 24, at 4 p.m. A tree will be planted next to the Parks and Recreation Department’s community learning garden behind Vienna Elementary, 128 Center St. S.

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‘Go Wild’ at the Parks

National Park Week ends Sunday.

The National Park Service wants everyone to “go wild” for nature this week. National Park Week will be celebrated with treks and children’s events at all 401 parks - including Great Falls Park - every day through Sunday. Several thousand people headed out to Great Falls Park over the weekend, but many did not know the reason they got in free was because of the event, which is themed “go wild!”

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Westbriar Elementary Top Fundraiser for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Westbriar Elementary in Vienna is a National Blue Ribbon School who has partnered with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for two years to raise funds in honor of a local student who fought and survived leukemia. This year, as the grand finale for their coin collection campaign, they hosted a student versus teacher volleyball game. LLS attended the game and presented them with a check to show gratitude for their contributions and dedication to LLS mission. Out of 137 schools, they are currently the top fundraising Virginia school. With almost an additional $100 in just one week, they have raised a total of $6,552 to-date for LLS’s Pennies for Patients program. The National Capital Area chapter of LLS has 420 participating schools in their Pennies for Patients programs this year. There is always time to join the cause by collecting change and giving student the opportunity to experience the feeling that comes from helping others. If your school is ready to step up to the challenge and fight blood cancers, contact Jessica Lindquist at or call 703-399-2928.


Members of the Vienna AllStars (Junior Level 2) gather after winning at the Annual Alexandria Invitational Cheerleading Competition on Saturday, April 5, at T.C. Williams High School. A variety of recreation centers and clubs at different age levels (Pee Wee Level 1, Youth Level 1, Youth Level 2, Junior Level 1 and Junior Level 2) competed with cheerleading routines.

Week in Reston

Herndon-Reston FISH to Hold Annual Fundraising Event Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicating to help families meet emergencies and short-term needs, will hold its 9th Annual Fish Fling Gala at the Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel on Saturday, April 26, from 6 to 11 p.m. This gala is FISH’s largest fundraising event to acquire the financial support for its Family Assistance Program. In 2013 FISH worked with over 1300 area families.

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Babes in the Woods

Toddlers find adventure at Walker Nature Center Earth Day program.

A group of toddlers took turns hugging a massive blow-up globe after listening to a book about animals and insects that can be found in the woods. The children, excited and attentive, were at the Walker Nature Education Center’s Earth Day Explorers program on Monday to trek through the forest and learn more about the planet they live in. The event was for the Babes in the Woods nature program, targeted for children ages 18 to 35 months. “There’s no time too early to get started,” said naturalist Ken Rosenthal, Reston Association. “And sometimes the out-of-the box thinking really gets me.” His personal philosophy is there is no word or idea too big to introduce to a child.

Voters Wanted: Party canvas on Saturday

Republican candidates for Congressional 10th District seat offer a mix of experience.

After weeks of debates and campaigning, the Republican party will choose a candidate on Saturday to oppose John Foust (D) to succeed U.S Rep. Frank Wolf in the Va. 10th District Congressional race. The party canvass will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Two of the candidates, Barbara Comstock and Bob Marshall have held office previously as delegates. According to, Comstock raised $761,354, Stephen Hollingshead raised $122,178, Howard Lind raised 140, 838, Marshall raised $55,240, Marc Savitt raised $13,764 and Rob Wasinger raised $82,742. Although Marshall raised significantly less than Comstock, he felt confident he is the right candidate for the 10th district race. “I have won 13 consecutive elections in Northern Virginia. Barbara Comstock won three. Obama won the state delegate district I represent by 11 percent. Barbara Comstock’s district split evenly between Obama and Romney. Groups from the left and the right have joined me to pass laws to protect our constitutional rights,” said Marshall in an email. Comstock, who felt she had the upper hand because of her work with Congressman Wolf, said she is concerned about several national security issues. “I’m very concerned about our current national defense policy which was weakened by President Obama,” she said. Lind is the only candidate who has served in the military. He previously ran for U.S. Senate. “The whole thing with my campaign is taking a stand, which is not just taking a stand against the Democratic party, but also taking a stand within our own party.” Savitt said his candidacy provides innovative ideas and a fresh face. “I am the only candidate in this race, who has never worked for the government or held elective office,” said Savitt in an email. “I consider this an advantage, as those with such prior employment, are the very same individuals who are directly responsible for the government’s loss of credibility with the American people. “

Nothing Humane In Bow Hunting

To the Editor: The typo in 'Deer Management' Options Explored (Great Falls Connection, April 16-22, 2014) was quite telling. It states that bow hunting is the "more human" deer management option. It certainly is-- but bow hunting is the furthest thing from humane.

Waples Mill Students Volunteer to Stop Hunger Now

More than 200 students, families and teachers of Waples Mill Elementary School plus one Fairfax County Public School Board member participated in a community service "meal packing" event in partnership with Stop Hunger Now on Saturday, April 5.

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

To the Editor: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has been wrestling with the question of how to meet their self-imposed demands for more services and how to raise revenue (read "taxes") to support those demands. The first source is the real estate tax - the tax on our homes and businesses. The real estate tax is a function of the value of our property and a function of the rate of tax to be imposed based on the value of our property. Suffice to say, this is a game that is played each year - whatever you call it, about 15.5 percent more will have come out of our pockets over the past three years.

‘Fountain of Youth’ in Great Falls Plaza

Fontaine de Jeunesse Medical & Dental Aesthetics Spa opened since June 2013.

In an unassuming Georgetown Pike plaza is a spa-like experience promising to tighten clients up without a nip and tuck. Fontaine de Jeunesse Medical & Dental Aesthetics Spa, a self-proclaimed fountain of youth in the heart of Great Falls, has been noninvasively treating men and women of all ages since last summer. Fontaine de Jeunesse translates to “fountain of youth” in French. The owner, Dr. Jeanette Coutin-Gentry, started the business as a way to help other women age gracefully through menopause without being self-conscious. “I found out that diet and exercise alone was not taking care of losing the weight,” she said.

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Reston Little League Presents Leadership Awards

Sean Dooley, director at The Wise Investor Group at RW Baird in Reston, presented Leadership Awards to deserving players who are entering their final season of baseball in Reston Little League, as well as RLL alumni who have chosen to continue teaching the game as youth umpires. During ceremonies held in conjunction with the annual Little League Parade at Reston Town Center, each awardee was honored with an award certificate that cited their “sportsmanship during past seasons, their potential for continued leadership development as they graduate on to new teams and schools, and their love of the game.” In addition, each awardee received a Scholarship Award for Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) leadership training. Players have as many as 15 seasons of experience playing baseball in Reston Little League, starting at age 4. Awardees are: Jack Thompson (Athletics), Aiden O’Donovan (Phillies), Josh Meade (Yankees), Sully Gholson (Nationals), Vikrant Magadi (Rays), Shea Huntington (Pirates), Nick Gryski (Red Sox), Braden Huebsch (Mets), Owen Walker (Umpire), and Kyle Sather (Umpire).